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…
I. THE MERCY WITH JUDGMENT. He did not destroy the garden; he did not root up its trees and flowers.
II. He "DROVE OUT THE MAN" into his curse that he might pray for and seek for and, at last, by Divine grace, obtain once more his forfeited blessing.
III. AT THE EAST OF THE GARDEN HE PLACED THE CHERUBIMS AND THE FLAMING SWORD TURNING EVERY WAY, emblems of his natural and moral governments, which, as they execute his righteous will amongst men, do both debar them from perfect happiness and yet at the same time testify to the fact that there is such happiness for those who are prepared for it. Man outside Eden is man under law, but man under law is man preserved by Divine mercy.
IV. The PRESERVING MERCY IS THE REDEEMING MERCY. The redemption is more than deliverance from condemnation and death; it is restoration to eternal life. "Paradise lost is not paradise destroyed, but shall be hereafter paradise regained."
V. There is a special significance in the description of "THE WAY OF THE TREE OF LIFE" as closed and guarded, and therefore a way which can be afterwards opened and made free.
VI. Without pressing too closely figurative language, it is impossible, surely, to ignore in such a representation the reference to a POSITIVE REVELATION as the MEDIUM OF HUMAN DELIVERANCE AND RESTORATION. The whole of the Scripture teaching rests upon that foundation, that there is "a way, a truth, and a life which is Divinely distinguished from all others. Gradually that eastward gate of Eden has been opened, that road leading into the center of bliss has been made clear in the man Christ Jesus." - R.
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.