Genesis 2:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 2:13, NIV: "The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush."

Genesis 2:13, ESV: "The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush."

Genesis 2:13, KJV: "And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia."

Genesis 2:13, NASB: "The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush."

Genesis 2:13, NLT: "The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush."

Genesis 2:13, CSB: "The name of the second river is Gihon, which flows through the entire land of Cush."

What does Genesis 2:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verses 10 through 14 describe the great river that flowed out of the region of Eden, dividing into four smaller rivers. These rivers correspond to rivers and lands we know in the modern world, helping us to understand where the region of Eden was. It does not, however, give us enough information to know the exact location of the garden. The first river mentioned was named Pishon, and its territory is said to have been rich in gold, onyx, and bdellium.

The second river described is the Gihon river, one that flowed around the land of Cush. As used in the Bible, the region of "Cush" usually refers to the land of Ethiopia, which is quite some distance from the other territories mentioned in this passage. Scholars suggest this may be a different area known in ancient times as Cush, perhaps in the mountains of Mesopotamia.

As with the Pishon, we cannot make a strong link between this river and one known in the modern world. As this description is of a pre-flood world, there is a possibility that the river was destroyed and no longer exists. It is also possible that what this passage calls the Pishon and Gihon might be tributaries of the larger Euphrates river.