Q: #35. Where was the Garden of Eden, and what happened to it?
By: Steve Shirley
A: Most scholars seem to agree that the Garden of Eden was probably located in or near what we know as Iraq today, possibly in a region known as Mesopotamia (which means land between the rivers). Mesopotamia is located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, with parts of it extending from Iraq into Syria and Turkey. In (Gen 2:10-14), it states that in the Garden of Eden, one river was divided into four other rivers: Pishon, Gihon, Tigris (Hiddekel), Euphrates. Because of its location between two of these four rivers, because it is in an area that was the center of many other Biblical activities, and for a few other reasons, it has been concluded that this is where the Garden of Eden was likely located.
One important fact to consider, however, is that after the worldwide flood, the geography of the whole planet changed. This included not only all land, but also all of the rivers and seas. The Pishon and Gihon rivers are no longer mentioned after the flood (although there was a Gihon spring), and it is assumed they were eliminated by the flood. Using that same rational, it is also likely that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers may have been eliminated as well, or at least significantly altered by the flood, and new rivers were given those names. If this is indeed the case, then any ideas we have about where the Garden might have been would certainly be flawed.
One other theory, which I find a bit of a stretch, but I will mention, is that since the Tree of Life is mentioned in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:9) (Gen 3:22,24), and it is also mentioned in Heaven (Rev 2:7)(Rev 22:2,14,19), some believe it was taken up to Heaven at some point around the time of the flood.
Honestly, no one really knows where it is located for sure, however, almost everyone agrees that wherever it was, it was destroyed by the flood.