20. Man in The Garden of Eden

… and the Mandate to Rule the earth

The Change After The Fall

Genesis 2 describes in greater detail certain events of the 6th day of creation, especially the formation of man and woman. It complements the 1st chapter. Some believe that Adam (Adam = man) himself wrote from verse 2:4b-5:1 and this is his own perspective on the creation and first events of human history.

The Original Hydraulic System

2: 4-6 This is the account of creation prior to man’s creation.

Vs 6 “But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” There was a great vapor canopy, the waters above the earth”. This maintained an approximate uniform temperature worldwide; no great air mass movements were possible under the canopy and the necessary conditions for rainfall unsatisfied. The original hydraulic system was different to that of the present day. The present cycle began at the time of the Flood, and involves global and continental air mass movements, and annual and seasonal temperature changes. It is summarized in Ecclesiastes 1:6-7; Isaiah 55:10-11; Job 28:24-26; 36:26-29; Psalm 135:6-7. This present cycle centers around the solar evaporation of the ocean waters transportation to the continent s in the atmosheereic circulation, condensation and precipation in the form of rain, snow, and transpiration back to the ocean via rivers. In the original earth there was no rainfall. The earth’s daily water supply came from local evaporation and condensation. There was also a system of spring fed rivers. God set mankind on the earth.

The change in tempreture between day time and night time apparently was adequate to energize daily evaporation form the local body of water and its condensation as dew and fog in the surrounding area each night. This arrangement was implemented on the 2nd and 3rd days of the creation week, prior to the formation of the plants on the latter part of the 3rd day.

Mans Formation and Energisation

Vs 7 God used “the dust of the ground” to make mans body. Then God “ breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” The word “breath” (Heb. Ruach) is the same word as “spirit” or “wind.” It was only man that God directly “breathed” in “the breath of life.”

At this point man became a “living soul.” The soul is “nephesh” also shared with animals 1:24 and refers to the conscious principle, the realm of the mind and emotions. Mans soul was more complex than the animals and required Gods direct energizing and activating. This was the first man, “The first man Adam was made a living soul…” (1 Cor. 15:45).

The Garden of Eden – The Geography of Eden and What Was in It?

Vs 8 “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden ; and there he put man whom he had formed.” God directly planted a wonderful and beautiful Garden that should a delightful place for man to live in. It was a region, a place of beauty and pleasure, “ Eden ” means “pleasure land, loveliness.” God wanted man to experience Paradise here on earth. There were beautiful fruit trees of every kind growing there full of luscious fruits. Adam was created outside the garden but was able to observe God’s special work preparing the beautiful garden as a home for Adam. God had placed man in Paradise not for enjoyment only: he was also to be active and produce fruit. It was for man.

This is a summery of the completed garden. The whole world had been placed under mans dominion and all was good in every way. However a particular region was prepared as a special garden spot, in which the first man would make his home.

Heaven on Earth- Eden Was a Place of Incredibility Beauty and Delight

Adam, God’s co-regent was given rule over earthly creation. He ruled the Garden, and tended it as it bloomed in its magnificence. The beautifully coloured bounty of flowers bloomed in great numbers. There were no deficiencies there and the human eye has never seen such a sight since. The fruit on the trees of every kind was in abundance of luscious fruits. God, the Creator of the universe, walked in the Garden having fellowship with Adam among the lush vegetation and the animals sharing the place with them. The harmony was glorious. This was the most wonderful place that the world has ever known. It was like heaven on earth. It was a place of peace, of enjoyment of sharing the presence of God.

The word “paradise” is derived from the Persian and means a park or forest which surrounded the royal stronghold. Nehemiah 2: 8 speaks of a man park keeper called Asaph, the keeper of the royal forest (Heb. pardes). Solomon in the sentence “I made me gardens and parks” uses for parks the same word “paradises” (Eccles. 2: 5; comp. Song of Songs 4: 12 ). The Septuagint translates by “paradise” whenever in the Hebrew the word “Garden,” Eden, is found. In the New Testament the word occurs only three times (Luke 23: 43 ; 2 Cor. 12: 4; Rev. 2: 7).

God planted a beautiful garden. There were many species of fruit trees of every kind growing there full of luscious fruits. God directly planted them.

The garden was planted “eastward” (Adam’s location at that time was somewhere west of Eden ) in the land of Eden. , then God placed Adam in the garden. Adam knew at once the loving care his Creature had for him and his gracious provision.

Two Unique Trees

Vs 9-14 “The tree of life” There were beautiful shrubs and trees in the garden but two especially important trees. One called “the tree of life” planted right in the centre of the garden. The fruit of this tree would if eaten regularly, have enabled even mortal dying men to live forever ( 3:22 ). It gave nourishment to halt the aging process. This tree will be growing profusely in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:2), for the” health “of the nations.

“The tree of knowledge of good and evil” was also planted somewhere in the garden. The fruit of this tree also was “good for food and …pleasant to the eye” (Gen.3:6). We do not know if this fruit had some type of toxic substance which would penetrate the blood stream and even the genetic system, upsetting the finely balanced structure which otherwise would have kept both the individual and the race from decay and death. It is doubtful that God would create anything harmful seeing it was all good. It became the tree of “knowing” evil, as soon as man disobeyed God’s word concerning it. He would know evil experiancally, (he already knew good), and breaking the fellowship with God would cut him or anyone off from the life that has its source from God. They could eat the tree of life all they wanted, but they couldn’t eat the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To eat what was forbidden would devastate the original design producing death and decay. The choice given to Adam shows he was not a robot who was a mere machine or computer who had no freedom of will.

Vs 10-14 The Geography of Eden and Its Water Supply

2:15, “Then the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and to keep it.” At this time there’s no curse yet, there’s no sin, there’s no fall, there’s no death. He needed to tend to the garden of God . We don’t know all that that meant, but it was his responsibility to see that the garden of God was cultivated and flourished.

Vs 10-14 “And a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden and from there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around (encircles) the whole land of Havilah , where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; the bfrllium and the onyx stone are there. And the name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush ( Ethiopia and sometimes Arabia ). The name of the third river is Tigris (the Hiddekel is the name given on Assyrian monuments); it flows east of Assyria . The fourth river is the Euphrates . Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” Since the Flood the geography of these areas has changed. They were destroyed and the topography and geography completely changed “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:6). The rivers would have had to be supplied from a pressurized conduit form an underground reservoir of some kind, emerging under pressure of a sort of artesian spring. This pressure could have been established when the water was first trapped below the land surface and compressed by the weight of the overlying rocks (see the 3rd day of creation) or else being heated by a deep lying heat source. The waters pressure dissipated as the waters escaped to the surface. The water supply fed the artesian spring indefinitely. There were probably similar subterranean chambers and waters supplies in earths crust all over the world. The antediluvian cycle conveyed water from the sea to the land via subterranean channels. The postdiluvian cycle accomplishes this movement via the atmosphere. The prediluvian water chambers were destroyed by the upheavals at the time of the Flood; but to compensate for this loss, the concurrent precipitation of the vapor canopy permitted the circulation of the atmosphere to begin and continental rainfalls to supply the new river system. Where the earthly Paradise was situate cannot be stated with certainty. Some have suggested Armenia or the Syrian-Arabian desert. In any case the Phrat (Gen.2:14) is the Euphrates and Hiddekel the Tigris (comp. Dan. 10: 4, the Aramaic Diglat). That the district of Eden must have lain high is proved by the circumstance that it was the birth-place of great rivers (Gen.2:10). The Garden is not Eden itself, but “in” Eden (Gen. 2: 8,10). That later the name of the district passed to the Garden itself (e.g. Ezek. 28:13) is a common occurrence easily to be understood. The rivers Pison and Gihon cannot with certainty be identified. It appears that substantial changes in those regions were erected by the Flood.

Four Rivers

Plants need water. Man’s responsibility was to make sure that everything was cared for. Before the Fall nothing could die and man was to carefully tend the garden. The water from the rivers made everything flourish, there was an abundance of vegetation because of the great nourishment given to the plants. It gave greater glory to God. The rivers were antediluvian names. The garden was destroyed by the Flood so it is futile to search for it. The primeval land of Havilah (believed to mean “Sandland”) was rich in gold, precious stones and a precious gum called bdellium (likened to the “manna” Numbers 11:7). It was a name later given to to a son of Cush , a descendent of Ham (Gen.10:7) and the son of Joktan (Gen.10:29) a descendant of Shem. This land must haveleft a great impression on the sons of Noah.

Vs 15 “And the Lord God took the man and put him his garden home “the Garden of Eden” to dress it and keep it.” God gave man the responsibility of looking after it. At this time there were no weeds or thorns. Even in a perfect world man had a purpose and was industrious, work was necessary for mans good. Even in the new earth to come, after sin and the curse have been completely removed, Scripture says “his servants shall serve him” (Rev. 22:3).

“Keep it” Adam had to have a loving stewardship over it, keeping it beautiful and orderly with every component in place and in harmonious relationship with the whole. Man today should still show care and consideration for his environment, the ecology.

Eat All With Only One Minor Restraint

Vs 16. “The Lord God commanded the man saying, “From any tree in the garden you may eat freely.” God told him to eat of every tree as much as he wanted, to enjoy it all. Adam and Eve first were vegetarian. They could eat every plant yielding seed on the surface of the earth, every tree yielding fruit with seed in it was food for them. And to every beast of the earth and every bird of the sky and everything that moves on the earth which has life I’ve given every green plant for food and it was so. “It was so.” (Gen. 1:30-31). It was the permanent established pattern. Man was a vegetarian and animals were also vegetarian at creation. There was no death, no creature died. But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” This was the one forbidden tree. It is not a magical fruit on it nor is it sexual intercourse. The evil would be the rejection of God. This restraint would test mans love, giving him the opportunity to reject Gods world if he wished. True love is based upon trust. The evidence of Gods love was all round Adam you would think surely he would willingly and lovingly obey him, wrong. It was based on love not fear. If he did disobey he would be without excuse. He was a true “moral agent” God made him a free agent he was free to make a choice. He rejected God goodness and love for him and resented His control. He would forfeit the whole luscious garden and fellowship with God.

A Warning of Death

“You will surly die”. A barrier would be erected between him and God. That was the one warning. The sweet fellowship would be broken. Death is separation; he would be separated from God. It was both spiritual and physical death. Literally it reads “In dying thou shalt die.” The moment Adam ate of the fruit he died spiritually and decay and death would begin to operate in his body. He would return back to the dust. Biologically he continued on for over 900 years, he died both spiritually and (in principle) physically the very day he rejected and disobeyed Gods world. This is the fruit of all sin today.

The Fall and Curse Affected All Creation – The Change After The Fall 3:17 -21

We don’t know how much time passed, we don’t know whether it was decades or whether it was hundreds of years, but the time came when Eve was beguiled by the serpent. The serpent lied to her and she believed the lie. And she disobeyed God and she ate. And then Adam knowingly disobeyed God and ate and everything changed.

Adam, Eve, all living men and the “whole creation” were involved in the judgment. “Cursed is the ground (the basic material of the physical creation) for thy sake; in sorrow thy shalt eat of it all the days of thy life.” The “dust of the earth” out of which all things had been made, were brought under bondage of decay and disintegration. The earth which had originally co-operated readily as the man “tilled” and “dressed it.” (Gen. 2:5, 15), now became reluctant to yield its food. Things began to disintegrate toward disorder and death. Changes began to happen in the mutations, or molecular structure of the genetic systems of different kinds of organisms. We see it all around us today, just look in your garden for the proof. Weeds still pop up in our gardens. We need to work at keeping our gardens beautiful. All around, there is death and decay in them. We still have a responsibility to look after our gardens to look after our world. We still live in a world that is designed by God to manifest His glory. And we do have a responsibility, to tend to the garden of God . We give glory to God when we cultivate the pants, flowers and trees and witness God’s creative power on display. Everything we do should be to the glory of God. We have a cursed earth to deal with and it’s not easy. But like Adam after he sinned, we need to work at it to the point where we sweat in order that God’s creative beauty might be on display. We’re still stewards of His creation. God wants us to look after it until it is burnt up.

This judgment and decay also happened in the animal world. Teeth and nails would grow to deal with the thorns and thistles for a herbivorous diet mutated increasingly dietary deficiency of proteins and other essentials, gradually generated carnivorous appetites in certain animals. Fangs would evolve as they became flesh eating creatures.

Bacteria and other microorganisms, designed originally to serve essential functions in soil maintenance, purification processes, and so forth, underwent mutational changes which, in many cases, proved harmful, even lethal to the organisms. Instead it began to yield thorns and weeds, requiring toil and sweat before man could “eat of it”. And even after mans struggle with the land he would finally die and return to the dust.

The First Death in the Animal Kingdom

Gen. 3:21 “The Lord God made garments of skin,” God had to kill the first animal to cover the nakedness of Adam and his wife.

Gen. 4:4 Records how Abel brought firstlings of the flock and their fat portions…that means he brought an animal sacrifice, killed an animal, and the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering. This was not God’s ideal, Christ (the Second Adam) would end all animal sacrifices. The Lord accepted the death of animals as a sacrifice which means animal death was inaugurated by God, acceptable to God within the framework of His sacrificial system because, of course, it pointed to the wages of sin which is death. And God later allowed people to eat meat.

The Curse Reversed

In the millennial Kingdom to come wild animals are going to be tame. However, there will be some animals killed during the millennial Kingdom for…according to Ezekiel 40 to 48 there will be sacrifices held in the millennial temple. So some of them will be killed at least for commemorative feasts in the millennial temple, and sin will exist, as in the Millennium. But there will be some return to the original design. The prophet Isaiah wants us to understand that the world will be to some degree different. The cow and the bear will graze, the young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like an ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra. The weaned child will put his hand in the viper’s den and it won’t be harmed. So there’s definitely going to be some reversal of the curse, though it’s not going to be total.

In Isaiah 65:25, “The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, the lion shall eat straw like an ox,” etc. “And a serpent will eat dust.” So there will be some changes.

God placed man in the garden and gave him the responsibility to name all the animals. His ability to attend the garden was brilliant. He could classify the plants and the animals. He was to learn about God’s creation and glorify God for His great creative power. He could shape creation and honour God though his care for it.

Adam was given that responsibility. But since the Fall, we cannot subdue the garden of God as we would like. It’s a wild world and we hear all about the death that occurs in our world. There are deadly plants that produce drugs that can kill. We have living bacteria and things like that that kill, that have created plagues that have literally resulted in the death of tens of thousands of people. We have animals that are killers. It’s not the garden it was originally because of the Fall and the curse. It says in Hebrews 2:7-8, that Christ who is the supreme man, He’s been crowned with glory and honor, “Thou hast put all things in subjection under His feet.”

Christ is as the incarnate man truly the king of the earth, for in subjecting all things to Him He left nothing that is not subject to Him. But look at this next statement, very important, “But now we do not yet see all things subjected to Him.” Christ is the true king of the earth. He was made a little lower than the angels, He became one of us and so He took on the dominion mandate and because He’s God He has the greatest power to subject the creation to Himself. The creation was to be subjected to Him, “all things are subjected to Him” (Vs 8). There’s not anything that exists that isn’t subject to Him. But we don’t yet see all things subjected to Him. We don’t see the animal kingdom under control, docile and passive. We don’t see plant life just growing and flourishing without any care and tending. We don’t see the world free from war and hatred and slaughter and disease and illness. So we don’t yet see all things subjected to Him.

But we will see all things will be subjected to Him in the future. One day He will reverse the curse. He will be King of the earth. Vs 10, “It was fitting for Him…for Christ…for whom are all things…ultimately they’re going to all be His…and through whom are all things…He made them all…in bringing many sons to glory to perfect the author of their salvation through suffering.” Through His death He gained the right to be the sovereign of the earth and He will take that right and He’ll go into His glory, He’ll rule this world, He will subdue this world and He will bring us along with Him bringing many sons to glory.