She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her. (Proverbs 3:18)In reading older interpretations of Scripture, I have seen some different methods of interpretation than are currently in use. One method is to take something revealed in one setting and apply it back to another setting to see if it is fitting. The "Tree of Life" makes several appearances in the book of Proverbs, the only place besides Genesis where it appears in the Old Testament. In its first appearance in Proverbs, the Tree of Life is wisdom.
If we understand the Tree of Life as wisdom, it sheds a whole new light on the account of the Fall in Genesis. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, of course, brings death; but what about the Tree of Life? What if the choice was not between Knowledge and Ignorance, but between Knowledge and Wisdom? What if our problem was not that we valued Knowledge while God sought to keep us in the dark, but that we valued Knowledge more than Wisdom? We reached for Knowledge when God wanted to give us Wisdom. The history of humanity has been filled with times when our knowledge has been to our downfall because we valued knowledge over wisdom. Many technological and medical breakthroughs have been followed quickly by a wish that we had learned to understand better before we plunged forward. World literature from Oedipus Rex to Frankenstein has been filled with people who, lacking wisdom, were betrayed by their own knowledge.
It has always seemed odd to me that the pair of trees were "Knowledge of Good and Evil" and "Life"; those are hardly a natural pair. And we knew it worked out to "Death" and "Life", which are a more natural pair. It also seemed odd that God would create man and woman in his image but ask them not to go after Knowledge (even if it was Knowledge of Good and Evil), and all the while the culture that passed down this story is renowned for scholarship. And many have questioned why God would create this Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil at all.
I've heard the suggestion that, if Adam and Eve had not eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, that the day would have come when God had given them of that tree as a gift. They may have a point.