ESV - 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
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In order to possess an endless existence, man must continue to partake of the tree of life. Deprived of this, his vitality would gradually diminish until life should become extinct. It was Satan's plan that Adam and Eve should by disobedience incur God's displeasure; and then, if they failed to obtain forgiveness, he hoped that they would eat of the tree of life, and thus perpetuate an existence of sin and misery. But after man's fall, holy angels were immediately commissioned to guard the tree of life. Around these angels flashed beams of light having the appearance of a glittering sword. None of the family of Adam were permitted to pass the barrier to partake of the life-giving fruit; hence there is not an immortal sinner.
I would like to add a microscope to this verse. If you read this verse slowly it says "And the LORD God planted a garden eastward IN Eden (Genesis 2:8 KJV)." It does not say that all of Eden is a garden. Only in the east of Eden was a garden planted. Therefore, I conclude that Eden, itself, is not a garden, but they were place in the east of Eden where the garden was also placed by God.
The dry land on the Earth was one single continent at the time of creation as evidenced by Gen. 1:9. On the eastern side of the inhabitable land, the Lord God planted the Garden of Eden otherwise known as the Paradise (Kindly see. Gen.2:8) When Adam and Eve sinned they were banished from the Paradise and driven away to the west.. With reference to the place where Adam and Eve were to live till their bodily death, the Paradise is in the east. The Cherubim were to guard the eastern border of land of Adam and Eve which is also the western boundary of the Paradise.The Paradise must have perished at the time of the Great Flood in the days of Noah or was taken to the Heavens to be known as the First Heaven or the Heavenly Paradise. We read from the Holy Bible that Apostle Paul was nearly killed in an assassination attempt against his life (See Acts 14:19&20)and his soul went up to Third Heaven (II Cor.12:2-5) from where he was sent back to his body so as to make him to do the remaining work which the Lord assigned to him The dry land which was in existence as a single plot were divided in to different continents after the Flood in the days of Peleg one of the two sons of Eber. The name Peleg itself means divide (Gen 10.25). Thus the single continent which existed from the days of the Creation till the early days of Peleg was divided into the present days' continents in the the latter days of Peleg.
God had planted the garden in Eden (Gen 2:8); the garden with the tree of life was both a physical and spiritual reality. Although the tree is no longer available to people on earth, it is still available even now in paradise to Christians after death (those who overcome) (Rev 2;7). What is the "way of the tree of life" (Gen 3:24)? It is conceivable that God discontinued the physical tree, so there would be no way for anyone on earth to access it. However, the tree in paradise might still be subject to access by unworthy persons. This is why the cherubim and the flaming sword were installed - to prevent those finding the location (or finding the way) of the tree in paradise from eating of it. They are still guarding the tree even today. The cherubim and flaming sword were only in the east possibly because everything in the garden would visible and defendable from that position. The superior creation of the cherubim stands in contrast with the limited sensory perception of humans in this respect.
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