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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ancient Geography: The Lost River of Eden and Recent Geological Discoveries

 

According to Genesis - Ancient Geography
The Lost River of Eden and Recent Geological Discoveries

(cf. James Sauer, "The River Runs Dry: Creation Story Preserves Historical Memory" Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August (1996) “A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good” (Gen 2:10-12).

“…in very far antiquity, just such a river once existed, and its long-dried course has been recently traced from its rise in the west Arabian gold-lands (in Havilah) east and east-northeast toward the head of the gulf, via modern Kuwait.” (Kenneth A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdman’s, 2003).





Fig. 1 Map Showing Eden’s Long-lost River



Four rivers are mentioned in the narrative of the ordering of creation in Genesis 2, but as any commentary will tell you, only three are known. The commentaries, it turns out, will have to be rewritten.

Eden’s Pishon river, mentioned only in the Bible (Genesis 2:11), is said to have flowed “around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold...” Three other rivers which Genesis said were alongside the Pishon are known to us as the centers of the world’s earliest civilizations, but the Pishon was a complete enigma to readers for millennia, until recently. The earliest known civilizations, Sumer and Egypt, knew nothing of it, and these civilizations were flourishing over 1500 years before Abraham! Satellite imaging and later Space Shuttle echolocation revealed a pock-marked section of the desert caused by river stones which still lay buried deep under the desert sand. Blue is limestone, yellow-orange is desert sand; the pock-marked area in the yellow sand (below left) is caused by the influences of subterranean topography and wind on the desert sand. (the river was discovered by Farouk El-Baz of Boston University. Photo courtesy EDSAT, Boston University's Center for Remote Sensing).




Fig. 2 Satellite Image of the Lost Pishon River of Eden



The imagery also overturned the prevailing assumption of climactic stability since the end of the last ice age (ending c. 9000BC) held by a majority of ancient Near Eastern scholars until recently. It would appear, as James Sauer puts it, that Genesis contains some very ancient historical memory about ancient Near Eastern geography. How ancient? The presence of this river far predates the geography described by the Sumerians and the Egyptians, which are the earliest civilizations known to historians, yet its existence and location are just as they are found in the Bible.

This brings to mind an obvious question: where’s all that gold? It turns out that the gold of that land is good! The ancient river, it turns out, runs right by the best producing site in the world today. "Only one place in Arabia has such a deposit -the famous site of Mahd edh-Dhahab, the "Cradle of Gold." This mine, ancient and modern [it was re-discovered in 1932] currently produces more than 5 tons of gold a year. The mining site is located about 125 miles south of Medina, near the headwaters of the Kuwait River" (Sauer, op cit, p. 64).




Fig. 3 Gold Vain from Solomon’s Mine in Havilah.


“This quartz-sulfide-gold vein at Mahd edh-Dhahab is still mined today. The mine, which some identify as King Solomon’s mine (1 Kings 9:26–28), produces more than 5 tons of gold a year” (Sauer, op cit; Photo by Richard B. Carten).


Fig. 4 Arial Photograph of the Gold Mine at Mahd edh Dhahab
(Eden’s Havilah) discovered in 1932)

 

Posted by -sirhemlock@yahoo.com at 4:43 PM

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1 comment: dorkinaut23 said...

O.K. but the Bible says that the garden was located at the headwaters, the opposite end of the rivers.

June 25, 2008 5:28:00 PM PDT

 

 

NEWLY DISCOVERED - THE FIRST RIVER OF EDEN!

John D. Keyser

While most people worry little about pebbles unless they are in their shoes, to geologists pebbles provide important, easily attained clues to an area's geologic composition and history. The pebbles of Kuwait offered Boston University scientist Farouk El-Baz his first humble clue to detecting a mighty river that once flowed across the now-desiccated Arabian Peninsula. Examining photos of the region taken by earth-orbiting satellites, El-Baz came to the startling conclusion that he had discovered one of the rivers of Eden -- the fabled Pishon River of Genesis 2 -- long thought to have been lost to mankind as a result of the destructive action of Noah's flood and the eroding winds of a vastly altered weather system. This article relates the fascinating details!


In Genesis 2:10-14 we read: "Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became FOUR RIVERHEADS. The name of the first is PISHON; it is the one which encompasses the whole land of HAVILAH, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is GIHON; it is the one which encompasses the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is HIDDEKEL [TIGRIS]; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the EUPHRATES."


While two of the four rivers mentioned in this passage are recognizable today and flow in the same general location as they did before the Flood, the other two have apparently disappeared from the face of the earth.

Great changes occurred in the topography of the earth during the Noachian flood and also at other times in the earth's history since; so it is not that remarkable that some of the pre-Flood geographical features changed or disappeared altogether. As an example of this, scientists have found evidence of floods in Mesopotamia, deep lakes in Africa, grasslands and lakes in Arabia and heavy forest cover along the eastern Mediterranean coast. This provides testimony that a lengthy wet period once enveloped the ancient Near East.

Some researchers, such as Ernest L. Martin, claim that the Karun River (which flows into the Euphrates/Tigris river system) is the Pishon, while the Karkheh, which also flows into the Euphrates/Tigris river system, is the Gihon. However, these two rivers are minor in nature and do not fulfill the requirements of the Book of Genesis.In an attempt to correctly locate and identify the Pishon and the Gihon rivers, we need to closely evaluate Genesis chapter 2


Garden in Armenia?

Since the Tigris and the Euphrates have their sources in the mountainous region of Armenia, it is usually assumed by theologians today that the Garden of Eden was located in that same area. Therefore, they claim, the Gihon could be the Araxes which flows into the Caspian Sea and the Pishon could be the Cyrus which joins with the Araxes. Smith's Bible Dictionary states: "...most probably, Eden was situated in Armenia, near the origin of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, and in which same region rise the Araxes (Pishon of Genesis) and the Oxus (Gihon)" (page 155). Insight On the Scriptures (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1988. Page 676) maintains that "the traditional location for the garden of Eden has long been suggested to have been a mountainous area some 225 Km (140 mi) SW of Mount Ararat and a few kilometers S of Lake Van, in the eastern part of modern Turkey." Also: "The Hebrew text points rather, to a location in the mountainous region N of the Mesopotamian plains, the area where the Euphrates and Tigris rivers have their present sources."

Now, is this feasible -- is this really so?

While all of this may appear quite reasonable to the average person, the geography is very confusing when this interpretation is applied -- and is actually unintelligible to our modern understanding of the topographical features in the region of Armenia. Notes Ernest L. Martin: "From what place and what manner did the one major river that supposedly fed the four other rivers have its source? Also, how can one river flowing downstream in a single riverbed (and in a mountainous area) logically be explained as branching off into four main rivers? Only in a delta region near the mouth of a river can one river become four (or more), but the sources of the Euphrates and Tigris today are in the mountains (separated by a mountain ridge) and so most commentators dismiss the idea of most biblical traditionalists as impossible in a geographical sense" (Solving the Riddle of Noah's Flood, pages 7-8).

Martin goes on to say: "In truth, the river system of Moses has such mysterious factor ociated with it that most interpreters today throw up their hands and say: 'Only God knows what Moses meant because it doesn't make any sense to us."'Do these passages in Genesis have to be so baffling? Can we make sense of these apparent anomalies in the geography of Moses?


The River System of Eden

The main reason the account of the rivers of Eden is so difficult to understand is because the interpreters of the Bible have completely missed the point of what Moses was saying. Explains Ernest Martin, "In actual fact, they have been reading Moses COMPLETELY BACKWARDS from what he intended. If one looks closely at the matter, Moses was NOT speaking about a major river flowing downstream from some unknown source in the Land of Eden and then dividing into the rivers Euphrates, Tigris, Pishon and the Gihon when it reached the region of the Garden. IN NO WAY! The geographical intention of Moses was directly OPPOSITE from what most people have thought. And this is where the problem has emerged. Moses actually commenced his geographical account of the river system STARTING AT THE PERSIAN GULF and proceeding northward. His direction of interest was UPSTREAM, not downstream!" (Ibid., page 8).

Martin goes on to explain that when the Bible talks about the Land of Eden, it is not referring to a small plot of land. It is, in fact, referring to a HUGE region comparable to Old Testament countries such a yria, Cush (Ethiopia), Egypt or Canaan! And it was inside this vast territory called Eden that God planted the Garden -- which in itself was quite large. Martin notes that the Garden itself had to be spacious because four rivers could be traced from the Garden into adjacent geographical areas. These regions were NOT small insignificant parcels of land as most people imagine today.

Now let us take note of what Moses said in the Book of Genesis about the river system associated with the Land of Eden and the Garden. "He said that 'a river went out of Eden to water the Garden, and from there [from the garden] it divided and became into four heads' (Gen.2:10). The use of the word 'heads' (Hebrew: rosh) in relation to the four rivers gives the impression to us in the western world that Moses is talking about the HEADstreams or HEADwaters of the four rivers - their sources!"

However, this is NOT what Moses meant! In M'Clintock and Strong's Cyclopaedia (Vol. III, p. 53) we read: "In no instance is rosh (literally, 'head') applied as the SOURCE of a river." It is very important to understand this point because it is precisely THIS misconception that has given Bible interpreters the most difficulty in trying to comprehend the preflood river system as penned by Moses.

We must realize that in the first ages of the world in Middle Eastern society, THE HEAD OF A RIVER WAS AT ITS MOUTH -- NOT ITS SOURCE! Let Ernest Martin explain: "Where rivers came together, or a river intersected with a larger river, this juncture was called the HEAD of the river that joined the other. The word 'HEAD' did not describe the source (the beginning) of a river, but it signified a place where it intersected with another river or flowed into the ocean. And so it was with Moses. In his description of this river system, he was simply giving a geographical description of the HEAD (that is, the central 'hub') where the four rivers branched out from one another" (Solving the Riddle of Noah 's Flood, pp. 10-1 1). In other words, MOSES' DIRECTION OF THINKING WAS UPSTREAM -- NOT DOWNSTREAM!

A number of scholars, including Professor R.K. on, have understood this. He noted that "probably the most suitable answer concerning the actual location of the Garden of Eden is to think of the river that watered the garden and thereafter became four 'branches' as actually comprising the beginning or juncture GOING UPSTREAM from a point in southern Mesopotamia" (ISBE, new edition, vol. II, p. 17) Emphasis mine).

The bottom line is that Moses understood the four rivers of Eden as coming together to form one river at the Garden - NOT that one river separated to become four rivers! When we understand this concept clearly, then Moses' account becomes sensible. Moses is showing that the Land of Eden had its southern border at the HEAD OF THE PERSIAN GULF and that the Garden itself was located a few miles UPRIVER at the place where the four rivers came together. Explains Ernest Martin: "The actual river that 'went out of Eden' was the one that left the Garden (where the four rivers became the SOURCE of one major river) and then that one large river ENTERED THE PERSIAN GULF....This shows that Moses was describing his river system going UPSTREAM and the HEAD of the four rivers was where they separated from the one river to provide a vast watershed system that reached to their sources. What we of modern times call the MOUTH of a river, Moses called its HEAD... "(Solving the Riddle of Noah's Flood, p.11).


The Ancient Records

When we get these geographical indications of Moses firmly in mind, it becomes quite easy to identify the location of the Land of Eden and the Garden. "Since we are told that the Euphrates and the Tigris were two of the four rivers that came together to form the SOURCE of the one large river that de ed into the Persian Gulf" reminds Ernest Martin, "then the Land of Eden had to have (as its southern boundary) the coastal region of the Persian Gulf" (ibid., p. 12).

The first extra-biblical evidence of the Garden of Eden was discovered by English archaeologist George Smith. When deciphering some Assyrian cuneiform tablets which contained, along with the usual lists of kings and their conquests (and digests of legal codes) several texts of purely literary character included descriptions of the Assyrian version of the Genesis garden. As Smith continued translating the hoard of clay tablets he had unearthed in the library of Assurbanipal at Nineveh, he soon realized that the Assyrian texts were based on an earlier non-biblical literary model; and that the idea of the Garden of Eden, even the word "eden" itself was originally Sumerian.

Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia backs this up by stating that "the name Eden is probably connected with EDINN (the Sumerian name for THE PLAIN OF BABYLON), and the author of Genesis may have had in mind the verdant landscape of Mesopotamia" (vol. 8, pp. 31 1-312).

In the story of Enki and Ninhursag, the Sumerian paradise was actually called TILMUN or DILMUN -- a happy land that was "pure, bright, and fair, where the lion does not make his kill nor the carry off the sheep." S.N. Kramer, in his book The Sumerians: Their History, Culture, and Character, states that "Dilmun is a land that is 'pure,' 'clean,' and 'bright,' a 'land of the living' which knows neither sickness nor death. What is lacking, however, is the fresh water so essential to animal and plant life. The great Sumerian water-god, ENKI, therefore orders Utu, the sun-god, to fill it with fresh water....Dilmun is thus turned into a divine garden, green with fruit -- laden fields and meadows" (1963. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Pp. 147-148).

In this book, Kramer clearly thinks that there are "numerous parallels" between this "divine paradise" myth and the Biblical Garden of Eden. He suggests that Eden, "a garden planted EASTWARD in Eden," may have "originally" been identical with Dilmun, "a land somewhere to the EAST OF SUMER."

The New Bible Dictionary (article, Eden) says that the tablets uncovered by Smith showed this area to be a pleasant place in which neither sickness nor death were known. Ernest Martin discloses that "it was called 'the land of the living' and the home of the immortals. THIS AREA WAS LOCATED NEAR THE HEAD OF THE PERSIAN GULF."

Researchers Calvin and Delitzsch have argued in favor of Eden's location somewhere NEAR THE HEAD of the Persian Gulf in Lower Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) -- approximately at the place where the Tigris and the Euphrates draw near together. One recent expedition has proposed the site of Hor, in Iraq, where the waters of the Tigris and the Euphrates meet in the marshy delta of the Shatt-al-Arab. This region is about four thousand square miles in area, which makes it about twice the size of the state of Delaware.

Author E.A. Speiser, in search of the Biblical Garden of Eden, refers to DILMUN, "the land of the living," -- which lay near the HEAD of the Persian Gulf. He tries to identify the Pishon and the Gihon with actual rivers not far from the mouths of the Tigris and Euphrates (The Rivers of Paradise. Pp. 175-82 in I Studied Inscriptions Before the Flood, ed. R.S. Hess and D.T. Tsumura. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns).

Speiser goes on to say that "the original narrator...has to be visualised as looking FROM THE PERSIAN GULF INLAND" and hence "the 'four heads' (v.10) are meant to be viewed UPSTREAM rather than down."

Whatever the exact location, it is quite clear that the Garden of Eden was located around the northern end of the Persian Gulf. Remarkably, this is exactly where Moses in the book of Genesis said his four rivers came together to form the source of the one river that flowed into the Persian Gulf. Reiterates Ernest Martin: "All of this is easily determined if one realizes that Moses was giving directions about his river system GOING UPSTREAM, not DOWNSTREAM! "


An Amazing Discovery!

Boston University scientist Farouk El-Baz had long wondered about the pebbles of granite and basalt that are abundant throughout Kuwait. The problem was that these pebbles are not indigenous to the area. The nearest source for these rocks lies in the Hijaz Mountains -- 650 miles to the west in Saudi Arabia! How did the pebbles reach Kuwait? Intrigued by this puzzle El-Baz examined photos of the region taken by satellites orbiting the earth, and to his amazement easily detected a dried riverbed (known today as Wadi Al-Batin) cutting through the limestone of north-central Saudi Arabia. He noticed that the riverbed petered out as it reached the sand dunes of central Saudi Arabia.

The Biblical Archaeology Review (July/August 1996) relates that "when he extended the line of the river across the sand dunes...El-Baz noticed that the patterns of the desert's sand dunes changed precisely when they crossed this line. To the right (southeast), the dunes appear pockmarked, to the left (northeast) they are striated. Sand patterns like these are created by the circulation of the air in the desert, which in turn is influenced by the topography. Thus, El-Baz realized that something beneath the sand was the source of the variations in the sand. He determined that the river ran underground here, along a fault line" (p. 55).

For a long period of time after the recreation of Genesis 1, the river (in places 3 miles wide) dragged granite and basalt from the Hijaz mountains and dumped the pebbles along its fan-shaped delta, which covered two-thirds of modern Kuwait and part of southern Iraq. In memory of the pebblestrewn region that led him to the river-bed, El-Baz christened his discovery the Kuwait River.

Now the interesting thing is that this ancient river (which gradually dried up sometime after 3,500-2000 B.C.E.) fulfills all the requirements for one of the rivers of Eden! Notice what Genesis 2:11-12 says: "The name of the first [river] is Pishon; it is the one which ENCOMPASSES THE WHOLE LAND OF HAVILAH, WHERE THERE IS GOLD. And the gold of that land is good. BDELLIUM [FRAGRANT RESINS] and the onyx stone are there"(NKJV).


The Land of Havilah

An important key to determine WHERE the river Pishon ran is the phrase "the gold of that land is good." There is only one place in the area that has such a deposit -- the famous site of Mahdedh-Dhahab, the famous "Cradle of Gold." Located about 125 miles south of Medina in Saudi Arabia, huge fissures on the hillside are the remnants of ancient mining that took place as early as 1000 B.C. Adds the Biblical Archaeology Review, "Rediscovered in 1932 by American mining engineer Karl Twitchell, the mine currently produces more than 5 tons of gold a year" (July/August 1996. P. 57).

Another clue in Genesis 2:11-12 is the phrase "Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. " The Arabian peninsula is RICH with bdellium and precious stones. In the Bible dictionary Insight On the Scriptures we find the following: "It [Bdellium gum] is obtained from a tree (commiphora africana) found in NiV Africa and ARABIA..." (Page 264).

Summing all this up the dictionary goes on to say: "The description of its [Havilah's] resources is considered by some to be TYPICALLY ARABIAN, and it i ociated by some WITH A REGION IN ARABIA. On the basis of the Biblical reference to 'the entire land of Havilah,' J. Simons suggests that the term 'Havilah' may take in THE ENTIRE ARABIAN PENINSULA ..."

Further evidence that Havilah was a good portion of the Arabian peninsula is found in Genesis 25:18 and Exodus 15:22: "They dwelt from Havilah as far as SHUR, which is EAST OF EGYPT as you go toward Assyria," and "So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the WILDERNESS OF SHUR." In our articles 'Is Jebel Musa the Correct Mt. Sinai?' and 'The Mountain of Moses', we show that the Israelites crossed the Gulf of Aqaba -- not the Gulf of Suez -- and that Mt. Sinai is located in the NW corner of modem-day Saudi Arabia (ancient Midian) -- not the Sinai peninsula. The text of Genesis 25:8 therefore shows that the nomadic Ishmaelites ranged from the land of Midian clear across northem Arabia and into Mesopotamia.

Notes the Insight On the Scriptures (page 1045): Similarly, when King Saul struck down the Amalekites 'from HAVILAH as far as Shur, which is in front of Egypt' (I Sam,15:7), it would appear that the expression 'from Havilah' points to a portion...of the Arabian Peninsula as representing one limit of the territory in which the Amalekites were centered, while the Wilderness of Shur [on the westem coast of NW Arabia]...represented the other limit....Thus it would appear that it [Havilah] embraced AT LEAST the NW portion of the Arabian Peninsula and PERHAPS A MUCH LARGER AREA."With the location of Havilah clearly delineated by the scriptural references and extra Biblical sources, there can be no doubt that the ancient river bed discovered by Farouk El-Baz from the satellite photographs is none other than that once used by the waters of the River Pishon that flowed through the Garden of Eden to the Persian Gulf.


What About the River Gihon?

The other river mentioned by Moses in Genesis 2:13 was the Gihon. Moses mentioned that it was also "circuitous" and encompassed all the LAND OF CUSH. Where did this river flow from?

While most people and most references to "Cush" in the Bible equate Cush with Ethiopia, this is not always the case. Notice what the Insight On the Scriptures has to say about the land of Cush:

The "land of Cush" referred to at Genesis 2:13 as the land originally encircled by the river Gihon, one of the four heads of the "river issuing out of Eden," is of uncertain location. (Ge. 2:10) The translators of the Septuagint rendered the Hebrew word for "Cush" by the Greek name Ethiopia in this text. The name Cush did become more or less synonymous with ancient Ethiopia at an early time, yet it CANNOT arbitrarily be said that such is necessarily the case at Genesis 2:13. Josephus, following the rendering of the Septuagint, associated the Gihon River with the Nile. (Jewish Antiquities, I, 39 [i, 3]) However, the Gihon's having had a common source with the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers certainly does not seem to allow for such identification, unless the global Deluge i umed to have brought about extreme changes in the topography of the area. -Vol. 1, p. 559.

Ernest L. Martin claims that "true to what Moses said, just to the north and east of Babylon were the mountains of the Cassites (mentioned in the early Mesopotamian records and certainly representing the Cushites). This river [the Gihon] also flowed into the Euphrates/Tigris river system in southern Mesopotamia just as Moses stated. It is today called the Karkheh" (Solving the Riddle of Noah 's Flood, p. 14).

This idea is echoed by Delitzsch and Speiser who hold that the term "Cush" in Genesis 2:13 is "the eponym of the Kassites" rather than the name for the region of the Ethiopians in Africa and that "only a Kassite context can accord with the phrase 'in the east' of Genesis 2:8." What about it -- does this hold water?

Notes the Bible Dictionary Insight On the Scriptures: "Still others suggest that the 'land of Cush' encircled by the Gihon was on the ARABIAN PENINSULA, since the name 'Cushan' is used to parallel 'the land of Midian' at Habakkuk 3:7, Midian being located generally in the vicinity of the Gulf of Aqaba. It is possibly with reference to such an ARABIAN 'CUSH' that Moses' Midianite wife Zipporah is called a 'Cushite."'

This dictionary then goes on to say that "following the breakup at Babel because of the confusion of language, the main body of Cush's descendants appear to have migrated southward. Whether they reached Africa by first CROSSING INTO THE ARABIAN PENINSULA and then crossing over a strait known as Bab al-Mandate or whether they settled initially in Africa AND THEN CROSSED OVER INTO ARABIA is uncertain....The name of Cush's son Seba i ociated with E. Africa, WHILE THOSE OF HAVILAH, SABTAH, RAAMAH, AND SABTECA ARE GENERALLY ASSOCIATED WITH REGIONS ON THE ARABIAN PENINSULA."

Under the heading "Cushan" this same dictionary relates the following information: "Cushan appears at Habakkuk 3:7 as paralleling 'the land of Midian' and hence evidently is another name for Midian or relates to a neighboring country. As shown in the article CUSH (No. 2), SOME DESCENDANTS OF CUSH APPEAR TO HAVE SETTLED ON THE ARABIAN PENINSULA; AND THE NAME KUSI OR KUSHIM WAS ANCIENTLY USED TO DESCRIBE CERTAIN ARABIC PEOPLES OF THAT REGION" (pp. 560-561).

Smith's Bible Dictionary adds that "the Cushites appear to have spread along tracts extending from the higher Nile to the Euphrates and Tigris. History affords many traces of this relation of Babylon, ARABIA and Ethiopia" (article "Cush", p. 131). While Ernest Martin's location of Cush "to the north and east of Babylon" and that "the mountains of the Cassites" represent the Cushites is a possibility, all the evidence points to the "Cush" mentioned in Genesis 2:13 as being somewhere ON THE ARABIAN PENINSULA.

I have no doubt that sometime in the future an astute scientist like Farouk El-Baz or the probing eye of another orbiting satellite will uncover the course of the ancient River Gihon in the land of modern-day Saudi Arabia.

 

 


 

Science and The Bible
Science and Archaeology are constantly finding tangible proof 
that the Bible is extremely accurate.

"Lost River Of Eden discovered By Satellite"

Whatever Happened to
The Garden of Eden ?

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE GARDEN OF EDEN

Whatever Happened to
The Garden of Eden ?

In time Eden became a darkened reminder
of what could have been.

Adam and Eve were forced to leave their Edenic Paradise.

They went AND left it all behind them, never to return.

Thus Paradise was lost by Adam and Eve.

The once lush and fertile region of Eden, soon fell into disuse, and decay. The angels of Jehovah kept guard over Eden, to ensure that Adam and Eve would never return.

The garden grew dark and dismal with no one to enjoy
the beauty and pleasure that it was intended for.

And yet the garden remained upon the earth, as a silent
reminder of what mankind could have had.

Yes, it remained right until the days of Adam's
descendant, Noah.


'The Garden Grew Dark...'



'The Garden Grew Dark...'

The garden grew dark and dismal with no one to enjoy
the beauty and pleasure that it was intended for.

The garden of Eden remained right until the
days of Adam's descendant, Noah

EDEN AND THE "FLOOD"

The Flood's Warning Message (click-here)

Due to violence upon the earth because of mankind,
eventually Jehovah God, intervened and destroyed
the wicked offspring of Adam, by means of a world-wide
flood.

Then the earthly Paradise of Eden - was swept away.

Yes, like everything else on the earth, the Garden was
drowned beneath the roaring sea of the Flood.

At the time of the world wide flood of Noah's day,
all remnants of Eden were totally wiped away.


That original earthly paradise was washed away,
beneath the quelling waves of the Great Flood
of Noah's Day. Yes, washed away, forever.

SKEPTICS WONDER

With Eden's disappearance, many skeptics doubt
that it ever existed. Many play off the garden
of Eden story as sheer myth. They prefer the
"evolution from apes" story instead.

Although Jesus, spoke of the flood and of the
Garden of Eden - as factual, still many doubt even him.

Jesus describes the Flood (click-here)

ANY SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE ?

Is there any scientific or archaeological evidence
that the Garden of Eden was a real place, and not
just a fairytale ?

Scientific Proof of Eden

Eden is described in Genesis 2:10–14:

‘A river watering the garden flowed from Eden;
from there it was separated into four headwaters.
The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold.  The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.  The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.  The name of the third river is the Tigris;
it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.’

"The Garden of Eden has been dismissed by Bible critics
as imaginary or allegorical. However, Gen. 2:8-13
indicates that Eden had a specific geographic location,
especially since two of its rivers, the Euphrates and
the Hiddekel (Tigris) are two of the best-known rivers
in the ancient world. Eden did indeed have an actual
location, and science is just beginning to unravel its
mystery. "

-The Bible Encounters Modern Science
by Stephen Caesar; Harvard University
Masters Degree in Anthropology and Archaeology

"The search began in the 1980’s, when Juris Zarins,
a professor from Southwest Missouri State University,
discovered that the northern tip of the Persian Gulf
(where the Tigris and Euphrates end) had once been a
lush, fertile region. "

-The Bible Encounters Modern Science
by Stephen Caesar; Harvard University
Masters Degree in Anthropology and Archaeology


"The area he investigated was located at the junction of
four rivers: the Tigris (Hiddekel); the Euphrates; the
Karun River in southwestern Iran, which Dr. Zarins postulates is the Biblical Gihon; and the now-dry riverbed Rimah-Batin, which Zarins believes is the Pison.
Zarins’ hypothesis was prompted by advances in satellite
technology, "

-The Bible Encounters Modern Science
by Stephen Caesar; Harvard University
Masters Degree in Anthropology and Archaeology

"Lost Rivers Of Eden
discovered By Satellite"

"Scrutinizing satellite images of the Middle East,
he spotted a "fossil river" that seems to be the lost
Pison river. Therefore Eden, Zarins concludes, lies
under the mouth of the present Persian Gulf between
Iraq and Iran."

-"The Hunt for a Lost Holy Past,"
Newsweek, 22 June 1987, pg. 56





First appeared in Smithsonian Magazine,
Volume 18. No. 2, May 1987.

"Satellite photos show two fossil river beds, one across N. Saudi Arabia and one across S. Persia (Iran) which join the Tigris-Euphrates.  This reconfirms, with new photos, the feasibility of the existence of a river named Pison or Gihon
(as recorded in the Bible)."

-Smithsonian May 1987 pp 127-135.
"Has the Garden of Eden been located at last?"


"He detected a fossil river running diagonally through
Arabia that ended in Kuwait, at the northern tip of the
Persian Gulf — exactly where Zarins had located the
Garden of Eden."

-"How to Find a River — No Divining Rod Needed,"
Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August (1996): 55.


"In support of locating the Garden of Eden in the
present day Iran/Iraq area - "Thousands of animal
remains found in the Persian Gulf (Iran/Iraq) area
suggest that game was abundant. Furthermore, the
presence of stone tools provides evidence of early
human habitation."

-Reader’s Digest
Mysteries of the Bible
(Pleasantville (NY)/Montreal:
The Reader’s Digest Association, 1988), 24-25.


It is interesting to note that the Biblical Archaeology
Review, a magazine which, despite its name, does NOT
support a literal belief in the Bible, Yet despite
this fact, this magazine has printed scientific proof
to support the exact location of the Biblical, Garden
of Eden. The Magazine writes :


"Dr. Zarins is no longer alone in his discovery."

"Boston University geologist Farouk El-Baz emulated
Prof. Zarins by closely examining satellite photographs
of the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf area."

"He detected a fossil river running diagonally through
Arabia that ended in Kuwait, at the northern tip of the
Persian Gulf — exactly where Zarins had located the
Garden of Eden."

-"How to Find a River — No Divining Rod Needed,"
Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August (1996): 55.


This magazine goes on to say :

"The Kuwait River [the Batin] also has a probable
Biblical connection. It may well be the Pishon River,
one of the four rivers, according to the Bible,
associated with Eden."

-Biblical Archaeology Review
Creation Story Preserves Historical Memory
July/August 1996 issue


"The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
and the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there." (Genesis 2:11-12)


"This passage describe a river flowing into the head
of the Persian Gulf from the low mountains of western
Arabia, the path followed by the recently discovered
Kuwait River. An important key is the Biblical phrase
"the gold of that land is good." Only one place in
Arabia has such a deposit — the famous site of
Mahd edh-Dhahab, the "Cradle of Gold."
This ancient and modern gold mining site is located
about 125 miles south of Medina, near the headwaters
of the Kuwait River."

-Biblical Archaeology Review
Creation Story Preserves Historical Memory
July/August 1996 issue


"In any event, no other river would seem to fit the
Biblical description. I am therefore inclined to think
that the Kuwait River could well be the Pishon of the
Bible. If so, it implies extraordinary memory on the
part of the Biblical authors, since the river dried up
sometime between about 3500 and 2000 B.C.
I speak as a former skeptic....Now I am recanting."

-James Sauer; Harvard Archaeologist
"The River Runs Dry: Creation Story
Preserves Historical Memory," pgs. 52,64

"Satellite photos show two fossil river beds,
one across N. Saudi Arabia and one across
S. Persia (Iran) which join the Tigris-Euphrates.
This reconfirms, with new photos, the feasibility of
the existence of a river named Pison or Gihon
(as recorded in the Bible)."

-Smithsonian May 1987 pp 127-135.
"Has the Garden of Eden been located at last?"

Other Bible Writers
Support the Eden Story

The Word of God declares
that Eden was a real place

Isaiah 51:3
Ezekiel 28:13
Ezekiel 31:9
Ezekiel 31:16
Ezekiel 31:18
Ezekial 36:35
Joel 2:3
Amos 1:5

Jesus and the Apostles
Supported the Eden Story

Jesus referred to Adam and Eve, when he was
talking to others, making it obvious that he
believed that they were real, and did exist
as the beginning of God's creation of mankind.

(Matthew 19:4)
(Mark 10:6)

Jesus even traced his family lineage back
to the first man "Adam". (Luke 3:38)


The Apostles too, spoke of Adam and Eve as
factual, historical persons.

"Adam was made first. Then Eve was made."
(1Timothy 2:13)(NIRV)-BibleGateway

(Romans 5:12-17)
(1Corinthians 15:21,22)
(1Corinthians 15:45-49)
(2Corinthians 11:3)
(1Timothy 2:13,14)
(Jude 1:14)


More About Eden

Eden is derived from the Akkadian word "edinu"
which comes from the Sumarian word eden,
which means fertile plain or steppe.
That word is a transliteration of the Hebrew
word, "ádan", which means garden of delight.
Biblical names of places are many times geographic
descriptions.

Eden - the "Cradle" of Human Civilization

"Mesopotamia, considered to be the
"cradle of civilization," is believed to be the
site of the biblical Garden of Eden. This area is
located between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers
in southern Iraq. It was home in 4,000 B.C. to
the Sumerians, mankind's first civilization, and the
birthplace of math, writing and science."

-Restoring Eden ; by Sam Ali ; Civil engineer
and water resources Expert at Psomas
GIS Helps Repair Marshlands in Iraq

Eden and Iraq

"The land of Iraq is prominent in the Bible.
You will not find the name Iraq there, but you
will find the Land of Shinar, Mesopotamia,
Assyria and Babylon, all of which occupied parts
of the land we now know as Iraq. Mesopotamia means
the land between the rivers, which would be the
Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The name Iraq means
"deep roots." And indeed Iraq has deep roots in the
history of mankind and the Bible. There were events
in that land from creation, and the earliest history
of mankind. "

-Iraq and the Bible; by Dale Smelser
Wildercroft Announcements bulletin, April 27, 2003

"Some scholars have put the Garden of Eden in Iraq
because of the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates
Rivers that defined the garden. They thus place the
garden of Eden in the far south of Iraq at Eridu."

-Iraq and the Bible; by Dale Smelser
Wildercroft Announcements bulletin, April 27, 2003

"Later information looks at the other two rivers,
the Pishon and Havillah (Gen. 2:11-14), that are
mentioned in relation to the garden. Infrared
Satellite photos have disclosed the beds of two
ancient rivers, no longer existent, but now buried
under the sand. They join the ancient connection of
the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers under the waters
of what is now the upper Persian Gulf, just South
of Iraq. Thus the Garden of Eden may be submerged
beneath the waters there."


-Iraq and the Bible; by Dale Smelser
Wildercroft Announcements bulletin, April 27, 2003

 


 


 

 

The Lost Rivers of the Garden of Eden

The quest for pinpointing the exact location of the Biblical Garden of Eden and the four rivers almost rivals the quest for the location of fabled Atlantis. And the theories that abound are almost as numerous as the interpretations of the seven days of Genesis. Before tackling this question let's review what is written in Genesis about the four rivers:

And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. (Genesis 2:10-14 KJV)

 

The Bible says that a single river flowed "out" of Eden and then does something that most rivers DO NOT do; specifically, split into four separate "rivers" downstream all fed from a common single river source. Almost all rivers start from a single source or are fed by multiple sources (tributaries). For example, the Ohio river actually begins where two rivers (the Monongahela and Allegheny ) flow together at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The Ohio river terminates when it flows into the Mississippi river as one of that river's many tributaries. So the "names" of rivers are an arbitrary thing, usually denoting only a portion of a greater complex stream system, with one stream flowing into another, which in-turn, may flow into yet another. This pattern of rivers, as observed in nature, is just the opposite of what the Bible describes about the river of Eden.

For that reason, nobody has been able to look at modern maps of the regions mentioned in Genesis and figure out exactly where the Garden of Eden was, at least by the present topography of the lands of the Middle East. Only one river of the four, the Euphrates, is known by the same name in modern times. It presently originates in the mountains of Turkey and terminates when it flows together with the Tigris river near the Iraq/Kuwait border region. Many have speculated that the Tigris is the river Hiddekel.

 

This has led to speculation that the Garden of Eden was located somewhere in Turkey. This is assumed because the present headwaters of the Euphrates river originate in Turkey, as do the headwaters of the Tigris.

Others have proposed that the other end of the Euphrates river, where it meets the Tigris, may be the true location. This requires interpreting the Tigris river as one of the other three (the Hiddekel), then interpreting a tributary confluence of rivers as a river head, and then locating at least two more rivers (or old river beds) as the other missing two. Having done that you then have a claim that the Garden of Eden was near present day Kuwait. This is a convenient solution, but not one supported by the literal wording of the Bible or the geological and geographical realities of what river "head" means, i.e. headwaters or source of origin.

You will notice that the present day headwaters of both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers originate very close to each other in mountainous terrain. Logically, one would assume that if two of the rivers started there, the other two must have done so, as well, if Turkey was the location of Eden. Neither the Pison nor Gihon rivers are ever mentioned again in the Bible. However, the Hiddekel river is:

And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;
(Daniel 10:4 KJV)

 

This reference by the prophet Daniel comes from a vision he had while with the children of Israel during the Babylonian Captivity. This would put Daniel somewhere in the area of present-day Iraq and would make the present-day Tigris river a fairly good candidate for the "Hiddekel" river spoken of by the prophet, as it is the only other "great river" known in that region today. But the Bible says that this river (..." that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria") and a historical map the location of Assyria, shows that the Tigris actually goes southeastward.

map source: http://www.smm.org/research/Anthropology/cuneiform/map_assyria.php

We should keep in mind that the geographical area known as "Assyria" is not so easy to pin down. Although the Assyrian Empire was centered near Nineveh, the actual empire also extended into what is also present-day Syria and Palestine. However, lacking a better candidate, and knowing that the prophet Daniel was in that geographical area at the time of his visions, the Tigris appears to be the best possible modern-day candidate for the Hiddekel river.

We now must search out the probable locations of the other two rivers. It is here that the theories that the Garden of Eden was either in Turkey or Kuwait starts to lose credibility.

 

First, let's identify the geographical region of the Pison river. The Bible says: "Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold" and gives us two good clues. There is a recently discovered "Fossil River" that runs from the western mountains of Saudi Arabia towards Kuwait. This now long since dry riverbed was detected by satellite imaging. Many have speculated that this may be the ancient Pison, as it has been dry since between about 3,500 to 2,000 BC. Here is awebsite with references to this ancient river's path.

Although Saudi Arabia could marginally qualify for the land of Havilah, the fossil riverbed that flows across it had its origins in the mountains bordering the eastern side of the present day Red Sea, south of Israel.

It should be pointed out that those mountains are mirrored by another range of mountains on the western side of the Red Sea. The Red Sea is a tectonic spreading zone (red) and part of the Great Rift system that runs from northward in Turkey, down through the Dead Sea, down through the Red Sea, and southward deep into the African continent. Obviously, when that mountain range was split by the Rift the source waters of the proposed Pishon [sic] river dried up.

But this proposed river path may be somewhat of a "red-herring" because it does not seem to naturally "fit" the overall pattern. An even better fit may be for the river to have flowed down what today is the Gulf of Aden south of present day Yemen (southern tip of Arabia). Yemen has both gold and onyx and the eastward trending fault branch from the Afar triangle would have been a natural riverbed in the days prior to Noah's flood (when sea levels were lower than today).

If this was indeed the Pison river, one of four that flowed out of the main one rising in the Garden of Eden, it does not correspond with the present-day headwater source of the Euphrates or Tigris up in Turkey. What's more, the geography of the last remaining river, the Gihon, further complicates the problem.

 

The Gihon is spoken of as: "Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia" which is the African land area west of the Red Sea and southward. Of course, the political boundaries of what we call Ethiopia today were certainly different in Biblical times, but the general area is correct. And if a river formerly flowed down what is now the Red Sea basin and southward into Africa at the Afar Triangle, it would certainly fit the description of a river that "compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia." (Genesis 2:13)

 

If we have correctly identified all four rivers, we now have 2 rivers (Euphrates and Tigris) originating today out of Turkey and another running down what was is now the Red Sea south of Israel and deep into Africa, following the path of the present-day Great Rift system. For the moment, we will also include the previously discussed "fossil river" running through Saudi Arabia. Superimposing these on a map we see the following trend-line across the region:

The yellow lines show the paths of the four rivers, as proposed from what we have discussed so far. You should note that we did not trace over the Euphrates and Tigris rivers to their present-day sources, but terminated them close to the Great Rift fault zone line. You will also note that we have not continued the proposed path of the "Gihon" beyond the top of the Red Sea, and have terminated the proposed "Pison" at the Great Rift fault zone line.

All 4 of these rivers have one thing in common: All are connected to the Great Rift system. And that is the key to the mystery. Two rivers presently originate out of Turkey to the north and two other fossil rivers flowed south of Israel. The geographical "center" of these four points of flow is neither Turkey nor Kuwait; the center is somewhere near present day Israel and Jordan.

The Bible itself lends further credence to Israel (or someplace nearby) as the location of the Garden of Eden. If you run the name "Eden" through a search of the Bible, among several references the following ones provide some insightful clues:

In this passage the Bible says that the Assyrian was in Lebanon. Spiritually speaking, the "trees" in this passage refer to men and leaders. Ceder trees are mentioned elsewhere in the Bible as references to Lebanon (Judges 9:15, Psalms 29:5 & 104:16, Song of Solomon 5:15, Isaiah 2:13, Jeremiah 22:23 and more).

Notice also in the last of the passage that the Spirit associates the trees with "Eden" that "were in the Garden of God."  Lebanon, although not a part of modern political Israel, was a part of the Biblical lands ruled by the Kings of Israel in times past. From this we can infer that the Garden and the source of the rivers of the Garden was somewhere close to the land of Lebanon.

 

Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field. Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations. Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty. I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him. (Ezekiel 31:3-9 KJV)

Assuming this postulation is correct, that the source of the four rivers was somewhere near Lebanon, the interconnection of the river systems would need to be somewhat like the map below:

What roughly emerges, if all four rivers are connected to the Great Rift fault system, is a complex river network emerging from a common point of origin that flows both north and south, with each north and south extension splitting into two separate streams, for a total of four rivers. That adds up to four separate heads.

Of course, to propose such a reconstruction one would have to assume that the present day headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates were not the main headwaters in ancient times. It is possible that there could have been older main tributaries previously flowing from Lebanon which were, at that time, the main headwaters of those two rivers.

Keep in mind that the course of rivers around and through the vicinity of the Great Rift fault system may have changed or dried up because of block faulting all along the Rift zone.

Certainly Horst and Graben faulting along the Rift could, and would, change the surface topography. Horst and Graben faulting is defined as "elongate fault blocks of the Earth's crust that have been raised and lowered, respectively, relative to their surrounding areas as a direct effect of faulting. Horsts and Grabens may range in size from blocks a few centimeters wide to tens of kilometers wide; the vertical movement may be up to several thousand feet." 

Image courtesy of Dr. M. Mustoe - www.tinynet.com/Graben.html

But when did this happen? The most likely time frame would be in the years immediately following Noah's Flood. Keep in mind that the Bible says there was a significant geologic event that happened 101 years after Noah's Flood (The "Earth was divided" see: The days of Peleg). And the Bible also describes what was probably tectonic/volcanic activity in Abraham's days (the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah - see Genesis 19:28).

Imaging of the Dead Sea indicates that, at one time, the river bed of what is now the Jordan river once flowed across the land surface that is now at the bottom of the Dead Sea.

This suggests that there was Horst and Graben faulting at the southern end of the present Dead Sea, which abruptly terminated the former flow of that river southward. And that stream was probably the feeder channel to the ancient Gihan river, which ran down the floor of what is now the Red Sea into Ethiopia and through the Rift basin south from the Afar Triangle. Supporting coincidental evidence for this is the fact that fish species down in the African Rift valley river and lake systems are very similar to those found in the Jordan river system:

Note: The aquatic life of the African lakes and rivers belongs to the so-called Ethiopian zoogeographical region. According to Annandale, “the explanation of the Ethiopian affinity of the fish fauna of the Jordan is that the Jordan formed at one time merely part of a river system that ran down the Great Rift Valley. The Jordan was one branch of this huge river system, the chain of lakes in East Africa represents the other; and together they opened into the Indian Ocean.”

See R. Washbourn, “The Percy Sladen Expedition to Lake Huleh, 1935,” 
Palestine Exploration Fund, Quarterly Statements, (1936), p. 209.  (Source website: The Great Rift and the Jordan)

Now, returning to the general area of Lebanon as the Biblical location of the Garden of Eden and the water source for the four rivers, let us take a look at the present-day geology and topography of that area. Click on the Thumbnail graphic to the left for a higher resolution map of the area. This map shows a great deal of block faulting in the area of Lebanon just north of modern day Israel.

STS41G-120-0056 Dead Sea Rift Valley, Israel and Jordan 
October 1984 Seen from an altitude of 190 nautical miles (350 kilometers)

Here is a satellite image of the entire area. You will note from the topographical relief that, had waters once flowed out of this area, they would naturally flow northward into the Euphrates Fault system river basin. At the time of the Garden of Eden the main headwaters of the Euphrates could have come from that direction. If the water flow at that time continued northward along the path of the Great Rift, it would also intersect the present-day Tigris river basin.

The prominent bodies of water along the Rift zone in this photo are the Dead Sea (bottom) and Sea of Galilee (top). They are connected by the Jordan river which flows south. Before the Earth was divided by the Rift, the mountainous land on both the Israeli and Jordanian sides were joined. You are looking at "ground zero" of what was once the Garden of Eden.

 

Here is another important point to remember. The Bible says that the river flowed out of Eden, but nowhere does the Bible give a geographical size for what constituted the area of Eden. Therefore, the actual source of the waters could have been south of Lebanon. More specifically, those waters could have originated near Jerusalem in present-day Israel.

The Israel/Lebanon region as the location of Eden and the lost river finds considerable support in the Bible. Support for this line of reasoning in found in the fact that God considers the land of Israel as His Holy land. It was upon one of the mountains in the "land of Moriah" (Genesis 22:2) where Abraham was told to Sacrifice his son (a type of the Lord's sacrifice of Jesus). Solomon was told to build the Temple "at Jerusalem in mount Moriah" (2 Chronicles 3:1) and Jerusalem was where the Lord Jesus was actually crucified. By extension, we can assume that when God sacrificed an animal to cover Adam and Eve with its skin (Genesis 3:21), that animal was a Lamb (Revelation 13:8). Therefore, we can be certain from the typology that Adam and Eve, and the center of the Garden of God, were somewhere at or very near geographical Jerusalem.

Now, what exactly do those spiritual realities have to do with the location of the river of Eden? In the future, when the Lord Jesus Christ establishes His Kingdom and Righteous Temple in Jerusalem, the Bible speaks of a river flowing from below the Temple. The prophet Ezekiel spoke of seeing this in a vision:

Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.  (Ezekiel 47:1-12 KJV)

And this corresponds with what John said about the New Jerusalem:

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2 KJV)

Since the original "Tree of Life" was in the Garden of Eden, does it not make sense that, when the Lord makes all things new, that the future "Tree of Life" would be restored to its proper place? And that place is in Israel. The same place, upon the mountains of Moriah (Jerusalem), where Abraham was told to sacrifice Isaac (see Genesis 22:2); where Solomon was told to build the house of the Lord (see 2 Chronicles 3:1); and where the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified; where the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. (See Revelation 13:8 and Genesis 3:21.) All these things fit, in Scriptural type.

Yes, the Bible tends to indicate that the river from the Garden of Eden originated in Judea and from there became four heads. A forensic study of the region's geology tends to support the theory over the alternatively proposed locations of Turkey or Kuwait. What we have not shown is that the geologic model for the source of these waters originates from the area of Jerusalem.

We can only assume that the block faulting along the Great Rift zone which has changed the courses of rivers and created the Dead Sea basin and its present southern aquaclude, has also disrupted the main aquifer(s) that once were the underground source for the fabled river of Eden. Only a remnant of this water system remains today. There is a spring of Gihon near the old temple mount and there are historical accounts of past Springs and Pools in and near Jerusalem in the Scriptures.

Keep in Mind that Jerusalem sits just west of the Great Rift valley. It is quite possible that legendary river of Eden originated from a massive artesian aquifer, the source of which has long since been disrupted by block faulting along the Rift. We know for a scientific fact that there is a considerable amount of "fossil" water under the Middle east in the deep-rock sandstone aquifers of the region such as the Nubian sandstone aquifers and equivalent formations.

Keep in mind that in the days of Adam and Eve, a "mist" went up and watered the face of the Earth within the Garden (Genesis 2:6). Fountains of waters (underground waters under pressure gushing upwards) would certainly be a logical source for the generation of such a mist and would be a logical feed-source for such a river. Certainly, we cannot exclude this possibility.

In summary, although the modern-day geology and topography of the Middle-East does not readily reveal the exact location of the Garden of Eden and the four rivers source, guidance by faith from the Holy Bible and a forensic study of the region's geology reveals the matter. The available data appears to suggest that present-day Israel was the central location of the Garden of Eden.

Source provided by:     http://www.kjvbible.org/rivers_of_the_garden_of_eden.html

 

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