Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden


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The Garden of Eden is the biblical earthly paradise created by God to be inhabited by his first human creation - Adam and Eve. Some claim that the name “Eden” derives from the Akkadian term edinu, which means 'plain'. In the biblical tradition, the garden is often alluded to by the biblical authors as a luxuriant place, which is why it is sometimes called the “Garden of God.” However, it is the biblical definition of the garden that is our concern here. Adam was the first man created by God in his image. After God saw the loneliness of Adam as "not good," God caused a deep sleep on Adam and created Eve (the first woman) out of Adam's rib as his helper (Genesis 2:20-23). To properly understand what the garden is to the narrator of Genesis, it is important to discern its location, the characters playing roles in it and what took place in it. All these contribute to our understanding of the biblical definition of the “Garden of Eden.”

The Eden narrative is narrated in the Bible's book of Genesis 2:4b-3: 24, which places the garden at the east side of Eden. Commonly, translations have the “Garden of Eden” with the construct element “of,” but the Hebrew text has 'gan-beeden', which is not in the construct form, and that the preposition “be” in 'beeden' is to be translated as “in.” Therefore, it is grammatically incorrect to translate 'gan-beeden' as “Garden of Eden,” but the “Garden in Eden.” The actual location of Eden is disputed amongst scholars, but a number of them have concluded that the garden is an extraterrestrial place – where the gods resided. The water from the garden was the water-source for the two great rivers: Tigris and Euphrates, which are well-known in ancient Mesopotamia for the production of irrigation systems in the surrounding area. Its location then should be placed somewhere in Mesopotamia.

Location & Features

The description of the garden in Genesis 2:10-14 states that the water from Eden watered four important areas: Pishon, which flows into the land of Havilah; Gihon, which flows into the land of Cush; Tigris, which flows into the eastern side of Assyria; and the fourth is Euphrates. The garden is also said to have “every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” Yet, two trees are singled out: the “Tree of Life” in the middle of the garden and the “Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.” However, the Genesis account is inconsistent at some point, Genesis 2:8-9; 3:1-3 has both trees in the midst of the garden, whereas Genesis 3:22-24 gives the possibility that both trees were planted on the east side of the garden where Adam was originally placed.

Like cosmogonic literature of the ancient Near East, the Eden legend is designed to speculate on the origins of humanity & its first residence.

Even more, the description of the garden in the Genesis account is not identical with other biblical texts alluding to the garden. For example, in Ezekiel 28, the luxuriant materials found in the garden are not mentioned in Genesis 2:4b-3:24. For some of these reasons, the concept of a “garden” of a god(s) was a very common metaphor in the ancient Near East of where the god(s) resided. For the narrator of Genesis, the “Garden in Eden” was imaginatively constructed for an etiological (origin or cause of things) purpose, not as a divine residence, but of the first man and woman on earth – Adam and Eve. As generally accepted in modern scholarship, Genesis 1-11 is labeled as the “Primeval History,” which includes mythologies and legends that were very common not just in Israel, but throughout the ancient Near East. These myths and legends are not Israelite in origin but were adapted by the biblical writers for either polemical or rhetorical purposes.

Some of the crucial questions readers ought to ask to properly discern the “Garden in Eden” are: What is the purpose of the Eden narrative in the book of Genesis? What did the narrator seek to achieve? Importantly, to reach this goal, readers should not treat the “Garden in Eden” exclusively from the characters playing roles in the narrative, such as God, Adam, Eve, the serpent, the singled out trees: tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and especially the narrator's overall purpose. To focus exclusively on the "garden" without acknowledging these characters would only disrupt the plot of the narrative.

ANCIENT INFLUENCE

Employing symbols and metaphors in ancient literature was very common; they contain rhetorical elements in order to persuade readers to accept what has been transmitted. In other words, ancient literature is not aimless. Works provide full expression of something or things. Myths concerning the residence of a god(s) in the ancient Near East are usually in gardens, according to the earliest discovered literature attributed to the Sumerians. In the book of Genesis, instead of God residing in the garden in Eden, God places Adam and Eve in it. This suffices to inform readers the re-adaptation of the garden concept by the narrator of Genesis, which is easily left out by interpreters.

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The most celebrated discovered account concerning the garden as a luxuriant place and where gods reside is found in a Sumerian literature called “Enki and Ninhursag”:

The land Dilmun is pure, the land Dilmun is clean;

The land Dilmun is clean, the land Dilmun is most bright…

In Dilmun, the raven utters no cries…

The lion kills not, the wolf snatches not the lamb,

Unknown is the kid-devouring wild-dog…

Its old woman (says) not “I am an old woman,”

Its old man (says) not “I am an old man.”

(in Pritchard, 38)

The Sumerians are considered a highly gifted non-Semitic people of unknown origin who settled in the lower Tigris-Euphrates Valley around the 4th millennium BCE. From the brief description of the idyllic island of Dilmun, it is apparently similar to Christianity's concept of paradise where life never ends. The island or land is described as a “pure,” “clean,” and “bright” and where there is no old age. According to Sumerian literature, this island/land was brought up from earth by the sun-god Utu and turned into a veritable garden of the gods. Apparently, from the garden (Dilmun) in Sumerian myth, it was a place created by god(s) for gods.

THE GENESIS VERSION

The notion of a garden as an extraterrestrial place in Sumerian literature was obviously borrowed by the narrator of the book of Genesis for theological and etiological purposes. To understand Genesis' version of the garden, one must take into consideration the place and characters playing roles in the narrative: God, Garden in Eden, Adam, Eve, the Serpent and the two trees (tree of life and tree of knowledge). The narrator of Genesis clearly refined the Dilmun Island to meet its agenda for his/her/their audience. However, in the Genesis version, the occurrence of death and problems between God and humanity were only pronounced by God as a result of Adam and Eve's deliberate act of eating the fruit from the forbidden 'tree of knowledge'. Apparently, the Garden in Eden, like the land of Dilmun was a place of everlasting joy without death. The securing of the 'tree of life' by God placing the cherubim with a flaming sword in it to prevent access to it was also a result of Adam and Eve's disobedience by seeking to be a god. One other major refinement by the Genesis narrator of the Dilmun Island is that instead of the garden being God's residence, God places Adam and Eve in it. The theological reflection here would be, unlike foreign gods, the God of Genesis is not a selfish god, but a god who sought to establish a relationship with humanity.

Disobedience led to disruption in God's relationship with humanity because of Adam & Eve.

Briefly, the purpose of the Eden narrative in the book of Genesis could be interpreted in two ways. First, since the Eden narrative is preceded by the creation story in Genesis 1:1-2:4a that ends with the statement: “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day,” the Eden story presents a contrasting picture of the completed creation as “very good” with disruption (Adam and Eve's disobedience in Genesis 2:4b-3:24). What readers may easily forget is that God had placed two special trees in the midst of the garden: “Tree of Life” and the “Tree of Knowledge.” More attention has been given to the “Tree of Knowledge” over the “Tree of Life.” The mentioning of the “Tree of Life” has an important function in the narrative as well. God only forbade Adam and Eve from eating a fruit from the “tree of knowledge.” The critical question is, why did God not forbid Adam and Eve to eat from the “tree of life”? God commanded that they are to eat from any tree except for one: the “Tree of Knowledge” (Gen. 2:16-17).

The narrator of the Eden narrative has a motive to reveal that the “tree of life” was also opened to Adam and Eve to eat, however, Adam and Eve, rather, chose to disobey God's command. To the narrator, it is because of Adam and Eve's pride to become gods that evil has entered the world that was created “very good.” For the narrator's intended audience, they must choose life (obedience) rather than death (disobedience). This disobedience led to disruption in God's relationship with humanity because of Adam and Eve. Death or evil (concept) has entered the world that was created “very good” by Adam and Eve, not God. Evil is a human product.

Second, the Eden narrative also functions as an etiological legend seeking to answer questions about human origin. The creation story in Genesis 1:1-2:4a has already confirmed questions concerning the cosmogony, which was God's work. As for the Eden narrative, Adam and Eve were the first humans who were also the first parents who gave birth to humanity. Like cosmogonic literature of the ancient Near East, the Eden legend is designed to speculate on the origins of humanity and its first residence. Apparently, what one finds in the 'Primeval History' section of Genesis are legends about the beginnings of human science, which of course would contradict to 21st century CE scientific discoveries.

CONCLUSION

The Garden in Eden was the first residence of humanity given by God himself. Unlike Sumerian mythologies, the Garden in Eden was created by God not for himself, but for Adam and Eve. The narrator's depiction of God is obviously not a selfish, but a loving God. Genesis apparently elevated God's divine status as not needing a physical residence because it would only disrupt God's omnipresent character. From the above analysis, the Garden in Eden is not the garden “of” Eden but a garden “in” Eden. This presupposes that this particular garden was perhaps not the only garden in Eden based on the Hebrew translation of 'gan-beeden' provided above.


The Garden of Eden as recast Mesopotamian Myth

Some Liberal PhD scholars trained in biblical studies and ancient Mesopotamian myths understand that the Garden of Eden story is a Hebrew recast of Mesopotamian myths which explained how man came to be created and where, and how he acquired godly-forbidden knowledge but was denied immortality.

All this was figured out over 100 years ago and published (in 1887 by Professor A.H. Sayce of Oxford University). Man was created to care for the gods' city-gardens surrounded by a plain called edin in the Sumerian language. The gods had built cities to live in _before_ man's creation. The gods had bodies of flesh and could die if they did not eat food grown in their city-gardens watered by irrigation canals from the Euphrates and Tigris.

They tired of this work, it was back-breaking! So they created man to bear the back-breaking work in their gardens of edin! Man is portrayed in Sumerian art forms as working in their gardens in a state of nakedness like Adam.

The gods didn't want man at first to possess their knowledge, the Sumerian _me_ (pronounced may)the secret workings of Heaven and Earth including laws about good and evil, right and wrong. At Eridu in Sumer, next door to Ur of the Chaldees where Abraham lived and Ea was worshiped, a man (Adapa) is warned by his god

Ea "not to eat of food of death or he will die," prefiguring Yahweh's warning to Adam. Both men, Adapa and Adam, are blamed for losing out on obtaining immortality for themselves and for mankind.

The warning "don't eat" was given in (1) Eridu and recast by the Hebrews (Abraham?)as being given in the Garden of Eden. Thus Eridu is a pre-biblical prototype of Eden's garden. But Eridu is not exclusively the one location behind Eden's garden, there are other locations in the myths: (2) Nippur, where "Man" (the Igigi gods being called euphemistically "man") are expelled for an act of rebellion against Enlil the god of Nippur, recast at Adam rebelling and being expelled from Eden's garden The Igigi at Eridu rebel against Enki/Ea and are expelled from that city-garden too and man is created to replace them as garden-laborers.


Biblical Garden of Eden

Though the location of the Garden of Eden is a debatable topic, the description of it in Genesis leaves no question as to the beauty and extravagance of God's garden.

This was the perfect home for man. It was created before sin. It's beauty was perfect. The lush vegetation contained fruit and trees not seen on earth since. The environment existed in a perfect state of harmony, as man and animal coexisted without death or threat. A river is said to "wander" through the Biblical Garden of Eden. This river was just one source of water for the Garden. Its origin was somewhere within the Land of Eden. This river was fed through the subterranean reservoirs (Gen. 2:6) that made up the antediluvian ( Pre-Genesis flood ) water cycle. The environment was in a perfect state of balance - like a huge green house.

The story of the Biblical Garden of Eden, however, first begins with what God had planted in the Garden which helped contribute to its Divine uniqueness. The word Eden literally means, "delight". It was a garden of delight, full of heavenly fruit growing on trees! Genesis 2:9 describes God's handiwork.

"And out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food.."

This garden was full of color, a beautiful array of flowering colors pleasing to the sight. The aroma was surely one of sweetness, and the food brought healing to Adam and Eve's mortal bodies. It was pure paradise. Two trees, however, stood out among the others.

"And the Lord God had planted a garden in the east. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground-trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." - Gen. 2:9

In the Biblical Garden of Eden grew two remarkable trees. Whether these were in the middle of the Garden, are simply within the Garden is of debate. What is important is the instructions regarding these trees issued by God to Adam. It is also important to keep in mind God issued the command initially to Adam only - as Eve had not yet been created. This seemingly useless observation plays a key role in the events to follow. Genesis 3:22 mentions that the fruit from one of these trees produced eternal life.

God specifically says that man must not be allowed to "reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever". God instructs Adam to eat from any tree in the Biblical Garden of Eden, except for the "tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil". He never makes any mention about not eating from the Tree of Life. Adam, and later Eve, were meant to enjoy the fruit of this heavenly tree at will. In essence, this tree would enable Adam and Eve to live forever. It possessed divine powers of healing and regeneration.

Only after Adam and Eve disobeyed regarding the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil does He restrict them from the Tree of Life. It is quite remarkable to think that God took the gift of eternal life and originally included it in a fruit! The Tree of Life possesses a fascinating place in Scripture. This tree possessed such powers that it became necessary to place a Cherubim and a flaming sword in front of it to prevent man from eating of it. The Cherubim, according to Ezekiel, was the highest of the angelic realm (Ezekiel 1:4-28 10:1-22).

In Revelation 22:2 it is this same Tree of Life that stands on each side of the River of the Water of Life, which flows through the New Jerusalem , established when the Messiah comes again. The tree is said to bear "twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations".

God intended to bring forth healing and life to Adam and Eve through this Tree of Life. When His kingdom is established on earth, its leaves will bring healing and life to the nations.

"And the Lord God said, 'The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.' "

Along with the Tree of Life, God planted the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Biblical Garden of Eden as well. This tree is of special significance, because it is from this tree that God specifically told Adam, who likely relayed the message to Eve after her creation, not to eat from whatsoever. The consequence for eating from this tree was death. They had free use of any and every other tree in the Garden, including it would seem the Tree of Life. The ONLY exception was for the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Exactly why God did not want Adam and Eve eating from this tree is not said. However, a careful study of the scripture lends some insights. The first insight is given by none other than the serpent himself. In Genesis 3:5 the serpent tells Eve that by eating from the tree their "eyes will be opened, and you will be like God". Notice it is Eve the Serpent approached. As she was not present when God issued the original command, the serpent was completely aware of this fact and perceived her to be the weakest link. Ziony Zevit has a fascinatingly unique approach to this narrative. He emphasizes the point God spoke only to Adam originally and the Serpent tempted Eve specifically because of she was not present for the original command.

In Genesis 3:22 man is said by God to have become "like one of us, knowing good and evil". Interestingly it is the knowledge of the difference between good and evil that makes man like God. As stated earlier, Adam was created outside the Biblical Garden of Eden, then placed there by God after God had created him. The only existence Adam and Eve knew was one of perfection. The only image they had of God was as a loving, providing, and faithful Father.

Once they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they had broken the balance of perfect existence through disobedience to the Father. Man was forever doomed to a life of toil and restlessness, with pressures, temptations and adversity at every corner. Sin had brought the judgment and condemnation of the Father into the world. It was a side of God Adam and Eve had never seen before. The Biblical Garden of Eden would be no more. The harmony between God and man had been interrupted and permanently changed.

The Location of the Garden of Eden

The hottest topic regarding the Biblical Garden of Eden is the location of Eden. Two sites provide the most tantalizing evidence, and both are legitimate sites. The first place to start when trying to locate the Garden of Eden is in the Bible. Genesis 2:14 gives the location of the Garden of Eden.

"Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden and from there it divided and became four rivers.(10)"

Thus the Bible differentiates between the Garden of Eden, and the land of Eden as we touched on above. The garden was merely a part of the whole land of Eden. A river flowed from an unknown source somewhere in Eden, and continued to flow throughout all of the land of Eden. The river flowed into the Garden of Eden and watered the garden's lush vegetation, along with the subterranean water reservoirs. As the river flowed forth from the Biblical Garden of Eden it split into four headwaters. These formed the four rivers mentioned in Genesis.

The name of the first river is the Pishon River (v.11). It is said to have "flown around the whole of the land of Havilah, where there is gold." The second river is called the Gihon River. The Gihon is said to have flowed around the land of Cush. Cush is a controversial interpretation of the Hebrew word used to represent a geographical region known as "Gush", or, "Kush". The King James translated it as "Ethiopia", or, "Cush". This created geographical problems for scholars of the Biblical Garden of Eden. However, scholar Ephraim Speiser put forth an intriguing theory. He argues the geographical region implied is that of the Kashshu, or the Kashites. This would place the Gihon branching to the east, into Iran and the Zagros Mountains.

The third river mentioned is the Tigris. Scripture says it ran east of Assyria, as it does in modern day times. The fourth river is the Euphrates. The location of these two rivers are agreed by many to be as they are today. The question rests in the identity of the first two rivers mentioned the Pishon, and the Gihon.

The theory supporting the Biblical Garden of Eden in Turkey rests on fascinating ruins found at Gobekli. The location of Gobekli also plays a role. It is located on the plains of Haran, in Turkey. The Biblical area is termed Aram-Naharaim. Haran was named after Abraham's brother, and the area has many strong ties to the early Patriarchs.

The ancient city of Sanliurfa rests a mere ten miles to the southwest. Muslims associate Sanliurfa with the birthplace of Abraham. Gobekli is certainly located in some of the holiest areas in the Old Testament.

However, it is what was found at Gobekli which raised eyebrows. Massive megalithic T shaped stones were unearthed. Forty-five of these stones have been unearthed thus far, yet geological surveys show many more still buried below. These stones are arranged in circles, and clearly represent an ancient center of worship. Carved on these stones are dazzling images of various kinds. Themes of hunting permeate the inscriptions, and many images have been found of boars, lions, fish, ducks and more. Serpents are depicted frequently on the stone megaliths. Many of the stones appear to take on human forms, with arms hanging from the sides. The site is reminiscent of Stonehenge in many ways.

The staggering characteristic of Gobekli, which ties it to the Biblical Garden of Eden, is its age. Carbon dating have placed the ruins at Gobekli to have been built between 12,000 - 13,000 years ago! That would place these stones around 10,000 B.C.E. One must consider Stonehenge was built in 3,000 B.C.E., and the Great Pyramid of Giza was built around 2,500 B.C.E. Gobekli, thus, is the oldest site on earth, pre-dating Stonehenge and Giza by perhaps seven thousand years! Gobekli also fits some geographical requirements for the location of the Garden of Eden. It is west of Assyria, which the Bible places Eden. Gobekli lies between the Tigris and Euphrates, as does the Biblical Garden of Eden. There are other references in the Old Testament which lend credence to Gobekli.

The Old Testament makes mention of "children of Eden which were in Thelasar". Thelasar is a town in northern Syria , near Gobekli. These children of Eden were perhaps the same as the Beth-Eden, or, house of Eden, mentioned in ancient Assyrian texts. It becomes apparent this area in Turkey holds spiritual significance in many ways. The abandonment of Gobekli is interesting as well. Around 8,000 B.C.E., the inhabitants of Gobekli inexplicably buried their temple under tons of earth. These people used so much earth artificial hills were created. The ruins remained untouched for over ten thousand years, until discovered in 1994 by a shepherd wandering through the hills. No reason can be determined for the sudden burial of Gobekli. However, it accounts for the amazing preservation of the ruins found at this mysterious and ancient site.

A natural criticism of this theory is the absence of the Pishon and Gihon rivers. The location of Gobekli seems to allow only for two of the four rivers, thus many scholars and historians dismiss this site as Eden. These tend to focus their attention on the southern location for the Biblical Garden of Eden. In any way, it cannot be denied the discovery at Gobekli is fascinating. The implications that man was able to build such a site several thousand years before Stonehenge forces much of what we know about the ancients to be re-evaluated. The site is a testament to the mysteries of the ancient world.

Where do you think the Garden of Eden may be located? Which theory do you find most convincing? What other insights do you have? Give us your insights, thoughts, questions, and comments!

THE BIBLICAL GARDEN OF EDEN

HAVILAH

The region of Havilah has an interesting place in the Bible. Genesis 10:7 lists one of Cush's son's name as Havilah, as well as a son of Joktan in Genesis 10:29. Cush was a descendant of Ham, and Joktan of Shem. Ham and Shem were two of the sons of Noah who survived the flood. Havilah, believed to mean Sandland, possessed an abundance of gold and precious stones and substances. Surely Adam and Eve spent time exploring this rich and extravagant land. Havilah had made quite an impression on the descendants of Adam. Havilah is later said to have been where Ishmael settled (Gen. 25:18). Ishmael is said to have settled from "Havilah to Shur, which is east of Egypt".

The Christian Geology Center has put out an interesting study in which these stones are critical in helping locate the Biblical Garden of Eden. Genesis 2:11-12 describe the land of Havilah.

"The name of the first is Pishon it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good the bdellium and onyx stone are there."

These substances were not found within the borders of Mesopotamia. The gold of this passage rest in the land of Havilah. Bdellium came only from Southern Arabia and Somaliland in antiquity. The exact nature of the onyx stone is not known, however, precious stones were being brought into Israel and Mesopotamia through Arabia during times antiquity.

Though the exact location of Havilah is not agreed upon unanimously, Scripture indicates it lie in Arabia, perhaps modern day Saudi Arabia. Indeed, the most ancient gold deposit on earth rests in Saudi Arabia, at modern day Mahd adh Dhahab. Mahd adh Dhahab was the largest, and one of the most richest, gold mines in antiquity. Many scholars believe Solomon obtained his gold from this mine. They also feel as if Mahd adh Dhahab is, more than likely, the Biblical Ophir.

Thus, even before the time of Abraham , trade had been established between the desert regions of Arabia, Israel and Mesopotamia . These ties dated back to the very earliest times in human history. The problem with this location is that no river runs across Saudi Arabia. The Biblical Garden of Eden had four rivers which spread forth from it. If the Garden was in the Persian Gulf area of southern Iran/Kuwait, then there would have to be a river, or evidence of one, stretching across the desert.

The Wadi al Batin has enticed scholars for decades as being a possible candidate for the Pishon River, thus connecting Eden with Havilah.

The Wadi al Batin breaks to the southwest of the Persian Gulf, along the borders of Kuwait, and into Saudi Arabia. Once in Saudi Arabia, the Wadi is swallowed by vast and massive sand dunes. It was here the Wadi al Batin was thought to have stopped flowing. However, satellite images have recently produced photographs of a stunning nature. The Wadi al Batin actually continues to the southwest - across the desert. Pictures revealed dried up river beds buried beneath the massive expanse of sand dunes running through the entire length of Saudi Arabia! The Wadi al Batin emerges as the Wadi Rimah, which continues up stream about 80 miles before it splits in two. One branch verges to the northwest, the other to the southwest. These wadis and tributaries were all once part of the same river system - thousands of years ago. The southwest branch of the Wadi Rimah actually continues to the area of the Mahd adh Dhahab gold mine! This is in exact agreement with Scripture.

"The name of the first is the Pishon, it flows through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold."

This would seem to be in exact agreement with the Biblical Garden of Eden and the description of the rivers flowing forth from it. Thus, the Pishon may be identified as the Wadi al Batin, which continues underground in a dried up ancient river bed, and emerges around the oldest, most prolific gold mine of antiquity. The satellite images are concrete evidence a river once ran through the deserts of Saudi Arabia. This ancient river stretched through and around the entire land of Saudi Arabia, and also flowed near an ancient gold mine in Saudi Arabia - one of the richest in antiquity. The coincidences, if they are such, are indeed staggering.

This leaves the second river mentioned flowing from the Biblical Garden of Eden in Genesis 2: 13. This is the Gihon River.

"And the name of the second river is Gihon: it flows around the whole land of Cush."

The King James Version translated the Hebrew word, "Kush", as the Cush of Ethiopia. This has thrown a wrench into many a theories on the location of the Garden of Eden. The answer to this problem may not be so complex.

As briefly mentioned above, Biblical scholar Ephraim Speiser proposed the "Gush", or "Kush", translated as Cush, meant to imply the Kashshu. The Kashshites overran Mesopotamia in 1500 B.C.E. These people dwelt east of Mesopotamia from the years 1800-1600 B.C.E. The land before the Kashshu was known as Elam, or Susa. The phrasing is also interesting. The Gihon is said to "compasseth" the whole land. The Hebrew term literally means to twist and turn, to take roundabout course.

With this in mind, the most likely candidate would be the Karun River. The Karun and Karkheh rivers provided ancient Mesopotamia with vital trade routes into Elam and Susa. The people of this day would have been very familiar with the Gihon River and the land of Kush,  whose inhabitants were known as the Kashshites (Kassites). The Karun river runs a course of over 500 miles. However, the river is only 175 miles in length. It runs a zigzagging, meandering course through the Zagros Mountains.


Comments

Happy New Year to all of you where ever you are in 2021.

It depends on what one is searching for when asking the question Was the Garden of Eden a Real Place?

I've Believed in God ever since I was three years of age around that time, I was being read to about The Creation, when I first heard of Eden.

I believed in God so I had no trouble believing that there was a place called Paradise known as
The Garden of Eden.

As a Christian one is taught that one day we'll be in Paradise with The Saviour Jesus at his Second Coming, with an voice of the Archangel and the trumpet call The Dead in Christ will be Resurrected and The Living in Christ we'll be taken up afterwards.

This Paradise is identified as the Heavenly Paradise two figures in The Bible, said while in Vision as Heaven was laid out before Them They had seen both The Tree of Life and The Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Now although, those of the Tree Monotheistic Faiths which originate through a prolific figure Abraham Judaism, Judeo-Christian, and Islam each branch speaks of The existence of Eden with each Branch carrying their own perspective of why Eden, Paradise was Lost.

The outside world it seems view Eden, through an double-lens first it never really existed that makes Eden an Myth Second on the other hand people seem invested in Eden because of that Tree of Life, we were all cut off from by God.

Because of Adam and Eve's disobeying God an ultimately, breaking Gods' only Rule to live by in Eden it was taken away. This is where the Anger comes in to play towards the loss of Eden and why people reject the idea that there was ever a Eden.

The biggest puzzle in the Academic, Scholar concept that I'm coming to learn is that now the debate is that no one knows where Eden stood the possiblity is hinted at by the Four Rivers made known in Genesis.

Which exist today The Euphrates, The Tigris, Gihon, Pishon.

There's something else that is being I feel overlooked and it's a major clue to Eden. God is the one who Planted The Garden of Eden to begin with Genesis says after God had Created Adam (Adam in Hebrew means People), He then Planted a Garden in The East.

After Creating Eden Special for Adam God led The Man to
The Garden.

Where God then told Adam that the Trees and Fruit would be his Meat and Pulse.

God commands Adam with this one Rule. Do Not Eat of The Fruit from the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil and then in fair warning subsequent consequences If Adam disobeyed The Rule which was Death.

After, Adam and Eve's Sinned we know the pair were driven out of Eden once out God places 318 Cherubs to guard The Tree of Life and A Flamming Sword to block the entrance to the Garden.

The question is revisited where is Eden? Gone when The Great Flood was in the process of drowning the whole world accept for the 8 people in The Ark. I've considered two possibilities the First, God transported Eden to His Country in the
10th Heaven with Him, The Second, God simply mirrored Eden after, Heaven because in Heaven there is A Tree of Life and there's A Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil so I think Eden may have been destroyed in The Flood.

People would never set foot in Eden on Earth ever again.

There is so much more I could say on Eden but, it won't be today perhaps with the next Eden Article I'll discuss it furthermore and so this is where I leave.


Economic Activities

Although the E-Abzu is the focal point of the site’s archaeology, there are either elements of interest. More recent excavations, for instance, have revealed that during the Ubaid period, the city was a pottery production center. This is evident in the pottery works, which had large scatterings of pottery fragments and kiln waste. Additionally, remains of fishing nets, weights, and even models of reed boats have been found at the site, suggesting that fishing was a major economic activity carried out by the inhabitants.

There are nine lines of cuneiform inscriptions on this fired clay brick stamp of the king Amar-Sin (Amar-Suen, previously misread as Bur-Sin), king of Ur. 2100-2000 BC. From Eridu (modern-day Tell Abu Shahrain), southern Mesopotamia, Iraq. It is currently housed in the British Museum in London. (Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg)/ CC BY SA 4.0 )

Eridu was the dominant city in southern Mesopotamia during the Ubaid period, but it was eventually superseded by Uruk. Nevertheless, it continued to be revered as the first city, and it retained its religious significance thanks to the E-Abzu.

It has been suggested that ecological changes, i.e. the recession of the gulf coast and the increasingly unreliable water table, were responsible for the decline of Eridu around the end of the 3rd millennium BC. The city continued to be inhabited up until around the 7th century BC, although by then it had become a mere shadow of its former glory.

In 2016, Eridu was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the ‘Ahwar of Southern Iraq: Refuge of Biodiversity and the Relict Landscape of the Mesopotamian Cities’.

Top image: Re-creation of the port at Eridu. Source: Public Domain


An American Garden of Eden?

The passage of time has probably made it impossible to know exactly where the biblical Garden of Eden was located. While admitting that no theory comes without difficulties, Dr. Roland K. Harrison, professor of Old Testament at Wycliffe College, Toronto, wrote, “On the basis of currently available information it would appear that the one that locates Eden near the head of the Persian Gulf combines the greatest number of probabilities of every kind” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 2:17).

The general consensus of conservative Christian scholars point to the Mesopotamian Valley area. The fact that Genesis 2:14 speaks of the Euphrates River, a river still in existence, gives credence to this. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, and many of his successors have disagreed with such a view and point instead to present-day North America.

In 1838, Joseph Smith led a group of followers seventy miles north of present-day Kansas City, Missouri. There he founded a new settlement that he called Adam-ondi-Ahman. The place is significant in Mormon history for it is here that Smith claimed the first man, Adam, lived.

According to Smith, the Garden of Eden was located in Jackson County, Missouri and following his expulsion from the Garden, Adam traveled northward to a place near modern-day Gallatin, Missouri. Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt stated that the name Adam-ondi-Ahman “is in the original language spoken by Adam, as revealed to the Prophet Joseph” (Journal of Discourses 18:343).

Tenth Mormon President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote,

“In accord with the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we teach that the Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the city of Zion, or the New Jerusalem will be built. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, they eventually dwelt at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman, situated in what is now Daviess County, Missouri” (Doctrines of Salvation 3:74).

Joseph Smith taught that Adam, just prior to his death, called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch and Methuselah, as well as the “residue of his posterity who were righteous,’ to Adam-ondi-Ahman. It was there he “bestowed upon them his last blessing” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:53).

Mormon Apostle John Widtsoe wrote,

“Since Adam called together seven generations of his descendants at Adam-ondi-Ahman, it can well be believed that there was his old homestead. If so, the Garden of Eden was probably not far distant, for it was the entrance at the east of the Garden which was closed against them at the time of the ‘fall’ (Genesis 3:24). In fact, it has been commonly understood among the Latter-day Saints, from the teachings of the Prophet, that the temple was to be built in or near the location of the Garden of Eden” (Evidences and Reconciliations, pg. 396).

According to Heber C. Kimball, a temple block was dedicated. “While there we laid out a city on a high elevated piece of land, and set the stakes for the four corners of a temple block, which was dedicated, Brother Brigham being mouth” (Life of Heber C. Kimball, 2nd ed., pp. 208-209 as printed in BYU Studies, Autumn 1972, pg. 34).

Dr. Robert J. Matthews of Brigham Young University states,

“Although the ‘temple block’ was dedicated, apparently no corner stones were laid, and no temple was built. Persecution soon forced the Saints to flee Illinois, and thus the settlement had a short existence lasting only a few months, because by November 1838 the Saints were leaving their homes and abandoning Adam-ondi-Ahman” (BYU Studies, Autumn 1972, pg. 34).

Thirteenth Mormon Prophet Ezra Taft Benson also wrote how the Garden of Eden was located in America. Under the section “Divine Destiny” in his book The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (pp. 587-588), he wrote,

“Consider how very fortunate we are to be living in this land of America … Many great events have transpired in this land of destiny. This was the place where Adam dwelt this was the place where the Garden of Eden was it was here that Adam met with a body of high priests at Adam-ondi-Ahman shortly before his death and gave them his final blessing, and the place to which he will return to meet with the leaders of his people (D&C 107:53-57). This was the place of three former civilizations: that of Adam, that of the Jaredites, and that of the Nephites.”

Notice also how Benson places the Nephites in the United States, not Central America as Mormon scholars are now insisting.

Not only have LDS leaders stated that Eden was located in what is today the United States, they have also stated that Noah built his famous ark nearby as well. On October 7, 1860, President Brigham Young declared,

“In the beginning, after the earth was prepared for man, the Lord commenced his work upon what is now called this American continent, where the Garden of Eden was made. In the days of Noah, in the days of the floating of the ark, he took the people to another part of the earth: the earth was divided, and there he set up his kingdom” (Journal of Discourses 8:195).

Before he became first counselor to Brigham Young, Apostle George Q. Cannon stated,

“Men have supposed that because the Ark rested on Ararat that the flood commenced there, or rather that it was from thence the Ark started to sail. But God in His revelations has informed us that it was on this choice land of Joseph where Adam was placed and the Garden of Eden was laid out” (Journal of Discourses 11:337).

In a sermon delivered by Orson Pratt, the LDS Apostle concurred with the aforementioned statements by saying,

“We may, however, observe, that so far as new revelation has given us information on this subject, this Continent of ours may be ranked among the first lands occupied by the human family. The very first man who had dominion on the face of the earth, under the direction of the Heavens, once dwelt on this Continent, His name was Adam” (Journal of Discourses 12:338)

Pratt continued by saying, “It was on this land where both Noah built his ark, which was blown by the winds of Heaven away to the east, and landed on Ararat” (Journal of Discourses 12:338).

Adam’s Altar

Joseph Smith taught that Adam will once again come to visit this site. Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie makes reference to this event and stated that a portion of Adam’s altar had remained through the ages. He wrote,

“At that great gathering Adam offered sacrifices on an altar built for the purpose. A remnant of that very altar remained on the spot down through the ages. On May 19, 1838 Joseph Smith and a number of his associates stood on the remainder of the pile of stones at a place called Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri. There the Prophet taught them that Adam again would visit in the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, holding a great council as a prelude to the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Mormon Doctrine, pg. 21).

In volume one of his two-volume set titled Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Wilford Wood includes a photograph of what he calls “stones from Adam’s altar.” Heber C. Kimball also wrote of this altar. He stated that Smith led them a short distance from the temple block and said, “There is the place where Adam offered up sacrifice after he was cast out of the garden” (BYU Studies, Autumn 1972, pg. 34).

For years a statue of Adam and Eve offering a sacrifice on an altar was on display at Temple Square. Though the display did not suggest a location for this alleged altar, the statue itself portrayed Adam and Eve offering vegetables similar to the offering made by Cain and mentioned in Genesis 4:2-5:

“Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.”

Like many teachings brought about by LDS leaders, the idea that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri cannot be supported by the Bible. Mormons are really left with nothing but the claims of Joseph Smith for their “evidence.” Pratt admits this when he said, “These things are not revealed to us by the Bible, or by tradition, but by the inspiration of the Almighty through the great modern prophet who was raised up to commence this marvellous (sic) work of which you and I are now partakers” (Journal of Discourses 12:339).

Listen to a December 31, 2012 Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast on Adam-Ondi-Ahman (Missouri)


The Garden of Eden

Where was Eden really located, and why is Africa always completely ignored when “experts” speculate on where it may have been? Well, I’m going to break it all down for you.

Eden vs. The Garden of Eden

The first thing we need to understand is that there is a difference between the two. Think of it as Eden being the state, and The Garden of Eden being the capital. We learn this in Genesis:

“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden and there he put the man whom he had formed.” – Genesis 2:8

Eden was a location, and within Eden, to the east, was The Garden of Eden. So let’s look at a map where tradition places the garden.

That is modern day Iraq, directly between where the Arabian Peninsula meets Asia. I’ll have a more detailed map in a moment. The reason it is placed here is because of the rivers mentioned in Genesis.

“And a river went out of Eden to water the garden and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.” – Genesis 2:10

Here is where things get a little tricky. The first two rivers are completely ignored by “experts”, and they automatically place the garden near the Euphrates.

River #1 – Pison

“The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold” – Genesis 2:11

The first river encompasses the whole land of Havilah, but where was Havilah located?

As we can see, Havilah was located right on the Arabian Peninsula. When we look at the second river, something interesting starts to happen.

River #2 – Gihon

“And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.” – 2:13

To understand the importance of where Ethiopia is in proximity to Havilah, we are going to look at the following map.

If we look at the above map, we see the Ethiopia is directly across from Havilah (Arabian Peninsula). Let’s take a look at the third river.

River #3 & #4 – Hiddekel and Euphrates

“And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.” – Genesis 2:14

There are plenty of scholars that identify the Hiddekel as the Tigris River, and the Euphrates River has the same name in modern times. We’ll take look at this map to see their locations.

Eden In Relation To The World

To put the full area into perspective, here is a map showing the rivers, and their location directly between Africa and Asia.

The Problem With Eden’s Location

Almost everyone on the planet is use to looking at the above map, because we live in a post “divide” world. In Genesis we learn the following:

“And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg for in his days was the earth divided and his brother’s name was Joktan.” – Genesis 10:25

According to Genesis, the earth was divided in the days of Peleg. Now let’s look at a map of how the world currently looks, but with tectonic plates added to the picture.

Now we have somewhat of an idea as to why the earth was divided as such. But what happens when we put everything back together? We get what is known as Pangaea. It looks like the following:

Notice how everything fits together. Then look at the far right (East) of the map. What do you notice? The entire area of that contained Eden (Mesopotamia) was originally part of Africa, as was Turkey. According to the Bible, “the land of Nod” was located to the east of Eden, which puts it in or very close to Iran.

“And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden .” – Genesis 4:16

For those that believe that I’m only picking this map to prove my point, here are a couple of other maps from different sources, which show the same. The following maps utilize “Continental Drift”, which has lots of scientific evidence to back it.

Here is an image that shows how Continental Drift is believed to have happened. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a larger image, but if you have one, please feel free to send it over and I’ll update this page with it.

While science makes the claim that Continental Drift happened over a long period of time, it most likely happened very quickly as Genesis 10:25 seems to indicate.

The Conclusion

Both science and the Bible support the fact that The Garden of Eden was originally located on the Eastern coast of Africa, and at least part of Africa, if not all of Africa, was referred to as Eden.

If we look even closer at the map, we’ll notice that Israel was also part of Africa before the earth was divided. Is it possible the area we call Israel fell within The Garden of Eden? It would definitely explain the following verse:

“And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes , and they bare it between two upon a staff and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs.” – Numbers 13:23

Unfortunately, we do not know how much area The Garden of Eden encompassed, but chances are that it covered a significant amount of surface area.

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The Location of the Garden of Eden

The Garden of Eden is the first location mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 2), and is the backdrop for one of the most iconic histories of the Bible: The lives of Adam and Eve and their fall from grace. Whether or not you believe this to be true history or a purely symbolic or legendary account, it seems undeniable that the Bible itself treats the Garden as a real place.

The Garden is said to have been located in the land called Eden, which was in the East. The Bible names four rivers that watered the garden known as the Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates (Genesis 2:10-14), the other lands that these rivers flowed to and even what some of those lands were famous for. This Garden in Eden had a real location. So where is it?

“A river watering the garden flowed from Eden from there it was separated into four headwaters.”

There are two basic ways that interpreters have dealt with these physical descriptors:

The first takes the text seriously and uses the Tigris and Euphrates rivers today as a place to begin. These rivers maintain their ancient names, and by and large still follow the same course beginning in the mountains of Turkey, joining together in modern Iraq and then emptying into the Persian Gulf. In this scenario the location of Garden of Eden is believed to be in the now flooded northern section of the Persian Gulf. Genesis 2:10 says, “A river watering the garden flowed from Eden from there it was separated into four headwaters.” This is interpreted as meaning that four rivers joined into one and then that one river flowed through the Garden and emptied into the Gulf. Interestingly there are candidates for the other two rivers.


Town of Eden History

The Town of Eden has its roots in the westward movement that took place in the decades following the Revolutionary War. Our young country was rapidly expanding in 1796 when a group of Dutch bankers purchased a vast tract of land encompassing 3.3 million acres in the most western part of New York State. The Holland Land Company employed Joseph Ellicott to survey their holdings, a job which he and a crew of 130 men accomplished over a period of three years. By 1801, the land had been surveyed into townships and ranges, and the Holland Land Company had established their main land office in Batavia. For the next thirty years, the company developed their holdings mostly through the direct sale of land to pioneers making their way west from New England and eastern New York.

The area that was to become Eden was a densely forested wilderness in a huge township called Willink. It was into this wilderness that Eden’s first settler, Deacon Samuel Tubbs, ventured in 1808. Tubbs, his wife, two sons and a nephew, James Welch, came up the Eighteen Mile Creek from Lake Erie and settled in what is now Eden Valley. Upon his encouragement, Welch’s two brothers, John and Elish,a, made their way west in 1809 to join the new settlement in “Tubbs Hollow.” Many others were not far behind. The 1810 census, reported about 4000 people living in Willink. Since the town covered such a great area, it was decided to subdivide it into four towns, Eden, Hamburg, Concord and Willink. The towns of Boston and Evans were spun off from Eden several years later.

John Morgan Welch, Elisha Welch and their brother-in-law, John Hill, deserve much of the credit for getting the town going. Between 1810 and 1818, John Morgan Welch bought up several hundred acres of land from the Holland Land Company. In the process of the backbreaking work to clear the land, he found himself with so much excess wood that he simply burned what he did not need. His original home, a log cabin, was located somewhere on the land bordered by Main and George Streets. Down in the valley at Tubb’s Hollow, Elisha Welch built the first sawmill in 1811 and the first gristmill in 1812, thus establishing what developed into Eden’s first thriving mill community. Also in 1811, John Hill settled with his family in what is now the hamlet of Eden. It was known then as Hill’s Comers and later, Eden Center. Hill is credited with naming the township Eden when the various settlement areas were incorporated on March 20,1812.

At the first town meeting, held in 1813, John Twining was elected supervisor and John March the town clerk. It was voted to raise $200 for the building of roads and bridges, a good idea, as most of the land was still unbroken forest. Once the War of 1812 ended, the town began to grow quickly. Those choosing to settle in Eden were faced with a variety of obstacles, which needed to be overcome in order to survive. Virgin forests needed to be cleared, shelters for humans and livestock built, and crops planted. The danger of wolves, bears and panthers was ever present. Fortunately, relationships were generally good between the new settlers and the native people who frequently passed through town. Money was scarce and the barter system of exchanging goods was widely practiced, even for the payment of land. Twenty-first century folk can hardly imagine how primitive life was and what a struggle each day was. Forging a new life in the wilderness was not for the faint of heart!

Two natural resources, the land and the Eighteen Mile Creek, made the area attractive for settlement. Eden’s three milling communities at Eden Valley, Toad Hollow and Clarksburg took full advantage of the creek’s water power to run saw mills and grind grain. Word of the fertile soil in Eden had reached many who eventually made their way to the area. They were not disappointed. Initially everyone in town was in some way working in agriculture, forming the basis for the legacy that continues today. As the forests gave way to agricultural fields and goods began to be more available, life was still hard but not so much of a struggle. During the 1830s, frame houses began to replace the log cabins that sheltered the early town folk. Jobs became more diversified, and the original settlement areas thrived with stores, post offices, mills, cheese factories and other businesses.

Opportunities for education and the practice of religion were priorities from the first days of the town. Eden’s first teacher, Rowena Flack, conducted classes at home as early as 1812, and the first school was organized in 1814. Over the next several decades, one­ room district schools began popping up throughout the town. Providing a good education for the Eden’s children began early and continues today. Pioneers also brought with them a desire to practice their religious faith. It wasn’t easy, and the devout often traveled significant distances for worship. Congregations gathered as early as 1813, with the Baptists being the first denomination to formally organize in 1816. At least seven different churches had been established by the 1850s, including a large community of Quakers.

Before the advent of the railroad in Eden, the town like so many others across the country was basically self-sufficient, especially by modem standards. The opportunities fostered by railways enabled the business and industrial community to expand in numerous ways. Travel for the sake of pleasure was something entirely new. The latter part of the nineteenth century saw people on the move and involved in more activities that connected them to the world at large. Civic involvement, fraternal organizations, study groups and travel excursions expanded social and intellectual horizons. As recreational time increased, music, drama, service clubs and churches fed the mind and the spirit.

Other factors left indelible changes on the town. The invention of the telephone and the installation of electricity and indoor plumbing brought comfort and convenience to peoples’ lives. The automobile and mechanization of farm equipment significantly changed the way people lived and worked. As the Civil War left its mark, so did World Wars I and II. The Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression and the post war boom of the 1950s also created major societal changes that were reflected in the lives of Eden residents.

From its inception to the present day, Eden has been a beautiful place to live. As the town approaches its 200th birthday in 2012, reflecting on its past seems appropriate. Some may look through these pages and feel nostalgia for the old days, when the rhythm of life followed the seasons and life was simpler and more relaxed. Others might find themselves wondering how our forefathers could get by without the modem inventions and conveniences taken for granted in the twenty-first century. Whatever one’s reaction, it is hoped that this work will create awareness and increased appreciation of the heritage of all who have ever called Eden home.


The Garden of Eden—Israel Connection

Though no scholars have confirmed the exact location of the Garden of Eden, they have been able to surmise an approximate area based on the various passages in the Bible.

“Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads… The fourth river is the Euphrates.—Genesis 2:10-14 (emphasis added)

From this passage, we can conclude it was located in the Middle East. We also hear the mention of the Euphrates River related to the boundaries of the Promised Land.

“On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: ‘To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates…’”—Genesis 15:18 (emphasis added)

From this, one can conclude that there is, in fact, a connection between the Garden of Eden and Israel.

Now, think about this…

  • God and humanity once lived in perfect harmony in the Garden of Eden.
  • Man’s choice to sin removed him from the Garden, thus causing a separation from God.
  • God, from the beginning of the Bible story, has been on a great mission to restore this relationship, and He does so through Jesus.
  • But ultimately, He will bring Heaven and earth together again, in perfect harmony, circling back to the image we get in the Garden of Eden.

This is the circle of life!

You see, God’s entire mission is to restore all things. He does this in stages and seasons. He does this with His people and creation.

The Apostle Paul spoke about creation eagerly awaiting complete restoration (Romans 8:19). And the prophet Isaiah writes about what restoration will be like—the lion and the lamb dwelling together in unity and peace (Isaiah 11:6-9).

We have all seen the illusion—there is one circle, and then it is pulled apart to create two rings, then they are reconnected in the end as one full circle. Well, when it comes to God, there is no trick or illusion… it’s the real deal.

And we cannot even imagine what the complete restoration will look like. But in the meantime, the Lord still calls us to subdue the earth. We have an assignment… to prepare for the return of the Messiah—the return for His ultimate rule.

And where will He rule when the two are reunited again?

“At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts.”—Jeremiah 3:17

Now that you have your assignment, when will you start? Begin sowing seeds for the Lord’s return!


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