Friday, October 1, 2010

If Eden Was Created Good, Why Should Adam Tend and Keep it?

Q: Dear sir, I want u to make me understand a logic from the Book of Genesis. When we open Chapter no 2 verse no 15 we read "And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it". I want to know about the words "dress it" and "keep it". We know when God made the garden he made it perfect saying that "[it] is good" (Gen 1:4 ,10 , 12 ,18 ,21 , 25), then what is need to dress it? What is the reason to keep it? We know there is no other man. And animals and bird are already in the garden.

A: The Bible clearly reveals that Adam was not made inside the Garden of Eden but outside in the wildness of the earth dust, then placed him inside the Garden (Gen 2:7-8). When you connect Gen 1:26-27 to Gen 2:15, it clearly shows that the whole earth was not fully a Garden but only a portion of it and therefore God expected Adam to tend the Garden and keep it in order to multiply and extend it eventually and fill the earth with it. 

In Gen 2:15'to keep' in Hebrew is 'shamar [pronounced shaw-mar]' which means ' to hedge about (as with thorns), that is, guard; generally to protect, attend to, etc.: - beware, be circumspect, take heed (to self), keep (-er, self), mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save (self), sure, (that lay) wait (for), watch (-man).' and 'to dress' in Hebrew is 'abad [pronounced aw-bad]' which means 'to work (in any sense); by implication to serve, till, (causatively) enslave, etc.: -  X be, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, do, dress, ear, execute, + husbandman, keep, labour (-ing man), bring to pass, (cause to, make to) serve (-ing, self), (be, become) servant (-s), do (use) service, till (-er), transgress [from margin](set a) work, be wrought, worshipper.' 

In short when we take the root word and see the various meanings behind the two words, the clear implication to keep and dress the Garden of Eden is twofold. One is spiritual and the other is physical. On the physical level, the Garden was perfect and in the spiritual level the Garden must be guarded by Adam from sin which was lurking behind to get in to the Garden of Eden and then the entire Earth after it (Rom 5:12). Adam was assigned to be dressed spiritually with God's righteousness as an abandoned worshiper of God. In the physical level Adam was to take heed to Gen 1:28 command of God and then bring it to fulfillment by serving only God through being a bond-servant in obedience to His one and only command to not eat the fruit of the knowledge of the tree of good and evil (Gen 2:17). But sadly Adam took the wrong choice and failed in both the realm.

Because of Adam's failure, Satan through sin took dominion over the entire earth. Thank God, Jesus mercifully and gracefully came as the last Adam to restore the same dominion to us who have become God's children again by believing Jesus (1 Cor 15:45; Rom 5:19, 21; John 1:12).      

Man was put inside the Garden of Eden with a mission to "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over...." (Gen 1:28). So it is by tending (dressing) and keeping  the Garden of Eden that this mission of dominion over earth can be progressively fulfilled.  


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