107 - OMISSION EXAMPLE 2: Analysis of this omission - Geographical details and God as Immanuel in the Bible
A number of things could be said here. We will focus only on two points. This passage of the Bible is the first one, which includes geographical details. A place named Eden is mentioned, out of which a river flowed, which split into four rivers, to which names are given (Pishon, Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates) and the regions of the world are also mentioned, through which they flowed (Havilah and Cush, the latter is today in north-eastern Africa). Two of these rivers exist today: Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia (Turkey, Syria and Iraq). The other two no longer exist, because the flood of Noah destroyed them. It is characteristic of the Bible to include a wealth of geographical details, many of which can be located in our world today and God takes these geographical locations seriously in his word. This is the reason why we can locate the events of the Bible on maps: Abraham started out in Ur of the Chaldees (today in Iraq), continued to Haran (today in Syria), then moved to Shechem in Canaan (today in the West Bank) and ended up in Egypt before returning to the land of Canaan. The Bible includes all these details to show us that the events of the Bible did not happen in an imaginary world, but in the real world, that we live in today.
Note that this passage says (right after creating Adam from dust of the ground, see Genesis 2:7): “the LORD God planted a garden in Eden”, which means that he came down to earth to fulfill his will there. This is the first time in the Bible, where God is described as “Immanuel”, which is Hebrew and means “God with us”. He does not only live in the heavens, but also comes down to earth to be with us humans, already at the time of Adam. And after the fall of Eve and Adam into sin and the resulting separation between humans and God, he later paved the way to become Immanuel again: first by meeting men of God like Abraham and Moses; then by filling first the Tabernacle in the desert and later on the Temple in Jerusalem with his glory, living among his people; and finally in Jesus Christ, who as a person became our Immanuel establishing the foundation for the Holy Spirit to be poured over all flesh, becoming God with us in our own lives, if we believe in Jesus.