Garden of Eden

Mental picture of Eden (clouds optional)

The Garden of Eden was a place in the world before the great flood in Noah's day that had been prepared by God for Adam and Eve.[1]  It was watered by four rivers that had their origin there.  Adam and Eve lived there for a short time before they disobeyed God and had to be expelled into a less hospitable, though quite possibly still tropical, "wilderness" outside the gates.   For probably the whole time before the flood, the only entrances to the mountaintop[2] paradise were blocked by flaming swords in the hands of mighty angels.

Though the location was lost in the reshaping of the earth during the flood, the basic centrality of the area between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in relation to the rest of the world has led many to assume that Eden was somewhere near where these rivers begin -- the mountains of Ararat.[3]  Another clue pointing that direction is that these two rivers are two of the four mentioned in Genesis 2 along with other details about the planting of the garden.

The garden is said to have had every variety of edible plant available.[4]  Also available was the Tree of Life[5] which would sustain the lives of the garden's perfect residents in perpetuity.  Though this was available, it is not clear that the couple ever ate from it.  Only one tree was forbidden: the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil."[6]  In no uncertain terms Adam was told not to eat of that tree.  The consequences would be devastating.  Unfortunately, Eve did not listen to the warning (presumably Adam had told her) and was deceived into eating -- and sharing -- that fruit.

References Edit

  1. Genesis 2:8-9
  2. The rivers are said to flow out of the garden (Gen. 2:10).
  3. Presently, the geographic center of the world has been calculated to be in the modern country of Turkey. The location is about 500 miles WNW of Mt. Ararat, the probable landing spot for the Ark 'in the mountains of Ararat.'
  4. Genesis 2:9
  5. Genesis 2:9; 3:22
  6. Genesis 2:9,17; 3:3-17