[b-hebrew] Re: Eden and Flood

david.kimbrough at charter.net david.kimbrough at charter.net
Sat Jun 12 23:35:38 EDT 2004

Well that was interesting.

A few emails back, someone asked where the Land of Nod 
(wandering) might be.  I emailed and suggested that since 
Nod was east of Eden.  If we know where Eden was, we  know 
about where Nod was.

In an other email I suggested that whoever wrote Genesis 
and 2 Kings (how many authors that might be is not 
important) seemed to think Eden was northwest of 
Mesopotamia.   As a result, Nod might be in northern 
Mesopotamia or the Median highlands. 

I took a strictly *sola scriptura* approach, i.e. only from 
what the Bible says.  I thought this approach would appeal 
to folks on this list who seem to favor more traditional 
views of exegesis.  Imagine my surprise at some of the 

Nowhere in the Bible does it say Noah and his sons named 
the four rivers of Genesis 2.  In fact ?nahar? does not 
even occur in Genesis 6 ? 9.  Furthermore, Genesis is 
surprising explicit, locating Eden at the headwaters 
(roshim) of four rivers, including the Euphrates and 
Tigris.  These two rivers actually have their headwaters 
near to each other in the highlands of southern Turkey, in 
the land of the Medes.  It is actually unique in the world 
for two large rivers to have their headwaters so close 
together, flow opposite directions for hundreds of miles, 
and then come together again at their delta.  

The Bible also says nothing of the world?s features being 
unrecognizablely changed by the flood.   Indeed there are 
many features identified in Genesis 2 were observable after 
the flood (i.e. later in the Bible) and even today.   The 
Euphrates and Tigris rivers are listed before and after the 
flood (visible even today).  The land of Cush (kw#) is 
mentioned several times after the flood.  Asshur is 
likewise mentioned before and after the flood. *Indeed,  
Eden itself is mentioned twice after the flood, in 2nd 
Kings (as noted before) and Ez 27.*   A literal and 
conservative reading of the OT would suggest that there was 
no change in the features of the Earth.

Stepping outside of the realm of exegesis, mountains, 
hills, rivers, shorelines, and valleys are actually pretty 
durable creations.  Water flow can change geological 
features, not doubt about that.  While presumably the 
amount of rainfall in those 40 days and nights was 
unprecedented,  once a geological feature is submerged, 
erosion is actually much slower than in the air.   Wind is 
a major source of erosion.  None of that underwater.    
Erosion caused by rain and freezing would not be a 
happening either.

> From: Brian Roberts <formoria at carolina.rr.com>
> Date: 2004/06/13 Sun AM 12:30:23 GMT
> To: "Walter R. Mattfeld" <mattfeld12 at charter.net>
> CC: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Re: Eden and Flood
> On Saturday, June 12, 2004, at 04:08  PM, Walter R. 
Mattfeld wrote:
> > 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 
> >
> > I have two articles on Eden, if interested cf. the 
following urls :
> >
> > http://www.bibleorigins.net/Edenslocation.html
> >
> > http://www.bibleorigins.net/Edenadhanamarib.html
> >
> > Regards, Walter
> > Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld y de la Torre, M.A. 
> > mattfeld12 at charter.net
> > www.bibleorigins.net
> Walter,
> You would have a hard time proving the Eden-Aden 
connection. First of 
> all, modern Aden was called Eudaemon is the 1st century 
BCE, which would 
> be the first known reference to it. ("Eudaemon Arabia was 
once a 
> full-fledged city, when vessels from India did not go to 
Egypt and those 
> of Egypt did not dare sail to places further on, but only 
came this 
> far") (see Periplus of the Erythraean Sea). 
Heuristically, I don't see 
> the connection to be made here.
> Brian
> >
> > ----- 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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David Kimbrough
San Gabriel

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