Deuteronomy 20:19, Do not destroy its trees. In its commentary on this passage, A Torah Commentary For Our Times states, “While the commandment deals specifically with cutting down trees during a siege, Jewish interpreters extend it to cover all forms of wasteful destruction under the principle of bal tashchit, or ‘do not destroy’ … [all w]asteful destruction is condemned. ‘Anyone who deliberately breaks dishes, tears clothing, wrecks a building, clogs up a fountain, or wastes food violates the law of bal tashchit’” (various rabbinical sources are cite vol. 3, p. 143). What did YHVH commission Adam to do? (See Gen 2:15.) The word dress literally means “to serve, work, dress, labor”in the sense of a servant or steward. The word keep means “to observe, guard, watch over, or preserve.”
Do you view yourself as a steward with a divine mandate to help preserve, watch over, and guard all that YHVH has given you responsibility over including your body, your marriage, your children, your gifts and talents, your car, your job, your home and yard and everything in your life? Do you view doing this as a good witness to those around you, as leaving a legacy for future generations, and as glorifying your Father in heaven?
Genesis 2:15, Took…put. Took is the Hebrew word laqach meaning “to take, get, fetch, lay hold of, seize, receive, acquire, buy, bring, marry, take a wife, snatch, take away.” Put is the Hebrew word yanach meaning “to rest, settle down and remain, to repose, have rest, be quiet, to cause to rest, give rest to, make quiet, to cause to rest, cause to alight, set down, to lay or set down, deposit, let lie, place.” The implication here is that Elohim created man somewhere else and then brought him to and settled him in the Garden of Eden where he settled down in quiet rest.” Perhaps Elohim briefly allowed the first man to experience life outside the garden first before “planting” them therein, so that they would better appreciate the beauty, rest and peacefulness of the garden. In this way, Adam, the first father, head and priest of his family would have some personal experience out the garden and be able to accurately communicate to both his wife and children that life was better in the garden than outside the garden, thus encouraging them to stay obedient to YHVH and to walk in his ways, so that they could continue to enjoy the privileges thereof.
Tend/dress and keep it. Tend is the Hebrew word avad meaning “to work or serve.” Being a gardener was Adam’s occupation. Yeshua was the second Adam. After Yeshua’s resurrection, interestingly, he was mistaken as the gardener (John 20:15). See Gen 2:8—YHVH planted a garden.
The Torah teaches sustainable living and stewardship of the earth. The terms sustainability or sustainable living along with green, eco-friendly, etc. are currently fad concepts that are bandied about by those seeking to be politically correct—whatever that is supposed to mean. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, defines sustainability as follows:
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of responsibility, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use. In ecology, sustainability describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time, a necessary precondition for the well-being of humans and other organisms.Continue reading