by Kristen C. Strocchia
“A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.” Genesis 2:10-14
Who wouldn’t love to know where the Garden of Eden was located? It’s probably every archaeologists’ dream discovery, especially the Christian archaeologist. Wouldn’t such a find prove that the Bible is true once and for all?
But while God could’ve easily opened an Eden-themed park, a Supernatural History Museum–with Himself as curator–to remind every generation of the effects of sin, that wasn’t His intention.
In fact, Man was never allowed to enter the garden again [Genesis 3:24]–not to gawk at it. Not to study it. All men. For all time. So it makes sense that even though there are many theories on where exactly these four rivers that branched off the river of Eden were located, no one has ever been able to find the Garden.
However, textbooks often teach that the first civilizations existed in the Fertile Crescent–a large, curved swath of arable land in the Middle East extending from the Nile up and around to the Persian Gulf. And this crescent just so happens to contain the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, both mentioned in the Genesis 2 account of Eden. However, remember that these rivers were not in Eden, they branched off from the river that flowed from Eden.
So since Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden [Genesis 3:22] it’s plausible that they ended up near one of the four rivers that flowed from Eden–or even settling between two of these rivers.
Were Adam and Eve the progenitors of ancient Mesopotamia? Well, the entire human race come from this one man and one woman, so yes. It was their descendants that archaeologists and anthropologists know today as the Sumers, the Mesopotamians and the Babylonians of the Fertile Crescent, as well as every other people group on the entire planet.
In fact, you and I and every human on the planet for all time all descended from this first man and first woman. We’re all family! God’s family. And one day we will all kneel before our Creator and confess that He alone is Lord [Philippians 2:10-11].
Those who accepted Him in this life will live in a restored Eden through which the River of Life once again flows, but this time from the very throne of God, watering the heavenly city [Revelation 22:1]. And the tree of life will be so enormous that it will stand on both sides of the river, straddling it [22:2]. Man will no longer be forbidden to reach out his hand and eat from the year round crops, because we will live forever with our Creator God exactly as He intended from the beginning.
The location of the first Eden is not as important to us as our location when the second Eden comes. Will you eat from the Tree of Life one day? If Jesus comes back today, would you go to eternal life with Him?