Genesis 2:8 - 14
ESV - 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
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Believing the Bible to be literal (unless there are symbolisms and idioms) the garden of Eden was a literal garden where God placed man to take care of it and to have dominion over the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Of course when Adam and Eve sinned God banished them from Eden..and the rest is history as they say.
Understand that the Garden of Eden is a separate creation. It is not a MYTH. It is a "middle ground" - "meeting place" between Earth and Heaven. It was and is a place of Fellowship with God. But that "door" to God, to 'walk with Him and talk with Him' was CLOSED, due to Sin. In it were planted trees that we will never see nor has ever been on Earth. IE: Tree of Life. Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Again, this was a special place of Fellowship with God. Now to support this separate creation, unique and different. When God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden He stated: Gen 3:22-24 " And the Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life." Note: God Banished them. - Drove them out. - Kicked them out. Then God put an angel to guard the way, the door, with a flaming sword, that makes it clear: DO NOT ENTER. It adds a whole new meaning to 'being burned, if you will. We can find every other place on the map, then and now of the various places in the Book of Genesis, except we cannot find The Garden Of Eden, because the door to the Garden is Closed. Period. Now we have to come to God for fellowship and such, only through Christ Jesus and His blood that cleanses us from our sins. The Garden of Eden is not symbology, it is not mythology, it is an actual physical place. Just not on Earth. When we do get to see God again, we will be able to eat of it's fruit and enjoy fellowship with God forever and ever.AMEN! The Tree Of Life still exists, to this very day and will continue to exist. Eden still exists as well. Rev 2:7 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God." Rev 22:1-3 "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations." Rev 22:14-15 "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city." Rev 22:19 "And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book." I close with this. Heb 10:19-24 "Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hope to see you all there! :)
After c.500 BC the Persian term "paradise" (Hebrew פרדס, pardes), meaning a royal garden or hunting-park, gradually became a synonym for Eden. The word "pardes" occurs three times in the Old Testament, but always in contexts other than a connection with Eden: in the Song of Solomon iv. 13: "Thy plants are an orchard (pardes) of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard"; Ecclesiastes 2. 5: "I made me gardens and orchards (pardes), and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits"; and in Nehemiah ii. 8: "And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's orchard (pardes), that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city." In these examples pardes clearly means "orchard" or "park", but in the apocalyptic literature and in the Talmud, "paradise" gains its associations with the Garden of Eden and its heavenly prototype, and in the New Testament "paradise" becomes the realm of the blessed (as opposed to the realm of the cursed) among those who have already died, with literary Hellenistic influences. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_of_Eden
Luke 23:43 - And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” [Paradise - (PARI- around + DAEZA- wall) Persian for grand enclosure or park; shady and well WATERED and enclosed by WALLS.] Rev. 2:7 - He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the PARADISE of God.’ [Paradise of God - CITY of God] Rev. 21:2 - And I saw the holy CITY, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God... Rev. 22-1 - Then the angel showed me the RIVER of the WATER of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God...
The following is my opinions about the Garden of Eden. 1) Meaning of Garden of Eden [Delight Park/Land] 'Garden' means 'park' 'Eden' means 'delight', 'happy' 2) Garden of Eden was Historical Place A historical place which Adam and Eve lived. we are not able to find it at this time probably due to the flood 3) Symbolic meaning of Garden of Eden a) Garden -> [Tabernacle ->] Kingdom of God Adam [we] lost paradise but Christ restored We will be in Garden [Kingdom of God] in Christ Presently, we can enjoy the Kingdom of God in Christ. b) The Tabernacle symbolized the Garden in Eden. Cherubim protect it [Gen 3:24; Exo 26:1,2; 2Chr 3:7] c) the Kingdom of God. [Rev 22:1,2] both reflected the glory of God [Hag 2:7-8; Rev 21:18] both have the tree of life [Gen 2:9; Rev 22:1,2] Sin and death are expelled [Gen 3:23; Rev 21:4,8] d) Garden was a shadow of the kingdom of God.
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