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Genesis Bereshit
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2:11 The name of the first is Pishon. It surrounds the entire land of Havilah where gold is found.
Shem ha'echad Pishon hu hasovev et kol-erets haChavilah asher-sham hazahav.
2:12 The gold of that land is [especially] good. Also found there are pearls and precious stones.
Uzahav ha'arets hahi tov sham habedolach ve'even hashoham.


  Some identify the Pishon with the Nile (Rashi). Others say that it is the Ganges or the Indus (Josephus, Abarbanel), see next note, 'Havilah'. Rabbi Aaron Marcus identifies it with the Karun, which flows through Iran into the Persian Gulf (Keseth HaSofer 121a). He also notes that the flow of these rivers could have been changed drastically by the Great Flood.

  Some identify this with India (Josephus, Antiquities 1:1:3; Targum Yonathan). Marcus, however, identifies it with an area on the Persian Gulf. See Genesis 10:7, 10:29, 25:18, 1 Samuel 15:7. See note on Genesis 10:7. Significantly, there is a city Havelian on the upper Indus river, between Kashmir and Pakistan.

  (Saadia Gaon, Ibn Janach, Ibn Ezra, Radak). Bedolach in Hebrew. See Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:23. Others translate it as crystal (Rashi on Numbers 11:7). Most translations follow Aquila's Greek translation, and render it 'bdellium.' This is a gum resin, very much like myrrh, obtained from various trees of the genus Commiphora of the Burseraceae family. The Midrash, however, states explicitly that it is not this herbal material (Bereshith Rabbah). In the Septuagint, it is translated as anthrax (literally, 'burning coal'), most probably a red mineral such as the carbuncle, ruby, garnet or red sapphire.

precious stones
  Shoham stones in Hebrew. Translated as beryl (Targum), onyx, lapis lazuli, or sardonex. See Exodus 25:7, Ezekiel 28:13, Job 28:16.

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