A Daily Genesis

Genesis 2:10-14

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 2:10a . . A river issues from Eden to water the garden,[/B]

The verb "issues" is in the present tense; indicating whoever wrote Gen 2:10, did so while the land of Eden yet existed. The authorship of Genesis has yet to be positively established. A verse like 2:10 strongly suggests that the data used to compile Genesis, was progressively accumulated in hand-me-down journals or in oral rote, generated by people who lived prior to the final compiler's input.

The Hebrew word for "river" is [I]nahar[/I] (naw-hawr') which is another of those ambiguous Bible words. It can indicate a stream or a sea and/or metaphorically: prosperity. It was stated previously in Gen 2:6 that the face of the whole ground was watered by fog; which suggests that the Eden river was either an aquifer or something similar to the slow-moving water of the Florida everglades.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 2:10b-11 . . and it then divides and becomes four branches. The name of the first is Pishon, the one that winds through the whole land of Havilah where there is gold,[/B]

The Pishon river has yet to be positively identified.

The Hebrew word for "Havilah" is [I]Chaviylah[/I] (khav-ee-law'); which means circular. It's not only a place-name but also a person-name (e.g. Gen 10:7, Gen 10:29) which may indicate that the land of Havilah was named after an antediluvian individual who settled in that area.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 2:12 . . (The gold of that land is good; bdellium is there, and lapis lazuli.)[/B]

Again, the author used a present tense verb. The gold "is" good, not was good-- strongly suggesting the author actually lived in the period he wrote about.

As a money; gold has intrinsic value, whereas fiat currency as a money is worth little more than the good faith and dependability of the country that issues it. In other words: the US Government could, if it wished, simply outlaw the currency you have on hand and in an instant your paper money would be totally worthless. But gold will never be totally worthless.

Gold is valuable no matter where it comes from but some gold is easier to mine than others and some is a whole lot more plentiful. Placer gold for example is usually in the form of dust and requires dredging, sluicing, and washing. Hard rock gold is better; but requires boring tunnels, rock crushing, and refinement in smelters. I'd say the really good gold is that in the form of nuggets.

However, rather than the quality of Havilah's gold, the author's use of the word "good" might just be saying that its gold is bountiful; as opposed to scarce. Gold can be found just about everywhere, but concentrations of it exist in only a relatively few places.

Bdellium is a gum resin similar to myrrh; obtained from various trees. The author could have been referring to amber; a hard yellowish to brownish translucent fossil resin that takes a fine polish and is used chiefly in making ornamental objects like beads and such. Bdellium was the comparison Moses used to describe the color of manna in Num 11:7.

In ancient Egypt lapis lazuli was a favorite stone for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs; it was also used in ancient Mesopotamia by the Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians, and Babylonians for seals and jewelry. Lapis jewelry has been found at excavations of the Predynastic Egyptian site Naqada (3300–3100 BC), and powdered lapis was used as eye shadow by Cleopatra. In ancient Mesopotamia, lapis artifacts can be found in great abundance, with many notable examples having been excavated at the Royal Cemetery of Ur (2600-2500 BC).

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 2:13 . .The name of the second river is Gihon, the one that winds through the whole land of Cush.[/B]

Cush of the post-Flood world is associated in Scripture with both a region of Arabia and the present-day land of Ethiopia. But the exact geographic site of the Cush of antediluvian days is impossible to know. If it's the same, then we can be pretty sure that the Earth underwent some dramatic geological events in the distant past because it is now impossible for any river in Ethiopia to connect in any way at all with the Tigris and Euphrates rivers of today's world.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 2:14a . .The name of the third river is Tigris, the one that flows east of Asshur.[/B]

According to Assyrian monuments, the Tigris was known to the post Flood ancients as the Chiddekel, or the Hiddekel. Asshur was located in modern-day Iraq south of Mosul on the western bank of the Tigris river in between the Great Zab and the Little Zab rivers.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 2:14b . . And the fourth river is the Euphrates.[/B]

The Tigris and Euphrates rivers of today headwater not too far from Elazig Turkey; flowing roughly (very roughly) parallel to each other from out of Turkey, past Syria and Mesopotamia, and down into modern-day Iraq before joining together and emptying into the Persian Gulf.

The general picture in Genesis 2 is that of a major watercourse (the Eden River) feeding an immense aqua system supplying water to a very large geographic area comprising parts of Turkey, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Nubia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Iraq.

It would appear that the Eden River itself head-watered possibly in what the world today knows as Russia; but it is impossible to tell exactly where it came from because that region no longer generates a south flowing monster river system such as the one from Eden described in Genesis 2.

The third and fourth rivers no longer connect to a larger river that elsewhere branches off and flows to Ethiopia.

It's pretty obvious from the author's geographical descriptions that the world's current topography didn't exist prior to the Flood. The antediluvian world was shaped quite different than the one we live in now. The Tigris and Euphrates of today are but remnants of an ancient irrigation system that at one time made the entire Middle East a very beautiful and fertile region; but to look at it today; you'd never guess it.

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