The River of Life in the Garden and the City

river of water of lifeThe prior posts look at God, man, and the tree of life in the garden of Eden and in New Jerusalem. There is also a river in the garden and in the city. Genesis 2:10 says, “And a river went forth from Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided and became four branches.”

In Revelation 22:1, the angel showed John “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its [the city’s] street.” Like the tree of life, the river of life indicates God’s desire to be life to man.

The function of the river in Eden was “to water the garden.” Watering is for maintaining the life of the plants in the garden. Today the Spirit is the reality of the river (John 7:37-39) and God’s cultivated land/God’s field/God’s farmland (1 Corinthians 3:9) is the reality of the garden. We are all plants on God’s farm being watered by the Spirit so that we may grow in Christ.

The Lord’s cry in John 7:37-39 to those who thirst is to come and drink. Today we come by exercising our human spirit to drink the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13). Isaiah 12:3-4 relates spiritual drinking to our thanksgiving and audible calling. These verses say

Therefore you will draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation, and you will say in that day, Give thanks to Jehovah; call upon His name!

In these days we can drink the living water by thanking our Lord for so much that He is and has done, and by calling aloud, O Lord Jesus, as the early Christians did (Acts 7:599:14). In eternity we will continue drinking of the river of water of life which flows through New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Related post: The Spirit, The Bountiful Supply, The River of Water of Life

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  1. If you are interested in details about the four branches of the river, you may read about them here: select Life-Study of Genesis, then chapter 11 in the upper right, then click the next section button to go to sections 6–7.


  2. Marc

     /  May 15, 2013

    The Nicene Creed confirms this: We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life; Who proceeds from from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; Who spoke by the prophets. The early Church Fathers taught that the acquisition of the Holy Spirit should be the focus of our lives in Christ.


    • Thanks Marc. I like the word about focusing our lives in Christ on the Holy Spirit.


  3. In the first Paradise, and in connection with the first creation, we find a river—’a river went out of Eden to water the garden’ (Genesis 2:10); and in connection with the second Paradise and the new creation, we find a river also—a river without a name—but simply designated ‘a river of life.’ The earthly and the heavenly thus run parallel with each other, though the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.


    • How good to come to Jesus and drink the river of water of life! In John 7 we read, “Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. But this He said concerning the Spirit.” We can exercise our spirit to drink the Spirit.


  1. The River of Life Reaching Men | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View
  2. Precious Materials in the Garden and in the City | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View
  3. The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View
  4. I Come to Drink | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View
  5. Take Freely the Water of Life | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View
  6. Drinking of God as the River of Water of Life for God to Fulfill His Purpose — a God-man in Christ

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