John's Blog

Commentary on the Bible or bible topics.

Posts Tagged ‘Jesus

Jesus is expected to rapture His Church, when?

leave a comment »


According to the Apostle Paul, “Concerning the times and the seasons” (1 Thes. 5:1) Christians are to comfort one another with the knowledge that Jesus is coming soon.  When caught up, believers will forever be with the Lord.  The Bible says Christians will avert the judgment to fall on unbelievers and evil.  The context is a rescue.  All of Gods promises will be fulfilled, and one will experience love, peace, joy, grace, and mercy in the presence of the Savior Jesus Christ.

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up [rapture] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air… Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thes. 4:16-18 See also Rev. 12:5

rapture_timeline_chart

Rapture Timeline Chart (Click to enlarge)

The scriptures call Christians to be readywatch, pray, and wait for Jesus. Don’t be among those who “did not know the time of your visitation” (Lk. 19:44).  Jesus admonishes Christians to “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware” (Luke 21:34).

“Therefore you also be ready…” Luke 12:40

Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36

“do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.” 1 Cor. 1:7

Are Christians to know when Jesus will return for His Church?  Jesus wept over Jerusalem and for the Jews for not knowing that He was the Messiah to come.  It is clear that believers are not going to know exactly when but does He want believers to know potential times that He will return?  The Scriptures provide some clues to that.

“you did not know the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:44

“You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” Luke 12:56, Mat. 16:3

“But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk?  The master will return unannounced [to him] and unexpected” Matthew 24:48-50 NLT

“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief… let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thes. 5:4,6

The following is based on three prophetic interpretations:

  1. Parable of the Fig Tree
  2. The Feast of Trumpets
  3. Twinkling of an Eye.

The aim here is to bring these three prophecies together for a more complete picture since they are typically addressed independently.  This article is not addressing the details of each prophecy only bringing them together as they relate to one another.  Here are some sites that address them in more detail:

No One Knows the Day or Hour – but is there also an enigma to this?

Qualifying Factor – predictability.

While no man knows the specific and singular day or hour of Jesus’s return, is there an enigma to this?  This phrase of not knowing is reinforced by, but yet better understood as being a Jewish idiom in Jesus’s day with regards to a betrothal process referred to as kiddushin.  This idiom is the outlook a groom had for his bride during the waiting of his father’s approval (bridalcovenant.com/wedding1.html).

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24:36, 42, 44.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Mark 13:32

And or, it is also said that this is an idiomatic reference to the Feast of Trumpets since the day is not known.  Furthermore, other scriptures, examined below, appear to give a span of years, probable months / days, and probable hours, that are all in the plural, thus known yet undetermined.

Do enigmas exist in the Scriptures and or Jewish thoughts and ideas?  Yes, they do, more commonly referred to as a parable.  Jesus many times spoke in parables, and so it is that prophecy also reflects this kind of thought.  Additionally, for idioms, one only has to point to Song of Solomon.  Furthermore, there are metaphors, take, for example, the Church (believers in Jesus) are the bride of Christ.

Furthermore, notice that these verses do NOT mention “year” nor “month” but only “day or hour” so scripturally one may potentially be able to predict the year(s) and or month(s).

Another way of potentially understanding no man knows the day or hour is by understanding how day and night are described in scripture.  Genesis 1:5 “God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.”  Then one has to understand that night and day do not correspond to the date; there is an overlapping of DAY time referred to as twilight.  Jewish date goes from the middle of twilight to the middle of the latter twilight; whereas, day begins at the start of twilight and ends at the close of twilight or light, so night is about two hours less than day.  Hence the colloquial phrase, ‘no man knows the “day” or “hour”‘ because of this overlapping.  So the phrase can be taken lightly not literally, as it is used informally because of this overlapping of daytime.  One can also accept both imminence and appointed time by reconciling the two as discussed below in the Twinkling of an Eye section.

Note, the approximations below are only a narrowing down of what the scriptures provide for knowing Jesus’s return.  This is NOT a day or hour being set.  NO SINGLE SPECIFIC YEAR, MONTH / DAY, OR HOUR ARE BEING PREDICTED BELOW, THE LIST IS INCLUSIVE!

Parable of the Fig Tree

Year – Fulfilled.

Based on the prophecy of the Parable of the Fig Tree we can determine approximately what years Jesus Christ will rapture the Church (arewelivinginthelastdays.com/article/generation/generation.htm; https://youtu.be/HH4k74AN_uc?t=5m20s).

“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place.” Matthew 24:32-34 NLT

The fulfillment of this prophecy is commonly understood as the Jewish state of Israel (the Fig Tree) becoming a nation, as it did on May 14, 1948.  Thus it is our “generation” that will see Jesus return who “see all these things” (the fig tree budding and leaves sprouting) come to pass.  So what is a generation in the bible?  Most references seemed to indicate 40 years; however, that has passed in 1988; therefore, most look to Psalm 90:10 that says,

“The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years” Psalm 90:10

If 70 years is added, 2018 is reached; whereas, if 80 years is added, 2028 is reached from the proposed starting date of May 14, 1948.  Then subtract 7 years for the tribulation period, and a 10-year span between 2011 and 2021 is arrived at.  This writing is in 2016, thus it can be narrowed down even further between 2016 and 2021, but still a several year span that “No one knows the day or hour”.  Additionally, the following link (series of five videos) plausibly narrows the rapture down to 2017 with regards to the “Great sign” depicted in Revelation 12 (youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsa5IqNLzmFDegks07EuLyq1Z-gfB5vMY).  It is uncertain if this is the appointed time/year or it is a sign pointing forward but more likely it is the appointed time/year.  Remember, year is NOT disqualified by scripture.

On the other hand, there is a serious question if this Rev. 12 Great Sign, as interpreted by Scottie Clarke, is even correct or biblical.  One has to question the Virgo or astrological aspect.  Astronomically, there does not appear to be a biblical conflict but astrologically there is a problem because the bible condemns astrology. One as to question, is astrology (mystical) being mixed with astronomy (secular) in the understanding of this? Truly, there is no literal pictorial Virgo in the heavens- it simply does not exist.  The next question is that, “Would God use astrology to reveal a prophetic sign?”  Visit this link for my article: Is the woman, Virgo? A historical look.  It is wise that when we don’t know something, to stick with what we do know, especially when it comes to prophecy.

Feast of Trumpets

Month, Day – To be fulfilled.

Biblically it is believed that the Holy Day or “appointed time (moed)” Jewish Festival of the “Feast of Trumpets”, also known as “Yom Teruah”, will be when the rapture occurs, due to its correlated significance in the bible (Lev. 23:24; 1 Cor. 15:52; youtu.be/y7EGkXWnbJk).  This falls on the 7th month called Tishrei of the Hebrew calendar.  Thus, based on the “appointed time” for the annual Feast of Trumpets it can be known that Jesus Christ will rapture the Church on the 7th Hebrew month, and within a several day span (Lev. 23:24; youtu.be/lcJG8766jpM).  This holiday usually falls toward the end of September or beginning of October on the Gregorian civil calendar but can be calculated as to its two-day occurrence with sometimes a one-day variance depending on the sighting of the new moon from Jerusalem.  Because the day cannot be specified, again “No one knows the day or hour”; however, this also narrows down our prospective rapture to the 7th Hebrew month and two days on which this holiday is celebrated.  While the Feast of Trumpets occurs annually, the rapture will occur imminently, once in time, on a Feast of Trumpet.  Again remember, the month is NOT disqualified by scripture.

The Feast of Trumpets is based on a sighting of the new moon, not date (renewedmoon.com).  While the new moon can be predicted astronomically, it is not always visibly verifiable on earth from Jerusalem on the exact astronomical day that pronounces the Feast of Trumpets festival, thus the Feast of Trumpets is never known until the very moment it is visible by two witnesses from Jerusalem, then and only then do the trumpets sound.  It is the 100th trumpet blast that constitutes the last trump.

“”Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation…” Lev. 23:24

“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:52

Reference links for understanding the Luni-Soler Calendar:

Twinkling of an eye

Hour – To be fulfilled.

It is known that the phrase “twinkling of an eye” refers to evening twilight, and more specifically the moment the sun goes below the horizon and becomes dark with a view from the temple mount in Jerusalem (torahcalendar.com/HOUR.asp). The Hebrew 24 hour period begins at evening twilight when there is no light (See Genesis 1:5).  Dusk (evening) and Dawn (morning) are regarded as dual time frames of hours within a single date referred as Twilight(s).  Evening twilight from Jerusalem can vary, and roughly be about three hours long (timeanddate.com/astronomy/israel/jerusalem).  Since these time frames are two “hour” periods with a span of hours than “no man knows the day or hour“.

“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:52 NKJV

“In a rega (moment), in the wink of an eye, at the last shofar blast. For the shofar will sound, the Mesim (dead ones) will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:52 OJB

Extra-Biblical Rabbinical source from Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakoth (Folio 2a CHAPTER I Berakoth 2b) gives an understanding of what the “twinkling of an eye” means: “Do you think that I am referring to the twilight [as defined] by you?  I am referring to the twilight [as defined] by R. Jose. For R. Jose says: The twilight is like the twinkling of an eye. This enters and that departs — and one cannot exactly fix it.” (www.come-and-hear.com/berakoth/berakoth_2.html)

Reference links for “twinkling of an eye” to “twilight” idiomatic interpretation:

This passage describes the order of events:

we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise firstThen we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thes. 4:15-17

Because there are two distinct events first resurrection of the dead, and then rapture of those who are alive, this explains the twinkling of eye and trumpet associated with resurrection of the dead, and the beginning of Tishri 1; whereas, it appears that the rapture occurs several hours later on the same day when the Great Sign of Rev. 12 takes place “moon at her feet” (youtu.be/91F_EseiPkU).  Now does this mean we know the date and hour?  One answer to this question is: Probably yes but possibly no.  If the first part (resurrection) does not take place on Tishri 1 of 2017 then most likely the rapture will not either, and then that tells us we must interpret no man knows the day or hour more literally and not as a colloquial phrase referring to the overlapping of daytime.  In which case these signs are pointing forward to an imminent point and time most likely within the subsequent 5 years.  Another answer to this question is: Yes AND no.  We know the “appointment” but He might show up early.  The latter being more consistent with reconciling imminence AND appointment.  I think we will know more if we see increased birth pains, mid-east wars, destruction of Damascus, a temple being built, and or the resurrection (first part) take place.

Now with regards to the date being probably known, the scriptures compel me to accept His imminent AND appointed time.  Many feel they have to be in one camp or the other, or their pride blinds them to the other because they feel they have to be right and are the only ones who understand.  The fact is that the scriptures teach both, and it is very easy to reconcile the two together if one accepts this fact.  The problem is with people’s interpretation NOT the scriptures.  The scriptures are correct on both, otherwise one has to excuse away the scriptures pertaining to the other.  Furthermore, to add to that, the Scriptures tell us the “Master” will not “delay” (Mat. 24:48) and “this generation shall not pass” Mat. 24:32-34).  So personally, I see the scriptures teach that the rapture will occur any time up to Sept. 23, 2017.  When I have an appointment that I want to attend (oh let’s say a wedding with my fiancée), I will NOT miss that date, but if circumstances permitted, I would gladly make that appointment earlier because I choose to out of love.  Furthermore, notice that 1 Thes. 4:15-17 above says “rise first. Then”.  This is a division in time and thus more likely indicates that that the two events (resurrection & rapture) occur several hours apart on Tishrei 1.

Now, is the moment or hour predictable or known in advance based on the “moon under her feet” (Rev. 12:1)?  Answer, yes we know in the program Stellarium (stellarium.org) the time that will occur; however,  No, because we don’t know the day (see section on day above) and we don’t know if we will, in fact, see or observe the first part (resurrection), and the moon under her feet is the moment it (rapture) happens.  Is it known? yes, but will it happen? we don’t know because it is the very moment of occurrence.

The word watch in the scriptures is used in two ways, 1) as periods of hours, and 2) to look for (biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?search=watch&version=NKJV&searchtype=all&bookset=2&resultspp=500).  With this section dealing with hours, I will address the first.  There are four night watches (torahcalendar.com/HOUR.asp).  Does this biblical reference to watch give us clues as to the hour(s) since second, third, and fourth watches are mentioned?  (See Mat. 14:25, Mark 6:48, and Luke 12:38)  Answer, no, none of the references to watch appear to be giving a clue.  You will find it is merely referencing them as potential periods, and rather, leaves it open so as to incline the reader to be watchful in the second sense of the word.

“And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.” Luke 12:38

Rapture

Deductive reasoning: Here is what can be known and this is the enigma based on the above prophetic clues that the bible gives, leaving several concrete possibilities of appointed time when Jesus will come for His Church.  Yet, because they are all plausibly correct, the uncertainty of exactly when remains:

2016  October 3rd, 4th or 5th at Jerusalem twilight.

2017  September 21st, 22nd or 23rd at Jerusalem twilight*. Great Sign Rev. 12

2018  September 10th or 11th at Jerusalem twilight*.

2019  September 30th or October 1st at Jerusalem twilight*.

2020  September 19th or 20th at Jerusalem twilight*.

2021  September 7th or 8th (excluded) at Jerusalem twilight*.  However, the 8th is ruled out because it can potentially be predictable.

Furthermore, I will refer to these appointed times as up to dates because of Mat. 24:48 mentioned above. (*Possible one-day variance.)

Exclusion of the 8th: There poses a problem with the day being predictable for September 8, 2021.  If the twilight of the 7th passes then one can know it will be the 8th (predictability based on the past, leaving one certainty, the next day).  Since “No man knows the day or hour” the 8th is excluded.  In regards to hour, the moment, or hour, will never be known because there is a “span of time” factor that “twilight” takes place in.  The 7th remains in play as unknown because one does not know if the Feast of Trumpets will begin on the 6th, 7th or 8th.  If by 2021 twilight of the 7th passes and the Church is not raptured, then thereafter there will be no expected rapture on the subsequently prescribed day (8th) thus making something wrong with the interpretation of one or more of the three prophecies mentioned above.  This is possible due to uncertainties in interpretations of eschatology; however, this is less likely the case with all of the other biblical signs converging.

In conclusion, the Bible gives us points in time.  The years are determined to occur between now and 2021.  The month is determined as occurring on the 7th Hebrew month and the first day of that month is uncertain.  Lastly, the hours of the resurrected dead in Christ and rapture of those who are alive is determined as occurring at twilight, a span of hours and moon under her feet.

Watchers 

Subject to available Internet, one can watch and listen to the blowing of the trumpets (shofar) on the above dates and times at thekotel.org.  Be aware of the Jerusalem time and variance of dates; one may have to check several days in a row until the crescent moon is observed (torahcalendar.com/HOUR.asp) (See also worldslastchance.com/lunisolarcalendar/web/WlcWeb.html).  Furthermore, download and install the program Stellarium and go to September 23, 2017, to determine the “moon under her feet” (stellarium.org).  Keep in mind all of the cheviots described in this article with regards to this date and time.

Also, note that it would be highly significant if any of the following conditions exist at this celebration: 1) If the Jews were allowed to worship on or celebrate the Feast of Trumpets directly on the temple mount. 2) If the temple is being built, or 3) if the temple is already built, destruction of Damascus or wars neighboring or coming against Israel.  See Israel News:

What about Christ’s imminent return?  Imminence applies only to day and hour.  Imminent is exactly what it means “coming soon”, “coming quickly”, not “every day” but forthcoming on the appointed day occurring once in time (https://youtu.be/GyC4q1ob7fA).  So there is a balance to imminence and knowing when Jesus will rapture His Church, the bible teaches both and they are subject to each other.  The Master has left but He is returning on an appointed day (scripturally Tishri 1 of 2017).  However, there is a caveat, that schedule is subject to change, He might return earlier but He promises not to be delayed (Mat 24).  Some may say that Matthew 24 is the Second Coming and that is true; however, in verse 48-50 the context is His SERVANTS, Christian or Jew.  So in a nut shell we know UP TO the date and that it will NOT be after the date.  What about the “last trump” and “twinkling of an eye”? No problem, this has occurred every year for the last 2,000 years.  Regardless, I do still think that the resurrection will occur hours prior to the rapture though.  Jesus Said:

“for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Luke 12:40 NLT

“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Revelation 22:7

“But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of” Matthew 24:48-50

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise” 2 Peter 3:9

Lord teach us to number our days.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

If you are reading this after the rapture has happened, do NOT get the mark of the beast!

(youtu.be/I9urKtbiXtA)

(Disclaimer: While the above prophetic interpretations are convincing and have a high probability of being correct, I do not necessarily agree with all of the beliefs of the websites referenced; likewise, that does not necessarily make them wrong in everything either; I believe them to be correct on these prophecies.  As with all teachings, one must test with a balance of scripture.  If these prophecies are interpreted correctly, then as sure as the Word of God is, Jesus will return on or before one of those prescribed biblical times.  Among others, here are some opposing points of view websites that I ran across in studying and researching this topic: cogeternal.org/text/004hebrewcalreliable.htm and torahtimes.org/calendar.html.  Furthermore, it should be noted that contact information is not readily available for torahcalendar.com.  Here is another “Creation Calendar” that may be different: https://www.worldslastchance.com/lunisolarcalendar/web/WlcWeb.html .  Thus, month, date, and time is subject to the correct Creation Calendar.

Observed Interactions

leave a comment »


This diagram is some observations I made of practical interactions that impact quality of life.  The reason I called it “Good Life” because these are things that contribute to an individuals well being and happiness.  A balance of these greatly improve ones quality of life; whereas, the absence of one can decrease quality of life.  At the center is the true and living God, man’s spiritual need.  The triangle represents the physical, and mental needs of man, and they are naturally affected by money or wealth.  So why the scientific general relativity correlations?  Because a man’s lifetime and location directly affect the triangle as well.   I welcome any thoughts.

Observed Interactions

Observed Interactions

Written by johnsbibleblog

June 7, 2016 at 1:27 AM

Quest for the Land of Eden

with 2 comments


I became interested as to where the Garden of Eden might have been.  As I did my research there were several possible locations and unanswered questions, no one seemed real sure of their own synopsis or seemed to have created a map with the biblical references.  Then I decided to just go back to the Bible and attempt to figure it out myself.  I wanted to start from scratch with an open mind of it being anywhere or even undetermined.

Eden_Ancient_HebrewEden ay’-den; pleasure, delicate, delight, paradise, pleasant, soft; plain.  Jesus is the door (Jn. 10:7,9) and the life “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jn. 14:6.  Jesus said He is the way [door] the truth [knowledge] and the life [pleasure].  The Father (YHWH) want’s us to know Him through the person of Jesus Christ (Yeshua) and we will have that Paradise or Eternal Life; likewise, He can reciprocate.  “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Jn. 17:3.  So Eden is a story of the relationship between God and Man.

First, what does the bible say happened to the Garden?  There was 11 overlapping generations with a span of a thousand years that would have had direct knowledge (person to person) about Eden and the Garden during it’s existence, including Noah and his family.  At least 9 of those generations lived simultaneously with Adam during his lifespan.  The Garden proper, became off limits shortly after it’s existence, then quickly deteriorated in judgment after the fall of man (from it’s pristine condition of less than 100 years) while probably existing until the deluge where it was ultimately destroyed (Gen. 3:23-24).  A remarkable work of dating: Annals of the World.

So my research for the Garden’s location began with the key words “Eden” and “garden” in the biblical text; subsequently, I began to find a pattern that locations were being described as being in the direction of “East”.  The more I researched the more I realized that it was actually mapping it out for me.  But in determining the location, one has to answer the question: Are the current Euphrates and Tigris Rivers the ones described in Genesis?  If so, how would Noah and his family been able to identify them and re-assign the names after the destruction of the flood?

Land of Eden

Land of Eden Map ©

Answer:  Noah and his family would have used the sun, moon, and stars; his knowledge of oceans, mountains, valleys, and lakes, as well as active volcanoes.  With the overlapping long lives of Adam’s descendants (11 generations), Noah and his family would have identified remnants of cities or megalithic remains, additionally would have had God’s revelation.  So with the logical postulation those rivers are in fact correct, one can map out where it was with some light of modern information that the river Pishon is now a subterranean aquifer that runs along the north Kuwait border to south-west of Hafar Al Batain, this is presently known as the Wadi al Batin.  The Pishon runs across Saudi Arabia and forks midway north-west to the An Nafud Desert, and turns west where a prehistoric system of lakes existed (what I will call the Pishon Lakes) at the region now called Jubbah in northern Arabia, as well as being a current antediluvian archeology site.  Similarly, the Gihon River in the opposite direction, would be what is now known as the Karun River.  James A. Sauer, former curator of the Harvard Semitic Museum, as well as, Archaeologist and Professor Juris Zarins holds to the position that this region is the location of the Pishon and Gihon rivers.  Study of Arabian palaeohydrology confirms much of this.  We also know that post-diluvian civilizations encompass the region of Sumeria and Mesopotamia.  This is indicative of the fact that Noah’s Ark did not have propulsion, thus would have had limited drift on the Earth, and thus making landfall not far from the region.  (Plausible new theory on the flood; see also The Waters Cleaved).

Wasn’t Cush in Africa? It should be noted that the “land of Cush” or “latter Cush” in Genesis 2:13 was more likely named post-flood after the son of Ham. It then was used as a reference in writing Genesis 2:13 as to where the Gihon was. Ham, according to the Table of Nations in the Book of Genesis, was a son of Noah and the father of Cush. It is true that Cush’s father Ham lived in the region of Upper Egypt (South) “old Kush” at which time the region of Kush may have derived it’s name. However, Cush (son of Ham) must have then relocated to the Mesopotamia region (where his wife Semiramis was from) and bore his son Nimrod who became King of Shinar (in Mesopotamia). Furthermore, Judges 3:8,10 reference the “Cushan-Rishathaim King of Mesopotamia”. The Shinar, Babylonian/Assyrian regions are much closer to the proposed Gihon River. So it is plausible that there was a second region referred to as Cush (latter) located where the proposed Gihon River was, and as referenced in Genesis 2:13 or what became Elam. It’s also plausible that Cush wanted to return to the Garden region that led him to re-settle at the Gihon river. The adjacent known name locations of Cush’s sons settled in Persian Gulf and Arabia Genesis 10:7 (i.e. Nimrod, Havilah, Raamah) likewise reflect the more easterly region in which Cush himself took up residence later in life, see Habakkuk 3:7.

The more I pieced the puzzle together the better it all fit, even dispelling some myths on subject, and discovering new aspects of it.  Antediluvian geographical regions are referenced as “land of” in Genesis.  In Gen. 2:8,10 it distinguishes the place “Eden” from the “Garden”, “planted a garden eastward in Eden” and “out of Eden to water the garden“.  Also, it stands to reason that with the phrase “garden of Eden” one can postulate that there was a land or place called Eden, in which the garden existed; therefore, when reading the scriptures that distinction must be made.  Now this further raises the question, “Where was the Land of Eden?” My most notable observation was that the land of Eden, encompassed the land that God later promised to Abraham’s descendants from the river Nile to the river Euphrates (includes Israel- Genesis 15:18, 17:8; Exodus 6:8, 23:31; Deuteronomy 1:8) because it would have been westward of the Pishon River and east to the Garden according to the Biblical text; whereas, others have incorrectly put Eden in northern Mesopotamia or Africa.  Since the river Pishon “went out [of the land] of Eden” (Gen. 2:10-11), it would have had the greatest notability or prominence in it’s day among the rivers mentioned in Genesis with regards to passing down the creation story post-diluvian; thus the natural human reaction or tendency would have been to eagerly label, even mislabel that river.  However, that was not the case, all we have labeled are the Euphrates and Tigris, thus indicating that when the Euphrates and Tigris river names were assigned, they were assigned with certainty of identification and credibility.  While this predicates on the above premises it seems to be the most rational and reasonable explanations.  See the Bible references in the box, on above map, regarding the land that Eden encompassed.

In Gen. 2:10-11, it sates the river Pishon “became four riverheads” and the two keywords here are “became” and “riverheads”.  One can stand downriver, look back upriver and view the joining rivers (Pishon, Euphrates, Tigris, Gihon) as “heads” to the river downstream.  Then in verse 11 it says “which skirts the whole land of Havilah”; in like manner, the proposed Pision stretches across and skirts Havilah.  Since these four rivers meet in a rather large area, does that seem to be too large to be a garden tillable for Adam?  No, the area is not too large, because God knew Adam and Eve would have children and many descendants to carry out the work. According to the Tanakh or Old Testament Scriptures alone we can definitively draw boundaries of the land of Eden based the following proofs:

  1. The “land” of Eden is distinguished from the Garden, Gen. 2:8,10.*
  2. The Garden and Euphrates, are the east boundary of Eden, Gen. 2:8,10,14.*
  3. The Pishon River is the south boundary of Eden, Gen. 2:10-12.*
  4. The north boundary is as far north as Telassar, 2 Kings 19:12 & Isa. 37:12 (Ref.1, Ref.2, Ref.3);
  5. Even as far north as Beth-Eden (house-palace-temple of Eden-pleasure-living voluptuously or belonging to), Amos 1:5 (Ref.1, Ref.2, Ref.3, Ref.4, Ref.5, Ref.6).
  6. The west boundary is at least as far as Lebanon/Tyre and the Mountain of God, Ezek. 27:23, 28:13, 31:16, 28:14, Zec. 8:3, Exod. 3:1 but should extend to the “River of Egypt” Gen. 15:18.
  7. Southwest boundary would seem to include the Upper Egypt (South) to the delta along the “River of Egypt” (Sorry my map needs to be updated to include Upper Egypt (South), (old Cushite region), Gen. 15:18, Isa. 11:10-11.
  8. The four rivers met in the Garden, Gen. 2:10.*

* = Direct Genesis account proofs; while the other proofs are in the more broader sense “inspired of God” (2 Tim. 3:16) as referenced by scriptures outside of the Genesis narrative.

Other proofs include the following:  A Levitical lineage with the place derived name of Eden associates it to the Hebrew people.  Etymologically, the word Eden is of Hebrew Semitic origin.  Archeology supports the region for the origin of the word Eden, in the form of Babylonian cuneiform tablets containing similar words.  Ezekiel tells us that Eden is God’s Garden, it belonged to God (Ezk. 28:13, Isa. 51:3), yet he entrusted it to man.  Allow me to beg the question, “Where is God’s Land?  Thus, where was the Garden if it belongs to God?”  This region of the world also concurs with the location where the descendants of Adam and Eve would have lived, as the first city named after Cain’s son called the city of Enoch (Uruk) was located in the Land of Nod just opposite of the Land of Eden (divided by the Euphrates), as supported by the biblical text and cuneiform writings.  The region contains gold, bdellium (resin or amber), and onyx as described in Genesis 2:11-12.

Furthermore, the proposed location coincides with better known locations such as: Nod, Havilah, Assyria, Lebanon/Tyre, Euphrates, Hiddekel / Tigres, and Holy Mountain of God.  The region is rich in oil and coal deposits suggesting it was once lush with plants and animals. Furthermore, the region is littered with other evidences.  Five separate similar extra biblical stories in the form of cuneiform writings dating as far back as 2150 B.C. have been found in the exact same region of the Garden, ancient Sumer or Sumeria.  There is evidence that this region is also the origin of the wheel, stone knife, writing, arch for architecture, and mathematics, furthermore various tools of wood, stone and bone are found here.  So, does this area (Eden or area promised to Abrahams descendants) conflict with his later giving of borders to the tribes under Moses in Numbers 34:1-15 and Ezekiel 47:15-20?  I think not.  It is plausible there were to be more tribes that would have encompassed the larger area but there may have been the loss of one or more descendants under Jacob not mentioned in the bible.  Also, it is unknown how tribal distribution and lineage might have occurred under Esau.

Garden of Eden

I will suggest that the post-flood atmospheric catastrophe resulting from the flood was far more impacting to man, plants, and animals over several centuries than the actual flood had on the landscape, altering the climate permanently from it’s original protected canopy by reducing the ozone, oxygen, humidity, and pressure thus increasing solar radiation that ultimately reduced the maximum age of man as well as forest able regions.

A few other points worthy of noting are, since the Garden of Eden was referenced as a garden in Eden, one can postulate the “land of Eden” as a whole, was NOT like a garden.  I also noticed scriptural points that allow one to imagine what it was like from the perspective of Adam and Eve.  Secular Prehistory parallels Genesis 1:26-4:26 in that it explains origins of man and importance of food.  Food production was so important to the beginning of humanity that it likewise is reflected in the book of Genesis as the primary sustenance of life, whereby God assigned man the task of horticulture in the Garden of Eden; foraging likewise is implied, while agriculture followed; and subsequently reveals mans invention of pastoralism.  What was utopian about the Garden and why did God create it?  The answers is actually the obvious, it had not yet been tarnished by sin, and man needed the garden to forage for food.  Adam and Eve would have started as vegetarian gathers as this would have been the simplest form of obtaining food and what God had directed them to eat (Gen. 1:29-30).  Because food was of such importance, it was this that God would test mans obedience with.  After man sinned, death entered the world (Rom. 5:12,6:23) and Adam and Abel discovered eating meat most likely by observing animals eating other animals, thus became hunters and then herdsman as “Abel was a keeper of sheep” and offered sheep as a sacrifice (Gen. 4:2,4 ).  It appears that because the land was “tillable” outside the garden, that it contained less trees than the garden itself (Gen. 2:5, 3:23, 4:2&12).  Likewise, since God so graciously “put” man in the garden one can postulate that he was created outside the garden (Gen. 2:8,15); furthermore, God “sent him [Adam] out of the garden to till the ground from which he was taken” (Gen. 2:15, 3:23).  Both Adam and Cain first tilled the ground in the Garden, then later outside the Garden.  Adam and Cain would most likely have learned horticulture by making observations of seeds naturally sprouting in the garden as they fell from trees and noticed that plants grew better near water.

We see animals existed inside and outside the garden.  Death reveals the consequence of sin (Heb. 9:22,Mat. 26:28), thus, the reason God accepted Abel’s sacrifice over Cain’s; Abel’s sacrifice being the picture of Jesus Christ (Gen. 3:15).  It was in the garden that clothing and sewing was invented “they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings” most likely by Eve simply stringing a vine through leaves (Gen. 3:7,21).  Again, Eve most likely discovered this by seeing how vines grew intertwining and connectively.  Living in a Utopian world, man most likely did not need fire prior to the fall.  Man would have first observed fire/light from the sun, volcanic activity, (and lightning and forest fires after the fall) also the “flaming” sword that guarded “the way to the tree of life“.  It appears God created man with the capacity to communicate verbally, most likely an Ancient Hebrew (Early Semitic or “Edenic”) language (Gen. 2:23, 11:1).

As the world began to deteriorate, man may have observed a dead log floating in water and realized the invention of a boat.  Lastly, after Eden was destroyed by the flood it was described to have become a desert according to the Scriptures (Isa. 51:3).  Interesting, that subsequently, Arabia and the connecting North Africa is the single largest desert region on earth.  Recent scientific research has discovered that Arabia was once green and quite populated by man and animals early in human history.

The kinds of trees shown in the garden detail map are not truly for certain, only graphics to joggle your mind; however, there are references to the fig, chestnut, and cedar trees, that they were beautiful and very large, so much so, that the Prophet Ezekiel uses them as an analogy against Pharaoh.  One must imagine a world without technologies or modern conveniences as we know them.  To Adam and Eve the life around them (plants and animals) is what was important and must have brought a sense of wonder.  They might have thought, animals were somewhat similar to them but trees were quite different and majestic.  Animals are: animate, fleshly, life forms; whereas, trees are inanimate lifeforms.

What was the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” and the “tree of life”?  While being literal trees; presumably, they both also must have a meaning simply because of their names.  What are their meanings?  One brought physical and spiritual death (Gen. 2:17), while the other life so you could say there was the tree of death and the tree of life.

The first tree:  We’ll look at the descriptives of this tree as “good” then “evil”.  Why would “knowledge of good” bring death?  Knowledge of good here is twofold:

1. to know to do good and do evil deeds “to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17), and or

2. mans deciding to dictate what is good and evil in his own eyes that contradicts what God says.  “lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).  “Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.” (Jn. 9:41).  Essentially calling good evil, and evil good.

“Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies” (1 Cor. 8:1); furthermore, only God is all-knowing.  “Self-righteousness” by “good works” was not acceptable because it is without faith.  Good works is based on one’s own merit.  The “tree of knowledge of good and evil” (good works and evil deeds), thus meant mans false conclusion (like Satan) that he can live or have life on his own merit without God, instead man wanted to be God.

Then, there was the knowledge of evil, that lead to disobedience and the evil desire to be God (Gen. 3:5,22).  Thus, two reasons to not partake of it’s fruit.  Rather than heeding God’s warning, man did evil by disobedience, and justified that it was the good thing to do because they were told by another that it was good, yet consequentially results in death.  It began with the Serpent’s deception by first questioning what God said, then by twisting the word of God.  So there was two “paths or ways” to this first tree that man could make on his own that would lead to death:

1. knowledge of good or self-righteousness and hypocrisy (doing what was right in his own eyes Judges 17:6) or it’s root sin of the “pride of life” (1 John. 2:16), and also

I will call this “natural sin” where one offends/hurts God; whereas, what follows in the next paragraph I will call “spiritual sin”, where one turns against or becomes anti God.  Both kinds of sins have the same consequence- death physically and spiritually because they are blasphemy and unbelief, thus requiring the forgiveness of sin by salvation in Jesus Christ.

2. blatant evil or it’s root sin of rebellion/defiance, hedonism, and Satanism.

Knowledge of good and evil actually instilled a desire in man known as strict Secular Humanism, or deification of man, and the serpent took advantage of that (Gen. 3:5,22).  This sin of worshiping man and man wanting worship by man, subsequently emerged and manifested in humanity as Kings.  Just as Lucifer wanting power, “I will be like the Most High” (Isa. 14:14).  This pits man at war with God.  There is only One Authority- Jesus, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords who has all power and ability to make law.  God will not share His glory (Isa. 42:8, 48:11).  What is the key to overcoming this? Humility in Jesus.  Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  Knowledge of good or doing good may be good but it cannot save from sin and thus becomes a snare leading to death.  There is only one who is good, that is God (Mat. 19:17, Psm. 14:3).  It is this tree of sin that will kill you, not God.

In Gen. 3:

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

Paraphrase: “Where are you spiritually?”

10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

Paraphrase: “I heard and am reminded of your word that I should not eat of the tree of knowledge, and my conscious was convicted of my sin so I tried to cover it.”

11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

Paraphrase: “Who accused you of sin?” Answer being, the Serpent. Instead of repenting, man blamed others and tried to cover their sin.

Knowledge of good and evil was mans feeble attempt at determining his own destiny.  Subsequently, redemption is revealed in Gen. 3:15 and culminated in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

The second tree: The “tree of life”, on the other hand, meant choosing Gods will, and by man’s belief in, dependence upon, and trusting God’s love for man’s life.  The tree of life was the “way” to God.  “In all your ways acknowledge Him” (Proverbs 3:6).  Furthermore, this tree of life, having to remain a mystery until God carried out salvation through love (John. 3:16) by Himself through the person and work of Jesus Christ, from whom true life comes, thus having to be guarded by an angel.  Man could not usurp the Holy Spirit or “live forever” apart from salvation since man had now sinned.  “Eternal life” must come through the Savior; the tree of life was a picture of the things to come through Jesus Christ, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6).  “Yet the law [includes good works] is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”  Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree [wooden cross]”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:12-14).”  Jesus is that tree of life.

He who overcomes, may eat of the tree of life (Rev. 2:7).  Only those who have faith and believe in Christ are over-comers as Jesus has overcome the world (Jn. 16:33).  “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 Jn. 5:4-5).  “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Gen. 30:19).  It is interesting to note that the Tree of Knowledge vanishes from scriptures but the Tree of Life re-appears in Paradise (Rev. 2:7) and that it bears 12 fruits (Rev. 22:2) (another correlation to Israel), for the healing of the nations.  How did Israel heal the nations?  Through the Messiah Jesus.

GardenPic

Before Sin

So why then in Gen. 3:22 does it say, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evilAnd now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”?  Was God holding out?  Not at all, man simply did not have the full nature or attributes of God, nor could he, to live eternally.  Notice the “And now” in this verse, and “become” is qualified by only “like one“.  Put it this way, “And now [that man has sinned]” he is no longer allowed to partake of the tree of life.  Salvation or the way to God was not to be by mans good works but by the grace of God, “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:7-9).

Continuing with Gen. 3:22, the word “like“, is in what form?  Knowing good and evil, yet still short of being God.  Partaking of the “tree of life” in sin would be like, receiving the Holy Spirit without Jesus Christ, much like attempting to obtain life through “ritualistic religion” vs. a willing, loving relationship with God.  In Gen. 7:22 it associates life with the Spirit in the phrase “Spirit of life”.  Continuing with Gen. 3:22, then “one of us“, referring to the triune Godhead, three in person one in essence.  It wasn’t until Adam’s third son, Seth, that man began to turn back to God, “Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.” (Gen. 4:25-26).

So what was so pleasant about the Garden of Eden?  Was it the lush environment, well maybe partly in the physical sense; however, it was mostly paradise because God walked with man, the very presence of God dwelt with man (Gen. 1:28,29, 3:8; Immanuel- “God with us” Isa. 7:14).  This direct encounter Adam had with God was a Christophony (preincarnate appearance of Christ), and would most likely have been the way God imparted the story prior to and including the creation of Adam.  And so then on, this would be the land, Eden, where God would directly interact and dwell (tabernacle) with man throughout history, forward, even making his home (temple) in Jerusalem until the Messiah appeared.

“The Israelites never came close to taking all of the territory God had given them. God had so much for them. He had given so much to them. He had such grand plans for them. Yet they never took advantage of them. I can’t help but wonder, Lord, how much more do You have in mind for me, for my family, for the church?” -Jon Courson.

Ultimately, during the Millennial Reign of Christ, the curse will be lifted from the earth, and all will be made right and good as a “new earth” (Rev. 3:12, 21:1).  Israel will enjoy all of it’s territory under the Messiah’s second advent.  The “New Jerusalem” or city of peace, will come down out of heaven, yes Paradise will return (Rev. 2:7, 21:2), and notice the reference as to the geographical location, “Jerusalem”.  Until then, we can experience His presence, peace, love, forgiveness, power, and have the hope of eternal life now by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through belief in Jesus Christ.

“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:2-4).

This article is not intended to refute other assumed Eden locations but to provide the biblical historical and literal location.  I will say though, based on the evidence provided, all other proposed locations simply do not fit the Scriptures, in fact one would have to divert from the scriptures to assert Eden or the Garden were in:  Africa, North Mesopotamia, Pangaea continent, Temple Mount, or Somewhere else.

However, I will address one due to its uniqueness.  Some hold the unique position that the Temple Mount is the location of the Garden of Eden.  Those who hold to the “Temple Mount Garden of Eden” are correct in that Jerusalem is in the “Land” of Eden; however, it does not fit the scriptures for being the exact location of the original historical “Garden” proper, as described in Genesis.  Distinguishing the “Land” of Eden from the “Garden” of Eden helps clarify this.  Furthermore, it’s plausible, they are also correct with their parallels, more in a prophetic sense, in that the Temple Mount will be the “future” Garden of Eden, or paradise described as the “new Jerusalem” in Rev. 3:12, 21:1.

However, the assertions that the Garden was on the Temple Mount are done so by alluding to parallels and similarities.  This understanding is NOT taking a historical or literal interpretation approach of the scriptures as their basis (Gen. 2:4).  It is interpreting history based on parallels instead of facts reviled in scripture.  Doing so, does not let the text tell the story; it is interpreting the text on the pretext of wanting the “garden” in Jerusalem, when in actuality, it is that Jerusalem is in the land of Eden.  The basis of this interpretation attributes the “river Gihon” as being the “Gihon Spring” (2 Chron. 32:30,33:14); these are two different bodies of water.  Then to add more complexity to the matter, it does appear that the “pure river of water of life” in Rev. 22:1 is in fact a parallel with the “Gihon Spring” but NOT the “River Gihon” in Genesis.  This is where proper homiletics, hermeneutics, and exegesis is critical in rightly dividing the word of truth.

Because God transcends science, we must not allow science to constrain the Word of God, that is, be restricted to science or force God’s Word to fit science; likewise, we need not interpret the Word of God without rational science.  We ought to take the Word of God literally, and when science confirms the Word, then understand it with the light of science.  We must believe God’s Word and accept the fact that we may not fully understand in the natural how God did and does things that may be supernatural – this is faith.

So we see that the bible references Eden as a: land, garden, trees, house, people, and person, all of which lend clues to where the land of Eden and Garden was located.  Due to the patriarchs overlapping long lives the original story could have easily been passed down with accuracy.  All the maps I found didn’t seem to fit the scriptures conclusively, so I set out to re-map Eden and the Garden with the biblical references so anyone can further confirm and if possible further develop upon.

In this article you will see my expandable maps (by clicking on them twice), hope you all enjoy and research the related Scriptures, you will be even more amazed and convinced as I was that the Bible really does tell us where Eden and the Garden was. Never in history were we this certain as to where the Garden of Eden was.  Only to be revealed with aid of internet, Landsat, and earth/natural sciences.  Why, in our day, some six thousand years later can we now know where the Garden of Eden was?   What is the significance of the Land of Eden being the same area of land promised to Abraham?

Foremost, it defines the north and south boundaries of Israel.  Why does that matter?  We know in the last days, God will change the course of humanity by re-focusing on Israel.  God will make one nation of Israel (people and land) without division (Ezek. 37:22) “I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.”  No less than that area belongs to Israel.  God will not allow dividing up His land (Joel 3:1-2; Gen. 12:3, Zech. 12:3) “They have also divided up My land.”,  from the River Nile to the River Euphrates; from Beth-Eden to the Pishon River, it will be Israel.  Who will be that king?  Jesus Christ!

eden_newpic

________________________

All biblical references are from the New King James Version of the Bible.  Download PDF version of the map: Garden_of_Eden_Map_1_v4_7

Creative Commons License
Quest for the Land of Eden by John DiCesare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://johnsbibleblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/quest-for-the-land-of-eden/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://johnsbibleblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/quest-for-the-land-of-eden/.

%d bloggers like this: