[b-hebrew] Four Rivers of Eden - Genesis 2

tladatsi at charter.net tladatsi at charter.net
Thu May 12 10:45:02 EDT 2005

Walter & Co.

I was not making geographical argument.  No river anywhere 
branches out as it flows down hill.  Branches of a river 
come together on the downward path not apart.  The nearest 
thing to what is described is in Cambodia where the Mekong 
River overflows it's banks in the wet season near Phnom 
Penh into a short river and then into a lake (Tonle Sab).  
So for part of the year, the Mekong river branches out.  A 
similar situation occurs on the Nile with Al Fayyum Lake 
and in southern California with the San Gabriel River and 
the Rio Hondo.  Those situations are at best seasonal and 
involve one branch, not four.

Rather, my point is, where would someone listening to 
Exodus 2 being read in ancient times think Eden was based 
on the description.  It is doubtful that too many people in 
those days had detailed knowledge of the various river 
basins in question but they knew that these rivers came 
down from the mountains of what is now Turkey.

An analogy would be if you told someone in San Fransisco 
that there was a beautiful place in the Sierra Nevada 
mountains with a river running through it branched out into  
the American, Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus 
Rivers all originated.  Few people would doubt that it 
exists even though it is not geographically accurate or 
geologically possible.  Why?  The Sierra Nevada's are well 
known for their beauty and the source of many rivers.  The 
minor detail that the headwaters of these rivers are 
actually many miles apart and do not share a literal common 
source would be known to very few and be of interest to 
even fewer.

Jack Tladatsi

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