Colossians 1:15 [Who] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation[?] 16 For [in] Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He [has existed prior to] all things, and in Him all things [endure]. (NASB 1995)
The following is a slightly modified excerpt from my forthcoming book entitled: Our Messiah Few REALLY Know. This represents copyrighted material; please treat it as such. On this “yom” in history — the “evening” of March 18th and the “morning” of March 19th of the secular Gregorian calendar — the following occurred…
Next, examine the Genesis account for the third day:
Genesis 1:9 Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day. (NASB 1995)
First, the waters below the heavens were gathered into one place; some refer to this superocean as Panthalassa. Second, dry land or the supercontinent some refer to as Pangaea appeared. Finally, all flora were created.
Now, examine what the Jubilees passage states:
Jubilees 2:5 And on the third day He commanded the waters to pass from off the face of the whole earth into one place, and the dry land to appear. 6 And the waters did so as He commanded them, and they retired from off the face of the earth into one place outside of this firmament, and the dry land appeared. 7 And on that day He created for them all the seas according to their separate gathering-places, and all the rivers, and the gatherings of the waters in the mountains and on all the earth, and all the lakes, and all the dew of the earth, and the seed which is sown, and all sprouting things, and fruit-bearing trees, and trees of the wood, and the garden of Eden, in Eden, and all (plants after their kind). These four great works God created on the third day.
Of course, more information is added. The supercontinent of Pangaea still appeared after the surface waters were gathered, but instead of just a superocean, God created the separate saltwater oceans and seas as well as the freshwater rivers, lakes, mountain water, and dew. Additionally, Eden was created along with its famous (or infamous, depending upon your perspective) Garden (Heb. Gan ‘Eden). Other than the following passage, the Bible is silent as to the location of the Garden of Eden:
Genesis 2:10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers [lit. heads]. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Tigris [Heb. Hiddekel]; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates [Heb. Perath]. (NASB 1995)
According to work by archaeologist Juris Zarins, he believes he has identified Havilah as the area around the Hijaz Mountains in western Saudi Arabia. The Al-Hijaz region contains the Mahd adh Dhahab, or “Cradle of Gold,” and
“… a possible source of the Pishon River – a biblical name that has been speculated to refer to a now dried-out river formerly flowing 600 miles (970 km) northeast to the Persian Gulf via the Wadi Al-Batin system. Archaeological research led by Farouk El-Baz of Boston University indicates that the river system, now prospectively known as the Kuwait River, was active 2500–3000 BC.”
Bdellium is an oleo-gum resin used for perfumes, incense, and medicinal purposes – similar to myrrh. Theophrastus mentioned bdellium was found in Aria whereas Pliny the Elder recorded a source as Bactria and Nubia. Suffice it to say that it was indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula and the surrounding countries east of west of it – from modern-day Sudan to Afghanistan. Onyx is found in various regions throughout the world in varying colors. One place of note in the region where bdellium is also found is Yemen.
The Gihon is traditionally recognized as the Nile River – with its tributaries as the Blue Nile, White Nile, and the Atbarah rivers – while Cush (or Kush) is identified as parts of modern-day Ethiopia and Sudan.
Josephus added more content to the Genesis 2:10-14 narrative:
Ant. 1.1.3 Moses says further, that God planted a paradise in the east, flourishing with all sorts of trees; and that among them was the tree of life, and another of knowledge, whereby was to be known what was good and evil; and that when he brought Adam and his wife into this garden, he commanded them to take care of the plants. Now the garden was watered by one river, which ran round about the whole earth, and was parted into four parts. And Pishon, which denotes a multitude, running into India, makes its exit into the sea, and is by the Greeks called Ganges. Euphrates also, as well as Tigris, goes down into the Red Sea.* Now the name Euphrates, or Phrath, denotes either a dispersion, or a flower: by Tigris, or Diglath, is signified what is swift, with narrowness; and Gihon runs through Egypt, and denotes what arises from the east, which the Greeks call Nile.
*Endnote: By the Red Sea is not here meant the Arabian Gulf, which alone we now call by that name, but all that South Sea, which included the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf, as far as the East Indies; as Reland and Hudson here truly note, from the old geographers.
To recap Josephus, the rivers from the Genesis account are reconciled as:
- Pishon = Ganges
- Gihon = Nile
- Tigris (aka Diglath) = Heb. Hiddekel
- Euphrates (aka Phrath) = Heb. Perath
If all the modern-day continents were reformed into a supercontinent like Pangaea, it would easy to discern that the Garden of Eden was likely where the Persian Gulf is today and explain why it has not been rediscovered. That location would support a Mesopotamian “cradle of civilization” as has been deduced through archaeology. It would also explain how antediluvian cultures spread to ancient Egypt, India, and China – the former two would have been nearly equidistant from that point.
When the fountains of the deep ruptured during the Great Flood, it caused the supercontinent to fracture with the modern continents sliding (and crashing!) into place via the resulting hydroplates. The Hydroplate Theory was introduced by Dr. Walt Brown in his book entitled: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood. More information may be obtained through his Center for Scientific Creation website.
Author’s Note: This book is highly recommended; it is currently in its 8th edition. I have no association with Dr. Brown nor his website or ministry.
Before moving on to the fourth day of Creation, one additional item bears mentioning. According to the calendrical documents 4Q320 and 4Q321 from the DSS, this day would serve as the vernal equinox – the day before the first calendrical day of the year – in all subsequent years.
- Yom Rishon (First Day)
- Yom Sheni (Second Day)
- Yom Revi’i (Fourth Day) – The REAL New Year (1 Abib)
- Yom Chamishi (Fifth Day)
- Yom Shishi (Sixth Day) – The Last Day of Creation
- Mo’ed: Shabbat (Weekly Sabbath)
Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)
Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (NASB 1995)