Tree of Life


 

In the center of the Garden, there was a tree of life. Only the Hebrew and the Assyrian/Babylonian literature share the legend of the tree of life.

 Genesis 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9Out of the ground the LORD God made 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 the knowledge of good and evil.

 

There are some references to the tree of life outside the Old Testament. For example, the Ethiopic Book of Enoch (xxiv. 4) states that the tree of life has a fragrance and its fruit resembles the palm dates. (Jewish Encyclopedia)

However, Assyrians and Babylonians share the common legend of the tree of life and a Utopian land called the island of dilmun, which is now located in Bahrain. Why? Assyrians used to live in the north and the Babylonians in the south of the region trapped between Euphrates and Tigris. It is most likely that the Jews incorporated the legend of the tree of life, creation, and deluge during their Babylonian captivity


The two reliefs show pine or fir cone shaped fruit of the tree of life and flowers (rosette).





Tree of life and rosette design common in Assyrian alabaster reliefs. Assyrians used to live in the northern part of the Euphrates-Tigris plain.