Tigris and Euphrates rivers

by undercover 14 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • undercover

    Something just hit me as I was reading the Genesis account.

    Genesis chapter 2:

    10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin [6] and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. [7] 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

    Are not these two rives in existance today? How is it that the entire world changed at the flood, new moutains and canyons, oceans and lakes? The entire face of the planet changed, yet these two rivers are still pretty much the same? How could that happen?

    Did I miss something in the Ministry School Geology lesson?

  • Undaunted Danny
    Undaunted Danny

    Roger that! Perplexing, i asked that same question as soon as i was old enough to read the Bible.

  • RunningMan

    And, if it never rained before the flood, but the earth was watered by a mist rising from the ground, and there were no glaciers - then where would running water come from. There could be some underground springs, but hardly enough to feed rivers the size of the Tigris and Euphrates, especially since we now what the source of these two rivers is.

  • Pole

    Interesting question, especially if you consider the fact that the WTS teaches the Flood resulted in dramatic geological changes.

    If as they claim that even mountains were reshaped by the flood and the entire atmoshpere was changed in the event, how come Moses would still refer to modern-day rivers when describing the ante-deluvial world?

    The mention of the two rivers is just another anachronism found in the book of Genesis. Genesis is characterised by naive realism, and when a writer uses naive realism (specifying exact figures and locations, which are made up, but used anyway to make the sotry sound more realistic), it's easy to make an embarrassing mistake.

    it-1 p. 610 Deluge ***

    Since, as the Genesis account says, ?all the tall mountains? were covered with water, where is all that water now? Evidently it is right here on the earth. It is believed that there was a time when the oceans were smaller and the continents were larger than they are now, as is evidenced by river channels extending far out under the oceans. It should also be noted that scientists have stated that mountains in the past were much lower than at present, and some mountains have even been pushed up from under the seas. As to the present situation, it is said that ?there is ten times as much water by volume in the ocean as there is land above sea level. Dump all this land evenly into the sea, and water would cover the entire earth, one and one-half miles deep.? (National Geographic, January 1945, p. 105) So, after the floodwaters fell, but before the raising of mountains and the lowering of seabeds and before the buildup of polar ice caps, there was more than enough water to cover ?all the tall mountains,? as the inspired record says.?Ge 7:19.
  • Leolaia

    The simple answer is that the Flood myth was a late addition to the source documents underlying the primeval history of Genesis. That is why the Pentateuch also presents the descendents of Cain and the Nephilim as alive and well when the Israelites entered the Promsied Land (cf. Numbers 13:33, 24:21-22). It also explains a myriad of weird things in Genesis, such as how Nimrod could have been the first gibbor "mighty one" on the earth when the Nephilim preceded him, why the birth notice of 5:29 is rendered nonsensical by the Flood, why Noah is suddenly a farmer after the Flood, and why his children after the Flood are characterized almost as minors when they were married men before the Flood. I go into the evidence in the detail in section 2 of the following post:


    As for the source of the Tigris and Euphrates being the location of Eden, this is a theme that runs all throughout Canaanite mythology. The creator god El has his adobe in a cosmic mountain at the meeting-place of the heavenly and earthly deeps and at the source of the great rivers. Thus, in the Baal Epic, the god Kothar rushed "to El at the springs of the Double-Rivers, amidst the channels of the Double-Deeps. He comes to the mountain of El and enters the tent of the King, the Father of Years" (KTU 1.2 III 4-5). In another myth's El's mountain abode is said to lie "at the springs of the Two Rivers, at the meeting place of the Double-Deeps" (KTU 1.100 R 1-4). The same concept is in the OT. According to Psalm 42:4-7, the writer is on his way "to the wonderful Tent, to the House of God," to Mount Misar where "deep is calling to deep as your cataracts roar". Yahweh declares that he "builds his palace on the waters above" and "sits enthroned on the Flood" (Psalm 29:10; 104:2-3), and Ezekiel 28:2 has the Phoenician king declare: "I am El ('l), in the dwelling of the gods ('lhym); I dwell in the midst of the seas (ymym)," and then v. 13-14 goes on to locate the Garden of Eden on "the holy mountain of God," or rather, "the gods" (hr qds 'lhym). Similarly, in the Gilgamesh Epic (11.194-96), the abode of the gods lies "at the mouth of the rivers" (ina pi narati), and an Akkadian seal from Mari similarly depicts "a god of the type of El enthroned, between the springs of two streams, on a mountain. He is flanked by two vegetarian goddesses who grow out from the waters" (O. Keel, "Ancient Seals and the Bible," JAOS 1986:309). Moreover, the Canaanite snake-bite spell in KTU 1.100 R 1-6, V 60-75 describes the serpentine god Horon going to "the Tigris abounding in the rain" in the "east," where he searched through the "Tree of Death," "the tamarisk," and "the fruit cluster" to find the antidote of the snake venom. See my post on the mythology behind the Garden of Eden story:


  • VM44
    where would running water come from.(?)

    Hey! Did the Watchtower ever try to answer that question? This is NOT higher-criticism, but a basic question! If there was no rain, where did the two rivers, Tigris and Euphrates get their water from? It would be great if someone asked this question at a book study, better yet, at a Watchtower study!

    This also shows that the original writer(s) of Genesis did not know about the water cycle, and the origin of rivers!


  • Sweetp0985

    VM44 what are you talking about???

    This also shows that the original writer(s) of Genesis did not know about the water cycle, and the origin of rivers.

    Don't you know that GOD/JEHOVAH inspired these original writer(s) of the bible, so how can they make a mistake like not knowing that water falls from the sky and not up from the ground. They just wrote the information they dreamt/was inspired to write down wrong..It was just a simple mistake..

  • ezekiel3

    *** w71 9/1 p. 540 Where Was the Garden of Eden? ***

    However, the Euphrates is well known, and Idiqlat (Hiddekel) is the name used for the equally well-known Tigris in ancient Akkadian (Assyro-Babylonian) inscriptions. These rivers provide a real clue as to the location of Eden?s garden. The Hebrew word translated "heads" at Genesis 2:10 has a bearing on the matter. It would favor placing the garden of Eden in the mountainous region near the source of the Tigris and the Euphrates. As The Anchor Bible states in its comment on Genesis 2:10: "In Heb[rew] the mouth of the river is called ?end? (Josh xv 5, xviii 19); hence the plural of ro?s ?head? must refer here to the upper course. . . . This latter usage is well attested for the Akk[adian] cognate resu."

    Both the Euphrates and the Tigris have their present sources in the mountainous region to the north of the Mesopotamian plains. Although opinions vary, numerous scholars would locate the garden of Eden in this area, a few miles south of Lake Van, in eastern Turkey.


    w50 9/1 p. 298 Writing Before the Flood ***

    If Adam did not write the ?history of the heavens and the earth? in Eden, then we do not know exactly where writing started. Since two of the rivers which flowed out of the garden of Eden (the Euphrates and Hiddekel, or Tigris) rise in or near Armenia, the garden of Eden was probably somewhere in what is now known as Armenia. Genesis 3:24 indicates that Adam was driven eastward out of the garden of Eden, but the Scriptures do not reveal whether he remained there to the day of his death, or whether he moved about. His son Cain moved to the land of Nod, also east of Eden. (Gen. 4:16) While preflood human remains in various parts of the earth show that man had moved to various parts of the earth before the flood came, we know nothing of Adam?s movements after his expulsion from Eden.


  • RunningMan


    The scripture you cited in Numbers 24:21,22 says:

    Numbers 24 21 Then he saw the Kenites and uttered his oracle: "Your dwelling place is secure, your nest is set in a rock;
    22 yet you Kenites will be destroyed when Asshur takes you captive."

    Is there a scripture which links the Kenites to Cain?

  • Valis

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