The Apple Of God's Eye

March 4, 2010

Where Was The Garden Of Eden Located?

The Garden of Eden (Hebrew גַּן עֵדֶן), is described in Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God.

The Genesis creation story relates the geographical location of the garden of Eden to four rivers (Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, Euphrates). This is why many Christians (as well as scholars and archeologists) have assumed that the original garden was located somewhere in the Mesopotamian region (around present day Iraq) where the modern Tigris and Euphrates rivers flow.

Where is the Garden Of Eden today? Simple answer – it’s buried! The Bible records a worldwide flood centuries after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden. As described in Genesis 6-9, the global flood would have been so catastrophic, that it would have completely torn apart and restructured the surface of the globe, with no place surviving untouched. The pre-Flood world, and thus the Garden, ceased to exist—it perished, as 2 Peter 3:6 confirms.

Some argue the Tigris and Euphrates rivers could have survived intact because of their great size and depth, and quote the fact that after the flood, Noah’s family moved to the plain of Shinar (Sumeria/ Babylon). They would have encountered the present-day Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, but it is not improbable to believe that they would have given familiar names to them. And while both these rivers have their headwaters in the area surrounding Mt. Ararat, they do not flow from a common source, filling the land as mentioned. Nor are the other two rivers present and none go to Ethiopia. In short, while the names match for two of the four biblical rivers, the geography and descriptions don’t.

Map showing Tigris and  Euphrates rivers. Copyrighted, Eden    Communications.Scientific fact and common sense also dictate that these are not the same rivers. They run on top of flood-deposited sediments (now rock) over two miles thick, bearing mute testimony to a massive watery upheaval which covered the planet with processes operating at rates, scales, and intensities far beyond what could be comprehended today. These sediments, driven by unimaginably high waters, would over time have either fossilized or metamorphosed into oil and gas and then dramatically bent into modern, visible, as well as subsurface mountains, and become broken by major fault systems. Thus they deeply cover and obscure any possible pre-flood locations. Furthermore, the basement rock would have likely undergone erosion also. No present topography or underground surface could possibly bear any resemblance to the pre-flood world.

At this point, many authors simply say that the Gardens’ actual location on the globe can never be established. Some postulate it could have been in Turkey, Egypt, India or Ethiopia. But if we study the plan of God in the Bible, there is reason to believe that the Garden of Eden once existed in the Middle East, somewhere in the area where Jerusalem was later built. This can be reasoned because God has consistently used this area of the Holy Land to work out His plan of salvation. When Christ returns, the center of His kingdom will be at Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:17; Jeremiah 3:17).

Also, Ezekiel 47:1-12 shows a river will be flowing out from Jerusalem during Christ’s reign, just as it did from the ancient Garden of Eden (see Gen. 2:10-14). Since that is the time of the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21), we have another strong indication that God will re-establish His presence at the same locality as before (see Gen. 3:8, 23-24; 4:16).

Also, since the saints rule with Christ from Jerusalem, Rev. 2:7 seems to indicate that the area will be restored to its former Edenic condition.

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