Genesis 2:1-8. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed.
Everything was ready for man’s use, every fruit-bearing tree for his nourishment, every creature to do his bidding, for it was the will of God that he should “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” God did not place the man formed in his image, after his likeness, in an unfurnished house or an empty world, and leave him to provide for himself all that he required but he prepared everything that man could possibly need, and completed the whole plan by planting “a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.”
Genesis 2:9. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
That tree of life in the midst of the earthly paradise was to be symbolic of another tree of life in the paradise above, from which the children of God shall never be driven as Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden.
Genesis 2:10-14. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
That river in Eden also reminds us of the “pure river of water of life clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb,” of which we read almost at the end of the Revelation that was given to John in Patmos. Thus the beginning and the end of the Bible call our attention to the tree of life and the river of life in the paradise below and the better paradise above.
Genesis 2:15. And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden;of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
There was to be occupation for man even in paradise, just as they who are before the throne of God in glory “serve him day and night in his temple.” Idleness gives no joy, but holy employment will add to the bliss of heaven.
Genesis 2:16-17. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden, thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Apparently, Adam was not forbidden to eat of the fruit of the tree of life, though, after his fail, he was cast out of Eden, as God said, “lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.” He might freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden except one: “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it.” It was a slight prohibition, yet the test was more than man, even in a state of innocence, was able to endure, and, alas! his failure involved all his descendants, for he was the federal head of the human race, and “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men.” Happily, there is another federal Head, and therefore we read, “For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”