[b-hebrew] Eden

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Sun Oct 9 18:20:55 EDT 2005

Although we don't know for certainty what the rivers Gihon and Pishon
were we do have a rather large clue. We are told that the river Gihon
encircled the entire land of Cush. So what is this land Cush? Both LXX 
and Vulgate translate as Ethiopia. Now even by a long stretch of the 
imagination could there be a river issuing from babel which become the 
Tigris and the Euphrates and then another that split off down past Egypt 
and around Ethiopia.
As for the Pishon we are told that it encircles a land with good gold, 
bdellium gum and onyx. Can these presious goods be found naturally in 
the near East?

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org on behalf of Vadim Cherny
Sent: Sun 10/9/2005 8:16 PM
To: Yigal Levin; b-hebrew
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Eden
> 2. Vs. 8 clearly states that the garden was "eastward" (miqqedem).

Not so clear to me. To say "eastward" without reference point is odd, though 
The same mikedem in Gen3:24, "at the east of the garden," is totally 
ludicrous. The angel was, of course, placed at the entrance. The same sense, 
"entrance, front" is in Gen2:8: the garden was in the front of the territory 
named Eden.

> Assuming that Genesis was written by an Israelite (Moses or otherwise), 
> this would NOT refer to the sources of the Nile.

I'm very far from defending the Nile hypothesis; it is only my own 
conviction, and I'm not an expert in ancient geography.
However, Genesis might be written well before Israel arrived in the land of 

> 3. Of the four rivers mentioned, the only two that are known are the 
> Tigris and the Euphrates.

Russian controversial (and often wrong) historian Fomenko had a chapter in 
one of his books discussing ancient place name correlations. Quite often, 
the same name referred to different places. Sort of New York.
By the way, I don't know, perhaps you do: when are the names Tigris and 
Euphrates first attested in local sources?

> Whatever one thinks that "head" means, this refers to Mesopotamia.

This is strange reasoning, isn't it?

> The Gihon and the Pishon are not known.

More importantly, no reasonable candidates exist. It is not that we don't 
know the landscape of the area, rather we know it well enough to assert that 
no rivers comparable to Tigris and Euphrates exist there.

> Identifying them with the White and Blue Nile is pure conjecture.

Yes, but it fits the known facts.

> 4. The end of ch. 3 makes it clear, that after man was banished from the 
> garden, God made it unfindable

Sounds like a volcano to me, "flaming sword," nothing about 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.

But the book is just about the real world, parting of the Red Sea included.

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

Not the riverbeds.

> Just my 6 cents worth.

And my five

Vadim Cherny 

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