Bereshit 2:9 reads 'kol etz' which is revering to the whole tree species, so rendered as 'all trees'.

I wondered if a literal (word-by-word) translation could read 'kol etz' as a 'whole tree': And Adonai Elohim caused to sprout from the earth 'the whole tree', pleasing to the sight, and tov for food.

And if the Vav of v'etz is connecting this sentence with the next.. could this whole tree be made out of the etz HaChayim and the Etz HaDa'as (some explanation teach that they could be two trees with one branch.

Or is this just a bad way to tender the hebrew grammar?


In Biblical Hebrew, it is common to use a singular form to refer to the entire group or plural. By comparison, see e.g. Breishit 8:1. Note, that similar to your example, the use of singular nouns such as החיה - meaning "the animals" and הבהמה - meaning "the beasts".

So, in the verse that you quoted, it refers to numerous trees, not just one. If the verse wanted to say "the entire tree", it would have used the phrasing such as:

וַיַּצְמַ֞ח יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהִים֙ מִן־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ את כָּל העֵ֛ץ נֶחְמָ֥ד לְמַרְאֶ֖ה וְט֣וֹב לְמַאֲכָ֑ל

Note the use of the objective marker, את as well as the definitive ה.

  • Thank you, it's just because the verse tells us that these trees where pleasing for the sight and tov to eat, and thats exactly what Chavah noticed when she looked at the tree, that it made me wonder if this verse could also refer to this tree. – Levi Oct 16 '15 at 5:36
  • @user4762 The verse you're referring to describes the general scenario, that all the trees were slightly and edible. (I guess there were no elm or birch trees in Gan Eden.) Thus, when talking about Etz Hada'at, it had the same qualities as all the others, other than, perhaps, its specific appearance and the type of fruit that it had. E.g., both apple and pear trees are pretty and have good fruit, but they look different and the fruit tastes different. – DanF Oct 16 '15 at 13:12

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