Lamassu statue dating to the Neo-Assyrian period. Courtesy of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
By Petros Koutoupis. Brenton, Lancelot C. The Septuagint with Apocrypha. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Koutoupis, Petros.
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Biblical Origins: An Adopted Legacy. College Station: Virtualbookworm. Millard, A. Rogers, Robert W. A History of Babylonia and Assyria: Volume 2. Long Beach: Lost Arts Media, Petros Koutoupis is an author and an independent historical researcher, focusing predominantly on the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age periods of the Eastern Mediterranean and general Near East.
Fluent in modern Greek, Petros has additional knowledge in languages that Read More. It is the rage currently among scholars to deny any association between Sumerian Edin and Hebrew 'eden. The Tell el Fekhariyah statue has the Aramaic word 'dn, translated to mean :wealth, luxuriance," and thus an allusion to Genesis' 'eden as a type of luxurious paradise.
I understand scolars are correct, Hebrew 'eden is derived etymologically from Aramaic 'dn. But, I also uunderstand that Sumerian Edin is what is behind, in part Genesis' 'eden. How so? Motifs shared between 'eden and edin: 1 A location's name, 2 a god's garden exists IN eden, 3 this location is watered by two streams the Euphrates and Hidekkel, 4 in Edin a man loses at a chance to obtain immortality but acquires godly-forbidden wisdom, 5 a naked man and woman in edin, leave clothed, abandoning herbivore animals as companions for the man.
All the motifs asociated with edin appear in Genesis' 'eden. My book available via Amazon. My research suggests that as many as 10 locations in Mesopotamian myths have been fused together and made into the Bible's Garden of Eden myth. The Hebrews are repudiating Mesopotamian polytheism's Edin and its constellation of fictional characters and making of all this a Monotheistic Garden of Eden account, Edin has become Eden, the gods and goddesses of Eden are recast as one god, Yahweh, several fictional characters in Mesopotamia's Edin have been fused together into new fictional characters: Adam, Eve, God, the Serpent, and the Cherubbim.
Garden of Eden: Paradise lost -- and found
What a shame to all mankind that the ISIS terrorist faction has destroyed many of the artifacts in the area, such as Lamassu statue you have pictured above. The anunnaki, who came from the planet Nibiru, came to earth k years ago. Ancient Origins has been quoted by:. By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us.
We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. Skip to main content. Human Origins. Garden of Eden. Login or Register in order to comment.
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Walter R. Mattfeld wrote on 15 July, - Permalink. Matteld wrote on 7 July, - Permalink. Bob Meyers wrote on 1 May, - Permalink. Avery wrote on 27 October, - Permalink. Even in Moses' day there was no longer a single river which fed these four headwaters. The Scriptures teach that this central source of water will appear only in the end of time. Yet, Moses' reference to the four rivers which were fed by this central source gives us an approximate picture of where he believed Eden had been located.
We can identify the Tigris and Euphrates mentioned in with the region of the modern day Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The fact that Genesis refers to these rivers has suggested to most modern interpreters that Genesis agrees with Babylonian mythology that Eden was in the region of Mesopotamia. In the Babylonian language, Edin means "a plain," or "open flatland," a term well suited for the lower Tigris-Euphrates region.
In Hebrew, however, eden does not mean "a plain"; it means "a pleasant or delightful place. He used a Hebrew word that sounded like the Babylonian word for Eden, but his concept of this place was not the same. In fact, the account of Genesis explicitly states that Eden was not limited to Mesopotamia. As we saw in Genesis , the Tigris and Euphrates flowed from a greater river which was located in Eden.
We read in verse This passage teaches that the river of Eden fed the Tigris and Euphrates, not that Eden was limited to the Tigris-Euphrates region. Moses mentioned the Tigris and Euphrates to provide a general orientation toward the eastern most extent of Eden. The great rivers in the east marked the eastern boundary region of Eden. This outlook is confirmed by the locations of the other rivers mentioned in Genesis 2. In , 13, Moses mentioned another pair of rivers. He wrote that the river of Eden fed the Pishon, which winds through the Havilah, and it also fed the Gihon, which winds through the entire land of Cush.
We cannot be sure precisely how Moses understood these rivers in relation to the great river Nile, but it is safe to say that he pointed to the region of northern Egypt as the western border of Eden. So we can see in Moses' outlook Eden was no small place. It was a large area extending from the Tigris-Euphrates to the border of Egypt — nearly all of the region we now call the Fertile Crescent. Within this pleasant place was a special garden, the Garden of Eden, the centerpiece of the large territory of Eden.
At first Moses' identification of Eden with the Fertile Crescent may not seem very important. But in reality, it is critical to understanding the significance of Eden for Israel as Moses wrote the book of Genesis. Elsewhere in the book of Genesis, Moses referred back to Genesis 2 to teach Israel that the land of Eden, the Fertile Crescent, was the land God promised to Israel, the land to which he was taking them.
This perspective became especially clear when God spoke to Abraham in Genesis Listen to the way God described the borders of the Promised Land in this passage. We see here on the one hand that God promised Abraham that his land would extend to the Tigris-Euphrates region, and it would also reach to "the river of Egypt. In all events, it is evident that this verse alludes to the geographical boundaries of Eden as they appear in Genesis 2.
This allusion to Genesis 2 makes it clear that Moses believed God had promised Abraham and his descendants the land that was once known as the land of Eden. From Moses' point of view, as Israel moved toward Canaan, they actually moved toward the location of the primeval land of Eden. In order to highlight the importance of Israel going to Eden, Moses stressed the holy character of that place.
He pointed to the holiness of Eden to teach Israel that the Promised Land to which he was leading them was the place where they could receive the blessing of entering into the special presence of God. The primary way in which Moses conveyed the holiness of Eden was to describe it in terms that he also used to describe the tabernacle. Although God is omnipresent, and lives in every place in a general sense, Moses built a tabernacle where God came in a special way to meet with his people, and at this tabernacle God would display his presence, give his law, receive the worship of his people and bless them with his favor.
So, when Moses depicted the Garden of Eden in terms which he also used to describe the tabernacle, he revealed that Eden, and thus Canaan, was the place of God's special presence on earth. There, Israel could receive the great blessings of God. At least seven aspects of Eden indicate that it was a holy place of God's special presence, much like the tabernacle. First, in Moses used a special expression when he said that God "was walking in the garden.
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This terminology is significant because it is one of the special ways in which Moses described God's presence at the tabernacle in Leviticus and other passages. Second, in we read about the Tree of Life as a central feature of the Garden of Eden. This sacramental tree held the power to give eternal life to those who ate from it.
Although the Bible does not say this explicitly, recent archaeological research has noted that many sites in the ancient world had stylized images of the Tree of Life in sacred places. This evidence strongly suggests that the menorah, the seven-pronged lampstand of Moses' tabernacle, was most likely a stylized representation of the Tree of Life. In this way, the Garden of Eden is shown to be the original holy place on earth. A third way in which Moses noted the holiness of Eden was his focus on gold and onyx in the region.
In we learn that gold and onyx were bountiful in the region of Eden. As we might expect, Exodus 25—40 mention gold and onyx as important parts of the tabernacle construction. A fourth connection between the Garden of Eden and the tabernacle is the presence of cherubim or angels. According to God placed cherubim in the Garden of Eden to guard against access to the Tree of Life. In a similar way, cherubim appear throughout the decorations of the tabernacle in passages such as Exodus and These cherubim reminded Israel not only of the angels in heaven but also the angels guarding the holy place in Eden.
Fifth, we read in that the entrance of Eden was "in the east," that is, on the eastern side. This fact may seem insignificant until we realize that according to Exodus and a number of other passages, the main entrance for the tabernacle was also on the eastern side. This was the case with most temples in the Ancient Near East. Once again, Eden is shown to be a holy dwelling of God. Sixth, Moses spoke of Adam's service in Eden with language that he used elsewhere for Levitical service in the tabernacle.
In Moses described Adam's responsibility in the garden in this way:. These terms also appear together in Numbers and There, Moses described the work of the Levites in the tabernacle using the same expressions. Adam and Eve served as priests in the Garden of Eden. Seventh, it is significant that the formation of the Garden of Eden took place after the six days of creation. As we saw in the preceding lesson, the six days of creation climaxed in God's Sabbath observance in Genesis Interestingly enough, according to Exodus and following, Moses spent six days on the mountain with God, and God gave him the instructions to build the tabernacle on the seventh day.
These seven features of Eden show that Moses considered the Garden of Eden to be a holy place much like the tabernacle.
The Garden of Eden; or The Paradise Lost & Found
It was the location of God's special presence in the world. To be near that place was to near the blessings of God. As we have already seen, Moses believed that Canaan was the location of Eden. As a result, in focusing on the holy character of Eden, Moses was also drawing attention to the holy character of Canaan. To be near Canaan was to be near the place God ordained from the beginning as his holy dwelling. One of the best passages for seeing Moses' teaching about this future holy place is Deuteronomy There he wrote these words:.
This passage reveals that one of the central features of Moses' vision of the land of Canaan. He emphasized that one day Canaan would be the location of the permanent dwelling for the presence of God, the temple for Yahweh. To be sure, the land of Canaan in Moses' day was a mere shadow of what Eden had originally been. Even when Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, the Promised Land was still not entirely redeemed from sin nor restored to its original perfection.
Yet, as Moses wrote about the holiness of Eden, he held before the Israelites the vision of what their land could be one day. To reach the Promised Land was to move into the vicinity of Eden, the place of God's holy presence on earth. Just as God placed Adam and Eve in the wonderful temple garden in the beginning, God was now bringing Israel to Canaan, and once they dwelled in that land, the nation would begin to experience the blessings of living in the special presence of God.
Now that we have seen how Moses set forth Adam and Eve's blessings in Eden as a prototype of the grace that awaited Israel in the Promised Land, we are in a position to look at a second topic in Genesis 2 and 3: God's test of Adam and Eve's loyalty. This motif plays a crucial role in Moses' presentation. The theme of loyalty was crucial to Moses' story about Eden.
Although Eden was a place of tremendous blessing, it was also the location that required moral responsibility. Moses emphasized this fact because he wanted the Israelites to remember that the Promised Land to which they were going also required Israel to be loyal to God's commands. To understand why Moses emphasized this theme, we need to explore two issues: the requirement of loyalty in the Garden of Eden, and the requirement of loyalty in Canaan. The motif of loyalty in the garden appears very early in Genesis 2 and it reappears time and again throughout chapters 2 and 3, and in many respects, it is the central theme of these chapters.
Listen to the way God challenged Adam to fidelity in Genesis Now, it is not altogether clear why God restricted our first parents from this particular tree; after all, knowing good and evil is prized in other parts of Scripture. Yet, despite this uncertainty, it is clear that God was testing Adam and Eve to see if they would be loyal to him.
If Adam and Eve were obedient, they would receive even greater blessings from God. But if they proved defiant, they would suffer God's judgment. Eden was a holy place and the people living there had to be holy as well. By focusing on the test of loyalty in the Garden of Eden, Moses stressed a parallel requirement of loyalty for the Israelites whom he led toward the Promised Land. As Moses led Israel toward the Promised Land, he frequently warned them that God required them to be faithful to him.
Moses succinctly summarized his teaching on this matter in the eighth chapter of Deuteronomy. We read these words in Deuteronomy From this passage it is clear that God required Israel to be loyal to him in order that they might enter and possess the land of Canaan. In fact, all through the wilderness wanderings of the nation, God tested the Israelites to teach them how to be holy. In Deuteronomy we read these words:.
Beyond this, Moses also made it clear that once the nation of Israel came to the holy land they had to remain loyal to God or they would lose this privilege. Listen to the way he put it in Deuteronomy Moses knew that the Israelites were prone to rebel against God's commands, just like Adam and Eve. And because of these tendencies, Moses focused on Adam and Eve's test in the garden to warn that God required loyalty of everyone who wished to dwell in Canaan.
Of course, God did not require perfection from Israel and it was only by God's grace that anyone was able to remain faithful. Yet, if Israel flagrantly violated the laws of God and turned away from him, like Adam and Eve did in the garden, they would not be able to enjoy the blessings of the Promised Land. As Moses encouraged Israel to move forward toward the Land of Promise, he was concerned that they remember this feature of life in the land. With the teaching of Deuteronomy 8 in mind, we can see Moses' main reason for focusing on the loyalty required of Adam and Eve.
He stressed this matter to inspire the Israelites to reverse what Adam and Eve had done by remaining faithful to the commands of God. Adam and Eve were tested in the garden and were driven out because they sinned. In Moses' day, Israel was still outside the Garden of Eden, but God tested them to prepare the nation to re-enter Eden and to dwell there in God's blessing. So we see that Moses wrote about the test of loyalty in the Garden of Eden, he not only explained to Israel what had happened long ago in the primeval days of Adam and Eve.
He also explained what was happening in his own day. God was offering to Israel the wonderful blessing of life in the Garden of Eden. Yet, just like with Adam and Eve, they could not enjoy these blessings unless they were loyal to God. Moses was calling Israel to live by faith as a holy people, fully devoted to the commands of God. Only then could they hope to enter the land and stay there in peace. So far we have seen how Moses portrayed the land of Eden and the land of Canaan as the place of God's blessing on earth, and we have also seen how he conveyed the idea that both lands required loyal service from those who dwelled within them.
Now we are going to focus on a third dimension of the original meaning of Genesis 2 and 3 for Israel: the consequences of Adam and Eve's disloyalty. To see the consequences of infidelity in the garden, we will look at three results of Adam and Eve's sin: death, pain, and exclusion. In the first place, Moses explained that God threatened Adam and Eve with death as a consequence of sin. This motif first appears in God's warning to Adam in Genesis There, God said:. The words "you will surely die" comprise a phrase that indicates the certainty of the death to come.
This grammatical construction is very similar to the way Moses' law threatened capital punishment. When Mosaic Law threatened capital punishment against perpetrators of serious crimes, Moses declared, "he will surely die," or "they will surely die. God was not saying that Adam and Eve would die immediately, but that death would certainly follow sin. In this light we may understand God's threat to Adam in Genesis as stating that Adam would come under a sentence of death.
He would be condemned to die. Moses certainly wrote of this consequence of Adam's sin to explain how death came into the world, but his purpose was also more directly related to the experience of the Israelites to whom he wrote. They were well acquainted with death. Moses' readers had seen most of the first generation leaving Egypt die in the wilderness because they rebelled against God. As Moses wrote in Numbers Once again, we see the language "they would surely die" which alludes to the law of Moses and the account of Adam and Eve in the Garden.
In this respect, the Israelites, hearing the story of Adam and Eve, could connect their experience of death in the wilderness with Adam and Eve's violation of God's command. The consequences of infidelity to the command of God in the garden had been a sentence of death on humanity's first parents, and the same sentence still stood over the Israelites who proved to be severely unfaithful to the commands of God in Moses' day.
When we read the account of Genesis, it is clear that death did not come immediately to Adam and Eve. God first confined Adam and Eve to an existence characterized by pain. On the one hand, we read these words in Genesis On the other hand, God also afflicted Adam with painful living.
We read these words to Adam in Genesis Of all the things that Moses could have said about the consequences of sin in the garden, this twofold focus on human pain fit well with his purpose in writing this account to Israel. They had experienced the kinds of pain mentioned here as they remained outside the land of Canaan. But listen to the way Moses described life in the Promised Land. In short, Moses was taking Israel to a place where the pain they had experienced outside of Canaan would be relieved.
Consequently, when Moses wrote of the pain that came to Adam and Eve, he called his Israelite readers to avoid infidelity, which resulted in pain, and to be faithful to the Lord so they could return to Canaan and could experience the joy of life in the blessings of God. A third effect of Adam and Eve's disloyalty appears in Consider the words of Genesis This passage makes it clear that the Tree of Life was able to make humanity "live forever.
Yet, God did not want Adam and Eve to eat at this time. They were excluded from the garden and its Tree of Life. It is important for us to remember that access to the Tree of Life was not forbidden to humanity forever. The rest of Scripture makes it clear that those who are faithful to God will eventually be able to eat from this tree. Listen to what the apostle John said about the Tree of Life in Revelation Now John spoke of the end of time when Christ returns to earth.
Yet, his words explain why Moses wrote about this tree to Israel. In Genesis 1 God creates all the vegetation, then the animals, and finally both the man and the woman at the same time. Genesis 2 has God creating the man first, and then creating the plants, then the animals, and finally the woman. This means that our lives—our humanity, our capacity to love, celebrate, reason, think—to be, is a gift from God.
The fact that we are made by God from the dust of the earth is also meant to lead us to humility—from dust we come and to dust we will return. God has created the first human, breathed into him the breath of life, and placed him in the garden. I share this story at every wedding I ever officiate. God gave the man the most wonderful things to eat and drink, and walked with him in the cool of the afternoon. But we need companionship.
Paul was single, but he needed companionship. Jesus was single, but needed companionship. Companionship does not necessarily imply sexuality, but it does imply friendship, relationships, and people to help you along this journey…. The text said that God sought to make a helper for him who was suitable, who was complementary, who corresponded to him. The corresponding and suitable part, as well as the idea of being a helper, point to the idea of companionship—someone whose gifts and abilities complemented his.
The word is used most often in scripture to describe God.