Do we have any idea where the Garden of Eden was? Can we find it today?
The Original Garden
In the beginning, “the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 2:8-9), and since God Himself planted this garden, it must have been incredible. We can only imagine what the garden must have been like. As yet, there was no death, no suffering, no pain, and no thorns or thistles for Adam to have to contend with in the garden. This garden was exceedingly well watered as “A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers” (Gen 2:10).
The garden of Eden had it all; water, fruits, certainly vegetables (sorry kids, vegetables were not part of the curse), and everything that was pleasing to the eye. Of course we know that the one tree that they shouldn’t have taken from and eaten was the very one that Adam and Eve did take, and as a result, “the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life” (Gen 3:23-24). Not only that, outside of the garden, “cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life” (Gen 3:17) and “thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field” (Gen 3:18).
Where was the Garden?
The Bible says that the garden of Eden was located in what is called the “fertile crescent” and was near the same place where Abraham’s home Ur was, but also near where the Tower of Babel was located. That’s because the Tigris-Euphrates Valley has always been a well-watered region that could support life in an otherwise arid place. This led many Bible scholars to believe that the garden was somewhere in the Tigris-Euphrates river basin, but after the flood of Noah’s day, any thing that remained in the garden would have been completely destroyed because a flood of that intensity would totally obliterate anything on the grounds surface, and in fact, there is no place on earth that would have survived such a cataclysmic event. Today, the Tigris-Euphrates Valley contains sediments that is, in some places, over two miles deep, and the sediment from the former animal and plant life have been an enormous boom in producing fossil fuels for the oil and gas industries. The angel that God placed in front of the garden to keep Adam and Eve from reentering the garden would have been unnecessary because the garden would have no longer existed, so it’s fruitless to search for the garden today and it’s far better to seek the kingdom that will never end. Only those who God brings to repentance and faith will be in the New Jerusalem, and this City of God will so overshadow the original garden of Eden as to make it nothing more than a park by comparison.
The New Garden
If you think the garden of Eden would have been impressive, wait till you see the New Jerusalem, because in “the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Rev 22:2), and “No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him” (Rev 22:4). The curse has been reversed by Jesus Christ’s atoning work at Calvary and all things will become new, as Jesus had said to the Apostle John, “Behold, I am making all things new” as He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” (Rev 21:5). Isaiah the Prophet wrote of a day when it will be said, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind” (65:17). After so long of a wait by the Christians that have died before us and for those who eagerly wait for the kingdom’s coming, we “will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever” (Rev 22:4-5), and so “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates” (Rev 22:14). At that time God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:4), but perhaps best of all, “the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (Rev 21:3).
I believe the original garden of Eden was destroyed in the flood of Noah’s day. That means there would have been no trace of the garden left and so there is no trace of it today. Many have tried searching in vain to find it, while ignoring the kingdom that’s coming that will excel far beyond the original garden. The Apostle Peter says “the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished” (2nd Pet 3:6), meaning the garden perished with the flood, just as did the people and many creatures, so it’s futile to try and search out where the garden was because it no longer exists, but one is coming that will blow away anything close to the original garden.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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