Garden of Eden

The Garden of Eden as depicted in the first or left panel of Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights triptych. The panel includes many imagined and exotic African animals.[1]

The Garden of Eden (Hebrew גַּן עֵדֶן, Gan ʿEḏen) or (often) Paradise, is the biblical "garden of God", described most notably in the Book of Genesis chapters 2 and 3, and also in the Book of Ezekiel.[2][3] Genesis 13:10 refers to the "garden of God" (not called Eden by name),[4] and the "trees of the garden" are mentioned in Ezekiel 31.[5] The Book of Zechariah and the Book of Psalms also refer to trees and water in relation to the temple without explicitly mentioning Eden.[6]

Traditionally, scholars favored deriving the name "Eden" from the Akkadian edinnu, derived from a Sumerian word edin meaning "plain" or "steppe". Chaim Cohen, however, writes that Eden is more closely related to an Aramaic root word meaning "fruitful, well-watered".[3] Another interpretation associates the name "Eden" with a Hebrew word for "pleasure"; thus the Douay-Rheims Bible in Genesis 2:8 has the wording"And the Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure" (rather than "a garden in Eden"). The Hebrew term is translated "pleasure" in Sarah's secret saying in Genesis 18:12.[7]

Like the records of the great flood, the creation story and the account of the confusion of languages, the story of Eden echoes the Mesopotamian myth of a king, as a primordial man, who is placed in a divine garden to guard the Tree of Life.[8] The Hebrew Bible depicts Adam and Eve as walking around the Garden of Eden naked due to their innocence.[9] Eden and its rivers may signify the real Jerusalem, the Temple of Solomon, or the Promised Land. It may also represent the divine garden on Zion, and the mountain of God, which was also Jerusalem. The imagery of the Garden, with its serpent and cherubim, has been compared[by whom?] to the images of the Solomonic Temple with its copper serpent (the nehushtan) and guardian cherubs.[10][need quotation to verify]

According to the Bible, the location of Eden is described in the Book of Genesis, chapter 2, verses 10–14 as the source of four tributaries. However, the Garden of Eden is considered to be mythological by most scholars.[11][12][13][14] Among those that consider it to have been real there have been various suggestions for its location:[15] for example, at the head of the Persian Gulf, in southern Mesopotamia (now Iraq) where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers run into the sea;[16] and in the Armenian Highlands or Armenian Plateau,[17][18][19] among other proposed locations.

Biblical narratives

Expulsion from Paradise, painting by James Jacques Joseph Tissot
The Expulsion illustrated in the English Caedmon manuscript, c. 1000 CE


The second part of the Genesis, opens with YHWH-Elohim (translated here "the LORD God", see Names of God in Judaism) creating the first man (Adam), whom he placed in a garden that he planted "eastward in Eden".[20] "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."[21]

The man was free to eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Last of all, the God made a woman (Eve) from a rib of the man to be a companion for the man. In chapter three, the man and the woman were seduced by the serpent into eating the forbidden fruit, and they were expelled from the garden to prevent them from eating of the tree of life, and thus living forever. Cherubim were placed east of the garden, "and a Genesis 3:24).

Genesis 2:10–14 lists four rivers in association with the garden of Eden: Pishon, Gihon, Chidekel (the Tigris), and Phirat (the Euphrates). It also refers to the land of Cush—translated/interpreted as Ethiopia, but thought by some to equate to Cossaea, a Greek name for the land of the Kassites.[22] These lands lie north of Elam, immediately to the east of ancient Babylon, which, unlike Ethiopia, does lie within the region being described.[23] In Antiquities of the Jews, the first-century Jewish historian Josephus identifies the Pishon as what "the Greeks called Ganges" and the Geon (Gehon) as the Nile.[24]


In Ezekiel 28:12–19 the prophet Ezekiel the "son of man" sets down God's word against the king of Tyre: the king was the "seal of perfection", adorned with precious stones from the day of his creation, placed by God in the garden of Eden on the holy mountain as a guardian cherub. But the king sinned through wickedness and violence, and so he was driven out of the garden and thrown to the earth, where now he is consumed by God's fire: "All those who knew you in the nations are appalled at you, you have come to a horrible end and will be no more." (v.19).

According to Terje Stordalen, the Eden in Ezekiel appears to be located in Lebanon.[25] "[I]t appears that the Lebanon is an alternative placement in Phoenician myth (as in Ez 28,13, III.48) of the Garden of Eden",[26] and there are connections between paradise, the garden of Eden and the forests of Lebanon (possibly used symbolically) within prophetic writings.[27] Edward Lipinski and Peter Kyle McCarter have suggested that the Garden of the gods (Sumerian paradise), the oldest Sumerian version of the Garden of Eden, relates to a mountain sanctuary in the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon ranges.[28]

Other Languages
العربية: جنات عدن
azərbaycanca: Ədən bağı
تۆرکجه: عدن باغی
brezhoneg: Liorzh Eden
čeština: Zahrada Eden
Cymraeg: Gardd Eden
dansk: Edens have
Deutsch: Garten Eden
eesti: Eedeni aed
Ελληνικά: Εδέμ
español: Edén
Esperanto: Edena ĝardeno
euskara: Eden
فارسی: باغ عدن
français: Éden
galego: Edén
한국어: 에덴 동산
Հայերեն: Եդեմ
हिन्दी: ईडन
hrvatski: Eden
Bahasa Indonesia: Taman Eden
עברית: גן עדן
ქართული: ედემი
latviešu: Ēdenes dārzs
lietuvių: Edenas
magyar: Édenkert
македонски: Еденска градина
Malagasy: Edena
Bahasa Melayu: Taman Eden
Nederlands: Hof van Eden
日本語: エデンの園
norsk: Edens hage
norsk nynorsk: Hagen i Eden
polski: Eden (raj)
português: Jardim do Éden
русский: Эдем
Simple English: Garden of Eden
slovenčina: Rajská záhrada
slovenščina: Eden
српски / srpski: Еденски врт
Türkçe: Aden bahçesi
українська: Едем
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ئەدەن باغى
Tiếng Việt: Vườn Eden
中文: 伊甸園