“The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.  The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there.  The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush.  The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the 50th lecture on Genesis.
God Himself created the four big rivers on Earth.
The water that formed these rivers came down from Eden in the second heaven.
God opened the windows of second heaven and poured the water down to four different places on Earth to form the four big rivers.
As the time went by after the 6-days of creation, other rivers were formed naturally, too.
But what is the reason that God Himself specifically made these four rivers-
It is because these four rivers would become the main stage for human cultivation serving as the cradle of human civilization.
From now, let me briefly explain the spiritual meanings and rough location of those four rivers.
In the commentaries and other books, they interpret the meanings of the names based on the meanings of the Hebrew, the original language of the Bible.
Of course, we can take into consideration the meaning of Hebrew words.
But we can say we know the complete meaning only after we understand the spiritual meaning that God gave to these rivers.
Also, there are some people who try to find the Garden of Eden or the source of these four rivers on Earth.
But the Garden of Eden and the source of four rivers are located not on Earth, but in second heaven.
No matter how much research they do with cutting-edge technology, they will never be able to find either of them on the Earth.
The spiritual world is in a completely different dimension from the physical world.
Now, let us look into the first river.
Genesis 2:11-12 says, “The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.  The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there.
The literal meaning of the first river ‘Pishon’ is to flow abundantly.
But God explained to us that Pishon also has the meaning of connecting a continent with a continent and to open a way between continents.
If we know the location of Pishon we will understand why God said that.
It says Pishon is around the whole land of Havilah.
Havilah is near India today.
India was formed centered on the Indus River, which is one of the four cradles of civilization.
As you look at the map, you can find that Indus River is in the central part between Asia and Europe.
The ancient East-West trade Route, known as the “Silk Road” developed around this river.
The Pishon that God made is not exactly the same as Indus River today.
With the passage of the time the river’s flow has changed greatly.
But, the rough location is similar to that of Indus River today.
So, as you see the location, I think you can understand that the meaning of the name is to ‘connect a continent with another continent and to open a way between continents’.
It also says that in the land of Havila, there are gold, the bdellium, and the onyx stone.
Here, the bdellim is a precious spice.
Josephus, a famous Jewish historian, also said bdellium is a very expensive spice coming from India, Arabia, and Babylon.
Onyx stone is a precious stone.
Havilah was a land where gold, precious spice and precious stones were produced.
Then, why did God write in the Bible that the land of Havilah produced gold, bdellium, and onyx stone-
It is to foreshadow that this land would be breeding ground of idolatry.
Here, a ‘breeding ground’ refers to a place where certain phenomena, ideas, or powers develop and grow.
This land of Havilah is the breeding ground of idolatry.
And from this land, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism developed.
The followers of these religions make idols and burn incenses before them.
Some research materials say there are 330 million gods in Hindu myths.
There are so many kinds of idols. The people of this land are always having rituals for idols.
God foreknew that the land of Havilah, around which the Pishon flows, would become the breeding ground for idolatry.
As said in Genesis 2:11 “¡¦ it flows around the whole land of Havilah,” Pishon was a big river flowing around a wide area.
So, we can see that the culture of idolatry also developed across a wide area.
Brothers and sisters, why did God make such a big river knowing that idolatry would be rampant in the land of Havilah-
Had he not made the river there, people wouldn’t have gathered there and they wouldn’t have created so many idols.
But there is a reason why God did it.
God wanted to accomplish human cultivation in perfect justice.
Psalm 96:4-5 says, “For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens.”
As written, God is the only God who is worthy to be praised and worshipped.
But Lucifer and evil spirits also want to receive worship from men.
They entice people and cause them to think that there are many other gods.
Though all other gods are false and nothing, Satan deceives many people into serving them.
Serving other gods is actually to serve Lucifer and evil spirits.
God could have prevented these meaningless gods and idols from being made in the first place.
So, why didn’t He just get rid of them-
Even though there are so many other empty and meaningless gods on this earth, God wanted the people to understand that there is only one true God.
God wanted the people to seek and meet God through their freewill.
What if there were no other false gods-
Even though people serve God, it is not completely out of their freewill.
If there is only one God who exists, people would only have to serve the one God without having to discern between the one true God and all of the false gods.
If this was the case, Lucifer could have protested to God saying it’s not fair.
It means God is on more favorable terms with people than Lucifer.
This is not right according to justice.
So, God did not stop such environments from being formed, and they would serve as the breeding grounds of idolatry.
God wanted the people to serve the only true God alone, even though there would be so many false gods.
The reason why God began human cultivation is because He wanted to gain true children who seek and believe in God through their freewill.
There are people who recognize and distinguish the only true God and believe in Him whereas there are also so many people who serve false gods.
Idolatry sometimes prevailed even among the chosen people of God, the Israelites.
And every time, God showed that He is the only true God through His prophets.
He pleaded with the people to cast away false gods and come back to Him.
He sometimes spoke with the heart of a father whose children are taken away, or with the heart of a husband whose wife is taken away.
Isaiah 1:2-3 says, “Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; For the LORD speaks, “Sons I have reared and brought up, but they have revolted against Me.  “An ox knows its owner, and a donkey its master’s manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand.”
Hosea 2:19-20 says, “I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD.
While giving the above message to the people through the prophets, He also proved that He is the only true God by showing the amazing and powerful works.
For example, during the reign of King Ahab when the idolatry was most prevalent, there was a battle to show who the true God is.
Elijah stood alone against the 850 priests of the gentile’s gods.
They competed to see who could bring down fire from heaven and burn the sacrifices.
Baal and Ashera, gods that the 850 priests served, could not bring down any fire for they were false gods. But the Lord God almighty of Elijah sent the fire.
1 King 18:39 says, “When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God.”
God showed that He is the true God at different times through His prophets.
However, when Israel still did not listen, God turned His face away from them.
The result was war, famine, disease, and other forms of trials that came upon them.
When they had unbearable pain in trials, they sought God again.
Then, God healed and restored Israel.
Even today, God shows that He is the Creator and the true God through His servants.
Only God controls life and death; and blessing and curses.
The power to create things from nothing also belongs to God alone.
Psalm 62:11 says, “Once God has spoken; twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.”
Lucifer has the power to lead people to sin, but not the power of creation.
Devil can give tests and trials to sinners, but is not able to give life and happiness.
Therefore, those who have goodness and truth in heart will seek the one true God and serve Him although there are many gods in this world.
God takes these people who come before Him as His children and gives them eternal life and Heaven.
Genesis 2:13 mentions the name of the second river and a brief description of its location.
It says, “the name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush.”
The literal meaning of ‘Gihon’ is to be full and overflow.
The spiritual meaning is to boast and to take pride.
Why did God attach such a meaning to this river-
It’s because He foreknew that the civilization from this river would be excellent.
And it says Gihon flows around the whole land of Cush.
It also flowed over a wide area just like the first river Pishon.
Then, where is Cush-
Cush is Ethiopia today, but the Cush in the Bible is a wider area than Ethiopia.
They consider the whole area between the Nile and the Red Sea as ‘Cush’.
Today, the Nile is flowing around this area.
Nile is formed by the combination of many headwaters.
First, the White Nile from Sudan and the Blue Nile from Ethiopia come together.
Then, another branch from Ethiopia, Atbara River joins it.
When the Nile enters into Egypt, there are no more tributaries. It flows northward and reaches the Mediterranean.
We can see that the river originating from Cush is an important source of the Nile River.
Here, the river that starts from Cush is the Gihon in the Bible.
Of course, the river today is very different from when God first made it.
Where big rivers flow into the sea, the sediments of the river form a delta.
The delta area is very fertile, and many animals and plants can live on and around it.
It is also very useful for men. Above all, it is very good for farming.
It has a lot of fresh water and it is also close to the sea.
That is why the cities and civilizations formed around delta areas.
And, the Delta of Nile River is the biggest in the world.
Around this Nile Delta is located Cairo, the capital city of Egypt as well as Alexandria, the second biggest city of Egypt.
Also, the Egyptian civilization is the oldest civilization of the world.
It is said that it began around 3,200 BC and flourished for about 3,000 years.
This Egyptian civilization had a more splendid civilization than any other on Earth.
So, we can see some amazing relics of Egyptian civilization.
Most famous ones are the pyramids and the Sphinx.
The so-called ‘Kufu’s pyramid’ is a structure that is one of the 7 Wonders of the World.
In addition to this pyramid, there are more than 80 pyramids in Egypt.
In the Egypt Museum, there are more than 12,000 relics on display.
Mostly, they are relics of the ancient kingdoms of Egypt, and to see each of them in detail would take many days to do it.
One of the most eye-captivating relics is one of Tutakamen, which is the famous gold mask.
The civilization that developed around the Gihon left many boastable relics and remnants that can be seen.
God foreknew this fact and gave this name “Gihon” to this river, which means ‘to boast and to be proud of’.
There are reasons why such mysterious structures as pyramids and sphinx were erected and such an excellent civilization was able to develop in this area.
It is because this area has a close relationship with Adam, who was living in the Garden of Eden.
I will explain about this in detail at a later time.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, now, let me explain about the third river.
In Genesis 2:14 the first half says, “The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria.”
The name Tigris in Hebrew language is ‘Hiddekel’.
Hiddekel literally means ‘to flow as fast as an arrow’.
But God says this name spiritually has the meaning of ‘being barren and to disturb’.
Why does it have such a meaning-
It is because of the relationships of Israel with the nations that were formed around the river.
It says Tigris flows to the east of Assyria.
Tigris today originates from Turkey, flows through Iraq, and goes out into the Persian Gulf.
Centering the upper stream of Tigris, there was a nation that flourished at around 3,000 BC. It is Assyria.
Assyria occupied this area even before Abraham was born.
The city of the nation Assyria is also ‘Assyria’, and today we can find Tigris on the right hand side of Assyria.
This nation Assyria flourished in this area for a long time and it conquered Northern Israel around 721 BC.
But in 625 BC, possession of this land changed when Babylon took over.
Babylon enlarged their power, and it even conquered the southern Judah in 586 BC.
When Babylon was conquering the southern Judah, they took the exiles to Babylon three times.
One of the exiles was Daniel.
That is why in the book of Daniel is a record about the Tigris.
Daniel 10:4 says, “On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris.”
But by this time, the owner of this land changed to Persia again from Babylon.
Babylon was conquered by Persia in 539 BC.
So, the land of Israel was also ruled by Persia until 330 BC.
As explained above, the nations that conquered that land around Tigris conquered and ruled over Israel.
As a result, the land of Israel today became a barren and dry land.
Also, Israel still has conflicts with the countries around the Tigris.
Today, Iraq is located in this area.
God foreknew what kinds of relationships Israel would have with the countries that would take over the area around Tigris.
Of course, when God first made the Hiddekel, it was quite different from Tigris of today.
But considering all the circumstances, we can see that Hiddekel was not so far away from the location of the Tigris today.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we have looked into three of the four rivers that God made.
Most people do not understand that the water from the second heaven, from Eden, came down to this earth to form these four rivers.
Even the Bible scholars interpret the Bible literally and think that the Garden of Eden must be somewhere around these four rivers.
We cannot have answers if we do not have understandings of the spiritual realm.
It is something to be so thankful for, that God is explaining the details of the Bible to us.
In the next session, we will finish up with the fourth and last river and then go back to the Garden of Eden.
Adam lived in the Garden of Eden for a very long time.
I will explain to you some incidents that took place in those long years and that have a relationship with this earth.
For example, the secrets about the dinosaurs and the pyramids will be unveiled.
The spiritual things that God unfolds and teaches us are mysterious, interesting, and good for our instruction.
I hope you will understand them well and make them your spiritual bread.
I pray in the name of the Lord that, in doing so, you will all become true children of God who are spiritually well educated and able to share your heart with God the Father.