What a Trying Time
DESCRIPTION: "O Adam, where are you (x3), O what a trying time." "Lord, I am in the garden." "Adam, you ate that apple." "Lord, Eve, she gave it to me." "Adam, it was forbidden." "Lord said, walk out the garden."
EARLIEST DATE: 1867 (Allen/Ware/Garrison)
KEYWORDS: religious food
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Allen/Ware/Garrison, p. 74, "What a Trying Time" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES [198 words]: The notes in Allen/Ware/Garrison call this "a most compendious account of the fall." This does indeed sum up Genesis 3:9-24, with the sole exception that the Forbidden Fruit is nowhere called an apple. The evidence against identifying it with the apple is strong -- apples are rare in that part of the world, and they do not produce good fruit. (Even where the word "apple" is found in the English translations of the Old Testament, there is speculation that it applies to the apricot or the quince.) Most of the speculation I have seen suggests that the Tree of Knowledge was thought to be a quince or a pomegranite -- or, possibly, the Tree of Knowledge was a quince and the Tree of Life a pomegranite, since there are actual renderings of pomegranites of life in ancient art.
In the Middle Ages, the fig tree was the leading candidate (see Kenneth A. Bleeth in Larry D. Benson, editor, The Learned and the Lewed: Studies in Chaucer and Medieval Literature, Harvard University Press, 1974, p. 53), based mostly on the fact that Adam and Eve sewed their garments out of fig leaves -- although I suspect that Jesus's injunction "from the fig tree learn its lesson" also played a part. - RBW
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