As Christians, many of us believe that the Garden of Eden is a real place. Others may disagree and think that the whole narrative of Adam and Eve was only a mere representation of the very first individuals who were created in the likeness of God.
Some argue that the Garden of Eden did not exist and that both Adam and Eve were purely figurative beings instead of actual people who existed long ago. As people of faith, we may think that there once was a location where man experienced a real, tangible connection with God. However, because of their disobedience, we have been deemed unworthy of this place.
Though many offer different views on this matter, we can agree that the place itself is filled with symbolic meaning.
- 1 What Is The Garden Of Eden?
- 2 Where Is The Garden Of Eden Located?
- 3 What Happened To The Garden Of Eden?
- 4 15 Things You Should Know About The Garden Of Eden
- 4.1 1. It Was Our Original Parents’ First Dwelling Place
- 4.2 2. It Gave Adam And Eve Purpose
- 4.3 3. The Paradise Provided Them With All Their Needs
- 4.4 4. Adam And Eve Experienced Fellowship Here With God
- 4.5 5. It Brought Adam And Eve Happiness
- 4.6 6. It Was Not Fully Guarded
- 4.7 7. It Was Incomplete
- 4.8 8. The Paradise Was Growing
- 4.9 9. It Was In The East
- 4.10 10. Four Great Rivers Flowed Through This Garden
- 4.11 11. It Was Home To The Tree Of Life And The Forbidden Tree (Knowledge Of Evil And Good)
- 4.12 12. Adam And Eve Were Tested Here
- 4.13 13. The First Sin Of Man Was Committed Here
- 4.14 14. It Was Locked Following Adam And Eve’s Fall
- 4.15 15. Its Restoration Will Happen In The Coming Years
- 5 Conclusion
What Is The Garden Of Eden?
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden, and there he put the man he had formed.— Genesis 2:8
The divine Garden of Eden, according to the Bible, signified much more than just a physical space brimming with trees and flowers. In fact, the phrase “Garden of Eden” roughly translates to Gan Eden (which refers to the spiritual heaven or terrestrial paradise) in the ancient Hebrew dialect.
Both Adam and Eve experienced direct contact with God the Creator in this garden, which was portrayed as a sinless utopia. Some academics describe it as the “Paradise Lost.” But comprehending the Garden of Eden reveals God’s goal for the existence of everyone he graciously created.
Where Is The Garden Of Eden Located?
In Genesis 2:10–14, the precise spot of the garden is explained this way: “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from then it was parted and became four heads.”
The passage adds that the very first one’s name is Pishon, which encompasses the whole region of Havilah. The second river’s name is Gihon, which is the same river that surrounds the entire Cushan region. Then, the third river, which travels in the direction of Ashur’s east, goes by the name Tigris. Lastly, the fourth river is the Euphrates.
The location of this place at the confluence of four rivers is crucial to comprehend. We also recognize two of the aforementioned rivers from today: the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, which originate in Turkey and flow through Iraq and Syria in the Middle East before finally emptying into the Persian Gulf.
Still, it is uncertain what the whole passage means about the two rivers, Pishon and Gihon. Many scholars theorized throughout the years that they could be referring to the Nile located in Egypt and the Ganges located in India, whereas others demonstrated that this could indicate an important, potentially undiscovered, part of the planet.
What Happened To The Garden Of Eden?
The Bible concludes Genesis 3 with both Adam and Eve ejected from the garden’s premises and angels prohibiting them from returning to the paradise that had been intended for them as well as their offspring. The Bible fails to reveal anything more about the Garden of Eden after that. As a result, we can only guess and make futile judgments about what occurred in the lost paradise.
God seems to have decided to let the natural world take its course following Adam and Eve’s departure from the paradise meant for them.
Whether we take the regional flood explanation or the worldwide flood explanation to clarify the Flood narrative in Genesis 7–8, we can safely believe that the Garden of Eden was submerged during the flooding God employed to judge mankind at the time. Nowadays, there is no sign of the lost paradise where the first people lived.
The story of the Garden of Eden foretells the promised paradise that those who believe in Christ will experience in heaven. We can therefore look forward to entering this place one day where our union with the Lord will be fully restored to its impeccable state that Adam and Eve enjoyed before they sinned and the ensuing consequences of sin that all their descendants inherited.
15 Things You Should Know About The Garden Of Eden
1. It Was Our Original Parents’ First Dwelling Place
The Garden of Eden was man’s original home. Genesis 1:27 reads, “God created mankind in His own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them.” Adam and Eve are believed to be our original ancestors (Genesis 2), and technically, our parents as well. In Genesis 2:8, God intended to put them there to live with and look after His creation.
2. It Gave Adam And Eve Purpose
Adam’s duty was to maintain the place (Genesis 2:15). There was undoubtedly a purpose for his God-given life beyond his relationship with God. This is also true for us. God made us because he has a purpose or mission for us to fulfill.
3. The Paradise Provided Them With All Their Needs
God permitted Adam to eat from the trees in the garden. Indeed, God supplies us with everything we need to fulfill the tasks (our purpose here on earth) that He has assigned to us.
4. Adam And Eve Experienced Fellowship Here With God
Aside from companionship, there was also fellowship in the Garden of Eden. Every day, especially during the Sabbath, it is believed that Adam and Eve would spend time talking to their Creator and making bonds with the animals.
5. It Brought Adam And Eve Happiness
Remember, there was no sin in the world at that time, so mankind and nature lived in a perfect environment. They found pleasure in their pure fellowship with God, and they also found happiness in accomplishing what God desired them to do.
6. It Was Not Fully Guarded
The Garden of Eden, as lovely as it was, was still prone to wickedness and deceit. This becomes clear when we find that Satan took the body of a snake, which allowed him to tempt Eve and eventually taint God’s paradise with sin.
7. It Was Incomplete
The Garden of Eden was spotless, organized, and inhabited, but it was also described in Genesis 1 and 2 that it wasn’t yet what God had in mind for His creation. Eden was pure, yet unfinished.
8. The Paradise Was Growing
Genesis 1:28 hints to us that God intended for His paradise to grow with Adam and Eve at His command. Eden would expand beyond its existing borders as the two of them labored and maintained the garden. Here, the splendor of Adam and Eve’s royal authority would have prospered.
9. It Was In The East
God created the Garden of Eden in the eastern region before the Flood occurred (Genesis 2:8). The Flood, however, destroyed the original planet’s appearance, making it impossible to identify the exact spot of Eden following the Fall of Man.
10. Four Great Rivers Flowed Through This Garden
All four rivers mentioned before were headwaters that nourished the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 2:10–14, it is said that Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates are the names of these rivers.
11. It Was Home To The Tree Of Life And The Forbidden Tree (Knowledge Of Evil And Good)
God created various types of trees that were pleasing to look at and useful for nourishment in the garden (Genesis 2:9). The Lord God planted these trees at the center of paradise, even the forbidden tree.
12. Adam And Eve Were Tested Here
The snake put their commitment and dedication to God to trial. In Genesis 3:4–5, Eve trusted the snake when it said, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
13. The First Sin Of Man Was Committed Here
“When Eve saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom,” she “took some and ate it” (Genesis 3:6). God let the first humans suffer the repercussions of their sin.
14. It Was Locked Following Adam And Eve’s Fall
Our first parents were removed from the blessed paradise because of their sin (Genesis 3:23). Even more, the heavenly beings who had been chosen to watch over them were now assigned to guard the doors of the Garden of Eden.
15. Its Restoration Will Happen In The Coming Years
A brand-new heaven and earth would be created: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:1–2). With God’s presence, Eden will be rebuilt more beautifully than before.
Despite several attempts, nobody has been successful in pinpointing the exact spot in the Garden of Eden. Something we are certain of is that this will be replaced with a brand-new paradise. God’s goal of everlasting connection and companionship with his people who adore him will be attained once more, and this time it will endure forever.
Regardless of the multiple views and beliefs surrounding the Garden of Eden, a single truth prevails above the rest. Is our current way of living leading us to enter God’s paradise in the future? Whether we know its exact location or not, let us continue to be good followers of Christ so we can live our eternal life in His paradise.