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Sermon No: 40093-Where was the garden of Eden



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SERMON TOPIC: Where was the garden of Eden

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 11 August 2018

Topic Groups: GENESIS, CREATIONISM, APOLOGETICS

Sermon synopsis: Of course, some atheists will deny that there ever was a Garden of Eden. A few Christians and Jews claim that the Garden was not literal, but the Genesis narrative is simply a poetic allegory for humanity’s loss of innocence.

Well known creationist, Ken Ham, believes that the Deluge of Noah devastated the landscape of the earth to such an extent that it is impossible to know where the Garden was.

But Moses gives very specific pointers to a real geographic location. -

- A direction relative to Israel
- 4 rivers linked to specific countries
- A neighbouring country rich in mineral reserves

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WHERE WAS THE GARDEN OF EDEN?

Gen 2:8-10 (NASB) The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden

… and there He placed the man whom He had formed.

Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food…

… the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers.

Gen 2:11-14 (NASB) The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

In terms of geographical location, Moses gives us 3 groups of indicators:

A direction relative to Israel

4 rivers linked to specific countries

A neighbouring country rich in mineral reserves

WHERE WAS EDEN?

Despite this, there are various suggestions for the location of Eden. Some of the less common ones are:

Arabia (Salibi, Muslim tradition)

Barvas Moor on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides (Scottish Gaelic tradition).

Praslin Island, Seychelles (General Charles Gordon)

India/Indus Valley (Waddell)

Cyprus/Adana (composite Sarmast & Urantia theory)

Lebanon (Thubron)

Carchemish in Syria (Waddell)

Nigeria/Africa (W African myth)

WHERE WAS EDEN?

One Youtube video claims that the Garden of Eden was at Port St. Johns in South Africa.

WHERE WAS EDEN?

Of course some atheists will deny that there ever was a Garden of Eden.

A few Christians and Jews claim that the Garden was not literal, but the Genesis narrative is simply a poetic allegory for humanity’s loss of innocence.

Well known creationist, Ken Ham, believes that the Deluge of Noah devastated the landscape of the earth to such an extent that it is impossible to know where the Garden was. He considers the river names Euphrates and Tigris to have been re-used because of the survivors’ familiarity with the names of former pre-Flood rivers. 1

1 "https:// answersingenesis.org/ genesis/ garden-of-eden/ where-was-the-garden-of-eden-located

WHERE WAS EDEN?

Ken Ham

Some other more radical (and bizarre) suggestions for the location of the Garden of Eden are:

Tarim Basin in northwest China

East Indies/Indonesia/Sundaland in the South China Sea (Heron, A Santos)

Jackson County, Missouri in the US (The Mormons)

Antarctica or the Artic

The lost continent of Lemuria

Pangaea, before continental drift

Atlantis/Atlantic (I Donnelly, Flem-Ath)

On Mars! (Brinsley LePoer Trench)

WHERE WAS EDEN?

The more sensible suggestions are:

In Northeast Africa (Egypt or Ethiopia), based on the Gihon being linked by some to the Nile.

The city of Jerusalem (Israel), in particular Gihon Spring - due to the similarity in name to the Gihon River.

In the vicinity of Tabriz in Iranian Azerbaijan (David Rohl).

In the Armenian Highlands of eastern Turkey, the source of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

At the head of the Persian Gulf, in Mesopotamia (Iraq) where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers run into the sea.

In the northern part of the Persian Gulf (submerged).

WHERE WAS EDEN?

Gen 2:8 (NIV) Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden…

Genesis was written from a Hebrew perspective. When directions (East, West, South and North) are used in the Old Testament, they are always relative to Israel.

It says the Garden was “in the east” i.e. east of Israel.

This makes the Israel location unlikely e.g. no one considers the Magi “from the East” to be from Israel, but look to the Middle East regions like Persia (Iran), Babylonia (Iraq) and Arabia as likely options.

It would also exclude the African suggestions (as they are South-West of Israel) and many of the remote areas (like the US, Antarctica). Even Turkey and Armenia were considered to be North of Israel.

IN THE EAST

East of Canaan (later Israel) in Moses’ time were Ammon, Moab, Mesopotamia (Assyria and Babylonia) and Persia.

IN THE EAST

East of Israel today are parts of Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and - to a lesser degree - Saudi Arabia.

IN THE EAST

The term Eden probably is derived from the Akkadian word edinu, borrowed from the Sumerian eden, meaning “plain.” 1

Gen 2:10-14 (NASB) Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon... The name of the second river is Gihon… The name of the third river is Tigris… And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

Moses mentions a river which branched into 4 tributaries:

Pishon

Gihon

Tigris (Hiddekel)

Euphrates

1 "https:// www.britannica.com/ topic/Garden-of-Eden

4 RIVERS

Gen 2:14b And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

This is the easiest river to identify. Even though the Flood changed the landscape, the Euphrates at the time of Moses would have been linked to the original river. The longest river of Western Asia, it begins in the mountains of Armenia in modern- day Turkey. It passes through Syria and Iraq, joining the Tigris River before it empties into the Persian Gulf.

EUPHRATES

The Euphrates River

Gen 2:14a The name of the third river is Tigris [Hiddekel]; it flows east of Assyria.

Likewise there is little mystery here. It is called Hiddekel in the Hebrew and Daniel calls Hiddekel “the great river” (Daniel 10:4). It was identified by the Septuagint as the Tigris.

It ran east of Assyria (Iraq), as it still does today. The Tigris and Euphrates are both East of Israel.

The Tigris and Euphrates, with their tributaries, form a major river system in Western Asia. Flowing about 1,850 kilometres from the Taurus Mountains of eastern Turkey, the Tigris joins the Euphrates River north of Basra.

TIGRIS

Mesopotamia (from the Greek, meaning “between two rivers”) is the area between the Tigris and Euphrates. It was part of the Fertile Crescent region, in which civilization first emerged.

TIGRIS & EUPHRATES

The 2 most common groups of theories place the Garden of Eden either:

At the Northern source of the Tigris and Euphrates (in eastern Turkey)

At the Southern outlet of both rivers into the Persian Gulf.

In the Northern view, the Gihon is often associated with the Araxes (modern Aras) river which flows through Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. That claim is made because “Gihon” in Hebrew and “Araxes” in Greek both mean something similar, roughly “dashing”, “gushing”, or “fast-flowing”. 1

1 "http:// 100years100facts.com/ facts/ garden-eden-traditions-located-armenia/

NORTH & SOUTH

NORTHERN LOCATION

One problem with the Turkey / Armenia location is that it is not East of Israel, but North.

In contrast, the Southern location (the Persian Gulf theory) is due East of Israel.

One theory is that the Garden of Eden was at the ruins found at Gobekli in Northern Mesopotamia (modern Turkey). Gobekli is located on the plains of Haran (named after Abraham’s brother).

A criticism of this theory is the absence of the Pishon and Gihon rivers. As the site allows only for two of the four rivers, many scholars have dismissed it as Eden.

NORTHERN LOCATION

David Rohl is a British Egyptologist renowned for revising the chronology of Ancient Egypt and Israel to form an alternative new chronology. He believes that Eden is in another Northern location - in the vicinity of Tabriz of Iranian Azerbaijan. Not exactly due East of Israel, it is North-East.

In a theory that is gaining popularity, Rohl cites several geographical similarities which he believes matches the Biblical description of Eden. Firstly it is near the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

IRAN

David Rohl (1950-)

It is also in proximity to the Gaihun-Aras (Gihon?) and Kezel Uzun (Pishon?) rivers. The latter river is known locally as the Golden River. It meanders between ancient gold mines, much like the Pishon did, before feeding the Caspian Sea. 1

The area is also close to the mountain range of Kusheh Dagh (Cush?) and an area called Noqdi which Rohl believes is the Land of Nod, Cain’s place of exile after murdering Abel. 1

1 "http:// tiborkrausz.com/ html/ features/ Paradise%20Found.html

IRAN

From sources originating in the Armenian Highlands of eastern Turkey, the Tigris and Euphrates flow through Syria and Iraq into the Persian Gulf. But while the rivers both have their sources in the North, it is not a common source.

The only point of commonality between the two rivers is in the South.

NORTHERN LOCATION

When Moses says that “from there it divided and became into four heads [rosh]” (Gen 2:10, KJV) it gives modern readers the impression that he is talking about the headstreams i.e. their sources!

But M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopaedia states “In no instance is rosh (literally, ‘head’) applied as the SOURCE of a river”. 1

Old Testament scholar Prof. R. K. Harrison wrote 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”. 2

1 Vol. III, p. 53 2 ISBE, new edition, vol. II, p. 17

NORTHERN LOCATION

The Tigris and Euphrates rivers point exclusively to a Middle East location for Eden. As the location of these two rivers are generally agreed upon by most to have been as they are today, the key to finding the Garden of Eden’s location rests in the identity of the first two rivers mentioned; the Pishon and the Gihon. These two rivers are no longer in existence – at least by those names.

TIGRIS & EUPHRATES

Josephus thought the Pishon was the Ganges River in India and that the Gihon was the Nile River in Egypt. 1

But this is an unworkable solution, given the geographical span of thousands of kilometres between Egypt and India. Besides, the Ganges and Nile have no commonality with the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

1 And Phison… running into India, makes its exit into the sea, and is by the Greeks called Ganges… Geon runs through Egypt… which the Greeks call Nile.” – Antiquities, Bk 1 ch 1:2-4

PISHON

The key to identifying the Pishon is given below:

Gen 2:11 The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.

So where was Havilah? It is most commonly believed to be the Arabian Peninsula or the Arabian shore of the Persian Gulf.

Two men named Havilah are listed in the Table of Nations which lists the descendants of Noah, who are considered ancestors of nations. They are mentioned in Genesis 10 and 1 Chron 1:9-23.

One is the son of Cush, the son of Ham (Gen 10:7).

The other is a son of Joktan and descendant of Shem (Gen 10:29).

HAVILAH

Later in Genesis, Moses refers to the land of Havilah as the territory inhabited by the Ishmaelites.

Gen 25:18 (NASB) They settled from Havilah to Shur which is east of Egypt as one goes toward Assyria

East of Egypt going to Assyria (Iraq) is Arabia. In addition, the Ishmaelites were the forefathers of the Arabs.

HAVILAH

Then the following verse implies that Havilah bordered Shur, which was east of Egypt – again pointing to Arabia.

1 Sam 15:7 Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt.

HAVILAH

A tradition found in the Kitab al-Magall (Clementine literature) and the Cave of Treasures holds that in the early days after the Tower of Babel, the children of Havilah, son of Joktan built a city and kingdom, which was near to those of his brothers, Sheba and Ophir. 1

According to Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, the name “Havilah” means “sand-land”. 2

1 "https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Havilah 2 "https:// biblehub.com/ hebrew/2341.htm

HAVILAH

The Christian Geology Centre has put out an interesting study in which these stones are critical in helping locate the Biblical Garden of Eden. Describing the land of Havilah Genesis 2:11-12 says “the gold of that land is good; the bdellium and onyx stone are there.” These substances were not found within the borders of Mesopotamia. 1

Bdellium came only from Southern Arabia and Somaliland in antiquity. 1

The exact nature of the onyx stone is not known, however, precious stones were being brought into Israel and Mesopotamia through Arabia during times antiquity. 1

1 "http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ biblical-garden-of-eden.html# gallery[pageGallery]/0

THE GOLD

Ophir in Genesis 10 was one of the sons of Joktan. Their land became a major source of gold in the ancient world.

1 Kings 9:26-28 King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber, which is near Elath [modern Eilat] … on the shore of the Red Sea…They sailed to Ophir and brought back 420 talents of gold

THE GOLD

Indeed, the most ancient gold deposit on earth rests in Saudi Arabia, at modern day Mahd adh Dhahab. Mahd adh Dhahab was the largest and one of the richest gold mines in antiquity. 1 Known as the Cradle of Gold, it is still the leading gold mining area in the Arabian Peninsula. 2 National Geographic reported that the legendary lost gold mine that supplied King Solomon has been discovered in this area. This mine at Ophir produced half the gold of the known world 3000 years ago. A four-year study of the site by teams from the US Geological Survey and the Saudi Arabian Directorate General of mineral Resources provided support for this theory. 3

1 Ibid 2 "https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Mahd_adh_Dhahab 3 "https:// news.google.com/ newspapers?id=6aQfAAAAIBAJ& sjid=PdYEAAAAIBAJ& pg=1508,1026966& dq=saudi+arabia+cradle+of+gold& hl=en

THE GOLD

At first glance the only problem with this identification of Havilah with Arabia is that no river runs across Saudi Arabia. If the Garden was in the Persian Gulf area of southern Iran/Kuwait, then there would have to be the Pishon river, or evidence of it stretching across the desert.

But for decades scholars have suggested that the Wadi al Batin 1 was a possible candidate for the Pishon River. The Wadi al Batin breaks to the southwest of the Persian Gulf, along the borders of Kuwait, and into Saudi Arabia. Once in Saudi Arabia, the Wadi is swallowed by vast and massive sand dunes. It was here the Wadi al Batin was thought to have stopped flowing. 2

1 A Wadi is the Arabic and Hebrew term for a valley or a dry riverbed that contains water only during times of heavy rain 2 "http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ biblical-garden-of-eden.html# gallery[pageGallery]/0

PISHON RIVER

However, recent ground-breaking satellite images indicate that the Wadi al Batin actually continues to the southwest - across the desert.

Pictures revealed dried up river beds buried beneath the massive expanse of sand dunes running through the entire length of Saudi Arabia! This former river flowed 970 km northeast to the Persian Gulf. Archaeological research indicates that the river system was active 2500–3000 BC. 1

1 Ibid

PISHON RIVER

With the aid of satellite photos, Farouk El-Baz of Boston University traced the dry channel from Kuwait up the Wadi Al-Batin and the Wadi Al-Rummah system originating near Medina. 1

The Wadi al Batin emerges as the Wadi Al-Rummah, which continues up stream about 80 miles before it splits in two. … The southwest branch of the Wadi Al-Rummah actually continues to the area of the Mahd adh Dhahab gold mine! 2

This ancient river stretched through and around the entire land of Saudi Arabia, and also flowed near an ancient gold mine in Saudi Arabia - one of the richest in antiquity. 2

1 "https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Pishon 2 "http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ biblical-garden-of-eden.html# gallery[pageGallery]/0

PISHON RIVER

Thus, the Pishon may be identified as the Wadi al Batin, which continues underground in a dried up ancient river bed, and emerges around the oldest, most prolific gold mine of antiquity. 1

1 Ibid

This leaves only the second river mentioned flowing from the Garden of Eden - the Gihon River.

Gen 2:13 (NASB) The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush.

Cush in the Bible normally refers to Ethiopia, which is in Africa.

The Ethiopians have long identified the Gihon with the Abay River (Blue Nile), which encircles the former kingdom of Gojjam. From a modern geographic standpoint this would seem impossible, since two of the other rivers said to issue out of Eden, the Tigris and the Euphrates, are in Mesopotamia. 1

1 "https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gihon

GIHON RIVER

But while some, including Josephus, identified the Gihon with the Nile, it seems unlikely that - coming from Egypt - Moses would refer to the Nile as the Gihon.

The Hebrew word usually used for the Nile in the Old Testament is y'or . This is in fact borrowed from the Egyptian word itrw or itr. 1

Furthermore the Garden is East of Israel, not South.

1 "https:// www.studylight.org/ dictionaries/ hbd/ n/ nile-river.html

GIHON RIVER

Those who argue for Eden being in Israel will also suggest topographies like the one below with the Gihon in the Red Sea. I find it unconvincing because it relies on rivers in the Great Rift Valley, which I believe was formed at the Flood.

The sequence of the rivers is also incorrect. Genesis says there was a single river which has the Pishon as it’s first tributary, then the Gihon, followed by the Tigris and Euphrates.

However the problem with locating the Gihon River is not as difficult as it seems at first. The problem arises because of the association of the Gihon with Cush and hence Ethiopia in Africa.

We English readers always want to tie the names to a fixed locality: we look upon them as essentially "PLACE-NAMES." This was not so to the Hebrew readers. To the Hebrew mind these names are next after the individual who originally bore them, family-names for the descendants. They thus stand for family groups, tribes, and nationalities. The names are essentially RACE-NAMES. Wherever the race goes the name goes with them. 1

1 "http:// nabataea.net/eden4.html

The names are attached to the people rather than the place. Did the descendants of Sheba in early history reside in Northern Arabia somewhere? Then “Sheba” was in Northern Arabia. At that time any Hebrew going to Sheba would go to Northern Arabia. To the place where those people lived. He would then call it, “Sheba.” But archaeologists tell us these people, sometime before 1200 BC migrated to Southern Arabia. When they did, they took the name with them. Thereafter, “Sheba” lay in South Arabia. Wherever the people lived that area would be called, “Sheba,” for the name is attached primarily to the people, and secondarily to the place where the people lived. 1

1 "http:// nabataea.net/eden4.html

Besides the Cush in Africa, the Bible speaks of Cushites in Asia. Cush is named as the father of Nimrod (Gen 10) who reigned in Babylonia. Associating Cush with people rather tan a place, at that time, here was a Cush in Babylonia.

Another option is that there were more two places known as Cush.

Some scholars identify Cush as the ancient Kassite kingdom, which encompassed a Mesopotamian area that is repeatedly flooded by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. This view has some support from Herodotus, who thought there were both an African Ethiopia (Cush) and a northern (Asiatic) Ethiopia. 1

1 "https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gihon

The Kashshites in Mesopotamia were contemporaries of the Israelites then forming the state of Israel.

Biblical scholar Ephraim Speiser proposed the “Gush”, or “Kush”, translated as Cush, meant to imply the Kashshu. The Kashshites overran Mesopotamia in 1500 BC. These people dwelt east of Mesopotamia from the years 1800-1600 BC. The land before the Kashshu was known as Elam, or Susa [Iran]. 1

1 "http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ biblical-garden-of-eden.html# gallery[pageGallery]/0

GIHON RIVER

This places the Gihon branching to the east, into Iran and the Zagros Mountains. Prof. Juris Zarins believes the Gihon is the Karun River, which rises in Iran and flows southwesterly toward the present Gulf.

GIHON RIVER

The phrasing in Gen 2:13 is also interesting.

(NASB) The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush.

(NIV) The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.

The Hebrew term literally means; to twist and turn, to take roundabout course. With this in mind, the most likely candidate would be the Karun River. This river runs a course of over 800 kilometres. However, the river is only 280 kilometres in length. It runs a zigzagging, meandering course through the Zagros Mountains. 1

1 "http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ biblical-garden-of-eden.html# gallery[pageGallery]/0

GIHON RIVER

The Karun and Karkheh rivers provided ancient Mesopotamia with vital trade routes into Elam and Susa. The people of this day would have been very familiar with the Gihon River and the land of Kush, whose inhabitants were known as the Kashshites (Kassites). 1

It was Speiser again who suggested that the mysterious Gush or Kush should be correctly written as Kashshu and further that it refers to the Kashshites, a people who, in about 1500 BC, conquered Mesopotamia and prevailed until about 900 BC. This Zarins considers a vital clue. “At the time the Kashshites were in control in Mesopotamia, the nation of Israel was being formed.” 2

1 "http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ biblical-garden-of-eden.html #gallery[pageGallery]/0 2 "http:// www.ldolphin.org/ eden/

GIHON RIVER

The Karun and Karkheh, up until the 10th century AD, emptied into the Persian Gulf. 1

The Karun also shows in LANDSAT images and … until it was dammed, contributed most of the sediment forming the delta at the head of the Persian Gulf. 2

1 "http:// www.israel-a-history-of.com/ biblical-garden-of-eden.html# gallery[pageGallery]/0 2 "http:// www.ldolphin.org/ eden/

GIHON RIVER

An intriguing theory by Professor Juris Zarins, an internationally renowned archaeologist at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, places the Garden of Eden underneath Bubiyan Island at the Northern part of the Persian Gulf..

PERSIAN GULF

Juris Zarins

Evidence exists underneath this island suggesting that at one point the land was dry. In fact, originally the entire Persian Gulf is believed to have been a dry river valley.

PERSIAN GULF

Thus the Garden of Eden, on the geographical evidence, must have been somewhere at the head of the Gulf at a time when all four rivers joined and flowed through an area that was then above the level of the Gulf. The wording in Genesis that Eden’s river came into 4 heads was dealt with by Biblical scholar Ephraim Speiser some years ago: the passage, he said, refers to the 4 rivers upstream of their confluence into the one river watering the Garden. 1

1 Ibid

PERSIAN GULF

The scholarly world first heard about Dilmun a little more than a century ago, when scholars were able to decipher cuneiform tablets unearthed by archaeologist Austen Henry Layard in Nineveh, an Assyrian stronghold in today’s Iraq… On later tablets, to their astonishment. scholars began reading, in literature, not only about Eden and Adam and the “lady of the rib” but also about a Great Flood, a Sumerian hero called Gilgamesh and his search for the Tree of Life. There was even a serpent. Gilgamesh had gone “down” from Sumer to the Gulf area where he had been told he would find a plant that would give him eternal life. “What he found may have been coral, which in antiquity was a symbol of eternal life,” Zarins explains. “And after his labours he went to sleep and a serpent came along and stole his eternal life…” 1

1 "http:// www.ldolphin.org/ eden/

Smithsonian Magazine, Volume 18. No. 2, May 1987

SUMERIAN MYTH

The area thought to be the Garden of Eden, which was flooded when Gulf waters arose, is shown in green. Yellow areas of Bahrain and Arabian coast represent Dilmun, paradise land of Ubaidians and Sumerians. 1

1 "http:// www.ldolphin.org/ eden

SUMERIAN MYTH

Finally let’s look at another piece of evidence involving Cain’s descendants that is often overlooked when identifying the whereabouts of Eden.

Gen 4:16 (NASB) Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod [wandering], east of Eden.

“Nod” (נוד) is the Hebrew root of the verb “to wander” לנדוד)). No one knows where the land of Nod was located. The Bible only mentions the land once and never again.

The Hebrew word translated “east” in many versions is “qidmah” meaning “front, east” (Strongs 6926). It is not exactly the same as “qedem” (Strongs 6924) in Gen 2:8 (a garden in the east) which means “eastward”.

LAND OF NOD?

“Qidmah” also carries the meanings “in front of” or “over against” implying that it may be adjacent to or neighbouring Eden. The Septuagint renders Gen 4:16 “the land of Nod over against Edem” i.e. adjacent to.

Read without vowels, NOD could be an earlier form of INDIA, 1 assuming the ancient name was preserved at all.

1 The INDUS River (where India got its name) was known in Sanskrit as SINDHU. The Proto-Iranian sound change *s > h between 850–600 BC caused its Avestan name to become HENDU, From Iran, the name passed to the Greeks as INDÓS and to the Romans as INDUS. "https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Indus_River

LAND OF NOD?

LAND OF NOD?

But the following verse reads:

Gen 4:17 (NASB) Cain… built a city, and called the name of the city ENOCH, after the name of his son.

So in the context we are told that the first city was built by Cain’s son Enoch (not to be confused with Enoch from Seth’s line) and it seems likely that this city would also be in the region of Eden. But where was the city of Enoch?

The city of URUK in Iraq is often referred to as the 'first city’ by scholars who believe that Mesopotamia saw the earliest emergence of literate urban civilization in what is dubbed “the Uruk period”, for which reason Mesopotamia is often described as a "Cradle of Civilization". 1

1 "https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Tigris%E2%80%93 Euphrates_river_system

Dr. Arthur C. Custance notes that “When cuneiform was being deciphered for the first time, it soon became apparent that some of the cities mentioned in Biblical antiquity were still in existence as mounds and very often the natives in the area had preserved the original name in a modified form.”

Commenting on Gen 4:17, Custance writes regarding changes in pronunciation which occur in the course of the development of a language:

The sound represented by the letter N is often reproduced (strange as it may seem) as an R.

The CH sound which terminates the name Enoch may be replaced by a K or G, or a GH. These changes are very common.

URUK

A very important city in antiquity appeared under the name URUK and a study of cuneiform soon revealed that this could equally well be pronounced UNUK, which was recognized at once by Sayce, and many others, as identical with the Biblical word, ENOCH.

He continues:

One of the features of cuneiform writing was the use of what are called determinatives, signs which are placed before or after certain words to enable the reader to distinguish between names of cities and names of people, or names of deities and names of mortals, and so forth. Thus if a city happened to have a name which was also the name of a famous man, it was customary to use a determinative to let the reader know whether one was referring to the man or to the place.

URUK

 In the case of a man’s name, the determinative was put in front of the word... The interesting thing about the city Unuk, or Uruk, was that the determinative was omitted. It is the only instance in which this is so. The reason for this sole exception to the rule was not apparent at first until it was realized after considerable study of cuneiform texts that the word had come to mean the City par excellence, a special city, special for historical reasons. And as such, it was not considered to stand in need of any distinguishing~ determinative. The ‘specialness’ lay in the fact that it was the name of the first City ever to have been built, and as such it was the prototype of all others and came to be referred to, to all intents and purposes, as The City… 

URUK

Now obviously the city which Cain built and named after his son Enoch must have been destroyed by the Flood so that the physical entity itself probably disappeared, though it was subsequently re-founded… But though the original city was lost for a season, the name and the special significance were never lost sight of, for in time the name URUK 1 ceased to be a name at all and became merely a word meaning CITY. In later cuneiform this city was known as ERECK, and at the present time the site is known by the local people as WARKA. 2

1 The name Iraq is believed to be derived from Uruk. 2 Doorway Paper No.8, "The Confusion of Tongues," 1961, pp.20-2

URUK

URUK

In Sumerian mythology, Uruk was built before the Deluge occurred.

Again, note it’s proximity to the Persian Gulf head, not to any other of the Eden candidates. (Remember it was built by Cain, who settled next to Eden.)

Another ancient city discovered by archaeologists in Mesopotamia is ERIDU. As Cain named the first city after his son Enoch, perhaps Enoch named a subsequent city after his own son IRAD.

Gen 4:17-18 (NASB) Cain … built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son. Now to Enoch was born IRAD

We find in the neighbouring area of Uruk the city that was called ERIDU (identical consonants to IRAD).

According to the Sumerian King List, ERIDU was the first city in the world. In Sumerian mythology, it was said to be one of the five cities built before the Deluge occurred. 1

1 "https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Eridu

ERIDU

ERIDU was built on an island of slightly higher land situated among the low-lying marshlands at the mouth of the River Euphrates near Basra in modern- day Iraq. 1

1 "http:// www.thebiblejourney.org/ biblejourney2/ 23-the-journeys-of-adam-enoch-noah-abraham/ enoch-founds-a-city-in-mesopotamia/

ERIDU

Again note it’s proximity to both URUK (the city of Cain) and the Persian Gulf head, the likely location of Eden.

ERIDU

Sennacherib boasts in Isa 37:12, “Did the gods of those nations which my fathers have destroyed deliver them, even Gozan and Haran and Rezeph and the sons of EDEN who were in TELASSAR? 1

As Telassar was inhabited by the “children of Eden,” and is mentioned with Gozan, Haran, and Rezeph, in Western Mesopotamia, it has been suggested that it lay in BIT ADINI, “the House of Adinu,” or BETHEDEN, in the same direction, between the Euphrates and the Belikh. 2 EI’LASAR was very probably at LARSA, 15 miles southeast of Erech (Uruk) in ancient Chaldea. 3

1 NASB 2 http:// bibleatlas.org/ telassar.htm 3 "http:// bibleatlas.org/ ellasar.htm

THE SONS OF EDEN

SOUTHERN LOCATION

In summary it seems to me that the Persian gulf area has the strongest for being the location of Eden.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. ("http:// www.lockman.org/ ">www.Lockman.org)




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