The Garden Temple of Eden
The Garden Temple of Eden was the first sanctuary on earth. In the Temple and the Church’s Mission, G.K. Beale cites Ezekiel 28 (quoted below) to support the Garden Temple of Eden as the first sanctuary.
“You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering; The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created. ” (Ezekiel 28:13-15)
In this description given by the prophet of the King of Tyre, one cannot but be impressed with the similarity of his fall and that of Adam. That Ezekiel describes the garden of Eden as a garden temple is quite interesting and significant. It shed’s light on the role of both the king of Tyre and Adam.
In some manner, the king of Tyre was a priest-king. He dwelt in the “Garden of Eden” as in the “holy mountain of God”. He walked in the midst of fiery stones or (floors paved with precious stones that shone and sparkled like fire, Clarke, Ezekiel, p. 500).
He is compared to Adam who likewise was priest-king in the Garden Temple of Eden. That priestly-kings were a design of God from creation may find support in Melchizedek, Christ and in what is said of redeemed Christians in the restored temple of God, (Eph. 2:6; 1 Pet. 2:5-6; Revelation 1:5-6. )
In addition, Egyptian priest-kings are noted in the following from Wikipedia:
Men-khepr-ra soon afterwards became king. He married a wife named Hesi-em-Kheb, who is thought to have been a descendant of Seti L, and thus gave an additional legitimacy to the dynasty of Priest-Kings. He also adorned the city of Kheb, the native place of his wife, with public buildings; but otherwise nothing is known of the events of his reign. As a general rule, the priest-kings were no more active or enterprizing than their predecessors, the Ramessides of the twentieth dynasty. http://en.wikisource_org/wiki/Ancient_Egypt_%28Rawlinson%29/The_Priest-Kings
The Sphere of Adam’s Work in the Garden Temple
Adam is charged to tend and keep the garden temple of Eden. These terms are significant. When used together, they refer not to gardening, but to serving in a priestly capacity, i.e. such as the Levites who had charge of the temple services. Therefore, Adam’s labor in the garden is related to his official status as priest-king.
This concept helps us to get a very good picture of the consequences of Adam’s fall. It sheds light upon the words used to describe his fall and why the emphasis in on the nature and sphere of his labor. For those who make the focus of the penalty and consequence suffered by Adam to be physical death, they miss entirely the significance of Adam’s fall as it relates to his priestly-king status.
It is particularly interesting that among the preceding cultic affinities drawn between Eden and Israel’s temple was the observation that the word-pair usually translated as ‘cultivate’ (‘abad) and ‘keep’ (samar) occur together in the Old Testament elsewhere referring only either of Israelites ‘serving’ God and ‘guarding’ (keeping) God’s word (approximately 10 times), or to priests who ‘keep’ the ‘service’ (or ‘charge’) of the tabernacle (5 times). Ibid, p. 81.
The Aramaic translation of Genesis 2:15 says Adam was placed in the Garden to toil in the law. It is of note that immediately after receiving the charge, Adam is presented with the penalty for failure to keep the mandate.
The Fall In The Garden Temple
Pattern interrupt! Adam disobeys God. He eats of the forbidden tree. He neglects his charge and faithful duty as priest to guard the sacred word with which he was commissioned. He fails to keep the service of the Garden Temple of Eden yields his kingly dominion to subdue the land and expand the borders of the garden temple, i.e. be fruitful and multiply and have dominion…Gen. 1:26). Thus, Adam’s sin is a violation of his role as Priest-King.
This is as far as we will venture for now on this theme of the Garden Temple of Eden and Resurrection but this concept is critical to a proper understanding of the penalty, nature of death and resurrection as it relates to the body.