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Garden of Eden treasure?
August 16, 2012 5:32 PM   Subscribe

I'm familiar with Genesis 2:11-12 which briefly mentions the existence of gold in the area surrounding the Garden of Eden. But are there any other ancient references, be they apocryphal, Talmudic, or in folklore, that links Eden with some sort of material treasure?

Obviously the "real" treasure of the story were the fruits of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. But I'm interested in any references to wealth-based riches.

Thanks!
posted by MrHalfwit to Religion & Philosophy (1 answer total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
That part of Genesis specifically says that a river flows from Eden, and that river divides into four headwaters. One of the headwaters flows through the land of Havilah, where there is gold, resin, and onyx. So, not sure how close that might be to Eden, but following the Havilah trail...

From the Pseudo-Philo hosted on sacred-texts: "Now the stones were precious, brought from the land of Euilath, among which was a crystal and a prase (or one crystalline and one green), and they shewed their fashion, being carved after the manner of a stone pierced with open-work, 2 and another of them was graven on the top, and another as it were marked with spots (or like a spotted chrysoprase) 3 so shone with its graving as if it shewed the water of the deep lying beneath."

The footnote helpfully says that Euilath is Havilah, and you can see that the name Euilath is used instead of Havilah in some older Bibles (for example, this one).

The beginning of this book starts on this page, and has a note about its history.

I think there are more references like you seek if you are open to the idea that Genesis's Garden of Eden is influenced by ancient Sumerian beliefs. Not sure if you are, based on your question.
posted by Houstonian at 7:15 PM on August 16, 2012


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