The Rivers of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad as Religious Founders

The Rivers of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad as Religious Founders

The Rivers of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad as Religious Founders

The Rivers of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad as Religious Founders

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And a river goes forth from Eden to water the Garden. And from there it divides itself and becomes four headwaters. The name of the first is PISHON. It is the one that surrounds the whole land of the Havilah, where the gold is. And the gold of that land is [very] fine. There is bdellium and the Shoham stone. The name of the second river is GIHON. It is the one that surrounds the whole land of Cush. And the name of the third river is HIDDEKEL (TIGRIS); it is the one that runs East of Asshur. And the fourth river is the PERAT (EUPHRATES).

(GENESIS 2:10-14)

The idea for this book is derived from the passage in the book of Genesis that describes the Rivers of Paradise. Actually, according to the account, a single unnamed river flows out of Eden to irrigate the Garden, and from there it branches into four "heads" or tributaries, which are also called "rivers." This original source-river is situated in Eden itself, where it waters the Garden. Only after flowing through the Garden does it subdivide into four tributaries. These rivers, in turn, run to different parts of the world, in some cases at least forming territorial boundaries around whole lands.

Of these four subsidiary rivers, the latter two are well known major waterways of Mesopotamia (the name of which is derived from its location between them), while the identification of the first two remains doubtful and subject to considerable debate. Thus the Tigris and Euphrates dominate the landscape of the Near East, the Land in the midst of the Two Rivers. The first . . .

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