Discussion All Areas Of Systematic Theology
I've read the book, "Beyond Creation Science" by Tim Martin and Jeff Vaughn and I think they did a great job but I do not agree everything what they wrote. I have no problem with the flood of Noah was local but I do deny anything that spiritualize or symbolic language all those stories about creation. However I do think that the creation was a literal six days creation of the land, and the flood was local. They were literal people and events. I don't think the Bible is about YEC vs. OEC. Both of them are right and wrong. I do hold in OEC but as for the Genesis creation itself I would called this "Young Land Creation" rather than YEC. :-)
The Genesis creation is about the beginning of the Promised Land and God's people, not about the universe, the earth, and the whole mankind. Here's what someone (Rivers Of Eden) wrote from the Planet Preterist forum:
"The language in Genesis 1-2 simply describes the clearing of a desolate flood plain (i.e. the Promised Land) so that it could become inhabitable for Adam and his Israelite descendants to whom the Land would be given by God through Abraham (Genesis 17:1-6)
At "the beginning" (Genesis 1:1-2), the Land was flooded the same way that it became during the time of Noah, and then the waters receeded and everything got back to normal. The days of creation merely describe the clearing of the rain, clouds, and flood waters so that the Land became a place where vegetation, animals, and Adam could live and prosper:
Day One: The land and skies were dark because it was night and nothing was visible because deep flood water covered all the Land and dark rain clouds covered the skies. When "morning" came, the "light" (of the sun) became visible through the clouds.
Day Two: The light made the horizon visible so that one could see the difference between the flood waters and the rain clouds. This is how the "waters" were separated. Flood water covered the Land, and rain water fell from the skies.
Day Three: The flood waters begin to receed so that the Land became visible and vegetation began to grow out of the ground.
Day Four: The rain clouds receeded so that the sun, moon, and stars (i.e. the source of the light from Day One) became visible to provide light even during the night.
Day Five: The animals and birds returned to the Land and skies because the storm was over and there was now vegetation and insects for food.
Day Six: The first ancestor of the Israelites (i.e. Adam) was made out of the Land where he could now live and prosper with his family.
This is a simple explanation of the meaning of the creation story that does not require any "science" or manipulation of the plain sense of any of the Hebrew language. It also accounts for the limited geocentric scope of the language and knowledge of the ancient Hebrews, as well as the limitations of the Noahic flood language.
From a theological standpoint, it also explains the inseparable connection between the Promised Land and the Law of Moses that is developed throughout the rest of the Pentateuch, as well as the centrality of the Land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem at the consummation of all prophecy."
Another thing about the location of the garden of Eden. You said it is somewhere in Israel, probably in Jerusalem. I thought it was interesting. Now I noticed after the flood of Noah (it was local, of course), the sons of Noah journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there (Gen 11:1). Seems that the flood occured somewhere in Israel and then they travaled to east. A few generations later, Abraham lived in Ur of the Chaldeans (Gen. 11:28) and God called him out to the Land which He promised for Abraham and his descendants.
Yes, I agree. I also don't think it's a coincidence that God named the "Eurphrates" River in Eden as well as the Promised Land (Genesis 2:8-11; Genesis 15:18) and that Abram was a pure blood descendant of Adam (1 Chronicles 1:1-4, 24). Of course, all the descriptions of the borders of the Promised Land (Joshua 1:1-4) and the Kingdom Of God (2 Chronicles 9:26; 1 Kings 4:21, 24) also include the Euphrates and the wilderness region (Havilah, Cush) where the Pishon and Gihon also flowed (Genesis 2:11-13).
It's also interesting that the "Tree Of Life" from the "midst of the garden" (Genesis 2:9) also shows up in "the new Jerusalem" (Revelation 21:2; Revelation 22:2) at the consummation of prophecy.
Here is the evidence from scripture about the location of the "four rivers" of Eden (Genesis 2:10-14) that I think you are missing when you insist (from secular sources) that they were located in Sumeria (which is never mentioned in scripture).
1. The "Euphrates" river (Genesis 2:14) was said to be the eastern border of the Promised Land (Genesis 15:18; Exodus 23:31; Joshua 1:4) as well as the Davidic Kingdom (1 Chronicles 18:3; 2 Chronicles 9:26).
2. The Pishon river (Genesis 2:11) was located in the land of Havilah which was located "east of Egypt" on the way north to Assyria (Genesis 25:18). In scripture, "east of Egypt" referred to the area southwest of the Jordan River Valley where the Philistines were (Joshua 3:13; 2 Chronicles 9:26). It was located northeast of the "wilderness of Shur" where the Israelites ended up when Moses first led them out of Egypt (Exodus 15:22). Saul also conquered "Havilah" as part of the Promised Land (1 Samuel 15:7).
3. The Gihon river (Genesis 2:13) flowed in the southern part of the Promised Land near Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 32:30) where King Solomon was annointed (1 Kings 1:45). It flowed around the land of "Cush" which was near "Havilah" (Genesis 10:7) in the area of Phillistines between the Jordan River, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Sinai wilderness. Moses got one of his wives there before the people crossed over the Jordan River (Numbers 12:1).
4. The Hiddikel flowed "east of Assyria" (Genesis 10:14) where Daniel was taken into captivity (Daniel 10:4).
Thus, the way the biblical writers used the words associated with these rivers and their location puts them all in the area between the Sinai Penninsula, the Jordan River, and Assyria which were within or near the borders of the Promised Land and the Davidic Kingdom (Joshua 1:2-4; 2 Chronicles 9:26).
There is no indication that the Hebrews (or their language) associated any of the rivers with "Sumeria" or the Persian Gulf which was hundreds of miles too far south and east. We simply don't have any vocabulary in scripture to account for those regions. Thus, there's no reason to think the Israelites even understood anything about those people or places.
I was looking for some passages in regard with the location of the Eden and here’s the list:
2 Kings 19:10 `Thus do ye speak unto Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God lift thee up in whom thou art trusting, saying, Jerusalem is not given into the hand of the king of Asshur. 11 Lo, thou hast heard that which the kings of Asshur have done to all the lands -- to devote them; and thou art delivered! 12 did the gods of the nations deliver them whom my fathers destroyed -- Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the sons of Eden, who [are] in Thelassar? (Isa. 37:10-12)
Seems somewhere north or west near Israel or within the Promised Land.
Isa. 51:2 Look attentively unto Abraham your father, And unto Sarah -- she bringeth you forth, For -- one -- I have called him, And I bless him, and multiply him. 3 For Jehovah hath comforted Zion, He hath comforted all her wastes, And He setteth her wilderness as Eden, And her desert as a garden of Jehovah, Joy, yea, gladness is found in her, Confession, and the voice of song.
Notice Zion and Eden located within the Promised Land.
Ezek. 28:12 `Son of man, lift up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, And thou hast said to him: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: Thou art sealing up a measurement, Full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13 In Eden, the garden of God, thou hast been, Every precious stone thy covering, Ruby, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle, and gold, The workmanship of thy tabrets, and of thy pipes, In thee in the day of thy being produced, have been prepared. 14 Thou [art] an anointed cherub who is covering, And I have set thee in the holy mount, God thou hast been, In the midst of stones of fire thou hast walked up and down.
This was speaking to the king of Tyre (not “Satan”) which God set himin the holy mount (Jerusalem)?
Ezek. 31:9 Fair I have made him in the multitude of his thin shoots, And envy him do all trees of Eden that [are] in the garden of God. …16 From the sound of his fall I have caused nations to shake, In My causing him to go down to sheol, With those going down to the pit, And comforted in the earth -- the lower part, are all trees of Eden, The choice and the good of Lebanon, All drinking waters. …18 Unto whom hast thou been thus like, In honour and in greatness among the trees of Eden, And thou hast been brought down with the trees of Eden, Unto the earth -- the lower part, In the midst of the uncircumcised thou liest, With the pierced of the sword? It [is] Pharaoh, and all his multitude, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah!'
In this context, God sent His message to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes that Assyria is going to invade them from Lebanon (Ezek. 31:2-3). It seems that the garden of Eden was within the Promised Land.
Ezek. 31:32 Not for your sake am I working, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah, Be it known to you, Be ashamed and confounded, because of your ways, O house of Israel. 33 Thus said the Lord Jehovah: In the day of My cleansing you from all your iniquities, I have caused the cities to be inhabited, And the wastes have been built, 34 And the desolate land is tilled, Instead of which it was a desolation before the eyes of every passer by, 35 And they have said: This land, that was desolated, Hath been as the garden of Eden, And the cities -- the wasted, And the desolated, and the broken down, Fenced places have remained.
God was speaking to the house of Israel where the garden of Eden was located.
Joel 2:1 Blow ye a trumpet in Zion, And shout ye in My holy hill, Tremble do all inhabitants of the earth, For coming is the day of Jehovah, for [it is] near! 2 A day of darkness and thick darkness, A day of cloud and thick darkness, As darkness spread on the mountains, A people numerous and mighty, Like it there hath not been from of old, And after it there is not again -- till the years of generation and generation. 3 Before it consumed hath fire, And after it burn doth a flame, As the garden of Eden [is] the land before it, And after it a wilderness -- a desolation! And also an escape there hath not been to it,
Notice this passage says Zion, His holy hill and the garden of Eden. It seems to be in the Promised Land.
I would like to add one more thing. Notice in Gen. 6:4 says that the Nephilim were on the earth (land) in those (Noah's) days and also afterward. Some centuries later when Moses sent some spies in the land of Canaan (Israel), they saw the Nephilim dwelt in there (Num. 13:33). This pretty much destroyed the global flood view. Not only this, the flood occured within the Promised Land.
I like the idea of a local perspective of God's creation IE from the land of Israel, though I do not see any Biblical reason to not have Adam and Eve to be the very first human beings ever, and the plants and animals being the very first as well.