By janet


The Eastern Gate Press is a small Christian publishing house that I have created for my various writing projects.  Its name refers to the ancient entrance of the garden of Eden.

“He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life”

-Genesis 3:24

The image of this gate and of the cherubim blocking our way back to the tree of life is a powerful icon in my mind and evokes in me a sense of awe, longing, and hope.  It recurs throughout the Old and New Testaments in the symbolism of the tabernacle and the temple.  Eden’s only entrance was on the eastern side, and the tabernacle’s only entrance properly faced eastward as well.  The tabernacle itself was divided into two sections, the innermost of which was called the Holy of Holies and was the resting place of the ark of the covenant, the symbolic throne of God himself.  Only the high priest, once a year, could enter the Holy of Holies and that was dangerous even for him.  In that context, the ark represented our access to the source of life, God himself.  Eden’s tree of life represents this same quality in God.

In the tabernacle, a curtain divided the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies, and on that curtain were painted cherubim (Exodus 26:31-34).  I believe this was a pictorial reference to the cherubim of Genesis 3:24.  One had to pass these painted cherubim in order to approach the ark of the covenant just as one would have to pass the real cherubim to approach the tree of life.  The same details hold for the temple.  The entrance was eastward, there was a curtain dividing the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies, and cherubim were painted on this curtain (2nd Chronicles 3:14).

This is the same curtain that was torn in two at the death of Christ (Matthew 27:51), symbolizing the fact that our way back to the tree of life is now open as a result of Christ’s sacrifice.  The book of Revelation completes the symbolic imagery as John notes, “I saw no temple in it [the heavenly Jerusalem] for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:22).  Later, he writes, “He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and the Lamb.  In the middle of its street and on either side of the river was the tree of life…” (Revelation 22:1-2) to which we will then have unhindered access.

Click here to learn about The Eastern Gate Press logo.

Thank you for visiting The Eastern Gate Press.


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