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Casey, I don’t have the books you mention, but Beale has quite a lengthy defence of the Eden-temple argument in his New Testament Biblical Theology (617-22). He gives nine reasons for holding to the idea that the “first sanctuary was Eden”. Presumably the list is meant to be pretty much exhaustive.

Arguments 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and probably also 8 are of the type: the temple was in certain respects like the garden of Eden. This does not mean that in Genesis 2 the garden of Eden is described as a sanctuary. Nor does it mean that the authors of the later (?) texts thought of the garden as a sanctuary.

In any case, as I’ve already noted, the arguments are tenuous and speculative, and some look like plain misreadings. In Beale’s reading the land of Eden, in which God planted a garden, is suddenly the “palatial” residence of God (here quoting Walton), despite there being not the faintest hint of architecture in the passage.

He repeats Wenham’s argument that the two Hebrew words for “cultivate” (ʿābad) and “keep” (šāmar) used in Genesis 2:15 are found together elsewhere only in temple passages. This is the closest we get to a detail in the Genesis passage that perhaps is intended to evoke temple practices. In the Numbers passages šāmar is used for the guarding of the sanctuary by the Levites to keep intruders away, “so that there may be no wrath on the congregation of the people of Israel” (Num. 1:53). What relevance does that have for Adam alone in Genesis 2:15? The verb can be used for keeping sheep, royal wardrobes and harems, so there is no good reason why it should have the connotation of “guarding” in a situation where there is nothing to guard against.

The fifth argument is that, like the temple, the entrance to the garden is in the east (Gen. 3:24), which as part of a clearer pattern might be meaningful, but in isolation carries no weight.

Argument 9 takes Ezekiel 28:12-19 to include a description of Eden. But there are problems with this. The passage uses Adam and the garden as figures to describe the Prince of Tyre. It is not a reinterpretation of the Genesis story. There is nothing in the passage that clearly evokes the Jerusalem temple, though the Prince of Tyre is accused of having profaned his “sanctuaries”, which is presumably a reference to pagan worship.

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