Further on (Moses) narrates that God arranged a garden at the east and put different plants their including the Tree of life and the Tree of knowledge, on which one could find out the meaning of good and evil. Then He brought in Adam and his wife and ordered (them) to take care of plants. This garden was watered by the river which flows around the whole earth and split in four branches: the Pishon (this name means a multitude) flows in the direction of India and falls into a sea and is called the Ganges; the Euphrates and the Tigris flow into the Red Sea, and the Euphrates is called Phor which means expansion or flower, and the Tigris is called the Tiglat which means something narrow and pointed. And the river Geon flows across Egypt and means «coming to us from the east». The Greeks call it the Nile. (Joseph Flavius «Antiquities of the Hebrews», Book 1, chapter 1, p.3)
‘And Eden will be shown to us, its fruit is imperishable and it is full of peace and salvation, but we can not enter it… »
(3 Ezra, 7.53-54)
‘And the Lord God made man from the dust of the earth, breathing into him the breath of life: and man became a living soul. And the Lord God made a garden in the east, in Eden; and there put a man whom he had made.» (Genesis, 2.7-8) The primeval Eden implanted by God at the east of the earth in the first days of creation is the ancient motherland, the homeland of humanity. We do not know where exactly and in what part of the earth our homeland was but we know that an altar in a Christian temple is a terrestrial heaven and all altars are constructed at the east in memory and as a sign of the fact that the primeval Eden was planted at the east of the earth…
John Damaskin in his book «Exact Account of the Orthodox Faith» writes that «we worship to the east not without reason and not by accident» and first of all because the paradise was at the east of the earth, that is why we worship to the east. ‘And thus we find the ancient homeland and narrowly looking in its direction we worship God.» («Exact Account of the Orthodox Faith», Book 4, chapter 7 «About worship to the East»)
«And a river went out of Eden giving water to the garden; and from there it was parted and became four streams. The name of the first is Pishon, which goes round about all the land ofHavilah 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 (Geon): this river goes round all the land of Cush. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel (Tigris), which goes to the east of Assyria. And the fourth
river is Euphrates. And the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to do work in it and take care of it.» (Genesis, 2.10-15)
For the creation in the image and likeness of «God in His grace » of the absolute human being, combining terrestrial and celestial essences, destined for imperishable and immortal existence: «God made man for imperishable existence and created him in the image of His eternal being.» (Wisdom, 2.23), God used a special earth substance – earth dust: «And the Lord God made man from the dust of the earth… » (Genesis, 2.7) He used not a simple earth but the earth dust as it is indicated in the Explanatory Bible under the editorship of A. P. Lopuhin.
And St. Filaret, Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna, in his works on the Book of Genesis wrote this about the dust: «The external part of man was made of earth belonged to him, and thus he possessed the direct knowledge about features of subordinate objects and close relation to the area of his dominion. And that substance had been formed so to speak by hands of God, and was with no doubt the purest, the perfect and therefore the strongest, with the help of it a primitive man could act in the visible world and his strength had to be so big as it is feeble now…»
But the most amazing is Afflatus to prophet Ezra about the substance from which can be (formed, originated) … the gold: «I can tell you, Ezra, the same. If you ask the earth, it will answer that it gives a lot of substance from which pottery is made, but not much dust from which gold is made…» (3 Ezra, 8.2).
Moses, Witness of God, relates in taciturn lines Afflatus about the days of Creation, this mysterious and Sacred period of the life creation, and pays special attention to the description of the place close to Eden, where there is gold, and focuses on it his attention: «And a river came out of Eden giving water to the garden: and from there it was parted and became four streams. The name of the first is Pishon, which goes round about all the land ofHavilah where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; there is bdellium and the onyx stone.» (Genesis, 2.10-12).
Nowadays two rivers the Tiger and the Euphrates are known and exist with the same names, and rivers the Pishon and the Geon are not known and their geographical location is not indicated anywhere.
Therefore, according to the generally accepted opinion, the location of Eden is supposed to be somewhere in the region of the Persian Gulf…
«But instead of wandering impassable roads of people’s opinions, it is better to stop the searches on the plain indications of Words ofGod…!» (St. Filaret. Accounts on the Book of Genesis, ch.3)
Let us follow this pious instruction and ask Holy fathers for advices.
St. Rev. John Damaskin in his Work «Exact Account of the Orthodox Faith» writes: «The name of one river is the Pishon, it is the Ganges, the Indian river. The name of the second is the Geon, it is the river Nile, flowing from Ethiopia to Egypt.» («Exact Account of the Orthodox Faith», Book 1, chapter 9). It is noteworthy that the garden of Eden in Jewish is «gan Eden».
And in the Biblical encyclopedia of Archimandrite Nikifor in the part dedicated to India one can read about the mysterious rivers of Eden: «Thus not without
reason some people see in the names of the rivers of Eden the Geon and the Pishon the Indian rivers the Indus and the Ganges»… ?!
But looking at the modern geographical map of the world, we can see that the rivers the Nile, the Ganges and the Indus are located at the considerable distance from the Tigris and the Euphrates, the Nile is on the other continent, and the Indus is like superfluous.
all created by God was perfect, very good: «And God saw everything which he had made and it was very good.» (Genesis, 1.31).
The mainland, appeared by the order of God, was primeval, virgin (integral) and intact land, undivided by cataclysms, a single continent washed by waters. The land was not created defective and divided. Later cataclysms caused earth division into continents and it was the evidence of the nature’s disease as a consequence of the Fall of a primeval man.
Moses, Witness of God, describes the land of Eden as it was after the creation, before the Fall, i.e. before the penetration of the poison of death in the material nature, and hence the penetration of decay and disintegration in the world, that was emphasized by St. Filaret in the account on the Book of Genesis: «The words of Moses: a) about the origin of Eden, b) about its attributes and c) about the presentation of a man to Eden, must be understood according to the original concept about the essence of Eden.» (Creation of man, ch.3), that means before the division into continents.
«Wherever, according to discordant guesses, they located Eden, they should not accuse in it the holy writer who have given all possible lucidity to his narration, only the time is the true reason, because it changes not only random names of objects but also a natural state of the earth.» (Accounts on the Book of Genesis, ch.3).
And … «It is impossible to affirm that the traces of Eden were totally erased by the Flood or by other cause, because the details of its location mentioned by Moses show the opposite.» (St. Filaret, Accounts on the Book of Genesis, ch.3).
«In order to reveal the location of Eden for generations to come, he pays attention to the most permanent and inexhaustible on the earth – to the rivers» (St.Filaret, Accounts on the Book of Genesis, ch.3).
And if we take a map of the continents drift, where the single first continent is represented, and analyze its topography putting over a modern geographical map, it will become evident that St. Rev. John Damaskin is absolutely right, and rivers the Tigris, the Euphrates, the Nile and the Ganges had a junction of their waters, and the Indus and the Nile were … one river!
During the cataclysm and the earth division into continents, in the result of a break of the earth’s crust, dry land rising and sinking, the Biblical rivers were torn up, the riverbed of the Nile was partly moved along the break of the African continent and the major part of it sank, which is confirmed by Holy Scripture: «For the Lord, the God of armies, is he at whose touch the land is turned to water, and everyone in it will be given up to sorrow; all of it will be overflowing like the River, and will go down again like the River of Egypt.» (Amos, 9.5)
Knowing the names of the Biblical rivers and taking into consideration that: «And a river went out of Eden giving water to the garden; and from their it was parted and became four streams.» (Genesis, 2.10), we can come to … very interesting conclusions!
As the rules of canonical representation exist for the icon painting to keep the images undistorted and cognate regardless of time and painter’s manner, in order to see «canonical» and familiar face of the Earth with the main and important pattern, we can use a simple school geographical map, at the same time remembering: «Truly I say to you, whoever does not put himself under the kingdom of God like a little child, will not come into it at all.» (Luke, 18.17)
And in order to study the subject more thoroughly, we should use a more detailed map.
I would like to pay attention to the mysterious land of Havilah all washed by the Pishon (the Ganges).
In the Persian language «havilah» means a circle, i.e. Havilah is a land where the waters of the Pishon (the Ganges) go round, and it is not a simple land but a place with the best gold that was formed from the earth dust from which… «and the Lord God made man from the dust of the earth».
And when God ordered to king David the construction of the Temple of Jerusalem, his son king Solomon used for its design the best gold: «And he made the most holy place… and he overlaid with the best gold… » (2 Chronicles, 3.8)
Once in three years a ship brought gold from Ophir: «And they went to Ophir, and brought from there gold, to the amount of four hundred and twenty talents; and they brought it to King Solomon.» (1 Kings, 9.28).
And this was written in the Biblical encyclopedia of Archimandrite Nikifor: «Ophir: Most probably Ophir was situated in the Eastern India… According to Joseph Flavius Ophir is the Golden Khersones which now is on the territory of India.»
And this was written in the encyclopedia about Bdellium (Genesis, 11.12): «In the Eastern India there is a sort of aromatic gum whith the same name… »
And it is said in the Scripture where the best gold is: «And the gold of that land is good; there is bdellium and the onyx stone.» (Genesis, 2.12).
Therefore Ophir was located in the land of Havilah…
«Ifyou come back to the Ruler of all, making yourself low before him; if you put evil far away from your tents; and put your gold in the dust, even your gold of Ophir among the rocks of the valleys; then the Ruler of all will be your gold…» (Job 22.23-25).
And the land of Havilah is washed by the river Pishon (the Ganges), which is mentioned in the Holy Scripture as the first after leaving Eden and division in four rivers.
Eden («gan Eden» in Jewish) – «paradise of sweetness» in Greek and Slavic, or «pleasantness, sweetness» (the Biblical encyclopedia of Archimandrite Nikifor).
Eden is literally a land of sweetness, a sweet land.
If we look at the map of India exactly along the riverbed of the Ganges (the Pishon), there… sugar-cane grows!
It is said: «And a river went out of Eden giving water to the garden; and from there it was parted and became four streams.»
And the God’s wisdom tells us in the Holy Scripture: «And I, as a canal from a river and like a water-pipe, went into Eden. I said: I shall water my garden and give to drink to my beds. And my canal became a river, and my river became a s«?a. «(Sirah, 24.32-34).
Yes, the river Son comes from the river Ganges, through the system of canals, from the land of sugar-cane and, passing the land as a water-pipe, joins the river Narmada and leaves for the Arabian Sea. And on its way this river goes through the locality which is surrounded by a chine swell of a plateau in a form of a horseshoe.
The view of this locality matches the description of Paradise.
In Persian language «paradise» means an earth chine or a stone chine, surrounding a place for a walk, from there is the name of the place itself, i.e. «a garden or a park» (Explanatory Bible of Lopuhin)
Within the stone chine (Paradise) is the town Mandla. Mandla occupies the entire inner surface of the stone chine (Paradise) and has the coordinates 22 ̊ 22 ̍ and 23 ̊ 22 ̍ north latitude and 80 ̊ 18 ̍ and 80 ̊ 50 ̍ east longitude. This is the same area where the Bible Garden was planted. “Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the East, and there He put the man He had formed” [Gen., 2, 8]. When the man has sined “the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden (no doubt, to the west) and made him cultivate the soil from which he had been formed. Then at the east side of the Garden He put living creatures and a flaming sword which turned in all directions. This was to keep anyone from coming near the tree that gives life” [Gen., 3, 23 – 24]. So we have found the ancient homeland in the east and we worship to the east not without reason and not by accident. Thus, wishing to find the ancient homeland (i.e. Eden) and intently looking in its direction, we worship God.
Deacon Alexander Filippov
January, 15, 2003