FAQs – The Garden of Eden
You must learn one thing. The world was made to be free in. --David Whyte

Do you really know the location of the Garden of Eden?

Certainly not.  There are a lot of conjectures on this point and not a lot of answers.  I took the opinion of William Willcocks, in his article, “The Garden of Eden and Its Restoration”, as published in The Geographical Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2 (August 1912).  He places the Garden of Eden “on the upper Euphrates between Anah and Hit.  Here must have been the first civilized settlement of the Semites, the ancestors of the children of Israel, as they moved down from the north-west.”  In the Biblical account, Eden is located at the source of a river whose four headwaters include the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers.

It didn’t rain in the Garden.  So why do you have Adam and Eve experiencing a rainstorm in the Garden?

You know, it’s funny.  I was taught that, too, as a child.  Except that I cannot, for the life of me, find a verse reference for this assumption.  Other than Noah’s adventure on the ark, and the simple statement in Genesis 7:11 that the fountains of the deep were opened, and the floodgates of the sky were opened, I cannot find one.  Will you please let me know if you do find one?  Since I’m a biologist at heart, I would think that if God made this world and said it was good, I would like to think that all the laws of nature would apply–green growing things need water, after all–that sort of thing.

I am aware of the Creationists’ view of a canopy over the earth, lending a greenhouse effect to the world back-in-the-day (see the verses they use to support this: Genesis 1:7 & 20, Psalms 136:6), but this is a hypothesis similar to the ones everyone else has to make because…no one was there to see it happen.  Oh, except God.

I thought the Garden of Eden was a perfect place.  Why have you made it messy?

Was the Garden a perfect paradise with no sickness, disease, or pain—as I was taught as a child—or was it a world like ours today, and it is only our minds that have changed?  For this, I used the thought-provoking book Mosquitoes in Paradise: A New Look at Genesis, Jesus and the Meaning of Life by John R. Aurelio, in which he suggests that it is our minds and our visions that have been altered.  Read Elohim’s wording carefully.  Elohim commands Adam and Eve to work the Garden: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”  To many people, this would not signify a perfect place.  After all, who wants to work?  Now, pay close attention to Elohim’s language when he curses Adam and Eve, after they’ve eaten of the forbidden fruit.  To Adam, Elohim says, “…By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground….”  Did Adam’s work in the Garden not cause him to sweat?  Or was it simply easier in the Garden?  Elohim says to Eve (italics mine), “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children….”  In my mind, this means that she had already experienced pain in the Garden.  As my reader will note, all I could do was wonder.