And the Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." NIV
Then the Lord God said, "Now these human beings have become like one of us and have knowledge of what is good and what is bad. They must not be allowed to take fruit from the tree that gives life, eat it, and live forever." TEV
God wanted people to live forever in heaven in a perfect state. However, in the sinful state they would have to be banished from God's presence forever. God had a plan. He would separate people from their sinful, damaged bodies through death so that he could give them perfect bodies in heaven after they accepted a pardon for their sins, paid for in full by Jesus Christ. In this way the physical death was an expression of God's love for his created people. The brokenness would be healed eventually and permanently.
(men / gate, door)
So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. NIV
So the Lord God sent them out of the Garden of Eden and made them cultivate the soil from which they had been formed. TEV
God placed a barrier around the Garden of Eden to prevent entry. Dr. Nelson
traces old characters of a tree within the gate (door) as meaning barrier.
However, a tree within the simplified character for gate now means leisure and idle. The dictionary indicates that its predecessor was a moon within the gate, not a tree.
(xian / leisure, idle)
A (xin / heart) within the gate can mean (men / sealed, tightly closed), like the new border, but it can also mean bored, depressed. Though their new status was certainly depressing, the workload minimized any boredom and leisure.
After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword slashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. NIV
Then at the east side of the garden he put living creatures and a flaming sword which turned in all directions. This was to keep anyone from coming near the tree that gives life. TEV
Dr. Nelson interprets (huo / fire) within the gate as
"firey, glorious", a reference to the flaming sword.
. The Besta dictionary recognizes the traditional character but gives no definition. It has not yet been found in the Oxford dictionary. So this has not been verified.
The (ri / sun) within the gate is (jian / separate, divide), perhaps reflecting the brightness of the flaming sword that separated the people from the Garden of Eden.
The weapon (ge / spear, sword, ancient dagger-axe) within the gate gives the meaning of (fa / strong man, powerful person), an appropriate designation for the creature with the flaming sword. The first two people were (he / cut off) from the Garden of Eden forever.
Dr. Nelson suggests that Adam and Eve went regularly to the east gate of the Garden of Eden to meet with God and offer sacrifices. The practice developed into the later Chinese Border Sacrifices, conducted at least annually by the Emperor until 1911.
The (kou / mouth) character within the gate became
"inquire, ask", as they sought God's guidance.
(wen / ask, inquire)
(er / ear)
The ear character within the gate became "hear, listen", for God's instructions.
(wen / hear, listen)
The Tree of Life (obviously removed from the earth) is never mentioned again until the end of the Bible. There access to it is promised as a reward to the faithful (Rev. 2:7). At the end of time God will provide the new heavens and new earth (Rev. 21:1-4), perfect again as he intended. The Tree of Life is no longer a single tree but abundant and ever fruitful.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. NIV
The angel also showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal, and coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb and flowing down the middle of the city's street. On each side of the river was the tree of life, which bears fruit twelve times a year, once each month; and its leaves are for the healing of the nations. TEV
The true Gate to Heaven and the Tree of Life
on Hengshan Mountain, Hunan Province, China.
The sign in the clouds proclaims "Heaven's South Gate", but it is not the real gate to heaven.
John 10:7-10 As a metaphor, Jesus Christ calls his human followers "sheep"
Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. NIV
So Jesus said again, "I am telling you the truth: I am the gate for the sheep. All others who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Those who come in by me will be saved; they will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life-life in all its fulness. TEV
Jesus Christ makes another exclusive (and unpopular) claim to be the only
way to God (Father) and heaven:
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." NIV
Jesus answered him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me." TEV
Beginning, Oracle Bones, God, Water, Earth, Mankind, Adam, Eve, Good Tree, Bad Tree, Penalty, Clothes, Lamb, Gate, Murder, Flood, Lifespans, Scattering, Border Sacrifice, Genesis 1 to 11