World History

Treasure Hunt: the Garden of Eden

garden of eden

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Dream Time

Treasure Hunt for Eden

Hunting the Pishon and Gihon Rivers

Finding the Treasure: the Location of the Garden of Eden

Treasure Hunt: the Garden of Eden

We will have to take Moses’ word for it.

We have seen that cultural legends, evolution, and radiographic dating have serious flaws. Moses’ Genesis is the only authority that remains.

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Let me remind you that Moses is writing in Hebraic narrative style. It’s like he is writing a military report to the pharaoh. Just…the…facts. No metaphors. No similes. No literary license.

Dream Time

Some cultural legends call this period of man the Dream Time.

I love that name. It evokes your best dreams when everything is beautiful. Events make you happy. Exciting things are happening. People are known as Great Kings or Giants or Gods by the people telling the legends. Animals can talk with you and they all love you. And everyone’s a vegetarian—and I don’t just mean humans!

According to Moses, the Dream Time for humans began with a garden created especially for the first human (a male) in 4008 or 4010 B.C. Moses even tells us where it was!

Unfortunately, he describes it in ancient Egyptian geographical terms and possibly some terms that trace back to the Dream Time itself.

We have to solve puzzles to follow the map to the treasure! What fun!

Treasure Hunt for Eden

There are seven clues in Genesis chapter 3, verses 8-14.

  1. The Garden of Eden was east, in Eden.
  2. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden.
  3. From there, the river separated into four headwaters.
  4. First river: Pishon. It ran through the land of Havilah, where there was gold.
  5. Second river: Gihon. It ran through Cush.
  6. Third river: Tigris. It ran along the east side of Asshur.
  7. Fourth river: Euphrates.

The first thing I see is that many place names have changed since Genesis was written. The clues start in Eden. But we don’t know where Eden is.

Let’s look at the names that are the same today. We know the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. We’ll work backward.

Find the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

Well, they don’t exactly come together, but it’s close. They joined when the directions were written. Time changes geology.

Surprise! It’s in the country of Turkey!

The two rivers are in a ring of mountains. Mountains! Many cultural legends tell of one or more mountains! Maybe Eden is inside the ring of mountains: the plateau.

The garden is “in the east, in Eden” and a river flowed through there to the source of the four rivers.

So that means that Eden is the area of the Turkish plateau north of the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates! Bingo!

But where are the other rivers?

Hunting the Pishon and Gihon Rivers

We know by satellite imaging that Turkey used to be a lush environment. Ancient dry riverbeds would have been flowing with water. Some may have connected.

The ancient gold mines were in the Gediz Basin. And, as Moses notes, “the gold there was good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.”

Doesn’t that sound like an Egyptian prince? Gold and the precious stone onyx for décor. Aromatic resin for, among other things, mummification.

The Gediz Basin is on the western edge of Turkey. Maybe the Gediz River used to be the mouth of the Pishon River. It may have connected to Lake Tuz and then connected to the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates.

The Gihon River flowed through Cush.

Cush meant “black” in Ancient Egyptian.  The Nubian Kingdom south of Egypt was sometimes referred to as Cush because the Cush (black skinned) people lived there.

All cultures have known the 4 directions, sometimes called the 4 pillars. We call them north, south, east, and west.

In the time of Genesis, Egyptians named the directions with colors. Black was the color for north.

The Karasu River flows north to the Black (North) Sea! This was the far north of civilization.

Finding the Treasure: the Location of the Garden of Eden

Now we know the four rivers that flowed out of the Garden. Their headwaters were probably where the Tigris and Euphrates are closest together.

Is there a river that flows into that spot, creating the headwaters of the rivers? Yes! It’s the Murat River!

The Garden of Eden was along the Murat River!

Read it for yourself in Genesis 3:8-14 (chapter 3, verses 8-14).

Photo credit: Bkamprath