Was it real? Yes. Was it in Iraq? Don't think so. Genesis 2,10, talks about A River (just one) that went out of Èden to water the garden, and from the one river it branched out into four different (separate) rivers... The verse does not say which river this was, only that it went on to divide into four rivers...
Below is the four rivers in Scripture, which is mentioned by name, Pishon, Gihon, Tigris (Hiddeqel) and Euphrates. Now there are similar four rivers splits (various) places in Africa, but we are going to take a look at the rivers located in South-Africa.
These rivers, which are listed below on the children's map of South-Africa, MZIMVUBU (River out of Eden), branching out into MZINTLAVA, KINIRA, THINA and TSITSA river.
The Garden of Eden is most likely ten, when considering geographical and topological evidence discussed in this blog, located in the area today called Port St. Johns. This would be the place from where the river Mzimvubu flows from.
We can see it better on another map, and remember these rivers end up flowing up (if you believe South-Africa is at the bottom) all the way to the River Nile and Egypt...mentioned numerous times in the Bible as a place `you went down to` (Gen. 26,2; Exodus 32,7; Isaiah 30,2 & 31,1, plus the 80 somewhat verses talking about bringing out His people).
So then, lets examine Port St Johns. I have never been, but have been told that it is a VERY lush and extremely biologically (botanically) diverse place, with all kinds of fruits treats and some extremely thick and dense vegetation.
Below you can see a zoomed out version of the river-heads dividing and spreading all its microbiological life DOWN into Africa and ending up with Egypt below. Scripture tells us that the first river, Pishon, goes to a land of gold (in areas know for gold mines), the second rivers Gihon, continues up to the land of Kush, the third river, Tigris, goes to the land of Ashur (which I am not quite sure what land really is, a land of sand dunes - might even be the river stretching out into West-Africa or perhaps the dunes in Tanzania, which would be East-Africa). However the beginnings of Ashur continues into parts of the Kongo (Khongo). The last of the four rivers is Euphrates continuing further down into Africa. Regardless of how an where the rivers divide into, lets have a closer look again at Port St Johns.
The place is booming with all kinds of trees as I said, and its incredible Biodiversity might be due to these original blue prints, made by the Almighty, were made to be just so. Green, lush, a perfect symbiosis of oxygen and us (walking carbondioxid-bombs) you know a Perfected place in harmony..
Fauna & Flora
Larger parts of the country South-Africa is situated on a high-lying plateau, between two very different oceans.The Indian Ocean, on the east, is warmed by the Mozambique or Agulhas Current which flows down from the tropics, while the Atlantic, on the west coast, is cooled by the icy Benguela Current which comes up from the Antarctic. These two different oceans, the prevailing wind and the topography of South Africa combine to create lush forests and subtropical savanna on the east coast, gradually changing to desert or semi-desert on the west coast. And, right in the southwest, influenced by swirling cyclonic weather systems travelling up from the low latitudes, the area around Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, windy summers and cool, moist winters, creating a unique floral assemblage. Each of these biomes has its own special attraction and observant visitors to our reserves and national parks will notice the incredible variety of wonderful plants and trees as well as the animals.
Theres are the names for the known Vegetation Zones in SA:
Kalahari Savannah The largest zone is the Kalahari Savannah, which consists of grasslands and small groups of trees. The Kalahari Savannah covers most of Botswana, Namibia and part of South Africa. Karoo Schrubland The second largest zone is the Karoo Schrubland area, which covers most of South Africa. The Karoo Schrubland is rugged in some parts, with canyons, valleys and a few perennial rivers. Many species are restricted to this zone, including Kaokoland, Damaraland, Richtersveld and Namaqualand. Mixed Woodland The largest game parks in this region are found in the Mixed Woodland vegetation area, which consists of grass, tree and mountainous vegetation areas. This is a type of savanna that is identified by relatively short trees, including Acacia and broad-leaved species. Bushveld Generally occurring at altitudes below 1 500m, Bushveld includes much of the lowveld of Mpumalanga. It offers a wide range of species, but few are restricted to this biome. Fynbos The fynbos vegetation zone in the Cape is one of the 6 Floral Kingdoms of the earth. This type of vegetation is unique to South Africa and is the smallest vegetation biome in the world. It covers a very small area in the south-western Cape and it is home to more than 7000 plant species. Forests Dominated by large evergreen trees, Forests contain few mammals but many birds. The coastal and lowland forests occur along the eastern seaboard, while montane forest occurs in specific pockets at about 1 200m.
So, garden of eden, barren wastelands in the driest of deserts OR thick and vegetative rural areas....? I leave this one up to your good judgement and consideration
Uxolo lube nani