In this series we are going to deal with the concept of the Garden of Eden, or Gan Eden, in Hebrew. This term is related to eschatology, so let’s look at the Jewish eschatological view first. Most people look at eschatology on linear timelines like this:
Olam Haba)_______________________7000 years__________________________(Olam Haba
But time should be understood as “circular” so the Olam Haba (world to come-Heb 6.5) is before creation, and after, so that when the circle is completed at the top, you have the Olam Haba again. The first day of creation was Tishri 1, man was created on Tishri 6, the first Sabbath was Tishri 7 and Adam sinned on Tishri 10, the day that would become Yom Kippur (according to Jewish thought). So, there were 4 days from the creation of man to Tishri 10. Yeshua comes in year 4000 from creation, and one day is like a thousand years (Psa 90.4; 2 Pet 3.8). Right after man was created it started a time period called the Olam ha Zeh (Matt 24.1) which lasts 6000 years, then there is a 1000 year period called the Atid Lavo (future age):
Olam Haba)|______ Olam ha Zeh (6000 yr)________|__Atid Lavo (1000 yr)__|)Olam Haba
The original heaven and earth was in the Garden of Eden before man fell. After Adam sinned, the creation was changed and we have a second heaven and earth. Man has extended lifespans, but there is sin and death now. Gen 1.7 seems to indicate a “canopy” above the earth and this canopy filtered harmful rays from the sun so that man lived many centuries. However, in Gen 7.4 it says that the windows of heaven were opened and it rained for 40 days and nights. After the flood, these lifespans began to drop. Jacob was 136 and Pharaoh was surprised to see someone that old because it was rare. Today if it rained all over the earth, it would last about eight minutes. So, this canopy had something to do with the long lifespan. That water in the heavens is no longer there. The nature of all the animals was different. Man may not have eaten meat before the flood. So, the second heaven and earth lasted from the first sin to the flood. The third heaven and earth will go from the flood to the Atid Lavo. Isa 65.17 talks about the fourth heaven and earth, which will last from the Atid Lavo to the Olam Haba. What happened to the third? It was “reformed” and not made “new”, that is an important point to remember. The fifth and last heavens and earth will begin at the Olam Haba, when everything has been restored to like it was in the Garden of Eden. Earth was created for man. 2 Pet 3.4-12 gives us a description of how this process happens.
In Gen 10.25 we read about Peleg, when the earth was divided. When you look at a map of the world, you can see how the continents may have “fit together” and them divided. This happened during the days of Peleg. Animals in the “old world” were gone in the “new” but later “reappeared.” For example, horses were in North America before the flood. There were also elephants in the fossil record. But the horse didn’t come back till the Spaniards came, and elephants even live here now. The flood caused the mountains and water collected in low basins called “sea’s.” 2 Pet 3.10-13 talks about the process of how there will be a new heaven and earth. The earth is not going to “burn up” but it will go through changes, and so will the heavens, just like after the flood.
The last 1000 years is called the Atid Lavo, and it is also called the “Day of the Lord.” This is the fourth new heavens and earth.” Man lives longer, houses and cities are built, but there is also sin and death. But, this time period must be understood. For example, when you read John 16.23 it says “in that day” you will ask no question, and if you ask the Father for anything, he will give it to you. Now, go to Isa 65.24 and when the Lord comes, you will see that Yeshua is referring back to the time in Isa 65.
Rev 21.1 refers to a new heaven and new earth, and this is called the Olam Haba, the fifth and final new heaven and earth. IN this verse we learn that we have come back to the Garden of Eden, the original creation. That is why when you do a timeline, it should be circular, and the Olam Haba is “before” and “after” on a linear timeline, but not on a circular one.
We learn that water flowed out of Eden, where the throne of God was on earth. Water comes out of the throne, or Kodesh ha Kodeshim, in Jer 17 and Ezek 43. In Ezek 47.1-12 it flows out, to the south of the altar through the south gate and out to the valley to the Dead Sea, then to Ein Gedi. Part of the Dead Sea will have fish, but part will still have salt. The source of living water to the Dead Sea comes from the Temple, and the throne of God. The reason part of the Dead Sea will still have salt is because it is still under a curse because of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim. It was a plain, but it became a sinkhole and the Dead Sea in the north will stay cursed because that is where Sodom is. Don’t waste your time on those who say they have found Sodom because they haven’t.
We also learn in Zech 14.8 that living water will flow out of Jerusalem, some to the Dead Sea and some to the Mediterranean Sea. The time frame for this is “in that day” or the Day of the Lord. So, before we move on these eschatological ages, the concept of the new heavens and new earth and the circular timeline and the Olam Haba needs to be understood. The Olam Haba will also go by the name “Gan Eden” in Hebrew thought. The Garden of Eden will have three aspects to it. It will equal the Kodesh ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holies) and the throne of God, it will equal the original heaven and earth and it will equal the Olam Haba.
The Olam ha Zeh of 6000 years is divided into three parts of 2000 years each:
|_Tohu (destruction)__|_Torah (instruction)_|_Yomot Mashiach (days/Messiah)_|_Atid Lavo|
Yeshua came in the year 4000, but the above timeline is from Orthodox Judaism, and from people who do not believe Yeshua was the Messiah. But, it is interesting that they believed the Messiah came 2000 years ago. In the same way as the timeline, our lives go from “tohu” (destruction) to “torah” (instruction) to the “yomot mashiach” (days of the Messiah to the Atid Lavo (the coming age).
Now, there are passages that say that the Olam Haba is going to be when we get to the Yom’ot Mashiach. Yeshua is in the Olam Haba but he was also in the Yomot Mashiach. He resurrected along with some believers and they are in the Olam Haba, but appeared in the Olam ha Zeh and the Yomot Mashiach. So, these time periods will overlap depending on what your state of being is. There are other Scriptures that say the Olam Haba begins at the Atid Lavo. For example, when Yeshua returns on Yom Kippur, the eschatological age is the Atid Lavo, but believers in glorified bodies and in the Olam Haba return with him. That means that there will be believers in the Olam Haba with believers still in the Atid Lavo co-existing.
In Part 2, we will pick up here with more eschatological concepts that relate to the Garden of Eden, and begin to develop this concept and how it relates to Adam and Eve and what exactly happened. Once we see that, we will apply what we have learned to our own lives. What we are going to see is that the same attack and the same problem they had still comes against us today.