The past couple of days, I have been watching a documentary on the wonders of nature and one of the wonders mentioned that life began in Eden which is somewhere in the Serengeti in Kenya. Do you think that we can determine the site of the garden of Eden based on what is written in Genesis? Thank you for your help.
Yes, in Genesis we have a detailed description of where the Garden of Eden was located.
7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ; and man became a living being. 8 The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden ; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. 9 Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food ; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden ; and from there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is Pishon ; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is good ; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon ; it flows around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Tigris ; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely ; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2)
So, here are the details that we learn about the Garden of Eden:
1) It was planted by God (in Eden)
2) It is located in the East
3) One river divides into four branches
Today, two of those four rivers either no longer exist or have been renamed (Pishon and Gihon). Actually, there is a river called Gihon which flows through Jerusalem today but it was probably named so by the Hebrews after they entered into the Promised Land.
Some people believe that the Pishon river is actually what we call the Danube river today which of course is not true. There are others who have a theory that the Gihon river is actually the Al-Qurnah river in Iraq and that the Pishon corresponds with the Hafar Al-Batin river system (which also known as the river Kuwait).
If we analyze the Scriptures and the map, we realize that the Garden of Eden was located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, somewhere in the vicinity of modern day Iraq, Iran, Turkey.
Translation by: Erik Brewer