In the garden flows out a river. It first humidifies paradise. From the garden the river divides into four rivers. The number four is the number of the earth (Rev 7:1a1After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.; 20:88and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.). The river is a channel of blessing. Here we see that from the garden the blessing flows out over the whole earth. In the future, in the millennial kingdom of peace, a river of water of life will flow out of the direct presence of God, out of the new temple (Eze 47:11Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar.). This river will give life and healing (Eze 47:99It will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and [the others] become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.; Rev 22:1-21Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,2in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve [kinds of] fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.).
In these rivers we can see a picture of the refreshing and rich working of God’s Spirit, which is compared with rivers of living water (Jn 7:38-3938He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”39But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet [given], because Jesus was not yet glorified.). Thereby the believer can already spiritually enjoy what will soon be generally enjoyed on earth.
Eden is the origin of blessing for the whole earth that receives this blessing, through the river that flows out of Eden, in a fourfold way. That it is an abundant blessing is already apparent from the name of the first tributary. “Pishon” means “free flowing”, “richly flowing”, “overflowing”. This can also be said of God’s blessing for the believer, for He blessed him with “all spiritual blessings in the heavenly [places]” (Eph 1:33Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ,). It says “all” and that really is all. It is all God has been able to think of to give His sons. That can only be rich and abundant.
The Pishon flows “around the whole land of Havilah”. ‘Havilah’ means ‘sand land’. This points to the earthly existence of man. But in that ‘sand land’ “gold” is present, to which is added that this gold is “good”. Connected to the river that flows around it, it is reminiscent of the work of God’s Spirit, through which the believer, who lives in “sand land”, finds God’s Word as a “great spoil” (Psa 119:162162I rejoice at Your word,
As one who finds great spoil.
). God’s Word is more precious than gold (Psa 19:1010They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
; 119:72,12772The law of Your mouth is better to me
Than thousands of gold and silver [pieces].
127Therefore I love Your commandments
Above gold, yes, above fine gold.
). Gold also speaks of the glory of God and of Christ. Through the Spirit that glory is presented to us through God’s Word. That is the ‘good gold’.
In the country Havilah are also “the bdellium and the onyx stone”. Bdellium is reminiscent of the manna (Num 11:77Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium.) and therefore of the Lord Jesus as the bread of life (Jn 6:31-3331Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.’”32Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.33For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”). The onyx stone appears on the breastplate of the high priest (Exo 28:2020and the fourth row a beryl and an onyx and a jasper; they shall be set in gold filigree.) and determines us with the Lord Jesus as our High Priest in heaven.
The name of the second river is “Gihon”, which means ‘breakthrough’. This river flows through “the whole land of Cusj”. ‘Cusj’ means ‘dark colored’ or ‘black’. This is reminiscent of man in the blackness of his sins on whom the Spirit of God works to bless him. No one is excluded from this activity of God’s Spirit.
The third river is called “Tigris”, which means ‘arrow’ or ‘fast arrow’. This river flows east of Assyria. Assyria reveals himself in Scripture as a rebel against God and the enemy of God’s people (Isa 10:5,125Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger
And the staff in whose hands is My indignation,
12So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, [He will say], “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness.”). But also to this hostile people comes the grace of God in a drastically fast manner (Isa 19:23-2523In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.24In that day Israel will be the third [party] with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth,25whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”).
The fourth river is called “Euphrates”, which means ‘lovely’ or ‘sweat water’. Where it flows, is not mentioned here. The Euphrates will be the north-eastern border of Israel in the kingdom of peace (Gen 15:1818On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying,
“To your descendants I have given this land,
From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:
). This again determines us with the general blessing that God has for every human being and for the whole earth. In order to participate in it, repentance and faith are necessary, but the call to participate may be made to all people, without exception.