What does Pishon mean in the Bible?

The word Pishon is used only one time in the Bible: "A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there" (Genesis 2:10–12).

In the Apocrypha, Pishon is mentioned in Sirach 24:25. Scholars believe the Pishon river started in a spring and ended in a delta. The word Pishon may come from the root word puwsh in Hebrew, which means "scatter, press on, break loose, or spring forward."

We know very little about geographic features of the earth before the flood (Genesis 6:17), so to tell where the Pishon river was or currently is, is not possible. Some scientists think it may be another name for the Nile, the Indus, or the Ganges river.

What we do know is that the Pishon was a valuable place, producing life-giving water, plus beauty and riches. This river encircled a land called Havilah, which reminds us of the presence and blessing of God. Interestingly, the Euphrates river, which came from the same source in the garden of Eden as the Pishon, the Gihon, and the Tigris (Genesis 2:10—14), later became one of the boundaries of the land promised to Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 15:18).

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