Genesis 2 part 3

Genesis 2

Part 3

2:8 And God planted a garden eastward in Edem, and placed there the man whom he had formed.

AMBROSE OF MILAN. On approaching this subject I seem to be possessed by an unusual eagerness in my quest to clarify the facts about Paradise, its place, and its nature to those who are desirous of this knowledge. This is all the more remarkable since the Apostle did not know whether he was in the body or out of the body, yet he says that he ‘was caught up to the third heaven.’ [2 Cor. 12:2] And again he says: ‘I know such a man-whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows-that he was caught up into paradise and heard secret words that man may not repeat. Of such a man I will boast; but of myself I will glory in nothing save in my infirmities. For if I do wish to boast, I shall not be foolish; for I am speaking the truth.’ [2 Cor. 12:3-6] If Paradise, then, is of such a nature that Paul alone, or one like Paul, could scarcely see it while alive, and still was unable to remember whether he saw it in the body or out of the body, and, moreover, heard words that he was forbidden to reveal–if this be true, how will it be possible for us to declare the position of Paradise which we have not been able to see and, even if we had succeeded in seeing it, we would be forbidden to share this information with others? And, again, since Paul shrank from exalting himself by reason of the sublimity of the revelation, how much more ought we to strive not to be too anxious to disclose that which leads to danger by its very revelation! The subject of Paradise should not, therefore, be treated lightly. With these words let us set aside the question of what was hidden to Paul.

Nevertheless, we can find out who was the Creator of this Paradise. We read in Genesis that ‘God planted a garden to the east and he put there the man he had formed.’: Who had the power to create Paradise, if not almighty God, who ‘spoke and they were made’ [Ps 32:9] and who was never in want of the thing which He wished to bring into being? He planted, therefore, that Paradise of which He says in His wisdom: ‘Every plant which my Father has not planted will be rooted up.’ [Matt.15:13] This is a goodly plantation for angels and saints. The saints are said to lie beneath the fig tree and the vine. [Mich 6:6] In this respect they are the type of the angels [Mark 12:25] in that time of peace which is to come.

Hence, Paradise has many trees that are fruit-bearing, with plenty of sap, and vigor. Of these it is said: ‘All the trees of the woods shall rejoice.’ [Ps 95:12] The woods flourish ever with the green shoots of merit, just like that ‘tree which is planted near the running waters, whose leaf shall not fall off,’ [ s 1:3] because its fruit is plenteous. Here, then, is Paradise.

The place where it is planted is called delight; wherefore holy David says: ‘Thou shalt not make them drink of the torrent of thy pleasure,’ [ Ps 35:9] for you have read that ‘a river rose in Eden watering the garden.’ [Gen 2:10] These woods, therefore, which were planted in Paradise are watered by the outpouring of the waters of that spirit concerning which He says elsewhere: ‘The stream of the river maketh the city of God joyful.’ [Ps 45:5] Here is that city of Jerusalem which above is free, [Gal 4:26] in which the different merits of the saints come to fruition.

In this garden, therefore, God put the man He had formed. Take note that He placed man there not in respect to the image of God, but in respect to the body of man. The incorporeal does not exist in a place. He placed man in Paradise, just as He placed the sun in heaven, awaiting lordship over the heavens, just as the creature expects the revelation of the sons of God. [Rom 8:9]

Hence, if Paradise is a place where shrubs have opportunity to blossom, then Paradise has a certain vital force which receives and multiplies seeds in which each and every virtue is planted, and where flourishes the tree of life which is called Wisdom. Of this, Solomon says that Wisdom arose not of the earth but of the Father: ‘For she is the brightness of eternal light’ and ‘the emanation of the glory of the almighty God.’ (Wisd 7:25-26) [On Paradise]

AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO. There are, I know, a host of opinions on the earthly Paradise, but they can be reduced to three main ones: the first is to see in Paradise only a garden; the second, to consider it as an allegory; the third, which reconciles the two others, admits the literal sense and the figurative sense. I admit in passing that I share this last feeling. Here I begin to speak of the terrestrial paradise in the literal sense, according to the graces which God will deign to grant me, and to make understand how the man formed of the silt of the earth, that is to say provided with a body was established in a real garden. Adam, no doubt, was the figure and type of the future Adam; yet we see in him a man endowed with all the faculties of his kind, who lived a certain number of years, and after having left numerous posterity died like the rest of men, though he was born of some, parents, but formed of the earth, as the first man: likewise one must see in the garden where God placed him, a place, an earthly stay destined for a being formed of the earth.

 The story of Genesis does not in fact fall into the genre of allegories, like the Song of Songs: it is historical like the book of Kings and all those who offer the same character. Historical narratives containing the ordinary facts of human life are easily explained, or rather literally primitive, in order to deduce from past events the allegorical meaning of future events; but as we do not find here the ordinary course of nature, we can not bring ourselves to see reality and we conceive everything as symbols; we do not even want to begin the history properly so called until Adam and Eve, having been expelled from Paradise, united and had children. But, in truth, is it in the natural course of things that they have lived so many years, that Enoch was taken up to heaven, that a woman gave birth despite old age and barrenness, and a thousand other wonders? [Literal Commentary on Genesis]

AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO. Plantavit Deus paradisum secundum Orientem. (God planted a paradise according to the east.) Latin manuscripts have ad Orientem (to the east.) [Locutions]

EUSEBIUS OF PAMPHLII. Edem (Eden). The place to the east of the paradise of God. Interpreted “delight” (Translated pleasure or delight). [Onomasticon]

IRENAEUS OF LYONS. For Enoch, when he pleased God, was translated in the same body in which he did please Him, thus pointing out by anticipation the translation of the just. Elijah, too, was caught up when he was yet in the substance of the natural form; thus exhibiting in prophecy the assumption of those who are spiritual, and that nothing stood in the way of their body being translated and caught up. For by means of the very same hands through which they were molded at the beginning, did they receive this translation and assumption. For in Adam the hands of God had become accustomed to set in order, to rule, and to sustain His own workmanship, and to bring it and place it where they pleased. Where, then, was the first man placed? In paradise certainly, as the Scripture declares “And God planted a garden [paradisum] eastward in Eden, and there He placed the man whom He had formed.” And then afterwards when man proved disobedient, he was cast out of there into this world. Wherefore also the elders who were disciples of the apostles tell us that those who were translated were transferred to that place for paradise has been prepared for righteous men, such as have the Spirit; in which place also Paul the apostle, when he was caught up, heard words which are unspeakable as regards us in our present condition (2 Cor. 12:4), and that there shall they who have been translated remain until the consummation of all things, as a prelude to immortality. [Against Heresies 5.5.1 ANF v.1]

JEROME OF STRIDON. AND THE LORD GOD PLANTED PARADISE IN EDEN, FACING THE EAST. — Instead of paradise, the Hebrew carries a garden, that is, GAN. Now, Eden corresponds to ‘delights’. Symmachus translated it as ‘flowering paradise’. What follows, in front of the east, is written in Hebrew MECEDEM, which Aquila replaces by apo archēs, and which we can render ‘from the beginning’. Symmachus as ek prōtēs and Theodotion as en prōtois, expressions that do not respond to the east, but ‘to begin’. In this way, it is the last evidence that before heaven and earth were made, God created paradise, as it is written in the Hebrew text: The Lord God had planted paradise in Eden from the beginning. [Hebrew Questions on Genesis]

JEROME OF STRIDON. Eden, pleasure, delights, ornament. [Book Hebrew Names]

JOHN CHRYSOSTOM OF CONSTANTINOPLE. Observe again that animals, being destined for the service of man, were to be created before him, so that he might first use them. And so the body was formed before the soul, so that from the moment it existed, by an act of the ineffable wisdom of the Lord, it could act by means of the body. And God, saith the scripture, planted a garden of delight in Eden toward the east, and there he placed the man whom he had formed. Oh! how good and generous is the Lord to man! he had created the universe for him, and from the first moment of his existence he filled him with new blessings. For it was for him that he planted a garden of delights, in Eden, towards the East. But here, my dear brother, if one did not interpret these words in a sense worthy of God, one would fall into the abyss of extravagance. And indeed what will those who take literally and in a human sense say all that Scripture says about God? he planted a garden of delights: what! Did he need to beautify this garden to work the land, and to employ his care and industry? To God displease! And this expression, the Lord planted, only signifies that at his command the earth produced the garden of delights that man was to inhabit. It is indeed for man that this garden was planted; and scripture expressly marks it. God, she says, planted a garden of delights in Eden, towards the east, and there he placed the man whom he had formed.

I also notice that Moses specifies the place where this garden was placed, to prevent the vain speeches of those who want to abuse our simplicity. They tell us that this garden was in heaven, and not on the earth, and we sell a thousand other similar fables. The extreme accuracy of the sacred historian could not prevent them from boasting of their eloquence and their wholly profane knowledge. So they dare to fight the Scripture, and to maintain that the earthly paradise did not exist on earth. It is thus that they adopt a sense quite contrary to that of the Scripture, and that they follow a road strewn with errors by hearing from heaven what is said of the earth. But in what abyss would they not have fallen if, by divine inspiration, Moses had not used a simple and familiar language? Doubtless the Scripture itself interprets its teachings, and gives no hold on error; but because many read it or listen to it less to seek the doctrine of salvation than the pleasure of the mind, they prefer the interpretations which flatter them to those which would instruct them. That is why I implore you to close your ear to all these seductive speeches, and to hear the Scripture only in accordance with the holy canons. So when she tells us that God planted a garden of delights on the east of Eden, give this word, my dear brother, a sense worthy of God, and believe that at the order of the Lord a garden was formed in the place that Scripture designates. For one can not, without a great danger for oneself and for his listeners, prefer his own interpretations to the true and real meaning of the divine Scriptures.

And God put there the man whom he had formed. See here how the Lord honored man from the first moment of his existence. He had created it out of paradise, but he introduced it immediately, in order to awaken in his heart the feeling of gratitude, and to make him appreciate the honor bestowed on him. He placed in heaven the man whom he had formed; This word: He put it, signifies that God commanded man to inhabit the earthly paradise, so that he might taste all the charms of this delightful abode, and show himself grateful to his benefactor. And in fact these kindnesses of the Lord were all gratuitous, since they warned in man to the slightest merit. So do not be surprised at this expression: he placed it, for the Scripture here, as always, uses a very human language, in order to make it more accessible and more useful. Thus, in speaking of the stars, she said previously that God placed them in the sky. Certainly, the sacred writer did not want us to believe that the stars are fixedly attached to the place they occupy, since they each have their rotational movement; he only proposed to teach us that the Lord commanded them to shine in the heavenly spaces, just as he commanded man to inhabit the earthly paradise. [Homilies on Genesis]

JOHN OF DAMASCUS. Now when God was about to fashion man out of the visible and invisible creation in His own image and likeness to reign as king and ruler over all the earth and all that it contains, He first made for him, so to speak, a kingdom in which he should live a life of happiness and prosperity. And this is the divine paradise, planted in Eden by the hands of God, a very storehouse of joy and gladness of heart (for “Eden” means luxuriousness). [Orth. Faith 2.11 NPNF s.2 v.9]

PSEUDO BASIL. In a former part of the narration it is said, “Let the earth bring forth the herb, and the fruitful tree; yielding seed and bearing fruit.” (Gen. 1:11) If Paradise were composed of the common trees, it is manifest that it was comprehended in the primary creation of plants; and that the trees which were now planted by the hand of God himself, could have required no subsequent, no special implantation. But that the plants which now were called into existence, the innumerous trees, so wisely designed and so elaborately formed by the God himself, were different from his primary productions, is evident from the words of Scripture. [De Paradiso, PG 30, cols. 61-72]THEOPHILUS OF ANTIOCH. And that Paradise is earth, and is planted on the earth, the Scripture states, saying: “And the Lord God planted Paradise in Eden eastwards, and placed man there; and out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” By the expressions, therefore, “out of the ground,” and “eastwards,” the holy writing clearly teaches us that Paradise is under this heaven, under which the east and the earth are. And the Hebrew word Eden signifies “delight” … And God transferred him from the earth, out of which he had been produced, into Paradise, giving him means of advancement, in order that, maturing and becoming perfect, and being even declared a god, he might thus ascend into heaven in possession of immortality. For man had been made a middle nature, neither wholly mortal, nor altogether immortal, but capable of either; so also the place, Paradise, was made in respect of beauty intermediate between earth and heaven. [To Autolycus 2.24 ANF v.2]

Blog Page

Links to Our Websites

Website of the Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Churches of the Americas:

Video channels;

YouTube: St. Michael’s Monastery and the New Warrior Ministries

Now, YouTube doesn’t always agree with my viewpoint on what is happening in the world so I have two other channels, sometimes one of them does not agree either and so I need the other one, sometimes I speak for too long a time and the one will not accept the video but the other one will so I have videos spread out over three different channels.

Daily Motion: New Warrior Ministries

Bitchute: Bishop William NWM New Warrior Ministries

Another video blog site:

%d bloggers like this: