As a theologian in the Christian ministry for 15 years, I often hear people debating about the
fate of the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve were exiled. Some people have concluded that
it was deluged by exposure to floods and other elements, while others believe it still exists in an
unreachable mystical realm. As a pastor, when I hear such assumptions, I always go back to the
Bible to try and find the facts. So what happened to the Garden of Eden?
In this article, I will be discussing more on the fate of the Garden of Eden. Join me on this
exploration and discover why God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, what
happened to the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve were exiled, and why some people
believe God removed the Garden of Eden from the earth. Read on to learn more!
Why did God remove Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden?
Most Christians believe that God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden because they had eaten from the tree of knowledge; the Bible, however, suggests otherwise. Genesis 3:22-24, “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his and also take of the tree of life and eat, and live forever-‘therefore the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken”
The punishment for eating the forbidden, as implied in Genesis 3:14-17 went to the snake, Adam and Eve, and it constituted the enmity with man, toil, and pain in childbearing, respectively. Exiled from the Garden was not a punishment for going against God’s orders. Instead, God saw that since man had already gained knowledge of good and evil, he would go ahead and eat from the tree of life and become immortal.
Many bible readers usually ignore the presence of the tree of life in the Garden. Genesis 2:9, “And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the middle of the Garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” The Bible speculates that there were two ‘special’ trees in the Garden, and God only warned Adam and Eve to not eat one. But after they ate it, they would also want to eat from the tree of life. This is why God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.
What happened to the Garden after Adam and Eve were exiled?
Genesis 3:24, “He drove out the man, and at the east of the Garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the tree of life.” This last mention of the Garden of Eden hints at what became of it after Adam and Eve left. The most common assumption is that the Garden of Eden was located in Mesopotamia, where the modern Tigris and Euphrates rivers are. However, the place is very arid and infertile, which resembles nothing of the beautiful paradise suggested in the Bible. These theories go further to credit the state of today’s Mesopotamian region to floods and the consequences of nature over time.
Many theologians have embraced this theory with the defense that God left it to nature to take its cause. However, if it were so, then there, what was the need to have the cherubim and a flaming sword protect the tree of life in the Garden? This question makes the argument that the Garden of Eden exists in an unreachable outer celestial realm more realistic. It only makes sense that God would hide from man a garden guarded by a flaming sword just as he hides His proper form from him.
Other biblical scholars also back up the argument that natural causes destroyed the Garden of Eden. They, however, say that the Garden was not located where the present-day Tigris and Euphrates rivers are because geological occurrences changed the flow of the rivers.
What does the Bible say about the Garden of Eden after the fall of man?
Not much is said about the Garden of Eden after man is exiled from it. Genesis 3:24, “He drove out the man, and at the east of the Garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the tree of life.” The Bible speculates that after Adam and Eve had been driven out of the Garden, God placed the cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the tree of life.
Since Adam and Eve had already gained knowledge of good and evil, chances were that they would want to eat from the tree of life and gain immortality. However, this was not in their best interest since they had already been cursed with a life of pain and toil. God knew that immortality would only prolong their suffering. Now, outside of Adam and Eve’s story, the Bible does not mention the Garden of Eden, and as far as the scripture goes, the Garden remains guarded.
Though some theologians have concluded that the Garden was later destroyed during the floods in Noah’s times, as implied in genesis 6:17, it is not specified that the Garden of Eden was destroyed in the process.
Why do some people believe that God removed the Garden from the earth?
There are many assumptions about the Garden of Eden; some believe it was symbolic and that Adam and Eve did not exist. While such beliefs are arguable regarding the Bible, one that even theologians and historical scholars haven’t been able to validate is the belief that God removed the Garden from the earth. However, much of this argument lacks evidence to back it up, and it is the most understandable.
Ezekiel 31:9, “I made it beautiful in the mass of its branches, and all the trees of Eden envied it that were in the Garden of God.” According to this verse, there is the implication that the Garden of Eden is the Garden of God and still exists even though the timeline is different. This also nullifies the argument that the Garden was destroyed during the floods of Noah. Therefore since there is a surety that the Garden still exists and there is no evidence of it on earth, God might have removed it from the earth.
Those who believe in this also argue that there is no way the tree of life would have been destroyed or left in the sight of humans. If the cherubim and a flaming sword protected it, it is highly likely that it is kept out of sight for humans and exists in an outer celestial realm that is not reachable to humans.
Why do some scholars argue that Noah’s flood displaced the Garden of Eden?
According to some scholars, there is no evidence of the Garden of Eden today because of a catastrophic incident that took place and wiped it away. The incident, in this case, is the floods that took place during Noah’s time. Noah’s floods were the first significant incident that took place that could have been able to wipe out the entire Garden of Eden. These scholars argue that since Adam died at 930 years if you do a follow-up of his generation, you will determine that Noah was born 126 years after Adam died. Therefore his birth was 1056 years after creation.
The floods happened when Noah was 600 years old, meaning they happened 1656 years after creation and 756 years after the death of Adam. Throughout that time, no event was catastrophic enough to destroy the world until the floods. Therefore, these scholars believe that the Garden of Eden was the first destructive force that changed the earth’s landscape and displaced the Garden of Eden.
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.