So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way…
There is unspeakable mercy here in every respect for the erring race. The present life in the flesh was now tainted with sin and impregnated with the seeds of the curse, about to spring forth into an awful growth of moral and physical evil. It is not worth preserving for itself. It is not in any way desirable that such a dark confusion of life and death in one nature should be perpetuated. Hence there is mercy as well as judgment in the exclusion of man from that tree which could have only continued the carnal, earthly, sensual, and even devilish state of his being. Let it remain for a season until it be seen whether the seed of spiritual life will come to birth and growth, and then let death come and put a final end to the old man. But still farther, God does not annihilate the garden or its tree of life. Annihilation does not seem to be His way. It is not the way of that Omniscient One who sees the end from the beginning, of that infinite wisdom that can devise and create a self-working, self-adjusting universe of things and events. On the other hand. He sets His cherubim to keep the way of the tree of life. This paradise, then, and its tree of life are in safe keeping. They are in reserve for those who will become entitled to them after an intervening period of trial and victory, and they will reappear in all their pristine glory, and in all their beautiful adaptedness to the high-born and newborn perfection of man. The slough of that serpent nature which has been infused into man will fall off, at least from the chosen number, who take refuge in the mercy of God; and in all the freshness and freedom of a heaven-born nature will they enter into all the originally congenial enjoyments that were shadowed forth in their pristine bloom in that first scene of human bliss.
(Prof. J. G. Murphy.)
Parallel VersesKJV: So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.