which the exiles are shown the court of heaven
the LORD God said, “Now that the human has become like one of us, knowing good
and evil, he may reach out and take as well from the tree of life and live
forever.” And the LORD God sent him from the garden of Eden to till the soil
from which he had been taken. And He drove out the human and set up east of the
garden of Eden the cherubim and the flame of the whirling sword to guard the
way to the tree of life.
the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylonia Daniel saw a dream and the
visions in his head on his couch.
was looking, until thrones were cast down and the Ancient of Days took his
seat. His garment was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool,
His throne tongues of flame, its wheels burning fire. A river of fire was
flowing and went out before Him. Thousands upon thousands ministered to Him,
and myriad upon myriad stood before Him. The court was seated and the books
were opened…As to the remaining beasts, their dominion was taken over, and an
extension of life was given to them for a time and season.
ends with the LORD God sitting in judgement in the court of heaven from where
fiery ministers are sent to take over dominion of the garden. Babylon’s rule is
to come to an end, its limits have been set. A remnant from among the exiles
shall be restored. Even so, the way to the tree of life is to be guarded: to
keep the surrounding nations from attempting to take it by force as they had
done the fruit of the tree of knowledge, yes, but also, perhaps, to guard it
for them, in the hope that one day they might find it again, transplanted from
Babylon to mount Zion?
whom do you pray, that the tree of life might be guarded for them, until they
texts: Robert Alter, The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary