Was the Garden of Eden Located In Israel?

There are multiple facts proving a high amount of logic present in the assumption that Eden was situated on the soils of today’s Israel. Three verities distinguish themselves by importance making it very likely that God’s garden in which the first humans on earth appeared was on the location near the present time Jerusalem:

  • Meaning of the word Eden.
  • The position of Jerusalem on the old supercontinent Pangaea as the center of the earth.
  • Four Rivers of Eden.

The area known as Fertile Crescent is considered to be the cradle of human civilization. It is one of the reasons explorers tend to connect it with the answer on an eternal question – where was Eden located? Most of the sources regarding the birthplace of Adam and Eve are extracted from the description in the Bible.

Eden – Meaning of the Word

One of the most important things in tracking Eden is to understand the meaning of the word. According to the widely accepted point of view, the term originates from the Akkadian word “edinnu” that has roots in a Sumerian word “edin” which is translated as steppe or plain. Edin is also closely related to the samely pronounced Aramaic word meaning fruitful or well-watered. In the old Hebrew language, the meaning of Eden is tied for pleasure but can be also translated as delightful.

Important list of meanings:

  • Plain – a flat area that allows easy development of agriculture and extraction of resources from the soils.
  • Steppe – a large area of flat unforested grassland.
  • Pleasure – a broad class of mental states that are considered in a positive manner by humans or other conscious living beings.
  • Delightful – providing enjoyment.

What ensues from summarizing listed meanings and explanations is the conclusion that Eden refers to a place very good to live in and is widely observed as the area of Adam’s home.

From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible

Eden was in a Fertile Crescent

The fertile crescent encompasses Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Cyprus. With its sickle-shaped sprawling, it includes Mesopotamia – the ancient area between Euphrates and Tigris river on the territories of today’s Iraq. Mesopotamia is the place where Sumer civilization flourished for more than 2500 years starting its existence in 4500 B.C. and dispersing with the arrival of Bybilonians in 2004. B.C. However, the first inhabitants of these territories came to these lands long before Sumerians. Ubaid people made their arrival around 6000 B.C. They are considered for the pioneers in establishing agricultural settlements. One of the most astonishing discoveries came from the Zagros Mountains of Iran which showed that the first experimenting with barley and wheat took place around 8000 B.C. Considering all these facts if we chose to observe existence through the prism of God, it is natural to assume that this area was purposely chosen to provide plenty resources and soils suitable for development. Therefore, the cradle of civilization is very likely to be the cradle of humanity itself. However, geography and compounds of the earth are far from a full explanation when it comes to the relation of Eden and Israel. The most important part of relating Eden to Israel and Jerusalem is the description of the supercontinent known by the name of Pangaea.

Jerusalem and the Super Continent

One of the strongest facts used to connect Eden with Israel and proclaim territories around its capital to be the place where God created Adam from the earth is an approximation regarding Jerusalem’s position in the Pangaea.

Pangae Super Continent

What is Pangaea? Bible vs Science

According to science, Pangea was the supper continent formed from earlier continental units around 335 million years ago. Its breaking started around 150 million years B.C. What we can see is that geology supports the concept of a single landmass. While there is a discrepancy regarding the question of time duration, the book of Genesis also supports the sole ground encircled by one ocean.

Then God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear’; and it was so (Gen 1.9, emphasis added)

In addition to this quote, there is a Jewish tradition that observer Jerusalem as the center of the earth. The choice for such interpretation comes from another part present in the book of genesis:

For God is my King from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth (Ps 74.12)
Thus says the Lord God: ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her’ (Ezek 5.5)

The center of the earth, when compared to the periphery, is more likely to be the place where God would choose to create the first beings on his own image. Since the Bible states that the Creator decided to set Jerusalem in the midst of all countries it’s no wonder why Jews consider Israel’s capital to be ground zero where everything started. However, if we chose the literal approach in interpreting this, we are going to stumble upon undeniable discrepancy as Jerusalem is no center of the earth.

Earth in the Times Of Pangaea

In the beginning, waters were equally divided by a single land-space into one world sea. Flood is what made the world as it is today. According to this theory, during the times before flood, the average depth of the ocean was 2000m which is half of what it is today. A very intriguing fact is that the under-water ground map at this depth would allow separated continents to fit into a whole almost perfectly. Another important fact is that when continents are repositioned to form one firm space according to 2000 depth map, the center of the grounds is the area around Jerusalem.

However, to fully understand what had really happened, we need to adopt the Biblical meaning of firmament.

What is Firmament? Second Day of the Creation

In biblical cosmology, the firmament is the large solid dome created by God on the second day. He did it to divide the primal sea into upper and lower portions and allow for the dry land to appear. According to the book of Genesis God called the firmament Heaven. Above the firmament, in the layers above the atmosphere, there was an amount of water equal to the one on earth. The occurrence of flood ensued from God’s decision to implement the punishment by letting those waters lower to the earth. It is how the world we know today came to be.

Four Rivers of Eden – Book Of Genesis

Map of Eden
Map of Eden

Rivers mentioned in the book of Genesis are used as one of the main foundations for assessing where Eden was. However, what all explorers must and do bear in mind is that over millennials natural catastrophes that took place changed the face of the planet. This means that many old-world river troughs were buried under the ground while the new ones emerged. The flood is how the Bible explains grand disasters. Originally, according to the book of Genesis, the rivers of God’s garden looked like this:

A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it separated and became four heads. The name of one is Pishon; that is the one that encompasses all the land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; there is the crystal and the onyx stone. The name of the second river is Gichon; that is the one that encompasses all the land of Cush. The name of the third river is Chidekel; that is the one that flows to the east of Ashur. And the fourth river, that is Perat.

When it comes to the four rivers of Eden, even according to today’s map, they represent the reference to a whole fertile crescent rather than a specific geographical position. The location of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers are well known. Both of them flow through Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. However, Pishon is no more. Pishon skirted the land of Havilah which is allegedly positioned on the northeast of the Arabian peninsula. As for the source of the river, some assume that Kuwait is the place were its stream used to start. Gihon which encircled the land of Cush was very likely positioned near the Persian Gulf as it is where Cush was situated. More precisely, the word is about today’s Iran’s province Khuzistao. While this does not provide us with the exact location, it still points towards the northern areas of the Arabian peninsula which is not far from Israel.

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