“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.”
King James Version (KJV)
3:24 God drove him out - This signified the exclusion of him and his guilty race from that communion with God which was the bliss and glory of paradise. But whether did he send him when he turned him out of Eden? He might justly have chased him out of the world, #Job 18:18|, but he only chased him out of the garden: he might justly have cast him down to hell, as the angels that sinned were, when they were shut out from the heavenly paradise, #2Pe 2:4|, but man was only sent to till the ground out of which he was taken. He was only sent to a place of toil, not to a place of torment. He was sent to the ground, not to the grave; to the work - house, not to the dungeon, not to the prison - house; to hold the plough, not to drag the chain: his tilling the ground would be recompensed by his eating its fruits; and his converse with the earth, whence he was taken, was improveable to good purposes, to keep him humble, and to mind him of his latter end. Observe then, That though our first parents were excluded from the privileges of their state of innocency, yet they were not abandoned to despair; God's thoughts of love designing them for a second state of probation upon new terms. And he placed at the east of the garden of Eden, a detachment of cherubim, armed with a dreadful and irresistible power, represented by flaming swords which turned every way, on that side the garden which lay next to the place whither Adam was sent, to keep the way that led to the tree of life.