Description of Garden of Eden

Gen. 2:8-9:
8 "The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.
9 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."


God places the man in Eden (Hebrew: eden - means delight or pleasure). God sets up this man in a beautiful garden. The man is to be a gardener. There is no hard work to be expended. In addition, there are no things working against him such as bugs, disease, weeds, rocks, etc. This describes the beautiful surroundings made by God for him to enjoy. However, there is a peculiar tree named the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life would be the tree of sustaining perfect life. All of the trees are good for the eyes and food. Remember at this point, Adam has no knowledge of evil. He has not sinned.

Gen. 2:10-14:
10 "Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers.
11 The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.
12 The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there.
13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush.
14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates."


These verses talk of the configuration of the Garden of Eden. The mist of which was discussed earlier would water the garden. However, God was assuring the flow of good, clean, pure water for Adam to drink and for him to put more water on the lush garden. This water flow is the source of four major rivers. If there were no rain yet, where did the water from the river come. From underground water sources is the most likely source.

God was preparing the place where His people would live.. The names Pishon, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates relate to later rivers that were probably known to the first readers of the Genesis text. However, these rivers just lend themselves to try to determine the approximate location of the original ones. The Flood obliterated earlier river courses. The New Jerusalem, the habitation of God’s people in the future, will have a river as well as a new tree of life (Rev. 22:1-2)). The truth is, we do not know the exact location of these rivers.

The Tigris (KJV - Hiddekel) and Euphrates are familiar. These are probably the same rivers as today. However, the locations and paths at the time of Genesis were different and are not known.

The remaining two rivers, the Pishon and the Gihon, do not now exist to the best of our knowledge. The terrible Flood changed so much of the terrain that the land is not even close to what it was before the Flood.

The name of Pishon means, “free-flowing”. The identity of the river is unknown. Some say the “river” was actually a canal connecting the Tigris and Euphrates or another body of water, such as the Persian Gulf. The area was supposed to be a place of gold and bdellium (Aromatic gum resin; similar to myrrh) and onyx (a jewelry stone looking similar to translucent or transparent quartz), Holman Bible Dictionary says: "Cush is mentioned in Genesis 2:13 as surrounded by the Gihon River. The Gihon is usually associated with Jerusalem as a spring (1 Kings 1:33). Some Bible students identify Cush here with the Kassites, the successors to the old Babylonian empire, who controlled Babylon between about 1530 and 1151 B.C. Such students connect this with Genesis 10:8, where Cush is associated with Nimrod, whose kingdom centered in Babylon (Gen. 10:10). Other Bible students would see Gihon here as another name for the Nile River and Cush as referring to the land south of Egypt. A clear solution to this problem has not been found."
It could be that the Gihon Springs of Jerusalem is the remnant of the original Gihon river. Nobody knows.


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