And a river is going out from Eden to water the garden, and from thence it is parted, and hath become four chief rivers;
Genesis 2:10 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
A river went out of Eden, etc. - It would astonish an ordinary reader, who should be obliged to consult different commentators and critics on the situation of the terrestrial Paradise, to see the vast variety of opinions by which they are divided. Some place it in the third heaven, others in the fourth; some within the orbit of the moon, others in the moon itself; some in the middle regions of the air, or beyond the earth's attraction; some on the earth, others under the earth, and others within the earth; some have fixed it at the north pole, others at the south; some in Tartary, some in China; some on the borders of the Ganges, some in the island of Ceylon; some in Armenia, others in Africa, under the equator; some in Mesopotamia, others in Syria, Persia, Arabia, Babylon, Assyria, and in Palestine; some have condescended to place it in Europe, and others have contended it either exists not, or is invisible, or is merely of a spiritual nature, and that the whole account is to be spiritually understood! That there was such a place once there is no reason to doubt; the description given by Moses is too particular and circumstantial to be capable of being understood in any spiritual or allegorical way. As well might we contend that the persons of Adam and Eve were allegorical, as that the place of their residence was such.
The most probable account of its situation is that given by Hadrian Reland. He supposes it to have been in Armenia, near the sources of the great rivers Euphrates, Tigris, Phasis, and Araxes. He thinks Pison was the Phasis, a river of Colchis, emptying itself into the Euxine Sea, where there is a city called Chabala, the pronunciation of which is nearly the same with that of Havilah, or חוילה Chavilah, according to the Hebrew, the vau ו being changed in Greek to beta β. This country was famous for gold, whence the fable of the Golden Fleece, attempted to be carried away from that country by the heroes of Greece. The Gihon he thinks to be the Araxes, which runs into the Caspian Sea, both the words having the same signification, viz., a rapid motion. The land of Cush, washed by the river, he supposes to be the country of the Cussaei of the ancients. The Hiddekel all agree to be the Tigris, and the other river Phrat, or פרת Perath, to be the Euphrates. All these rivers rise in the same tract of mountainous country, though they do not arise from one head.
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Psalm 46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
Revelation 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Eden. Eden denotes pleasure or delight; but was certainly the name of a place, and was, most probably, situated in Armenia, near the sources of the great rivers Euphrates, Tigris, Phasis, and Araxes.
Genesis 2:10 Parallel CommentariesChief Divided Eden Flowed Four Garden Heads Main Parted River Rivers Separated Streams Thence Water WateringChief Divided Eden Flowed Four Garden Heads Main Parted River Rivers Separated Streams Thence Water WateringTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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