The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Genesis 2: 15


Reading: Genesis 2: 15-17; Exodus 28; Exodus 29

One of the most interesting and exciting themes that we trace through the Bible in The Big Picture is the theme of Temple. For those of you who have attended one of our Big Picture courses, you will remember that the definition of Temple is "the place where God and man meet".

It is because of this definition that we can regard Eden as the very first Temple. So much so, that when the actual Temple building was built later, it was modelled after the Garden of Eden with lots of imagery of flowers and nature and with the tree of life being depicted through the menorrah. 

Eden was the Temple. And Adam and Eve were its priests. As priests, Adam and Eve were to guard their own holiness as well as protect the Garden. And they were to do so by living in obedience to God's Word. As we'll see when we move on to The Fall next month, Adam and Eve ultimately failed in their responsibility to protect the Garden and they lost this beautiful land where they could meet freely with God.

Much later in the story, when God released Israel from Egypt and brought them to Mt. Sinai, they were given instructions about how to build the Tabernacle and Aaron and his sons, along with the rest of the tribe of Levi, were set apart as priests. 

In Exodus 28 and 29 we discover the goal of the priesthood, namely that God would be able to once again dwell among His people. This happened when the glory cloud - God's presence - entered the Tabernacle. 

The most significant work of the Levitical priesthood was the work of the High Priest. It was he who enabled the people of God to live near Him. Once a year he entered the Most Holy Place and offered a sin sacrifice on behalf of all the people. However, this was a temporary work performed by flawed and limited human beings. Oh, but there was a greater High Priest to come whose work would have eternal value.


Lord, I am amazed that You have priestly work for me to do, under our great High Priest, Jesus. Help me to do this to Your glory.

For the family

Explain & Engage

Watch one or more of these videos together and discuss afterwards.

High Priest_1

High Priest's clothing