And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: Here Scripture gives us a direct connection between the "sweetening of the waters" and the establishment of God's Torah. Note they receive these commandments long before they get to Mount Sinai. The blessings that come with the water are tied to their faith - as shown by their obedience to God's Torah re: With their relationship to God and His Torah comes a test of their faith. This is followed by their arrival at Elim, where they come to a place with twelve wells water and seventy palms trees.
The significance of these wells and trees will be covered later. The Zohar states that not only the waters represent Torah -- the tree that God used to sweeten them is also the Torah. Moreover, it says there is no difference between God and the Torah -- they are in unity:. Moreover, this power came to act as an accuser against them. Later on when Moses fails to follow God's command concerning speaking to a rock to draw water from it , He is chastised by the Lord and not allowed to enter the promised land.
Moses' striking the rock and not speaking to it is called a failure to sanctify God: When we start to understand beyond the literal level of the text the connection between God, the water, the tree and the rock, some of Paul's concepts in the "New Testament" become a bit clearer:.
After two days will he revive us: Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: A number of his followers believed him to be the Messiah. Upon the death of the rabbi, they announced that he would rise on the third day, quoting the above section of Hosea as a resurrection verse. Hosea's reference to raising us up on the "third day," establishes the topic as salvation. The book of James confirms Hosea's prophecy of an early and latter "rain," associating it with the return of the Lord:. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
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Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: John's Gospel also makes a connection between a pool of water that was used to mikvah and an angel that would come and cause the waters to have healing powers:. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: Conversely, a lack of water is associated with being away from the will of God. In Genesis we see Hagar temporarily being cast into the desert, only to have a mysterious well show up to save her. What is signicant is that this well and its water is connected with God being with the lad Ishmael:. And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.
And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. Yeshua makes a connection between being in oppostion to Him and "dry" places -- those without God's rest:.
This is the Zone for God Lovers
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. The Zohar below provides a link between the Shekinah and this river of Eden. In the following passages we have mention of a sin committed by Israel with the "mixed multitude. Although water still has spiritual properties in the time between Genesis 2 and Revelation 21, the River of Eden itself is said to be "dried up" during the time of Israel's exile in that it is not fully functioning as seen in Genesis and Revelation.
This causes a "disconnect" between the En Sof , the Shekinah and mankind. When Israel comes out of exile at the time of Messiah, and following the Millennium, the river of Eden resumes its uninterrupted flow and the Tree of Life is "replanted" into the re-established Eden on earth as in Revelation For this reason proselytes will no longer be admitted in the days of the Messiah.
They caused the Zaddik to be left parched and desolate by the loss of the first Temple, which is the Shekinah in heaven, and by the loss of the second Temple, which is the Shekinah on earth. It is interesting to note that in this section above it states that there will be no more proselytes admitted, and no more "mixed multitude," insinuating that the door is closed -- those who are truly of God will be permanently separated from those who are not.
Other verses in the Zohar that link the River of Eden to the reunification of the Name of God and the year Millennium are: It would seem that the full return of the River of Eden is at the end of the Millennium when sin is no more.
The Lost Rivers of the Garden of Eden - Found
The fountain mentioned in Zechariah The following verse associates the theme of Jubilee with the River of Eden, and the end times, something we have discussed earlier in this study: Soncino Zohar, Vayikra, Section 3, Page 58a - Mark now that in future generations the Torah will be forgotten, and there will be none to close and open. Alas for that generation!
There will be no generation like the present until the Messiah comes and knowledge shall be diffused throughout the world. It has been laid down that the name of that river is Jubilee, but in the book of Rab Hamnuna the Elder it is called Life, because life issues thence to the world. We have also laid down that the great and mighty Tree in which is food for all is called the Tree of Life, because its roots are in that Life. We have learnt that that river sends forth deep streams with the oil of plenitude to water the Garden and feed the trees and the shoots. Jacob is connected to the River of Eden and the idea of his bringing together the unification of the Name of God.
This was also mentioned in a prior section: Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page b - Up to this point the blessings were given in general; they were now particularized with the words: This was so because Jacob inherited the cream of all more than the other patriarchs, he being perfect in all, and he gave all to Joseph. This was fitting, because the Righteous One takes all and inherits all, and all blessings are deposited with him.
He first dispenses blessings above, and all the limbs of the body are disposed so as to receive them, and thus is brought into being the "river which goes forth from Eden". Almost all rivers start from a single source or are fed by multiple sources tributaries. For example, the Ohio River actually begins where two rivers the Monongahela and Allegheny flow together at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
The Ohio River terminates when it flows into the Mississippi river as one of that river's many tributaries. So the names of rivers are an arbitrary thing, usually denoting only a portion of a greater complex stream system, with one stream flowing into another, which in-turn, may flow into yet another. This pattern of rivers, as observed in nature, is just the opposite of what the Bible describes about the rivers of Eden.
For that reason, nobody has been able to look at modern maps of the regions mentioned in Genesis and figure out exactly where the Garden of Eden was, at least by the present topography of the lands of the Middle East. Only one river of the four, the Euphrates, is known by the same name in modern times.
Many have speculated that the Tigris is the river Hiddekel. This has led to speculation that the Garden of Eden was located somewhere in Turkey. This is assumed because the present headwaters of the Euphrates River originate in Turkey, as do the headwaters of the Tigris. Others have proposed that the other end of the Euphrates River, where it meets the Tigris, may be the true location.
This requires interpreting the Tigris river as one of the other three the Hiddekel , then interpreting a tributary confluence of rivers as a river "head" which it is not , and then locating at least two more rivers or old river beds as the other missing two.
Having done so, they then claim that the Garden of Eden was near present day Kuwait. This is a convenient solution, but not one supported by the literal wording of the Bible or the geological and geographical realities of what a river "head" means, i. You will notice that the present day headwaters of both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers originate in Turkey very close to each other in mountainous terrain. Logically, one would assume that if two of the rivers started there, the other two must have done so, as well, if Turkey was the location of Eden.
Neither the Pison nor Gihon rivers are ever mentioned again in the Bible. However, the Hiddekel River is:. This reference by the prophet Daniel comes from a vision he had while with the children of Israel during the Babylonian Captivity. This would put Daniel somewhere in the area of present-day Iraq and would make the present-day Tigris river a fairly good candidate for the "Hiddekel" river spoken of by the prophet, as it is the only other great river known in that region today. But the Bible says that this river " that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria " and a historical map of the location of Assyria, shows that the Tigris actually goes southeastward.
Keep in mind that the geographical area known as "Assyria" is not so easy to pin down. Although the Assyrian Empire was centered near Nineveh, the actual empire also extended into what is also present-day Syria and Palestine. However, lacking a better candidate, and knowing that the prophet Daniel was in that geographical area at the time of his visions, the Tigris appears to be the best possible modern-day candidate for the Hiddekel River. We now must search out the probable locations of the other two rivers. It is here that the theories that the Garden of Eden was either in Turkey or Kuwait starts to lose credibility.
First, let's identify the geographical region of the Pison river. There is a recently discovered "Fossil River" that runs from the western mountains of Saudi Arabia towards Kuwait. This old river course is now nothing more than a dry riverbed. It's old path was detected by satellite imaging. Many have speculated that this may be the ancient Pison, as it has been dry since about 3, to 2, BC. Although Saudi Arabia could marginally qualify for the land of Havilah, the fossil riverbed that flows across it had its origins in the mountains bordering the eastern side of the present day Red Sea, south of Israel.
It should be pointed out that those mountains are mirrored by another range of mountains on the western side of the Red Sea. The Red Sea is a tectonic spreading zone and part of the Great Rift system that runs from northward in Turkey, down to the Dead Sea, along the length of the Red Sea and then southward deep into the African continent. Obviously, when that mountain range was split by the Rift the source waters of the proposed Pison river would have dried up.
But this proposed river path may be somewhat of a "red-herring" because it does not seem to naturally "fit" the overall pattern.
The Four Rivers of Eden
An even better fit may be for the river to have flowed down into what today is the Gulf of Aden south of present day Yemen southern tip of Arabia. Yemen has both gold and onyx, which matches: If this fossil-river referred to as the 'Kuwait river' was indeed the Pison River, it does not correspond with the present-day headwater source of the Euphrates or Tigris up in Turkey. What's more, the geography of the last remaining river, the Gihon, further complicates the problem. The Gihon is spoken of as: Of course, the political boundaries of what we call Ethiopia today were certainly different in Biblical times, but the general area is correct.
And if a river formerly flowed down what is now the Red Sea basin and southward into Africa at the Afar Triangle, it would certainly fit the description of a river that " compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. All four of these rivers have one thing in common: All are connected to the Great Rift system. And that is the key to the mystery. Two of the rivers of Eden were to the north of Israel, the active remnants of which presently originate out of Turkey to the north.
The two other rivers of Eden were to the south of Israel. The geographical "center" of these four points of flow is neither Turkey nor Kuwait; the center is somewhere near the general region of present day Israel and Jordan. The Bible itself lends further credence to Israel or someplace nearby as the location of the Garden of Eden. If you run the name "Eden" through a search of the Bible, among several references the following ones provide some insightful clues:.
The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field. Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations.
Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: In this passage the Bible says that the Assyrian was in Lebanon. Spiritually speaking, the "trees" in this passage refer to men and leaders. Cedar trees are mentioned elsewhere in the Bible as references to Lebanon Judges 9: Notice also in the last of the passage that the Spirit associates the trees with "Eden" that "were in the Garden of God.
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From this we can infer that the Garden and the source of the rivers of the Garden was somewhere close to the land of Lebanon. Assuming this postulation is correct, that the source of the four rivers was somewhere near Lebanon, and that the rivers all had a connection to the Great Rift system, the interconnection of the river systems would need to be somewhat like the map below:.
What roughly emerges, when all four rivers are connected to trace of the Great Rift fault system, is a complex river network emerging from a common point of origin that flows both north and south, with each north and south extension splitting into two separate streams, for a total of four rivers. That adds up to four separate heads. But the so-called Kuwait River, which has been proposed as the lost river Pison, still does not seem to match well with the common denominator of the others - the Great Rift and branching fault systems.
Based on the description of its path in the Bible which says, " compasseth the whole land of Havilah " and knowing from the geology of present day Yemen that onyx can be found there, then this part of the verse, " where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: So, When all factors are considered Bible text and geology , I believe the paths indicated by the dotted lines on the large map below are the probable paths where the four-rivers of the Garden of Eden actually flowed.
And a southern path around Yemen puts the fourth river squarely into the basin of the Great Rift system, flowing east from the upwelling Afar Triangle. These paths meet the requirements of the Biblical text because the single river water source "head" , originating from high ground somewhere in or near present day Israel, would have originated or flowed down into the Rift Valley basin. Those waters would then need to have been diverted to flow both north and south along the path of the Rift zone, with both the north and south forks each splitting a second time when intercepting other fault zones, to produce a total of four rivers, with four heads.
The chart below is an overview of the known fault systems across the Middle East region south of the Red Sea excluded:. Keep in mind that the course of rivers around and through the vicinity of the Great Rift fault system may have changed or dried up because of block faulting all along the Rift zone since the times of Adam and Eve. Certainly Horst and Graben faulting along the Rift could, and would, change the surface topography. Horst and Graben faulting is defined as "elongate fault blocks of the Earth's crust that have been raised and lowered, respectively, relative to their surrounding areas as a direct effect of faulting.
Horsts and Grabens may range in size from blocks a few centimeters wide to tens of kilometers wide; the vertical movement may be up to several thousand feet. Image courtesy of Dr.