Garden of Eden: Reality, Myth or in Heaven?
by Steve Land
I am looking at the other comments here and as far as I can see there is not ONE of those comments that refers to the biblical text; what does the Word of God say to this issue of the Garden's possible location? Contrary to what some of you guys may think of reading the bible, it could come in handy, simply for arguments sake!
For those that do not know your way around the "regular" bible, look in Genesis chapter 2. Verses 10 - 14, speaks of a river that flowed OUT of EDEN (not out of the Garden OF Eden!), into the Garden from whence it split up into 4 branches. Without doing some in depth research into what land Havilah represented (except that there was gold there), trying to figure out the name Pishon (the first named river), and likewise with the next land and river (the river Gihon and the land Cush which I think is modern day Turkey, I think:-), there are at least 2 rivers mentioned that are well known to most of us; the rivers Tigris, "which flows east of Assyria" (today's Iran) and Euphrates, that at least give us an indication.
Now, without considering the possible location of Eden and the Garden of Eden (Garden does NOT equal Eden), we should keep in mind, that the flood was no very far away with respect to timeline. If you study the first part of Genesis, you will find that yes, people did travel. However, they did not travel far. So they basically stayed in areas that we today would consider Middle East. Why do I come to such a "reckless" conclusion? Simply because I read the bible, and thus I know that not until after the flood and the proceeding "falling away" (evil becoming ever more prevalent in the earth - again, (Nephilims still alive?), after the Tower of Babel was erected by Nimrod, son of Cush (well well, where did we see this name before?!) - and because of this rebellion, God confused their language (now they where unable to conspire against God!) and scattered them - throughout the WHOLE earth. However, up till that time, people basically stayed in that same area.
So what was the location of the Garden of Eden? Well, considering the Bible's "vague" description, the fact that people basically stuck around (Cain did not travel very far, BTW! Why go any further than he had to?!), Reading the account of Abraham and some of the other people (the Sumerians, a very early people/nation, lived i Babylon (in today's Iraq). I would guess that The Garden of Eden was located some place in present day Iraq, or perhaps Turkey.
(the Ark that Noah built supposedly ended up on Mount Ararat.., not far from Iraq at all.
On the other side, since God's creation of the Garden, many things have happened including the flood. So the rivers that are described in Genesis 2:10-2:14, may have seized to exist(?) or perhaps the flood changed flow and direction...
Hard to say - unless you are a geologist, and I'm not. However, there are at least 2 rivers left with the same name.
Anyway, there is something else that obviously should be considered: There were 2 trees in that garden; the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Life. I have a hard time believing that God would have left those 2 trees or the whole garden for that matter. So did He "transport" it into/upto a Heavenly realm? Mmmm, I don't know, but I would not be surprised if He said yes, once I was in Heaven and asked Him.