Where is the Garden of Eden Located on Earth?
Rev. Neil Steven Lawrence, M.Div.
This intriguing question is one many have wondered about over the ages. The answer is surprisingly right in front of our eyes!
The center of the universe is the Godhead upon the throne. But we should never confuse the creation with the Creator. It is interesting that the Bible begins in a garden (Genesis 1 & 2), but ends in a city surrounded by a garden (Revelation 21 & 22).
We know from the description of the New Heaven and the New Earth (Rev. 21:1-2), that the throne of God is in the New Jerusalem and there will be no temple because the Godhead replaces the need for a temple. (Rev. 21:22)
Eden is sometimes referred to as the Garden of God, but it is not necessary to equate it with the center of the universe—though we could argue easily that it is definitely the center of the earth. We see from the destruction of the old heaven and earth and the recreation of a New Heaven and Earth (Rev. 21:1), that His original intention will ultimately be fulfilled. He desires “to walk with us in His garden.”
So where is Eden and where is the center of this Garden?
The Bible describes the garden God made as having four rivers (Gen. 2:8, 10-14). The Tigris and Euphrates seem to show the boundary of the garden and the Pishon (Hebrew – flowing) and the Gihon (Hebrew – bubbling) rivers are likely flowing from the center of the garden.
“A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; it was separated into four headwaters.” (v.10)
First, the scripture speaks of the river in singular terms; then it clarifies saying it was actually 4 rivers. Notice also it describes the river flowing “FROM” the garden.
Interestingly God promises that one day Israel will have this entire area from the Mediterranean all the way to the Tigris and Euphrates restored as Israel‘s portion (Genesis 15:18-21; Exodus 23:31). It is difficult to imagine this area which roughly makes up the center of the Middle East as being the Garden of Eden since it has been desiccated by sinful man and is now mostly a desert. The hiddenness of the location of the center of Eden is revealed by the scriptures.
In Zachariah 14 the Bible describes the rebirth of the Pishon and the Gihon rivers that will flow forth from the Temple Mount at the center of Jerusalem: one to the Western sea (Mediterranean) and one to the Eastern sea (Dead Sea.) This will turn the salt sea to a living sea and flow out southward. This will happen after the great earthquake (Rev. 16:18) at the end of the tribulation when Jesus returns. It will cause the land of Israel to become a well-watered garden again.
Ezekiel 47 also describes the same thing saying the flow of the water will be so great that in only 200 meters the depth of the river will rise from ankle deep to overhead.
Currently the spring feeding Hezekiah’s tunnel in Jerusalem, which used to flow all the way up to the Temple Mount, is the remnant source of these two rivers (Pishon/Gihon). At the time of the Temple it used to provide millions of liters of water for the Temple worshipers. This is because it is one of the only siphon springs in the world having great pressure. Even today it is called the Gihon spring.
At the great earthquake (Rev. 16:18) during Christ’s return, it will burst forth again. Interestingly, this flowing river from the Temple in Jerusalem models the River of Life, which flows from the throne of God in heaven (Rev. 22:1).
The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil are described as being at the center of the Garden of Eden. The tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is the place where evil entered the world. Humankind was tempted and fell at a tree.
God reestablished his covenant with Abraham eventually bringing the Savior for humankind, to save us from our sin. God told Abraham, “Go to a certain mountain which I will show you; there you will offer your son as a sacrifice.” So Abraham placed the wood on Isaac’s back, and they went to the top of that mountain – but God stopped him from killing Isaac. That mountain is Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. (Genesis 22)
Thus God began the redemption from humankind’s fall in the same place they fell.
Almost 2,000 years later God sent his Son on the same mountain with the wood on his back and redeemed humankind on a tree – the cross.
So humankind fell and was redeemed, on a tree, at the same location – the center of the Garden of Eden.
And God will return to the earth to the same location and set up his Kingdom in the same location – the center of the Garden of Eden – Jerusalem!
I believe this is why the nations rage against the tiny nation of Israel. They have no logical reason why they are upset with Israelites relocating to their own promised land. But there is a spiritual and strategic reason: the demonic forces which drive the nations to exhibit insane words and behavior toward Israel are unwittingly doing Satan’s bidding. Our enemy knows this is the location of the fall and redemption of humankind and the location of the return of Christ. This is why the final battle (Armageddon) will also be fought here: the center of the Garden of Eden. This is where the Prince of Peace will rule the earth: from the center of the Garden of Eden – Jerusalem!