[b-hebrew] Re: Eden and Flood

Walter R. Mattfeld mattfeld12 at charter.net
Sat Jun 12 16:08:11 EDT 2004

As Karl has so rightly pointed out, the notion that Eden could never be
found because the Flood had so destroyed and changed the landscape was
embraced by a number of Renaissance scholars.

Of interest, though is a PhD dissertation in 1696 by Beck at the University
of Jena, in Germany (written in Latin, the international "scholarly language
of his day"). He argued that Eden could be found despite the Flood. How he
arrived at this notion is quite interesting. He argued that one of the lands
mentioned in the Edenic account was called Havilah and it was near the river
Gihon. Find Havilah and your on your way to finding Eden, or so he argued.
He "noted" that a man named Havilah appeared in Genesis 10:29, a descendant
of Shem. He suggested that _perhaps_ the land of Havilah was "named after
this man" -if this hunch was correct-  then Eden's location could be
determined in a post-flood world, as Havilah was born AFTER the Flood.

He noted that Havilah's brother's were Sheba and Ophir. He reckoned Sheba to
be Classical Greek Saba in the Yemen (as so preserved in Classical Roman
Geographical sources) and thus suggested Havilah was near by. He eventually
settled on Eden being preserved at the port of Aden in the Yemen.

Unknown to Beck, Jewish Hasmonean Pseudepigraphical Literature (2d-1st
century BCE) mentioned Eden was "the source of spices and incense," and it
was to be found _according to the Book of Jubilees_, by following the Nile
(Geon) SOUTH then EAST to Eden. The Nile has TWO tributaries from the East,
both are formed near Lake Tana in Ethiopia. Just east of Tana/Ethiopia is
the "Land of Aden."  In Hasmonaean times the source of many Spices and
Incense was understood to be Sheba in the Yemen (perhaps from the Queen of
Sheba's gifts to Solomon ?).

Of interest, is that Medieval Yemenite Jewish traditions (14th/15th century
CE) claim the land of Eden is in the Yemen, as noted by an Italian Rabbi
when Yemenite Jews showed up at Jerusalem on a Pilgrimage in the 15th
century BCE.

Arab traditions have Cain and Abel buried at Aden. Of course there are
several other suggestions for Eden's location (Lebanon Edhin, and northern
Mesopotamia {Beth-Eden]). Some of them mentioned by David Rohl. Some
scholars have suggested Eden is a "re-working" the Sumerian Land of Dilmun
myth, and locate it at/near Al Qurnah in the marshlands of southern
Mesopotamia, where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers come together to form one
river the Shalt al-Arab which empties into the Persian Gulf.

I have two articles on Eden, if interested cf. the following urls :



Regards, Walter
Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld y de la Torre, M.A. Ed.
mattfeld12 at charter.net

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
To: "Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, June 12, 2004 3:28 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Eden

> The problem of locating Eden is the extent of the flood under Noah. If
> it was world wide, as the text says, then, according to experts in
> hydrology, it would have completely rearranged the surface of the
> earth, effectively destroying the original Eden. The present names were
> given by Noah and his sons to the rivers they found after exiting the
> ark. As such, the names point not so much to the original Garden of
> Eden, but to the location where the ark rested at the end of the flood.
> Not everybody believes the text.
> Karl W. Randolph.

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