God is perfect. Therefore, all of God’s works are also perfect.
Whenever someone wants to talk about the things God has done or is doing, one must be prepared to read the word perfect many times. You can speak of a thing being faultless, flawless, or unmarred. You can speak of its purity, beauty, or grace. But, with God, it will always come back to the word perfect. Such words as excellence, splendor, and ideal all seem less than perfect to describe the awesome perfection of God.
The Dictionary1 definition of perfect is: “having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be, free from any flaw or defect in condition or quality; faultless, precisely accurate; exact.”
He is the Rock; his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: A God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
This then requires a little context before we consider the Garden in Eden since to many eyes it appears God created the heaven and earth in an imperfect condition.
In Genesis 1:1 God created a perfect heaven and a perfect earth; this was the first heaven and earth which had a perfect arrangement and order. In Genesis 1:2, through an act of betrayal, God’s adversary had destroyed God’s creation of the first heaven and earth.2
2 Peter 3:5-7
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
Encapsulated in one chapter of the scriptures, 2 Peter 3, are all three heavens and earths.
The first heaven and earth in Genesis 1:1 is destroyed by water before Genesis 1:2. The word “perish” literally means to destroy and the word “world” is kosmos which refers to the order or arrangement of the world. So, the arrangement, the order of the first heaven and earth was destroyed.
From Genesis 1:3 through the remainder of chapter one God re-orders or sets again the proper arrangement of the heavens and the earth. This then, Genesis 1:3-31, is the beginning of the second heaven and earth.
And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Thus, the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Notice in verse 1:31 that everything God had made is “very good.” The proper order has been restored.
These three heavens and earths are linear rather than vertical as some have supposed. When those who see the heaven and the earth as to be vertical, they often speak of the heavens stacked above us, but the Word of God also includes the word “earth.” Do they also see earths stacked above us? No, the heavens and earths that God speaks of are linear, one following the other.
Confusion enters in for some with the flood in the days of Noah since water was so intimately involved. During this time, the heaven was mostly unaffected by the disaster and the earth, although damaged, was not destroyed. Notice that after the flood God does not need to re-order or rearrange the heaven and the earth. However, He does place a rainbow in the sky, a rainbow like you might see in the sky the next time it rains where you are.
On the contrary, the heaven and earth of Noah’s day is still “kept in store” or is being keep until the day of judgment which ends with fire. With the destruction of the second heaven and earth by fire we will begin the third heaven and earth, again linear.
2 Peter 3:10-11
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2 Peter 3:13
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
This helps us understand what is taking place in Genesis chapter 1; God resetting the proper arrangement and order of the heaven and the earth after the betrayal of God’s anointed Cherub. Why the second heaven and earth needed to be destroyed by fire we will see in future teachings dealing with the actions of Adam and the beginning of all evil.
In Genesis 1:3 God begins to restore the orderly system He had created in the beginning of Genesis 1:1.
And God said, let there be light: and there was light.
In the first day of re-ordering His heaven and earth God reintroduced His presence, for God is Light. Notice Light is present in Genesis 1:3 but the sun is not returned to its proper place and function until the fourth day. God brings His healing presence of Light and Life to shine upon His creation, to revitalize and invigorate by His loving presence.
In him [God] was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
We can see in Genesis chapter one that the purpose for the sun, the moon, and the stars is the earth. Further, we can see the purpose for the earth is a home for mankind. This then begins to reveal the purpose of man, to be God’s family. God’s special home for the beginning of His family would not be a straw hut and it certainly was not a cave! It was a Garden in the land of Eden that was lush, aromatic, picturesque, and overflowing with life. It was God’s vision for His family to grow from the Garden to overspread or fill all the earth.
It was on the third day that God built a dwelling place for Himself to fellowship with His soon to be family. Like the expectant parents of today preparing their “new” nursery, with minute detail, awesome expectation, and overwhelming love; God also prepared a “nursery” in His expectation and anticipation of His new family.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.
This Garden would not simply be a home for Adam and Eve, it would also be the place where Adam and Eve would commune with their Heavenly Father. It would be their school of learning, it will be where they learn the lessons of life and living, and their teacher will be none other then the Creator of all Life.
And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD;
and great shall be the peace of thy children.
And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day:
The presence of God was in the Garden with Adam and Eve. As a father teaches his children, as a father guides and directs his children, God was in the Garden to be their Father.
E.W. Kenyon wrote in his book entitled, “The Father and His Family.” “It was to be Man’s birthplace, Man’s Garden of Delight, Man’s University where he would learn to know his Father God.”3
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear [respect] Him.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
As their Father, God was there to teach His children, to give them right and accurate knowledge, to show them clear wisdom, and to guide them in understanding.
Continuing in Genesis chapter 1 we learn that on the sixth day God turns over dominion and authority of the earth to Adam. The only place on earth Adam does not have dominion and authority is in the Garden itself.
Often, I have compared the Garden to the Tabernacle or the Temple. Remember, Adam was given the responsibilities of “to dress it and keep it” the Garden. When that statement is read for the first time it always seems a bit strange. What would there be to dress or to keep since God is perfect and all that He does would also be perfect! How do you keep and dress perfection?
To “dress it”, abad in Hebrew, literally means to serve. When God tells Adam to “dress” the Garden He is saying, serve me in the Garden. To “keep it”, shamar, means to guard or to watch over. Now see the connection to the Tabernacle and Temple.
Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him. And they shall keep [shamar] his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do [abad – verb] the service [abodah -fem. Noun form of abad] of the tabernacle. And they shall keep [shamar] all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the children of Israel, to do [abad – verb] the service [abodah] of the tabernacle.
The Levites served in the Tabernacle and the Temple as Adam was to serve in the Garden. The comparison of the Garden to the Tabernacle or Temple is authentic and biblical.
And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubim: and he spake unto him.
Adam communed with God in the Garden as Moses communed with God in the Tabernacle.
The Tabernacle did not belong to Moses or to Israel. No more than the Temple belonged to the priests or even the High Priest. By the same token, although Adam has dominion of the earth his authority ended at the gate of the Garden.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God…
God has Ezekiel speaking to the king of Tyrus, otherwise known as Tyre. What does the king of Tyre, or Tyrus, have to do with the Garden of Eden? That is an excellent question and I am glad you asked.
There is a physical king of Tyre in the days of Ezekiel, and it was common for kings of the East to have elaborate gardens.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says of garden: “The Arabic jannah, like the Hebrew gannah, literally, "a covered or hidden place," denotes in the mind of the dweller in the East something more than the ordinary garden. Gardens in Biblical times, such as are frequently referred to in Semitic literature, were usually walled enclosures, as the name, in which there were paths winding in and out among shade and fruit trees, canals of running water, fountains, sweet-smelling herbs, aromatic blossoms and convenient arbors in which to sit and enjoy the effect.”4
Ancient Babylonian, Assyrian and Egyptian records show the fondness of the rulers of these countries for gardens laid out on a grand scale and planted with the rarest trees and plants. The drawings made by the ancients of their gardens leave no doubt about their general features and their correspondence with Biblical gardens.
Gardens are cultivated, not only for their fruits and herbs and shade, but they are planned to serve as dwelling-places during the summertime when the houses are hot and stuffy. That this was an ancient practice is indicated by Song of Solomon. A shaded garden, the air laden with the ethereal perfumes of fruits and flowers, accompanied by the music of running water, a couch on which to sit or recline, suggest a condition of bliss dear to the Oriental.”
This literal king of Tyre would have had a garden that he named Eden. The statements made about the king also would have been true to fact. But the spiritual truth behind the physical statements of Ezekiel to the king of Tyre is God speaking about His Adversary, Lucifer, who was in the Garden God had placed in Eden.
Later in this series of teachings this becomes important to understand because of the events that will take place after Adam commits sin and brings the Paradise Administration to a close. We will also learn that Adam has authority and dominion over the entire earth, but that authority stops at the gate of the Garden.
Although God made the Garden in chapter 1, we learn some more about the Garden in chapter 2 due to a figure of speech. In Genesis 2:8-14 we have the figure of speech parecbasis,5 or digression, which is a temporary turning aside from one subject, man, to another subject, the garden. It is a digression because God formed the garden before man, yet the information is necessary to understand where God is placing man.
God made the garden on the third day when He spoke the grass, the herb yielding seed, and the tree yielding fruit into being in Genesis 1:11-13. So, while speaking about man in Genesis 2:5-7, God takes a short digression to mention the Garden where God is placing man.
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also [this word is not in the text] in the midst [tavek] of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden…
“Pleasant to the sight” could be translated “desirable in appearance” and begins to demonstrate the attraction of this garden to the senses God had given man, while “good for food” shows the appeal to man’s intellectual curiosity.
Everything in the Garden; the fruit trees with ripe, succulent fruit hanging from the branches; the river gently flowing through the Garden as it brings nourishing water to all of the vegetation; the song birds swooping in and out of the branches then soaring high into the clear, blue sky; the deer feeding alongside of the sheep and cattle in a field of grass, grazing next to the bear feasting upon the berries; all proclaiming the power, and the majesty, and the glory of God.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Every sense that Adam and Eve had declared the power and majesty of God, every moment of every day.
In Genesis 2:9 God makes an interesting statement about the Tree of Life. God declares that the Tree of Life is “in the midst of the garden.” The word “midst” begins to point us to the importance God places on the Tree of Life as it is the heart or the focal point of the garden. Literally midst means the most important part or the core of a thing, the heart of a thing.
I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within [tavek] my heart.
Here the Hebrew word tavek meaning “midst” is translated “within” and is connected to God’s Word being in David’s heart.
I have not hidden Your righteousness within [tavek] my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly.
New King James Version
David did not keep his righteousness before God hidden in his heart. Again, tavek relates to being in the heart. The heart is the center of who and what a man is.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
What else can we say of this word midst or tavek?
And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he [God] called unto Moses out of the midst [tavek] of the cloud.
The presence of God was in the midst. Like the heart of man, it is a focal point.
And I set my tabernacle among [tavek – midst] you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among [tavek – midst] you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
God was in their midst by means of His tabernacle.
2 Samuel 6:17
And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst [tavek] of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
It was the Ark of the Covenant where God would commune with the High Priest, when the presence of the Lord would be between the Cherubim.
And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also [also - not in the text] in the midst [tavek] of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
It was the Tree of Life that was in the midst of the garden, set alone, to represent the presence of God, who alone is the life of every man.
Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he [God] needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
One final aspect to consider pertaining to the God’s Garden in Eden and it is a scientific addition.
Amber is a semi-precious stone commonly used in jewelry. It comes from fossilized tree sap that many times has an air bubble trapped inside. It is from these air bubbles scientists have measured the quality of air from thousands of years ago.
“According to an article in Time Magazine, Geochemists Gary Landis of the US Geological Survey and Robert Berner of Yale analyzed tiny air bubbles trapped in specimens of Amber. They placed the Amber specimens inside a vacuum chamber, and then opened the Amber, allowing the ancient trapped gases to escape. They found that the air contained 32% oxygen, which is much higher than our current 21% oxygen content in the atmosphere.”6
According to The New Scientist Magazine published on March 11, 2000. “According to this article the air trapped in Amber has 35% oxygen.”
“The Garden of Eden conditions described in the early chapters of Genesis were probably reflected all over the planet. There was probably abundant vegetation, animals, birds, and fish. Because of the warmer and more constant ambient temperature, and the high partial pressures of Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide humans, animals, birds, insects, and fish were much larger, as revealed in the fossil record described below. There is a general teaching that early man was primitive. This is certainly incorrect. Adam and Eve were created in the image of God and would have been superior to us in every way. Think about it: These two individuals held all of the genes that have been passed down through all generations until you and I…Because of the higher oxygen levels, the high blood oxygen levels would have contributed to extreme longevity, resistance to bacterial and viral diseases, and greater metabolic efficiency, with consequent greatly enhanced athletic ability.”7
We have more meat to put on some of these bones and some other bones we have not considered yet. But it is important to see and understand the fall of mankind so that we can see more clearly what God has accomplished to rescue us from the bondage and disappointing misery of slavery.
For now, you can begin to visualize the picture God is drawing in Genesis when He speaks of placing man in a garden?
This garden would have brought to Adam and Eve a sensory extravaganza of pure delight. A river, providing the musical elegance of our scene as it flows out of Eden into the garden, with the songs of birds providing pristine harmony; bringing life giving water to all of the fruit bearing trees, the flowering and blooming plants, and the lush green grass. The aromatic fragrances, the explosion of colors, the refreshing in the cool of the day, all combining with the sweetness of endearing and loving communion and fellowship set our scene in the Garden in Eden.
2.We will study this in “The Beginning of All Evil”
3.E.W. Kenyon, page 23, The Father and His Family
5.E.W. Bullinger “Figures of Speech Used in the Bible” pg. 906
6.Time Magazine, Nov 9, 1987, p. 82
7.6000years.org Amazing Bible Discoveries in an article on “The Atmosphere”
© Auxano Ministry 2020
All verses quoted are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.