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Eden vs. The Garden of Eden
The first thing we need to understand is that there is a difference between the two. Think of it as Eden being the state, and The Garden of Eden being the capital. We learn this in Genesis:
“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” – Genesis 2:8
Eden was a location, and within Eden, to the east, was The Garden of Eden. So let’s look at a map where tradition places the garden.
That is modern day Iraq, directly between where the Arabian Peninsula meets Asia. I’ll have a more detailed map in a moment. The reason it is placed here is because of the rivers mentioned in Genesis.
“And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.” – Genesis 2:10
Here is where things get a little tricky. The first two rivers are completely ignored by “experts”, and they automatically place the garden near the Euphrates.
River #1 – Pison
“The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;” – Genesis 2:11
The first river encompasses the whole land of Havilah, but where was Havilah located?
As we can see, Havilah was located right on the Arabian Peninsula. When we look at the second river, something interesting starts to happen.
River #2 – Gihon
“And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.” – 2:13
To understand the importance of where Ethiopia is in proximity to Havilah, we are going to look at the following map.
If we look at the above map, we see the Ethiopia is directly across from Havilah (Arabian Peninsula). Let’s take a look at the third river.
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River #3 & #4 – Hiddekel and Euphrates
“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 2:14
There are plenty of scholars that identify the Hiddekel as the Tigris River, and the Euphrates River has the same name in modern times. We’ll take look at this map to see their locations.
Eden In Relation To The World
To put the full area into perspective, here is a map showing the rivers, and their location directly between Africa and Asia.
The Problem With Eden’s Location
Almost everyone on the planet is use to looking at the above map, because we live in a post “divide” world. In Genesis we learn the following:
“And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.” – Genesis 10:25
According to Genesis, the earth was divided in the days of Peleg. Now let’s look at a map of how the world currently looks, but with tectonic plates added to the picture.
Now we have somewhat of an idea as to why the earth was divided as such. But what happens when we put everything back together? We get what is known as Pangaea. It looks like the following:
Notice how everything fits together. Then look at the far right (East) of the map. What do you notice? The entire area of that contained Eden (Mesopotamia) was originally part of Africa, as was Turkey. According to the Bible, “the land of Nod” was located to the east of Eden, which puts it in or very close to Iran.
“And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.” – Genesis 4:16
For those that believe that I’m only picking this map to prove my point, here are a couple of other maps from different sources, which show the same. The following maps utilize “Continental Drift”, which has lots of scientific evidence to back it.
Here is an image that shows how Continental Drift is believed to have happened. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a larger image, but if you have one, please feel free to send it over and I’ll update this page with it.
While science makes the claim that Continental Drift happened over a long period of time, it most likely happened very quickly as Genesis 10:25 seems to indicate.
Both science and the Bible support the fact that The Garden of Eden was originally located on the Eastern coast of Africa, and at least part of Africa, if not all of Africa, was referred to as Eden.
If we look even closer at the map, we’ll notice that Israel was also part of Africa before the earth was divided. Is it possible the area we call Israel fell within The Garden of Eden? It would definitely explain the following verse:
“And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs.” – Numbers 13:23
Unfortunately, we do not know how much area The Garden of Eden encompassed, but chances are that it covered a significant amount of surface area.
Please Share Your Findings
If you’ve done any research on Eden or The Garden of Eden, please feel free to share what you’ve found by using the comment section below. Videos, pictures, and links are encouraged.