The Eden Garden and the river Pishon
by Belayneh Kassa Wubie
(Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
Pishon & Gihon
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!!!