- Eastern Entry - To return back into Gods Holy presence in the Garden, Adam and Eve would have had to return from the east toward the west. And this is exactly what we see in the pattern of the Tabernacle and Temple, both of which are entered on the east and which have the holiest place at the western extremity where the very presence of God abides.
- Guarding Cherubim - In the same way that cherubim separated man from the tree of life in the Garden, so too the veils on the east end of the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies contain depictions of cherubim (Ex. Ex. 26:31; Ex. 36:8, Ex. 36:35; 2Chr. 2Chr. 3:14). The Ark of God within the Holy of Holies, above which Gods Shekinah glory dwelt, was overspread by cherubim (Ex. Ex. 25:22; Num. Num. 7:89; 2Chr. 2Chr. 5:7).
- Flames - The cherubim guarded the way back to the tree of life, but also to the divine presence, with a flaming sword (Gen. Gen. 3:24). Just outside each veil of separation in the Temple is found an altar upon which fire is found. The priest must pass by the bronze altar of sacrifice before entering the Holy Place, whereas the altar of incense stood before the veil into the Holy of Holies. The fire speaks of purification and judgment of sin.
- River - A river flowed from the Garden of Eden (Gen. Gen. 2:10). The Temple contained a bronze laver with water for cleansing. The Millennial Temple is the source of a river of life (Eze. Eze. 47:1). So too the New Jerusalem has a river of life (Rev. Rev. 22:1+).
- Mountain - Since a river originated in Eden and flowed outward from there, we may safely assume that the Garden was elevated above the surrounding countryside. As we have seen, the Temple stood on a mountain (Mount Moriah). The Millennial Temple will stand upon the mountain of the LORDS house (Isa. Isa. 2:2; Isa. 27:13; Isa. 30:29; Isa. 56:7; Eze. Eze. 17:24; Eze. 20:40; Eze. 40:2; Mic. Mic. 4:1) as will the New Jerusalem (Rev. Rev. 21:10+).
- Tree of Life - When man fell in the Garden, he lost access to the tree of life by which he would obtain eternal life (Gen. Gen. 2:9; Gen. 3:22). The testimony of the law of Moses was stored with the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies within the Temple. When Moses reviewed the law to the new generation about to cross the Jordan, he said Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today . . . observe-all the words of this law. . . . because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land (Deu. Deu. 32:46). Thus, the words of the law within the Holy of Holies represent the way of life. This is what Stephen referred to as the living oracles (Acts Acts 7:38). John recognized the life-giving power of Gods word when he said, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life [emphasis added] (John John 6:68). Thus, the Tree of Life in the Garden is represented by Gods word recorded in the Holy of Holies of the Temple.2 The Tree of Life in our own age, when no recognized Temple stands on the Temple Mount, is the cross of Christ. Those who embrace it regain access to eternal life.
The arrangement of the Garden of Edens landscape corresponds to that of the Tabernacle and the Temple with its furniture. Eastward movement (out of the Garden) is away from Gods presence; westward movement (through the Sanctuary) is a return [to] God. On the Day of Atonement the high priest reverses the peoples spiritual exile from God and restores them to a relationship with God (through blood sacrifice for sin). [emphasis added]3
2 [Torah scrolls are] written on parchment, sewn together, rolled onto wooden rollers called eytz chayeem (tree of life), and read regularly in the synagogue.Israel My Glory, May/June 2001, 23.