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Genesis 2:10-14

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Genesis 2:10
  • Genesis 2:11
  • Genesis 2:12
  • Genesis 2:13
  • Genesis 2:14

Genesis is a book about many beginnings. The beginnings of the world, the human race, sin and redemption, and the nation of Israel to name a few. In fact, the word Genesis from the Greek means “origin,” and in Hebrew it means “beginning.” The book of Genesis contains the events of the flood, tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the lives of the Patriarchs.

In the beginning, God created everything by simply speaking, “God said…and it was so” (Genesis 1:6-7, 9, 11, 14-15). This is not a scientific technical account of creation, but it shows a loving God creating a universe and mankind to rule it and fellowship with God. Man was formed especially from the ground and given the breath of life from God. The woman was made from the man’s rib (Genesis 2:7).

After man fell into sin, things began to spin out of control quickly. Cain murdered his brother Abel and the human race became so violent that God decided to destroy them all with a flood. God saved one righteous man (Noah) and his family in an ark filled with animals to deliver the human race from extinction. God chose Abraham and blessed a special group of people named “Israel.” God began to unfold a plan of salvation from a coming famine by sending Joseph to rule in Egypt. The failure of man in every circumstance is met by the salvation of God. We fail, but the good news is God saves us.


If Genesis chapter one is a panoramic view, Genesis chapter two is the close-up view. It provides more detail about the sixth day of creation, especially the creation of man. In it, we find we (mankind) are special to God.


A river flowed out of Eden and divided into four other rivers, the Pishon, the Gihon, the Tigris, and the Euphrates.

 

In verses 10-14, we find more details of the description of Eden. The four rivers do not pinpoint the exact geographical location of Eden, but they do suggest a potential connection with Mesopotamia. The river Pishon’s name is derived from the Hebrew verb push, meaning “to spring up.” The river Gihon’s name is based on a verb meaning “to burst forth.” The location of the land Havilah is unknown, but it is mentioned four more times in Genesis. Havilah had gold and precious stones, but Eden had the tree of life and the presence of God. The land of Cush may refer to a region of East Africa, possibly including Southern Egypt and Northern Sudan. Modern scholars suggest it could be Ethiopia.

The Tigris is one of two great rivers in Mesopotamia. It begins in southeastern Turkey and flows into the Persian Gulf. Many important cities were found along the Tigris, including Nineveh and Asshur. Assyria was a major empire in the region of the upper Tigris. The Euphrates and Tigris rivers outline the land called Mesopotamia. In fact, the name Mesopotamia means “between the rivers.” The ancient city of Babylon was built near the Euphrates. This river divided the Hittite and Egyptian empires.

Biblical Text

10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

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