The Garden of Eden
The facts tell us that the biblical narrative is true and factual. Lets see what science tells us.
The Garden of Edens location has been pushed to the brink of lunacy. Some claim we cannot know the location while others claim they have found it. Almost always there is a major issue with the hypothesis either geographically or theologically or textually. They get it wrong by making things fit instead of simply taking what we know and what is written and building from there. There is a lot of gymnastics and leaps in logic that are normally taken. In my method it took me about two days of research to find it. I have a few advantages. First, I know God and as crazy as this might sound to you it serves me well. Think about it like this. If my buddy said, "Hey look at this, I wrote this down over here and if you follow what I said you will find this thing". Then I did so and found the thing my buddy told me I would find. This is reasonable and no one would have an issue with this line of reasoning at all. The only part people take issue with is the "God said" part. So, I will provide evidence of it.
Secondly, I know the scripture well enough to look there and determine what is being said and use it as a guide rather than accepting a thing man said about the scriptures. I used Hebrew reference material to get to the actual wording and inferences used rather than the English version which misses the nuances and implications. I look at Hebrew language as poetic while Greek is more mathematic. In poetry there is much nuance and without careful and open examination of the feel and coloring of the text you miss much of the intended communication. If I read Emily Dickenson as an engineering manual, I will get a very different idea than what is being conveyed. Likewise, if I read the Pythagorean theorem as poetry, I will never be able to provide the proof for the theorem. A holistic approach to the text is very important in any document you read. Understand as much as you can about the people, time, culture, place, and anything else so that you have the proper setting and therefore the context can be as accurate as possible. This is a critical step in textual criticism of ancient documents as we will see later in the discussion of the biblical authority and accuracy.
Finally, I looked at several maps, geographic tables and scientific documents. I looked at trade tables between nations, topological maps, biological data, late Oligocene maps, and other scientific data. Things we know and can be reasonably certain of. Instead of making things fit and calling it a day, I decided that it was either correct or it was not and no pressing together of puzzle pieces so they were forced to fit would be sufficient. Here is what I discovered.
The verses used are from Genesis 2 as follows
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters.
11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold.
12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.)
13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.
14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden.
17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
I also used verses from Ezekiel 31
2 “‘Who can be compared with you in majesty?
3 Consider Assyria, once a cedar in Lebanon, with beautiful branches overshadowing the forest; it towered on high, its top above the thick foliage.
4 The waters nourished it, deep springs made it grow tall; their streams flowed all around its base and sent their channels to all the trees of the field.
5 So it towered higher than all the trees of the field; its boughs increased, and its branches grew long, spreading because of abundant waters.
6 All the birds of the sky nested in its boughs, all the animals of the wild gave birth under its branches; all the great nations lived in its shade.
7 It was majestic in beauty, with its spreading boughs, for its roots went down to abundant waters.
8 The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it, nor could the junipers equal its boughs, nor could the plane trees compare with its branches— no tree in the garden of God could match its beauty.
9 I made it beautiful with abundant branches, the envy of all the trees of Eden in the garden of God.
The first gives the location and the second gives a parallel of a description. Now we should find a place with this kind of tree living in the region. Let's have a look.
Didn't the flood destroy the location of Eden?
Why would God give the description of a place that no longer exists to Moses?
Imagine if I told you the location of my home, but the home is the place I lived at 12 years ago and had now been demolished to make room for a mall? Why would I even bother to do this?
Why would God tell Moses where the Garden was if the details of its location did not exists? Especially given the presupposition that the text of Genesis is literal history. If we do not accept the text as literal then why even ask if the location can be discovered, the very question requires the premise of a literal reading which then requires the location of Eden to be discoverable due to Gods information being given to Moses.
Further, if the location has been removed from the planet because of the Flood, then why do the various details, the rivers, the mines and gold and such appear exactly where the scripture tells us we will find them?
If we are given a map with an X on it and told to look there and we will find Y then why assume it is mythical? Furthermore when we look at the location marked X and find Y we know certainly that the location exists and the text is quite literal.
The correlation of 4 rivers meeting in n one place, the Gold mines, the aromatic resin, the Chalcedony, and the descriptions being found to be true removes the idea that the location was destroyed by the flood and can not be found. Furthermore, the scientific papers cited and referred to actually show the process of change the flood caused. All of this is exactly as described in the Bible.
The Flood did cover the Garden of Eden but the clues God left for us are perfect and give us confirmation that His word is true and reliable. He also allows us to confirm that the Genesis narrative is literal history and not mythical.
Tigress & Euphrates
The first thing many say is that we cannot know the location of Eden due to the flood. I disagree. Moses was not alive during the flood and if God is telling Moses where the garden was God would describe it accurately according to what Moses knew to be true. There is no point in God describing a thing to Moses using places that Moses had no idea about. That's literally a map with an X on it but you have no idea of the places located on the map as those places no longer exist. Why would God do this? Besides that, the description tells us where it is using features we can identify. If the flood had wiped out the location altogether, we could not identify the landmarks given. Knowing then that the location should be recognizable at the time of Moses and should lead us to conclusions we could ascertain from a pre flood era we can move forward. The Location of the third and fourth rivers is easy. These rivers have carried their names throughout recorded human history and we have no doubt, except by the extreme fringe, that these are the rivers used in the genesis recollection. "The Tigris also has a rich history that dates back to the earliest known civilizations because of its importance to a largely arid region."
National Geographic Resource Library | Encyclopedic Entry Tigris River
I started with the land of Kush and began with the Nile. It almost fits, in fact this puzzled me for a day. You see we know where Kush was, this is not debated. We know it bordered Egypt and was a predecessor to the Egyptian empire. This leads me to the Nile as it does many others. The problem is that this required a stretch of the headwaters issue and did not fit exactly. Verse ten says " A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters." The Nile does not have its headwater anywhere near the Tigris or Euphrates. I tried to figure it out but could not see it properly working the way it is described. After my 25+ years of studying the scriptures I knew that the scriptures had to be correct, and it was my logic that was wrong. I could not use the Nile. If the Nile does not connect its headwaters to the Tigress and Euphrates, then I needed a different river. There are none. I was very confused for about 2 hours. The Problem was the location of the Kush Empire. Looking at most maps they stop the Kush empire at the red sea. However, in my reading I learned that the Kush dealt in Gold. Now on the west side of the red sea there are only 3 Gold mines in the area of the Kush empire and none that date back to that time period. However just on the other side of the red sea there are several more gold mines. This is Arabia. I thought that surely these mines had to belong to the Kush if they were a major gold exporter, which would place the Kuch in Arabia as well as Ethiopia. I went back to the scriptures to see if this was possible. There it was as plain as the text in front of my face.
Psalm 87:4 says, " Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon; behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush ``This one was born there,” they say." This is not south of Egypt.
Hebrew scholars place Kush in Arabia as well.
“A nation whose founder is mentioned in Gen. x. 6; I Chron. i. 8 as brother to Mizraim (Egypt) and as a son of Ham; with the exception of the passages in Genesis, A. V. renders it "Ethiopia." This African country is evidently meant in Gen. x. 6, but in the next verse six Arabic tribes are mentioned as sons of Cush, and in verse 8, Nimrod, the representative of Babylonia (Assyria), appears as his descendant. These three verses present the vexing problem, much discussed by scholars, arising from the fact that nations identical in name extend over parts of Africa, Arabia, and Babylonia.”
Jewish Encyclopedia Cush Emil G. Hirsch, W. Max Muller
Other Hebrews place Kush in Arabia as well.
Bar-Ilan University's Parashat Hashavua Study Center Parashat Noah 5769/ November 1, 2008
The land of Cush and Ethiopian Jewry Dr. Yoel Shiloh Ashkelon College
So now we need to see if there is or was a river in Arabia. Did you know there are no rivers in Saudi Arabia today? I didn't. Again, I was very confused. However, there is a river occasionally and was definitely a river in the time of Moses. Here it is in all its glory by a completely secular and objective source having nothing whatsoever to do with biblical studies.
Rock of the Volcanic Fragments in Wadi Al-batin, Iraq: Geomorphological, Petrographically and Geochemical Evidence - Scientific Figure on ResearchGate.
This river is in the process of drying up completely and only exists in short spurts nowadays. However, a few thousand years ago this was a major river traveling exactly where the bible says it would. Evidently the Saudis know quite a bit about this river, and it is no big deal to them at all. However, it is not on many maps because it usually does not exist anymore. The dessert is encroaching and blocking the river. The climate in the area is also still becoming more arid and the river is soon to be non-existent.
This river is exactly where the bible says it would be and goes exactly where it says it should go.
Pishon of Havilah Gold of Ophir
In ancient times Havilah was a huge area placed as far as modern India
Gen 25:18; 1 Sam15:7
Now we have one more river to find. Thankfully this one has the most clues as to its whereabouts.
"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; aromatic resin and the onyx stone are there.
This one was tricky. We are given three hints where this river is. Gold, Onyx, and an aromatic resin are there. The trick is to find where these are concentrated in the middle east and see if there is a river there. The middle east has several Gold mines. Those are well documented and easily looked up. The Onyx is a black form of Chalcedony. So, in my search for this I came upon a huge number of quarries in a single location. The third and final clue is the resin. This is the real trigger that gives it away.
Galbanum Resin is a special fragrant resin from Iran that is quite valuable and world renowned for its special qualities. Doing a quick search, I found the real stuff sells for more than 50$ USD per 8.8 oz.! It was used in the frankincense given to Jesus at birth and has been world famous for most of human history.
The best in the world grows only in Iran in the mountains. Looking at these three items I find a very particular place. There is no other place where these three combine in one place. Without this existence it makes no sense for God to write about the resin and chalcedony or gold. These items are kind of stuck in the text without reason except that they be indicators of location and verification. There is really no other plausible explanation for these descriptions to exists within the text.
Gold Mines of Iran
Quarries of Iran
Pishon River from Google Earth
Given the area of the world and the fact that we know there was a flood we can look at the geologic record of the area and look to see what happened. Buckle your seat belts This is where I got very excited. It is important to have a working understanding of the terms being used by geologists.
*HERE WE ARE NOT ADDRESSING DEEP TIME PHILOSOPHY NOR THE AGE OF THE EARTH AND ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS*
We have the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden all in this area. Let's look at the red sea, which we know existed at the time of Moses. The Red Sea is older than most of the surrounding area in the middle east. It seems to have formed first. "The movement of Africa away from Arabia began about 55 million years ago. The Gulf of Suez opened up about 30 million years ago, and the northern part of the Red Sea about 20 million years ago. The second phase began about 3 to 4 million years ago, creating the trough in the Gulf of Aqaba and also in the southern half of the Red Sea valley"
Red Sea Encyclopedia Britannica
This places the formation of the Gulf of Aqaba at the Pliocene era. This is going to become increasingly important as we look at a few other formations in this area.
" In the Gulf of Aqaba, the movements are younger. The Late Miocene motion is associated with a strike-slip stress pattern"
J.M Gaulier, X Le Pichon, N Lyberis, F Avedik, L Geli, I Moretti, A Deschamps, Salah Hafez
Seismic study of the crust of the northern Red Sea and Gulf of Suez
10 October 1988, pp.
Again, placing the formation of the Gulf of Aqaba in the late Miocene era, 4-7 million years ago according to the deep time philosophy.
The Gulf of Aden is next. Let's see when this was formed.
"In Oligocene times the Afro Arabian Plate began to separate due to the creation of two divergent basins, which both evolved in narrow oceanic basins: the Red Sea to the west, between Arabia and Africa (Nubia) and the Gulf of Aden to the south, between Arabia and Somalia. This later Oligo-Miocene stretching episode of the Arabia–Somalia Plate reactivated inherited structures of these Mesozoic basins"
Structure and evolution of the eastern Gulf of Aden conjugate margins from seismic reflection data, Geophysical Journal International, Volume 160, Issue 3, March 2005, Pages 869–890,
Here we see that during the same time frame Something seems to have reshaped the middle east during the Miocene time reference. Let's see how far this goes.
"Deformation of the Musandam Peninsula in the Late Cretaceous and mid‐Tertiary by compression (subduction) from the east and southwest, collision of the Arabian platform and Eurasian plate along the Zagros Crush zone during the Oligocene or early Miocene, and emplacement of the Zagros Mountains by gravitational sliding during the Neogene and Pleistocene have reduced the platform area to the Persian Gulf."
The geology of the Persian Gulf‐Gulf of Oman Region: A synthesis David A. Ross Elazar Uchupi Robert S. White First published: August 1986 https://doi.org/10.1029/RG024i003p00537
What happened here? What caused all this activity to happen at the same time?
Here is the timing of the Persian Gulf, which seems later than the other places surrounding Saudi arabia.
"By 14000 yr BP the Strait of Hormuz had opened up as a narrow waterway and by about 12500 years ago the marine incursion into the Central Basin had started. The Western Basin flooded about 1000 years later. Momentary still stands may have occurred during the Gulf flooding phase at about 11300 and 10500 yr BP. The present shoreline was reached shortly before 6000 yr ago and exceeded as relative sea level rose l-2 m above its present level, inundating the low-lying areas of lower Mesopotamia."
Shoreline reconstructions for the Persian Gulf since the last glacial maximum Kurt Lambeck *
Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University. Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
Received 24 October 1995; accepted 2? March 1996
Remember this time period between 14000 & 10000 years ago as this timeframe is extremely important.
So, we now have a picture showing the Red Sea in existence, however a major event opened up the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Aqaba at the same time then the Persian Gulf sometime afterwards. Is there anything else that happened? Maybe there is another way we can verify the sequence of events or place a time scale on this. We know that the sea level was raised by 400 feet meaning the Gulf of Arabia, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Persian Gulf were all land before this as was most of the red sea If this was the garden of Eden then do we have anything today that can tell us that there used to be a massive, lush garden here?
The following scientific article published by Chicago University has no religious attachment yet reads as though it came strait out of the book of Genesis.
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Lost civilization under Persian Gulf?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101208151609.htm>
"Historical sea level data show that, prior to the flood, the Gulf basin would have been above water beginning about 75,000 years ago. And it would have been an ideal refuge from the harsh deserts surrounding it, with fresh water supplied by the Tigris, Euphrates, Karun, and Wadi Baton Rivers, as well as by underground springs. When conditions were at their driest in the surrounding hinterlands, the Gulf Oasis would have been at its largest in terms of exposed land area. At its peak, the exposed basin would have been about the size of Great Britain, Rose says."
The largest oil deposit in the world is here. Now we know that decaying biomatter is not required for oil to exist, but we also know it can under go a catalysts transformation to produce hydrocarbons. Space is full of oil reserves and Titan has more methane on it than earth does. Life, especially plant material, is helpful for hydrocarbon production.
"An international team of planetary scientists may have solved the mystery of why the atmosphere of Saturn's moon, Titan, is rich in methane."
"Scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Germany say they've discovered major hydrocarbon molecule deposits in the Horsehead Nebula galaxy in the Orion constellation."
Scientists May Have Found A Mega Ocean Of Oil—On The Other Side Of The Universe
Rob Wile Nov 26, 2012, 4:38 PM
And this is where we learn about the catalytic process of decaying biomatter.
Argonne Labs Fuel Chemistry Division
The formation of petroleum
So how is it that we have the four rivers exactly where they should be and the largest oil deposit on the planet exactly where the Bible says it is?
More to the point how did Moses know this?
The major objection to this is that people think there should be a huge angel standing somewhere in the middle east guarding the path to Eden. Well, there are a few issues with this.
First, that is not exactly how it is read in Hebrew. There are two Hebrew words in this passage that are only used one time in the scriptures, and we are not sure exactly what they mean. We disseminate from root words and other sources to get an idea; however, this misses the nuances and inflections of the words.
כדוַיְגָ֖רֶשׁ אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֑ם וַיַּשְׁכֵּן֩ מִקֶּ֨דֶם לְגַן־עֵ֜דֶן אֶת־הַכְּרֻבִ֗ים וְאֵ֨ת לַ֤הַט הַחֶ֨רֶב֙ הַמִּתְהַפֶּ֔כֶת לִשְׁמֹ֕ר אֶת־דֶּ֖רֶךְ עֵ֥ץ הַֽחַיִּֽים:
And He drove the man out, and He stationed from the east of the Garden of Eden the cherubim and the blade of the revolving sword, to guard the way to the Tree of Life.
The phrase "and the blade of the revolving sword" can also mean "To heat and change using a sword" In other words the angel changed it to a desert.
While this cannot be directly determined the phrase can lead to this conclusion and using what we see before us we know this is accurate. The surprising thing is that I learned this 20 years ago when studying Hebrew, long before investigating the location of Eden.
This has been disputed by persons seeking confirmation of the textual translation.
הַמִּתְהַפֶּ֔כֶת has been translated as flashing, whirling, overturn, changing, among other words.
The trouble we have is that this is the only time in the scripture or anywhere else for that matter we see this word used and we do not know if this changing or overturning refers to the garden or the sword.
Scholars gateway says this :
Parts of Speech: Verb Hithpael Participle Root:
Infinitive Definition:1. to turn, overthrow, overturn
The strongest evidence for this translation is that the word for sword הַחֶ֙רֶב֙. This word did not mean word in the most ancient text, it meant drought.
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
From charab; drought; also a cutting instrument (from its destructive effect), as a knife, sword, or other sharp implement -- axe, dagger, knife, mattock, sword, tool.
Look here for definitnion of Charab
Does it make more sense that the changing refers to the garden or to the sword? Are we turning, overthrowing, and overturning a garden or are we turning, overturning, and overthrowing a sword here?
Both are possible from the text itself, but changing a sword does not work as well as changing a garden, so now comparing the text to what we find, the Garden looks as if it was dried up and heat has changed the Garden. If the changing or overturning refers to the Garden then what we find seems to correlate quite well.
The second reason is the flood which, as we have shown, did change the landscape. The Persian Gulf did not exist until after the flood
The Trees of Eden
Here we find biologic proof of Eden simply scroll through the pictures and descriptions to see the array of evidence.
There is an island called Socotra were we find the dragon's blood tree. Ezekiel 31 describes the trees of Eden in comparison. Lets see if these bear any resemblence.
The Trees of Eden
Here we find biologic proof of Eden simply scroll through the pictures and descriptions to see the array of evidence.
So it towered higher than all the trees of the field; its boughs increased and its branches grew long, spreading because of abundant waters.
The Trees of Eden
Here we find biologic proof of Eden simply scroll through the pictures and descriptions to see the array of evidence.
The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it, nor could the junipers equal its boughs, nor could the plane trees compare with its branches—no tree in the garden of God could match its beauty.
Science & the Tree
This tree is remarkable in every way. In fact this tree is so remarkable that a team from Europe just completed a complete survey including genetic makeup, climatology, uses, history, and geographical challenges.
used to treat a host of medical needs. Has no known side effects or interactions.
Dragon's blood is one of the renowned traditional medicines used in different cultures of world. It has got several therapeutic uses: homeostatic, antidiarrheic, antiulcer, antimicrobial, antiviral, wound healing, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, etc.
Gupta, Deepika & Bleakley, Bruce & Gupta, Rajinder. (2008). Dragon's blood: Botany, chemistry and therapeutic uses. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 115. 361-80. 10.1016/j.jep.2007.10.018.
This tree used to be in a very fertile and moist habitat. as well as " Hence, semi-desertic modern dragon trees allied to D. draco displaying distinct xeromorphism may have originated from a western Eurasian mesic lineage that had evolved xeromorphic characteristics by the Miocene. " This places its ancestry exactly where the garden of Eden would be.
Dracaenoids are monophyletic (defined as a group of organisms descended from a common evolutionary ancestor or ancestral group, especially one not shared with any other group.)
They can grow anywhere, have a large variation in leaf structure, are parafedlic and have both terranean and aerial root structures.
The chemical composition of resin in Dracaena species is very complex. Numerous phytochemical studies of resins from the Dracaena species resulted in the isolation and subsequent identification of sterols [135–138], steroidal saponins [110,138–141], lignans , and terpenoids [131,135,142–144], flavonoids (recently reviewed by Sun et al. , bioflavonoids [145,146], carotenoids [109,138], and aromatic compounds [107,147–151].
Wang H, Luo G, Wang J, et al. Flavonoids produced by tissue culture of Dracaena cambodiana. Nat Prod Commun. 2014;9(1):39‐40.
It's been around for 6000 years
In short, this plant is genetically dense and extremely adaptable, has isolated ancestry, a plethora of medical uses, matches the description of the life-giving trees in the biblical account to a T, and the oldest species grows only on an island right smack dab where the Eden headwaters separated. The idea that an ancient tree that has tremendous genetic properties, has resin that bleeds and has an incredible chemical structure as well as many medical uses and no known side effects, matches the description exactly, and is exactly where it is supposed to be based on the evidence of the Garden of Eden is incredibly strong evidence.
How is it then that we have the 4 rivers exactly where they are said to be, exactly describing the specific locations and all details of those locations match exactly? We also have the oil that should be there, the proof of the headwaters all coming from exactly the same place, and pre flood evidence supporting the location. We have several peer reviewed articles and papers attesting to each step of the investigation all of them independently verifying each facet of the search. Moreover, we also have a tree that matches the description perfectly which also just happens to have extremely rare and powerful genetic properties. We have shown evidence from geologic, biologic, textual, anthropogenic sources as well as logic itself. Not that I have exhausted the information available to us, I simply expanded the information based on the dragon's blood tree and the description in Ezekiel.