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The Pishon is one of four rivers (along with Hidekel {the Tigris}, Phrath { the Euphrates }, and Gihon) mentioned in the Biblical Genesis (2:11). In that passage, these rivers are described as arising within the Garden of Eden. The Pishon is described as encircling "the entire land of Havilah".

Some scholars have questioned English translations that say the rivers sources were in Eden, and claim the Hebrew rendering would allow Eden to be a confluence point for four rivers originating elsewhere.

Together with the Tigris, the river Pishon is briefly mentioned in the book of Ecclesiasticus (24:25), but this reference throws no more light on the location of the river. "Calumet, A. D. 1672-1757, Rosebmuller, 1768-1835, Kell, 1807-1888, and some other scholars believed the source river [for Eden] was a region of springs. The Pishon and Gihon were mountain streams. The former may have been the Phasis or Araxes, and the latter the Oxus."[1]

Rashi identified it directly with Nilos ( the Nile ).

The Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus, in the beginning of Antiquities of the Jews (1st century AD) identified the Pishon with the Ganges.

David Rohl identified Pishon with the Uizhun and placed Havilah to the northeast of Mesopotamia. The Uizhun is known locally as the Golden River. Rising near Mt. Sahand, it meanders between ancient gold mines and lodes of lapis lazuli before feeding the Caspian Sea. Such natural resources correspond to the ones associated with the land of Havilah in the Genesis account (2:11). In 1995, James A. Sauer made an argument from geology and history that the name Pishon referred to what is now the Wadi Bisha.[2]

See also


  1. Duncan, George S. (October 1929) "The Birthplace of Man" The Scientific Monthly 29(4): pp. 359-362, p. 360.
  2. Article in Focus Magazine

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