This page was last updated on 9 August, 2021.

1. Geology
1a. Plate Tectonics introduction
Genesis is describing the rivers as they were during Adam’s time (in the Garden).
Sea levels at that time were much lower. What today may look a river running trough a sea, back then was running over dry land. Tectonic activity can make land rise and sink several thousand feet. The Red Sea didn’t exist during Adam’s time. The earth literally split open and got filled with water from the Arabian Sea.

Likely a similar thing happened with Sodom and Gomorrah. Volcanic fire rain, combined with the earth splitting open. We aren’t talking about a little crack of a few inches deep. It can be easily a 1000 feet deep.
Deep enough to swallow a city. Deep enough to bury a river.

More about Plate Tectonics can be read here and here.

The light yellow plate is Saudi-Arabia, Yemen etc. The ‘Arabian Plate’ of the Pishon river
The plate is both colors yellow combined with the thick black line as a border.
The only reason for the two colors is to make it easier to spot where the plate is located.

Read all you want as much as you want. It’s nice background information but it’s not needed to understand all of  it. Just know/accept it exists. The reason is that it can explain why the rivers can’t be found.

Stating the obvious… water flows from high to low. Rivers usually flow trough the lower/lowest parts of the area.
I’m stating that because I started this study with concluding the Garden of Eden was in Jerusalem. That mean the whole course of the rivers from Jerusalem to where they empty into the sea must be without obstacles like mountain ranges.  And if such an obstacle does exist it must be explained how the river could pass it.
So that obvious observation can be used to verify if the suggested path is correct.

1b. Horst and Graben

In geology, horst and graben refer to regions that lie between normal faults and are either higher or lower than the area beyond the faults. A horst represents a block pushed upward relative to the blocks on either side by the faulting, and a graben is a block generally long compared to its width that has been lowered relative to the blocks on either side due to the faulting. Horst and graben are formed when normal faults of opposite dip occur in pair with parallel strike lines. Horst and graben are always formed together. Graben are usually represented by low-lying areas such as rifts and river valleys whereas horsts represent the ridges between or on either side of these valleys.

Horst and graben, elongate fault blocks of the Earth’s crust that have been raised and lowered, respectively, relative to their surrounding areas as a direct effect of faulting. Horsts and grabens may range in size from blocks a few centimetres wide to tens of kilometres wide; the vertical movement may be up to several thousand feet. They are bounded on both sides by steeply dipping normal faults, along which movement has been essentially equal, resulting in blocks that are scarcely tilted. The faults forming horsts generally dip away from each other: those forming grabens generally dip toward each other. Two or more horsts and grabens may occur adjacently. They are thought to be due to lateral tension possibly produced by regional uplift or salt dome formation; they often occur on the crests of domes or anticlines. Valleys formed in grabens are commonly called rift valleys and may exhibit features of vulcanism often associated with graben formation. Examples of grabens are the Jordan–Dead Sea depression and Death Valley. The Vosges Mountains of France and the Palestine Plateau are typical horsts.

Diagram of horst and graben formation.
Trista L. Thornberry-Ehrlich, Colorado State University.

Horst and Graben (valley and range) refers to a type of topography created when the earth's crust is pulled apart. This process, called extension, can stretch the crust up to 100% of its original size. As the crust is strained in this way, normal faults develop and blocks of the crust drop down to form grabens, or valleys. The end result of this is a vast landscape of alternating valleys and ridges. The western United States is an example of this, in the physiographic province known as the Basin and Range.

A relevant example of the  “Closed basin lake” is the Dead Sea.

1c. Example of tectonic activity

More on the meaning of  Peleg:

That dividing occurred a century after the Flood.
Some hold the view that ‘earth divided’ means people migrated. So making it mean ‘people divided’, while not wrong the name Peleg seems to paint another picture. Or a fuller picture. An earthquake that was related to stream or channel. That could be the Great Rift splitting open and forming Horst and Graben blocks. Meaning ‘earth divided’ can also be understood as ‘earth split open’. That view is supported when we look up de meaning of divide in various lexicons:

1d. Relevant geology of the area
Again I start with the conclusion, in an attempt to make what I’m trying to show easier to understand.


So, the four rivers are/were connected by a series of  Grabens which are located on top of the Great Rift.
Tectonic activity caused the ground to sink, and formed the riverbeds of the famous Genesis 2 rivers. Later activity made two rivers totally disappear and  the other two partly

Tectonic Plates:

An overview:

Afar Triangle:

The red lines form the so called ‘Afar Triangle’. The result of serious tectonic activity. If you compare it with the rough ‘river sketch’ I made based on Scripture in section 4, you will see great similarity between the two.This similarity is proof for my theory. It also rules out the two northern options for Pishon.

So what’s that boring fault line stuff all about?
As we all know water runs from high to low. It collects in lower spots like channels and flows downwards from there. When you say “Tectonic Plates”, you say “Fault Lines. When you say “Fault Lines” you say “Horst and Graben”. When you say “Graben” you say “channels”. And when you say “channels” you say “rivers”.

My theory is that in Adam’s time the fault line also existed. Near Jerusalem (D) was the the highest ground.
Water that ran out of the Garden of  Eden filled the fault line/Grabens/channel and it became a river that that ran downhill all the way down to the Afar Triangle (F) where it split and filled two different Graben channels we know as Gihon (H) and Pishon (G).

Point D was the highest point so water also ran toward Allepo (C). In kept running toward (B) and the water ‘leaked out’ the channel and became known as the Trigris and Euphrates rivers. Back then their source was not the Turkish mountains but the fault line channel.

So… water flows out of the Garden as 1 river. As it flows into the channel it splits into two directions. Many miles later it splits up at both ends into two rivers, totaling 4.
So we know the names of the rivers between A-B, F-G, and F-H. The names of B-C-D and D-E-F, we don’t know. That said the present day Jordan river runs over the B-C-D line.

What happened to the rivers?
What fault lines can create, they can also destroy. If  the earth shifts (below the surface) it can cap springs. In my theory the massive spring that once fed the 4 rivers was shut down. That alone would dry up the rivers. But the fault line itself knew massive activity. The once perfect channel for the rivers is now destroyed.
The Tigris and Euphrates still exist because they ‘found’ new headwaters in the Turkish mountains.
Pishon and Gihon are lost because earth split open and formed the Red Sea.

The four rivers.

*** = Nothing is mentioned about A-B, but B-C is strange when taken literally.

Gen 2:11 The name of the first was Pishon; it is the one surrounding all the land of Havilah where gold is;
Gen 2:13 And the name of the second river is Gihon. It is the one surrounding all the land of Cush.

The rivers only surround the countries partly. Fully surrounding would mean a full circle. Ignoring that leaves the problem of naming the rivers. If Pishon is surrounding Havilah, then B-C should be named Pishon.
But at the same time B-C should be named Gihon because that’s the river surrounding Cush.
So what’s going on here?
- Just a simplified way of naming because details are of zero importance?
- The rivers split about halfway the Red Sea. Meaning 2 parallel rivers? Just a, very unlikely, thought.