Spiritual aspects of land

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Scripture presents land in a spiritual perspective. The whole earth, once perfect but now contaminated by the fall, will one day be renewed. There will be a new heaven and earth where life is abundant and God’s presence is experienced for ever.

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Eden: the original good land

Genesis 2:8–9 KJV 1900
And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Paradise lost: expulsion from the garden

Genesis 3:17–19 KJV 1900
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
See also Ro 8:19–20

The promised land: an echo of Eden

Deuteronomy 8:7–10 KJV 1900
For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass. When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.
See also Ex 3:8; Ex 3:17; Ex 13:5; Le 20:24; Nu 13:27; Dt 6:3; Dt 11:8–12; Dt 26:9; Dt 27:3

The land of Israel after the exile

Promise of a return to the land

Amos 9:14–15 KJV 1900
And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, And they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; And they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; They shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, And they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, Saith the Lord thy God.
See also Is 14:1; Is 35:1–10; Eze 20:41–42; Eze 34:11–13; Am 9:11–12; Ac 15:16–17

Promise of a restored environment

Isaiah 51:3 KJV 1900
For the Lord shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; And he will make her wilderness like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the Lord; Joy and gladness shall be found therein, Thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
See also Zec 8:12–13

The final restoration of the land

Isaiah 65:17 KJV 1900
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: And the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
See also Is 66:22; Ro 8:21

Jesus Christ will reign eternally over new heavens and a new earth

Zechariah 9:9–10 KJV 1900
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: Behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; Lowly, and riding upon an ass, And upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, And the horse from Jerusalem, And the battle bow shall be cut off: And he shall speak peace unto the heathen: And his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, And from the river even to the ends of the earth.
See also Mt 21:5; Jn 12:15; 2 Pe 3:13; Re 21:1–4; Re 22:1–5

Vision of life on the new earth

Isaiah 11:6–9 KJV 1900
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, And the leopard shall lie down with the kid; And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; Their young ones shall lie down together: And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, And the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea.
See also Ho 2:18–23; Mic 4:2–4

The new Eden: the Christian’s inheritance

Hebrews 11:13–16 KJV 1900
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
See also Ps 37:11; Mt 5:5; Ro 8:17; 2 Pe 3:13; Re 2:7; Re 21:7

“paradise” is a Persian word taken over into the Greek, meaning “park” or “garden”. In Ge 2:8 it refers to Eden:

Lk 23:43; 2 Co 12:1–4
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