The Garden of Eden

The Lord created the Garden of Eden as is described in Genesis chapter two. One of the features of the garden is a river that divides into four rivers, the Pison, the Gihon, the Hiddekel (thought to be the Tigris) and the Euphrates. The location of the Garden of Eden is unknown, and there has been much speculation about the location. The most common guess is near the confluence of the Tigris, Euphrates, Karun Rivers and other tributaries near the Persian Gulf.

Though we are not given where Noah lived when the Great Flood began, we are told that the Ark landed in what is now Armenia or possibly northern Iran. It is possible that post-Flood rivers and mountains were given names by their similarity to pre-Flood topography. The problem with the Tigris-Euphrates-Persian Gulf location for the Garden of Eden is that the rivers join together, rather than one river parting into four. This is the exact opposite of the description in the Bible at creation.

It is possible that there were great geologic upheavals during the time of the Flood. A potential result of such upheavals could be the Great Rift Valley of Africa which begins north of Israel and runs down to southern Africa. The Jordan River and the Red Sea are markers of this geologic rift. East of Israel and the Jordan River is a geologic land mass known as the Arabian Plate. The Arabian Plate is between Israel and the Eurasian Plate, which is located East of the Persian Gulf.

The distance from Jerusalem to the Persian Gulf is about 800 miles. It is possible that the Arabian Plate is the result of the upheavals at the time of the Flood, and that Jerusalem and the Persian Gulf were at one time very near, or even adjacent to each other. The geological changes could have caused the four rivers, which may have formerly flowed north from the area of the Gulf, to flow south as they do today. It is also possible that the alluvial plane of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers is simply the result of the Great Flood and has no bearing whatsoever on the true location of the Garden of Eden. This, of course, is all speculation.

But, despite speculation, the Lord told us that Israel and Zion are the apple of His eye. (Zechariah 2:8) The Jews say that Israel is the “navel of the earth.” We know Jerusalem and the Lord’s holy mountain (Zion) are the place that He chose for His name. (First Kings 11:36) Perhaps another clue is the Gihon Spring, located under the City of David. One of the four rivers was the Gihon River. The Prophet Ezekiel told us that a river would stream from the Temple. (Ezekiel 47:1-12) Perhaps Jerusalem was the site of the Garden of Eden and perhaps the Gihon Spring will become a great river, again!

Whether or not it was the location of the garden, Jerusalem and Zion are precious to the Lord. Today, this extraordinary city in a tiny nation is the focus of the political world. This sounds a lot like End Times prophecy which declares that at that time all the nations of the world will be gathered around Jerusalem. (Zechariah 14:2) Even so, come Lord Jesus! Amen and amen.

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