International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
gar'-d'-n (gan, gannah, ginnah; kepos): The Arabic jannah (diminutive, jannainah), like the Hebrew gannah, 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 Genesis 2 and Genesis 3; Genesis 13:10; Songs 4:12-16 Ecclesiastes 2:5, 6 Ezekiel 28:13; Ezekiel 31:8, 9; 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 pardec (paradeisos) 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; Songs 4:13.
GARDEN, THE KING'S
Mention is made of "the king's garden" in 2 Kings 25:4 Jeremiah 39:4; Jeremiah 52:7 (fundamentally the same passage), in connection with the flight of Zedekiah from Jerusalem; and again in Nehemiah 3:15. The last passage shows that the "garden" was at the pool of Siloah (the Revised Version (British and American) "Shelah"), at the mouth of Tyropeon, near the "fountain gate." This would seem to be "the gate between the two walls which was by the king's garden" of the passages in 2 Kings and Jeremiah (compare 2 Chronicles 32:5). On the topography, see JERUSALEM; also Robinson, Palestine, II, 142. Arnold (in Herzog) thinks the garden is probably identical with "the garden of Uzza" of 2 Kings 21:18, 26.
gan-ha-melekh): In Nehemiah 3:15, mention is made of "the pool of Shelah by the king's garden"; in 2 Kings 25:4 Jeremiah 52:7, "All the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king's garden"; see also Jeremiah 39:4. The "king's winepresses" (Zechariah 14:10), which must have been to the extreme South of the city, were clearly in this neighborhood. The references all point to the one situation in Jerusalem where it is possible for gardens to flourish all the year round, namely, the part of the Kidron valley below the Tyropoeon which is watered by the overflow from the Pool of Siloam (see SILOAM). Here the vegetable gardens of the peasants of Siloam present an aspect of green freshness unknown elsewhere in Jerusalem.