466. II. THE PLACING OF TWO TREES IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, ONE OF LIFE, AND THE OTHER OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, SIGNIFIES THAT FREEDOM OF CHOICE IN THINGS SPIRITUAL HAS BEEN GIVEN TO MAN.
It is believed by many that by Adam and Eve in the book of Moses the first created persons are not meant, and in proof of this, arguments respecting Pre-adamites have been brought forward, drawn from the computations and chronologies of some heathen nations, and from the saying of Cain, Adam's firstborn, to Jehovah:
I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth, so that whosoever findeth me shall slay me. Therefore Jehovah set a sign upon Cain, lest any finding him should slay him (Gen. 4:14, 15).
Afterwards Cain went out from the presence of Jehovah, and dwelt in the land of Nod, and builded a city (Gen. 4:16, 17).
From this it is claimed that the earth was inhabited before the time of Adam. But that by Adam and his wife the Most Ancient church on this earth is meant has been abundantly shown in the Arcana Coelestia published by me at London; and in that work it is also shown that "the garden of Eden" means the wisdom of the men of that church; "the tree of life," the Lord in man and man in the Lord; "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," man not in the Lord but in what is his own (as he is who believes that he does everything, even good, of himself); and that "eating" from that tree means the appropriation of evil.