noun – the state of being barred from one’s native country
After the rebellion of taking the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve became enlightened in a new way to the knowledge of evil. They knew of it intellectually before but now it has become a part of their being. Adam and Eve are keenly aware a change has occurred; they are now sinners experiencing firsthand the misery of sin. Their Creator’s words of condemnation offered in previous verses are now being followed up with swift, purposeful action. Exile. They are cast out of known territory and pushed toward the wilderness in the east. Exiled from paradise, Adam and Eve are poised to live out the curses given to them: toil, pain, and death.
But God, being rich in mercy, once again makes provision for his creation. In banishing Adam and Eve, God was executing righteous judgement while offering gracious protection. The first couple needed protection from a false presumption that holy communion with God (represented by access to the Tree of Life) could continue in their sinful state. From this point forward they would need a mediator in their relationship with their Maker. And so, God forcefully cast them out to the east, banishing them from Eden forever.
Thanks be to God that banishment was not equated to abandonment. As forecasted in Genesis 3:15, a Second Adam would come as mediator. He would volitionally leave paradise, be tempted in the wilderness, defeat death, and reconcile all that was lost in the garden.