Re: HIS/THEO-Gen 1:2-2:4a

Bill Frix (
Wed, 13 Nov 1996 10:46:03 GMT-5


To reply to running comments (the latest being from John Misasi on
Tue, 12 Nov 1996):

Sailhamer wrote: "The "land" which the author has in mind is the
land promised to Israel (Genesis 15:18). It is there that God
prepared the garden of Eden ..."

To which Dick Fisher replied: "In Israel? Sorry, the Tigris and
Euphrates don't flow in the land of Canaan."

and John Misasi added: "The Tigris and Euphrates don't flow through
the land of Canaan, but are they not to the east of Canaan AND the
garden...? you forget the rivers Pishon and Gihon... Do you know
where they flowed??? It has been said that the river Pishon was, at
the time, understood to have been the name of the Nile. My source
for this is the commentary to 'The New American Bible', which is the
Catholic church's modern English translation (But i (sic) have heard
it elsewhere). Given this, we can see a border appear ...

This appears to me to be within the boundries of Canaan... What do
you think? All we need is the other border. You cannot define a
border when only two portions are known... However, three is better
than two and four better than three. Therefore, i (sic) think this
hypothesis is not disproved. Besides i (sic) doubt a Hebrew scholar
would fall into a geography trap that easily. "

In reply to the dispute, please read Exod 23:31: "And I will fix
your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and
from the wilderness to the River {Euphrates;} for I will deliver the
inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out
before you. (NAS)"

When God was directing where "Israel" was to be placed, He defined
its boundary from the Euphrates river (northern boundary) to the
widerness (northern Saudi Arabia - south-eastern boundary) and from
the Mediterranean Sea (sea of the Philistines - north-western
boundary) to the Red Sea (south-western boundary). If you look on a
map, this constitutes a well-defined boundary, much larger than
current Israel or the monarchial kingdoms. In addition, Gen 15:18
relates: "On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying,
"To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt
as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: (NAS)". In other
words, "Israel" does extend from the Nile to the River Euphrates,
according to the Bible, even though it was never fully occupied.

William M. Frix
Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering
Box 3021
John Brown University
Siloam Springs, AR 72761
Phone: (501) 524-7466
FAX: (501) 524-9548