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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

That Eden extended to the Mediterranean, or "Great Sea," appears from Ezekiel's prophecy against Tyre.

Addressing the Tyrian royalty, he says, "Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God.

Thou wast upon the holy mountain of God.

Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

Therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God.

Thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more".

The meaning of this is obvious to one acquainted with the history of the kingdom of Tyre.

It was a royalty of Palestine in Upper Galilee, whose king, Hiram, was in intimate alliance with Solomon.

He appears to have been a proselyte worshipper of the God of Israel; whom his successors some time afterwards forsook; and therefore God suppressed the kingdom of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar for seventy years; and finally by the Greeks.

Eden has been a field of blood from the beginning of the contest between the "Seed of the Woman" and the "Seed of the Serpent," until now; and will yet continue to be until the serpent power be broken upon the mountains of Israel.

It was in Eden that Abel died by the hand of Cain.

There also Abel's antitype was wounded in the heel, when put to death upon the accursed tree; and lastly, to fill up the measure of iniquity of the blood-defiled land, the serpents of Israel slew the son of Barachias between the temple and altar.

But the blood of God's saints shed in Eden, did not cry to Him for vengeance without effect: for as the Lord Jesus declared, so it came to pass.

"Behold," said he to the vipers of his day, "I send you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and some of them ye will kill and crucify; and some of them ye will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city; that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the land, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zecharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar".

Eden is emphatically the Lord's land, or garden; and from the creation till the breaking off of Israel's olive branch, the principal, and almost only, theatre upon which He exhibited His wonders to the nations in the days of old.

Egypt and its wilderness may be excepted for forty years.

Beyond its limits was outer darkness.

Eden only was favoured with light, until the gospel found its way among the nations of the west; and although darkness covers the land, and gross darkness the people; yet the Lord, its light, will arise upon it and His glory shall be seen there.

THE GARDEN OF EDEN.

"And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden".

While Eden was "the East" eastward of the wilderness, the garden of Eden was eastward in Eden.

"Eden the garden of the Lord," and "the garden of Eden," are quite different ideas.

The former designates the whole of Eden as the Lord's garden; the latter, as merely a plantation in some part of it.