In this second part of our discussion on the book of Genesis, I finish my conversation with scholar T. Desmond Alexander by examining the garden of Eden as a temple and the royal/priestly role of mankind.
The Blessing of the Firstborn
We begin the second part of our conversation on the book of Genesis by looking at the significance of the firstborn blessing to see that God subverts expectations by continually passing over the first born and giving the blessing to another child who better reflects the qualities of one who will walk in faithfulness to God’s promises. However, even when a certain family line is given the opportunity to carry on God’s promised blessing, their failure to walk in obedience means that God will cease using that family and continue his promises through another family.
God’s Royal Representatives
We then look at how Genesis describes that humans are given royal authority to rule over the earth on God’s behalf until this authority is handed over to the serpent that they were meant to rule over. This then explains why the coming of Jesus sees Satan ruling over the earth, since royal authority was given to him, and why Jesus comes as a king establishing the kingdom of God in order to reclaim humanity’s original vocation of royalty.
Priestly Role of Humanity
Not only were humans endowed by God as royal representatives, they were also priests who dwelt in God’s presence in the Garden. This is why the garden of Eden then becomes the first temple in the Bible and is reflected in the subsequent tabernacle and temple in Israel, which all depict garden imagery. As Jesus becomes the true temple where God’s presence dwells on earth, the book of Revelation then concludes with heaven and earth coming together and the whole earth becomes the temple as God’s presence fills creation.
Further Reading by our guest:
From Eden to the New Jerusalem– by T.D. Alexander
The City of God and the Goal of Creation– by T.D. Alexander
Podcast theme music provided by: Josh Mahood
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