Is Africa mentioned in Genesis?

While I agree with you, technically Gen. 2:13 mentions Cush, which would be around the confluence of the Blue and White Nile rivers. Much interpretive gymnastics has been performed to place Cush somewhere in the Levant, but I find it unpersuasive. Also, “through” would be more properly translated “around,” as in 2 Chron. 21:9, where the Edomites surrounded Jehoram and his men.

13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.


Thanks for the reply @Jay313. Great observation! Well interpretive gymnastics not withstanding, I am happy to concede that Genesis does mention a region of the continent which is known today as Africa. :+1:

Interestingly this too seems to pour more problems on the paragraph I responded to earlier. If the global geological landscape was so dramatically changed in the wake of a global flood how can we be sure that the Cush and Nile mentioned in Gen 2:13 is the same Cush and Nile referred to in post- flood passages? If they are the same, how is it that entire continents were carved out but this region and river remained unchanged?

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@Joel_Duff has an even greater challenge for YEC:

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@LM77, @Jay313, a good question that would be best discussed in a new thread.

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I think Cush in Genesis 2 is probably the land of the Kassites, not the Kingdom of Kush in Nubia

What I have found is that some folks, Southern Baptists, have tried to place Cush outside of Africa in order to deny that the wife of Moses was not Black. See Numbers 12.

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I have never heard that in my 60 plus years in a Southern Baptist tradition, but do not doubt that it is true, at least historically. Hopefully no one currently thinks along those lines.

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With the state of things today, I don’t doubt that someone is out there on there internet trying to make that case right now. I remember hearing or reading it as a kid, but I think it’s in the historical dustbin now. I don’t have the energy to find out. There’s enough ugliness in the world. I don’t want to search out more.

I was just reading in Misreading Scripture Through Western Eyes, in the chapter about ethnic bias in the cultural context of the Bible, that Miriam and Aaron’s comments about the African ethnicity of Moses’s wife (“Num 12:1- Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, because he had married a Cushite.”) should not be read with Western bias that Africans represent a slave race that people looked down on. In the ANE context, the Hebrews were the slave race, and Cushites were respected as highly skilled soldiers. Pharoahs took Cushite brides. The authors of that book claim that we should take Miriam and Aaron’s comments to indicate they thought Moses had gotten too big for his britches, presumptuously marrying above himself.


Haha. I love that. Historical context makes all the difference, doesn’t it?

Our friend @Relates obviously married above himself too! :wink:

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No, the river gihon is apparently linked with the tigris and euphrates, how can it be in Africa? As it happens there was an ancient river which came from the land of the Kassites and joined up with the other rivers in an area considered a lush paradise, which as it happens was exactly where the Mesopotamians placed there earthly paradise

Well Egypt is mentioned multiple times in Genesis, beginning in Genesis 10, and Egypt is in Africa, but those are all post flood.

A global flood would have terraformed the planet effectively erasing all pre-flood landmarks so post-flood references to pre-flood landmarks is almost certainly not to the same place. Both in Australia and the USA there are many landmarks named after places in Europe. Similarly in the new world after the flood people probably named rivers, mountains, and other places after ones from before the flood. The post flood Tigris and Euphrates are not the same as the pre flood ones.

It is also quite likely that the flood was accompanied with large tectonic movements so even the continents could have been different before the flood.

Hi Chris, re the comment you quoted above. You are correct, I was mistaken and, as indicated below, I was and am happy to admit that. :upside_down_face:

As to your hypothetical suggestions for the naming of Egypt and the formation of the continents, you’ll have to wait until I have a little more time to reply. Thumbs on a screen are not as effective as fingers on keys… Or in my case at least.

In the meantime, perhaps you be kind enough to provide some evidence to support these suggestions? That way I can engage a bit more deeply with the ideas. Otherwise, we’ll be back to pointing out possible logic errors and exegetical over steps, which can get a bit tedious for everyone! :sweat_smile:

Looking forward to getting some thoughts on paper and checking out your sources. Have a great day. Liam

Because … that’s what the text says? Perhaps the author was intentionally vague, naming two rivers that don’t exist and associating one with an area known to his audience (Cush) and the other with an unknown place (Havilah). The name Havilah appears twice in the Table of Nations, first as the descendant of Cush, the son of Ham (10:7), and again as a son of Joktan, descendant of Shem (10:29). Why would the author use the names of rivers and places that don’t exist? Was it to keep people from trying to find “Eden”?

No “natural” river divides and becomes the source of multiple rivers, which is our first clue that Eden is a not an actual place.

Have you seen this video?

No, I read faster than people can talk. Videos take too much time and don’t cite their sources.

Edit: I looked up the source of the video, Inspiring Philosophy, and the associated website, but the only thing I can find about Michael Jones is that he makes videos for a living.

But in a plain reading of Genesis to the original audience, would the Tigris and Euphrates not mean the Tigris and Euphrates?

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He cites numerous scholars

He has an impressive following. I wasn’t impressed that he said John Walton reviewed one of his videos and disagreed with his conclusions. Mainly, I just don’t have time to give to a video right now. I will try to get back around to some of his videos when I can. I’d have to watch more than one to make any kind of judgment.

Maybe the real problem is … I’m old! haha

Probably not. They would have known that the 4 rivers in Gen 2 don’t correspond to current geography, even though it is written in the present tense.