Today I want to share a very important biblical mystery that was revealed to me by the light of divine revelation several years ago. This mystery concerns the topography of the mysterious garden of Eden.
Moses’ description of Eden
Although the garden of Eden is mentioned multiple times throughout the Bible (Isa. 51:3, Ezek. 28:13; 31:9; 31:16-18; 36:35), practically all of the information that we are given about its appearance and location comes to us from the book of Genesis:
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. (Genesis 2:8-14)
Because two of the rivers Moses mentions in the above description of Eden are known to us (the Tigris and Euphrates), it has been widely assumed that the garden of Eden must have been somewhere in Mesopotamia, near present day Iraq. Yet those who have sought to pinpoint the geographical location of the garden are faced with a problem, namely that the other two rivers Moses mentions–the Pison and Gihon, are unknown to us. Not only that, but there are no other rivers anywhere within the vicinity of the present day Tigris and Euphrates. Both of these facts make any efforts to pinpoint the exact location of the garden of Eden based on topographical description impossible.
The only resolution to the four rivers problem is to conclude that the topography of the region must have been radically altered at some point between the beginning of human history and today. Indeed, the Flood would have completely and permanently reshaped the entire face of the planet, and whatever topography existed in that region prior to the Flood was completely destroyed (2 Pet. 3:6). It is clear that the Tigris and Euphrates that we know today are not the same Tigris and Euphrates of which Moses speaks in Genesis 2. This will become even more evident after I reveal what the topography of Eden actually looked like.
The revelation of the topography of Eden
Over a decade ago, the word of the LORD came to me and revealed to me what the topography of Eden looked like. The revelation of this very important mystery confirms that the topography of the land was radically altered by the Flood, as what Moses is describing does not correspond to anywhere on the present earth. I have constructed the following sketch to show how Eden and her four rivers were situated from an aerial perspective:
As can be seen, the rivers of Eden converge at the garden of Eden in the center to form the cross of Jesus Christ–with the garden of Eden situated right smack dab in the middle. The revelation of this great mystery really breathes new life into John the Revelator’s description of Jesus as: “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8), does it not?
Note that I did not bother to label the rivers as I am not even certain which rivers are which. Based on the order in which they are presented in the Genesis text, I always envisioned that the Pison was the northern river, Gihon the southern, Tigris the eastern, and Euphrates the western. This is purely speculative however, based on the sequence in which we tend to recite the four directions of the compass (“north-south-east-west”).
If the above revelation that came to me is correct, then obviously we can safely conclude with absolute certainty that the topography of the land was indeed completely transformed by the Flood, as not only are two of the rivers completely missing from the topography of the region today, but the geographical orientation of the Tigris and Euphrates as depicted above does not even remotely line up with the orientation of the Tigris and Euphrates of today. This would appear to support the conclusion that many have previously made, namely–that the eight Flood survivors named the present day Tigris and Euphrates rivers after the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that had been known by them prior to the flood.
Now you’re probably wondering exactly how I can prove the objectivity of the above revelation, given that it would appear that not enough information is supplied by the Genesis text in order for one to conclusively make such a deduction from the text. The simple answer to this question, is that the revelation of this mystery lines up with the entire collective body of Holy Scripture. In fact, not only does it line up with the entire collective witness of the Bible, but it even breathes new life into several biblical passages scattered all over the vast expanse of the biblical canon.
The topography of Eden is a prophetic key.
In a previous post, I used the mystery of Israel’s camp in the wilderness to introduce my readers to the concept of prophetic keys. For those of you who did not read that post, a prophetic key can be summarily defined as a revelation of some particular biblical truth or mystery, which when it comes to light–suddenly “unlocks” the cryptic esoteric meaning of other Scriptures scattered across the vast expanse of the biblical canon. In that post I explained how prophetic keys are one of the best testaments of the under-girding unity of the biblical canon, which in turn testifies of its divine authorship and redaction. Yet prophetic keys can be highly significant in another way which is more specifically applicable to the present discussion, that is–they can affirm that your interpretation of a particular mystery or biblical truth is correct.
To apply this to the example I used in our introduction to prophetic keys, I showed how the knowledge of how the camp of Israel was organized during their wilderness wanderings (based on Moses’ description in Numbers chapter 2), fills numerous Scriptures scattered all over the biblical canon with new meaning that was previously not known. The fact that various Scriptures scattered all over the Bible were suddenly brought to life by the revelation of this one biblical mystery proves that our interpretation of what Moses described in Numbers chapter 2 was correct. This is how God designed the Bible to function–when you strike truth, other truths from other parts of the canon will consequentially be unlocked, and these newly unlocked truths will in turn collectively testify of the truth of what you just discovered.
Like the mystery of the camp of Israel in the wilderness, the mystery of the topography of Eden that I just revealed is another fine example of a prophetic key, in that the revelation of this mystery unlocks the cryptic prophetic meaning of several other biblical passages scattered all over the biblical canon, as we are about to see.
Four key biblical passages
1. Genesis 1:9-13
The first passage I want to bring your attention to is Genesis 1:9-13. Note that my depiction of Eden and her four rivers (which is based entirely on Moses’ description in Genesis 2:8-14) is in agreement with Genesis 1:9-13:
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. (Genesis 1:9-13)
Obviously, the “gathering of the waters unto one place” on the third day of creation is in perfect in agreement with my illustration which depicts the four rivers of Eden converging at the garden in the center to form the shape of the cross. This identifies that “one place” where the waters are gathered together as the garden of Eden, which is what God appears to be referring to when he speaks of the dry land–a truth affirmed by the next few verses which record the divine decree to let the earth (dry land) bring forth grass, herb yielding seed, and the tree yielding fruit. It is important to point out that the rivers of Eden are here referred to as “Seas,” while the garden of Eden is referred to as “Earth.”
2. Jeremiah 31:12
The second Scripture that is brought to life by the revelation of the topography of Eden is Jeremiah 31:12:
Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. (Jeremiah 31:12)
In this passage, Jeremiah likens the soul of the people of Israel unto a watered garden. If we go back and look at our illustration of the topography of Eden, we can see that the location of the garden of Eden in relation to the cross formed by its four converging rivers would correspond to the belly of the human body if we were to imagine a person hanging on the cross. This is extremely significant because the belly in the Bible refers to the innermost part of man, literally–the seat of the soul (the mind, will, and emotions). In the mind of God, the soul of man is likened unto a garden (cf. Isa. 58:11), and he designed the topography of Eden to reflect this great mystery. Jeremiah’s use of this simile affirms that the above rendering of the topography of Eden is correct.
3. John 7:38
The third Scripture that is brought to life by our illustration of the topography of Eden is John 7:38:
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38)
I think this one speaks for itself. Once again, the location of the garden of Eden in relation to the cross formed by the four converging rivers would correspond to the human belly (presuming a person were hanging on the cross), which is the seat of the human soul.1 The four rivers that watered the garden signify rivers of living water flowing out from the human soul in all directions. Thus, when Jesus uttered these words recorded in John 7:38–he was speaking in accordance with this great mystery reflected in the topography of Eden (Ps. 78:2; Matt. 13:35).
4. Colossians 1:26-27
This final Scripture brought to life by the revelation of the mystery of the topography of Eden is perhaps the most important, albeit understanding it in its fullness requires that we have a very firm grasp of some important biblical truths.
There is a plethora of meanings to the biblical statement that Adam was created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27; 5:1). When most people read this verse, they tend to think in terms of humans being created in the image of God with regard to having free will, the capacity to reason, and a desire for love and relationships–all traits which God possesses and which set us apart from the animals. While this application is certainly objectively true and valid, there is an additional more literal meaning that often goes unrealized.
In addition to the former more general application, the statement that Adam was created in the image and likeness of God also means that Adam was literally created as a perfect figurative representation of Jesus Christ (God) in his resurrected glorified body. This is a very important biblical and spiritual mystery of which there is much to say, but it will have to wait for a future discussion. As pertaining to the present discussion, what is important to understand is that Adam was like a little miniature Jesus Christ in his glorified risen form. He not only would have looked exactly like him in his physical appearance, but would have also possessed all of his qualities, desires, and personality traits. This very important mystery was well known to the Apostle Paul, who described Adam as: “the figure of him that was to come.” (Rom. 5:14).
It must be remembered that the Bible is one beaten work of pure gold (Exod. 25:36; 37:22). Like the Church which sprang from it, it is one body with many members (Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12; 12:20), and all of those members work together in perfect unison (Eph. 4:4-13). This means that if Paul in the epistle of Romans states that Christ is the figure of him that was to come, then that truth is absolute, and accordingly must be applicable to every place in the entire body of Scripture where Adam appears or is mentioned.
Indeed, when we import this biblical mystery communicated by the Apostle Paul in Romans 5:14 into our analysis of Genesis 2, and combine it with our knowledge of the mystery of the topography of Eden revealed earlier–the Genesis text suddenly comes to take on a whole new meaning. For Genesis states that God placed the man that he had formed into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it (Gen. 2:8; 2:15). To make sure you catch that revelation, I’m going to repeat that and isolate the sentence. Read this over and over again until the magnitude of the revelation sinks in:
Adam (a type of the risen Jesus Christ) was divinely placed into the garden of Eden (a type of the human soul), for the purpose of dressing it and keeping it.
Notice how our incorporation of Paul’s statement from Romans 5:14 (that Adam was a figure of Jesus Christ) into our analysis of Genesis 2, breathes new life into the text of Genesis 2, once it is combined with the knowledge of the mystery of the topography of Eden. Suddenly we see the gospel of Jesus Christ being plainly communicated to us through the pen of Moses in the second chapter of the book of Genesis! For by placing the first man (who he created to function as a perfect figurative representation of the risen Jesus Christ), into the garden of Eden (which he created to function as a figurative representation of the human soul), he was allegorically showing us through the pen of Moses that he himself (the resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus Christ) would one day indwell the hearts of believers by faith (Eph. 3:17). With that in mind, I leave you with the following Scripture:
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Colossians 1:26-27)
Summary & Conclusion
The garden of Eden was located at the geographical center of the antediluvian world. The four rivers listed by Moses in his topological description in Genesis 2 flowed out from it in all directions to form the likeness of the cross of Jesus Christ. This affirms that the topography of the antediluvian world was radically altered by the Flood. The location of the garden in relation to the cross formed by its four converging rivers identifies it as a type of the human soul. Adam was created in the image and likeness of God, which means he had the form and likeness of Jesus Christ in his glorified and resurrected body. This is in perfect harmony with Romans 5:14, where God through Paul identifies Adam as a figurative type of Jesus Christ. When this very important biblical mystery is incorporated into our analysis of Genesis 2 and combined with our knowledge of the topography of Eden revealed earlier–we see that God’s placement of Adam into the garden of Eden functions as a brilliant prophetic allegory through which he revealed his plan of salvation before the Fall of Creation had even occurred. From the foundation of the world, the ultimate plan of God had always been to be one with man, and all throughout the Old Testament he was progressively steering the ship of human history towards one thing, namely–Christ in you, the hope of glory.
- The Greek word that the KJV translates as “belly” in this verse is κοιλία (koilia), which is frequently used to speak figuratively of the human soul.