What does the name Eden mean?
- According to Strong’s lexicon, it means pleasure.
Was Eden a garden planted by God?
- No. It was an area in which God planted a garden on the east side of Eden (Genesis 2:8). Isaiah 51:3 refers to this as the garden of the Lord.
Where was the garden located?
- In Eden on the east side (Genesis 2:8).
Why did God create the garden in Eden?
- This was the location He placed man to live and work (Genesis 2:8). It was a garden of pleasure for man and God, a place where all needs were fulfilled.
Was man allowed to travel outside the garden?
Man was free to fulfill his responsibilities to God and to replenish the earth. However, after the fall of man, entrance into the garden was forbidden. Genesis 1:26 says,
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
How much territory did Eden cover?
- The Bible does not answer this question.
How were the plants in the Garden of Eden watered?
Genesis 2:6 says that
there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
In addition, the garden was supplied with water by a river that flowed through Eden (Genesis 2:10).
How many rivers entered the garden?
- One river entered the garden (Genesis 2:10).
At what point did the river flowing into the garden divide into four?
- Genesis 2:10 indicates that the river divided into four after entering the garden. However, it is unclear if the division occurred in the garden or if it divided after flowing out of the garden.
How big was the garden?
- The Bible does not answer that question.
What did man do in the garden?
- He took care of the plants (Genesis 2:15) and ate the fruit.
What was the rest of Eden like?
- A river flowed from the east of Eden westward into the garden, which indicates some elevation to the terrain (Genesis 2:10). Ezekiel 28:14 speaks of the mountain of God that Satan resided on before his fall.
- And Genesis 3:23 indicates that, unlike the garden, the soil of Eden required cultivation to grow plants for food. Apparently, vegetation watered by the mist coming up from the ground did not necessarily provide edible fruit for man (Genesis 2:6).
How did the garden in Eden differ from the rest of Eden?
- The garden was already planted by God with fruit trees. Man simply had to prune and care for them. After being banished from the garden, man had to till the ground to grow plants for his food. This indicates that outside of the garden, the vegetation was not necessarily producing food useful to man.
Why did God give man fruit trees to provide food?
- Plants grow in and from the dust of the earth, which is the material makeup of man (Genesis 3:23). Plants are the means by which nutrients in the ground and in the air are made usable for the diet of man.
Was there a wall or barrier around Eden?
- The Bible does not describe a barrier. However, according to Genesis 3:24, there is an implied barrier, because entrance to the garden was guarded on its east side with a flaming sword. It can be speculated that this was a natural barrier of terrain and plants. Thus, to enter the garden, one would walk on a path into the east side of Eden, which could be guarded to prevent entrance.
Were there territories other than Eden?
- Yes. Cain lived in the land of Nod eastward of Eden (Genesis 4:16). The river Pison flowed through the land of Havilah, the river Gihon through Ethiopia, and the Hiddekel river through Assyria. These were pre-flood territories (Genesis 2:11-14).
Where is Eden today?
- The location of Eden is unknown. During the worldwide flood in Noah’s day, valleys formed and mountains were raised from under the oceans, as evidenced by massive burial sites of ocean floor sea life on the tops of mountains. The terrain and climate zones today are different from the pre-flood terrain and climate. The flood changed landscapes and obliterated life on earth, including the trees in the Garden of Eden (Ezekiel 31:18). So there is no way to determine the location of Eden.
Why is the river Euphrates still flowing today?
- The river named Euphrates today is not necessarily the same as that prior to the flood. It is a common practice to name places and things by what we already know. Noah and his family would have passed pre-flood knowledge of names and descriptions on to their descendants.
- In Eden, a single river flowed westward into the garden where God placed man, after which the river divided into four (Genesis 2:10). The Euphrates today is not a part of four branching rivers described in Genesis. The flood in Noah’s day changed the topography of earth. And the pre-flood region in which the Euphrates River exists today is buried under layers of sediment and fossils. So determining where the pre-flood rivers and territorial regions were is unlikely.