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Roses are spectacular flowers with a fragrant aroma. In addition to their aesthetic value, roses are used in perfumes, cosmetics, and medicines. Rose hips, the fruit of the rose plant, are very high in vitamin C; they are used to make jellies, syrup, soup, and tea.
But gardeners know roses can be hazardous, because thorns draw blood!
Planted by God, the Garden of Eden was the most beautiful of all gardens — full of beautiful flowers and delicious fruit. Yahweh gave Adam the job of tending this exquisite garden. (Genesis 2:8, 15)
Did Adam prick his fingers with thorns as he cultivated roses in the Garden of Eden?
No! Adam did not prick his fingers on thorns in the Garden of Eden, because thorns came only after he sinned.
Thorns were part of God’s Curse on Creation for Adam’s sin. Yahweh told Adam,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field.”
(Genesis 3:17-18 NASB)
Therefore, roses did not have thorns in the Garden of Eden before Adam sinned.
Roses did have thorns in subsequent gardens Adam planted and tended after Yahweh sent him out of the Garden of Eden. These thorns were the result of Yahweh’s curse on the ground because of Adam’s sin.
Fossil thorns have been found in Devonian layers of the geologic column. Evolutionary interpretations of the fossil record claim the Devonian period was around 400 million years ago.
But thorns resulted from Yahweh’s Curse after Adam sinned. Therefore the existence of fossil thorns indicates the geological layers in which the fossil thorns occurred were laid down after Adam’s sin. This means the layers of the geologic record can be no more than 6,000 years old, not hundreds of millions of years old as evolutionists claim.
The fossil graveyard exists throughout most of the world. In addition to thorns, the fossil record also has examples of diseases like arthritis, gout, rickets, malaria, and cancer. There are fossils as well of animals eating other animals. All this happened only after Adam’s sin. Therefore the fossil record and the geologic layers in which it is found can only be thousands of years old. Most of the fossil record was laid down by the worldwide flood of Noah’s day approximately 4500 years ago.
Moses’ Burning Bush — A Thorn Bush!
When Stephen presented his defense to the Jews prior to being stoned to death, he referred to Moses’ Burning Bush as a thorn bush:
“After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn bush. When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look. But the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. I have certainly seen the oppression of My people in Egypt and have heard their groans, and I have come down to rescue them; come now, and I will send you to Egypt.’ This Moses whom they disowned, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush.” (Acts 7:30-35 NASB)
The Greek word Stephen used for “thorn bush” is βάτος (batos, Strong’s G942). It means a thorn, brier, or bramble bush. Jesus Himself also used the same word batos (thorn bush) in Mark 12:26 and Luke 20:37 for Moses’ burning bush.
The Hebrew word used for the burning bush in Exodus 3:2-6 is סְנֶה (cĕnah, Strong’s H5572). It means “thorn bush” and comes from a root word meaning “to prick.”
Thus both the Hebrew word cĕnah and the Greek word batos used by Moses, Jesus, and Stephen for the burning bush in Exodus, Mark, Luke, and Acts mean thorn bush.
It’s fascinating that when the time was fulfilled for Yahweh to rescue the Hebrews from the oppression of Egyptian slavery, He chose to contact Moses from within a thorn bush. Thorns picture the curse of sin, so this event points to Yahweh taking the consequences of sin (thorns) upon Himself in order to deliver His people from bondage.
Crown of Thorns
Three Gospel authors report that the Roman soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head (Matthew 27:27-31; Mark 15:16-20; John 19:1-5).
The soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called together the whole Roman cohort. They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; and they began to acclaim Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. (Mark 15:16-19 NASB)
Notice that after placing the crown of thorns on Christ’s head, the Roman soldiers kept beating His head with a reed, thereby increasing the torment of the thorns.
It is ironic that the sinless Jesus suffered under a crown of sin-caused thorns. Thorns resulted from Adam’s sin, and in paying the price for sin to redeem mankind, Jesus took on a crown of thorns.
The thorns which Yahweh inflicted on Adam and his progeny as punishment for sin, He also inflicted on the Messiah as part of His suffering for sin.
The next time you feel the prick and pain of a thorn, remind yourself of these three world-changing events:
1. Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden
2. Yahweh’s Curse on Creation punishing Adam
3. The Messiah’s suffering for man’s sin
Most importantly, let thorn pricks remind you of the pain of sin and its marring of God’s “very good” creation. Let thorns remind you of the overwhelming grace of God which provides a solution to Adam’s problem of sin and death through the redeeming death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
Questions to Ponder
- Do roses enrich your life? Do you use any products or fragrances from roses?
- Yahweh gave the Apostle Paul a “thorn in the flesh” to keep him from exalting himself (2 Corinthians 12:7). Do you have a “thorn” which keeps you humble?
Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.
Fossil thorn reference: Wilson Stewart and Gar Rothwell, Paleobotany and the Evolution of Plants, Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp. 172–176.
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the 28th of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam (with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant? (with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?
24. How Long Did Adam Live?
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?
26. Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?
27. Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?
Read the sequels:
29. Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla
30. Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?
31. What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?
32. Will Adam Be in Heaven?
33. Did Adam See the Big Dipper?
34. Did Adam Know Earth Is Round?
35. Did Jesus Say When Adam Was Created?
36. Did Adam See Dinosaurs?
37. Did Adam Like Steak?
38. Could Adam Read & Write?
39. Did God Use Evolution to Make Adam?
40. Adam & the Olympics
41. Adam and the Gospel
42. Adam and the Genesis Road
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday June 1, 2016 A.D.
The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 2:16; 3:1-6)