Could Uganda be the Garden of Eden that the bible talks about?.
Many scholars have attempted to locate this mysterious garden but all in vein, what only appear are speculated areas with no sufficient proof.
Archaeologist Dr Juris Zarins of Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield in his Eden theory when writing of Saudi archaeology (September 1983), believed that he had found it in Middle East.
“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed” (Genesis 2:8). “… and a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first was Pison; which covered the whole land of Havilah, where there was enormous gold, bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river was Gihon: the same is it that supplies the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river was Hiddekel which most historians believe is Tigris which was flowing toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates” (Genesis 2:10-14). In question of his basis in Genesis 2:8, where he mentions of ‘eastward’, one would challenge him because it doesn’t necessarily mean Middle East.
Where now are the Pison and the Gihon? , and where indeed was the Garden of Eden geographically located? . Since theologians, historians, and men of science have tried for centuries to figure it out but in vein, it is now time for ordinary inquisitive men like me and you to meticulously analyze and give our own view.
Eden has been “located” in as many various areas as has lost Island of Atlantis by different scholars. Some early Christian fathers and late classical authors suggested it could lie in Mongolia or India or Ethiopia. They based their theories quite sagaciously on the known antiquity of those regions, and on the concept that the mysterious Pison and Gihon rivers were to be associated with those other two great rivers of the ancient world, the Nile and the Ganges. However this can be refuted on grounds that the two rivers have a great distance between them which nullifies the whole theory.
Some other scholars have pointed out Turkey to be the ancient Garden of Eden because of Tigris and Euphrates rivers and the Mt. Ararat where Noah’s ark rested after the flood. These however ignore the fact that there is no evidence that Noah’s ark rested in the Garden of Eden. More over by the time of the flood, man had already been thrown out of the Garden of Eden
Dr. Zarins, began as many other researchers with the simple Biblical account to which he added the unfolding archaeology of Saudi Arabia (SMITHSONIAN, September 1983), where he spent his field time for more than a decade working out his own hypothesis. He consulted the sciences of geology, hydrology and linguistics from a handful of brilliant 20th-century scholars and, finally, Space Age technology in the form of LANDSAT space images.
From his study, Zarins concluded that the Garden of Eden lies presently under the waters of the Persian Gulf, and he further believes that the story of Adam and Eve in-and especially out-of the Garden is a highly condensed and evocative account of perhaps the greatest revolution that ever shook mankind: the shift from hunting-gathering to agriculture.
The quest to locate the Garden of Eden was not for Zarins alone but also for the great theologian John Calvin who struggled over its exact location. In his commentary on Genesis where he quotes Moses to have said that the River flowed to water the garden and later divided into 4 other rivers. He later challenges those who claim that two of those rivers are the current Euphrates and Tigris yet to him their fountains appear to be different which contradicts Moses’ description that the 4 rivers originated from the same river.
Why the Garden of Eden could have been in Uganda?
Following the biblical description of the Garden of Eden, a river flowed out of it and later split into 4 other rivers. Though most scholars rushed to name the four rivers as discussed earlier, no one has come out to name the major river to which the four originated. Chances are high that the main River could have been the Nile which still stands as the longest river the world has ever had. Then where are the ones that split from it?. However much this may bother your understanding, the four distributaries could have merged because of erosion producing what is present day Mediterranean Sea.
Secondly, Genesis 3, gives an account of the fall of man and how God threw him out of this Eden and there is nowhere in the bible Man is said to have returned to live in this Garden. This questions Zarins suggestions that after the flood in Noah’s time, the garden could have been altered in terms of ecology and natural beauty leading to semi-arid conditions like those in Middle East. This argument is skeptical because the flood was intended to destroy man and yet there was no man living in Eden at that time. Therefore the harsh weather conditions in the Middle East relegate it from the list of speculated homes of Garden of Eden.
With Uganda’s beautiful vegetation and climate that inspired Winston Church hill to brand it the ‘Pearl of Africa’, and its location in the Eastern part of the continent could well match with the Biblical description of a well watered and beautiful garden located eastwards as earlier discussed with all kinds of plants and animals.
The remains of the earliest man (Zinja Thrompus) who could have been Adam were discovered in Old vai gorge (Tanzania) not far from Uganda. This concurs with the Biblical text that after sinning Man was pushed out of Eden and therefore started living outside of Eden, hence making Uganda a suitable place for the Garden of Eden.
The Bible describes the Garden of Eden to have been well stocked with an array of plant and animal species which matches well with Uganda’s current burgeoning bird list of about 1060 species unequaled by any single destination and over 100 mammal species. The country is ecologically located where the West African tropical forests meet the East African savanna hence embracing a wide diversity of plant life that depicts the miscellany in the Garden of Eden.
The book of Genesis tells us of God’s mighty love for mankind after creating him. He gave him the authority to eat all fruits in the garden except one and to reign over other creatures. This means that man survived on fruits and meat alone. Historically, the first inhabitants of Uganda were fruit gatherers and hunters which correlate the two places in question.
From the above argument, Uganda’s possibility of being the Garden of Eden we read about in the bible can be meticulously echoed and vehemently believed since they have a lot in common.
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