First off, I believe that Eden exists in a different form. Eden is how the earth existed before continental drift. It only remains to locate the Garden. It may be that the Garden no longer exists. Just as New Jerusalem will come down from heaven after the end of days, it may be that the Garden went up to heaven at the beginning of days. I base this on my proposition that Jerusalem is the location of the Garden of Eden.
Before the fall of mankind, the earth was without sin. Consequently, it was at peace with itself. Not only was the Garden in Eden paradise but so was all of Eden. After mankind sinned, the world changed to allow Adam and Eve to face the consequences of sin, but the Garden never changed. In fact, after the fall, man was only isolated from it!
Genesis 3:23 "Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."To till the ground was where Adam was to earn his keep by the sweat of his brow - one of the penalties God placed on Adam. As such, Eden was divided into two places: (1) beyond the way of the tree of life, and (2) the place to keep the way of the tree of life. The former was Eden and the latter the Garden of Eden specifically. Keep in mind that the tree of life is Jesus, and that he still stands today. Where is the tree of life at this moment? Let is find Him in scripture:
Revelation 2:7 "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."Just as the tree of life stood in the center of the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:9) which was a paradise, it still stands in the midst of Paradise. The Garden was in the beginning paradise, and it still is! Paradise is a word which describes the realm of God. This passage could just as well have said "Garden of God" because it fits the description. The Garden, after the fall of mankind, was the only place without sin. Heaven or Paradise is still the only place without sin!
The reason the Garden can't be found in this world because is that it is no longer of this world. I propose that it was taken up to a supra-natural abode, and is no longer extant on earth. The only way to find heaven is to die and return "home" by grace.
Revelation 22:14 "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."This passage is important. The place of the Tree of Life is in "the city". What city do you suppose the Tree now stands? Perhaps the City of God, which is New Jerusalem! To obtain entry in the city is the same credential as leaving the city. Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden because they failed to do God's one and only command. They, and the rest of us, can gain entry into the Garden by obeying God. Love is the ticket to the New Jerusalem - the only command that we ever had!
In order to enter the Garden of Eden was by one gate which was guarded by cherubim. It was guarded to keep those who don't love out since the Garden was the place of love. There were no back entrances. There was only that one guarded gate. Likewise, Heaven can only be entered by one gate:
Matthew 7:14 "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."Life began in the Garden. Mankind was, in the beginning, immortal there. The Garden was the only place where eternal life ever was, and New Jerusalem is the only place where eternal life shall ever be! Few find peace because it is no longer here. Peace can only be found in Heaven - or Paradise, the City of God!
Peace is a key word: peace is the atmosphere of love found in only two places: (1) the Garden of Eden, and (2) New Jerusalem - the City of God! Both places have an atmosphere of love because each are one and the same!
Eden, which was originally all peaceful, means "delightful place". (etymonline.com/index.php?term=Eden). Eden - Pangea (aka the land mass of the world), was in the beginning a "delightful place". The most delightful was in the Garden where the Word dwelt - right there in the middle of the other trees. I believe that the Tree of Life is real and spiritual at the same time. The Word always had form, and his form was symbolically described as a tree. (More on that in http://kentuckyherrin.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-tree-of-life.html?m=0).
I believe that the entire Tree Is symbolic of God and consists of (1) what can be seen - Jesus, (2) what cannot be seen supporting the Tree - the root or God, and (3) what nourishes the Tree - the water below, i.e. the Holy Spirit). Paramount to my contention is that the Tree of Life is representative of the Godhead, it stood in the midst of the Garden, and still stands in the City of God! Where it stood has always been a most delightful place, and the center of delightfulness was the Garden.
If the Garden is now Heaven, where was it in the beginning? I suggest Jerusalem, which means "foundation of peace" (Wikipedia). Foundation implies in the beginning. Jerusalem was founded on peace, but ironically, it has never in its written history been peaceful! It was in the beginning, but all that changed with sin. The place of the city was founded on love because I believe it was the place of paradise. It's now only the foundation because the Garden is no longer there. Just like Jesus did four-thousand years later, the Tree ascended with the Garden. The whole kit and caboodle because it is the place where God lives. Since God cannot live in sin, paradise must have ascended. Is that too great a feat for Almighty God? I think not!
When Jesus ascended (Acts 1), the Holy Ghost descended (Acts 2). "Ghost" is used for the first time there for the Greek word pneuma because that it was a particular spirit - pneuma mans "spirit". The Holy Ghost is the specific Spirit of Jesus, called the Holy Ghost. (See my video on this subject https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOzZfN_nLps and my blog http://kentuckyherrin.blogspot.com/2016/02/afraid-of-ghosts.html).
As the Garden ascended, Jerusalem descended. God built it on the foundation of the Garden. Someday, the City of God will be where Jerusalem is now. Until then, we will have to be satisfied with the ghost of the Garden - Jerusalem.
Revelation 3:12 "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."Ironically, New Jerusalem will come back to its foundation in Eden - where the Garden once was! Coming back with the City of God will be the Tree of Life. He will stand where he once stood - back home in the Garden! Some believe that the entryway to heaven is in Jerusalem. People go there to die so as to be the first to go to heaven when the time comes. I propose that this gateway to heaven is guarded by cherubim and it's the access point that the Garden took as it ascended, and the gate the City of God will return to it's foundation!
There were four rivers in the Garden flowing forth from one large river which was the headwaters of the four:
Psalm 65:9 "Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it."Where is that river now?
Revelation 22:1 "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."In Paradise is where the river of God presently resides. It was once in the Garden, but now it's in Heaven - right there in New Jerusalem! It flow flows forth from God as it did in the Garden, and the Tree of Life still stands next to it still yielding the fruits of love; those which heal or bring peace.
Jerusalem is cursed! It has been since it was founded. Revelation 22:3 says that "there will be no more curse", just as in the Garden - the way it was before the curse.
Geologists are continually looking for four rivers. I propose that there were not four rivers! The rivers were a representation of something else! These four "rivers" may have been four angels, referred to as "beasts".
Revelation 4:6 "And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. 8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come."From the description, these angels' duties were to praise God. I believe that they were seraphim which we know existed in Eden. Their descriptions fit the descriptions of seraphim. These beasts worship God in heaven. It seems logical that seraphim praised God in the Garden as well. Perhaps these rivers were these four beasts which represent a lion, a calf, a man, and an eagle.
Eagles represent in scripture beasts which clean up decay filth for God. Fatted calves represent sacrifice to God. "Lion" is one of the titles of God and represents his power. That leaves man. He is the heir of God. He's God's favored. Thus, perhaps these four rivers were four seraphim. Like the rivers which cannot be found, these four angels are only in the City of God!
Pishon means "to scatter" and may represent mankind wo scattered after the days of Noah. Gihon means "to burst forth". Hidekkel means "to prick" or "to separate". Euphrates means "good to cross over". (All from the Online Etymology Dictionary). Words mean things in scripture. How and if these represent the four beasts is conjecture, but it is fair to ponder.
Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek, the King of Salem. This king is alleged by many to be the Word (Jesus) in human form. Who was king of the Garden? God Himself, the same King as in Paradise. This "Melchizedek" was both king of Salem (Jerusalem), and ruled in the Kingdom of God, or the New Jerusalem.
And by the way, according to my book The Skull of Adam, Golgotha (Calvary) is "the place of Adam's skull". What more likely a place for Adam's skull to be than in the Garden of Eden? Adam came home to be buried. Death allowed him back through the guarded gate because God made him righteous.
In summary, I don't believe the Garden of Eden nor its rivers will ever be found because they are no longer extant. I believe that Jerusalem is built on the very foundation of the world, and that it is where the Garden once was! Ironically, Jesus sweated as if blood in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives. Gethsemane means "olive press". Olive itself represents "the best". The water from Jesus represents the fruit of the olive tree which was pressed out. The olive tree is a prime candidate for the tree of life, representing both the fruit and the body of Christ. That olive grove was in Jerusalem just as it was in the Garden!
Farfetched? Yes! Possible? Yes! Probable? It seems so. It makes sense to me from scripture. You decide for yourself.