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8 | And the LORD God plant-, • Eden; and there phe put the
a garden n eastward in man whom he had formed.
Ez. 23. 13. Joel 2.
m ch. 13. 10. Isa. 51. 3. 3. Dch. 3. 24.
och. 4. 16. 2 Kings 19. 12. Ez. 27. 23. p v. 15
the human frame. The subject is still word for 'garden,' which properly sig. further considered in the next note. nifies an enclosure, from a root deno
- " Became a living soul. Heb. 1795 ting protection, is rendered in the Septo 2.23 7777 became to a living soul ; an by Ilapadeloos a paradise, a term how. idiom of the original properly rendered ever not of Greek or Hebrew, but in our version. The phrase 'living of Arabic or Persian origin, used to desoul' is in the foregoing narrative re- note a park, pleasure-garden, or woodpeatedly applied to the inferior orders land enclosure, surrounded by a wall, of animals which are not considered to watered by running streams, and be possessed of a 'soul in the sense in abounding with fruit and flower trees, which that term is applied to man. It and other objects fitted to regale the would seem to mean the same, there- senses. Thus Xenoph. Econom. IV. fore, when spoken of man that it does 13, “The king of Persia takes particu. when spoken of beasts, viz. an anima- lar care, wherever he is, to have garted being, a creature possessed of life dens or enclosures, which are called and sensation, and capable of perform- Paradises, full of every thing beautiful ing all the physical functions by which and good that the earth can produce.' animals are distinguished, as eating, The term at length by a natural process drinking, walking, &c. As to the in- came to be applied to any peculiarly fer tellectual faculties which raise man so tile or delightful region, and was intro far above the tribes of the brute crea- duced into the later Hebrew in the form tion, we find no term that expressly des- of 07 Pardes, in which it occurs ignates them in any part of the sacred Neh. 2. 8, rendered 'forest,' and Eccl. narrative. The fact of his being pos- 2. 5. Cant. 4. 3, rendered 'orchard.' sessed of them seems rather to be im- From its denoting a place abounding plied in what is said of his being made with enchanting scenery, and one in the image of God, and in the great which in the case of our first parents er degree of importance attached to the was the abode of innocence and bliss, circumstances of his creation. Indeed it became in process of time a metait may be remarked that the Scriptures phorical appellation of heaven, the seat generally afford much less explicit evi- of the blessed, 1 Cor. 12. 4. Luke, 23. dence of the existence of a sentient im- 43. The import of the Heb. 773 Eden material principle in man, capable of is pleasure, intimating the superior living and acting separate from the body, beauty of the region known by that than is usually supposed. Yet favoured name. As to the true site of this primas the idea is by so many analogies ofitive abode of man, though it has been nature and by such strong inductions the subject of almost endless discussion of reason, it would be presumptuous 10 among the learned, it is still involved deny ibe existence of such a principle, in great obscurity, and an approximaeven though the Scriptures had been tion to truth is perhaps all that is to be entirely silent on the subject.
expected as the result of the most care8 The Lord God planted a garden. ful inquiry. It may, we think, be safeRather had planted,' i. e. at some time ly assumed that the name Eden design previous. The place of residence was nates a place or region which was so fitted up before the intended occupant denominated in the time of Moses, rawas introduced into it. The originalther than at the time of its occupation
9 And out of the ground made | life also in the midst of the garthe LORD God to grow I every den, and the tree of knowledge tree that is pleasant to the sight, of good and evil. and good for food; "the tree of
Ezek. 31. 8. rch. 3. %. Prov. 3. 18. & 11. 30. Rev. 2. 7. & 22.2, 14.
8 ver. 17.
by its first happy tenants; for why region sufficiently large to have embra. should it then have been distinguished ced them all. by a name at all? Geographical dis- 9. Every tree that was pleasant to the Linctions naturally and necessarily arise sight. The garden of Eden, which had from the settlement of the globe by its been planted by the hand of God himinhabitants, but cannot well be con- self for the residence of the happy beceived as existing prior to such periods, ings he had created, was, as its name unless the name were given by God imports, the centre of every terrestrial himself, for which we can see no suffi- pleasure. The bounty of the Creator cient reason. The same remark may had stored it with every plant and flowbe made of the rivers and the other pla- er and tree, that was pleasant to the ces mentioned in this connection. They eye, grateful to the smell, or adapted to are doubtless to be considered as post- ! the sustenance of life. In addition to diluvian and not as ante-diluvian names. this, ample and refreshing streams of The site of Eden therefore is to be water, so necessary to the very existdetermined by determining, as far as ence of an oriental garden, diffused a possible, the respective positions of the perpetual verdure over its whole extent, adjacent streams and regions, an attempt and imparted to every plant, a beauty, at which is made in a subsequent note. vigour, and fertility, perhaps unknown in
- Eastward in Eden. Heb. Door any other district of the globe. Among 7792 in Eden from, or at, the east, or these goodly productions of the garden, eastward. Eden, we suppose, was a two of remarkable character and use region of very considerable extent, while are distinctly specified. The first was the garden was a smaller tract embra- the tree of life,' an appellation denoced within its limits. The object of the ting, in addition to its spiritual or moral sacred writer here appears to be to in- import, a living tree, just as 'oath of dicate the position of the garden, not bond,' is equivalent to 'binding oath;' only in reference to the country in words of grace,' to 'gracious words ;' which Moses dwelt when the history vessel of choice,' to 'chosen vessel,' was written, but also in reference to the &c. It was probably a tree or class of territory of Eden itself; it was situated trees, of the evergreen species, continin the easterly part of that highly fa- ually flourishing and fruitful, from its vored land. That this was a widely possessing an undecaying vitality. To extended region is to be inferred not on this tree there is evident allusion in the ly from what is said of the several riv- description of the heavenly paradise, ers by which it was bounded or travers- Rev. 22. 2, in which was the 'tree of ed, but from the fact that several places life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, of the name of Eden, yet remote from and yielded her fruit every month. In each other, lay a traditional claim to both cases it may be presumed that the having been the primeval seat of the trees were named, in part at least, from human race. Probably the correct their common inherent property of permode of adjusting these claims is to ennial fruit-bearing. But this by no suppose that the original Eden was a means exhausts the full import of the
appellation. The tree of life in Eden, simple intelligence, but also of a practiundoubtedly conveyed to Adam, by cal feeling or experimental sense of the the express appointment of the Creator, thing known. Thus Ps. 101. 4, 'I will a symbolical meaning, serving as a vis- not know a wicked person ;' i. e. I will ible sign or pledge of the continuance to not have complacency in him. Mat. him of a blessed natural life, as long as 7. 23, ' Then will I profess unto them, he should continue obedient. Regard- I never knezo you;' i. e. I never approed in this light he undoubtedly often ved of you. Rom. 7. 7, 'I had not ate of the fruit of the tree before his fall, known sin but by the law ;' i. e. had not perhaps as a means of sustaining not experimentally known it.-In the life, or of making him immortal, but above remarks we have given what we sacramentally, as Christians now eat conceive to be, on the whole, the most of the Lord's supper, to confirm their correct interpretation of the phrase, faith in the divine promises, and as a 'tree of knowledge of good and evil.' symbol of spiritual blessings imparted At the same time it is, perhaps, but just to the soul.- - In the midst of the to advert to an objection urged against garden. Heb. jan 7103. The phrase this sense of the words by the learned in the midst,' 'as used by the sacred Vitringa, who seldom advances an writers, often signifies merely within cer- opinion that is not entitled to great retain limits, without implying an exact- spect. He argues, that 'to know good ly central position. Thus Gen. 41. 40, and evil' in the language of Scripture, Heb. ' In the midst of the same (city ;)' is to understand the nature of good and Eng. in the same. Job, 2. 8, (Heb.) evil, of right and wrong, not to experiHe sat down in the midst of the ashes;'ence it; and that the tree therefore Eng. among the ashes. Luke, 8. 7, could not have been so named prolepti(Gr.) 'Fell in the midst of thorns ;' cally from the event. For although Eng. among thorns. In like manner by the fall the original pair had indeed all that is implied here probably is, that full experience of sin and misery, yet the tree of life grew within the precincts how could it be said that they thereby of the garden, while it was not found acquired the knowledge of good? If it without. This is confirmed by Gen. be answered by contrast, the experi3. 22, 23, where the reason given for the ence of evil having taught them the man's being driven out of the garden is, value of those blessings which they had * lest he should put forth his hand and lost, this implies that they were previtake of the tree of life ;' from which the ously unacquainted with good; and not inference is natural, that the tree did only so, but that they experienced good not grow without the garden.by an event from which they only deTree of knowledge of good and evil. rived evil. This is indeed a specious Gr. 'The tree of knowing that which objection, and has led some commenmay be known of good and evil.' Chal. tators to understand by the appellation "The tree of whose fruit they that eat a tree which was the test of good and shall know the difference between good evil; a tree by which our first parents and evil.' These paraphrases give would be tried whether they would be the sense of the expression. The tree good or bad, or by which it would apwas so called because, being appointed pear whether they would obey or disoas a test of obedience, Adam by eating bey the commands of their Creator. of its fruit, would acquire the knowl. From the whole tenor of the history it edge of good by losing it, and of evil would appear, it is said, that the tree by experiencing it. The term knowl- of knowledge was appointed to be the edge in the idiom of the Scriptures usu- test of Adam's fidelity to his Creator, ally carries with it the idea not only of and consequently was so called from 10 And a river went out of from thence it was parted, and Eden to water the garden: and became into four heads.
God's knowing by the result whether that it might be said, that the river or he would cleave to good or make choice rivers flowed out of it, which in their of evil. This view of the import of the course ran through the Paradisaic enterms it would not perhaps be very ea- closure. With Michaelis, Jahn, and sy to set aside, were it not for the lan- other distinguished critics, we are inguage of ch. 3. 22, 'Behold, the man is clined to consider the word 'river,' become as one of us, to know good here as a collective singular for the pluand evil.' Here the “knowing' is clear- ral, one of the commonest idioms of ly attributed to Adam and not to God, the Hebrew, implying that not one onand as this was the result of eating of ly, but a number of rivers, viz. the four that particular tree, we know not how afterwards specified, flowed in different to avoid the conclusion that such is directions about the garden or through the meaning of the appellation, viz. that it. We are led to this conclusion from it was a tree by which Adam: should the extreme difficulty of identifying any krow, instead of being known. It is not place in the region of the Euphrates perhaps necessary to suppose that there which answers fully to the localities were barely two individual trees of the here given.—After all, it is, we think, species abovementioned. The term not improbable that the word rendered tree is repeatedly used as a noun of went out really implies rising or multitude, implying many trees (see on springing out of the ground, the deGen. 3. 2), and we suppose that the sign of Moses being here simply to trees here spoken of were in fact two inform the reader that these rivers ori. distinct species of trees, which the Cre- ginated in the district of Eden, and ator saw fit to appropriate to this pe- consequently afforded an abundant culiar use. They were probably inter- source of irrigation. That the Heb. spersed here and there throughout the term kyn to go forth is used in the garden, so that Adam in traversing the sense of issuing or springing forth delightful region would frequently meet from the earth, especially as applied to with them, and thus be constantly re- plants, and streams of water is unquesminded of the terms on which he held tionable. See 1 Kings, 5. 13. Is. 11. his happiness. While he was at full lib. 1. Job, 14. 2. Deut. 8. 7. Is. 41. 18. erty to pluck and enjoy the fruit of the -1 From thence it was parted. Heb. one, he was to consider himself forbid- 7909 917. If but a single river be den by the most awful sanctions from here intended, the partition spoken of putting forth his hand to the other. must have commenced immediately
10. A river went out of Eden to wao upon its leaving the garden, and at the ter the garden. The language here is same time not very far from its mouth; peculiar, and such as we should scarce- for although it is not unusual for a ly expect, if the common opinion re- large river to discharge itself by several specting the topography of the garden distinct outlets into the sea, like the Nile be correct. For as the garden itself and the Ganges, yet it is very seldom was within the limits of Eden, why that it is found thus dividing itself in the should it be said that a river went out midst of its course, and far in the inteof Eden in order to water it? This rior of the country through which it can only be explained on the supposi- flows. But it utterly confounds all that tion that Eden, compared with the gar- is known of eastern geography to make den, was 80 large a tract of country, I the Euphrates and the Tigris short
11 The name of the first is Pi-, "the whole land of Havilah, where son: that is it which compasseth there is gold;
uch. 25. 18.
branches of a larger river on which the known or distinguished as four princi. garden was situated. We are constrain- pal rivers, four capilal streams; a preed, therefore, to reject the idea of but vailing sense of the word 'head' in the a single river being intended. We original, denoting the chief or principal adopt also the opinion, that the phrase of any thing to which it is applied. As
from thence' (bun mishsham) is in- to the sense of sources or fountaindicative rather of time than of place; heads, it is supported by no instance a sense which it undoubtedly has in the whatever of such an usage. It is here following among other passages, Hos. clearly synomynous with 'river,' as ap2. 15, “And I will give her vineyards pears from v. 13, where it is said that from thence (bun),'i. e. from that time, the name of the second river'-one of afterwards. Is. 65. 20, “There shall the abovementioned heads-'is Gihon.' b. no more thence (swr.) an infant of 11. The name of the first is Pison. days,' i. e. from that time. Thus in- The name of the first river, not the first terpreted the historian's meaning is head, v. 13. It was so called from the simply, that from the beginning four multitude, increase, or volume of its considerable rivers, including the three waters. Accordingly, the author of principal in central Asia, flowed over Ecclesiasticus, ch. 24. 25, in allusion to or along the pleasant land of Eden, this etymology, says of God, 'He fillby means of which, or some of their eth all things with his wisdom as Pi. branches, the enclosure of the garden son. As the names of the two first rivwas watered and fertilized; that at the ers here mentioned have long since betime of which he speaks neither the come obsolete, they can only be deterregion of Eden, nor the rivers them- mined by settling the locality of the selves were distinguished by names; but countries to which they are adjacent, that afterwards (owa) at a period in- and even this is a matter of no small definitely subsequent, geographical dis- difficulty from our yet imperfect tinctions arose, the extensive tract was knowledge of the geography of the divided into minor portions, and the East.—1 Which compasseth.
The rivers were 'parted,' that is, assigned original word does not always signify in geographical reckoning to particular to encircle or surround, but sometimes districts or territories embraced in the merely to pass along by the side of, to larger original whole. These rivers meander or wind its way through. It thus 'parted' were afterwards known occurs Josh. 15. 3 and 6. 16, where it by the names which he proceeds to spe- is properly rendered passed along and cify, and by the designation of which passed by ; in which sense it is probahe would help the reader to understand bly to be taken here.- - The whole the true topography of the primitive land of Havilah. So called from the Eden. As to a physical partition or name of its first and most distinguished division of a single river into different occupant, like 'land of Ashur,'' land of channels or courses, it is by no means Edom,' 'land of Zebulon,' &c. all so necessarily implied in the import of the named the individuals by whom original word. It is the proper term they were settled.
There were two for expressing that kind of conventional persons of the name of Ilavilah, one the allotment which we understand by it. son of Cush, the son of Ham, Gen. 10, See note on Gen. 25. 23. — Became 7, whose territory lay in Arabia, near into four heads. That is, came to be the Persian Gulf, Gen. 25. 18. 1 Sam.