"Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God." (Revelation 2.7)✞
In Jewish thought, the "Tree of Life" came to mean anything that gave humans fullness of life. It was pictured in Paradise alongside the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." Those who gathered around it in Heaven enjoyed lives free from any corruption, need or pain. Proverbs 13.12 explains, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a 'tree of life.'" The Tree of Life was the longing fulfilled of the Christian life. Water flowed through "Paradise" and the trees flourished on either side of the "River of Life." The leaves of the "Tree of Life" had a healing quality and many types of fruit fed the Faithful.✞
The Tree of Life in Paradise was the source of the perfect life humans ought to live. The Jews believed that when the Messiah, who was the expected "anointed one" came from God and the new age dawned, the "Tree of Paradise" would grow in their midst and the faithful would eat from it. The Rabbis said that the boughs of the "Tree of Life" overshadowed the whole of Paradise. It was believed to have five hundred thousand fragrances and its fruit as many pleasant tastes, and every one of them different.✞
The word "Paradise" has a Persian origin from modern Iran and meant "a beautiful garden with pleasant meadows, stately trees and many flowers." "Paradise" therefore was a place of serene beauty. The Paradise of the Book of Revelation had immediate links to the paradise garden of the Book of Genesis. Archibald Geikie Brown (1844-1922) the Baptist Minister wrote eloquently of this connection,
"In Genesis we see earth created.
In Revelation, we see it passing away.
In Genesis, there is a garden, which is a home for human beings.
in Revelation there is a city, the home for the nations.
In Genesis, we see humans driven out from the garden and away from the "Tree of Life."
In Revelation, we see them welcomed back, with the "Tree of Life" at their disposal."
How wonderful that will be!✞