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Featured Implications of the Garden

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC, Sep 15, 2023.

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  1. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    In another thread an issue was brought up in a conversation with @DaveXR650 . I had made a comment that Adam was created and then put into the Garden.

    I was unaware that this was controversial, much less debatable.

    Many may find this topic meaningless. I disagree. Partly because of Scripture and partly because it speaks to our understanding of man.

    Let's look at God's Word:

    Adam created and placed in the Garden:

    Genesis 2:7–8 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.

    Genesis 2:9 Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    Genesis 2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.


    Adam removed from the Garden to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.

    Genesis 3:22–24 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.


    Here is the first issue:

    I claim that Adam was created and then put in the Garden.

    @DaveXR650 states that my argument is not convincing, that to his understanding Adam's original home was the Garden.


    Before we look at why it matters (other than God recorded it three times in two short chapters), let's consider if it is in fact true. (If it is not true then there is no reason to consider it's implications).


    Was Adam created and then the Garden planted, and then Adam placed in the Garden?

    Or

    Was Adam created in the Garden?
     
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  2. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    For the record, Jon brought this into a conversation on another thread. I have never heard of this or thought about when exactly Adam was placed in the garden. I have no opinion or feeling on what would be the truth of this issue nor do I have any idea why it would matter. I don't object to Jon mentioning me in this thread but I want everyone to know this. Now carry on.
     
  3. RighteousnessTemperance&

    RighteousnessTemperance& Well-Known Member

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    This is where problems easily arise. ('In and around Eden?' No, not what I meant. But an intriguing point. :Wink)

    It is one thing to note a particular incident in scripture. It is quite another to use it to create doctrine.

    If there is already a clear doctrine in scripture, then an incident might be significant as an illustration.

    However, making more of a mention in scripture than is warranted can easily lead to division among brothers where none should be. ('Where no brothers should be?' No, where no division should be. The brothers should stay together. The division should go. :Wink)
     
  4. RighteousnessTemperance&

    RighteousnessTemperance& Well-Known Member

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    The chapter is not strictly chronological, or else its chronology does not match the previous chapter, or the previous chapter is not strictly chronological.

    Given the inexact chronology of the chapter, there is no reason to insist on an order for this particular aspect.

    If elsewhere in scripture that particular order were of essence, that would be another matter.
     
  5. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I think you may be missing the point.

    In Genesis it is often presented that God did something, and then followed by a more exact account.

    For example, God created Adam and planted a Garden. Then after an account of the Garden we go back to Adam being created and then put into the Garden.

    I am not resting my argument on chronological order in Scripture but on three accounts that Adam was created outside of the Garden.

    True or false - The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.


    True or false - Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

    True or false - God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.


    We cannot discuss the importance - or lack of importance - of God placing the Adam whom He had formed in the Garden until we first decide if it is even true.



    Do you believe that God placed man, whom He had formed, in the Garden - or do you believe God created Adam in the Garden?
     
  6. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    We cannot discuss whether it matters until we decide if it is true

    For the record, if it is true then it matters (if true then it matters - not only in understanding the significance in Scripture but also if you decide to study ANE religions, especially as related to their temples).

    So let's decide if it is true or false. If it is false then so be it, it doesn't matter. If it is true then we can consider implications, if any, and perhaps the reason it is pointed out several times.

    True or false - The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.


    True or false - Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

    True or false - God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.

     
  7. Johann!@#

    Johann!@# Member

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    Nothing wrong with this claim-


    "man of dust from the ground" "Man" is the Hebrew term, Adam (BDB 9), which meant

    a pun on the term "red" (BDB 10, cf. Exod. 25:5; 28:17; Num. 19:2; Isa. 63:2; Zech. 1:8)
    "ground" (adamah, BDB 9, cf. Gen. 2:6), possibly alluding to "red clay clods" of the Tigris, Euphrates rivers
    "Dust" (BDB 779) reflects the lowliness and frailty of humanity. There is a dialectical tension between mankind's exalted place (made in the image and likeness of God, cf. Gen. 1:26,27) and his lowly frail condition! Animals are formed the same way in Gen. 2:19. It is also possible that it refers to mankind's origin from the dust (BDB 779, cf. Gen. 3:19; Job 4:19; 8:19; 10:9; 34:15; Ps. 103:14; 104:29; Eccl. 3:20; 12:17). This imagery is similar to mankind as "clay" and God as potter (cf. Isa. 29:16; 45:9; 64:8; Jer. 18:6; Rom. 9:20-23).

    "breathed. . .the breath of life" The VERB "breathed" or "forceful blast" (BDB 655, KB 708) is a Qal IMPERFECT with waw). The NOUN PHRASE "breath of life" (BDB 675) shows that God took special care with the creation of mankind. It is surprising this is not ruah (BDB 924, cf. Gen. 1:2). However, humans still physically function, as do all the animals on the planet (i.e., breathe, eat, excrete, and reproduce). Humans uniquely can relate to God, yet we are intricately bound to this planet. There is a dual aspect to our nature (spiritual and physical).

    "man became a living being" Humans become a nephesh (BDB 659, KB 711-713, see note at Gen. 35:18 and Lev. 17:11; also see John H. Walton, Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the OT, pp. 213-214), but so do the cattle (cf. Gen. 1:24; 2:19). The uniqueness of humanity is God's personal forming and breathing. Humans do not have a soul, they are a soul! We are a unity of the physical and the spiritual. We will always have a bodily expression except for the intermediate state between death and resurrection (cf. 1 Thess. 4:13-15).

    Was Adam a primitive man or a modern man? How is he related to other hominids of antiquity? Stone-age men were present in the Mt. Carmel region 200,000 years ago. When was Adam created? Is he the end of development or is he first of a special creation? See note at Gen. 1:26. Also see note online at 1 Thess. 5:23.

    Special Topic: Body and Spirit

    2:8 "The Lord God planted a garden toward the east" YHWH does several creative acts in these early chapters.

    made earth and heaven (Genesis 1)
    had not sent rain upon the earth because there was no human to cultivate
    formed humanity from the dust (i.e., Gen. 3:19)
    planted a garden for mankind
    caused the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to grow
    "garden" This term (BDB 171) is used in the sense of an enclosed park. The Septuagint translates it with a Persian word, "paradise."

    "toward the east" The direction of the rising sun, the source of life along with water. Israel's tabernalce and temple (along with almost all ANE temples) faced east.

    "in Eden" In Hebrew Eden means "delight" or "happy land" (BDB 727 III, KB 792 II; see Special Topic: Eden). Notice the garden is not called "Eden," but located in or next to Eden. This is obviously a geographical location, a place name. The related Sumerian term can mean "fertile plain." The description in Gen. 2:8, 10-14 is very detailed which is meant to convey its precise location but its geographical location is unknown. Commentators place it

    at the mouth of the modern Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
    at the head waters of these rivers
    as the island of Bahrain
    It is possible to see God's dwelling place as Eden and the Garden is connected to it. The waters/rivers flow from the Divine Place and provide all that is needed for humanity (cf. Rev. 22:1-5). It is in this protected, special place that humanity, in God's image, is placed for fellowship and service. See John H. Walton, Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the OT, "Garden of Eden," pp. 124-125 and The Lost World of Adam and Eve, pp. 116-118. It is this genre of interpretation that allows me to postulate a later Garden of Eden with Adam being a homo sapien, not a primitive, bipedal humanoid (see Walton, p. 227, #4). Specifically, Genesis is the creation of mankind as a species but Genesis 2 is a special later event, where Adam and Eve become special occupants of God's garden. This speculation is an attempt to

    take the Bible seriously as God's word
    relate the OT to its own day (ANE)
    acknowledge the insights from modern research without the atheistic biases of naturalism and randomness (i.e., a godless, purposeless, temporary, physical universe)
    However, the names of all the rivers in Genesis 2 do not fit modern geography. How much of the earth was changed by the Flood is uncertain. The similarities of the Mesopotamian and biblical accounts would logically put the garden in Mesopotamia but this is only speculation. See Who was Adam? by Fazale Rana and Hugh Ross, p. 46.

    Johann
     
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  8. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    So the point is that Adam was created and put in the garden.

    Or simply put, the garden was made for Adam to live in.

    Rob
     
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  9. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    You mention ANE religions here. That is a connection that is often missed when we consider man being created and then taken to the Garden.

    It was very significant, as you point out, not only "towards the East" but also the river heads (whether literal or symbolic in ANE temples) and the intent to prepare a place where God would again dwell with man (temple cities, ziggurats).
     
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  10. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Both. That Adam was created and put into the Garden God has made for him to live in and care for.

    But first we have to decide if it is even true (something I did not anticipate being a debatable issue). I titled the thread as a spring board, using what I thought a rhetorical question.
     
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  11. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    So divisions among sisters is acceptable???;)

    But here is my question.
    Why was Eden created?
    Was it because the land outside of Eden was not perfect like Eden (less the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil)
     
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  12. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    A garden is a place of special protection, a place of rest.
    In the garden, Adam walked/communed with God.

    Scripture does not say God created the heaven and the earth perfect.
    The world was no longer tohu wabohu, formless and void, chaotic and unproductive.
    The creation performed exactly as it was designed to perform, "good, very good".

    There was no second creation following Adam's fall.
    Thorns and thistles existed in this creation, probably not in the garden though.

    Rob
     
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  13. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    and there he put the man whom he had formed; not as soon as he had planted the garden, but as soon as he had made man; and from hence it is generally concluded, that man was made without the garden, and brought from the place where he was formed, and put into it...it is most probable that it was not far from the garden...for the putting him into it may signify the appointing and ordering him to be there, and fixing and settling him in it, for the ends and uses mentioned, see Genesis 2:15.

    - from John Gill's Bible commentary on Genesis 2:8.
     
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  14. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    A couple of observations: Genesis 2:8. 'The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He placed the man whom He had formed.' The word does not, at this point, speak of 'the Garden of Eden.' God planted a garden 'in Eden,' from which we may suppose that Eden was a bigger place than merely the garden. The meaning of 'Eden' is uncertain, but it may have to do with 'luxury' or 'delight.' Hence the writers of the LXX used the Greek word paradeison, from which obviously we get our word 'paradise.'
    So it seems likely that Adam was created in Eden on the Sixth Day, and that God formed the garden on the eight, ninth or tenth day and moved Adam into it to 'tend and keep it' (v.15). But we know that the whole of Creation at that time was 'very good' (Genesis 1:31) so Adam was moved from one very good place to another for the purpose of work.
    In Genesis 3:23-24, we learn that after the Fall, God drove Adam and Eve out of the 'Garden of Eden,' but then the rest of Eden was no longer paradise (vs. 17-19). From Genesis 4:16, we learn that apart from Eden there was at least one other part of the pre-Flood world, called 'Nod.'
     
    #14 Martin Marprelate, Sep 16, 2023
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2023
  15. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Gill nails it!
     
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  16. RighteousnessTemperance&

    RighteousnessTemperance& Well-Known Member

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    Even if order is irrelevant, interpretation is required to get the man someplace on land besides Eden or the Garden, made from ground outside the Garden and Eden.

    One must imagine that God used the ground not only as his modeling clay for man, but also as the stand on which he fashioned that clay into man. The text does not specify this. If it were doctrinally important, then it would have been much more specific, or expounded elsewhere in scripture.

    One must imagine that God used ground not taken from Eden or from the Garden from which to fashion man. The text does not specify this. If it were doctrinally important, then it would have been much more specific, or expounded elsewhere in scripture.

    My point is not that one cannot speculate on this, but that it is speculation and not something to make into doctrine. Scripture does not make a doctrinal point of this.
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I don't mean the order is not relevant (sorry ...I may have burgered up that reply).

    I mean the passage does not read ABCD. It reads AB (A expanded, B expanded).

    To my knowledge there is no way of interpreting "Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden" except that God took the man He had created and put him into the Garden of Eden.

    That this is repeated three times seems to me removes speculation.



    How do you interpret that passage?
     
  18. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I'm not sure that Mr. Gill is right about "as soon as He created the Garden". I believe so as that seems a purpose for the Garden. But all we know is God created man and then planted a Garden and then put man who He had created in the Garden.
     
  19. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
    No.

    But it seems to be where Eve was formed out of Adam.
     
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  20. RighteousnessTemperance&

    RighteousnessTemperance& Well-Known Member

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    In summary, my post says scripture does not say where the man was prior to that statement. It only says he was made, and generally from what, but not where. The where is doctrinally irrelevant to the passage.

    We might also speculate on there being a journey to the Garden. If there was one, what did it entail? Just how did the man get there. What does scripture mean by saying, "the Lord God took the man"? The passage does not address this. If it were doctrinally important, then the text would have specified.
     
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