News headlines around the world have been proclaiming, “Possible Location of the Garden of Eden Named World Heritage Site.” The new World Heritage site is an area of Southern Iraq known as Ahwar, a large marshland described by UNESCO as “unique, as one of the world’s largest inland delta systems, in an extremely hot and arid environment.” But is this wetland really the location of the biblical Garden of Eden?
The short answer is no—it’s definitely not. You see, no one knows where the Garden of Eden was. Many people think it is in the Middle East because that’s where the Tigris and Euphrates are today, and Genesis 2:14 mentions both these rivers in relation to the garden.
But Genesis 2:10 says, “Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads.” Nothing like one river becoming four exists in the Middle East today. So this area can’t be the location of the Garden of Eden as described in Genesis 2. Why? Well, because the global Flood of Noah’s day totally destroyed the original creation: “by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.” (2 Peter 3:6). The Garden of Eden, like everything else, was buried by thousands of feet of sediment.
The Garden of Eden, like everything else, was buried by thousands of feet of sediment.
Keep in mind that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers today flow over fossil-bearing sediments. These sediments couldn’t have been from the original creation because death didn’t enter into creation until after sin (Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:12). Because these layers are a result of Noah’s Flood, both rivers are post-Flood formations.
Now, many people wonder why there are Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Middle East today if the original ones were destroyed. Well, in my native country of Australia, one will recognize many names of places that are also used in England (e.g., Newcastle). This is because when the settlers came from England to Australia they used names they were familiar with in England to name new places and towns in Australia. This same situation can be seen all around the world, including here in America (e.g., Essex and Dover). Just like people do today, when Noah and his family disembarked from the Ark after the Flood, they named the new features they saw after features from the old world.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.