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

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Fri May 13 08:09:14 EDT 2005

On 13/05/2005 04:07, tladatsi at charter.net wrote:

>Mr. Kirk,
>yes, rivers with deltas do form short, indistinct branches.  
>Yes rivers can be divided by sand bars, ox bows, and 
>sloughs.  The Nile does form two main, and many smaller, 
>channels in the delta, but not above.  However, no river 
>anywhere branches out to form two distinct rivers in 
>separate beds in opposite directions, much less into 
>separate valleys or basins as the Tigris and Euphrates do.
This is not true. As Karl mentioned, the Orinoco splits into two rivers 
which flow in quite different directions. The branches of the Nile are 
quite distinct channels which enter the sea up to 100 miles apart. In 
antiquity one branch may even have flowed into the Red Sea. And no one 
is claiming that the four rivers of Eden, if in lower Mesopotamia, were 
"distinct rivers in separate beds in opposite directions, much less into 
separate valleys or basins".

As I see it, there are two alternatives for the rivers of Eden:

1) Four branches into which the Euphrates or similar split as in a 
delta, when close to the sea in lower Mesopotamia.

2) Four rivers of some other area, very likely in modern terms eastern 
Turkey or north west Iran, which were commonly believed to have a common 
source even though this is not actually true.

Or of course, if we look at just the text, the whole thing could have 
been pure mythology.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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