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Tree of knowledge   /tri əv nˈɑlədʒ/   Listen
Tree of knowledge

noun
1.
The biblical tree in the Garden of Eden whose forbidden fruit was tasted by Adam and Eve.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Tree of knowledge" Quotes from Famous Books



... But if he collects himself and meets the occasion with spirit he will enjoy it until, while sailing over the hedge, he has leisure to reflect once more. It is clear to me," he proceeded, "that the fruit of the tree of knowledge in the old fable was not, as has hitherto been supposed by a puritanical people, the mere knowledge of sex, but symbolised rather general self-consciousness; for I have little doubt that Adam and Eve sat together under one umbrella long before they discovered ...
— Another Sheaf • John Galsworthy

... tree bearing the forbidden fruit called? A. The tree bearing the forbidden fruit was called "the tree of knowledge ...
— Baltimore Catechism No. 3 (of 4) • Anonymous

... nothing, and how he formed man after his own image and likeness and endowed him with power of free-will, and gave him Paradise to his enjoyment, charging him only to abstain from one thing, the tree of knowledge; and how, when man had broken his commandment, he banished him out of Paradise; and how man, fallen from union with God, stumbled into these manifold errors, becoming the slave of sins, and subject unto death through the tyranny ...
— Barlaam and Ioasaph • St. John of Damascus

... long after this conversation that the twins awoke one morning with a very frenzy of adventure upon them. It was accompanied by a violent reaction against all the laws of God and man, and a desire to devour the tree of knowledge, fruit, limbs, and trunk, ...
— Marm Lisa • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... "Well, as the tree of knowledge was the tree of evil, perhaps that is the correct reading," replied Ansell, laughing; "Captain Oughton, you are a very sensible man; I hope we shall see you often at our mess, ...
— Newton Forster • Frederick Marryat

... know the most must mourn the deepest o'er the fatal truth; the tree of knowledge is not ...
— Pearls of Thought • Maturin M. Ballou

... those of his precursor. The truth is that a strong new book is not read by a young man whose genius is prepared for its teaching, without its image being stamped upon his mind. La Bruyere's own experience had already offered to him a banquet of the bitter fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil when he met with the "Maximes" of 1665. His conscience and his memory were prepared, and the truth is that a great deal of La Rochefoucauld's teaching passed into his veins without his knowing it. This does not in the least undermine ...
— Three French Moralists and The Gallantry of France • Edmund Gosse

... fancy that we have but to eat of the tree of knowledge to become gods. Some go so far as to say that we are even now a part of divinity. 'The universe—it is God;' therefore we, as a part of the universe, are a part of God. The universe God? If it is a part of God, (which ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No. 2, August, 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... regarded the attempts which were then being made as hopeless. It then seemed still to be a mere dream of poets. Wireless telegraphy was only a matter of speculation, a thing which a few only thought of as a possibility of the future. Man has indeed plucked the fruit of the tree of knowledge for his own destruction. What may be the result of another quarter of a century of like advancement of the knowledge of the means of spreading "death throughout the world and bitter woe"? It may not be, as Dr. Murray Butler says, that the ...
— Rebuilding Britain - A Survey Of Problems Of Reconstruction After The World War • Alfred Hopkinson

... and of this group its place in the general whole. Owing to the extreme diversity of subjects taught there will be room and occupation for the extreme diversity of intelligences. Young minds can choose for themselves their own career, mount as high as their strength allows, climb up the tree of knowledge each on his own side, with his own ladder, in his own way, now passing from the branches to the trunk and again from the trunk to the branches, now from a remote bough to the principal branch and from that again ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 6 (of 6) - The Modern Regime, Volume 2 (of 2) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... met and mastered by the love of imparting information. As much pleasure as it gives Angelina to learn how many towels and table-cloths go into Seraphina's wedding-outfit, so much, yea, more, swells in Cherubella's bosom at being able to present to her friend this apple from the tree of knowledge. The worthy Muggins finds no small consolation for the loss of his overcoat and umbrella from the front entry in the exhilaration he experiences while relating to each member of his ever-revolving circle of friends ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 85, November, 1864 • Various

... be added the due complement of branches and leaves—memoirs and biographies—the Plutarchs and Pepyses, the Walpoles and St. Simons, the Crokers and Grevilles of each generation—we shall have a tree of knowledge which would yield to none in point of interest ...
— The Quarterly Review, Volume 162, No. 324, April, 1886 • Various

... you—wiser than you, if wisdom be the fruit of the tree of knowledge. You know but one side of the medal, Hypatia, and the fairer; I have seen its reverse as well as its obverse. Through every form of human thought, of human action, of human sin and folly, have I been wandering for years, and ...
— Hypatia - or, New Foes with an Old Face • Charles Kingsley

... and Aldrich—that wrinkled fruit of the tree of knowledge—had been all laid by; for Maggie had turned her back on the vain ambition to share the thoughts of the wise. In her first ardor she flung away the books with a sort of triumph that she had risen above the need of them; and if they had been her own, she would have burned ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... Dick was rather smart to have chopped all these branches off the tree of knowledge with his little hatchet. I think his cleverness ...
— Set in Silver • Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson

... was at hand. After a second great spiritual struggle and a renewal of the temptation, he at last reached that which he had long been seeking. Seated under a ficus religiosa, the tree afterwards called the tree of knowledge, or the Bo-tree, he rose in contemplation above all his temptations and doubts till he beheld at length the true nature of things. From this moment he was Buddha, Enlightened; he had the key of truth, and for ...
— History of Religion - A Sketch of Primitive Religious Beliefs and Practices, and of the Origin and Character of the Great Systems • Allan Menzies

... other vital youths, Marius must eat of the tree of knowledge and become a questioner of hitherto accepted views. "The tyrannous reality of things visible," and all the eager desire and delight of youth, make their strong appeal. Two influences favour the temptation. First there is his friend, Flavian the ...
— Among Famous Books • John Kelman

... which man is not named but is simply said to be in the image of God; but we think we are the children of the creation described in the second chapter; of the race that imagined sickness, sin, and death for itself. The tree of knowledge which caused Adam's fall, Mrs. Eddy says, was the belief of life in matter, and she suggests that the forbidden fruit which Eve gave to Adam may have been "a ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908 • Various

... from the first floor only), is as nothing compared to the thirst for knowledge of the philosopher, the poet, the biologist, and the naturalist. I have always despised Adam because he had to be tempted by the woman, as she was by the serpent, before he could be induced to pluck the apple from the tree of knowledge. I should have swallowed every apple on the tree the moment the owner's back was turned. When Gray said "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise," he forgot that it is godlike to be wise; and since nobody wants bliss particularly, or could stand more than a very ...
— The Doctor's Dilemma: Preface on Doctors • George Bernard Shaw

... old image of the Scriptures suddenly came back to my mind. It seemed to me that I had tasted of the Tree of Knowledge, that all the mysteries were unveiled, so much did I find myself under the sway of a new, strange and irrefutable logic. And arguments, reasonings, proofs rose up in a heap before my brain only to be immediately displaced by ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... to be something of a sentimentalist? Well, I assure you I am not going to let it grow upon me. I bear sternly in mind that, like the first pair of human beings in the Garden of Eden, they have really eaten of the tree of knowledge and know some things which they ought not to know,—having some secrets from the rest of mankind which are not at all good for them,—while the things they need to know for higher, better living are so numerous, that I ruthlessly break the tenderest hearts, and insist ...
— The Boy from Hollow Hut - A Story of the Kentucky Mountains • Isla May Mullins

... it is, however, only in later years that he becomes master of his material. Accordingly it will be found that, as a rule, a great writer gives his best work to the world when he is about fifty years of age. But though the tree of knowledge must reach its full height before it can bear fruit, the roots ...
— Counsels and Maxims - From The Essays Of Arthur Schopenhauer • Arthur Schopenhauer

... The tree of knowledge of good and evil was the tree of choice. Obedience to God was the one thing involved. That simply meant, as it always means, keeping in warm touch with God. All good absolutely is bound up in this—obeying God, keeping in warm ...
— Quiet Talks about Jesus • S. D. Gordon

... the brute, And ever dragging still the brutish chains, And ever slipping backward to the brute. Shall he not break the galling, brazen bonds That bind him writhing on the wheel of fate? Long ages groveling with his brother brutes, He plucked the tree of knowledge and uprose And walked erect—a god; but died the death: For knowledge brings but sadness and unrest Forever, insatiate longing and regret. Behold the brute's unerring instinct guides True as the pole-star, while man's reason leads How oft to quicksands and the hidden reefs! Contented ...
— The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems • H. L. Gordon

... I have a small handful of these sea appreciations, signed by various masters, yellowing slowly in my writing-table's left hand drawer, rustling under my reverent touch, like a handful of dry leaves plucked for a tender memento from the tree of knowledge. Strange! It seems that it is for these few bits of paper, headed by the names of a few Scots and English shipmasters, that I have faced the astonished indignations, the mockeries, and the reproaches of a sort hard to bear for a boy of fifteen; that I have ...
— A Personal Record • Joseph Conrad

... long as one of the errors of Steuchius Eugubinus remains unconfuted; and even then it is well to pause until we know the opinions of Orpheus and Zoroaster on the matter in hand. One whole chapter of four sections is dedicated to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the arguments of Goropius Becanus are minutely tested and found wanting. Goropius Becanus, whom Raleigh is never tired of shaking between his critical teeth, was a learned Jesuit of Antwerp, who proved that Adam and Eve spoke Dutch in Paradise. ...
— Raleigh • Edmund Gosse

... very general notion, that if you once suffer women to eat of the tree of knowledge, the rest of the family will very soon be reduced to the same kind of ...
— The Jest Book - The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings • Mark Lemon

... blow taught me to observe that every set of rooms has two doors, and I soon learned that the outer door, which is thick and solid, is called the oak, and to shut it is termed to sport. I derived so much benefit from my oak, that I soon pardoned this slight inconvenience: it is surely the tree of knowledge." ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 19, Issue 544, April 28, 1832 • Various

... "alienated affection," do not apply to him, as there is no affection in the case at all; no more than in that of the old Persian or Turk who sews up one of his hundred wives in a sack and throws her into the river because she was starving and would eat of the fruits of the tree of knowledge. This Oriental jealousy is often a "dog-in-the-manger" feeling. The Iroquois were the most intelligent of North American Indians, yet in cases of adultery they punished the woman solely, "who was supposed to be the only offender" (Morgan, 331). Affection is out of the question ...
— Primitive Love and Love-Stories • Henry Theophilus Finck

... of Lebanon, of Sharon, and of Carmel, is given to the church: that is, she is more beautified with gifts and graces than can by types and shadows be expressed. "The tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... were forced, on their expulsion from Paradise, to try the first experiment at self-government, their descendants have been pursuing a course of homoeopathic treatment. It was the eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge which caused all their woes; and in an increased consumption of the fruit of that tree they have persistently looked for alleviation of them. Experience seems to prove the wisdom of the treatment. The greater the consumption of the fruit, the greater the happiness of ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 7, Issue 42, April, 1861 • Various

... volumes "insufficiently concealed by the protecting web of a dead spider," condemns them to be sold, and converted for her own use into silken hoods and furred gowns.[238] Eve's descendants continue, thinks the bishop, to wrongfully meddle with the tree of knowledge. ...
— A Literary History of the English People - From the Origins to the Renaissance • Jean Jules Jusserand

... thriving bookseller's shop; Quoth he, we are both of one college, For I myself sate like a Cormorant once Upon the Tree of Knowledge. ...
— The Book of Humorous Verse • Various

... significant that in the Biblical narrative, the sexual instinct and the beginnings of culture as symbolized by the tree of knowledge are closely associated. According to rabbinical traditions, the serpent is the symbol of the ...
— The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria • Morris Jastrow

... town[51] excited public curiosity to the utmost; and the floating crowds were repulsed by their own violence from this new paradise, where "The Tree of Knowledge" was said to be planted. At the succeeding meeting "the Restorer of Ancient Eloquence" informed "persons in chairs that they must come sooner." He first commenced by subscriptions to be raised from "persons eminent in Arts and Literature," who, it seems, ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... past," says Bergson, "it follows that consciousness cannot go through the same state twice." This is the real necessity that makes any return to the imagined glories of other days an idle dream. Graham Wallas remarks that those who have eaten of the tree of knowledge cannot forget—"Mr. Chesterton cries out, like the Cyclops in the play, against those who complicate the life of man, and tells us to eat 'caviare on impulse,' instead of 'grapenuts on principle.' But since ...
— A Preface to Politics • Walter Lippmann

... that God had taken the power from him as prince of the air, which power Heaven designed he should retain, whereby his creatures might be tried; in revenge for the disgrace he had received, he tempts Adam's wife, Eve, to taste of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which God had forbidden. He appears to her in the shape of a serpent, then a most beautiful creature, and tells her that it was no better than an imposition, which God had put upon her and her husband not to eat of that fair fruit which ...
— The Life and Most Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of - York, Mariner (1801) • Daniel Defoe

... under the tree of knowledge, stood a hedge of roses. In the first rose a bird was hatched; its flight was like that of light, its ...
— Pictures of Sweden • Hans Christian Andersen

... by pupils in four years, are overmethodic; and such correlation is impossible in so many series at once. Every dual order, even of work and unfoldment of powers, is hard enough, since the fall lost us Eden; and woodwork, could it be upon that of the tree of knowledge itself, incompatible with enjoying its fruit. Although a philosopher may see the whole universe in its smallest part, all his theory can not reproduce educational wholes from fragments of it. The real merits ...
— Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene • G. Stanley Hall

... good times of sewing and spinning, Ere this new tree of knowledge had set them a sinning; The women are mad, and they'll build female colleges,— So here's to plain English!—a ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 12, - Issue 326, August 9, 1828 • Various

... science, philosophy, pansophy^; acroama^; theory, aetiology^, etiology; circle of the sciences; pandect^, doctrine, body of doctrine; cyclopedia, encyclopedia; school &c (system of opinions) 484. tree of knowledge; republic of letters &c (language) 560. erudition, learning, lore, scholarship, reading, letters; literature; book madness; book learning, bookishness; bibliomania^, bibliolatry^; information, general information; store of ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... of the tree of knowledge, and the world outside beckoned to her with as fascinating a face as it ever presented to any human creature. It was during one of these returning visits to the Shoals that much of the delightful book from which ...
— Authors and Friends • Annie Fields

... could, learn the somewhat awful truth, that in a certain ruby-colored elixir, there lurked a divine power to chase away the genius of ennui, without subsequently abusing this power. To taste but once from the tree of knowledge, is fatal to the subsequent power of abstinence. True it is, that generations have used laudanum as an anodyne, (for instance, hospital patients,) who have not afterwards courted its powers as a voluptuous ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... lived, we know not how long, in the garden of Eden, with perfect innocence, bliss, and dominion. They did not even know what sin was. There were no other conditions imposed upon them than they were not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which was in the midst of the garden—a preeminently goodly tree, "pleasant to the eyes, and one ...
— Ancient States and Empires • John Lord

... tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. 2: Christ's body is conceived as the 'bait,' his divinity as the 'hook,' by which ...
— An anthology of German literature • Calvin Thomas

... Northern Teutons); it is sometimes found in a highly conventional form with the figure of a cherub at each side of it, each of whom holds in his hand a fruit. In this tree scholars recognise both the tree of life and the tree of knowledge with which we are familiar. The knowledge of the priests in Babylonia was not for every one, but was jealously guarded, and kept ...
— History of Religion - A Sketch of Primitive Religious Beliefs and Practices, and of the Origin and Character of the Great Systems • Allan Menzies

... epitaph, and probably designed the form of the stone and its ornamentation. I found this stone in the churchyard of Minturne Magna, in Dorset. The stone was five feet high and four and a half broad—a large canvas, so to speak. On the upper half a Tree of Knowledge was depicted, with leaves and apples, the serpent wound about the trunk, with Adam and Eve standing on either side. Eve is extending her arm, with an apple in her open hand, to Adam, and he, foolish man, ...
— A Traveller in Little Things • W. H. Hudson

... peopling with angels his possessions there, the savage children are occupied with the trifles of lust, covetousness, and deceit. They are no worse than the sons of Penn, who became apostates to his charity and religion before the breath had left his body. So goes the human race, whether around the Tree of Knowledge or Kensington's ...
— Bohemian Days - Three American Tales • Geo. Alfred Townsend

... ability thoroughly mastered would have been a far greater source of delight to her husband, and of satisfaction to herself, than the mere handful of unripe fruit which she had gathered from a dozen different branches of the tree of knowledge, and in the collecting of which she had, in a measure, impaired the elasticity of her mind and her bodily strength, and found no time for making herself mistress of a thousand little undemonstrative acquirements which tend to keep a steady light of joy and peace ...
— True to his Colours - The Life that Wears Best • Theodore P. Wilson

... Gods, knowing Good and Evill." and verse 11. "Who told thee that thou wast naked? hast thou eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee thou shouldest not eat?" For the Cognisance of Judicature of Good and Evill, being forbidden by the name of the fruit of the tree of Knowledge, as a triall of Adams obedience; The Divell to enflame the Ambition of the woman, to whom that fruit already seemed beautifull, told her that by tasting it, they should be as Gods, knowing Good and Evill. Whereupon having both eaten, they did indeed take upon them Gods office, which ...
— Leviathan • Thomas Hobbes

... was new to Barberine, and her transports, her green notions—which she told me openly—her inexperience, or rather her awkwardness, enchanted me. I seemed for the first time to pluck the fruit of the tree of knowledge, and never had I tasted fruit so delicious. My little maid would have been ashamed to let me see how the first thorn hurt her, and to convince me that she only smelt the rose, she strove to make me think she experienced more pleasure than is possible in a first ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... with an untransmitted vigor and acuteness,—had he then and there become a student, the annalist of our poor world would soon have recorded the downfall of a second Adam. The fatal apple of another Tree of knowledge would have been eaten. All the perversions, and sophistries, and false wisdom so aptly mimicking the true,—all the narrow truth, so partial that it becomes more deceptive than falsehood,—all the wrong principles and worse practice, the pernicious examples and mistaken ...
— The New Adam and Eve (From "Mosses From An Old Manse") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... of the soul's emotion is not only the life of the root of this "tree of knowledge"; it is also the life of the sap of the uttermost branches; it is the force that makes the fragrance of each topmost leaf mingle with that of all the rest, in that unified breath of the whole tree which loses ...
— The Complex Vision • John Cowper Powys

... must nyamee (eat) all de fruit ob de garden, but (be out, except) de tree of knowledge. And he said to Adam, "Adam! you no muss nyamee dis fruit, else you dead." De serpent come to say to Mammy Eve, "Dis fruit berry good; he make you too wise." Mammy she take lillee (little) bit, and bring de oder harf gib Daddy ...
— To The Gold Coast for Gold, Vol. II - A Personal Narrative • Richard Francis Burton and Verney Lovett Cameron

... of eighty-two clauses, and is fortified by a "whereas" of a hundred and thirteen weighty reasons. He exhausts the range of history to show the frightful results which have followed this taste of fruit of the tree of knowledge; quotes from the Encyclopedie, to prove that the woman who knows the alphabet has already lost a portion of her innocence; cites the opinion of Moliere, that any female who has unhappily learned anything ...
— Women and the Alphabet • Thomas Wentworth Higginson



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