Most Bible and religious commentaries state that the site of the Garden of Eden was in the Middle East, situated somewhere near where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are today, but what does scripture actually tell us? Based on the description given in Genesis 2:8–17:
The Lord God planted a garden eastward in
. . . .
Now a river went out of Eden
to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The
name of the first is Pishon. . . . The name of the second river
is Gihon. . . . The name of the third river is Hiddekel [ Eden Tigris]. . . . The fourth river is the Euphrates.
Even the great theologian John Calvin struggled over the exact location of the Garden of Eden. In his commentary on Genesis he states: Moses says that one river flowed to water the garden, which afterwards would divide itself into four heads. It is sufficiently agreed among all, that two of these heads are the Euphrates and the Tigris; for no one disputes that . . . (Hiddekel) is the
But there is a great controversy respecting the other two. Many think, that
Pison and Gihon are the Ganges and the Nile;
the error, however, of these men is abundantly refuted by the distance of the
positions of these rivers. Persons are not wanting who fly across even to the
Danube; as if indeed the habitation of one man stretched itself from the most
remote part of Asia to the extremity of Europe.
But since many other celebrated rivers flow by the region of which we are
speaking, there is greater probability in the opinion of those who believe that
two of these rivers are pointed out, although their names are now obsolete. Be
this as it may, the difficulty is not yet solved. For Moses divides the one
river which flowed by the garden into four heads. Yet it appears, that the
fountains of the Euphrates and the Tigris were
far distant from each other.
Calvin recognised that the description given in Genesis 2 concerning the location of the Garden of Eden does not fit with what is observed regarding the present Tigris and
God’s Word makes it clear that the Garden of Eden was located where there were
four rivers coming from one head. No matter how one tries to fit this location
in the Euphrates Rivers Middle East today, it just can’t be
done. Interestingly, Calvin goes on to say: From this difficulty, some would
free themselves by saying that the surface of the globe may have been changed
by the deluge.
This is a major consideration that needs to be taken into account. The worldwide, catastrophic Flood of Noah’s day would have destroyed the surface of the earth. If most of the sedimentary strata over the earth’s surface (many thousands of feet thick in places) is the result of this global catastrophe as creationists believe, then we would have no idea where the Garden of Eden was originally located, the earth’s surface totally changed as a result of the Flood. Not only this, but underneath the region where the present Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are located there exists hundreds of feet of sedimentary strata, a significant amount of which is fossiliferous. Such fossil-bearing strata had to be laid down at the time of the Flood, this is nit a debatable issue.
Therefore, no one can logically suggest that the area where the present Tigris and
are today is the
location of the Garden of Eden, for this area is sitting on Flood strata
containing billions of dead things (fossils). The perfect Garden of Eden can’t
be sitting on billions of dead things before sin entered the world! This being the case, the question then is why are there
rivers named Tigris and Euphrates in the Euphrates
Rivers Middle East
today? Many wrongly conclude that the Garden of Eden was
somewhere in the Middle East based on the
names of the rivers in Genesis 2.
In many places around the world that once belonged to the great British Empire, one will recognize many names that are also used in
England (e.g., Newcastle,
The reason is that when the settlers came out from York England
to their new lands, they used names they were familiar with in to name
new places/towns in their new lands. Another example is the names given to many rivers in the England .
There is the United States Thames River in Connecticut,
the Severn River in Maryland, and the Trent
River in North Carolina, all named for
prominent rivers in the . UK
In a similar way, when Noah and his family came out of the ark after it landed in the area we today call the Middle East (the region of the Mountains of Ararat), it would not have been surprising for them to use names they were familiar with from the pre-Flood world (e.g., Tigris and Euphrates), to name places and rivers, etc., in the world after the Flood.
Ultimately, we have a march on the Christian world in as much as we have modern prophets and modern prophecy. In that great gift we have been told rough location of the Garden of Eden through the great restoration of truth and the great prophet Joseph Smith. The position of the Saints today, with respect to the much discussed location of the Garden of Eden is that its is located in
North America in Jackson County
Missouri. This is our firm belief given to us by the word of God and we stand
by that. It is a fact that Adam, after his expulsion from the Garden of Eden,
lived in the vicinity of the great Missouri
rivers. As his descendants multiplied, they would naturally settle along the
fertile and climatically acceptable river valleys. When the flood came in the
days of Noah, the Mississippi
drainage must have increased to a tremendous volume, quite in harmony with the
Biblical account. Noah's ark would be floated on the mighty, rushing waters,
towards the Mississippi Gulf of Mexico. With favourable
winds, given by God it would cross the Atlantic
to the Eastern continents. There the human race, in its second start on earth,
began to multiply and fill the earth and settle in what is now called the Middle East.
So we state with a certainty that no other Christian faith can, that, the location of the Garden of Eden is in
America, and at .
This fact clears up many a problem which the Bible account of Independence, Missouri and its garden has left in the minds of
students for many years. Still today many
men, great men of God do not know what we know concerning the location of the
Garden of Eden and its location. However it must still be remembered and
understood that no matter where you believe the Garden was located to insist
that the Garden was located in the area around the present Tigris and Euphrates
Rivers is to deny the catastrophic effects of the global Flood of Noah’s day,
and to allow for death before sin, this is of major importance and something
that we must never forget. The flood again played an integral part in the
garden story and as it does in all our lives brings us closer to the living
Matthew P Gill