Garden of Eden: History & Location
Except that you are from Mars, virtually all earth inhabitants are aware of the biblical creation story and the Garden of Eden. Based on the popular creation story, the Garden of Eden was the original abode of the world’s first humans (Adam and Eve). In today’s world, the location of the garden has been highly debated.
Here are some historical facts about the mythical Garden of Eden and its location controversies.
Brief History from the Old Testament
Apparently, all our current human generation came from Adam and Eve. In the biblical Book of Genesis, Eden was like a paradise specially made for Adam and Eve. But who created the Garden? The answer lies in the creator of life itself – the Almighty God.
In the story, God took every step to stock the garden with edible and visually attractive trees. Since the garden had a river flowing through it, it never lacked a pocket of water. God, after making the first man (Adam), put him in charge of manning the affairs of the Garden. By God’s instruction, Adam had the freedom to enjoy many fruits in the garden. However, one tree was an exception to the rule – it was the tree of discernment (knowledge). Some animals (including birds) were then created by God and put into the garden.
In his authority as the first man, Adam was tasked with giving names to other creatures in the garden. At this point, God was struck by a good idea; He had to create a suitable partner for the lonely first man in the garden. Instead of uniquely creating Adam’s partner from scratch, it is believed that God thought it wise to use parts from Adam to build him a partner.
In essence, this was like reverse engineering. Using his power, the Almighty God put the first man into a deep sleep. This allowed Him to remove a rib from Adam to make Eve. Very shocking and magical indeed!
Origination and Meaning of Eden
What is the origination of Eden? The popular theory is that Eden may have emanated from “edinu”. Edinu is a Sumerian-borrowed Akkadian word which means a “plain” (a flatland). But that is not all, some people believe that Eden came from “heden”; the Persian word for a garden.
Beginning of Doom in the Garden
When the woman was brought into the Garden, a snake tempted her to pluck and eat the forbidden fruit. She also gave some of the fruits to Adam. The result of eating the forbidden fruit became disastrous, even though Adam and Eve became wiser. The disobedient acts of the first humans angered God, so he severely punished them. The snake’s punishment was to crawl on its stomach before it would be able to move.
The woman was punished with severe labor pains during childbirth. The man, on the other hand, was cursed with eternal suffering. He would till the land and sweat before he could feed himself. To worsen the man’s punishments, Adam was sacked from the garden. He had to go and cultivate the land (and return to the same dust he was created from). After driving the evildoers out of the garden, God placed cherubim and a sword at the east side of the Garden- the flashing and flaming sword would guard the entrance to the tree of life.
Before Adam’s banishment from the Garden, the couple had free and nutritious meals from the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, the disobedient acts of the first humans are the root of all our hustles today. Even though their disobedience helped to open their eyes, the Book of Psalms is very positive that Adam and Eve would have been transformed a lot (maybe into immortal beings), if they had not disobeyed God.
Location of the Garden of Eden
It’s naturally a good idea for people to question the exact location of the Garden of Eden on Earth. The biblical creation myth specified that the Garden of Eden was watered by a river that flowed from Eden, through the garden, before branching into four separate rivers. Many creationists and theologians tried to pinpoint the Middle East as one probable location of the garden. This rough guess is based on the existence of River Euphrates and River Tigris in the ancient Mesopotamian region of the Middle East.
But there is a catch; a lot of controversies surround this questionable location. Here is why – the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in the Middle East, only add up to 2 rivers, instead of the 4 (as biblically stated). The Bible lists the rivers as Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and the Euphrates. So where are the remaining two rivers (the Gihon and the Pishon)? This raises a lot of doubts about the precision of the location.
Some attempts have been made to list farther rivers (including the River Nile in Egypt) as one of the remaining branches of the rivers that flowed through the Garden of Eden. But it has yielded little success. Theologians such as John Calvin, have woefully failed to convince questioners about the location of Garden of Eden. Calvin admitted that wide controversies hover around the subject, but he suggested that the inexplicable location of the Garden can be resolved by arguing that, Noah’s flood may have significantly changed the geography of the earth.
Unfortunately, the flood idea rather narrows the authenticity of the garden’s location. Judging from fossil materials from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (which can be attributed to Noah’s flood), experts think that it is unreasonable for the Garden to have existed on fossil materials before man entered into sin. That sounds very logical.
So where is the Garden of Eden? The answer is, we still don’t know where it is located. But we do know that it’s very unconvincing to draw conclusions that, the Garden is located in the Middle East, just because of the mere presence of the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers.