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Don Stewart :: Where Was the Garden of Eden?

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Don Stewart
The Bible speaks of God creating man and woman and placing them in a suitable habitat-the Garden of Eden. After they sinned the two were forever banished from the Garden. Are we to assume that the Garden of Eden is an actual place? If so, then where is it?

Actual Place

The Bible makes it clear that the Garden of Eden was an actual, rather than a mythical place. It is associated with four rivers which are named in the text. There are the Euphrates, Hiddekel (Tigris), the Pishon and Gihon. The Tigris and Euphrates are well known as rivers that flow through modern day Iraq. Indeed, they are located in Assyria (vs. 14) which is modern day Iraq.

Exact Location Unknown

The exact location of the Gihon and Pishon are not known. The Gihon is associated with the land of Cush which would place it northeast of the head of the Persian gulf. Thus, the Garden of Eden was located somewhere in Mesopotamia.

Does It Still Exist?

If the Garden of Eden were a literal place, then should we expect to find it today in its pristine condition? No. Its magnificence is portrayed to us before sin entered into the universe. The influence of sin was felt upon the Garden of Eden as well as every other place on earth. Since two of the rivers, the Gihon and the Pishon, are unknown this may suggest that many geographical changes took place in the time between Adam and Moses.

Earth Altered

The Fall, as well as the great Flood, may have altered some of the geographical references. Thus, it would be fruitless to attempt to search for the Garden of Eden in modern times because it degenerated along with everything else.

No Permanent Structures

We should not expect to find any archaeological evidence of the Garden of Eden because Scripture does not indicate that Adam built any permanent structure nor did he make any pottery.

Author Of Genesis Knew?

There is the interesting fact that the writer of Genesis describes the rivers in terms of known geographical boundaries at his time. This indicates that the rivers were known to him. This suggests that at least this portion of Genesis was written at a very early date-possibly before the Flood.

Summary

We conclude that the Garden of Eden did exist at one time but we are unable to locate it today because the results of the Fall of humanity and the great Flood have altered the terrain. Also there were no permanent structures built in Eden. The boundaries were seemingly well-known to the writer of Genesis-indicating an ancient writing of the text.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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