Page 15. " clouds amassing east of Eden "

The Garden of Eden
Public DomainThe Garden of Eden - Credit: Cole Thomas

In Hebrew, ‘Eden’ means delight. The Garden of Eden was the first home of mankind, according to the book of Genesis in the Bible. It is described as a paradise on Earth, home to Adam and Eve, the first humans created by God.

East of Eden lies the Land of Nod, to which Cain was exiled after killing his brother Abel.  'Nod' means wandering.  John Steinbeck's novel, East of Eden, concerns a brother's betrayal.  Neil Gaiman was working on his first Sandman graphic novel at the same time as Good Omens; it features Cain and Abel and references the Land of Nod.

The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes on Book Drum

Page 15. " The angel of the Eastern Gate "
Angel statue
Public DomainAngel statue - Credit: clarita

Angels are heavenly intermediaries between Heaven and Earth, performing tasks on behalf of God. Their functions are varied: guardians, messengers, warriors.

The Bible describes a hierarchy, the ‘nine choirs of angels’: seraphim (the highest), cherubim, thrones, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels.

Page 16. " there’s going to be an almighty row "
Expulsion from the Garden of Eden
Public DomainExpulsion from the Garden of Eden - Credit: Thomas Cole
The Expulsion Of Adam and Eve from Eden, fresco before and after restoration
Public DomainThe Expulsion Of Adam and Eve from Eden, fresco before and after restoration - Credit: Masaccio

Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden after disobeying God by eating fruit (not an apple) from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

This 1427 fresco by Italian Renaissance painter Masaccio depicts the moment when Adam and Eve leave paradise, escorted by an angel with a sword.

Page 23. " Archbishop James Usher "
James Ussher
Public DomainJames Ussher
Annales Veteris et Novi Testamenti
Public DomainAnnales Veteris et Novi Testamenti

 Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, James Ussher was a serious scholar, well respected in his time.  By compiling the periods of time listed in the Bible, he concluded that:

The Earth was created in 4004 BC

The Flood occurred in 2348 BC

The Exodus occurred in 1491 BC

And, curiously, Jesus was born in 5 BC.

He was by no means the only scholar to attempt such a chronology, and others, including Isaac Newton, came to similar conclusions.

 

Page 24. " while Igor clocks up the overtime "
Igor
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumIgor - Credit: Jean-noël Lafargue

A stock character in both serious and comedic films, Igor is traditionally the hunchbacked assistant to the mad scientist (especially Frankenstein).

   

Page 25. " the M25 London orbital motorway "
M25
Creative Commons AttributionM25 - Credit: ciukes

The M25 is a 117 mile orbital motorway around Greater London. One of the world’s longest orbital roads, it is often extremely congested, leading to jokes referring to the M25 as the world’s largest car park.

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