We’ve just begun our journey of discovery of Biblical Africa and the descendants of Africa. But before we continue forward, let’s recap where we’ve been so far, shall we? 

  1. We understand that we were created in the likeness of God. When God made us, He essentially drew us out of Himself so that our very essence would be just like Him. (See Reflect God,  Identity in Christ, In The Image of God)
  2. We understand that the concept of race as we know it today is not a Biblical concept. There is only one race (the human race) that reflects the many colors and glory of God! (See Reflect God, This Black Girl, A Race Second to None)
  3. We understand that the genealogical and biological Jewish nation is no longer God’s representative (Romans 9:1-8). Jesus did not die for, nor is He returning for a nation, kingdom, tribe, particular religion, or denomination; Christ is returning for YOU (Romans 2:6-8, Hebrews 9:28). (See Reflect God, This Black Girl, The Greatest Love Story Ever Told)

We understand that ancient Africa differed from Africa as we know it today See Reflect God, This Black Girl Always Mattered, Back to Africa)

Our great God and Creator was intentional about all that He created. From the placement of the stars in the sky and the fish in the deep blue sea to the care He gave to forming man from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). Because of God’s love for us, He created us. He molded us lovingly from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:6). The Hebrew meaning of dust (aphar) means powdered gray clay, earth or mud. I imagine after the mist had watered the dead, dry ground (Genesis 2:6), making it nice and moldable, God bending down, scooped up hands full of mud or clay, and like a potter, lovingly shaping us into a magnificent masterpiece (Genesis 2:7) – (See Reflect God, Identity in Christ, Wonderfully and Marvelously Made)


Genesis 2:8 – The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.

Lessons Learned

God then planted a garden, and there He put the man He had formed (Genesis 2:8). Biblically, the Garden of Eden is identified as “the garden planted eastward in Eden” (Genesis 2:8). More details regarding the Garden of Eden’s location are described in Genesis 2:10-14:

Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads.  The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.  And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there.  The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush.  The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

So, where exactly was the Garden of Eden? This is a question that has been debated and dissected by many. I’ve read countless books, articles, blog posts, and commentary. And here is how I’ve come to make sense of the information discovered. 

The Riverheads and Their locations During Ancient Biblical Times

  • Pishon – (Genesis 2:11) The Pishon flowed through Havilah. Let’s pause right here. To understand where the riverhead Pishon might have been, we must first understand where Havilah was. 

There were two divisions of the Havilah tribes, one African the other Asiatic. In Genesis 2:11, two individuals named Havilah are listed in the Table of Nations (Genesis 10:7, Genesis 10:28, and I Chronicles 1:9-23), which lists the descendants of Noah, who are considered as the ancestors of all the nations. For more details about genealogies in the Bible, See Reflect God, This Black Girl, The Lineage of Ham

The first of the Havilah’s named in Genesis 10 was among the sons of Cush, who was a son of Ham, and whose descendants were known to have migrated to and built varying nations in what was, in ancient Biblical times, known as northeast Africa (See Reflect God, This Black Girl, Back to Africa). The second of the Havilah’s named in Genesis 10:28 was among the sons of Joktan, a descendant of Shem, and whose descendants were known to have migrated to and built various nations in what was, in ancient Biblical times, known as Asia. 

So which Havilah is Genesis 2:11 referring to? It most likely refers to the African Havilah rather than the Asiatic Havilah. First, the Africa of ancient Biblical times was not the same Africa of today (See Reflect God, This Black Girl, Back to Africa). In ancient Biblical times, what we know today as Africa and the nearer Middle East, up through nearly a century ago, were connected as one landmass known as northeast Africa. ( 

Additionally, in Genesis 2:11-12, a description of the natural resources found in Havilah parallel those found within Biblical African nations. The Bible says that Havilah produces good gold, bdellium or a fragrant resin produced by several trees related to myrrh, and malachite, a strikingly green stone, all of which are important products of the Nubian  Desert, and two of which, at least, do not seem to have been found in western  Arabia.   

  • Gihon – (Genesis 2:13). According to Genesis 2:13, the Gihon Riverhead flowed around the whole land of Cush. As previously stated, the Africa of ancient Biblical times was not the same Africa of today. More details regarding The Kingdom of Cush) See Reflect God, This Black Girl, African Dynasties, The Kingdom of Cush). However, I will provide a brief summary to determine the potential location of the Garden of Eden. 

Cush was the name of an ancient kingdom in Northeast Africa. Cush was usually associated with modern-day southern Egypt, Sudan and northern Ethiopia. Note that Biblical Ethiopia differed from modern-day Ethiopia. In the Bible, Cush and Ethiopia were the same places.  Additionally, wherever Ethiopia occurs in the English translation of the Scriptures, it is Cush in Hebrew (From <>). The Old Testament is filled with the term Cush, and it appears about 57 times in the Old Testament. Cush is described geographically (Ezekiel 29:10, Isaiah 45:14, Job 28:19) and was known as a mighty kingdom. Cushites are descendants of Noah’s grandson, Cush, the son of Ham (Genesis 10:1). So in Biblical and historical, the term “Cushites” referred to individuals of Cush, or ancient kingdom in Northeast Africa. 

Cushites were famous archers and warriors (Isaiah 18:2). They were handlers of the shield in battle (Jeremiah 46:9). They were warriors and served in David’s army (2 Samuel 18:19-33). During King Hezekiah’s reign, they were major geopolitical players (2 Kings 18-20, Isaiah 36-39, and 2 Kings 19:9). And they became the hope of Judah for deliverance from the Assyrians (2 Chronicles 12:3-9, 32:9-15, 3:8, Isaiah 18:2,1 Kings 18:19-21). They were also rulers (2 Chronicles 14:9-15). From <> and <

As previously shared, ancient Mesopotamia, Sanai and Lower Egypt were a single landmass (See Reflect God, This

Black Girl, Back to Africa). During Biblical times, there was a lot of confusion regarding the distinctions between the African and Asiatic people. This was due mainly to the fact that the migrations between “Asia” and “Africa” were extensive, and included so many mixed Hamitic and Semitic tribes, that it was difficult to differentiate between who was who.



Lessons Lived

Whew. That’s a lot to digest. So take your time and let it all sink in. Pray again and ask God to give you discernment and greater understanding. Read and re-read. But as you digest the information, don’t allow the gift of The Garden to get lost in the location of The Garden. The Garden in Eden was not just in ancient Africa or Mesopotamia. Nor was it just the residence for Adam and Eve before the Fall. No, The Garden of Eden was so much more. See, Eden, translated from the Hebrew, literally means “pleasure” or “delight” or “paradise.” The beauty of The Garden of Eden, the thing that made it a delight or pleasure, was that it was the place where God dwelled. This garden was an extension of God’s love for man.  According to John Walton, “The presence of God was the key to the garden…His presence is seen as the fertile source of all life-giving waters.” And Matt Champlin put it this way. “Whatever else it [The Garden of Eden] implies (fertility, life, riches, etc.), relationship with God is always the pivot point of blessing.” (See Know God, My Journey Through Genesis, The Temple-Garden)

For me, the greatest lessons learned were: 1) Africa was a part of God’s plan and purposes from the very beginning. 2) The “Garden of my Heart” serves as a reminder that God is ever-present. The Garden of my Heart is where I can commune with God (Luke 10:27). Just as Adam and Eve heard the sound of the Lord, their God, walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze (Genesis 3:8), Christ also dwells in my heart, where I am being rooted and grounded in love every moment of every day (Ephesians 3:16–17). Spend time with God in the garden of your heart, praising Him for having you on His mind from before time began. And 3) Praise God a River runs through all of life’s storms and catastrophes (Psalm 46:10). Although those four rivers have changed names, have undergone geographical changes, and one has dried up (Revelation 16:12), there is still a River of Life that runs from God’s throne (Rev. 22:1-2; also Ezek. 47:1-12); never leaving us, never forsaking us, and giving us life (Isaiah 43:20, Zechariah 14:8-9,11)!


  1. How does Genesis 2:8 to you?
  2. What has been your understanding of the ancient location of Eden and the four rivers? Has that perception changed, and if so, how? 
  3. How do the concepts of the “Garden of Your Heart” and the “Rivers of Life” speak to you? 
  4. What are your personal LIFE Lessons?
    • Liberation: What new insights gained have freed you from past thoughts or practices?
    • Inspiration: In what ways have you been spiritually, emotionally or mentally motivated to live for Christ?
    • Fortification: What additional scriptural texts, passages or stories can reinforce and strengthen you against the attacks of the enemy?
    • Edification: How might you share your story to edify others and bring glory to God?


As you process, digest, and apply what’s been shared, here are a few songs from “My Black Life” Playlist. Listen and let the music infiltrate your soul. Read the lyrics and let the words encourage you. And I pray that you’ll be blessed as I was. 


Dear Heavenly Father, I open up the garden of my heart to You. May the seed of Your Word be planted within me. Prune and cultivate the hard places. Weed out the strongholds that have me entangled. And water me with Your rivers of life! Fill my heart with peace, and may I ever be reminded that You, my River, flows through! In Your most holy name Jesus, I pray, Amen.