How well do you know the Garden of Eden?
In this article, you will discover 10 important facts about it.
1) The Garden of Eden Was Located in the East
The Garden of Eden was a land planted by God in the east before the Flood (Genesis 2:8; Siegfried Horn, The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary 302-3).
East? Does it mean it was somewhere in the Middle East?
Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t mention in which region or country it was exactly located.
Well, the Flood in Noah’s time altered the original physical features of the earth, making it difficult to determine the exact location of Eden after the Fall (Francis Nichol, The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, volume 1, page 223).
But, you know, curious minds won’t settle until a mystery is solved.
Modern scholars reviewed the places mentioned in Genesis 2:11-14 and tried to locate them based on today’s geography.
According to that passage, Eden was home to four rivers—Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates.
Among these, Tigris and Euphrates still exist in the Middle East, as the scholars have found out. These rivers run through Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.
Based on this, they claim that Eden could be situated somewhere in that region. Do you believe so?
2) Four Rivers Ran Through It
The four rivers we talked about earlier were headwaters branching out from a river that watered the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:10).
Pishon ran through the entire land of Havilah, where there was gold, resin, and onyx. Gihon ran through the entire land of Cush. And Tigris ran along the east side of Ashur (verses 11-14).
For Euphrates, the Bible doesn’t mention anything. But according to the Britannica Encyclopedia, it flows southeast across Syria and through Iraq.
3) Two Divine Trees Existed Inside
In the Garden of Eden, God made all kinds of trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food (Genesis 2:9).
How would you like to be in such a paradise? Beautiful trees all around you. Fruits ready for you to pick anytime you feel hungry.
Meanwhile, continuing verse 9, two special trees were placed in the middle of the garden. These were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The tree of life “bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month,” and its leaves were “for the healing of the nations” (Ellen White, The Acts of the Apostles 592.2).
On the other hand, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the one God prohibited Adam and Eve to eat from because He didn’t want them to know evil (Ellen White, Education 23.2).
If you were in the Garden of Eden, would you be afraid to come near this tree? Or you would you rather be curious to taste its fruit to know what evil actually was?
4) It Was the Home of Our First Parents
On the sixth day of Creation, “God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27, NIV).
As we all know, they were Adam and Eve, our first parents (Genesis 2; Ellen White, The Adventist Home 25.1).
And God placed them in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8).
There, He took care of them, supplying everything they needed (Genesis 1:29-30; 2:4-25). And He blessed them to multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28).
How do you think Adam and Eve felt knowing they were the first humans on earth from whom humanity would descend from?
5) It Was a Place of Companionship and Fellowship
Imagine how happy and excited Adam was to roam around the Garden of Eden when God created him.
Free to eat from any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Free to mingle with the animals. Free to enjoy everything in the garden (Genesis 2:16, 19-20).
But something was missing. Guess what!
God realized that it was not good for Adam to be alone. So, He decided to “make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18, NIV).
While he was asleep, God took one of his ribs and covered it with flesh. And out of it, He made Eve and brought her to him (Genesis 2:21-22).
How would you feel if you were Adam?
Finally, he had a companion “corresponding to him”—one who “could be one with him in love and sympathy” (Ellen White, The Adventist Home, 25.3).
But aside from companionship, there was also fellowship in the Garden of Eden.
Everyday, especially during Sabbath, Adam and Eve would spend time talking to their Creator and making bonds with the animals (Ellen White, Love Under Fire 7.1; Uriah Smith, The Biblical Institute 123.1).
Such a happy place!
6) It Was a Perfect Place
The Garden of Eden “had all desirable conveniences…Beautiful for situation, the joy and the glory of the whole earth, was this garden: doubtless it was earth in its highest perfection” (Matthew Henry’s Complete Bible Commentary 3.13).
Like Canaan, the Promise Land, Eden had a temperate climate and a fertile soil (Matthew Henry’s Complete Bible Commentary 823.4).
Also, as we’ve learned earlier, all kinds of trees existed in Eden (Genesis 2:9). There were also different kinds of animals, fruits, gemstones, and many others there.
Seemed like an abundant place, wasn’t it?
In fact, it was, because Adam and Eve lacked nothing (Ellen White, Fundamentals of Christian Education 512.5).
And as we’ve mentioned earlier, they were also free to roam around the garden and eat from any tree (Genesis 2:16).
How would you like to be in this paradise?
More importantly, there was no sin in Eden. Adam and Eve would never feel ashamed even if they were naked because they didn’t know anything evil (Genesis 2:17, 25).
Such innocent people in a perfect place!
7) It Became a Place of Test
Behind the innocence and perfection of the Garden of Eden, there existed in the middle the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, as we’ve learned earlier (Genesis 2:9).
It was in this tree where Satan disguised himself through a serpent, the craftiest of all wild animals God has made (Genesis 3:1).
One day, the serpent tempted Eve, saying, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1, NIV).
The woman replied, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die'” (verse 2, NIV).
But the serpent insisted, “You will not certainly die…for God knows that when you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (verses 4-5, NIV).
Who would think that a perfect and innocent place like Eden would be a place of test?
Eve’s loyalty to God and her obedience to His words were being tested by the serpent’s cunning temptation.
Did she give in to the temptation?
8) It Witnessed the First Sin Committed by Man
Eve “saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom.” So, “she took some and ate it” (Genesis 3:6, NIV).
Continuing verse 6, she even gave some to Adam, and he ate it.
And did you know what? Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they realized that they were naked. Ashamed of themselves, they sewed fig leaves and covered their bodies with them (verse 7).
Soon, they heard God walking in the garden.
Oh no! What to do now?
They tried to hide from Him but He called Adam and asked him, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” (verses 8-11).
Instead of confessing his sin, Adam passed on the blame to Eve for giving him the fruit (verse 12).
When God asked Eve why, she blamed the serpent for deceiving her (verse 13).
Funny, no one accepted the blame!
Now, turning to the serpent, God said, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly, and you will eat dust all the days of your life” (verse 14, NIV).
Not only that. God “will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (verse 15, NIV).
And of course, though they were just victims of the serpent’s temptation, God allowed Adam and Eve to reap the consequences of their disobedience.
Eve would experience pain during childbearing and would submit to her husband. On the other hand, Adam would work hard all his life for food (verses 16-19).
9) It Was Closed After the Fall of Adam and Eve
As a consequence of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, God, in His love for them, wanted them to learn their lesson by prohibited them from eating from the tree of life and living forever (Genesis 3:22).
How did He do it?
The angels, who had been appointed to guard Adam before his transgression, were now to guard the gates of paradise and the entrance to the tree of life (Ellen White, Confrontation 15.2).
Then, Adam was banished from Eden (Genesis 3:23).
Wait, for real? Yes.
“Sin drove man from paradise; and sin was the cause of the removal of paradise from the earth” (Ellen White, Confrontation 15.3).
How sad! But God did it out of love and justice.
Now, would Eden be closed forever?
10) It Will Be Restored After the Millennium
The Garden of Eden remained on earth long after the fall of Adam and Eve (Ellen White, The Adventist Home 539.1). Its entrance, however, was only barred by watching angels, as we’ve learned earlier (Genesis 3:24).
Unfortunately, “the tide of iniquity overspread the world, and the wickedness of men determined their destruction by a flood of waters.” Because of this, God withdrew Eden from the earth, Ellen White continued.
That’s so sad. But there’s some good news.
There would be a new heaven and a new earth. The Holy City, the new Jerusalem, would come down from heaven for God would now dwell among His people” (Revelation 21:1-3).
“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (verse 4, NIV).
With this, Eden was to be restored “more gloriously adorned than at the beginning,” Ellen White added.
What a glorious scene to look forward to! How would you like to see this restored Eden?
As we’ve learned, the Garden of Eden:
- Was located in the east
- Was home to 4 rivers
- Had 2 divine trees
- Was the home of Adam and Eve
- Was a place of companionship and fellowship
- Was a perfect place
- Became a place of test
- Witnessed the first sin on earth
- Was closed after the fall of man
- Will be restored after the millennium
We Want to Hear From You
Did you enjoy this article? What have you learned?
Aside from what we mentioned, what else do you know about the Garden of Eden?
Share them all in the comments below.
Learn more about the Garden of Eden by visiting this page about Adam and Eve. You can also find Bible questions and answers related to this topic by taking this Bible study course.
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See you in the next article!