When we study the first few chapters of the Book of Genesis, we have record of several significant events.
It starts with the creation account, the garden of Eden, man’s fall into sin, a record of men and women living for nearly 1,000 years and the flood.
But according to the Bible, the defining moment in human history took place at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11, when God broke humans apart by imposing different languages.
This resulted in the formation of different cultures and nations.
But it is important that we understand this point.
Though the Tower of Babel led to cultures developing their own unique history, everything prior to Babel was still common history to all groups.
And this is why we have stories of a massive flood in cultures around the world, from places as far away as Hawaii to China.
We also have accounts of people living long lives in Babylonian literature, and as well in the ancient histories of the Romans, Greeks, Indians and even the Chinese.
Some of these stories changed over time as these cultures embraced idols and began to incorporate these gods into these ancient events. But even with that, the basics of the accounts remain very similar.
And some suggest we even have a record from one of these ancient cultures of what life was like in the Garden of Eden, before man’s fall into sin.
In 1964, archaeologists started work at the site of the ancient city of Ebla, located 30 km south of the city of Aleppo in Syria. Over the next several years, they uncovered thousands of cuneiform tablets, that provided detailed information about this ancient civilization.
But among these 17,000 tablet fragments were several that described a place called Dilmun, and it was clear, that this was a specific geographical location.
In his book, The Impact of Ebla, author Clifford Wilson provides a description of Dilmun from the Epic of Emmerkar, translated by S.H. Hooke:
The land of Dilmun is a pure place,
The land of Dilmun is a clean place,
The land of Dilmun is a clean place,
The land of Dilmun is a bright place.
In Dilmun the raven uttered no cry,
The kite uttered not the cry of the kite,
The lion killed not,
The wolf snatched not the lamb,
Unknown was the kid-killing dog,
Unknown was the grain-devouring boar,
The sick-eyed says, “I am not sick eyed”
Its (Dilmun’s) old woman says not “I am an old woman”
Its old man says not “I am an old man”
We see in Dilmun that animals were not preying on each other. There was no sickness, and the tablet goes on to say that many of the funeral rites associated with death were not performed in Dilmun, suggesting there was also no death.
As we read this account, we see many similarities to our understanding of what life was like in the Garden of Eden before man fell into sin, that affected not only humans, but all creation (Romans 8:19-21).
This was the story of the Garden of Eden, passed down in their culture over the centuries.
And the Jewish prophets, peering far into the future, saw God restoring earth back to it original form before it was destroyed by sin.
In this new world, we read that the wolf will lie down with the lamb and the lion will eat straw:
And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. (Isaiah 11:6 NASB)
“The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,” says the LORD. (Isaiah 65:25 NASB)
It would be a place where evil no longer exists.
And in his vision of the end times, the Apostle John saw there would no longer be death or any sickness in this new heaven and new earth:
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 20:1-4 NASB)