[[Image:Hieronymus Bosch - The Garden of Earthly Delights.jpg|right|thumb|The Earthly Paradise (Garden of Eden), painted by Hieronymus Bosch part of The Garden of Earthly Delights.]]
In the [[Bible|biblical]] book of [[Genesis]], [[God]] created the '''Garden of Eden''' as a dwelling place for the first two humans, [[Adam]] and [[Eve]]. The Garden was a paradise of plenty where Adam and Eve would never suffer illness or death. However, Adam and Eve defied the will of God by eating the [[forbidden fruit]] (the fruit of the [[tree of knowledge of good and evil]]) at the center of the Garden, and God cast them out of the Garden so that they would no longer live forever. Genesis says that a [[cherub]] with a flaming sword then guarded the Garden of Eden to prevent humans from returning.
== Description ==
Genesis describes the Garden as being "in the east, in Eden". It also says that the Garden was watered by a river that flowed from Eden, and which divided into four rivers, which had the names Phison, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates. Many people equate the last two with the existing Tigris and Euphrates rivers, but the existing rivers do not come from a dividing of a single river. It is common for settlers to name local features after similar features back home, and some believe that this is the case with these rivers—that the existing Tigris and Euphrates rivers are not the same rivers, but merely named after the ones that flowed from Eden.
The Garden is described as having "all kinds" of trees growing in it, and two are specifically named, these being the [[Tree of Life]], and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the latter being in the center of the Garden. It was this latter tree that Adam was told that he was forbidden to eat from.
Although life was apparently meant to be easy, Adam was given the task of working the Garden and taking care of it.
== Other Views ==
As with many passages in Genesis, there is debate among Christians whether or not the story of the Garden of Eden should be taken literally or metaphorically. If literally, there is also debate over how long ago Adam and Eve were banished from paradise.
The Israelite word for Eden is Aten, which is very similar to the Egyptian word "Atlen" which means "[[Atlantis]]". Atlantis is also believed to be the origin of mankind.<ref>http://www.lilithgallery.com/library/TheSearchforEden.html The Search for Eden / Atlantis</ref>