Genesis 3:22-24

כב וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים, הֵן הָאָדָם הָיָה כְּאַחַד מִמֶּנּוּ, לָדַעַת, טוֹב וָרָע; וְעַתָּה פֶּן-יִשְׁלַח יָדוֹ, וְלָקַח גַּם מֵעֵץ הַחַיִּים, וְאָכַל, וָחַי לְעֹלָם. 22 And the LORD God said: 'Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.' כג וַיְשַׁלְּחֵהוּ יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים, מִגַּן-עֵדֶן--לַעֲבֹד, אֶת-הָאֲדָמָה, אֲשֶׁר לֻקַּח, מִשָּׁם. 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. כד וַיְגָרֶשׁ, אֶת-הָאָדָם; וַיַּשְׁכֵּן מִקֶּדֶם לְגַן-עֵדֶן אֶת-הַכְּרֻבִים, וְאֵת לַהַט הַחֶרֶב הַמִּתְהַפֶּכֶת, לִשְׁמֹר, אֶת-דֶּרֶךְ עֵץ הַחַיִּים. {ס} 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way to the tree of life. {S}

Source: https://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0103.htm

The text of the Torah only mentions man being driven out of the garden. If only mankind was sent out, does that mean there are still animals in the garden?

1 Answer 1


Bereishis 3:6 states:

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat.

Rashi writes that the word גם in גַּם־לְאִישָׁ֛ה implies that also the cattle and the beasts eat from the tree of knowledge and where also banished from the Garden of Eden:

The word גם, also, may be understood to include cattle and beasts (that is, that she gave to these and also to her husband) (Genesis Rabbah 19:5).

See also the Mizrachi on this very same Rashi:

וגם לרבות בהמה וחיה. בב"ר הכל שמעו ובאו ואכל חוץ מעוף א' ששמו חול הה"ד וכחול ארבה ימי' דאם לא כן למה נקנסה עליהם מיתה אבל לא שנתנה להם האשה ואכלו דלא שייך בהו טעמא דאשה וזהו שהכריח לרבותי' ז"ל בב"ר לומר שהכל שמעו ובאו ואכלו שפירושו מעצמם ולא שהיא נתנה להם:

Later in the Torah, it states that G-d placed angels at the east of the Garden of Eden, in order to guard the entrance, so that no one should enter (Bereishis 3:24):

So He drove out the man; and He placed the keruvim at the east of the garden of ῾Eden, and the bright blade of a revolving sword to guard the way to the tree of life.

On Bereishis 8:11, the Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 31:10) mentions the opinion of Rabbi Berakhiah that the dove was only then able to go into the Garden of Eden to retrieve a olive-leaf:

Rabbi Berakhiah said, "The gates of the Garden of Even opened for it, and it brought it from there."

The Lubavitcher Rebbe deals with this subject in his Likkutei Sichot, volume 10, p. 30-31

See also Ode to an Olive Leaf

So, "are there still animals in the Garden of Eden?", according to the commentaries mentioned above, no! just as Adam and Chava were banished, so too were the animals.

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