Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden (from גַּן עֵדֶן) is described in the Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. This garden forms part of the creation story and theodicy of the Abrahamic religions.
The creation story in Genesis relates the geographical location of both Eden and the garden to four rivers (Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, Euphrates), and three regions (Havilah, Assyria, and Cush [often translated as Ethiopia]Cite error: Closing
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Eden is also tied with Jerusalem by the prophet Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 28:13-14, he recorded, "You were in Eden, the garden of God;" ... "You were on the holy mount of God." In most Jewish and Christian traditions, "the holy mount of God" is Mt. Moriah, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (see (Isaiah|2:2-2:3), (Psalm|48:1-2) e.g.). Furthermore, Ezekiel records a vision of a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem with a river flowing from under its threshold (47:1-12) towards the Dead Sea, bringing life to that which is dead. Because of its supernatural nature, this river has been associated with the "river of life"Cite error: Closing
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<ref> tag According to Joseph Smith, Adam and Eve traveled 85 miles north to the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman after they had transgressed and were driven from the Garden. Deseret News, 10-25, 1895 (Letter Benjamin F. Johnson)</ref> (Adam-ondi-Ahman is sometimes mistakenly associated with the location of the garden itself). As for its location in the western hemisphere, some Latter-day Saints have presumed the continents were not yet separate before the Great Flood See, e.g., Mark E. Petersen, Noah and the Flood, 78 and that this approach would be consistent with the configuration of the super-continent Pangaea.<ref>Frank B. Salisbury, The Creation, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 176 (1976). While geologists consider that the continents had separated by the Cretaceous period, some Latter-day Saints and other Christians have pointed to the account in Genesis which states that the earth was "divided" in the days of Peleg.Genesis 10:25.
In the Pearl of Great Price, it is claimed that there were lands and rivers that were given names later attached to other lands and rivers as in the Book of Genesis. Moses 3:10-14. The geographic descriptions of Eden in the Bible would therefore refer to entirely different lands and rivers than those carrying the same names today, whose names were transposed after the biblical flood to local lands and rivers in the Near East. By one account Joseph Smith taught that Noah built the ark near modern-day South Carolina "...according to the words of the Prophet Joseph, mankind in that age continued to emigrate eastwardly until they reached the country on or near the Atlantic coast; and that in or near Carolina Noah built his remarkable ship, in which he, his family, and all kinds of animals lived a few days over one year without coming out of it." (Oliver B. Huntington, The Juvenile Instructor (November 15, 1895, pp. 700-701) "The place or country where Noah's ark was built was designated in my hearing by the Prophet Joseph Smith as being in or near South Carolina." (Oliver B. Huntington journal excerpt in Hyrum L. Andrus and Helen Mae Andrus, comps., They Knew the Prophet [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1974], 65.) . Thus, it is argued, the offspring of Noah populated the eastern hemisphere. See also: Journal of Discourses 11:336-337; Alvin R. Dyer, The Refiner's Fire, 111, 167; Bruce R. McConkie, Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man, 622; Genesis 2:13, 15, 22; D&C 116; D&C 117:8-9. Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff: History of his Life and Labors, Bookcraft, p. 481
Eden as paradise
"Paradise" (Hebrew פרדס PaRDeS) used as a synonym for the Garden of Eden shares a number of characteristics with words for 'walled orchard garden' or 'enclosed hunting park' in an ancient Persian language. This word "paradise" occurs three times in the Old Testament, but always in contexts other than a connection with Eden: in the Song of Solomon iv. 13: "Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard" ;Ecclesiastes 2. 5: "I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits";and in Nehemiah ii. 8: "And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's orchard, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me. ". In the Song of Solomon, it is clearly "garden;" in the second and third examples "park." In the post-Exilic apocalyptic literature and in the Talmud, "paradise" gains its associations with the Garden of Eden and its heavenly prototype. In the Pauline Christian New Testament, there is an association of "paradise" with the realm of the blessed (as opposed to the realm of the cursed) among those who have already died, with literary Hellenistic influences observed by numerous scholars. The Greek Garden of the Hesperides was somewhat similar to the Christian concept of the Garden of Eden, and by the 16th century a larger intellectual association was made in a Cranach painting. In his painting, only the action that takes place there identifies the setting as distinct from the Garden of the Hesperides, with its golden fruit.
Alan Millard has hypothesized that the Garden of Eden does not represent a geographical place, but rather represents cultural memory of "simpler times", when man lived off God's bounty (as "primitive" hunters and gatherers still do) as opposed to toiling at agriculture (being "civilized"). The Etymology of Eden, Vetus Testamentum|volume=34|issue=1|pps. 103-106) Of course there is much dispute between Judeo-Christian and secular scholars as to the plausibility of this idea - the refuting claim being that cultivation and agricultural work were present both before and after the "Garden Life".
The Second Book of Enoch, of late but uncertain date, states that both Paradise and Hell are accommodated in the third sphere of heaven, Shehaqim, with Hell being located simply " on the northern side:" see Seventh Heaven.
Eden as a Kingdom
The structure and order defined by God in the Garden of Eden is also believed to have been the early structure for the Kingdom of God. Immediately following the creation of Man, God commands them to "fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground" Gen|1:28. The obvious references to domination are important to the Christian view of Man's relation to nature and Man's role in the Kingdom of God.
Later, in Chapter 3, the "Fall of Man" is followed by the pronouncement of a curse. This curse contains references to the enmity between the Kingdom and its subjects—as had been described in 1:28—that would affect the kingdom unto the present day: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers." which is immediately followed by a statement foretelling the future reign of Jesus and his restoration of the perfect kingdom, "he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel" Gen|3:15.
Eden in art
Garden of Eden motifs most frequently portrayed in illuminated manuscripts and paintings are the "Sleep of Adam" ("Creation of Eve"), the "Temptation of Eve" by the Serpent, the "Fall of Man" where Adam takes the fruit, and the "Expulsion". The idyll of "Naming Day in Eden" was less often depicted. Much of Milton's Paradise Lost occurs in the Garden of Eden. Also, in the film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Captain Spock has a painting hanging in his room he calls "Expulsion from Paradise", depicting Adam and Eve being expelled from Eden. He explains to a fellow member of the crew that it is a personal reminder that all things must end.
- "Ethiopia" is used as the name for Cush in the King James Version and the Douay-Rheims Bible
- Random House Webster's College Dictionary (1992) New York:Random House.
- a b A. R. Millard (January 1984). "The Etymology of Eden". Vetus Testamentum 34 (1): 103-106.
- Satellite image
- The Pishon River - Found. by C.A. Salabach at Focus Magazine
- The Pishon River - Found. by C.A. Salabach at Focus Magazine
- Kaplan, Aryeh. Jerusalem Eye of the Universe. Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. (1993). ISBN 1879016125, for example
- Michas, Peter. The Rod of an Almond Tree in God's Master Plan. Wine Pr. Publishing, 2nd edition (1997). ISBN 1579210074
- Kaplan, Aryeh. Waters of Eden. National Conference of Synagogue Youth of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. (1982). ASIN B0006YQYN2
- Bruce A. Van Orden, “I Have a Question: What do we know about the location of the Garden of Eden?”, Ensign, Jan. 1994, 54–55; see also Andrew Jenson, Historical Record, 7:438-39 (1888); Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 219 (1967); Joseph Fielding Smith, Bruce R. McConkie (ed.) Doctrines of Salvation, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 3:74 (1954-56); Heber C. Kimball, "Advancement of the Saints", Journal of Discourses 10:235 (1863); Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young to Orson Hyde, March 15, 1857 (1830- ); Wilford Woodruff, Susan Staker (ed.), Waiting for the World to End: The Diaries of Wilford Woodruff, Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 305 (1993); John A. Widtsoe, G. Homer Durham (ed.), Evidences and Reconciliations, 396-397 (1960)
- Doctrine & Covenants 57:1-3; Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 19-20
- Moses 3:8
- Deseret News, 10-25, 1895 (Letter Benjamin F. Johnson)
- See, e.g., Mark E. Petersen, Noah and the Flood, 78
- Frank B. Salisbury, The Creation, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 176 (1976).
- Genesis 10:25.
- Moses 3:10-14.
- ...according to the words of the Prophet Joseph, mankind in that age continued to emigrate eastwardly until they reached the country on or near the Atlantic coast; and that in or near Carolina Noah built his remarkable ship, in which he, his family, and all kinds of animals lived a few days over one year without coming out of it." (Oliver B. Huntington, The Juvenile Instructor (November 15, 1895, pp. 700-701)
- "The place or country where Noah's ark was built was designated in my hearing by the Prophet Joseph Smith as being in or near South Carolina." (Oliver B. Huntington journal excerpt in Hyrum L. Andrus and Helen Mae Andrus, comps., They Knew the Prophet [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1974], 65.)
- See also: Journal of Discourses 11:336-337; Alvin R. Dyer, The Refiner's Fire, 111, 167; Bruce R. McConkie, Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man, 622; Genesis 2:13, 15, 22; D&C 116; D&C 117:8-9. Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff: History of his Life and Labors, Bookcraft, p. 481
- Online book notes the Garden of Eden was located on what is now the North American continent.
- Smithsonian article on the geography of the Tigris-Euphrates region
- Eden as a precursor of political utopianism
- Review of the Young Earth Creationist Book "After Eden"
- Tas Walker "Has the Garden of Eden Been Found?"
- Many translations of II Kings 19:12
- Moses 3:8