The First Gardener

If you’re a gardener, did you know you’ve gone back to your roots? Even if you are the first person in your known family line to work the soil, you’re still following in your ancestor’s footsteps. We all are – because we’re all related to the first gardener.

The first gardener was Adam, the first man created by Elohim, as documented in the book of Genesis. “The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed….Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” (Genesis 2:8,15) Elohim created the garden for Adam and Eve, to live in and eat from. Adam’s job was to “tend and keep it.” But what does that mean?

The Hebrew word for “tend” is עבד , pronounced avad, which means, “to work, to serve as subjects, to serve (God).” Elohim assigned the duty of working in the Garden to Adam as his service to his Creator. His other duty was to keep and watch over the Garden. The Hebrew word for “keep” is שמר , pronounced shamar, which means, “to have charge of, to guard, to keep watch over, to protect, to keep (within bounds), to preserve.”

Adam was charged to keep watch over the Garden – to keep watch over his home – and make sure it was protected and kept within the bounds of Elohim’s domain. He was to serve his creator by keeping out the enemy (the serpent, otherwise known as hasatan) and making sure that his wife and his future children obeyed the King of the Universe. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve disobeyed Elohim, were kicked out of the Garden, and had a curse placed on them.

Which leads to the next question. Why did Adam receive the curse that he did? To understand that, you have to understand what it was like to tend the Garden of Eden. Adam was the first gardener, but he didn’t work the Garden of Eden the way you’d think. According to Jewish teachings, Adam spoke to the Garden to tend it. As a man created in the image of Elohim, Adam had the power to speak to creation. In Genesis 1:26, Elohim gave Adam and Eve dominion over all creation, so Adam knew he could command the plants in the Garden.

Can you imagine going out to your garden and commanding it to live, grow, produce, thrive? How awesome is that? How easy is that? No back-breaking work, no fighting insects and disease, no hours toiling under a hot summer sun. Would you call that heaven on earth? I would!

Well, that easy gardening all ended when Adam and Eve disobeyed. Once they were put out of the Garden of Eden, Elohim told Adam the consequences of his sin:

“…“Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:17b-19)

So, you see, Adam’s disobedience led to the curse of the land producing thorns and thistles (weeds and bugs and diseases?), and, thus, he would have to toil so hard for his food that he would sweat. No more commanding the plants; he lost his authority because he gave it over to the enemy of our souls (the serpent, aka hasatan). Now, he had to WORK the soil, toil over it, be subject to the curse of the land.

And that’s the story of the first gardener. We can all relate to the sometimes back-breaking work of tending and keeping our own gardens. Don’t you wish we could relate to the original way Adam gardened when he was in Eden?

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