Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” M255

Those words spoken in Genesis 2:15-17 are not only amazing but unbelievable. It’s unbelievable because how could something so amazing have been there all along and not be noticed.

Let us now discern the amazing things said in Genesis 2:15-17 and see if we are mature enough to understand them.

The first thing we will notice of what is being said in Genesis 2:15 is that, the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and to keep it. M256

We may not grasp the importance of that at first, because we did not completely understand what was said earlier in Genesis 2:8 when, the Lord God planted a garden in the east, in Eden, and there He placed the man whom He had formed. M257

Let’s start at the beginning in Genesis 2:4-7 so we can understand all this.

This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, no shrub of the field was yet on the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist arose from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. M258

Isn’t it more interesting to read these passages again? What we learn now is that we really don’t know where on the earth, did the Lord God (Jesus) form man. To me, the place (ground) man was formed from, was far away from the garden He planted in the east and the garden He also planted in Eden.

Yes, that’s right. The Lord God (Jesus) planted two gardens, and we see the first hint of it spoken about in Genesis 2:8

The Lord God planted a garden in the east, in Eden, and there He placed the man whom He had formed. M259

The Lord God planted a garden in:

  • the east
  • in Eden

Understanding these two gardens is very important. It holds the key to unlocking various other treasures in Scripture. It is amazing as it is beautiful.

The first words tell us what Jesus did. It says the Lord God (Jesus) planted a garden. What that means is, He put something in the ground to grow. He planted something to grow in the ground of the garden in the east and in the garden of Eden. After this He place the man He formed in the garden in the east first.

Now before we can understand what He planted in the gardens, we first need to understand what it means to plant. In Merriam-Webster the word plant is defined as follows:

  • to put (a seed, flower, or plant) in the ground to grow
  • to fill (an area) with seeds, flowers, or plants
  • to put or place (something) in the ground MW48

We know that the Lord God (Jesus) put and placed something in the ground, we now finally have some insight to what He put in the ground. He put a seed in the ground, He filled the gardens with seeds.

Why did He fill the area with seeds?

The answer to that can be found in what Jesus was talking about in Luke 8:4-8.

When a large crowd had gathered together, and people were coming to Him from every city, He told this parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on a rock. And as soon as it sprang up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. Yet some fell among thorns. And the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. And other seed fell on good ground and sprang up and yielded a hundred times the amount sown.”

When He had said these things, He cried out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” M260

HE WHO HAS EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR

What was Jesus trying to tell those that had ears?

This is exactly what His disciples asked him in Luke 8:9-10, “What might this parable mean?” He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but to others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ M261

Jesus was trying to tell those with ears to hear, the secrets of the kingdom of God. Some of those secrets, He shared with the Gentiles in Luke 8:11.

Now the parable means this: The seed is the word of God. M262

Why did Jesus share the seed which is the word of God with the Gentiles?

The first part of that answer is found in Matthew 15:24 when He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” M263

The second part of that answer is in what He said in Luke 8:21, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” M264

The lost sheep are those that hear the word of God and do it, bringing in the fullness of the Gentiles. It is these Gentiles; the lost sheep that need to understand what Jesus said in Matthew 24:14.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.M265

He who has a hear, let him hear what Jesus said about the gospel of the kingdom, the word of God which is the seed and who the sower is in Matthew 8:18-23.

“Therefore listen to the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one who received seed beside the path. But he who received the seed on rocky ground is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, eventually, he falls away. He also who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, but the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit. Some produce a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”M266

Jesus sowed seeds in the garden, seeds that turned into trees, trees which fruit we can eat. In Matthew 13:31-32 Jesus told them another parable, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field.

This indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it has grown, it is the greatest among herbs and is a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.” M267

After Jesus planted a garden in the east and in Eden with seeds, He then placed the man He formed in the garden. He first placed the man in the garden of the east, not in the garden of Eden.

THE LORD GOD FIRST PLACED THE MAN IN THE GARDEN OF THE EAST, NOT IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN

Then in Genesis 2:9; out 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 was also in the midst of the garden, along with the tree of knowledge of good and evil. M268

Jesus made to grow from the seeds He planted in the ground every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. What we will notice is that when the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food from the ground, no garden was specified.

The location of where the trees which are pleasant to the sight and good for food are not shared.

When the gospel of the kingdom which is the word of God is sowed in all the nations, planted in the land for all Gentiles then the words of Jesus spoken in Luke 8:11-15 can be understood.

“Now the parable means this: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are those who hear. Then comes the devil, who takes away the word from their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root, for they believe for a while, then in the time of temptation fall away. That which fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the seed on the good ground are those who, having heard the word, keep it in an honest and good heart and bear fruit with patience. M269

It is in these words from Jesus that we begin to understand where the garden of Eden is.

In Luke 8:15 Jesus said, the seed on the good ground are those who, having heard the word, keep it in an honest and good heart and bear fruit with patience. M270

The seed on the good ground are compared to those that keep it in an honest and good heart, who having head the word bear fruit with patience. Understanding the heart is important to unlocking these words written in Deuteronomy 11:10-12.

For the land which you are entering to possess is not like the land of Egypt from where you came, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your foot like a vegetable garden, but the land, which you are entering to possess, is a land of hills and valleys and drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares. The eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year even to the end of the year. M271

The one thing we all learn from reading scripture is the parallel stories that are told. Where everything spoken about not only repeats itself, but where the eternity of the word of God is manifest. It is these parallel chapters where we see the words spoken about in Revelation 22:12-14 become a key for us to use.

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me to give to each one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. M272

The tree of life is in the city, the new city of Jerusalem, it is the city of the new earth. This understanding unlocks the words written in Deuteronomy 11:8-12.

Therefore, you must keep all the commandments which I am commanding you today, so that you may be strong and go in and possess the land which you are going to possess; and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give to them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. For the land which you are entering to possess is not like the land of Egypt from where you came, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your foot like a vegetable garden, but the land, which you are entering to possess, is a land of hills and valleys and drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares. The eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year even to the end of the year. M273

We know in Genesis 2:7, the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. M274

Deuteronomy 11:10 provides some insight into where man was formed?

For the land which you are entering to possess is not like the land of Egypt from where you came, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your foot like a vegetable garden. M275

When man was formed from the ground, he was taken from the place he was formed and placed in the garden in the east which the Lord God planted and we see that in Genesis 2:8

The Lord God planted a garden in the east, in Eden, and there He placed the man whom He had formed. M276

This was the first time on earth man was moved, he was taken from the place of creation to the garden in the east.

Now this is where the verse in Deuteronomy 11:11 gives us a clue about this first garden in the east.

But the land, which you are entering to possess, is a land of hills and valleys and drinks water from the rain of heaven. M277

Land that drinks water from the rain of heaven. In Genesis 2:10 we see the garden outside Eden was being watered from Eden.

A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four rivers. M278

The river that was in Eden flowed out of it to water the garden. We know that the garden of Eden had to be in Eden for that is where it got its name.

We also know that in Revelation 22:1 it says:

Then he showed me a pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. M279

The river that flowed out of Eden was the water of life, it flowed through the garden of Eden which had the tree of life in it.

In Revelation 22:2 we get some insight about the tree of life.

In the middle of its street. On each side of the river was the tree of life, which bore twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. M280

What’s interesting is that there is more than one tree of life. But this is where it gets even more interesting in Revelation 22:3.

There shall be no more curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. M281

The curse that is spoken about can be found in Deuteronomy 11:26-32

See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today, and the curse, if you will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn from the way which I am commanding you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. Now it shall be, when the Lord your God has brought you into the land which you are entering to possess, that you shall put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. Are they not on the other side of the Jordan, west where the sun goes down, in the land of the Canaanites, who dwell in the plain opposite Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh? For you will cross over the Jordan to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and you will possess it, and dwell in it. You must be careful to do all the statutes and judgments which I am setting before you today. M282

We see that the Lord God gave His people a land to possess similar to the garden in the east spoken about in Genesis 2:8-9.

The Lord God planted a garden in the east, in Eden, and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out 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 was also in the midst of the garden, along with the tree of knowledge of good and evil.M283

In reading this our mind, makes us think that there is only one tree of life and one tree of knowledge of good and evil. But in fact, there are two. One was in the garden where the Lord God placed the man. The second was in the garden of Eden. It is the second tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden that the Lord God had warned the man about. This is written in Genesis 2:15-17

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” M284

What we will notice is that, it wasn’t until the Lord God (Jesus) took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till and keep it, that the command to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil came to exist.

Prior to man being in the garden of Eden, he was in the first garden and although the tree of knowledge of good and evil was there. He was not commanded to not eat from that tree. We see this spoken about in Genesis 2:8-9

The Lord God planted a garden in the east, in Eden, and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out 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 was also in the midst of the garden, along with the tree of knowledge of good and evil.M285

It was only when man was placed in the garden of Eden that the commandment to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil was given. This is recorded in Genesis 2:15-17

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” M286

What we will notice is that first there is no mention of the location of tree of life in the garden of Eden. The only thing that was mentioned was that of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden, he was not allowed to freely eat from it. Man was permitted to eat freely of every other tree in the garden of Eden, except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In Merriam-Webster freely is defined as follows:

  • in a free manner
  • of one’s own accord
  • with freedom from external control
  • without restraint or reservation
  • without hindrance MW49

Man was permitted to eat freely from every tree in the garden, free of his own accord, not external controls, no restraint or reservation. Man was not hindered from eating of any tree except one type of tree.

Why would the Lord God (Jesus) put this type of tree in the garden of Eden if He knew it would lead to death?

If this tree did not exist would sin not exist?

If sin did not exist would we not have all been free?

These questions and much more are for another book. For now, let us understand why in Genesis 2:16-17 the Lord God commanded the man saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” M287

When we look up the word command in Merriam-Webster the following are the definitions:

  • to direct authoritatively
  • to exercise a dominating influence over
  • to overlook or dominate from or as if from a strategic position
  • to have military command of as senior officer MW50

Jesus gave man direction in an authoritative position, He wanted to exercise a dominating influence over the choice of man because He was looking at that choice from a strategic position. Jesus had military command as a senior officer.

We know about military command issued by a senior officer from the words written in 2 Timothy 2:3-4.

Endure hard times as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No soldier on active duty entangles himself with civilian affairs, that he may please the enlisting officer. M288

We who are called are soldiers of Jesus Christ, have to endure hard times because we lost our strategic position when the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was eaten.

If breaking one simple command of eating that which we are told not to eat brings about death, what would come about if we follow the command which brings eternal life?

Has all this been kept for the fullness of Gentiles? Kept for those that have the mind of Christ?

Perhaps 1 Chronicles 2:6-16 can help us.

Yet we speak wisdom among those who are mature, although not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age knew it. For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit.

For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man, except the spirit of man which is in him? Likewise, no one knows the things of God, except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit, which is of God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God. These things also we proclaim, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things. Yet he himself is not judged by anyone. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?”

But we have the mind of Christ. M289

We not only need to have the mind of Christ, but we must also be mature enough. For the fruit of the tree of life is solid food and not milk as we learn in Hebrews 5:11-14.

Concerning this, we have much to say that is hard to explain, since you have become hard of hearing. For though by now you should be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God and have come to need milk rather than solid food. Everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a baby. But solid food belongs to those who are mature, for those who through practice have powers of discernment that are trained to distinguish good from evil. M290