Dear Dr. Victoria,
At the time of Adam and Eve, was the Mountain of God part of, or separate from, the Earth?
Great question, Linda! Yet, to answer this, we must do what (in Hebrew) is called a midrash. This is the process of conceptualizing a subject by weaving different Scriptures together to get a more complete picture.
Let’s start at the very beginning… literally.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1 TLV).
As a Hebraic-roots teacher, I always encourage students to look closer at Scripture, to see the multi-faceted meanings that lay beneath the surface. To understand the concept of “heaven and earth,” we must understand the phrase does not mean a separate place called Heaven and a separate place called Earth, but rather a conjoined or tandem conception like a house on a boat, i.e., a houseboat, or a watch on a wrist, i.e., wristwatch. Heaven-and-Earth were intimately connected – married.
God created them both – together on the first day.
Connected by a staircase where angels moved up and down to minister and communicate messages, the heavens (shamayim) were spiritual and ethereal, while the Earth was physical and tangible. In the beginning, Adam and Eve, being made from the physical matter of the Earth, were also spiritual beings designed to live forever with God and among the angels in Eden located on God’s Holy Mountain. After making man from Earth, God brings him to the garden that He planted so that he could care for it and rest in it.
8 Then Adonai Elohim planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9 Then Adonai Elohim caused to sprout from the ground every tree that was desirable to look at and good for food. Now the Tree of Life was in the middle of the garden, and also the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:8-9 TLV).
Then Adonai Elohim took the man and gave him rest in the Garden of Eden in order to cultivate and watch over it. Then Adonai Elohim commanded the man saying, “From all the trees of the garden you are most welcome to eat (Genesis 2:15-16 TLV).
This beautiful picture of the Holy Mountain where God’s Throne sits within the Heavenly Temple, and where He placed the angelic creatures was revealed to Jacob in a dream.
Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the Earth, with its top reaching to Heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it (Genesis 28:10, 12-13 NIV).
The concept of God living on a Holy Mountain is a significant theme in the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, this mountain frames the entire Bible. It begins with Eden in Genesis and ends with the New Jerusalem coming down to join with the physical Jerusalem depicted in Revelation. In Genesis, the garden’s elevated location is indicated by the fact that a single river flows out of Eden before dividing (an image of cascading down) to become four rivers (see Genesis 2:10–14).
We can gather that Eden was on God’s Mountain from the prophet Ezekiel as he describes the guardian cherub we know now as Satan.
You were in Eden. It was my garden. All kinds of jewels decorated you. Here is a list of them, carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made out of gold. On the day you were created, they were prepared. 14 I appointed you to be like a guardian angel. I anointed you for that purpose. You were on my holy mountain. You walked among the gleaming jewels (Ezekiel 28:13-14 NIRV).
After the fall, we can also determine that Adam and Eve lost their glory and ability to live in a spiritual state among the angels. They were sent out of the garden, descending down that staircase to the physical Earth.
So, the Lord God sent them out of the Garden of Eden, where they would have to work the ground from which the man had been made. 24 Then God put winged creatures at the entrance to the garden and a flaming, flashing sword to guard the way to the life-giving tree (Genesis 3:23,24 CEV).
Satan was also thrown out of God’s Presence.
Your heart was exalted because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. I threw you down to the Earth. (Ezekiel 28:17 TLV).
Leaping to the New Testament, the concept of a holy mountain city is linked to New Jerusalem.
Then with the help of the Spirit, he took me to the top of a very high mountain. There he showed me the holy city of Jerusalem coming down from God in heaven. (Revelation 21:10 CEV).
This mountain of the New Jerusalem resonates with the pattern found in the Old Testament. God dwells in a holy mountain city, and those who will dwell with him must be holy in order to live within this Holy Kingdom.
One day, God will restore redeemed mankind back to their original state—glorified, living with the angels, and dwelling with God on His Holy Mountain. All things will be restored. Eden will be open to all who have been refined by His two-edged sword that divides between soul and spirit. (See Hebrews 4:12)
Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities. To him winning the victory, I will give the right to eat from the Tree of Life which is in God’s Gan-‘Eden” (Revelation 2:7 CJB).
And so, to answer your question, Linda, while in the beginning, the Mountain of God was not a physical part of the Earth, it wasn’t separate from it either. This deeply spiritual place was connected by a staircase or maybe better understood, a spiritual portal. One day that portal will be open once again. Can you imagine how glorious it will be to walk among the survivors on the Earth, teaching them the Holy Ways of the Kingdom? And then to travel up that staircase, greet the angel that guards the entrance, and enter into the sacred rest of this beautiful garden on God’s Holy Mountain? I’m at a loss for words!