Readers' Forum

Two Letters on Rivers of Eden

I was very interested in the article ("Recent Discoveries Affirm Old Testament Accuracy"). I have one question: How does the Flood of Noah figure in all this? I was given to understand that the whole geography of the planet was completely rearranged due to the destructive force of this much water. Will look forward to the answer, which may be in part two.

Thanks so much for your fine publication-it is a great source of help and inspiration.

Tom Francis

Stowe, PA


Here's my first letter to you so I must include a great big thank you for all the Help!

I hardly ever write to criticize or comment, but this time I have a very specific request about the article: "Recent Discoveries Affirm Old Testament Accuracy, Part 1," in the September  edition.

I'm very glad to have this! But will the next installation include a map that shows where the lost rivers actually are believed to be? The general map was hardly any use at all as many of the place names in the article were not on the map.

Pastor Greg Du Bois

Glenburn, ME

(Editor's Note: Author Stephen Caesar's answer to reader Tom Francis may serve as response to both letters. We were unable to contact Mr. Caesar again in time to meet this month's deadline.)

Dear Mr. Francis,

Thanks for your question. No scientist has any idea exactly what the topography of the earth looked like before the Flood; therefore, it is impossible to be dogmatic regarding whether or not the four rivers of Eden changed course (or were completely obliterated) as a result of the historical Flood of Noah. No maps from the pre-Flood civilization exist, and the first six chapters of Genesis give no specific geographical descriptions of the planet's surface. Thus, we can't tell just how severely the topography of the planet changed.

It is possible, however, that the fourth river of Eden (the Gihon) was completely eradicated by the flood, the Pishon River was left only as a fossil remnant, and the Tigris and Euphrates, in God's sovereignty, were preserved for His future purposes (see Rev. 9:14, 16:12). But again, I can't be dogmatic about this because no one knows what the topography of the pre-Flood earth's surface looked like.

Stephen Caesar