What was the garden of Eden? How was the garden of Eden formed? Where was the garden of Eden? When did the garden of Eden exist? Who was in the garden of Eden? Why was the garden of Eden formed?
What ~ Immediately after the creation of the first man, God planted a garden. The garden is planted in between the creation of man and the creation of woman. Its significance must not be overlooked. The garden was a place where God supernaturally caused every type of tree on earth to grow within its boundaries, including two very special trees. The garden was to be the dwelling place of the man, and later the woman. The garden was also to be the man’s occupation. Adam was to take care of this little corner of the earth. God Himself walked in this garden, talking with the man whom He loved.
How ~ The garden of Eden was formed by an act of God. It did not occur by accident. God purposefully formed this place as an abode for His crowning act of creation. While plants, grass, herbs, and trees were created on the third day of creation, God formed additional trees in a special pattern as He planted the garden of Eden. The river may have been formed at the time of the planting of the garden of Eden, but most likely, it was in place already with God planting the garden around this special river which sustained four mighty rivers and all plant life within the garden. The river, which flows out of the garden but not into it, seems to be the source of ecological life for the garden of Eden and perhaps the entire earth.
Where ~ The garden of Eden was in a physical location here on earth. Its location was known to Adam and Eve even after they were evicted. In the pre-flood days, if one were to follow one of the four major rivers back to their source, they would find cherubims and a flaming sword to keep any from entering the garden. It seems that the entrance to the garden was on the east side of it since the cherubims were placed there. Since two of the four rivers flow to the east, it is a good guess to say that the main river which parted into four flowed eastward out of the garden. There is a significant difference in the ecology of the earth and the garden since the rest of the earth was watered by a mist and the garden was watered by the river. Since the garden was not watered by the mist, it could be that the garden existed subterraneously, hence there was only one entrance, but that’s only speculation. I see a possible location for the garden as being the Black Sea, or somewhere in that vicinity. The Black Sea was deluged during the flood of Noah which would have destroyed the mysterious garden. If you trace the Euphrates and Tigris back, they seem to point to the Black Sea.
When ~ We know that the garden of Eden existed on the sixth day of creation. God formed all the land creatures on the sixth day. Then he formed the man. Then he planted the garden. God introduced Adam to all of His creation by causing trees to miraculously grow in front of him within the bounds of the garden and by forming birds and beasts from the ground and bringing them to Adam. After demonstrating to Adam that no helper comparable to him existed in all of creation, God created His wife from his very substance. So the garden came into being on the sixth day of creation. The garden continued to exist after the fall, but there seems to be no record of it after the flood. It was most likely destroyed in the flood. The geography of the earth changed with the flood as well. Two rivers could be recognized by Noah and sons, but the other two are guesses as to their identity. Yet mankind continued to live in the hope that they would be reunited in fellowship with God someday even if they could not return to Eden.
Who ~ While all kinds of trees and animals existed in the garden, the main focus is that God planted the garden for mankind to live in. The creation mandate prompts Adam and Eve to one day populate the entire earth, but at first they are confined to the garden, the place where God meets with them. So we have God, then Adam, then Eve. Yet we have another mysterious creature invading the garden. Once mankind sinned, they could no longer live in the garden.
Why ~ The garden of Eden was formed to be a communing place, or comm-unity, between God and man. In the garden, God caused every good type of fruit to grow just for mankind. In the garden, God gave Adam dominion over the birds and land animals by allowing him to name them whatever he wanted. In the garden, God taught Adam that in all creation, there is only one helper to whom he can be married. In the garden, God talked with Adam about how to tend the garden, how to obey Him, and how to have intimacy with his wife.
Combined with the Creation Mandate, the garden of Eden would serve as the beginning of God’s plan for the earth. The garden of Eden would be the model for how mankind was to rule the world. God did not just turn Adam and Eve loose. He was to give them instructions on how to do His will before giving them authority over the entire world. The community within the garden of Eden would be the basis for how mankind would exercise their role as Caretakers of the Planet. Note: This is still God’s plan. Man’s sin has not changed His eternal purpose.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman