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Discovery Magazine 5/1/2017

Is the Garden of Eden Still Guarded?

by  Digger Doug


Dear Digger Doug,

Are the sword of fire and Cherubim still guarding the Garden of Eden? Assuming they are, why can’t we find the sword?

­—Josiah Clark


Dear Josiah,

The story about Adam and Eve sinning in the Garden of Eden is one of the saddest stories in all the Bible. They had the perfect life and could live forever because they could eat the fruit from the Tree of Life. That all changed, as you know, when they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Because of their sin, God expelled them from the beautiful Garden and placed angelic beings called Cherubim, as well as a flaming sword, to guard the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:24). So, are the angels and the flaming sword still there?

To answer your question, we need to understand the purpose of the sword. It was put there to keep Adam and Eve from eating from the Tree of Life. This is important because if the Tree of Life is no longer on Earth, then we would not expect the protection of the sword to be here either. Where is the Tree of Life now? When we look in the last book of the Bible, Revelation, we read about what heaven is going to be like. We read about an amazing street of gold. We also find out that “in the middle of the street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life” (Revelation 22:2). Later John, the writer of Revelation, explained that those people who do the will of God and make it to heaven “have the right to the tree of life” (Revelation 22:14). So the Bible tells us that the Tree of Life is in heaven. We should remember that many things in Revelation are figurative. It could be that the Bible is saying the literal Tree of Life does not exist anymore, but a figurative or spiritual Tree of Life is in heaven. Since the literal Tree of Life is not on Earth anymore, the angels and the sword that once protected it are no longer needed. Let’s all obey God so we can one day have “the right to the Tree of Life” and live forever with our Creator!

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