Previously, we discussed many misconceptions regarding the Biblical Eden and the location of the Garden therein. Primarily focusing on why Southeastern Iraq as the exclusive location was not a foregone conclusion, we considered that the Garden itself was a location within Eden proper, how river flows differed pre-flood compared to post-flood, as well as other dramatic changes which occurred after the worldwide Noahic Flood approximately 4,400 years ago.
Today, we will focus not so much on where Eden was not, but where Eden most likely was.
Israel Over Iraq
For many reasons, I am convinced that Eden largely comprised the borders of Israel that God promised the Israelites in the Old Testament in both Genesis Chapter 15 and Joshua Chapter 1. Genesis 15:18, declares, “To your descendants [Abraham’s] I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.” God later confirms this promise to Abraham’s son Isaac, and Isaac’s son Jacob (whose name was later changed to Israel). When the Israelites were about to invade the Promised Land, God reiterated the land promise, as recorded in Joshua 1:4, “Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates — all the Hittite country — to the Great Sea on the west.”
With these verses in mind, the land God gave to Israel included everything from the Nile River (Gihon?) in Egypt to Lebanon (North to South) and everything from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River (West to East). So, what land has God stated belongs to Israel? All of the land modern Israel currently possesses, plus all of the land occupied by the Palestinians (the West Bank and Gaza), plus some of Egypt and Syria, all of Jordan, some of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Israel currently possesses only a fraction of the land God has promised.
It is my personal conviction that Eden wasn’t a small garden at the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, but that Eden was the entire land mass promised by God to Israel, with the Garden in Eden being no place other than Jerusalem.
But why Israel and Jerusalem you ask?
Israel, God’s Time Piece
Some folks say, that if you want to know what time it is by God’s watch, look at Israel.
For starters, God’s entire history as laid out in Scripture is centered around the real estate of Israel and particularly, His Capital City of Jerusalem on top of Mount Moriah. The only reason that other nations are even mentioned in the Bible is because, for better or for worse, they affected and interacted with Israel. There is no part of Biblical history that centers it’s focus around Iraq (Babylon) geographically, (except in condemnation for their treatment of God’s people), therefore, for the Garden in Eden to be located in Southeastern Iraq does not make sense in terms of Biblical consistency.
Secondly, across Israel, starting with the City of Adam within a few kilometers near the base of Mount Moriah (Joshua 3:16), we have cities named after our first ancestors including the City of Abel (2 Samuel 20:18), Abel-Meholah (1 Kings 19:16), Abel-Shittim (Numbers 33:49), Abel-Mizraim (Genesis 50:11), Abel-Maim (2 Chronicles 16:4), Abel of Bethmaachah (2 Samuel 20:15), and the City of Cain (Joshua 15:57). We do not find any ancient or modern cities containing such names in Iraq as would be expected if the cradle of civilization really existed where the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers flow into the Persian Gulf.
Biblical Names and Words are in Hebrew
Thirdly, all of the Biblical names and words in the Genesis account and throughout most of Scripture are all Hebrew words and names based on Hebrew words. Some people ask, “What language did Adam speak?” I cannot state this with certainty since the Scriptures are silent, but I’d place my money on Hebrew. And what better place to speak Hebrew than within the real estate that God Himself would claim for His children starting with Abraham–the land of Israel, a land flowing with milk and honey?
Eden was on God’s Holy Mountain, Not at Sea Level
Fourthly, a pretty compelling piece of evidence that Eden, and particularly the Garden in Eden was no place other than Jerusalem, is a passage we find in the 28th Chapter of Ezekiel where we find Lucifer, who was the “anointed cherub that covereth”, actually in the Garden of Eden which is described as being on a mountain, and not just any mountain, but “the holy mountain of God.” Serious Bible students will tell you that can only be one possible place on earth—Mt. Moriah, atop where Jerusalem rests.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
This passage also suggests the unpopular notion that Satan’s fall occurred after Creation and not before.
Elsewhere regarding this same location, Abraham took Isaac for the sacrifice (Genesis 22), Jacob had a vision of ascending and descending angels (Genesis 28:12), David through Solomon establish the temple for the Arc of the Covenant (dwelling place of God) in Jerusalem, the redemption of mankind takes place in Jerusalem, prophecy was fulfilled again and again in this same place as we see in even recent times with the regathering of Israel back into the land on May 14, 1947 and the 1967 reincorporation of Jerusalem. Future prophesy points towards Jerusalem (the Temple Mount), as the convergence for dispute for Judaism/Christianity & Islam, and the same place that according to Zechariah 14, Christ Himself will touch down at His second coming!
Paradise Lost / Paradise Regained
Paradise in the Bible is depicted as a garden, not only at the opening of God’s story, but also at it’s close (Revelation 22). The same exact place where man fell and lost relationship with God, Jesus died and restored that relationship for man.
God’s entire plan of redemption for mankind occurs within the Promised Land–where it all began!