Battle of the Books

Was the Garden of Eden in present-day southeast Turkey / northwest Iraq? Was it at the confluence of the River Euphrates and River Tigris—the eastern most part of the Fertile Crescent—between Sumer and Sushan (abutting the uppermost extremity of the Persian Gulf)? Or did we, as described by palaeontology, come out of Africa?

I don’t know.

[Recently, Stan Deyo came to conclude that Ghan Aden was to be found at the site of the Ngorongoro Crater, in northern Tanzania. See The Garden of Eden: Where is it Located?, and see also Genesis : : [2] The Fall of Mankind.]

What I do know, however, and intuitively—what I know intimately—is that within Eden lay that Holy City, the omphalos to the earth.

A 6th century floor mosaic of the Middle East contains the oldest surviving map of the Holy Land, and especially Jerusalem. It is found in the early Byzantine church of St. George in Madaba, Jordan. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

Locating the earth’s omphalos

A satellite image gives, in orthographic projection [a two-dimensional projection of a three-dimensional object], a faithful representation of the proportions of the Middle East. It demonstrates clearly that the Land of Canaan lies at the crossroads to the great landmasses (and empires) of: Europe to the north-west; north along the Caucasus bridge, between the Caspian and Black Seas, into Russia; east to central Asia and on to the Far East; and Africa with the Arabian peninsula to the south.


The Land of Canaan is today called Israel. And the epicentre of Israel is Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the spiritual—and to most eyes the political—crux of Israel. As Israel occupies one-third the length of the eastern seaboard of the Great Sea of the Old World, Yerushalayim is at the centre of that World.

Jerusalem is at the very heart of the age-old tribal battle over the land of Canaan — the Promised Land. (See: Spread of religion across the world).

But fascination with Jerusalem goes well beyond geography. For without qualification, Jerusalem appears as the pre-eminent spiritual battleground to the monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

And so we have both a spiritual battle and a territorial battle. And both battles seem preoccupied with the same bit of real estate. [Think of it as a hotly contested—with a smattering of violence—property auction.]

Add to this melting-pot a drop of oil—olive or crude—and you have a viscous and volatile brew. And with recent and more remote turmoil in the region, one thing becomes clear … a great battle is looming.

And each side, what’s more, is utterly convinced of victory. Although all tell a familiar tale from a mutual patriarch, named Abraham, each lay claim to it from a very different angle — adhering to an ending all their own.

And this is the battle.

It is the battle of nations and peoples. It is the battle of East and West. It is the battle of right and wrong.

This is the Battle of the Books: the battle of the Tanakh, the Bible, and the Koran.

But surely mankind is now better at resolving conflict without resorting to armed conflict. What say the earthly powers-that-be?

The United Nations, for instance, proposes that the Old City be partitioned off and given International status. The European Union, in fact, already considers Jerusalem a corpus separatum, to say nothing of the Vatican stance.

In short, then, it looks as though our paragons of virtue have a conflict of interest over Jerusalem.

But, to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

And now, … a time for the great End-Time Battle.

This is primarily a spiritual battle. It is a battle for the hearts and minds of the people of the Middle East, and its outer ring of nations. But it is also a battle for those farther east, north, south, and west (Europe and farther still, to the USA).

Physical geography notwithstanding, first and foremost we are in a battle of spiritual allegiance.

And while the war-weary flesh is weak, the spirit is willing.

See The Biblical Land of Eden and Garden

Featured Image: Torah, Bible, and Koran

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