What and who is…
Hebrew: עֵדֶן —transliteration: Eden —meaning: delight
Eden is an ancient word and was the name of 3 different biblical places and 1 person. The name appears 20 times in 19 different verses in Scripture.
Eden, a pre-Flood land
Eden was the name of an area in the pre-Flood world and was part of the original Creation. At that time, the world was a beautiful and perfect paradise. God planted a garden in Eden. It was a real place, not mythological. It was here that God put Adam and Eve, the first two humans. They lived and worked there (Genesis 2:8-17) until they sinned against God. Their sin brought evil into themselves, separating them from their holy Creator. God forced Adam and Eve to leave the garden. He wisely placed Cherubims at the garden’s east entrance to prevent human access to the Tree of Life which evidently could have circumvented the physical death to which they were condemned.
The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused every tree to grow that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers [literally: heads]. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around [literally: surrounds] the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there as well. The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris [Hebrew: Hiddekel]; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates [Hebrew: Perath].
Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and tend it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may freely eat; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat from it you will certainly die.” —Genesis 2:8-17 NASB
Among almost all nations, there are traditions of the original innocence of humans in the Garden of Eden. This was the “golden age” to which the Greeks looked back. Men then lived a “life free from care, and without labor and sorrow. Old age was unknown; the body never lost its vigour; existence was a perpetual feast without a taint of evil. The earth brought forth spontaneously all things that were good in profuse abundance.”
Eden, a post-Flood region
Eden was also the name of a market (or region) where the merchants of Tyre obtained richly embroidered material and other things (Ezek. 27:23). It is probably this same place that is mentioned in 2 Kings 19:12, and Isaiah 37:12, as the name of a region conquered by the Assyrians.
Eden, son of Joah
- Has the Garden of Eden ever been found? Answer
- The fall of man
- Illustrated, summary story of the Garden of Eden
- Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
- Tree of Life
- Children’s resource: Man’s Choice (Adam and Eve coloring page) (pdf)
- What was Adam, the first man, really like? Learn the amazing facts about this unique man from whom we all descended! And see why the First Adam needed the Last Adam.