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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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GARDEN (Heb. gan [lit. ‘enclosure’], gannah , which, like the Persian [mod. Armenian] pardçs [ Nehemiah 2:8 etc.], and the Arab [Note: Arabic.] jannah and bustân , may mean a garden of herbs [ Deuteronomy 11:10 , 1 Kings 21:2 etc.], a fruit orchard [ Jeremiah 29:5 ; Jeremiah 29:28 , Amos 4:9 etc.], or a park-like pleasure-ground [ 2 Kings 25:4 , Esther 1:5 etc.]). Flowers were cultivated ( Song of Solomon 6:2 ), and doubtless, as in modern times, crops of grain or vegetables were grown in the spaces between the trees. In the long dry summer of Palestine the fruitfulness of the garden depends upon abundant water supply ( Numbers 24:6 ). Perennial fountains fleck the landscape with the luxuriant green and delicious shade of gardens, as e.g. at Jenîn ( Song of Solomon 4:15 ). Great cisterns and reservoirs collect the water during the rains, and from these, by numerous conduits, it is led at evening to refresh all parts of the garden. Failure of water is soon evident in withered leaves and wilted plants ( Isaiah 58:11 ; cf. Isaiah 1:30 ). The orange and lemon groves of Jaffa and Sidon are famous; and the orchards around Damascus form one of the main attractions of that ‘earthly paradise.’ The cool shade of the trees, the music of the stream, and the delightful variety of fruits in their season, make the gardens a favourite place of resort ( Esther 7:7 , Song of Solomon 4:16 etc.), especially towards evening; and in the summer months many spend the night there. In the sweet air, under the sheltering boughs, in the gardens of Olivet, Jesus no doubt passed many of the dark hours ( Mark 11:19 RV [Note: Revised Version.] , Luke 21:37 ). From His agony in a garden ( John 18:1 ; John 18:26 ) He went to His doom.

The gardens, with their luxuriant foliage and soft obscurities, were greatly resorted to for purposes of idolatry (Isaiah 56:3 , Bar 6:70 ). There the Moslem may be seen to-day, spreading his cloth or garment under orange, fig, or mulberry, and performing his devotions. The garden furnishes the charms of his heaven ( el-jannah , or Firdaus ): see artt. Paradise, Eden [Garden of].

Tombs were often cut in the rock between the trees (2 Kings 21:18 etc.); in such a tomb the body of Jesus was laid ( John 19:41 ).

W. Ewing.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Garden'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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