[b-hebrew] Eden

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Oct 10 12:00:33 EDT 2005

I find it amusing that people who do not take Genesis as a 
true history yet spend so much time and effort to try to find 
where Eden was located. Especially when there is no 
where in the world today that resembles the antediluvian 
Eden as described in Genesis.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> On 08/10/2005 23:13, Yigal Levin wrote:
> > ...
> >
> > 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.
> >
> >
> The name "Gihon" should not be so mysterious. It is clearly equivalent
> to the Arabic name "Jeyhun" which has at different times been given to
> the rivers Araxes=Araz and Oxus=Amu Darya. The Araz, which now forms the
> southern border of Armenia and Azerbaijan and the northern border of
> western Iran, seems a likely candidate, for its sources are in the same
> region as those of the Euphrates and Tigris. It is also associated with
> Cush if understood as the land of the Kassites, as suggested in Harold's
> quotation from "HAL", presumably (the English version of) Koehler and
> Baumgartner's Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament.
> As for the Pishon, it has been suggested that this is the river Kizil
> Uzan on north-west Iran, which also rises in the same region. The areea
> through which it winds rather a lot could well have been called Havilah,
> and I think there is gold there - I don't know about bdellium and onyx.
> This would point to a location for Eden between the headwaters of these
> rivers and so in the region of Lake Urmia.
> > 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.
> >
> >
> The flaming sword could also be a real phenomenon, a natural flame from
> a gas vent. These occur now in the general region, for example near
> Baku, Azerbaijan. Possibly the author had in mind a geographical
> location, real or imaginary, which was inaccessible because of such a
> flame blocking the only access e.g. to a valley. Of course that may have
> been a very ancient tradition or legend.
> > 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.
> >
> >
> >
> There is something more which can be answered by those who don't take
> the story literally. The author clearly set his story in specific
> geographic location. He didn't have to say anything about where Eden
> was. But he chose to give this rather detailed description. This
> suggests, to me at least, that he had in mind not a totally fictional
> setting but some real place, which he believed to have been the original
> home of humanity, or perhaps which he considered to be a suitable
> setting for a fictional account. Of course he was very likely influenced
> by ancient traditions, but there remains a real question of what place
> those ancient traditions were pointing to.
> --
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/

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