Some questions remain unanswered. One of these questions has to do with where the garden of Eden was located. In Genesis we read about God, who created heaven and earth. He concludes His creation with the following statement, that shows His contentment:
“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good….”
(Genesis 1:31 ESV)
But the story goes on. In chapter 2, we read about the creation of man. God puts man in a garden, called Eden:
“And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.”
(Genesis 2:8 ESV)
We read about “a garden in Eden.” Where is this? To be honest, we can’t give you the exact location of this garden. We just simply don’t know it. But doesn’t the Bible tell us more about Eden? Yes it does:
“A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.”
(Genesis 2:10-14 ESV)
Because of these verses, it is probable that the garden of Eden was located at some place in the country that is nowadays called Iraq. But again, it is impossible to say precisely where the garden of Eden was located.
Eden isn’t about the location, it’s about the meaning of life
It seems that the exact location of the garden is not that important to us. Rather, we should focus on the relevance of the garden of Eden for our lives, as the Bible portrays it. In Eden, man was perfect. He walked joyous and sinless with God. The name Eden probably refers to a life of luxury or pleasure. This would be a striking description of the life lived by Adam and Eve before they sinned against God. This brings us to the “dark side” of Eden. Man sinned, and came under dominion of death and sin (Romans 5:12).
The second Eden will come
But God’s glory shines forth – even in this dark moment of sin. He shows His grace by promising salvation. There will come a Redeemer. The apostle Paul writes:
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:20-21 ESV)
This “freedom of the glory of the children of God” will be experienced by those who trust in the One and Only Savior that God has promised in the garden of Eden – His Son Jesus Christ. Only because of the finished work – His redemptive sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection – it is possible to enjoy fellowship with God in the presence of God. This New Jerusalem will be a place of “luxury and pleasure.” There will be a great multitude that no one can number, see Revelation 7:9 – that will sing and boast only in the blood of the Lamb.
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