[b-hebrew] Eden

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sat Oct 8 14:13:04 EDT 2005

Just a few points:

1. No one is claiming that "Eden" was a desert. Gen. 2:5 ff. FIRST tells of 
the earth beig waterless and of God raising a "mist" (let's not go back to 
that one!), and THEN says that God planted a garden in Eden and put man 

2. Vs. 8 clearly states that the garden was "eastward" (miqqedem). Assuming 
that Genesis was written by an Israelite (Moses or otherwise), this would 
NOT refer to the sources of the Nile.

3. Of the four rivers mentioned, the only two that are known are the Tigris 
and the Euphrates. Whatever one thinks that "head" means, this refers to 
Mesopotamia. The Gihon and the Pishon are not known. Identifying them with 
the White and Blue Nile is pure conjecture.

4. The end of ch. 3 makes it clear, that after man was banished from the 
garden, God made it unfindable, and guarded it with a cherub and a flaiming 
sword. Anyone who takes the biblical story literally enough to search for 
the garden in "real" geography, should take this litearlly as well. In my 
opinion, what the book is saying, is that the garden is NOT in our "real 
world", so don't bother to look for it.

5. Once again, those who take the story literally, should remember that 
there was a great flood which probably wiped out most landmarks, anyway.

6. For those who don't take the story literally, the only "historical" 
question is not where the garden was, but what ancient traditions influenced 
the author when he composed his story.

Just my 6 cents worth.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Read, James C" <K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 10:52 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Historical origin of Eden

> Vadim,
> I am particularly interested in your recent claims that head of nile river 
> is
> more plausible candidate for biblical garden of eden.
> I have recently seen a documentary, 'The Real Eve', where a genetic 
> scientist
> traces all women back to an original Mother in the East of Africa. She did
> this by means of an anomaly whereby mitochondrial DNA is handed down from
> mother to daughter only and not from father to daughter. Her research 
> shows
> that all mankind came from East Africa and that all the worlds races came 
> from
> splitting groups in Arabia after migrating from East Africa. The 
> documentary
> claims that the human family would have had to cross over the red sea into
> Arabia from East Africa as the desert was far too unforgiving.
> However, I believe that the Nile river with it's source of fresh water 
> would
> have been a much more forgiving route through the desert. No doubt during 
> the
> long journey our ancestors would have passed down their memories of the 
> lush
> tropics at the head of the Nile river and this would explain why all the 
> world's
> cultures seem to have a story about a golden age which involves some kind 
> of
> paradisaic conditions where everything grows in abundance.
> I've been looking at the area of the head of the Nile river with 
> maps.google.co.uk
> which gives nice satellite images, and the lush area seems a much stronger
> candidate than the arid babylonia.
> I am interested in your theories on the four rivers that flow out of the 
> garden
> of Eden.
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