Bible Review 7:6, December 1991


A well-watered place

By Richard S. Hess

In 1979, a bilingual inscription was found in Syria that provides new background for understanding two significant puzzles in the opening chapters of Genesis. The first puzzle is the statement that mankind was made in the “image” of God, in his “likeness” (Genesis 1:26), a metaphor that has teased scholars for millennia. The second puzzle concerns the name of the place where it all began—the garden of Eden. What lies behind the word Eden? What is its etymology?

The inscription is engraved on the skirt of a life-size royal statue that was accidentally discovered by a farmer enlarging his field in northeastern Syria near the ancient mound known as Tell Fakhariyah.a Hence it is known as the Tell Fakhariyah inscription.

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