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Holman Bible Dictionary


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(ee' dehn) Garden of God. “Eden” is probably derived from the Sumerian-Akkadian edinu, meaning “flatland” or “wilderness.” The similarity to the Hebrew verb adan , meaning “delight” or “pleasure,” resulted in the Septuagint's translation of the expression “garden of Eden” as “garden of delight,” hence paradise.

“Eden” appears twenty times in the Old Testament but never in the New Testament. Two usage's refer to men (2 Chronicles 29:12 ; 2 Chronicles 31:15 ). Twice the name is used to designate a city or region in the Assyrian province of Thelassar (Isaiah 37:12 ; 2 Kings 19:12 ). Ezekiel 27:23 mentions a region named Eden located on the Euphrates. Amos 1:5 refers to the ruler of Damascus as holding the scepter of the house of Eden.

The fourteen remaining appearances relate to the idyllic place of creation. In Genesis (Genesis 2:8 ,Genesis 2:8,2:10 ,Genesis 2:10,2:15 ; Genesis 3:23-24 ; Genesis 4:16 ) the reference is to the region in which a garden was placed. Though details seem precise, identification of the rivers which flow from the river issuing forth from Eden cannot be accomplished with certainty. The Euphrates and the Tigris can be identified, but there is no agreement on the location of the Pishon and the Gihon.

Joel 2:3 compares Judah's condition before its destruction with Eden. In Isaiah 51:3 and Ezekiel 36:35 , Eden is used as an illustration of the great prosperity God would bestow on Judah. These exilic prophets promised that the nation God restored after the Exile would be like Eden's garden. Ezekiel also refers to the trees of Eden (Ezekiel 31:9 ,Ezekiel 31:9,31:16 ,Ezekiel 31:16,31:18 ) and calls Eden the garden of God (Ezekiel 28:13 ). See Paradise .

Robert Anderson Street

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Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Eden'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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