2:8garden. A sanctuary where God invites humanity to enjoy fellowship and peace with Him. Cherubim protect the garden’s sanctity (3:24 and note; Ex. 26:1; 2 Chr. 3:7) so that sin and death will be excluded (3:23; Rev. 21:8). Faith and obedience are prerequisites for living in this place of special communion with God.
in the east. In biblical times the east, where the sun rises, represented life and light (3:24 note).
Eden. The origin of the term “Eden” is disputed; it may derive from an Accadian term meaning “plain” or “prairie,” or from the Hebrew term meaning “pleasure” or “delight” (from which the association of Eden with the term “paradise” derives). Eden was apparently the region in which the garden was located (v. 10). The mention of Assyria and the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (v. 14 and text note) indicates a location east of Palestine in Mesopotamia.
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