As I walked around my house this past week, you know during the “polar vortex” everyone can’t shut up about -seriously, we can’t actually have “cold” in the winter without them calling it something that sounds scary- ,I had a simple thought that it must have been super warm in the Garden of Eden. Why? Because there is NO way I would be walking around naked in that chilly air! I was bundled up even indoors with thermo socks, slippers, sweat pants, and a sweat shirt. Anyway, it started out just a thought and then curiosity struck. What was the Garden of Eden like anyway? The Bible doesn’t have a whole lot to say, but there are a few assumptions that can be made:
1. It was warm because Adam and Eve were naked after all ;)- Genesis 3:10, “I was afraid, because I was naked and I hid myself.”
2. There was no rain, only a mist that watered the ground-Genesis 2:6, “and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground.”
3. There was awesome food on the trees- Genesis 2:9, “and out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.”- So they were vegetarians then, because we know there was no death.
4. There were rivers flowing through the garden to water it- Genesis 2: 10, “A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.”
5. There was gold in the land- Genesis 2:11, ” It is the one that flowed around the whold land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there.” An interesting side note in the ESV study bible is that this gold from the land was later used in the making of the tabernacle and temple.
6. It was in the Middle East- Genesis 2:14, “the name of the third river is the Tigris , which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.”
7. The land needed to be tended to- Genesis 2:15, ” The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”
* I thought this was interesting because work is a good thing! It wasn’t as a result of sin, but it was something for man to do. Working the garden was preparing and keeping it, having dominion over it and subduing it.
So it looks to have been in that area, the middle east where much conflict reigns, according to the account in Genesis. When you look at some documentation on Assyria the climate looked to have been warm in the summer and cold in the winter. So can we can rule out that winter came because of the “fall of man?!” That was an obvious question of mine, did winter come BECAUSE of the fall? I get that some people like the winter, but it does make things more difficult. A person must find heat, creatures hibernate, the ground is more difficult to work with, fruit on the trees wouldn’t grow, etc.. I guess we really wouldn’t know because it didn’t take Adam and Eve long to become tempted. I wouldn’t have been much better at staying out of sin, but maybe we’ll get into that with another blog ;).
**Just a note, the other two rivers (Pishon and Gihon) are unknown in location and that is assuming the modern Tigris and Euphrates are the same as they were. Keep in mind that the flood would have changed the land structure significantly from then to now. So, in short, nobody knows where the garden would have been, but there is new news that the area may have been discovered. Iraq calls it the central marshes and are in the process of restoring the area: http://news.yahoo.com/bible-garden-eden-found-restored-142042240.html I can’t wait to hear more about this area.