[b-hebrew] Eden

david.kimbrough at charter.net david.kimbrough at charter.net
Thu Jun 10 00:34:00 EDT 2004


Eden for Fun

In 2nd Kings 19 King Sennacherib of Assyria sends a message 
to King Hezekiah of Judea not trust his God because many 
other kingdoms trusted their Gods are were crushed by 
Assyria.    In verse 12 he lists these nations, Gozan, 
Haran, Retzef, and ?the sons of Eden who lived in Tel-
Ashar?.   

Haran and Rezaph (probably Rasafa, east of Palmyra) were 
both city-states in northwestern Mesopotamia.  Haran was 
conquored by the Assyrian army in 609 BC.  Gozan [ gwzn ] 
is referred to as a river in 1st Ch. 5:26 in the land of 
the Medes (i.e. ancestors of the Kurds).  So this could 
also be in upper Euphrates river valley, although the Kurds 
live in the highlands around the upper valley as well.  It 
does seem terribly unreasonable to reason that Tel-Ashar 
and the children of Eden [ (dn ] lived in the northwest of 
Mesopotamia or the surronding highlands.

In Genesis 2, (dn is placed at the head of four rivers, the 
Euphrates [ prt ], the Gihon [ gyxwn ], the Pison [ py#n ], 
and the Hiddekel [xdkl ], probably the Tigris.  Both the 
Tigris and Euphrates have the head waters in the same 
region of southern (Kurdish) Turkey.  There are of course 
other rivers in this region (e.g. Zab, Diyala, or Khabur).  
The writer (the DH folks would say this is ?J?) seems to be 
thinking again of northern Mesopotamia or the highland 
around it.

Question; could there be some connectio between Gihon 
[gyxwn] and Gozan [gwzn]?

When Noah?s wooden chest settled down after the flood, it 
landed on  hry )rrt (the mountains of Ararat), which is not 
too terribly far from the head waters of both the Euphrates 
and the Tigris, to the north and west of Mesopotamia 
(thought by the DH?s a P portion).

In Genesis 11:2 it says ?they? came to the plain of Shinar 
?from the east? [mqdm].  Shinar is thought to be Babylon 
(today?s Sunni  Triangle) so the decendents of Noah 
(including Abram) were thought have arrived in Mesopotemia 
from the (north) west by this writer (again a proported J 
portion).  Abram traveled north through Haran before 
traveling south to Canaan.  In Joshua?s death speech he 
reminds the Israelites how their Terah, Nahor, and Abraham 
lived ?beyond the river?, i.e. the other side of the 
Euphrates.

So it would seem that there is some idea in the OT that 
Eden was to the north and west of Mesopotamia.

David Kimbrough
San Gabriel




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