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Bible Dictionaries

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Eden

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A province in Asia, in which was Paradise. "The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed," Genesis 2:8 . The topography of Eden is thus described: "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison," etc.

This obscure passage has received many different explanations and applications, none of which are fully satisfactory; and now it is impossible to say with certainty where Eden lay. Most writers have sought for it in some elevated and central region, the heights of which would give rise to various rivers flowing off in different directions through lower grounds to their outlets. Such a region exists in the high lands of Armenia, west of Mount Ararat and 5,000 feet above the sea. Here, within a circle but a few miles in diameter, four large rivers rise: the Euphrates, and Tigris, or Hiddekel, flowing south into the Persian Gulf; the Araxes, flowing northeast into the Caspian Sea; and the Phasis, or the Halys, flowing northwest into the Black Sea. This fourth river may have been the Pishon of Eden; and the Araxes may well be the Gihon, since both words mean the same, and describe its dart-like swiftness. This elevated country, still beautiful and fertile, may have been the land of Eden; and in its choicest portion, towards the east, the garden may once have smiled.

Another location of Eden is now preferred by many interpreters-near the spot where the Euphrates and Tigris from a junction after their long wanderings, a hundred and twenty miles north of the Persian gulf, and where the river Ulai flows in from the northeast. This region may have been greatly changed by the lapse of many thousand years, and may now bear little resemblance to the luxuriant and beautiful plain of primeval times. Yet long after the flood the plain of Shinar in the same region attracted the admiration of the sons of Cush, Genesis 10:8-10 ; 11:2 . As two of the rivers of Eden bear the familiar names of the Euphrates and Tigris, it seems probable that it was in one or the other of the regions above named. Wherever it was, it is there no more since the fall and the curse. The first chapters of the Bible show Paradise withdrawn from man's view, and no pilgrimage can discover it upon earth. The last chapters of the Bible restore to our view a more glorious and enduring Paradise: "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life."

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Eden'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/ats/e/eden.html. 1859.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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