Thank you, your mind is very stimulating. I’m struck by a comparison between the Eden tree & the Ark of the Covenant—which is also touched illicitly, and leads to death (Num. 4:15; 1 Sam 6:19, 2 Sam 6:7, etc.).
Some evil Israelites try to use as a weapon. The snake, likewise, seems to intend to kill the first humans by prompting illicit contact.
This physical contact between human & divine is eventually possible—that’s the messiah story. But it has to be done carefully.
Much of OT law is obsessed with guarding touching—don’t touch dead bodies, menstrual blood, etc. A transmission is seen to occur physically. To touch Jesus is likewise to experience a flow coming from him (cf. the ‘Woman with the Flow of Blood’ narrative). When he is touched in an ideal way, there seems to be some kind of purity to the receiver, i.e. a quality of love.
God would be saying, then, in Gen 2:16–17, that this touching of the tree must be done deliberately, and when the receiver is properly prepared to receive divine power.
What God may not say—the divine secret—is that to touch the tree can also be to receive a kind of seepage. It may be that when Eve and then Adam touch the “fruit,” they may here gain fertility, the power of life.
The connecting concept to the whole story is that the humans are being created from the start to be the “wife” of God’s chosen son & successor. But the Divine Son is not yet ready. This is the important meaning of the misread Gen 2:24, which is speaking of a future event.
Therefore a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
The ‘man’ is Jesus, the ‘father and mother’ are God, and the ‘one flesh’ is the eventual divine marriage of human & deity.
The Eden scene has rival deity powers trying to circumvent this process, to ruin the humans, possibly already in view of beginning the cross-breeding experiments that take place in Genesis 6. The snake may forecast what will happen: the humans will be expelled from the garden, and be vulnerable.
Note- I was thinking in this reply of a paper, “The Man with the Flow of Power: Porous Bodies in Mark 5:25–34,” by Candida Moss.