Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Is the Garden of Eden Drying – And Was It In Iraq?

This is not Eden. Image courtesy of Hassan Janali, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, public domain.

Joel Kontinen

Was the Garden of Eden in Iraq? That is the impression one gets from a recent web article in New Scientist. This view is probably based on the mention of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates in Genesis 2:14.

But Genesis 2 also mentions two other rivers – Pishon and Gihon – that do not exist in the area known as Mesopotamia (from the Greek word Μεσοποταμία, ‘between rivers’).

There is a logical explanation for this apparent contradiction.

The Bible clearly states that the flood of Noah’s day was global. It would most probably have resurfaced the Earth.

It is indeed logical to assume that it destroyed Eden together with its four rivers.

There is nothing in the Bible that suggests that the flood was a local inundation.

Massive graveyards, some with millions of fossils, and spectacular geological features remind us of the dire judgement that destroyed the early world.

When Noah’s descendants landed on dry ground after the devastating flood, they probably wanted something that would remind them of their past. For the same reason, early European settlers gave familiar names to places in America and even Australia.

Thus, they named the two big Mesopotamian rivers Tigris and Euphrates to remind them of their roots.

Genesis does not disclose where the Garden of Eden was. It merely indicates that the Ark came to rest in the mountains of Ararat. (There actually is a city called Ararat in Australia named after the geographical area mentioned in the Bible.)


Pearce, Fred. 2015. Garden of Eden dries as ISIS, Turkey and Iraq fight over water. New Scientist (21 July).