From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

An enclosure in the suburbs, fenced with a hedge or wall ( Isaiah 5:5;  Proverbs 24:31), planted with flowers, shrubs, and trees, guarded (from whence comes "garden") by watchmen in a lodge or tower ( Isaiah 1:8, when the lodge is forsaken by the keeper, the bore poles leaning every way and the green boughs of the roof scattered, there could scarcely be a more vivid picture of Zion's desolation,  Mark 12:1) to drive away wild beasts and robbers ( Job 27:18). The quince, citron, almond, and other fruits, also herbs ( 1 Kings 21:2), cucumbers, lettuce, mustard, are mentioned as in gardens. The balsam, according to Pliny, grew only in two royal gardens of Judea, not elsewhere. Syria was so famed for gardens that the Greeks had a proverb, "the many garden herbs of the Syrians." The rose garden W. of the temple was peculiar in being within the walls; the smell from weeds and manure was the cause of gardens being usually forbidden within the walls.

A reservoir cistern, or still better a fountain of water, was essential to a good garden. Compare  Song of Solomon 4:15, "a fountain of gardens," 'Αyin Ganim , Jenin now, i.e. a fountain sufficient to water man "gardens," "a well of living waters? (See En-Gannim .) Spiritually, the believer is the garden the Holy Spirit the living water ( Jeremiah 2:18;  Jeremiah 17:8;  John 4:13-14;  John 7:37-39); "A well watered garden" expresses abundant happiness and prosperity ( Isaiah 58:11;  Jeremiah 17:8;  Jeremiah 31:12), as "a garden that hath no water" ( Isaiah 1:30) expresses spiritual, national, and individual barrenness and misery.  Psalms 1:3, the righteous "shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of waters (literally, the divisions of waters, the water being divided into rivulets to run along the rows of trees for irrigation) that bringeth forth his fruit in his season."

Not only are his fruits (the tree's proper fruit,  Revelation 22:2) good in themselves, but are in season ( Ecclesiastes 3:1-11; contrast  Matthew 21:19). "His leaf" also has its beauty and use and is "unwithering" ( Ezekiel 47:12); even his minor traits of character are good after their kind, and his smallest undertaking, blessed because done unto the Lord and so shall abide. The law against mixing diverse seeds was observed by separating the various productions by light fences of reed. The "orchards" (Hebrew: "paradises") were especially for fruit trees, dates, figs, sycamores, etc. The occurrence of no less than 250 botanical terms in Old Testament shows the Israelite predilection for flowers, fruits, and pleasure grounds. The vine wound round the trellis or outer staircase, the emblem of the loving and fruitful wife and the happy home ( Psalms 128:3). The house court or area generally had its shady terebinth.

Under the shadowing fig leaves Nathanael communed with his God ( John 1:48). The ripe grain in harvest joy was decorated with lilies;  Song of Solomon 7:2, "thy bodice (of amber color) is a heap of wheat set about with lilies" (white or scarlet, answering to her scarf round her person). The Hebrew used gardens also as burial places ( John 19:41). Here Jesus' sacred body was entombed in Joseph's new sepulchre. Manasseh and Amen were buried in Uzza's garden ( 2 Kings 21:18;  2 Kings 21:26). Machpelah's field, Abraham's burial ground, was a garden with "trees in it, and in all the borders round about it" ( Genesis 23:17). The garden of Gethsemane was Jesus' favorite resort for devotion ( Matthew 26:36;  John 18:1). Gardens were in idolatrous periods made the scene of superstition and image worship, the awful counterpart of the primitive Eden ( Isaiah 1:29;  Isaiah 65:3;  Isaiah 66:17).

Solomon's gardens and orchards with all kinds of fruits and pools of water for irrigation ( Ecclesiastes 2:4-6) doubtless suggested the imagery  Song of Solomon 4:12-15. It was in a garden of light Adam fell; in a garden of darkness, Gethsemane, the Second Adam overcame the tempter and retrieved us. The "streams from Lebanon" imply that the fountain is lowly, the source lofty. Christ (and so Christ's church) springs up on the earth, but has His source in heaven; no longer "sealed" but "open" streams ( Revelation 22:10;  Revelation 22:17).

The site near Bethlehem assigned to Solomon's garden is probably correct. It is a suitable retreat, near the capital, and the names of localities about confirm the tradition: wady Urtas, "the valley of the garden"; gebel-el-Fureidis, "the hill of the little paradise"; "fig vale"; "peach hill"; "walnut walk"; "garden of nuts." The "king's garden" ( 2 Kings 25:4;  Nehemiah 3:15;  Jeremiah 34:4;  Jeremiah 52:7) was near the pool of Siloam, at the Tyropoeon valley, where the valleys of Jehoshaphat and Hinnom met.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [2]

It would be wholly unnecessary to notice the name of garden (taken from the Hebrew word Gan), being so generally understood, were it not that the church of Christ is so frequently represented under the similitude. Indeed, the church is sometimes called gardens, to denote both their number and variety; by which is meant, the particular names of the churches of Jesus, such as the apostles of Christ; yea, Christ himself directed Epistles to the churches at "Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Philippi," and the like, and the seven churches in Asia. But though these were diversified, and scattered abroad in the earth, yet still, after all, the church of Christ is but one and the same. So said Christ himself. "My dove, my undefiled, is but one; she is the only one of her mother: she is the choice one of her that bare her." ( Song of Song of Solomon 6:9) The Jerusalem which is above, and which is the mother of us all, knows but of one church, of which Jesus is the Head; for both Jew and Gentile will ultimately be brought into one fold. And in the meantime all true believers in Christ have one faith, one hope, one spirit, one heart and affections; all united to their glorious Head, and all united to each other, as "members of his body, his flesh, and his bones." ( Galatians 4:26;  John 10:16;  Ephesians 4:4-5; Eph 5:30) And what endears the whole, and renders it most blessed is, that Christ the glorious Head, to whom the whole body is united, supplies all, justifies all, sanctifies all, and is himself the all of life and strength, and the portion to his people, in grace here, and glory hereafter. So sung the church, and so all the redeemed know. "A fountain of gardens is my beloved, said the church, a well of living water, and streams from Lebanon." ( Song of Song of Solomon 4:15)

And while we eye Jesus as the source of life and fruitfulness to his garden the church, it is blessed to see how very lovely the similitude of a garden, corresponds to the state of Christ's church. As first a garden is an enclosure, separated and fenced round; so the church stands in the midst of the world's wide wilderness, gathered from it by sovereign grace. ( Song of Song of Solomon 4:12;  Isaiah 5:1-2) Secondly, a garden is the property of some owner; it is not alike common or open to all: so is the church. Jesus hath bought it with his blood; the Father hath given it to Christ by grace; and the Holy Ghost hath made it Christ's, by the sealing act of covenant faithfulness. Thirdly, a garden is distinguished from the common fields or hedges of the highway, by having nothing growing there but what has been planted; exactly thus with the church. Every thing in it is of the Lord's right hand planting; for Jesus saith himself, "Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up." ( Matthew 15:13) Fourthly, in a garden there are great varieties of plants and shrubs, and fruit-trees and flowers; so in Christ's church the fruits of the Spirit appear in a beautiful and regular order, some by the exercise of one grace, and others by another, but "all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." ( 1 Corinthians 12:11) Fifthly, a garden is under the eye and inspection of its owner, and very frequently visited by him; and the Lord Jesus is said to have his eyes upon his Judea from the one end of the year even to the other end of the year. Yea, the Lord Jesus walks in his garden the church, and makes this his sacred haunt, where he delights to come and visit his people. The church speaks of her Lord to this effect: "My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens and to gather lilies." ( Song of Song of Solomon 6:2) And elsewhere she invites Jesus to come into his garden, and to eat of his pleasant fruits. And Jesus as instantly accepts the invitation, and saith, "I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse! I have gathered my myrrh with my spice." ( Song of Song of Solomon 4:16; Son 5:1) Sixthly, a garden requires much care in dressing, and pruning, and weeding, and the like; so the church of Jesus hath the constant care of her Lord. He saith himself, "I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment, lest any hurt it; I will keep it night and day." ( Isaiah 27:3) And how, through pruning dispensations weeding out the remains of indwelling corruption in the heart, and by the digging round and nourishing the graces of her Lord's own planting, doth Jesus keep alive and cause to flourish the several circumstances of his church and people. And lastly, to mention no more, as in gardens the owners gather for their use the several productions of their gardens, so Jesus for his own glory gathers the fruits of his own Holy Spirit, planted in the hearts of his redeemed while on earth, gathers their persons at death, and transplants them into his garden above, to flourish under his almighty hand in glory for ever. So very beautiful is the similitude of a garden to the church; and, no doubt, under several other particulars the allusion might be found to correspond. Jesus! I would say, let thy garden thy church be always blessed with thy presence!

Holman Bible Dictionary [3]

 Genesis 2:8 1 Kings 21:2 Esther 1:5 Isaiah 51:3 John 18:1-2

Characteristics The primary Old Testament words for “garden” ( gan and gannah ) derive from a root meaning “to surround.” Gardens were plots of ground enclosed or surrounded by walls or hedges. Some were large ( Esther 1:5 ), the most prominent gardens being royal ones ( 2 Kings 25:4;  Nehemiah 3:15;  Jeremiah 39:4 ). Most gardens were situated close to the owner's residence ( 1 Kings 21:2 ). Occasionally a house might be located in the garden ( 2 Kings 9:27 ). An abundant supply of water was especially important ( Genesis 13:10;  Numbers 24:6;  Isaiah 1:30;  Isaiah 58:11;  Jeremiah 31:12 ). Gardeners were employed to tend the more substantial gardens, sowing seed and watering ( Deuteronomy 11:10;  John 20:15 ). Orchards or small vineyards were sometimes called gardens.

Contents A variety of plants were cultivated in gardens though most of them were small ( Matthew 13:32 ). Biblical references include cedar, cypress, and fruit trees ( Ecclesiastes 2:5;  Ezekiel 31:8 ); vegetables (KJV “herbs”;  Deuteronomy 11:10 ); fragrant spices such as myrrh and balsam (Song of  Song of Solomon 4:16; Song of  Song of Solomon 5:1 );

flowers such as lilies (Song of  Song of Solomon 6:2 ); and a wide variety of other plants—mint, rue ( Luke 11:42 ), dill, cummin ( Matthew 23:23 ), and mustard ( Luke 13:19 ).

Uses Obviously a garden provided food for its owner ( Jeremiah 29:5 ,Jeremiah 29:5, 29:28;  Amos 9:14 ), but it also served other aesthetic and utilitarian purposes. It was a place of beauty where plants were pleasing to the sight ( Genesis 2:9 ). As a guarded and protected place (Song of  Song of Solomon 4:12 ), persons could retreat there for prayer ( Matthew 26:36-46 ), for quiet or solitude ( Esther 7:7 ), or even for bathing ( Susanna 1:15 ). It provided a cool escape from the heat of the day ( Genesis 3:8;  Susanna 1:7 ). Friends could meet in gardens ( John 18:1-2 ), or banquets could be served there ( Esther 1:5 ). It thus was often associated with joy and gladness ( Isaiah 51:3 ). On the other hand, pagan sacrifices were sometimes offered in gardens ( Isaiah 65:3;  Isaiah 66:17 ); and gardens were used as burial sites (2Kings 21:18, 2 Kings 21:26;  John 19:41-42 ).

Important Gardens The garden of Eden ( Genesis 2:8;  Genesis 3:23-24 ) was planted by God ( Genesis 2:8 ) and entrusted to Adam for cultivating and keeping ( Genesis 2:15 ). Following their sin, Adam and Eve were banished from the garden; but “Eden the garden of God” ( Ezekiel 28:13 ) continued as a symbol of blessing and bounty ( Ezekiel 36:35;  Joel 2:3 ). The “king's garden” in Jerusalem was located near a gate to the city that provided unobserved exit or escape ( 2 Kings 25:4;  Nehemiah 3:15;  Jeremiah 39:4;  Jeremiah 52:7 ). The “garden” ( John 18:1 ) called Gethsemane ( Matthew 26:36;  Mark 14:32 ) was a place where Jesus often met with His disciples ( John 18:2 ) and where He was betrayed and arrested.

Michael Fink

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [4]

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.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [5]

GARDEN ( κῆπος).—In its most precise application the term refers to a level piece of ground enclosed by a wall or hedge, in which plants, shrubs, and trees are cultivated by irrigation. Its area, ranging from a small vegetable plot beside the house to the dimensions of a farm, is limited only by the supply of water. While not excluding the idea of garden familiar in the West, its meaning in general is often nearer to that of our nursery-garden and orchard . In the irrigated garden, vines, fig, walnut, pomegranate, lemon, and other trees are grown for the sake of ornament, shade, and fruit. In the Gospels mention is made of mint, anise, and cummin ( Matthew 23:23) as the cheap and common garden produce that occupied the laboured scrupulosity of the scribes and Pharisees, to the neglect of more important matters.

The fact of its being artificially and continually watered, distinguishes the garden proper from the ordinary grain field, the vineyard, and the plantation of olive or fig trees. The necessity, however, of having a protecting wall for fruit trees gives also to such an enclosure in a more general sense the name and character of a garden. These may be resorted to and passed through without objection except during summer and autumn, when the fruit is ripening. Such may have been the garden of Gethsemane, to which Christ retired with His disciples ( John 18:1-2). In the garden containing the tomb in which Christ’s body was laid, Mary’s expectation of meeting with the gardener or caretaker ( John 20:15) at the time of Easter would rather point to the more careful cultivation of the irrigated garden.

To the Oriental the garden is a place of retirement and rest. Its sound of falling or running water is one of the luxuries of life. Its shade affords escape from the glare of the sun, and its recognized privacy forbids the introduction at the close of the day of disturbing news, exacting claims, or perplexing decisions. The voice of nature seems to say, ‘I will give you rest.’ It has thus become a symbol of Heaven, and supplies a common term of immortal hope to the three great monotheistic religions, inasmuch as the Christian ‘Paradise’ is the equivalent of the Jewish Gan-Eden , ‘Garden of Eden,’ and the Moslem il-Gannat , ‘the Garden.’

G. M. Mackie.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [6]

Garden. Gardens In the East were surrounded by hedges of thorn,  Isaiah 5:5, or walls of stone.  Proverbs 24:31. For further protection lodges,  Isaiah 1:8;  Lamentations 2:6, or watchtowers,  Mark 12:1, were built in them, in which sat the keeper,  Isaiah 5:2;  Isaiah 21:6, to drive away the wild beasts and robbers. The gardens of the Hebrews were planted with flowers and aromatic shrubs,  Song of Solomon 6:2;  Song of Solomon 4:16, besides olives, fig trees, nuts or walnuts,  Song of Solomon 6:11, pomegranates, and others for domestic use.  Exodus 23:11;  Jeremiah 29:5;  Amos 9:14. Gardens of herbs, or kitchen gardens, are mentioned in  Deuteronomy 11:10 and  1 Kings 21:2. The retirement of gardens rendered them favorite places for devotion.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [7]

1: Κῆπος (Strong'S #2779 — Noun Masculine — kepos — kay'-pos )

"a garden," occurs in  Luke 13:19 , in one of the Lord's parables; in  John 18:1,26 , of the garden of Gethsemane; in  John 19:41 , of the garden near the place of the Lord's crucifixion.

King James Dictionary [8]

G`ARDEN, n. Eng. yard, an inclosed place L. hortus.

1. A piece of ground appropriated to the cultivation of herbs, or plants, fruits and flowers usually near a mansion-house. Land appropriated to the raising of culinary herbs and roots for domestic use, is called a kitchen-garden that appropriated to flowers and shrubs is called a flower garden and that to fruits, is called a fruit garden. But these uses are sometimes blended. 2. A rich, well cultivated spot or tract of country a delightful spot. The intervals on the river Connecticut are all a garden. Lombardy is the garden of Italy.

Garden, in composition, is used adjectively, as garden-mold, a rich fine mold or soil garden-tillage,the tillage used in cultivating gardens.

G`ARDEN, To layout and to cultivate a garden to prepare ground to plant and till it, for the purpose of producing plants, shrubs, flowers and fruits.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [9]

Several gardens are mentioned in the Scriptures, as the garden of Eden , Ahab's garden of herbs , the royal garden near the fortress of Zion , the royal garden of the Persian kings at Susa , the garden of Joseph of Arimathea , and the garden of Gethsemane . It is clear, from , and , that gardens were generally hedged or walled, as indeed Josephus expressly states respecting the gardens near Jerusalem. In , and gardeners and keepers of gardens by occupation are indicated.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [10]

gar´d ' n ( גּן , gan , גּנּה , gannāh , גּנּה , ginnāh  ; κῆπος , kḗpos ): The Arabic jannah (diminutive, jannainah ), like the Hebrew gannāh , literally, "a covered or hidden place," denotes in the mind of the dweller in the East something more than the ordinary garden. Gardens in Biblical times, such as are frequently referred to in Semitic literature, were usually walled enclosures, as the name indicates (  Lamentations 2:6 the American Revised Version, margin), in which there were paths winding in and out among shade and fruit trees, canals of running water, fountains, sweet-smelling herbs, aromatic blossoms and convenient arbors in which to sit and enjoy the effect. These gardens are mentioned in Gen 2 and 3;   Genesis 13:10;  Song of Solomon 4:12-16;  Ecclesiastes 2:5 ,  Ecclesiastes 2:6;  Ezekiel 28:13;  Ezekiel 31:8 ,  Ezekiel 31:9;  Ezekiel 36:35;  Joel 2:3 . Ancient Babylonian, Assyrian and Egyptian records show the fondness of the rulers of these countries for gardens laid out on a grand scale and planted with the rarest trees and plants. The drawings made by the ancients of their gardens leave no doubt about their general features and their correspondence with Biblical gardens. The Persian word pardeṣ (παράδεισος , parádeisos ) appears in the later Hebrew writings to denote more extensive gardens or parks. It is translated "orchards" in  Ecclesiastes 2:5 the King James Version;   Song of Solomon 4:13 . See Paradise .

Such gardens are still common throughout the Levant. They are usually situated on the outskirts of a city (compare  John 18:1 ,  John 18:26;  John 19:41 ), except in the case of the more pretentious estates of rich pashas or of the government seats (compare  2 Kings 21:18;  Esther 1:5;  Esther 7:7 ,  Esther 7:8;  Nehemiah 3:15;  2 Kings 25:4;  Jeremiah 39:4;  Jeremiah 52:7 ). They are enclosed with walls of mud blocks, as in Damascus, or stone walls capped with thorns, or with hedges of thorny bushes (compare  Lamentations 2:6 the American Revised Version, margin), or prickly pear. In nearly treeless countries, where there is no rain during 4 or 5 months, at least, of the year, the gardens are often the only spots where trees and other vegetation can flourish, and here the existence of vegetation depends upon the water supply, brought in canals from streams, or raised from wells by more or less crude lifting machines (compare   Numbers 24:7 ). Such references as  Genesis 2:10;  Numbers 24:6;  Deuteronomy 11:10;  Isaiah 1:30;  Isaiah 58:11;  Song of Solomon 4:15 indicate that in ancient times they were as dependent upon irrigation in Biblical lands as at present. The planning of their gardens so as to utilize the water supplies has become instinctive with the inhabitants of Palestine and Syria. The writer has seen a group of young Arab boys modeling a garden out of mud and conducting water to irrigate it by channels from a nearby canal, in a manner that a modern engineer would admire. Gardens are cultivated, not only for their fruits and herbs (compare   Song of Solomon 6:11;  Isaiah 1:8;  1 Kings 21:2 ) and shade (compare  Song of Solomon 6:11;  Luke 13:19 ), but they are planned to serve as dwelling-places during the summer time when the houses are hot and stuffy. That this was an ancient practice is indicated by  Song of Solomon 5:2;  Song of Solomon 6:2;  Song of Solomon 8:13 . A shaded garden, the air laden with the ethereal perfumes of fruits and flowers, accompanied by the music of running water, a couch on which to sit or recline, suggest a condition of bliss dear to the Oriental. Only one who has traveled for days in a dry, glaring desert country and has come upon a spot like the gardens of such a city as Damascus, can realize how near like paradise these gardens can appear. Mohammed pictured such a place as the future abode of his followers No doubt the remembrances of his visit to Damascus were fresh in his mind when he wrote. El - Jannah is used by the Moslems to signify the "paradise of the faithful."

Gardens were used as places of sacrifice, especially in heathen worship ( Isaiah 1:29;  Isaiah 65:3;  Isaiah 66:17 ). They sometimes contained burial places ( 2 Kings 21:18 ,  2 Kings 21:26;  John 19:41 ).

Figurative: The destruction of gardens typified desolation (  Amos 4:9 ); on the other hand, fruitful gardens figured prosperity ( Numbers 24:6;  Job 8:16;  Isaiah 51:3;  Isaiah 58:11;  Isaiah 61:11;  Jeremiah 29:5 ,  Jeremiah 29:28;  Jeremiah 31:12;  Amos 9:14 ).

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Garden'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.