Where Is Eden?
Genesis 3: 24
“So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
One of the favorite questions, on which lounge theologians like to ponder, is the location of the Garden of Eden. A number of candidate locations have been offered. Those reading Genesis 2 will notice that four rivers are mentioned. Two of these rivers have familiar names – the Tigris and the Euphrates. Today, the rivers rise in Eastern Turkey and flow through Syria before reaching Iraq. The sources of the two rivers are fairly close together, geographically speaking. So one of the suggested locations for Eden would be near their sources. Another would be near their confluence.
But neither of these locations show rivers spring out of a single river. And, in any case, rivers were probably re-formed during the Flood. So the current Tigris and Euphrates are not the rivers of Genesis 2, but have been named for them since the Flood.
Another suggestion is that Eden was located at modern-day Jerusalem, probably under the Temple Mount. Other suggestions have included Madagascar or Tanzania.
However, in Genesis 3, when God expelled Adam and Eve from Eden, He “placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life” (Genesis 3:24). That cherubim would still be around if Eden were still around. In fact, much of the Earth’s crust was replaced at the time of the Flood, and the continents re-arranged. We can therefore confidently suggest that Eden is nowhere. It used to exist, but, since the Flood, its location has been destroyed.
Prayer: We know, Lord, that Your word is true. Thank You for what Your word tells us about that Garden where You placed our ancestors. We look forward one day to returning to Paradise, to be with You forever. Amen.
Ref: Taylor, P.F. (2007), The Six Days of Genesis (Green Forest, AR: Master Books), p. 89. Image: James Jacques Joseph Tissot (1896): Public Domain.
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