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Genesis 2 Part 2

One of the questions that often arises out of the opening of Genesis is this:

Where was the Garden of Eden?

This is not a bad question, but is unanswerable on a modern globe. Why?

We lack some key pieces of information. There are 4 rivers mentioned in Genesis 2:10-14. These are The Pishon, the Gihon, the Tigris, and the Euphrates. Some have looked for an area that is bordered by four rivers, given that we have a modern Tigris and a modern Euphrates River.

There are a couple of issues here. The first is that the Pishon and the Gihon have not been accurately identified with modern rivers. The Gihon is said to flow around the land of Cush, but there are several ancient areas with similar-sounding names to Cush. Likewise, the land of Havilah is not clear.

The other issue is that many people seek a place bordered by these rivers, but the text does not demand bordered. In fact, the text states that there was one river flowing out of Eden, watering the garden, then dividing into four rivers. So, these rivers are down stream.

The difficulty compounds, though, when you consider the further statements of Genesis. Once you throw in a world-wide flood in Genesis 6 it gets very hard to nail this down. When you recognize that even modern people name new places after old places, then you see why there might be many names that get repeated.

Don’t believe that we name new places after old places? Why do I live near Stuttgart, Arkansas, which is near Czech, England, not far from Palestine? We’ve done it and it will probably happen again and again.

The other thing to draw from this chapter is a refocus on the purpose of marriage and the permanence of marriage. The idea was and should remain that marriage is union of a man and a woman for life and for the purpose of fulfilling God’s calling on their lives. Marriage is a good thing when done right. We Christians would do well to remember and teach that.

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