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Where is Havillah, the land of gold, described in Genesis?

Where is Havillah, the land of gold, described in Genesis?

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Genesis 2:11-12 describes a land called Havillah, where there is very good gold.

Were there historical attempts made to locate this land, and what do we know about such expeditions if they did exist?

Land of Punt

It is entirely biblical and no way of proving its existance, but according to Wikipedia and . "The Location of the Garden of Eden" Certain biblical scholars claim that their term for the location "Havilah" corresponds with "Land of Punt".

Land of Punt, Wikipedia

while some biblical scholars have identified it with the biblical land of Put or Havilah.7

Location of Land of Punt

Scholars and historians can't agree with eachother regarding the exact location of the land of punt, however i will provide a photo from Wikipedia which highlights the general area in question.

LOP, Wikipedia

The exact location of Punt is debated by historians. Various locations have been offered, southeast of Egypt, a Red Sea coastal region: Somaliland, Djibouti, northeast Ethiopia, Eritrea, and north-east Sudan. It is also possible that it covered both the Horn of Africa and Southern Arabia.10

LOP by Cush at English Wikipedia

Egyptian records

Indeed, the land of Punt is known from Egyptian records as having been a prime location for Gold mining.

LOP, Wikipedia

The Land of Punt (Egyptian: Pwente.png">3 /pu:nt/) was an ancient kingdom. A trading partner of Ancient Egypt, it was known for producing and exporting gold, aromatic resins, blackwood, ebony, ivory and wild animals. The region is known from ancient Egyptian records of trade expeditions to it.4

What do we know about such expeditions if they did exist?

Well Egyptologists appear confident that according to the Palermo stone, Sahure (c. 2465 - c. 2325 BC) is the first documented pharoah to conduct an expedition to the land of Punt.

Foreign activities, trade and tribute, Wikipedia

In his last year, Sahure sent the first documented[73] expedition to the fabled land of Punt,[74] probably along the Somalian coast.[75] The expedition, which is conjectured to have departed Egypt from the harbor of Mersa Gawasis,[16] is reported on the Palermo Stone7



Though earlier undocumented expeditions may have already been underway, as according to Wikipedia gold was already in abundance in ancient egypt as early as the reign of Khufu.

The earliest recorded ancient Egyptian expedition to Punt was organized by Pharaoh Sahure of the Fifth Dynasty (25th century BC), returning with cargoes of antyue and Puntites. However, gold from Punt is recorded as having been in Egypt as early as the time of Pharaoh Khufu of the Fourth Dynasty.[14]



According to an uncited claim on wikipedia, a mysterious land rich in gold also appears in early Sumerian literature. The land is named Aratta.

Role in Sumerian literature, Wikipedia

Aratta is described as follows in Sumerian literature: It is a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them.1

The land of gold described in Genesis?

Whilst nothing conclusive can be said for definite where Havilah actually was, it appears most biblical scholars and historians based upon documentation would likely agree that the most likely location would be the land of Punt, somewhere approximate to the red sea.

A quick look at the Bible text names two known rivers (Tigris and Euphrates) and two unknown, one of which (the Pishon) flows from this land of Havillah. According to the text, Eden is at the headwaters of all four, which would put it somewhere in Anatolia.

A Google search for "Havilah and Pishon River" brings up some interesting maps, most of which discard the headwaters concept and put Eden and the missing rivers in Modern Iraq, near the Perisan Gulf. They then postulate two lost rivers flowing in from Arabia or Iran. So one of those could be the area spoken of. Some others equate it with the Nile, which has the gold for sure but does not flow anywhere near the Tigris and Euphrates.

Even if you knew the right area, Gold is often deposited by rivers in alluvial banks, which could well be exhausted in the subsequent millennia, so ancient Havillah presumably would have no more gold to find.

Where is Havillah, the land of gold, described in Genesis? - History

tree of the knowledge of good and evil—so called because it was a test of obedience by which our first parents were to be tried, whether they would be good or bad, obey God or break His commands.

Good, i.e. better than ordinary.

Bdellium, which signifies either a precious gum, of which see Numbers 11:7 , or gems and pearls. Once for all observe, that many of the Hebrew words or names of stones, trees, birds, and beasts, are even to the Hebrew doctors and others, both ancient and modern interpreters, of uncertain signification, and that without any considerable inconvenience to us, who are free from the obligations which the Jews were formerly under of procuring such stones, and abstaining in their diet from such beasts and birds as then were sufficiently known to them and if any were doubtful, they had one safe course, to abstain from them.

The onyx stone, a kind of precious stone, of which see Exodus 25:7, Exodus 28:9, Exodus 28:20 .

there is the bdellium, and the onyx stone the first of these is either an aromatic gum the tree, according to Pliny (z), is black, and is of the size of an olive tree, has the leaf of an oak, and its fruit is like capers it is found in Arabia, India, Media, and Babylon but the best, according to him, is in Bactriana, and, next to that, the bdellium of Arabia: or else it is a precious stone, and which the Jewish writers (a) commonly take to be crystal and, according to Solinus (b), the best crystal is in Scythia. Bochart (c) would have it that the pearl is meant, because of its whiteness and roundness, for which the manna is compared to it, Numbers 11:7 and the rather because of the pearl fishery at Catipha, taking Havilah to be that part of Arabia which lies upon the Persian gulf. The latter, the onyx, is a precious stone, which has its name from its being of the colour of a man's nail and, according to Pliny (d), the onyx marble is found in the mountains of Arabia, and the ancients thought it was nowhere else and he speaks elsewhere of the Arabian onyx precious stone, and of the sardonyx, as in the same country (e) and some think that is here meant though the word is sometimes by the Septuagint rendered the emerald and the best of these, according to Solinus (f) and Pliny (g), were in Scythia. (After the global destruction of Noah's flood, it is doubtful that the location of these places could be determined with degree of certainty today. Ed.)

(x) Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 133. (y) Geograph. l. 1. p. 31. & l. 11. p. 344. (z) Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 9. (a) Jarchi in Numb. xi. 7. David de Pomis Tzemach David, fol. 8. 3.((b) Polyhistor. c. 25. (c) Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 5. c. 5. p. 675, &c. (d) Nat. Hist. l. 36. c. 7. (e) lb. l. 37. c. 6. (f) Polyhistor. ut supra. (c. 25) (g) Ut supra, (Nat. Hist. l. 36.) c. 5.

12 . bdellium ] LXX ἄνθραξ : Lat. bdellium . In Numbers 11:7, “manna” is compared with “ bdellium ” where the LXX gives κρύσταλλος . Possibly it may be identified with an aromatic transparent resin, obtained from balsam ( balsamodendron mukul ), and found in Arabia as well as in India, Bactria and Africa. The Hebrew name b’dôlaḥ is probably a foreign word. Another rendering, “pearls” (which are abundantly found in the Persian Gulf), would be more poetical, and possibly more appropriate for comparison, with “manna” but we can only conjecture.

the onyx stone ] or beryl . Hebrew Shoham mentioned elsewhere, Exodus 25:7, Job 28:16. A precious stone is clearly intended possibly = “carbuncle.” Assyriologists have identified it with an Assyrian word Samdu but what Samdu was, is not known. Sayce conjectures “turquoise” Haupt “pearl.”

What we are to understand by הבּדלח is uncertain. There is no certain ground for the meaning "pearls," given in Saad. and the later Rabbins, and adopted by Bochart and others. The rendering βδέλλα or βδέλλιον, bdellium, a vegetable gum, of which Cioscorus says, οἱ δὲ μάδελκον οἱ δὲ βολχὸν καλχὸν, and Pliny, "alii brochon appellant, alii malacham, alii maldacon," is favoured by the similarity in the name but, on the other side, there is the fact that Pliny describes this gum as nigrum and hadrobolon, and Dioscorus as ὑποπέλιον (blackish), which does not agree with Numbers 11:7, where the appearance of the white grains of the manna is compared to that of bdolach. - The stone shoham, according to most of the early versions, is probably the beryl, which is most likely the stone intended by the lxx (ὁ λίθος ὁ πράσινος, the leek-green stone), as Pliny, when speaking of beryls, describes those as probatissimi, qui viriditatem puri maris imitantur but according to others it is the onyx or sardonyx (vid., Ges. s.v.).

(Note: The two productions furnish no proof that the Phishon is to be sought for in India. The assertion that the name bdolach is Indian, is quite unfounded, for it cannot be proved that madâlaka in Sanscrit is a vegetable gum nor has this been proved of madâra, which is possibly related to it (cf. Lassen's indische Althk. 1, 290 note). Moreover, Pliny speaks of Bactriana as the land "in qua Bdellium est nominatissimum," although he adds, "nascitur et in Arabia Indiaque, et Media ac Babylone" and Isidorus says of the Bdella which comes from India, "Sordida est et nigra et majori gleba," which, again, does not agree with Numbers 11:7. - The Shoham-stone also is not necessarily associated with India for although Pliny says of the beryls, "India eos gignit, raro alibi repertos," he also observes, "in nostro orbe aliquando circa Pontum inveniri putantur.")

The Gihon (from גּוּח to break forth) is the Araxes, which rises in the neighbourhood of the Euphrates, flows from west to east, joins the Cyrus, and falls with it into the Caspian Sea. The name corresponds to the Arabic Jaihun, a name given by the Arabians and Persians to several large rivers. The land of Cush cannot, of course, be the later Cush, or Ethiopia, but must be connected with the Asiatic Κοσσαία, which reached to the Caucasus, and to which the Jews (of Shirwan) still give this name. But even though these four streams do not now spring from one source, but on the contrary their sources are separated by mountain ranges, this fact does not prove that the narrative before us is a myth. Along with or since the disappearance of paradise, that part of the earth may have undergone such changes that the precise locality can no longer be determined with certainty.

(Note: That the continents of our globe have undergone great changes since the creation of the human race, is a truth sustained by the facts of natural history and the earliest national traditions, and admitted by the most celebrated naturalists. (See the collection of proofs made by Keerl.) These changes must not be all attributed to the flood many may have occurred before and many after, like the catastrophe in which the Dead Sea originated, without being recorded in history as this has been. Still less must we interpret Genesis 11:1 (compared with Genesis 10:25), as Fabri and Keerl have done, as indicating a complete revolution of the globe, or a geogonic process, by which the continents of the old world were divided, and assumed their present physignomy.)

Where is Havillah, the land of gold, described in Genesis? - History

New International Version
The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah and Sabteka. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan.

New Living Translation
The descendants of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.

English Standard Version
The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan.

Berean Study Bible
The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. And the sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan.

King James Bible
And the sons of Cush Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah Sheba, and Dedan.

New King James Version
The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.

New American Standard Bible
The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.

NASB 1995
The sons of Cush were Seba and Havilah and Sabtah and Raamah and Sabteca and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.

NASB 1977
And the sons of Cush were Seba and Havilah and Sabtah and Raamah and Sabteca and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.

Amplified Bible
the sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca and the sons of Raamah Sheba and Dedan.

Christian Standard Bible
Cush’s sons: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. And Raamah’s sons: Sheba and Dedan.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Cush's sons: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. And Raamah's sons: Sheba and Dedan.

American Standard Version
And the sons of Cush: Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabteca and the sons of Raamah: Sheba, and Dedan.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And the children of Cush: Sheba and Khavila and Sabta and Rama and Sebathka and the children of Rama: Sheba and Daran.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And the sons of Chus, Saba, and Evila, and Sabatha, and Rhegma, and Sabathaca. And the sons of Rhegma, Saba, and Dadan.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the sons of Chus: Saba and Hevila, and Sabatha, and Regma, and Sabatacha. The sons of Regma: Saba and Dadan.

English Revised Version
And the sons of Cush Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabteca: and the sons of Raamah Sheba, and Dedan.

Good News Translation
The descendants of Cush were the people of Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah were the people of Sheba and Dedan.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Cush's descendants were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. Raamah's descendants were Sheba and Dedan.

International Standard Version
Cush's descendants included Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. Raamah's descendants included Sheba and Dedan.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the sons of Cush: Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabteca and the sons of Raamah: Sheba, and Dedan.

Literal Standard Version
And sons of Cush [are] Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah and sons of Raamah [are] Sheba and Dedan.

NET Bible
The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.

New Heart English Bible
The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan.

World English Bible
The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan.

Young's Literal Translation
And sons of Cush are Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah and sons of Raamah are Sheba and Dedan.

Genesis 10:8
Cush was the father of Nimrod, who began to be a mighty one on the earth.

1 Kings 10:1
Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with difficult questions.

1 Chronicles 1:9
The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan.

Job 1:15
the Sabeans swooped down and took them away. They put the servants to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you!"

Psalm 72:10
May the kings of Tarshish and distant shores bring tribute may the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts.

Isaiah 21:13
This is the burden against Arabia: In the thickets of Arabia you must lodge, O caravans of Dedanites.

Isaiah 43:3
For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place.

Ezekiel 27:15
The men of Dedan were your clients many coastlands were your market they paid you with ivory tusks and ebony.

Ezekiel 27:20
Dedan was your merchant in saddlecloths for riding.

Ezekiel 27:22
The merchants of Sheba and Raamah traded with you for your wares they exchanged gold, the finest of all spices, and precious stones.

And the sons of Cush Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah Sheba, and Dedan.

Psalm 72:10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.

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

1 Kings 10:1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.

Ezekiel 27:22 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold.

Isaiah 21:13 The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.

Ezekiel 27:15 The men of Dedan were thy merchants many isles were the merchandise of thine hand: they brought thee for a present horns of ivory and ebony.

1. Seba. --The name at this time of an Arabian tribe, which subsequently migrated into Africa, and settled in Meroe, which, according to Josephus, still bore in his days this appellation. They also left their name on the eastern side of the Red Sea, not far to the north of the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb.

2. Havilah, upon the river Pison (Genesis 2:11), was undoubtedly a region of Arabia, situated probably upon the Persian Gulf. Havilah is again mentioned in Genesis 10:29.

3. Sabtah. --Probably Hadramaut, in Arabia Felix. (See Note on Genesis 10:26.)

4. Raamah, on the Persian Gulf, was divided into Dedan upon the south-west and Sheba in the centre, while Havilah lay upon the north-west side. Of these, Sheba subsequently rose to fame as the kingdom of the Himyarite Arabs.

5. Sabtechah. --Apparently still more to the south of Dedan, but placed by some on the eastern side of the gulf.

Thus, then, at the time when this table was written the southern half of Arabia was Cushite, and a swarthy race of men is still found there, especially in Yemen and Hadramaut, far darker than the light brown Arabians. Migrating from place to place along the sea-shore, the passage of the Cushites into Nubia and Abyssinia was easy. But their chief home was, at this period, in Mesopotamia, and the cuneiform inscriptions have now revealed their long struggle there with men of the race of Shem.

Verse 7. - And the sons of Cush Seba . Meroe, in Nubia, north of Ethiopia (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 2. 10). And Havilah . Αὐιλὰ (LXX.) may refer to an African tribe, the Avalitae, south of Babelmandeb (Keil, Lange, Murphy), or the district of Chaulan in Arabia Felix (Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Wordsworth). Verse 29 mentions Havilah as a Shemite territory. Kalisch regards them as "the same country, extending from the Arabian to the Persian Gulf, and, on account of its vast extent, easily divided into two distinct parts" (cf. Genesis 2:11). And Sabtah . The Astaborans of Ethiopia (Josephus, Gesenius, Kalisch) the Ethiopians of Arabia, whose chief city was Sabota (Knobel, Rosenmüller, Lange, Keil). And Raamah . Ρέγμα (LXX.) Ragma on the Persian Gulf, in Oman (Bochart, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Lange). And Sabtechah . Nigritia (Targum, Jonathan), which the name Subatok , discovered on Egyptian monuments, seems to favor (Kalisch) on the east of the Persian Gulf at Samydace of Carmania (Be-chart, Knobel, Rosenmüller, Lange). And the sons of Raamah Sheba . The principal city of Arabia Felix (1 Kings 10:1 Job 1:15 Job 6:19 Psalm 72:10, 15 Isaiah 60:6 Jeremiah 6:20 Ezekiel 27:22 Joel 3:8) occurs again (Genesis 5:28) as a son of Joktan probably was peopled both by Hamites and Shemites. And Dedan . Daden on the Persian Gulf ( vide Isaiah 21:13 Jeremiah 49:8 Ezekiel 25:13 Ezekiel 27:12-15).

of Cush:
כ֔וּשׁ (ḵūš)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3568: A son of Ham, also his descendants, also a land in the southern Nile Valley

סְבָא֙ (sə·ḇā)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 5434: Seba -- son of Cush, also his descendants and their land

of Raamah:
רַעְמָ֖ה (ra‘·māh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 7484: Raamah -- 'trembling', son of Cush, also a trading people

שְׁבָ֥א (šə·ḇā)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 7614: Sheba -- a territory in soutwest Arabia, also the name of one or more descendant of Noah

Where is Havillah, the land of gold, described in Genesis? - History

The Creation of Man and Woman

1 So the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts (inhabitants). 2 And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested (ceased) on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it [as His own, that is, set it apart as holy from other days], because in it He rested from all His work which He had created and done.

4 This is the history of [the origin of] the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day [that is, days of creation] that the [a] LORD God made the earth and the heavens-- 5 no shrub or plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to [b] cultivate the ground, 6 but a [c] mist (fog, dew, vapor) used to rise from the land and water the entire surface of the ground-- 7 then the LORD God [d] formed [that is, created the body of] man from the [e] dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being [an individual complete in body and spirit]. 8 And the LORD God [f] planted a garden (oasis) in the east, in Eden (delight, land of happiness) and He put the man whom He had formed (created) there. 9 And [in that garden] the LORD God caused to grow from the ground every tree that is desirable and pleasing to the sight and good (suitable, pleasant) for food the tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the [experiential] knowledge (recognition) of [the difference between] good and evil.

10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden and from there it divided and became four [branching] rivers. 11 The first [river] is named Pishon it flows around the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is good bdellium (a fragrant, valuable resin) and the [g] onyx stone are found there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon it flows around the entire land of Cush [in Mesopotamia]. 14 The third river is named Hiddekel (Tigris) it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 So the LORD God took the man [He had made] and settled him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely (unconditionally) eat [the fruit] from every tree of the garden 17 but [only] from the tree of the knowledge (recognition) of good and evil you shall not eat, otherwise on the day that you eat from it, you shall most certainly [h] die [because of your disobedience].”

18 Now the LORD God said, “It is not good (beneficial) for the man to be alone I will make him a helper [one who balances him--a counterpart who is] [i] suitable and complementary for him.” 19 So the LORD God formed out of the ground every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 And the man gave names to all the livestock, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field but for Adam there was not found a helper [that was] suitable (a companion) for him. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and while he slept, He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 And the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man He made (fashioned, formed) into a woman, and He brought her and presented her to the man. 23 Then Adam said,

“This is now bone of my bones,

She shall be called Woman,

Because she was taken out of Man.” 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed or embarrassed.

[a] 4 Heb YHWH (Yahweh), the Hebrew name of God which traditionally is not pronounced by the Jews, usually rendered LORD. See front material, Principles of Translation.
[b] 5 Lit work.
[c] 6 Or flow of water.
[d] 7 The word is “formed” (Heb yatsar), but in 1:26, 27 the action is described with the Hebrew word “created” (Heb bara).
[e] 7 The essential chemical elements found in soil are also found in humans and animals. This scientific fact was not discovered until recent times, but God is displaying it here.
[f] 8 This is a reference, not to the creation of plant life in general, but to the planting of specific plants in the Garden of Eden (2:8, 9).
[g] 12 It is often difficult to match the names or descriptions of ancient gems and other materials with their contemporary equivalents. Modern research indicates this may instead be carnelian, a red gemstone.
[h] 17 Both spiritually and physically, physical death in the sense of becoming mortal they were created immortal.
[i] 18 Lit like his opposite.

The Hebrew Meaning of the Rivers of the Garden of Eden (Part I)

The Bible tells us in the second chapter of the Book of Genesis about the river which flowed out of the Garden of Eden:

“A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.” (Genesis 2:10)

The names of the first two rivers were ‘Pishon’ <פישון>and Gihon’ <גיחון>– as mentioned in the following verses:

“The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good bdellium and onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush.” (Genesis 2: 11-14)

The names of those two rivers – ‘Pishon’ and Gihon’ – are ‘classic’ Hebrew pattern for names of rivers. Examples can be found in the names of rivers all across the Land of Israel, such as in the case of the ‘Yarkon <ירקון>River’ which is mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Joshua, and is located today in the modern city of Tel-Aviv (very close to Jaffa, as the Bible tells us):

“And Me-Jarkon and Rakkon with the territory over against Joppa.” (Joshua 19:46)

Another example is the ‘Kidron <קדרון>River’ which is located just outside of the Old City of Jerusalem, as mentioned in the Book of II Samuel:

“And all the land wept aloud as all the people passed by, and the king crossed the brook Kidron, and all the people passed on toward the wilderness.” (II Samuel 15:23)

In other words, the Hebrew pattern for names of rivers – or any natural stream of water – is made out of two parts (*not all rivers’ names in Hebrew follow this pattern –and we will see it tomorrow).

The first attribute is the composed of a Hebrew root or a Hebrew word. The second attribute is the Hebrew suffix (ending) ‘on' <ון>which is commonly used for other Hebrew names which describe things in nature such as mountains.

This means the Hebrew meaning of the name ‘Pishon’ comes from the old Hebrew root ‘P-O-SH’ <פ-ו-ש>which means ‘to jump’ or ‘to bounce’ and refers to the strong stream of the water.

The second river’s name is ‘Gihon’ which comes from the Hebrew root ‘G-Y-CH’ <ג-י-ח>which means ‘to gush’ – and as in the case of the first river ‘Pishon’ – refers to the state of the water.

A river by the name ‘Gihon’ can be found outside of the Old City of Jerusalem today. This river is named ‘Gihon’ because of the biblical description of the crowning of King Solomon, as described in the Book of I Kings:

“And the king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon.” (I Kings 1:33)

I would like to conclude with an intriguing anecdote. Today, the Hebrew name of the Jerusalem water company is… ‘Gihon!’
In the next post I will discuss the Hebrew meanings of the other two rivers of the Garden of Eden, so please stay tuned.

The Eden Garden and the river Pishon

Egypt has tourist villages because of the biblical Moses, the Pyramids and the Sphinx which the people of Israel made for them! Israel has tourist villages because of Jesus Christ, Bethlehem and Jerusalem!

Saudi Arabia has tourist villages because of the Prophet Mohammed, Mecca and Medina! But why not Ethiopia, because of Adam and Eve, and the biblical Garden of Eden?!

There is no doubt that the origin of mankind is in Africa, and it seems that there is a consensus between scholars on this issue. For example, I read an article written by the former United Nations Secretary General Mr Kofi Anan (in Ethiopian Herald last year, I forgot the edition) where he mentioned that the origin of mankind is in Africa.

Not only that, in the opening of the world cup in South Africa, Mr. Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, was addressing guests of the world saying that “ Africa is the origin of mankind welcome to your home”.

The question is where is the specific place where God put His creature Adam and EVE?

Be it a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew or anyone from any religion who accept the books of Moses in the Bible, it is not difficult for him/her to understand that God had put His creature Adam in the Eden of Garden, which is found in Ethiopia.

Reduction theory can be used to examine the fact that the Biblical Garden of Eden, where God put Adam, is in Ethiopia.

The Holy Bible clearly tells us that Gihon (White Nile and the Nile) goes around the whole land of Cush, or Ethiopia (Genesis 2:13). On this point many scholars agree. Cush in Hebrew, Ethiopia in Greek and Sudan in Arabic meant the same, burned face, and this is a fact that, historically, these burned face people used to live in this part of the Globe, the land of Cush.

It should be noted that all East African countries, with exception of Egypt, through which the river Gihon goes up to the Indian Ocean was identified as the Biblical Ethiopia or Cush.

The Bible also tells us that Noah begot Ham, Ham begot Cush and Cush begot Havilah (Genesis 10: 1-7), and the land of Havilah is in Ethiopia identified today as Godjam, the land skirted by the river Pishon (Genesis 2:11-12) or the Blue Nile, the first of the four rivers of Eden.

If, according to the Bible, we identify Gihon as the second river of Eden, which encompasses the land of Cush or Ethiopia, and that Havilah, whose land is skirted by the river Pishon, is the son of Cush, then Havilah and Pishon cannot be elsewhere other than in Ethiopia.

Cush cannot send his son Havilah to the other part of the World rather than share from his land. From this, it is easy to understand that Pishon and Gihon, the first and second rivers of Eden, are in East Africa, biblically known as Ethiopia and those of the third and fourth rivers of Eden, namely, Ephratus and Tigrus, in the Middle East.

Again it is clearly stated in the Bible that a river went out of Eden to water the Garden (Genesis 2:10). Although the Bible does not indicate which river waters the Garden after the division of the river Eden into the four river heads, it should, however, be Pishon because

Pishon (Abay) is still watering and moisturizing a region in Ethiopia known as Godjam (Biblically Land of Havilah).

This is the Eden Garden, and this is an important point that links the river Pishon (Abay) and the Eden Garden, where God put His Creatures Adam and EVE.

I feel that calling Abay as Gihon is wrong. It is true that Gihon encompasses the whole land of ancient Ethiopia (Genesis 2:13), but the river which skirts Godjam is not Gihon it is the river Pishon that skirts Godjam. The Bible states that, “the name of the first river is Pishon it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there” (Genesis 2:11).

That is why this region had remained as the point of focus by Great Britain during the colonial era and that of Italy until recently (e.g. willing to develop the Pawe agricultural village). The current announcement by Midrock Ethiopia about the presence of over 35,000KG gold deposits in the region is one good evidence that reinforces the statement in the Bible is true.

Besides, Aleka (Master) Kidanewold Kifle, in his book Mezgebe Kalat Addis (page 287), also defines and locates the river Pishon as “one of the four rivers of Eden and that river is the one which skirts Godjam”.

This paper raises a point of debate between scholars who have different opinions on the issue so that further research can be conducted. Secondly it triggers those who accept the above facts to aspire for other big opportunities to be exploited on the river Abay (Pishon).

This big opportunity is a tourism industry in the region in addition to our tourism villages like the Axum Obelisk, Lalibela Rock Hewn Churches, Gondar Castle, the Harar Wall, etc.
Introducing and promoting the presence of the first river Pishon and the Eden Garden in Ethiopia, where God put Adam and EVE, is as big a development project as the Grand Renaissance Dam.

What is needed is to develop multi-facet development programs and projects. The implementation of which is to be started now. Some of the strategies can include:
Developing cooperation with the Nile down-stream countries like Egypt and Sudan, even with all African countries as the heritage is to all of them, to invest in the Blue Nile (Abay) and surrounding regions in re-forestation, and preservation of the region like what it was in the era of Adam.

This is also a contribution to the environmental preservation of Africa. Resettling and engaging the Abay and peripheral region inhabitants in the development program of the region for a tourism village.

Organizing an authoritative body that studies the heritages and manages the development program of the region in a manner that attracts tourists of the world.

Promoting the historic asset (the Eden Garden, Adam and EVE, the fist river of God, Pishon, etc) of Ethiopia nationally and internationally.

This program does not only create a giant tourism industry in Ethiopia, as well as Africa, but also ensures the sustainability of the already started Grand Renaissance Dam.

It is true that this goal and objectives may seem like a dream and unachievable, but nothing is impossible for an envisioned, determined and dedicated government and people.

If this generation cannot achieve it, the succeeding generation will. Let’s have emotional acceptance.

Ophir in Genesis 10 (the Table of Nations) is said to be the name of one of the sons of Joktan. [a] The Books of Kings and Chronicles tell of a joint expedition to Ophir by King Solomon and the Tyrian king Hiram I from Ezion-Geber, a port on the Red Sea, that brought back large amounts of gold, precious stones and 'algum wood' and of a later failed expedition by king Jehoshaphat of Judah. [b] The famous 'gold of Ophir' is referenced in several other books of the Hebrew Bible. [c]

In Septuagint, other variants of the name are mentioned: Ōpheír, Sōphír, Sōpheír and Souphír. [3]

The New Testament apocrypha book Cave of Treasures contains a passage: "And the children of Ophir, that is, Send, appointed to be their king Lophoron, who built Ophir with stones of gold now, all the stones that are in Ophir are of gold." [4]

In 1946 an inscribed pottery shard was found at Tell Qasile (in modern-day Tel Aviv) dating to the eighth century BC. [5] [6] It bears, in Paleo-Hebrew script, the text "gold of Ophir to/for Beth-Horon [. ] 30 shekels" [d] [7] The find confirms that Ophir was a place from which gold was imported. [8]

India Edit

A Dictionary of the Bible by Sir William Smith, published in 1863, [9] notes the Hebrew word for parrot Thukki, derived from the Classical Tamil for peacock Thogkai and Sinhalese "tokei", [10] joins other Classical Tamil words for ivory, cotton-cloth and apes preserved in the Hebrew Bible. This theory of Ophir's location in Tamilakkam is further supported by other historians. [11] [12] [13] [14] The most likely location on the coast of Kerala conjectured to be Ophir is Poovar in Thiruvananthapuram District (though some Indian scholars also suggest Beypore as possible location). [15] [16]

Earlier in the 19th century Max Müller and other scholars identified Ophir with Abhira, near the Indus River in modern-day state of Gujarat, India. According to Benjamin Walker Ophir is said to have been a town of the Abhira tribe. [17]

In Jewish tradition, Ophir is often associated with a place in India, [e] named for one of the sons of Joktan. [20]

Sri Lanka Edit

The 10th-century lexicographer, David ben Abraham al-Fasi, identified Ophir with Serendip, the old Persian name for Sri Lanka (aka Ceylon). [21] Moreover, as mentioned above, A Dictionary of the Bible by Sir William Smith, [9] notes the Hebrew word for parrot Thukki, derived from the Classical Tamil for peacock Thogkai and Sinhalese "tokei", [22] . Both Sinhalese and Tamil are native to Sri Lanka, while the Sinhalese language is indigenous to the island.

Philippines Edit

In Tomo III (1519-1522), pages 112-138, of the book Colección general de documentos relativos a las Islas Filipinas existentes en el Archivo de Indias de Sevilla, [23] found in the General Archive of the Indies in Spain, Document No. 98 describes how to locate the land of Ophir. The navigational guide started from the Cape of Good Hope in Africa to India, to Burma, to Sumatra, to Moluccas, to Borneo, to Sulu, to China, then finally Ophir which is said to be the Philippines.

Africa Edit

Biblical scholars, archaeologists and others have tried to determine the exact location of Ophir. Vasco da Gama's companion Tomé Lopes reasoned that Ophir would have been the ancient name for Great Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe, the main center of southern African trade in gold in the Renaissance period — though the ruins at Great Zimbabwe are now dated to the medieval era, long after Solomon is said to have lived. The identification of Ophir with Sofala in Mozambique was mentioned by Milton in Paradise Lost (11:399-401), among many other works of literature and science.

Another, more serious, possibility is the African shore of the Red Sea, with the name perhaps being derived from the Afar people living in the Danakil desert (Ethiopia, Eritrea) between Adulis and Djibouti.

Afri was a Latin name used to refer to the Carthaginians, who dwelt in North Africa, in modern-day Tunisia. This name, that later gave the rich Roman province of Africa and the subsequent medieval Ifriqiya, from which the name of the continent Africa is ultimately derived, seems to have referred to a native Libyan tribe originally, however, see Terence for discussion. The name is usually connected with Phoenician afar, "dust", but a 1981 hypothesis [24] has asserted that it stems from the Berber word ifri (plural ifran) meaning "cave", in reference to cave dwellers. [25] This is proposed [25] to be the origin of Ophir as well. [26]

Americas Edit

In a letter written in May, 1500 Peter Martyr claimed that Christopher Columbus identified Hispaniola with Ophir. [27]

The theologian Benito Arias Montano (1571) proposed finding Ophir in the name of Peru, reasoning that the native Peruvians were thus descendants of Ophir and Shem. [28]

Solomon Islands Edit

In 1568 Alvaro Mendaña became the first European to discover the Solomon Islands, and named them as such because he believed them to be Ophir. [29]

    , another Biblical location providing Solomon with riches. , an explorer who inadvertently discovered Great Zimbabwe when searching for Ophir.
  1. ^ This is also stated in 1 Chronicles 1:22
  2. ^ The first expedition is described in 1 Kings 9:28 10:11 1 Chronicles 29:4 2 Chronicles 8:18 9:10, the failed expedition of Jehoshaphat in 1 Kings 22:48
  3. ^Book of Job 22:24 28:16 Psalms 45:9 Isaiah 13:12
  4. ^ Beth-Horon probably refers to the ancient city 35 km south of Tell Qasile another interpretation is that Beth-Horon means 'the temple of Horon', (a Canaanite deity also known as Hauron), see Lipiński (2004, p. 197)
  5. ^ Fourteenth-century biblical commentator, Nathanel ben Isaiah, writes: "And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab (Gen. 10:29), these are the tracts of countries in the east, being those of the first clime," [18] and which first clime, according to al-Biruni, the sub-continent of India falls entirely therein. [19]
  1. ^"Ophir". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  2. ^Schroff, The Periplus of the Erythræan Sea 1912, p. 41.
  3. ^Mahdi, The Dispersal of Austronesian boat forms in the Indian Ocean 1999, p. 154.
  4. ^ Badge, William (1927). The Book of The Cave of Treasures by Ephrem the Syrian: Translated from the Syriac Text of The British Museum. London: The Religious Tract Society. p. 32 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Maisler, B., Two Hebrew Ostraca from Tell Qasîle, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Oct., 1951), p. 265 [1]
  6. ^ Boardman, John, The Prehistory of the Balkans: The Middle East and the Aegean World, Tenth to Eighth Centuries B.C., Part 1, Cambridge University Press, 1982, p. 480 [2]
  7. ^ Kitchen, Kenneth A. Handy, Lowell K. (ed.), The Age of Solomon: Scholarship at the Turn of the Millennium, BRILL 1997, p. 144 [3]
  8. ^Lipiński 2004, p. 144.
  9. ^ ab Smith, William, A dictionary of the Bible, Hurd and Houghton, 1863 (1870), pp.1441
  10. ^Smith's Bible Dictionary
  11. ^ Ramaswami, Sastri, The Tamils and their culture, Annamalai University, 1967, pp.16
  12. ^ Gregory, James, Tamil lexicography, M. Niemeyer, 1991, pp.10
  13. ^ Fernandes, Edna, The last Jews of Kerala, Portobello, 2008, pp.98
  14. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition, Volume I Almug Tree Almunecar→ ALMUG or ALGUM TREE. The Hebrew words Almuggim or Algummim are translated Almug or Algum trees in our version of the Bible (see 1 Kings x. 11, 12 2 Chron. ii. 8, and ix. 10, 11). The wood of the tree was very precious, and was brought from Ophir (probably some part of India), along with gold and precious stones, by Hiram, and was used in the formation of pillars for the temple at Jerusalem, and for the king's house also for the inlaying of stairs, as well as for harps and psalteries. It is probably the red sandal-wood of India (Pterocarpus santalinus). This tree belongs to the natural order Leguminosæ, sub-order Papilionaceæ. The wood is hard, heavy, close-grained, and of a fine red colour. It is different from the white fragrant sandal-wood, which is the produce of Santalum album, a tree belonging to a distinct natural order.Also see notes by George Menachery in the St. Thomas Christian Encyclopaedia of India, Vol. 2 (1973)
  15. ^
  16. Menon, A. Sreedhara (1967), A Survey of Kerala History, Sahitya Pravarthaka Co-operative Society [Sales Department] National Book Stall, p. 58
  17. ^
  18. Aiyangar, Sakkottai Krishnaswami (2004) [first published 1911], Ancient India: Collected Essays on the Literary and Political History of Southern India, Asian Educational Services, pp. 60–, ISBN978-81-206-1850-3
  19. ^
  20. Walker, Benjamin (1968), Hindu World: An Encyclopedic Survey of Hinduism, Volume 2, Allen & Unwin, p. 515
  21. ^
  22. Ben Isaiah, N. (1983). Sefer Me'or ha-Afelah (in Hebrew). Translated by Yosef Qafih. Kiryat Ono: Mechon Moshe. p. 74.
  23. ^ Sunil Sharma, Mughal Arcadia: Persian Literature in an Indian Court, Harvard University Press: Cambridge 2017, p. 66
  24. ^Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews (Book 8, chapter 6, §4), s.v. Aurea Chersonesus
  25. ^ Solomon Skoss (ed.), The Hebrew-Arabic Dictionary of the Bible, Known as `Kitāb Jāmiʿ al-Alfāẓ` (Agron) of David ben Abraham al-Fasi, Yale University Press: New Haven 1936, vol. 1, p. 46 (Hebrew)
  26. ^Smith's Bible Dictionary
  27. ^
  28. Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas. Colección general de documentos relativos a las Islas Filipinas existentes en el Archivo de Indias de Sevilla. Tomo III--Documento 98, 1520–1528. pp. 112–138.
  29. ^Names of countriesArchived 2017-08-15 at the Wayback Machine, Decret and Fantar, 1981
  30. ^ ab The Berbers, by Geo. Babington Michell, p 161, 1903, Journal of the Royal African Society book on ligne
  31. ^Lipiński 2004, p. 200.
  32. ^ De orbe novo decades
  33. ^
  34. Shalev, Zur (2003). "Sacred Geography, Antiquarianism and Visual Erudition: Benito Arias Montano and the Maps in the Antwerp Polyglot Bible" (PDF) . Imago Mundi. 55: 71. doi:10.1080/0308569032000097495. S2CID51804916 . Retrieved 2017-01-17 .
  35. ^ HOGBIN, H. In, Experiments in Civilization: The Effects of European Culture on a Native Community of the Solomon Islands, New York: Schocken Books, 1970 (1939), pp.7-8
  • Lipiński, Edward (2004), Itineraria Phoenicia Studia Phoenicia 18, Peeters Publishers, ISBN978-90-429-1344-8
  • Mahdi, Waruno (1999), "The Dispersal of Austronesian boat forms in the Indian Ocean", in Roger Blench Matthew Spriggs (eds.), Archaeology and Language III Artefacts, languages and texts, Routledge, pp. 144–179, ISBN0-415-10054-2
  • Schroff, Wifred H. (1912), The Periplus of the Erythræan Sea: Travel and Trade in the Indian Ocean, New York: Longmans, Green, and Company
  • (fr) Quatremère (1861), Mémoire sur le pays d’Ophir, in Mélanges d'histoire, Ducrocq, Paris, p. 234 (read @ Archive).

For many references and a comprehensive outline of the products exported from Muziris, Ariake &c. cf. George Menachery ed. The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopaedia of India, 1973, 1982, 2009.


Genesis Edit

The second part of the Genesis creation narrative, Genesis 2:4–3:24, opens with YHWH-Elohim (translated here "the L ORD God", see Names of God in Judaism) creating the first man (Adam), whom he placed in a garden that he planted "eastward in Eden". [16] "And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." [17]

The man was free to eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Last of all, God made a woman (Eve) from a rib of the man to be a companion for the man. In chapter three, the man and the woman were seduced by the serpent into eating the forbidden fruit, and they were expelled from the garden to prevent them from eating of the tree of life, and thus living forever. Cherubim were placed east of the garden, "and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way of the tree of life". [18]

Genesis 2:10-14 [19] lists four rivers in association with the garden of Eden: Pishon, Gihon, Hiddekel (the Tigris), and Phirat (the Euphrates). It also refers to the land of Cush—translated/interpreted as Ethiopia, but thought by some to equate to Cossaea, a Greek name for the land of the Kassites. [20] These lands lie north of Elam, immediately to the east of ancient Babylon, which, unlike Ethiopia, does lie within the region being described. [21] In Antiquities of the Jews, the first-century Jewish historian Josephus identifies the Pishon as what "the Greeks called Ganges" and the Geon (Gehon) as the Nile. [22]

According to Lars-Ivar Ringbom the paradisus terrestris is located in Takab in northwestern Iran. [23]

Ezekiel Edit

In Ezekiel 28:12-19 [24] the prophet Ezekiel the "son of man" sets down God's word against the king of Tyre: the king was the "seal of perfection", adorned with precious stones from the day of his creation, placed by God in the garden of Eden on the holy mountain as a guardian cherub. But the king sinned through wickedness and violence, and so he was driven out of the garden and thrown to the earth, where now he is consumed by God's fire: "All those who knew you in the nations are appalled at you, you have come to a horrible end and will be no more." (v.19).

According to Terje Stordalen, the Eden in Ezekiel appears to be located in Lebanon. [25] "[I]t appears that the Lebanon is an alternative placement in Phoenician myth (as in Ez 28,13, III.48) of the Garden of Eden", [26] and there are connections between paradise, the garden of Eden and the forests of Lebanon (possibly used symbolically) within prophetic writings. [27] Edward Lipinski and Peter Kyle McCarter have suggested that the Garden of the gods (Sumerian paradise), the oldest Sumerian version of the Garden of Eden, relates to a mountain sanctuary in the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon ranges. [28]

The location of Eden is described in Genesis 2:10-14: [29]

″And a river departed from Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided and became four tributaries.

The name of the first is Pishon, which is the circumnavigator of the land of Havilah where there is gold. And the gold of this land is good there are bdellium and cornelian stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon, which is the circumnavigator of the land of Cush.

And the name of the third is Chidekel, which is that which goes to the east of Ashur and the fourth river is Phirath.″

Suggestions for the location of the Garden of Eden include [9] the head of the Persian Gulf, in southern Mesopotamia (now Iraq) where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers run into the sea [10] and in the Armenian Highlands or Armenian Plateau. [11] [30] [12] [13] British archaeologist David Rohl locates it in Iran, and in the vicinity of Tabriz, but this suggestion has not caught on with scholarly sources. [31]

Outside of the Middle East, some religious groups have believed the location of the Garden to be local to them. The 19th century Panacea Society believed that their home town of Bedford, England, was the site of the Garden, [32] while preacher Elvy E. Callaway believed it to be located on the Apalachicola River in Florida, near the town of Bristol. [33]

    in the Sumerian story of Enki and Ninhursag is a paradisaical abode [34] of the immortals, where sickness and death were unknown. [35]
  • The garden of the Hesperides in Greek mythology was somewhat similar to the Jewish concept of the Garden of Eden, and by the 16th century a larger intellectual association was made in the Cranach painting (see illustration at top). In this painting, only the action that takes place there identifies the setting as distinct from the Garden of the Hesperides, with its golden fruit.
  • The Persian term "paradise" (borrowed as Hebrew: פרדס ‎, pardes), meaning a royal garden or hunting-park, gradually became a synonym for Eden after c. 500 BCE. The word "pardes" occurs three times in the Hebrew Bible, but always in contexts other than a connection with Eden: in the Song of Solomon iv. 13: "Thy plants are an orchard (pardes) of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits camphire, with spikenard" Ecclesiastes 2. 5: "I made me gardens and orchards (pardes), and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits" and in Nehemiah ii. 8: "And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's orchard (pardes), that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city." In these examples pardes clearly means "orchard" or "park", but in the apocalyptic literature and in the Talmud "paradise" gains its associations with the Garden of Eden and its heavenly prototype, and in the New Testament "paradise" becomes the realm of the blessed (as opposed to the realm of the cursed) among those who have already died, with literary Hellenistic influences.

Jewish eschatology Edit

In the Talmud and the Jewish Kabbalah, [36] the scholars agree that there are two types of spiritual places called "Garden in Eden". The first is rather terrestrial, of abundant fertility and luxuriant vegetation, known as the "lower Gan Eden" (gan = garden). The second is envisioned as being celestial, the habitation of righteous, Jewish and non-Jewish, immortal souls, known as the "higher Gan Eden". The rabbis differentiate between Gan and Eden. Adam is said to have dwelt only in the Gan, whereas Eden is said never to be witnessed by any mortal eye. [36]

According to Jewish eschatology, [37] [38] the higher Gan Eden is called the "Garden of Righteousness". It has been created since the beginning of the world, and will appear gloriously at the end of time. The righteous dwelling there will enjoy the sight of the heavenly chayot carrying the throne of God. Each of the righteous will walk with God, who will lead them in a dance. Its Jewish and non-Jewish inhabitants are "clothed with garments of light and eternal life, and eat of the tree of life" (Enoch 58,3) near to God and His anointed ones. [38] This Jewish rabbinical concept of a higher Gan Eden is opposed by the Hebrew terms gehinnom [39] and sheol, figurative names for the place of spiritual purification for the wicked dead in Judaism, a place envisioned as being at the greatest possible distance from heaven. [40]

In modern Jewish eschatology it is believed that history will complete itself and the ultimate destination will be when all mankind returns to the Garden of Eden. [41]

Legends Edit

In the 1909 book Legends of the Jews, Louis Ginzberg compiled Jewish legends found in rabbinic literature. Among the legends are ones about the two Gardens of Eden. Beyond Paradise is the higher Gan Eden, where God is enthroned and explains the Torah to its inhabitants. The higher Gan Eden contains three hundred ten worlds and is divided into seven compartments. The compartments are not described, though it is implied that each compartment is greater than the previous one and is joined based on one's merit. The first compartment is for Jewish martyrs, the second for those who drowned, the third for "Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai and his disciples," the fourth for those whom the cloud of glory carried off, the fifth for penitents, the sixth for youths who have never sinned and the seventh for the poor who lived decently and studied the Torah. [42]

In chapter two, Legends of the Jews gives a brief description of the lower Gan Eden. The tree of knowledge is a hedge around the tree of life, which is so vast that "it would take a man five hundred years to traverse a distance equal to the diameter of the trunk". From beneath the trees flow all the world's waters in the form of four rivers: Tigris, Nile, Euphrates, and Ganges. After the fall of man, the world was no longer irrigated by this water. While in the garden, though, Adam and Eve were served meat dishes by angels and the animals of the world understood human language, respected mankind as God's image, and feared Adam and Eve. When one dies, one's soul must pass through the lower Gan Eden in order to reach the higher Gan Eden. The way to the garden is the Cave of Machpelah that Adam guards. The cave leads to the gate of the garden, guarded by a cherub with a flaming sword. If a soul is unworthy of entering, the sword annihilates it. Within the garden is a pillar of fire and smoke that extends to the higher Gan Eden, which the soul must climb in order to reach the higher Gan Eden. [42]

Islamic view Edit

The term jannāt ʿadni ("Gardens of Eden" or "Gardens of Perpetual Residence") is used in the Qur'an for the destination of the righteous. There are several mentions of "the Garden" in the Qur'an, [43] while the Garden of Eden, without the word ʿadn, [44] is commonly the fourth layer of the Islamic heaven and not necessarily thought as the dwelling place of Adam. [45] The Quran refers frequently over various Surah about the first abode of Adam and Hawwa (Eve), including surat Sad, which features 18 verses on the subject (38:71–88), surat al-Baqara, surat al-A'raf, and surat al-Hijr although sometimes without mentioning the location. The narrative mainly surrounds the resulting expulsion of Hawwa and Adam after they were tempted by Shaitan. Despite the Biblical account, the Quran mentions only one tree in Eden, the tree of immortality, which God specifically claimed it was forbidden to Adam and Eve. Some exegesis added an account, about Satan, disguised as a serpent to enter the Garden, repeatedly told Adam to eat from the tree, and eventually both Adam and Eve did so, resulting in disobeying God. [46] These stories are also featured in the hadith collections, including al-Tabari. [47]

Latter Day Saints Edit

Followers of the Latter-day Saint movement believe that after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden they resided in a place known as Adam-ondi-Ahman, located in present-day Daviess County, Missouri. It is recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants that Adam blessed his posterity there and that he will return to that place at the time of the final judgement [48] [49] in fulfillment of a prophecy set forth in the Book of Mormon. [50]

Numerous early leaders of the Church, including Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and George Q. Cannon, taught that the Garden of Eden itself was located in nearby Jackson County, Missouri, [51] but there are no surviving first-hand accounts of that doctrine being taught by Joseph Smith himself. LDS doctrine is unclear as to the exact location of the Garden of Eden, but tradition among Latter-Day Saints places it somewhere in the vicinity of Adam-ondi-Ahman, or in Jackson County. [52] [53]

The Garden of Eden motifs most frequently portrayed in illuminated manuscripts and paintings are the "Sleep of Adam" ("Creation of Eve"), the "Temptation of Eve" by the Serpent, the "Fall of Man" where Adam takes the fruit, and the "Expulsion". The idyll of "Naming Day in Eden" was less often depicted. Much of Milton's Paradise Lost occurs in the Garden of Eden. Michelangelo depicted a scene at the Garden of Eden in the Sistine Chapel ceiling. In the Divine Comedy, Dante places the Garden at the top of Mt. Purgatory. For many medieval writers, the image of the Garden of Eden also creates a location for human love and sexuality, often associated with the classic and medieval trope of the locus amoenus. [54] One of oldest depictions of Garden of Eden is made in Byzantine style in Ravenna, while the city was still under Byzantine control. A preserved blue mosaic is part of the mausoleum of Galla Placidia. Circular motifs represent flowers of the garden of Eden.

The Garden of Eden by Lucas Cranach der Ältere, a 16th-century German depiction of Eden

What is the Biblical view of Gold and Silver?

The first mention of Gold in the Bible is in Genesis 2:11-12. Gold in the land of Havilah gets the endorsement of being "good". God created gold to be the foundation of an economic system that would be solid, stable and not subject to manipulation. No inflation, no deflation, and no monetary crisis. History has called this biblically oriented monetary system, "The Gold Standard", meaning an economic system that is based on a specific, established amount of gold or silver.

God is the author of the gold standard, not man. In the Scriptures, He established the weights, the measurements and set the value of gold and silver. He created this monetary law in order to protect the poor and to keep the greed and manipulative power of Rulers under control.

There is no Hebrew word for money. Silver was used for normal transactions and gold, which was worth twenty times as much as silver, was used more as a store of value. The money changers, (mentioned in the New Testament), were cheating the Jews, who had come from all over the Mediterranean region to visit their Temple, of fair currency exchanges. These are the people that Jesus Christ drove from the Temple.

I would recommend reading "The Making of America" which you can get on Amazon.

This book by W. Cleon Skousen, gives an excellent education on money and the Constitution.

from Keith Mathison Feb 20, 2012 Category: Articles

Key to Genesis and a Pivotal Point in Redemptive History

The call of Abram in Genesis 12:1&ndash9 is a pivotal point in redemptive history. According to Gordon Wenham, no section of Genesis is more significant than 11:27&ndash12:9. i It is, as Bruce Waltke observes, “the thematic center of the Pentateuch.” ii While the first eleven chapters of Genesis focus primarily on the terrible consequences of sin, God’s promises to Abram in Genesis 12 focus on the hope of redemption, of restored blessing and reconciliation with God. God is going to deal with the problem of sin and evil, and he is going to establish his kingdom on earth. How he is going to do this begins to be revealed in his promises to Abram. iii The remaining chapters of Genesis follow the initial stages in the fulfillment of these promises. Thus Genesis 12:1&ndash9 sets the stage for the remainder of Genesis and the remainder of the Bible. iv

The key section of Genesis 12:1&ndash9 is the explicit call of God to Abram found in verses 1&ndash3.

Now Yahweh said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

The theme of God’s call to Abram is evident in the fivefold repetition of the key terms “bless” or “blessing.” Also important is the repetition of the word “you” and “your.” Man’s sin has resulted in God’s curse (Gen. 3:14, 17 4:11 5:29 9:25), but here God promises to form a people for himself and to restore his original purposes of blessing for mankind (cf. Gen. 1:28). v Abram is somehow going to be the mediator of this restored blessing.

Four Promises

Within God’s call of Abram there are four basic promises: (1) offspring, (2) land, (3) the blessing of Abram himself, and (4) the blessing of the nations through Abram. vi In verse 1, God commands Abram to leave his home and go to the land that he will show Abram. The promise of land is not explicit in this initial command. It is only made explicit when Abram reaches the land of Canaan. At that point, God promises Abram, “To your offspring I will give this land” (12:7). This promise of land becomes a key theme throughout the remainder of the Old Testament. vii It is especially prominent in the remainder of the Pentateuch and in the books referred to in the Hebrew canon as the “Former Prophets” (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings). In terms of God’s kingdom purposes, the land promise indicates that God has not abandoned his plan to establish his kingdom on earth. The land promise would have certainly been important to Israel at the time the Pentateuch was originally composed. As Israel stood on the plains of Moab, they were assured that the land they were about to enter had been promised to Abraham and to his offspring by God himself.

In Genesis 12:2, God promises that he will make of Abram “a great nation.” This promise will be fulfilled initially in the birth of the nation of Israel. viii This promise necessarily implies that Abram will have offspring, but like the promise of land, the promise of offspring is only made explicit when Abram reaches Canaan (cf. 12:7). The promise of offspring is also related to God’s ultimate kingdom purposes. Just as the land promise provides a realm for God’s kingdom in the midst of his creation, the promise of offspring anticipates a people for his kingdom. God then promises to bless Abram and make his name great so that he will be a blessing. ix The fourth element of God’s promise is that in Abram “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (12:3). Abraham will be the head of the “one family by whom all of the other families of the earth will be blessed.” x In fact, the blessing of all the families of the earth is the primary purpose behind God’s calling of Abram. His calling and the promises he is given are not ends in themselves. Abram is promised offspring, a land, and personal blessing in order that he might be the mediator of God’s blessing to all the families of the earth. xi As we proceed, the eschatological significance of God’s promises to Abram and his determination to bless all the families of the earth will become clearer. As we will see, this blessing will come through the establishment of God’s kingdom. From this point forward in Genesis, “the writer’s primary concern is to trace the development of God’s resolution to bless.” xii

i Gordon Wenham, Genesis 1&ndash15 (Waco: Word Books, 1987), 281.
ii Bruce Waltke, Genesis: A Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001), 208.
iii Paul R. Williamson, Sealed With An Oath: Covenant in God&rsquos Unfolding Purpose, NSBT 23 (Downers Grove, IL : InterVarsity, 2007), 77 William J. Dumbrell, Covenant and Creation: A Theology of Old Testament Covenants (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1984), 47.
iv Bruce Waltke (Genesis, 209) elaborates on this important point, &ldquoThe call of God to Abraham is the sneak preview for the rest of the Bible. It is a story of God bringing salvation to all tribes and nations through this holy nation, administered at first by the Mosaic covenant and then by the Lord Jesus Christ through the new covenant. The elements of Abraham&rsquos call are reaffirmed to Abraham (12:7 15:5&ndash21 17:4&ndash8 18:18&ndash19 22:17&ndash18), to Isaac (26:24), to Jacob (28:13&ndash15 35:11&ndash12 46:3), to Judah (49:8&ndash12), to Moses (Exod. 3:6&ndash8 Deut. 34:4), and to the ten tribes of Israel (Deut 33). They are reaffirmed by Joseph (Gen. 50:24), by Peter to the Jews (Acts 3:25), and by Paul to the Gentiles (Gal. 3:8).&rdquo
v See Thomas E. McComiskey, The Covenants of Promise: A Theology of the Old Testament Covenants (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985), 15&ndash58.
vi As Willem VanGemeren observes, Abraham (22:17&ndash18), Isaac (26:3&ndash4), and Jacob (28:13&ndash15) each received God&rsquos fourfold promise. See The Progress of Redemption (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988), 108.
vii See Philip Johnston and Peter Walker, eds. The Land of Promise (Downers Grove, IL : InterVarsity, 2000).
viii Dumbrell, Covenant and Creation 66&ndash67.
ix Williamson (Sealed With An Oath, 78&ndash79) argues that the words weheyeh berakah at the end of verse 2 should be translated as a second command, &ldquoBe a blessing,&rdquo rather than as a certain consequence &ldquoso that you will be a blessing&rdquo because of the imperative form of the verb. This is a possible translation, and the ASV does translate the words in this way, but it is not required. In this type of sentence, the imperative verb can express a consequence (See GKC , § 110i cf. also Joüon, § 116h).
x NIDOTTE , 4:665.
xi T. D. Alexander, From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch, 2d ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002), 85&ndash86. Allusions to this promise are found in prophetic texts such as Isaiah 19:24 and Jeremiah 4:2.
xii Allen P. Ross, Creation and Blessing (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1988), 253.


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