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The Borders of the Garden Eden
By: David Deschesne
The Biblical Garden of Eden found in Genesis describes a place of eternal bliss and comfort unlike anything that can be experienced on Earth.
Numerous attempts have been made to identify the exact geographical location of the Garden of Eden on Earth, and the accompanying cherubims who guard the entrance with a flaming sword,1 but to no avail. It simply hasn’t been found.
According to the Book of Genesis, and the apocryphal book, The First Book of Adam and Eve2, Adam and Eve were able to communicate directly and personally with God the creator and see and interact with His angels as quasi spiritual/physical human beings. In essence, they had all the senses we have today, but an additional sense was inherent in them that allowed them to see and communicate in another dimension, or wavelength outside of those of audio and light waves we perceive. After the fall, that sense—or as 1 Adam and Eve calls, “the brightness” - in them was removed and they became wholly physical beings stuck on a strange and foreign earth, apart from the glory and comfort formerly enjoyed in the great Garden, now needing solid food and water to live.
Rather than a geographical location, it is more likely Eden was a metaphysical place, a realm that shared the physical realm we occupy today as well as the spiritual realm at the same time. “It is probable, however, that the story as given in the Bible is a later adaptation of an old legend, points of which were vague to the narrator himself, and hence any attempt to find the precise location of Eden must prove futile. Indeed, the original Eden was very likely in heaven, which agrees with the view on the subject held by the Arabs. Gunkel, in his commentary on Genesis, also adopts this view, and connects the stream coming out of Eden with the Milky Way and its four branches.”3
In Biblical Hebrew, the individual letters that comprise words each have their own significant meaning and typology. For example, “garden” in Hebrew isגּן, Gan, which means a garden, as in a fenced-in area. The letters each mean;
גּ= lovingkindness, culmination, as in planting a seed and caring for it until it matures
ן= faithfulness; soul; downfall and rising again.
and Eden is,עדן, ay’den, which means “pleasure, voluptuous, delightful.” The letters in ay’den individually mean;
ע= eye/spiritual insight
ד= door; way
ן= faithfulness; soul; downfall and rising again.
According to the typology of the Hebrew letters in Garden of Eden, there is described a place that is sectioned off from the rest of the universe that is a place for growth and caring wherein the spiritual inhabitants experience great pleasure and delight while faithfully being cared for in perpetuity.
The East Border
Whatever the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil was (the Gnostic writings claim it is symbolic of the sexual orgasm—a pleasurable and voluptuous feeling that took them out of the natural, pleasure and voluptuous state of Eden as they attempted to create their own pleasure to be “as the gods” knowing everything—the good and evil—about the world), Adam and Eve were subsequently cast out of the Garden to the “east.”
The Hebrew word for East, as used to describe where Adam and Eve were cast, isקדם, qedem. Qedem is not a compass direction like we are familiar to referring to, today. Instead, qedem has all the meaning and imagery of “front, forefront, before, eternal, forward, and forward part”4 The Hebrew word for the compass direction, “East” is מזרח, mizrach, which means “east, sunrise”5 far and away from the meaning of East used in Genesis with relation to the Garden of Eden.
Using the imagery of the word qedem, if one were in the Garden of Eden, looking figuratively out toward the front of it, he would see the lesser, physical realm on the outside, just as we here on Earth look out and perceive “the heavens” by looking figuratively back toward Eden from our fallen state, but unable to completely perceive a realm we are no longer physically equipped to perceive.
When Cain left the presence of the Lord he went “land of Nod, on the east of Eden.”6 In Hebrew Nod means, “wandering, vagabond, drifter, homeless”.7 This is an apt description for the physical Earth that Adam and Eve fell to after having been living in a state of heavenly pleasure and bliss, being able to perceive and communicate directly with the angels and God whenever they chose.
The East of Eden is then the divide between the spiritual realm and physical realm; the former was enjoyed by the original humans along perhaps with a version of the latter, while after the fall, all subsequent humans were only able to perceive and interact in the physical realm alone. A cherubim that is guarding the East Gate to Eden is not a physical being, but rather a spiritual being that the human sensory apparatus we have been left with is simply unable to perceive and interact with.
We will never be able to locate the gate, or the Garden of Eden here on Earth, because it does not exist in the physical realm, actionable to our sensory organs.
The East (gate) is the only one mentioned in the Bible. The three other gates cited here are from 1 Adam & Eve.
The Northern Border
Used metaphorically, the Northern border, as described in 1 Adam and Eve, is symbolic of a sea of energy that extends on the border of the world eastward (outward toward the front), encompassing the whole world unto the borders of Heaven.8
The sea (of energy) on the Northern border was a place where Adam and Eve could be bathed and restored to their former self in order to allow them to be allowed back into the garden.9
The Northern Border appears to be an area where the sins of the fallen humans are washed away, making them whole and able to reenter the Garden in their former state. This appears to be a metaphor for the blood of Christ, which was shed many generations after the fall. After being figuratively bathed through Faith in the energy that is in Christ’s blood, all sins are covered and those who accept his grace are able to be readmitted into that former, pleasurable state and condition—also known as “heaven.”
The Southern Border
Metaphorically, the southern border of the Garden of Eden is symbolized by liquid water in the physical realm.
Shortly after eating physical food for the first time (in Eden, they did not have digestive organs and no need to eat physical food because they derived their energy from the Tree of Life), Adam and Eve were instructed to go to the bank of a stream on the Southern border of Eden and instructed to drink water because their bodies were now “brutish and requires water to drink.” 10
This is not a metaphorical water, such as used to describe waves of eternal energy in other Biblical books, but rather the literal, physical H2O water that all living things require for life in this physical realm.
The Western Border
In addition to liquid water of the Southern border of Eden, Adam and Eve also needed food to eat which was derived from the fertile soils of Earth symbolized by the Western Border of Eden.
Adam was called by God to the westward as far as the “land of dark soil” where wheat, corn and figs were growing.11 It also appears to be indicative of physical, solid earth since God “made Adam dwell in the western border of the garden, because on that side the earth is very broad”12 He also describes the Western border as a place where a seed will go from Adam (his progressive generations) that will defile themselves with their sins and ultimately a flood will occur to overwhelm and wipe them all out.13
Since the Garden of Eden appears to be a spiritual realm of existence, the borders must therefore be metaphorical. The East symbolizes the spiritual portion of man and is the border between the physical and spiritual realm. Humans will be merged, according to God’s promise, 5,500 years (the exact calendar measurement of ‘year’ is not defined) after the fall, at which point One would come to save Adam and his seed14; those who have been washed in the waters of the Northern Border (blood of Christ) will be reacquainted with their former spiritual sensory apparatus and be able once again to commune and perceive God and the angels directly after they cross back into Eden, presumably at the point of death of their physical body.
The Southern and Western borders are indicative and symbolize those elements that are required for life to exist in the physical realm—water and fertile earth/food.
Humans alive on earth today exist in a fallen state. The Earth is not paradise, it is the lost land of homeless wandering all humans are confined to until being washed in the waters of the Northern Border (Christ’s blood) and ultimately reoccupying a new Earth15, one that replaces them back in the state formerly enjoyed by Adam and Eve, to exist forever under the care and guidance of the Heavenly Father in the Garden of Eden, the garden of care, pleasure and faithfulness, to once again drink freely from the water of life.16
1. Genesis 3:24
2. The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden, ©1926 & 1927 by Alpha House, republished recently by World Bible Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-529-03385-2
4. Strong’s #6924
5. Strong’s #4217
6. Genesis 4:16
7. Strong’s #5113
8. 1 Adam & Eve, I:1
9. ibid, I:5,God keeps Adam away from; XXXVIII:5, Satan tempts Adam and Eve toward.
10. ibid, LXVI:2
11. ibid, LXVI:7-8
12. ibid, I:8
13. ibid, LIII:6-7
14. ibid, III:6
15. Rev. 21:1
16. Rev. 21:6