195 – A WATERED GARDEN 3
Waters, in the Scriptures, symbolize many peoples. “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues” (Rev. 17:15). Therefore, rivers are a picture of powerful kingdoms and nations. The tributaries are the small kingdoms that serve the tyrants and despots. The great conquerors of the ancient times are described in the Scriptures as rivers. Egypt, the kingdom of the fabulous pyramids, the marvelous kingdom of the Pharaohs, a people who had made great progress in Medicine, Astronomy, Math, etc. For its conquests, it is compared to the Nile River. Jeremiah said, “Who is this that rises like the Nile, like the rivers whose waters surge about? Egypt rises like the Nile, even like the rivers whose waters surge about; and He has said, ‘I will rise and cover that land; I will surely destroy the city and its inhabitants” (Jer. 46:7-8). The prophet Ezekiel reveals to us that Pharaoh is a figure of Satan, because the dragon is the devil, or Satan, as we read in Rev. 12:9. “Thus says Jehovah God, ‘Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the great monster that lies in the midst of the rivers, that has said, “My Nile is mine, and I myself have made it.”’” (Ezek. 29:3).
When Jehovah took Jacob and his family to Egypt, a time when Joseph was the right arm of the great monster, that is, Pharaoh, Jehovah was taking the future people of Israel to be conceived in the hands of the dragon, which at first allures with fine treats, but in the end enslaves and perverts. They went up to Egypt by the monster’s invitation, sixty-six souls (Gen. 46:26). When they became slaves, they were nearing two billion men, perverted in Egypt, edifying the cities of the great monster, that is, Pharaoh, says Moses. “You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes” (Lev. 18:3). The Nile River is one of the four rivers mentioned in Gen. 2:10-14.
The second river to bathe the Garden of Eden is the River Jordan. The River Jordan? Yes, the River Jordan, for this river watered the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. When Abraham and Lot separated from each other, Lot chose the valley of the Jordan River. “And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere—this was before Jehovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of Jehovah, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar” (Gen. 13:10).
The River Jordan is the symbol of death and corruption. The theological interpretation of the River Jordan is that, just as Israel crossed the Jordan to enter Canaan and the waters opened apart, in the same way the Christians who are saved by Jesus Christ will go through the Jordan of death to enter into the heavenly Canaan. This idea was depicted in the famous book of John Bunyan, “The Pilgrim.”
The truth is that the Canaanite, a sodomite people, inhabited Canaan. “And the territory of the Canaanite extended from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; as you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha” (Gen. 10:19). Jehovah did not drive the sodomite Canaanite away from Canaan, and so slavery and sodomy watered Israel in the Garden of Jehovah. This is the second river of the Garden of Eden. We read in the book Judges, “Now these are the nations which Jehovah left, to test Israel by them” (Judg. 3:1). Israel lived for 400 years around the sodomite Canaanite, of which 114 as captives, forced to all kinds of violence and degeneration. The seven captivities were: Judges 3:8 (eight years), 3:14 (eighteen years), 4:3 (twenty years), 6:1 (seven years), 10:7-8 (eighteen years), and 13:1 (forty years). They were, for 111 years, bathed in sodomy by force. The captivity under Abimelech, of three years, was different (9:22). Jesus would never give his people, the Christians, as captives to sodomites. On the contrary, Jesus delivers those whom Jehovah handed in to them (1 Cor. 6:10-11).
The third river that Jehovah used to bathe his Garden of Eden was the Assyria. “Now, therefore, behold, Jehovah is about to bring on them the strong and abundant waters of the Euphrates, even the king of Assyria and all his glory; and it will rise up over all its channels and go over all its banks. Then it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass through, it will reach even to the neck” (Is. 8:7-8). This prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled in 2 Kings 17:19-23. In the Assyrian captivity, the ten tribes of the kingdom of the north totally disappeared, remaining only the kingdom of the south, that is Judah, where the city of Jerusalem is, the habitation of Jehovah. “And some of the heads of father’s households, when they arrived at the house of Jehovah which is in Jerusalem” (Ezra 2:68). “Blessed be Jehovah from Zion, who dwells in Jerusalem” (Ps. 135:21).
The kingdom of the north was added to the Assyrian kingdom, and its indecent costumes and its idolatry consumed them. So the third river of the Garden of Eden bathed Israel—the Tiger.
The fourth river is the Euphrates, which passed through the city of Babylon. In the same way as Jehovah destroyed Israel by the Assyrian armies—for Jehovah calls himself Jehovah Tzeabaoth (Lord of the Armies)—his intention was to destroy the kingdom of Judah also. “And Jehovah said, ‘I will remove Judah also from My sight, as I have removed Israel. And I will cast off Jerusalem, this city which I have chosen, and the temple of which I said, “My name shall be there.”’” (2 Kings 23:27). And since Jehovah executed his destructive plan, the prophet Jeremiah declared what Jehovah said: “‘I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight. And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and I have given him also the wild animals of the field to serve him. And all the nations shall serve him, and his son, and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes; then many nations and great kings will make him their servant. And it will be, that the nation or the kingdom which will not serve him, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and which will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence,’ declares Jehovah, ‘until I have destroyed it by his hand.’” (Jer. 27:5-8). It is strange that the good God, the God revealed by Jesus, who wishes to save all men (Matt. 19:16-17; John 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:3-4), would be the same Jehovah who is pleased with the cruelties and slaughters of king Nebuchadnezzar, and calls him servant. This is hard to accept. He destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple by fire. “Then they burned the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem and burned all its fortified buildings with fire, and destroyed all its valuable articles. And those who had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia” (2 Chr. 36:19-20). What is unbelievable and monstrous is that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, pleased Jehovah. It is the same with Satan. When Satan tempted Jesus, he said, “All this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me” (Luke 4:5-8). It is scary. If Jehovah handed the righteous Job in the hands of Satan, it is obvious that he hands in the sinners and the evil men in his hands also. If anyone rebels, the very Jehovah destroys this one, for he has destroyed two of his own kingdoms, created for his own glory (Is. 43:7).
Jehovah will not show more mercy towards the Gentiles than he has shown towards the Jews. In Is. 14:4,11-15 the prophecy against the devil, whose figure is Nebuchadnezzar, is registered. In Gen. 2:8-14 the project of Jehovah has never been to water his garden with love and kindness, but with corruption, sodomy, wicked slavery, vengeances, and curses. This was how the Garden of Eden was bathed. This method was so ineffective that Jehovah rejected and destroyed all of them.
Let us meditate on the saving work of Jesus Christ. “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Heb. 2:3).
by PASTOR OLAVO SILVEIRA PEREIRA