Genesis 2 — The Four Rivers

I have always been fascinated by the description of the four rivers that flowed out of Eden (Gen. 2:10-14), but it has been a while since I have considered them. The Gihon and the Pishon are the two mysterious rivers. I am especially intrigued by the description of the land of Havilah (“where gold is found. The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there.”) It hardly seems relevant to the story of Genesis. I find it most curious.

In my research, I ran across an article by a Jewish rabbi, Shaul Wolf, and I am always interested to hear what insight Jewish scholars can bring to Old Testament passages. I won’t quote the whole article here. I’ll simply leave it as a link and let you follow it if you are curious:

In the end, I don’t have an answer to my curiosity. I do, however, thanks to Rabbi Wolf’s article, have a new spiritual insight into the four rivers.

The Hebrew word eden means “delight and pleasure,” and is symbolic of the ultimate source of all delight and pleasure: G‑d. This G‑dly delight is then channeled into our world by way of the “river that flows from Eden,” and becomes the source for all worldly pleasures.

It certainly is true that all real joy and pleasure in life is found in God. And I believe God has given us the responsibility of carrying that joy to the world.

So my question is this: What can you say to someone today that will bring the joy of God into their life?


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