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The name of the second river is GIHON which encircles the entire land of CUSH.

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The name of the second river was BURSTING FORTH because it burst from its source to cover and fill the entire land

(WHERE THERE IS MUCH SUN AND WATER) with its abundance and life.



We should assume there was a Cush located somewhere in Mesopotamia before the world-wide flood, and another Cush located in today’s Ethiopia/Sudan after the flood. The actual meaning of the name Cush seems to have been lost, for all the sources I have searched identify it by its post-flood location but not its meaning. Even searching for related spellings in the languages used in Mesopotamia such as Ugaritic, Akkadian and Sumerian, fails to turn up anything that shows a clear connection to Cush. It is the meaning that is important, not the present location. Since the meaning has been lost all we have left is an educated guess. Fortunately, the way they assigned names to things in ancient times is of help to us in situations like this.

In ancient times, names of animals, plants, rivers and other things were assigned according to primary characteristics of the same. The name was a short description of it. Therefore, we can look at post-flood Cush, which is Ethiopia/upper Nile and safely assume that the pre-flood land called Cush had similar characteristics, even though it was likely in a different location. What were the physical qualities of post-flood Cush? It was known as a place that had variety, with mountains, desert and well-watered land that was fertile. It also had lots of sunshine because its people were known as tall men with burnt faces, i.e. dark skin. Although the post-flood region in question would include all of present day Ethiopia, Sudan, and southern Egypt, many used the term Cush or Ethiopia as a reference to the upper Nile only, i.e. only the well-watered region close to the up-stream portion of the Nile. Since Egypt thrived based on the flooding of the Nile each year, this means the Egyptians saw Cush as the physical source which their gods used to provide them with prosperity. These annual floods made the land along the Nile rich, fertile and moist. To this day, satellite images of Egypt show a distinct green band on either side of the Nile with the brown desert outside that band. For these reasons I represent Cush in the paraphrase column as a place with much sun and water.