Click here to view CMI's position on climate change.
Also Available in:
This article is from
Creation 41(2):36–39, April 2019

Browse our latest digital issue Subscribe

Where was Eden?1

by and


A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. And the name of the third river is the Tigris [Hebrew: Hiddekel], which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates [Hebrew: P’rath]. (Genesis 2:10–14)

Genesis 2 reads like it is describing actual geography, but the sort that doesn’t exist anywhere on today’s globe—which is exactly what we would expect if today’s geography was totally reshaped by the global Flood in Noah’s day.

Yet, many people believe Eden should be located somewhere around Mesopotamia. Could they be right, and how can we know?

Genesis places Eden in the real world

There are many different ways to handle this passage. Some Bible commentators, sadly, argue that it is misguided to try to find Eden on a map, because, they say, Genesis was never intended to communicate a location on the globe. They draw analogies to the Temple or other spiritual meanings to explain the details given in Genesis 2. In their view, trying to locate Eden would be like trying to find Santa’s workshop at the physical North Pole.

On the other hand, many people try to argue that Eden was in the Middle East, specifically in lower Mesopotamia, maybe near ancient Ur or Sumer. They assert, correctly, that there is nowhere else in the historical passages of Scripture that gives an ‘unearthly’ geography, and there is nothing in the text that indicates anything other than an actual geographical description. As Derek Kidner comments: “verses 10–14 go to some lengths to present it as an actual, not an allegorical or mythical spot.”2 There are alternate possible locations proposed, but the goal is to ‘find’ Eden by looking at today’s geographical clues.

Yet, this view is in error, too.

Think about it—the Flood was global and highly destructive. Huge amounts of sediment were deposited on the continents, and massive amounts of erosion occurred during the Recessive Stage as the waters drained off the continents. Plus, the continental plates moved around, raising mountains and creating deep basins. Why would we expect the modern landscape to reflect the pre-Flood landscape?

Eden is not findable on today’s globe

A classic engraving of Adam and Eve being driven from the Garden

As we would expect from the above consideration, nothing on today’s Earth matches the geographical clues provided in Genesis. Any proposed location for Eden must include four rivers originating from one source. Today, there are only a couple of examples of two rivers originating from the same lake or spring (e.g. Isa Lake in Yellowstone National Park (USA), because it sits on the continental divide, drains in one direction to form the Lewis River, which flows toward the Pacific Ocean, and in the other direction to form the Firehole River, which flows toward the Gulf of Mexico). This is because today’s landscape is shaped by erosion, and it is nearly impossible for an erosional landscape to produce multiple rivers from one source. Even if initially such a system existed, the lowermost or fastest-eroding outlet of any drainage area tends to dominate and eventually takes over.

Contrary to common opinion, the Tigris and Euphrates of Genesis 2 cannot be the modern rivers flowing through Syria and Iraq today, because they do not share the same source. And while today they merge just before they reach the Persian Gulf, this was not true historically: Pliny (AD 23–79) claimed they emptied into a common lake in the time of Alexander the Great (356–323 BC).3 Incidentally, the low-lying area of Mesopotamia would have been mostly underwater right after the Flood, and the shoreline seems to have changed drastically even in historical times (the shoreline is constantly being added to as sediments are dumped into the Persian Gulf at the mouth of the Tigris/Euphrates).

What about shared names?

There are a number of names that are used for landmarks in both the pre-Flood world and the post-Flood world. For instance, Genesis 2 says the Hiddekel river flows east of Asshur. In Daniel 10:4, the Hebrew word Hiddekel is used to refer to the modern Tigris river. The ancient, post-Flood city of Asshur (the capital of the Assyrian empire in its several different forms) is on the west bank of the Tigris/Hiddekel (therefore the river is to its east). So the pre-Flood and post-Flood Hiddekel rivers are associated with places called Asshur. Does the loose connection between a river and a region both before and after the Flood tell us that Eden is somewhere nearby? Even if we ignore the Flood’s effects on the land surface, not unless there are a lot more confirmations. But this is all we have. If Eden is in that area, all of the geographic details must match, not just one or two.

The Hebrew word P’rath, used both for a river in Genesis 2 and for the modern Euphrates, is significant because it forms the eastern border of the land promised to Abraham’s descendants (Genesis 15:18). Yet Genesis 2 mentions it with no other geographical data. This is strange, considering it is the most important river in the region today and factors heavily in the historical biblical narrative (see, for example, Genesis 15:18, Genesis 31:21, Deuteronomy 11:24, Joshua 24:2, and 2 Samuel 8:3).

Havilah and Cush are two other place designations that occur both before and after the Flood.

We have three options for interpreting these duplicated names:

1) The pre-Flood and post-Flood regions are identical. While biblical creationists like Luther, Calvin, and others held this view, it is not a viable option today, in light of current geological knowledge. For example, on average there are several kilometres of sedimentary rock, laid down during the Flood, beneath the surface of the Middle East today. Equating the pre- and post-Flood landmarks fails to appreciate the devastating geological impact of the global Flood.

2) Post-Flood places are named after pre-Flood places. This is the most common biblical creationist explanation. While this was probably the case for some landmarks, like the Hiddekel and P’rath, we know, for instance, that some post-Flood places with pre-Flood names were named after post-Flood people. Some of the re-used names are generic enough to be applicable in multiple places, so simple renaming is not a full explanation.

The most likely explanation seems to be that:

3) Pre- and post-Flood places share certain popular, generic names. The early chapters of Genesis contain several repeated names. For example, men named Enoch and Lamech are descendants of Adam’s first son, Cain (Genesis 4:17–18), but a different Enoch and Lamech were descendants of Adam’s third named son, Seth, and are listed among the ancestors of Noah (Genesis 5:18–30). This is even more remarkable when one considers the sparse name data we have for that period. If people’s names could be re-used on such a scale, then surely it is not a stretch to imagine that generic names could also be reapplied to places. So a post-Flood location called Havilah (Genesis 25:18), which can roughly be translated ‘sandy place’, may have been named after one of several post-Flood men named Havilah (the second son of Cush or the 12th son of Joktan, Genesis 10:7, 29), who happen to share a name with a pre-Flood place called Havilah (Genesis 2:11), which may or may not be named after a pre-Flood person unmentioned in Scripture.

A model of Eden?


If we tease out all the geographical clues possible from Genesis 2, we can arrive at a rough model for Eden. Since the single river coming out of Eden breaks up into four rivers, we know that Eden must be higher than the surrounding region—perhaps much higher. There is etymological evidence for this. The name ‘Pishon’ means ‘bubbling’, and ‘Gihon’ means ‘bursting forth’.1 Since all four rivers share the same source, this cannot be describing the river flowing out of Eden. It must be describing something about the rivers after they divided and went their separate ways. So it might indicate that the rivers flowed fairly rapidly, which may indicate a significant drop in elevation. We cannot be certain, but the language clues are interesting.

Ezekiel 28 is full of Edenic imagery and refers multiple times to the ‘mountain of God’. A mountain location would also explain how there was apparently only one entrance to Eden that needed to be guarded (Genesis 3:24). All other routes could have been impassable due to the steepness of the terrain at other points.

There is also extrabiblical evidence associating Eden with a mountain. For example, some scholars make the case that the most ancient form of Chinese writing contains pictographs that hearken back to the biblical accounts of Creation, the Fall, and Noah’s Flood. Consider the following series of symbols:

Of the several pictograms that mean ‘garden’ in the most ancient Chinese script, this one has a mountain standing prominently within it (after Nelson, E.R. and Broadberry, R.E., Genesis and the Mystery Confucius Couldn’t Solve, Concordia Publishing House, 1994.

Additionally, early religious buildings, from Mesopotamian ziggurats to Egyptian and Mesoamerican pyramids, share a ‘mountain-like’ shape. The idea that the gods were associated with high mountains is almost universal in ancient cultures—to the point where mountains were considered holy places, and ancient people even constructed artificial mountains as places of worship.

There are many possible layouts that would include the necessary geographical elements of 1) a garden in a larger area called ‘Eden’; 2) a relative elevation for the source of the river (possibly but not necessarily mountainous); and 3) an eastward progression of features, which is an assumption based on the overall implication from Genesis 2–4.

What is clear, however, is that no modern-day candidate for the location of Eden possesses characteristics resembling this rough schematic. In particular, low-lying Mesopotamia, which is a flat alluvial plain, is disqualified.

References and notes

  1. Hughes, J.R., An examination of ‘Eden’s geography erodes flood geology’ CRSQ 34(3):154–161, 1997.

Genesis is history!

In the end, we are forced to conclude that the rivers of Genesis are not the modern rivers, even if they share the same names. There is no reason to expect a geographical association between the two sets of names; names get re-used too often, and the Flood caused massive changes to the landscape, to the point where there should be no correlation between pre-Flood and post-Flood geography.

We want to encourage our readers to dig deeply into the word of God. When we study Scripture, we must carefully examine the entire text to discern what it intends to communicate. Secularists and compromised Christian scholars (e.g. those who maintain the idea of a local flood in Genesis to appease long-age thinking) have caused much confusion. In the case of the location of Eden, however, we do not have to chase fables and accidental associations. It is no longer with us.

References and notes

  1.  This article is adapted from a much more in-depth technical study available at creation.com/eden-1 and creation.com/eden-2. Return to text.
  2. Kidner, D., Genesis, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, IVP Academic, Downers Grove, IL, p. 67, 2008. Return to text.
  3. Pliny, Natural History VI:XXVI. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

The Genesis Account
by Jonathan Sarfati
US $39.00
Hard Cover
From Creation to Salvation
by Lita Cosner
US $14.00
Soft Cover
Evolution's Achilles' Heels
by Nine Ph.D. scientists
US $17.00
Soft Cover

Readers’ comments

Stephen L.
Eden is located under the Persian Gulf. From the air, with radiometric imaging they can see that the Tigris and Euphrates were once joined together with two other rivers. This area, where the rivers joined together is now under the Persian Gulf. There are lots of websites if you want to research further.
Robert Carter
See the response to E. Jordan. See also our article where we discuss this. The Tigris and Euphrates almost certainly would have joined together before they reached the Indian Ocean when sea level was lower, and there may have been other active tributaries that have since dried out. But, the description is of four rivers with the same source, not four rivers that come together.
Elizabeth J.
I am not very knowledgeable about geology so please forgive a naive suggestion. If there was such a massive upheaval of the land during the flood, couldn’t mountains become valleys and vice versa? In which case, if the garden of Eden was on a mountain and the 4 rivers flowed from it, it could have become a valley and the rivers would flow towards it (assuming the area wasn’t completely rearranged). The Tigris and Euphrates of today could be the same pre-flood rivers, only flowing in the other direction. Is that a possibility?
Robert Carter
This is an interesting idea, but it is not just the rivers but the drainage basin that one must consider. The Tigris/Euphrates basin looks like a fan. If you flip the direction of flow around, instead of the rivers getting larger as they flow downhill (as pretty much all modern rivers do), the rivers would be subdivided into smaller and smaller parts as they progressed.
David V.
You stated the possible senario is that the pre-flood rivers named Gen 2 are different geographical rivers to the post-flood rivers that have the same name, that Eden probably isn't in this vacinity.
I wonder with that theroy is that the author of Genesis is writing to a post-flood audience, so when they name the rivers in Gen 2 it is with the asumption that these rivers exist at the time of writing, so they existed post-flood, and that the garden still existed post-flood. I believe that Genesis describes a real physical garden, and it existed post-flood, and probably still exists today. Maybe the reason no one has found it is because it is being guarded by an angel and no one can get anywhere close to it.
Lita Cosner
We have received several comments along these lines, and are working on a response. Thanks for your patience as we are researching to make sure that we cover all the relevant information.
Niels B.
I believe that the Garden of Eden is where God put it during creation week. Do I need to know the location, which won't be found anyway?
Edwin R.
The below is an excerpt from a paragraph in the article "Where was Eden? by Lita Cosner and Robert Carter". this part given as example ... ", men named Enoch and Lamech are descendants of Adam’s first son, Cain (Genesis 4:17–18), but a different Enoch and Lamech were descendants of Adam’s third named son, Seth, and are listed among the ancestors of Noah (Genesis 5:18–30)."

I could not find or make this same conclusion after reading the passages on the descendants of Seth?

Thank you.
Lita Cosner
OK, Genesis 4 tells us that Enoch is Cain's son, and Lamech is the seventh generation from Cain. Genesis 5 tells us that another guy named Enoch was the seventh from Adam through Seth, and another guy named Lamech was Noah's father. Same names, completely different genealogy, no way they could be the same guys.
Arlin B.
I'm wondering if the ancient Sumerian "King Lists from before the Flood" found on a number of ancient clay tablets and reconstructed, may give any help regarding this subject? I recently did a
Bing search on this subject and found interesting data about these King Lists.
See also the book entitled "I Studied Inscriptions From Before The Flood: Ancient Near Eastern, Literary, and Linguistic Approaches to Genesis 1-11", edited by Richard S. Hess and David Toshio Tsumura, Sources For Biblical and Theological Study, Volume 4, Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, Indiana,1994, 480 pages.
Kerry B.
As I too would love to find Eden or the Ark of the Covenant or the Ark of Noah. I believe that these things have been hidden from us for a reason. Looking for these lost items and places hinders our true purpose here. We are to be preachers and teachers of God's word, to spread His love and the meaning of being a Christian, not running around the planet to find what was lost or just hidden from us. We are saved by His Grace and our Faith that what the Bible tells us is the one and only Truth. If we have to see Eden, or the Ark, then we are not Christian by Faith, but like doubting Thomas, that need some form of physical form to see or feel. I also believe that by trying to find these hidden places and objects, we could hinder non Christians into seeing this as a form of proving the Bible is not God's truth, and that would be the worst sin we could ever unleash on the world today.
David K.
Since Noah, his wife, their three sons and their three wives knew essentially nothing about flood geology and therefore (at least initially) knew nothing about how the modern post-flood world would naturally be much different than their well-known pre-flood world, it seems reasonable to me that when they left the ark and discovered the first two rivers, they may have mistakenly concluded that the two rivers (with their natural post-flood differences) were simply the remains of the former Tigris and Euphrates rivers that the family knew very well. So I conclude that the actual LOCATION of the PRE-FLOOD HOME of Noah, his wife, their three sons and their three wives was simply somewhere BETWEEN the original pre-flood Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and therefore the modern Tigris and Euphrates rivers were simply named by Noah and his family in honor of those two rivers that simply bordered their original pre-flood home, or mistakenly identified by them as the former Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
Richard Y.
Great article, thank you! I live in an area called Eden, along the Garden Route in South Africa, famous for its natural beauty (mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, beaches). Our district municipality is called the Eden Municipality. Our town also has a suburb called Eden. Also, I happen to know a couple of Adams and even a lady called Eve who live here. I can testify from living here that it is quite a paradise! :)
Judith W.
I studies so long ago about the area where Eden might be. I thought it would be where Babylon was. After all it’s not uncommon for Satan to use a place of GOD to ruin places and works of our Lords creation. Yes Mesopotamia was on my mind, Iraq was and is on my mind now.
What does anyone feel about this thought?
Lita Cosner
Babylon is a post-Flood place; the city is on top of Flood sediments. Eden could be under Babylon, Jerusalem, or anywhere else. We simply don't know.
Galyn B.
Based on the Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, preflood culures mapped globally based on latitude /longitude (they could keep accurate time) which technology apparently transmitted across the flood due to ancient post flood remapping that fits well with current geography. Lat/long could allow preflood naming conventions to be roughly reassociated after the flood reshaping.
Delwyn C.
All DNA evidence indicates that mankind originated in Africa. Are you attempting to refute that, and, if so, why? The lack of melanin is a recessive gene trait.
Norman P.
I tend to think that the names given in Genesis are symbolic reference points, much like the symbolism used in John's Revelation. Bear in mind the original creation slipped into a different existential mode at the Fall - herbivores became carnivores, and harmless organisms became pathogens, as a result of the curse or sin and death. And this is borne out by the impossibility of regaining access to Eden. We see a reverse of this process in the Prophets, concerning the Millennial reign of Christ, initially in a restored land of Israel and Jerusalem , and fully realized in the new heavens and new earth of the Eternal State, after Satan has been, not just chained, but destroyed. So as I see it, we should understand the names in both a material (physical) and a spiritual (prophetic) sense. Cf Hagar and Sinai. As Scripture says, these things are to be spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:14) - but I am also a literalist - square that one!.
Jenny Y.
There is very good evidence that Moses, rather than being the original author, compiled and edited Genesis from pre-existing documents handed down to him from the patriarchs, perhaps with the addition of oral traditions. Although all five books of the Torah are attributed to him, nowhere is Moses clearly stated to be the author of Genesis. The book is divided into eleven sections called 'toldots', identified by the introduction: 'These are the generations of ...' or 'this is the written account of ...'. The basic meaning of 'eleh toldot' is 'this is what became of ...' or 'issued from …' (cf. Ruth 4:18).

I believe God revealed to Adam - who was highly intelligent and soon learnt to write - the events of 1:1-2:3. Then each patriarch added his 'toldot' and passed it to the next generation. The toldots are: The heavens and the earth, 2:4ff; Adam, 5:1ff; Noah, 6:9ff; Sons of Noah,10:1ff; Shem, 11:10ff; Terah, 11:27ff; Ishmael, 25:12ff; Isaac, 25:19; Esau 1, 36:1ff; Esau 2, 36:9; Jacob, 37:2ff.

Hence, the reason for the description of Eden being mostly in the present, rather than the past tense, is because Moses retained the language of the original author, who was familiar with the area when he wrote his toldot.
DH. D.
Is it possible that Eden was in a different timescale to that which we know today, and the door into it was a “portal”. If an angel had to guard it, who from. There was only Adam and Eve. And so, as with Noah, the “door was shut” so Eden cannot be found. Same world, different dimension. Just a thought.
Lita Cosner
As our article makes the case, Eden is a real-world location, so in this dimension. However, it was a place located in the pre-Flood world which was destroyed by the Flood.
Jean P.
I believe that the Garden of Eden is under one of the oceans, buried there after the Flood. I have lived in many places in the UK, and now in Oz I find so many places and even rivers named by settlers for their home place. Jean
Wally V.
God placed an angel to guard the gates of Eden so that none might enter. It follows then that the entrance garden or its site cannot be found, otherwise it might be entered.
Robert (Rob) P.
Another brilliant article by Christians given gifts of knowledge and teaching skills. Thank you! This information can only assist believers to counter arguments against a world flood in the time of the 600 years old Noah. I really look forward to these articles from CMI, what a blessing to believers in Australia!!
Chris T.
Just a few (possibly) unrelated comments, I note the Genesis account refers to two of the rivers, the Pishon and the Gihon in the past tense, strengthening the thread of this article. The land of Cush (Kush) is recognized widely as today's Ethiopia and the name "Ghion" is widely used in the country, in fact I've even stayed in the Ghion Hotel in Addis Ababa. I'm unable to find the meaning or indeed whether Ghion and Gihon refer to the same thing. I do note that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church claim that the best candidate for the actual source of the Blue Nile is a spring called Gish Abay which they also claim is (or maybe was) the "outflow" of the biblical Gihon river. Sort of does my head in though!
Lita Cosner
See our fuller explanation of Post-Flood place names in Part 2 of Where was Eden? published in Journal of Creation.
Mark H.
A much longer paper would give more detail, of course, but this is a very good short discourse on what Scripture says and how we can learn from something that is only slightly ambiguous, as we have no surviving maps or diagrams of the land of that time. As per 2 Peter 3:6, there is not a lot left to show us of that time. The only REAL record we have is the Bible itself. Praise God for small things.
Lita Cosner
And of course if someone wants a much longer paper on the topic, they can check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our Where Was Eden? paper for the Journal of Creation.
Bradley F.
Your mention that Havilah means "sandy place" reminds me of the myriad creeks across Australian now named "Sandy Creek". These would have originally be mapped with "sandy creek" as a simple generic description, but have become officially named with widely-used name.
Jose E A.
I been thinking that what if Eden was at where Israel now is. The Bible doesn't only speaks of a special people, Israel, but there is always a promise that these people would return to this particular land...Why does this place is almost as important as the people. Plus i remember a vision / prophecy of Ezekiel, if I remember correctly, of a temple where there is a river that runs thru it that reminds me of a garden like place.
Lita Cosner
As we said in response to Nichola W. above, the idea that Israel is where Eden used to be is speculative and we could never say one way or another. The Ezekiel temple has obvious allusions to Eden, but so did the first and second temples. So Eden may be under Israel, but it could be practically anywhere else, too.
B. M.
How are we to understand Moses’ audience in light of this article? Moses wrote (I believe in Mosaic authorship) Genesis to post-flood people. Why then is he referencing places in a matter-of-fact kind of way if he knew these places didn’t exist anymore and his audience wouldn’t be able to corroborate his claims? I don’t ask this out of disagreement with the article but because it’s a question that still lingers in my mind after reading it.
Lita Cosner
Thank you. Your question was a lot like Eduardo's comment, so you can read our response to him. But we are working on an article explaining why Moses would use the present tense in Genesis 2 even though the Flood certainly obliterated Eden and the surrounding geography. Stay tuned to creation.com.
Eduardo M.
How serious is the claim that, because of the flood, all geographical details given in Genesis 2 have to be taken with a pinch of salt? Does the text actually mean that “the LORD God had planted a garden in the east of SOMEWHERE, in AN UNIDENTIFIABLE REGION CALLED Eden”? Are such geographical details informative or misinformative? Are we to interpret verse 11 as meaning “The name of the first WAS the Pishon; it WOUND through AN entire UNIDENTIFIABLE land CALLED Havilah, where there WAS gold”? Likewise, is verse 12 to be interpreted like this: “The gold of that land WAS good; aromatic resin and onyx also USED TO BE FOUND there”? How about verse 13? Should be read it as: “The name of the second river WAS the Gihon; it WOUND through NOT JUST A PORTION, BUT the entire UNIDENTIFIABLE land of Cush”? How is this rendering of verse 14: “The name of the third river WAS the Tigris; it RAN along the east side (NOT THE WEST SIDE, MIND YOU) of THE UNKNOWN TERRITORY OF Asshur. And the fourth river WAS the Euphrates”? It seems to me that all capitalized words in the above are utterly false. Not only are such words a clear intrusion on the text, but their meaning distorts the clearly informative intent of the passage. When Genesis says that Paradise was in Eden, it isn’t providing an irrelevant name of an unidentifiable region; it is giving an obviously identifiable geographical setting that is intelligible for its readers. Similarly, when it says that the garden was “in the east”, it doesn’t mean that it was to the east of some unknown location on a different globe; it must mean that most of the early readers would understand that it was to THEIR east. The passage reads like a general description of the sources of the Halys, Araxes, Tigris and Euphrates rivers are located, in Turkey.
Lita Cosner
Thank you for this comment. We agree that the tense of the words in Genesis 2 matters, and Jesus would agree with you (Matthew 22:32). We are working on an answer which is becoming a larger article, and which will likely appear on creation.com in due course. Your question is a good one, and taking it with appropriate seriousness is taking a little more time than we anticipated, but we did want you to know that we are not discounting it. To summarize, there are multiple possible good reasons why Moses would have used the present tense in Genesis 2 even though the Flood certainly obliterated Eden and the surrounding geography. We appreciate your patience as we work through this to make sure our response is thorough and takes all the relevant biblical evidence into account.
Sam W.
Words simply do not exist in the English language to express adequately my profound love, gratitude and appreciation for all that the men and women at CMI do on a daily basis. PRAISE GOD for you all! I was motivated to comment by the inset in this article, "A model of Eden?." Particularly, I wish to remark to your readers concerning ancient Chinese writing (characters, pictographs) and the Book of Genesis. I stumbled across this quite recently, and am currently researching it. I am convinced that your audience would be blessed by looking into this. Just search "Chinese characters and Genesis" on your favorite search engine--even Google, surprisingly!--and you will be on your way. Also, (perhaps much better) try the same search on YouTube. As always, of course, don't believe everything you read or hear. Be a Berean. Search for (seek out the) Truth with reason and logic, ever-guided by the Holy Spirit.
Philip K.
A great article, thank you Rita and Robert. This explains a lot in terms of known and unknown rivers today. My own view has always been that the rapid break up of the one continent to the number of contients we have today probably resulted in the burial either on land or sea, of the garden of Eden. A question I've often mused over is the restoration of planet earth (to pre-flood geography?) Given that the flood occurred by massive earthquakes amongst other things (e.g.meteor strikes - look at the zits on the moon!) will the "great earthquake such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great" (Rev. 16:18) be the one to push them back together? I know that there is no definitive answer until the day comes but an earthquake greater than the diluvian one?!

On the matter of the picture illustrating your article, the cherub (singular) holding a sword is not represenatative of Gen. 24:3. "..he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims (likely two as per the ark of the convenant) and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the tree of life" The sword appears not to be held by any creature but seems independent. A Christophony perhaps? If so is, Jesus, back then guarding the tree of life but later, in another garden, providing for the re-opening of the door to the "tree of Life"? What a Saviour! God bless.
If Eden was on a mountain, and the angels guarded the gates day and night, and were readily visible to the Adamic family and their descendants, they were terribly frightening beings guarding the gate, and they reminded the family of the wrong they had done. As soon as they could the kids choose to live somewhere else, but as Satan came to garner worship instead of God, man was reminded of the "gods" on the mountain, and pyramid/ ziggurat/ holy mountain worship was born. Better to have a representation than the real thing, because it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a Holy God, and civilization grew up where the parts of history that man wanted to remember could be comfortably remembered and the Holy God kept at a less frightening distance. Babel would be built a comfortable distance away (a few thousands kilometers ?).
Lita Cosner
That's a lot of 'ifs'. As with many things in the pre-Flood world, we can only speculate.
Kirk B.
I think this is excellent insight into this passage. Thank you. Having just finished reading Milton's "Paradise Lost" my second time, I would recommend reading his description of Paradise. Wow. What we lost both spiritually and physically is so powerfully described there. Even though Milton's description is not purely inspired, yet it is Scriptural imagination! (I am from USA.)
David B.
If we could know of a certainty where it was,I'm sure it would become a place of pilgrimage and a cause of idolatry among certain branches of the visible church,the same with the ark.God would not be too pleased with this I think.
Donald V.
2Peter 3:6 "Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:" says it all.
Alexander L.
Bear with me. The garden was planted East in Eden, so Eden was the name of a place. Could I suggest that Eden was the name of the land mass that made up the World? Just a thought. As for the garden East in Eden I believe that is lies beneath the waves. But what of its description even after the flood? Early explorers when they went to new land would see similarities to the place where they once lived and would name that place after the place. eg, New Caledonia, The New Hebrides' etc
Lita Cosner
The Genesis 2 description of Eden seems to be that of a region that is larger than the garden itself, but smaller than the world. But as with many things regarding the pre-Flood world, we have to speculate. By the way, the post-Flood Eden referenced in 2 Kings and Isaiah, populated by the people of Telassar, is clearly not the same place in which the Garden was planted.
Douglas W.
Thank you for this thorough insightful study.
Martin J.
I D agree that due to the flood the geography changes in such a way that we cannot find Eden, as it was destroyed during the flood. One theory that correlates well with the river system described in Gen. 2 and the flood is that the so called Gondwana formation was the shape of the continents pre flood and that Gen. 2 actually describes the rivers of this mega continent. If that is considered the rivers could actually be where the indian ocean, persian gulf ect. is today. While I have not come across this theory very often and can't even give a citation to it, it is something I think is viable. If we read about the space God had to create post flood for the waters covering the earth an that mountains raised up and valleys formed, it could also be a continental drift that moved the continents away from each other and thus created the current formation. In the cataclysmic events during and shortly after the flood things happened faster than the MA theory suggests but the movement was still possible. Your comments on this theory would be appreciated.
Lita Cosner
Anything is possible, but we don't know anything about the location of Eden from modern geography. See Flood models and biblical realism.
Brian G.
is there any indication of Where the ark came to rest in relation to where it first started to float from as I imagine the currents were quite strong. So could the ark may well have settled on the opposite side of the world to where it started out from.
Robert Carter
Indeed, this is discussed at length in the article.
Geoff C. W.
Perhaps consider Lilydale, Victoria, Australia, at the foot of the Dandenong ranges. Bliss!
Nichola W.
The Jews believe that Adam and Eve are buried in the same place as Abraham, et al. Even tho this is impossible for the reasons explained above, it could be possible that Eden was where Israel is now located. Perhaps the mountain of God was where Mt Zion and the Holy Temples were/are to be built. This place is very special to God.
Robert Carter
This is a very interesting idea that the we discussed among ourselves before our article went to press. We had to discount the thought, however, because it is theologically speculative and geologically unrealistic. Jesus was sacrificed on Mount Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1), the same area where Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac (Genesis 22:2). This is hugely important, and it would be amazing if this was the same location where Adam sinned, but we cannot know this. Had God placed a mental ‘GPS’ marker on the continental crust prior to the Flood, maybe He could have kept track of that location as global-scale tectonic changes, including crustal warping and massive movements occurred. Also, massive sedimentary rocks formation were deposited in the region during the Flood, so Eden would be buried under miles of rock.

Comments are automatically closed 14 days after publication.