"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and Multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (King James Version)
INTERPRETATION: After blooming, mature plants are "fruitful" and can be fertilized, generally by the birds, bees, other insects, or the wind carrying the genetically coded pollen from the stamens to the pistil of other plants, causing them to multiply. The pollen is clearly visible on the second bee during pollination in the video below:
In God's ideal, a fruitful Adam and Eve would have guided their children, beginning with Cain and Abel, to perfection through their own example and love. Over time, God-centered families would have expanded to clans, societies and nations, and a loving and joyful world would have emerged based on the first family's values. Those values would have imprinted the ways of loving others as God intended firmly within all humanity. Furthermore, those values would have given all future generations crystal clear discernment to see through false temptations as all less pleasureable than any blessing God offers. The critical element in building such a world was to have a perfected man and woman in the role of the first parents. This would have been the beginning of the kingdom of heaven on earth, springing from the family unit of Adam and Eve. As the center of love, the perfected family is the fullest experience of love for man and God; because, individually, a man or woman can reflect only one aspect of God's original qualities of masculinity and femininity.
II. Scientific Evidence supports a First Man and Woman
For those who do not believe there was a first man and woman, you must ask yourselves what is the alternative? What, that suddenly people just spontaneously generated themselves all over the earth? Actually, it is more logical to believe in a first man and woman; and, it is more scientifically supported as well. For example, genetic archaeologists have gathered compelling evidence to prove that all current humans are descended, mitochondrial DNA-wise, from a single african woman. Additionally, theories of evolution support the idea of a first man and woman as well, rather than spontaneous generation or group development of humanity around the globe. Genesis 3:20 states, "And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living."
III. The Original Sin Multiplied
Sadly, the bible reveals that something tragic happened to the first man and woman, known as the "original sin," that caused problems in their family life. Still felt today, many people are disillusioned with family life, just like Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel. The rates of divorce, abortion, and child abuse appear to be rising; and, the roles of motherhood and fatherhood appear devalued. Seemingly, a feeling of pessimism, insecurity, and cynicism about the family permeates society. Clearly, the "original sin" of Adam and Eve was multiplied down through the ages to the current day. The bible reveals that the first family of Adam and Eve was a tragic failure after the original sin, devoid of God-centered values, evidenced by one of their children, Cain, killing his brother, Abel.
Without the foundation of mature God-centered individuality that was lost through the original sin, ultimate success in interpersonal relationships is a matter of chance. Some relationships work, and some don't. And coming to know the true blessing of marital love has turned into a crap shoot. God's second blessing ( to multiply) is the blessing to experience a perfected family. Tragically, the bible reveals that the original sin prevented Adam and Eve from achieving the first blessing to be fruitful and that they began multiplying in an emotional state of "guilt and shame," the consequences of their damaged relationship with God.
IV. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
Ultimately, "to multiply" is the process of harmonizing the masculine and feminine qualities, expressed in "pattern #1" below, into oneness centered upon God and His will:
In humans, multiplication is only possible between a man and a woman, and it was no different for Adam and Eve. The bible indicates Adam and Eve experienced negative consequences caused by the original sin. For example, Genesis 3:16 states, "unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children." On the other hand, had Adam and Eve NOT sinned, God's image would have blossomed perfectly in both of them; thus, beginning the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil symbolizes the different outcomes that Adam and Eve could choose, based upon the fruitfulness of their relationship with God. The classic Michelangelo painting of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is shown below:
Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil occurs in only 2 verses in the bible, as follow:
Genesis 2:9 states, "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."
Genesis 2:17 states, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
Clearly, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is a symbol of the different outcomes, good and evil, that Adam and Eve could choose based on the fruitfulness of their relationship with God.