Many people throughout the ages have wondered where the location of the Garden of Eden once stood on earth. The Genesis account gives us a general idea that the garden was somewhere in the middle east region due to the reference of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (Genesis 2:14) which are currently flowing through this area of the world today.
But what if I told you that the bible also pinpoints the exact location of where the garden once stood through various texts from the scriptures and the ancient prophets. Lets take a look at these passages from Gods word and discover the original location of this once paradise on earth.
Our first clue to discover the location of the Garden of Eden is found in the creation account. Take a look at Genesis 2:10-Genesis 2:14:
- 10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there as well. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
If you look carefully, you’ll notice that when God made the garden, He put a river in the garden to water it. Once that river left the garden, it then divided into four different rivers; the Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates. Now this passage doesn’t exactly tell us the true location of the garden, but it does give us a key piece of information that will help us later as we uncover the gardens location: the river that flowed ‘through’ the garden.
When a river splits, one of the rivers becomes a new body of water, but the other would typically retain the name of the original river. This is exactly what happened here. Out of the four rivers, one of them was the original river that flowed through the garden. But which of the four rivers mentioned above was it?
We’ll come back to that later, for now let’s look at other passages in Gods word that will help us identify the true location of the Garden of Eden. Take a look at Joel 2:1-Joel 2:3:
- Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the Lord is coming, For it is at hand: 2 A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, The like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them, Even for many successive generations. 3 A fire devours before them, And behind them a flame burns; The land is like the Garden of Eden before them, And behind them a desolate wilderness; Surely nothing shall escape them.
This passage is referring to a future event (the day of the Lord is coming) when God will bring judgement upon the land of Zion which is another name for Jerusalem. But verse 3 tells us that Zion (Jerusalem) is like the Garden of Eden. The word ‘is‘ used in this verse is italicized, meaning that it was not apart of the original text. So the way it actually reads is, “The land like the Garden of Eden before them.” The prophet Joel here was referencing Zion to that of the garden.
Now look at Isaiah 51:3:
- 3 For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
Again in Ezekiel 36:35:
- 35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
Isaiah and Ezekiel, both prophets of God, also referenced Zion as the Garden of Eden. So was Jerusalem the original location of this garden of paradise? To further bring this together, lets go back to the river that flowed through the Garden of Eden.
1 Kings 1:33-1 Kings 1:34 says:
- 33 The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: 34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet there anoint him king over Israel. Then blow the trumpet and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’
In this passage, King David ordered Zadok the priest to take his son Solomon to the river that flowed through the City of David (another name for Jerusalem) and anoint him as the new King of Israel. And the river is the Gihon! This is further confirmed in 2 Chronicles 32:30 and in 2 Chronicles 33:14, where the Gihon is associated with both a river and the City of David:
- 30 It was Hezekiah who stopped the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah was successful in everything that he did. – 1 Chronicles 32:30
- 14 Afterward he built an outer wall for the city of David west of Gihon, in the valley, and for the entrance into the Fish Gate, and carried it around Ophel, and raised it to a very great height. – 2 Chronicles 33:14
The Gihon river, one of the four rivers that were divided from the original river that flowed through the Garden of Eden, is the river that was was in the garden and is the same river that flows through Jerusalem even to this day known as the Gihon spring. Furthermore, since the prophets Joel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel all referenced Jerusalem as the garden, and since we know that all scripture is absolute and true (John 17:17 / Psalm 19:7) we may conclude that Zion, the city of David, is the original location of the Garden of Eden.
Please email me if you have any questions regarding the information I just shared. You can find my contact information under the “contact” tab on my homepage.
And always remember, why is it important to study Bible prophecy? Because never have we been closer than today..