Down by the Riverside – the rivers of creation

Within the second creation narrative of Genesis there is a moment of pause – a kind of aside. Within the second creation narrative we have first of all the formation of the earth creature, the man, from dust of the earth. Then we have the garden established by God with trees and fruit that provide nourishment; and there are the trees of knowledge of good and evil.

And after all of that is described there is a moment of pause – a kind of aside.

Before the narrative goes on to discuss the human vocation of stewardship, and before the warning not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and before the creation woman in completion of the human – there is a moment of pause – a kind of aside.

In that aside there is the sound of running water.

In that aside there is a large watershed where rainfall and melting snow run together to become a creek and then stream and then river.

In that aside there is a source of irrigation for fields and forests, animals and humans.

Here are the words of that aside in the second creation narrative: “A river flows out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divides and becomes four branches. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.”

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