In our last lesson, we studied the Creation of the World in 4000 BC. We talked about when the creation took place, but we did not discuss where the first men lived.
In the book of Genesis, we read the following:
“The Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning: wherein he placed man whom he had formed. And the Lord God brought forth of the ground all manner of trees, fair to behold, and pleasant to eat of: the tree of life also in the midst of paradise: and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of the place of pleasure to water paradise, which from thence is divided into four heads. The name of the one is Phison: that is it which compasseth all the land of Hevilath, where gold groweth. And the gold of that land is very good: there is found bdellium, and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gehon: the same is it that compasseth all the land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Tigris: the same passeth along by the Assyrians. And the fourth river is Euphrates. And the Lord God took man, and put him into the paradise of pleasure, to dress it, and to keep it.”
Thus, the Bible does tell us where the first men lived at the time of Creation. It was in a place where there were four rivers began: the Phison River, the Gehon River, the Euphrates River and the Tigris River. Now, rivers begin in high places and flow down to seas, so it must have been a high location where these four rivers begin.
Throughout history, men have tried to find this place, but we might not be able to do so. There have been great disasters on earth that have changed the land. The great flood of Noah, which we will learn about, likely destroyed many things that were created in the beginning. We don’t seem to know where the Phison and Gehon rivers are, but we do know where the Euphrates and Tigris rivers are, and where they begin. See the map below.
When men traveled down the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, they found a most amazing area of land, which we call “Mesopotamia”, which means “the land between the rivers”. In this area, the Sumerians began their great civilization. They had excellent supplies of water, fertile land and protection. It was the perfect place for men to settle down and enjoy a better quality of life than they could find in the mountains up north. In 3500 BC, the civilization of ancient Sumeria began.
Study the map below and make sure you can identify the land of Sumer, Mesopotamia, the Euphrates River and the Tigris River.