Genesis 3:24 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 3:24, NIV: "After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life."

Genesis 3:24, ESV: "He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life."

Genesis 3:24, KJV: "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."

Genesis 3:24, NASB: "So He drove the man out; and at the east of the Garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life."

Genesis 3:24, NLT: "After sending them out, the LORD God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life."

Genesis 3:24, CSB: "He drove the man out and stationed the cherubim and the flaming, whirling sword east of the garden of Eden to guard the way to the tree of life."

What does Genesis 3:24 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Genesis 3 ends with our last glimpse of the Garden of Eden, of the paradise God had built for the first humans. Sinful man could not be allowed to become immortal by eating from the Tree of Life. While this might seem cruel, it is actually an act of mercy. Existing forever in a fallen, earthly state, separated from God, would have been a fate worse than death. Humans die, but we have the opportunity at an eternal, restored relationship afterwards. Preventing access to the Tree of Life is so essential to God that He sets a guard at the entrance to the garden.

The Bible describes different varieties of angels. Angels are not former or future humans. They are specially created race of supernatural beings that serve God and carry out His plans in heaven and on earth. God's Word tells us many things about them, but there is clearly much we do not know.

This is the first mention of a cherubim in Scripture. Cherubim angels are mentioned over 90 times in the Old Testament. Ezekiel 1 and 10 describe them as powerful winged creatures. They almost always serve in the capacity of guarding or protecting what belongs to God or even His own presence. Here a cherubim is assigned to guard the way to the Tree of Life.