The Garden of Eden
Genesis 2v8-17 God made a beautiful garden home for the first man. God gave man everything that he needed for life.
Man was originally vegetarian
As man was originally a vegetarian, God provided an abundance of plants for him and the animals to eat (Genesis 1v29+30; 2v9). A warm, even, moist climate would have been ideal for the growth of lush vegetation. Trees and flowers would have grown in abundance, especially as at first there was no competition from weeds (which are the result of Adam’s sin cp. Genesis 3v18). Fruit and vegetables would have been readily available to provide food for man and the animals.
The Bible tells us that it did not rain on the earth at this time (Genesis 2v5+6). A mist watered the earth. How long this continued we cannot be dogmatic but it certainly rained at the time of Noah’s flood (Genesis 7v11+12).
The river in Eden
The Garden of Eden was also watered by a river, which divided into 4 heads named Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates (Genesis 2v10-14). We do not find such a river present in the Middle East today, so the exact location of Eden is unknown. However this does not mean that the Biblical account is unreliable. We must remember that the worldwide flood in Noah’s time drastically changed the earth (Genesis 6-9). Very simply, a post-flood river was named after a familiar pre-flood river – hence the name Euphrates continued as a name of a river.
Gold and jewels
The area was rich in gold, bdellium, and onyx stone (Genesis 2v11+12). No doubt Adam and Eve were created with the ability to appreciate the beauty and value of these.
Animals lived in harmony
The animals lived in harmony with each other and man. This is consistent with the Bible teaching that all creation was “very good” (Genesis 1v31), and that death is the result of Adam’s sin (Genesis 3; Romans 5v12). There was no reason for animals to fear being killed by man or other animals. Only after Noah’s flood is it recorded that animals were to be afraid of man (Genesis 9v2). Just because some animals like tyrannosaurus rex were created with big sharp teeth, it does not mean that they were not originally herbivores. The giant panda has sharp teeth like a meat eater, but it eats bamboo.
Two special trees
God planted 2 special trees in the Garden of Eden – the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2v9).
The first farmer
Adam was the first farmer (Genesis 2v15). Adam was created with the knowledge and ability to dress and keep the garden, as well as care for the animals. Eve helped him.
Communion with God
Adam and Eve had communion with God in the Garden of Eden (cp. Genesis 3v8). Man was created with a mind to know God, emotions to love God, and a will to obey God.
As you read the description of this garden – the vegetation, the rivers, the gold, and the animals living in harmony with man, without death, violence, disease, sickness, thorns, or fear – no wonder it is sometimes referred to as Paradise. God gave Adam and Eve five amazing senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste) so they could enjoy all the wonderful things the Creator made.
God’s Simple Command Genesis 2v16+17
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”Genesis 2v16+17 KJV
The penalty for sin is death. God warned Adam that if he ate of the ‘tree of knowledge of good and evil’, he would ‘surely die.’ The Hebrew actually means ‘dying, you will die.’ In other words, it would be the commencement of a process of physical death. It also clearly involved spiritual death (separation from God) Romans 5v12; 6v23.
God placed man on probation. Man was created without sin but with a will to choose. Considering the fact that God had given man all the food he needed (fruit, vegetables, herbs, nuts, etc), one would think that this would have been an easy command for him to obey.
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