“About the word מִקֶּדֶם we said above that it denotes ‘toward the east’ or ‘toward the eastern region.’ Moreover, Moses implies that Paradise had a road or a gate toward the east through which there was an access to this garden.
Likewise, in connection with the temple structure in Ezekiel 40:6 mention is made of the gate of the sanctuary which faced toward the east, obviously to have us realize that the temple was a figure of Paradise; for if nature had remained perfect, Paradise would have been the temple of the entire world.
And so, on the road toward the east, which alone led to Paradise, cherubim or angels were placed, to guard that way so that neither Adam nor any of his descendants could enter Paradise. The Lord did this according to human fashion in order to inspire fear and provide a conspicuous reminder of their terrible fall.”
–Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 1: Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 1-5 (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 1; Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 230. Luther is commenting on Genesis 3:23-24.