Eden – figurative or literal in Ezekiel 28 & 31
Eden – figurative or literal is the next issue that David B. Curtis, of Berean Bible Church, has been speaking on, this February 1st 2015, on his part 2 message of Spiritual Warfare.
Ezekiel 28:13 –Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Ezekiel 28:13 could easily be speaking of Tyre inwhich he was born into the position he has once held.
Ezekiel 31:18 – To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
Ezekiel 31:18 simply tells us that “This is Pharaoh and all his multitude” that God was speaking about. Since God lets us know that He was speaking about “Pharaoh and all his multitude” could it be telling us that maybe this Eden is being used as a metaphor.
Something to think about.
When we read Ezekiel 31:18, in context, where we do not let one verse speak by itself but instead read some of the other verses before it to hopefully get a clearer picture on what might is being said, for it is not always good to read the conclusion first, which most of us tend to do at times, because it might make us miss what is really being said. So, to get a better idea what is being said in Ezekiel 312:18, it is best for us to read verses 2-18, or even better yet the whole chapter:
Egypt will Fall Like Assyria – Ezekiel 31 KJV
- And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
- Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude; Whom art thou like in thy greatness?
- Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.
- The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field.
- Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth.
- All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations.
- Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters.
- The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty.
- I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.
- Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height;
- I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness.
- And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him: upon the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land; and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him.
- Upon his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches:
- To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit.
- Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him.
- I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.
- They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that werehis arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.
- To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
How can “all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God,” have envied him if this was spiritually speaking about a fallen angel who goes by the name of Satan? Or, how can this Satan be delivered into the hands of the heathen who is “a person who does not belong to a widely held religion,” as in one who does not worship the one and only true God, in order to be judged? Is not this Satan the worst of them all by what we have been taught about him?
If it was not for verse 18, we might never have known really who it was speaking about who is none other than “Pharaoh and all his multitude” who has been judged by God through another nation that was being used as His instrument to bring forth the judgement.
“To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden?” Ezekiel 31:18a
“…the other trees in Eden the garden of God that envied Pharaoh, must be understood as other competing and less powerful nations and or rulers.” [by James R. Brayshaw in his vol. 1 page 256 Satan, Christianity’s Other God]
Was the king of Tyre in Eden?
So, why was the king of Tyre said to of once been in Eden which most fallen angels supporters claims is spiritually speaking of Satan?
If we are only diligent enough, we will notice that the Bible does list other references also speaking about Eden which can only be fully understood when read as a metaphor like what happens when reading poems at times.
Other Scriptures, which speaks of Eden, includes:
- Ezekiel 36:35 – And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
- Isaiah 51:3 – For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
- Joel 2:3 – A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
These verses could easily be stating that a nation had things going very well for them for that split moment in time.
When it comes to Pharaoh, that Ezekiel 31 was speaking about, John Gill thus shares:
this is Pharaoh, and all his multitude, saith the Lord God; this account represents Pharaoh, his grandeur, his pride, and his ruin; this shows what will be the end of him, and of his numerous subjects. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, “so will be Pharaoh”, &c. in like manner will he fall, and all his people with him; for the Lord God has said it, and it shall assuredly come to pass. The Targum is,
“to whom art thou like now in glory and greatness among the kings of the east? and thou shall be brought down with the kings of the east into the lower part of the earth; in the midst of sinners thou shalt sleep, with those that are slain by the sword; this is Pharaoh, and all his multitude, saith the Lord God.’
So, I end by asking, how can this be speaking about the imaginary satan many in churches these days claims it is talking about?