I was watching a video of a researcher who says the four rivers of Genesis 2 are the Kezel Uizhun (Hebrew, Pishon), the Gaihun/Aras (Hebrew, Gihon), the Tigris (Hebrew, Hiddekel) and the Euphrates (Hebrew, Perath). I found the following which seems to agree:
"There is an ancient Mesopotamian word edin (Sumerian) or edinu (Akkadian) which first occurs in a short narrative concerning a war between the Mesopotamian city¬states of Lagash and Umma. The context suggests that this edin is an open plain situated between the two disputing cities - a sort of wasteland or zone without cultivation. On this basis scholars have understood edin to mean `open plain' or `uncultivated land' and thus some recognise in it the etymological origins of the biblical Eden.' The term edin also occurs in an important Sumerian epic tale known as `Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta' - but more on that later.
An alternative view is to see Eden coming from the Hebrew verbal root adhan meaning `to be delighted'. Thus Eden would mean something like the `place of delight'?...
Let us deal in detail with the four great rivers in reverse order.
(a) The Perath (Sum. Buranun) is the river known to the Greeks (and subsequently to the modem world) as the Euphrates. To Arabs it is the Firat which, of course, harks back to the biblical Perath. It is the longest river in the Middle East (excluding the African Nile). From its sources near Lake Van (close to Erzerum), the Euphrates flows in a great arc for 2,720 kilometres before disgorging into the Persian Gulf to the south of the modem port of Basra.'
(b) The Hiddekel (Sum. Idiglat) is the Hebrew name of the River Tigris. It descends from the high Zagros mountains to the west and south of Lake Van and Lake Urmia, journeying some 2,033 kilometres to the head of the Persian Gulf. In its upper reaches there are three major streams which flow into the main channel from the north - the Greater (or Upper) Zab, the Lesser (or Lower) Zab and the Diyala. The principal source rises in a small lake, with the modem name Hazar Golu, which is located about sixty kilometres to the west of Lake Van. ' Much further downstream, just to the north of Basra, the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates come together at the modem town of Kurnah, to form the Shatt el¬Arab, before emptying into the ‗Southern Sea' as the ancient Mesopotamians called the Gulf. The Tigris is the second great waterway of the Mesopotamian alluvial basin. The word Mesopotamia, of course, is Greek for the land ‗between the two rivers' - the mighty Tigris and Euphrates.
(c) The identity of the Gihon is a little more difficult to establish but, as Walker discovered, it has to be identified with the River Araxes whose tributaries rise in the mountains to the north of Lake Van and Lake Urmia (also near Erzerum). From there they flow down to join the main channel (known as the Kur) which empties into the Caspian Sea south of Baku.
The name Araxes (more recently referred to as the Araks or Aras) and the name Gihon obviously bear no resemblance to each other. Here, then, we seem to have a clear case of a name change which has taken place at some time in the past. So how far back do we have to go to find clues to the original name of the river now known as the Aras? Not very far at all is the answer.
During the Islamic invasion of the Caucasus in the eighth century AD stretches of this third great river were still called the Gaihun. There was, indeed, an intermediate stage, before the Gaihun became known simply as the Aras, when the Persians of the last century referred to this major watercourse as theJichon-Aras.6 Interestingly enough, you will find the name Gihon¬Aras in early biblical dictionaries and commentaries dating from Victorian times. Today this crucial piece of information has apparently been forgotten and you would be hard pressed to find a modern work on Genesis which links the Gihon with the Aras. So much for modern scholarship!
Victorian scholars not only identified the Aras/ Araxes with the Gihon but also suggested that the classical land of Cossaea, located according to the ancient geographers near Media and the Caspian Sea, was to be identified with the biblical land of Cush through which the Gihon flowed.
(d) Finally, the biblical Pishon is, according to Walker's arguments, the River Uizhun which rises from several springs located near Mount Sahand (a large extinct volcano east of Lake Urmia) and within the Zagros mountain massif around the Kurdish capital of Sanandaj. It outflows into the southern Caspian Sea not far from the modern port of Rast.
The Uizhun is also known as the Kezel Uzun – ‗long gold'. Here the ancient name Uizhun, of unknown meaning, has been colloquialised into the familiar Iranian word Uzun ('dark red' or `gold'). There is no obvious connection between the names Pishon and Uizhun but the geographical overview seems to confirm this identification.
The simple schematic diagram (on the following page) indicates where we should look for the Pishon - having already established the identity of the three other water courses mentioned in Genesis 2:8-14. Working around in anti-clockwise order, we have the Gihon/Gaihun-Aras occupying the north-eastem sector; the Perath/Euphrates flowing out from the north-west; and the Hiddekel/Tigris descending from the mountains in the south-west. This leaves the south-eastern sector as the place to look for the Pishon.
The only great river flowing through this quarter is the Uizhun. Unfortunately, there are no modem topographical features or town-names which appear to retain memories of the biblical name of the river. But, as Walker argued, the name Uizhun itself may hold the key. This is our first opportunity to indulge in the ‗name game'.
For a moment let us drop the initial vowel in Uizhun. This leaves us with [...]izhun which, allowing for the usual linguistic variations in vocalisation (sh to s or z and o to u), would be identical with biblical [...]ishon. It appears that, in the Hebrew text of Genesis, the vowel `U' underwent a conversion to the labial consonant `P'. Uizhun is thus tlic original name of the river, stubbornly retaitivd by local tradition into modem times, whilst the Pishon is a biblical corruption of that original name.
At first glance this may seem a little far fetched, but an example of precisely this kind of fluidity is known. The modem name Pisdeli (ascribed to an ancient occupation mound near the southern shore of Lake Urmia) derives from the ancient Iranian toponym Ush or Uash which was in common use throughout the general region of southern Urmia. Recently discovered contemporary texts confirm that Pisdeli was ancient Uishteri (demonstrating the well¬attested changes from tto dand rto lbut, most importantly, also U to P).' So all four of the rivers of Genesis have their headwaters in the Lake Van and Lake Urmia region…
Cush and Havilah
Genesis 2:14 confirms what is already well established - that the River Tigris flows to the east of the heartland of Assyria (biblical Ashur). The very fact that the writer felt the need to record such an obvious geo-political detail should give us the confidence to believe that the other topographical pointers mentioned must also represent the geographical reality of his time. So what of the lands of Cush and Havilah?
Genesis : 3 describes the River Gihon as winding ‗all through the land of Cush'. Are there any classical or modern topographical clues in the general vicinity of the River Aras (formerly Gaihun) which suggest that this region may once have been called the land of Cush?
We have already mentioned Gesenius' observations concerning the land of Cossaea, but there is a much more impressive monument to ancient Cush. To the north of the modem city of Tabriz there is a high mountain pass through which the modern road winds its way up to the towns of Ahar and Meshginshahr. Several of the Aras' tributaries have their headwaters near these AzraiI towns. The modem Iranian name of the 4,000-metre mountain ridge which separates the valley of Tabriz from Ahar is Kusheh Dagh - the `Mountain of Kush'.
Genesis 2:11 informs us that the River Pishon winds all through the land of Havilah and that this region is rich in gold.
Although I have been unable to find a general geological report on the river basins of the upper reaches of the Uizhun/Kezel Uzun, it is clear from the isolated information I have gathered that the mineral wealth in the entire region is significant. In recent years gold has been mined in the Ardabil region and a SASSANIAN (third to seventh centuries AD) gold mine has been identified at the village of Zarshuyan near the famous ZOROASTRIAN fire temple of TAKHT-E SULEIMAN. If the Kezel Uzun is the biblical Pishon, then this early gold mine is at the heart of ancient Havilah `rich in gold'. Interestingly enough, the river which flows down from the extinct volcano of Takht-e Suleiman is called the Zarrineh Rud which means the ‗Golden River'. The village name 'Zarshuyan' itself is formed of two Persian words: zar – ‗gold' and shuyan –‗washing', strongly suggesting a link to panning for gold in the `Golden River' (Zarrineh Rud). As we have noted, even the word Uzun in Kezel Uzun can have the meaning `gold' although its more common colloquial meaning is ‗dark red'."..http://www.rogerswebsite.com/articles/WherewastheGardenofEden.pdf
We can not be sure where those rivers exact location. The thing we need to bear in mind is when the flood happened everything was overturned by the cataclysmic event. EGW, for example, says that the Garden of Eden was taken to heaven with the tree of life in it. Some think where the dead sea is now is the hole left behind when God removed the garden.
That is the main question that I am coming up against, but Moses either knew of where the site was even if the garden itself was no longer there, as the Tree of Life had to be removed. Or he was given the rivers where it had been, as its clear from the description they were rivers that were known and even today are known. You can see he gives a very distinct explanation of the areas of the rivers:
Genesis 2:8-14 King James Version (KJV)
8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden (east of Moses perspective); and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.(the Hebrew means parted at the source)Strong's H6504
רַד pârad, paw-rad'; a primitive root; to break through, i.e. spread or separate (oneself):—disperse, divide, be out of joint, part, scatter (abroad), separate (self), sever self, stretch, sunder.
11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.(actually the land of the Cushites but they also were in Ethiopia)
14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria ( Tigris-Dictionaries - Easton's Bible Dictionary - Hiddekel called by the Accadians id Idikla; i.e. "the river of Idikla", the third of the four rivers of Paradise ( Genesis 2:14 ). Gesenius interprets the word as meaning "the rapid Tigris." The Tigris rises in the mountains of Armenia, 15 miles south of the source of the Euphrates..."). And the fourth river is Euphrates. (Which we still have today)
So we still have vestiges that were left I think to stand as evidence, like the mountains of Ararat which Moses had knowledge of.