Curiously, the word for the kind of place God created for Adam and Eve has
been translated in many ways. One Church of England translation I heard of
even called it a PARK! (and that's not meant to be a swipe at the C of E.
My own preference is in line with the fact that father Abraham came from UR,
and many of the ancient, no doubt originally oral, stories have a lot in
common with the Babylonian stories, to wit the snake in Eden sems a close
relative of the snake in Gilgamesh. If the Babylonian concept of paradise is
accepted, then one would be dealing with the belief in a special desert
From: William Gray
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 6/28/03 12:47 PM
Subject: Re: OT: Eden
I didn't mean to imply that your comments were off-topic; just that
as they were worded they only detracted from your post. I'm glad you're
still interested in discussion.
Perhaps I made a mistake in differentiating between "paradise" and
"Eden," but I am still almost positive that the Bible itself offers the
distinction I suggested. Perhaps what the OED refers to is a definition
supplied by the Catholic church; that would seem the best explanation of
the different accounts. Of course, that would also account for the
c.1250 wording in Genesis quoted in the entry. My intention wasn't to
muddy the waters but to clear them up; I apologize for causing
I'm assuming your query was not for me -- I don't claim to be
qualified to answer it, so I'll leave it to the others.
>>> [log in to unmask] 06/27/03 08:21PM >>>
William Gray's conception of what is and is not "OT" raises some
interesting questions that I am exploring in another response. But his
exchange with Nancy suggests that the words "paradise" and "eden" can
create more confusion than I had expected. Hence it might be worth while
to quote the OED's history of the word "paradise." Members of a
particular church may define their use of such words as they choose, but
anyone wishing to engage in discussion of a poet will have to honor the
whole history of the word and cannot impose his/her sectarian vocabulary
on other participants in the conversation.
Query: Did Eliot intend (or to what extent did he intend) the reader
consciously to observe a link between the 4Q and Dante's _Paradiso_?
(Say of the sort between TWL and the Canterbury Tales established by the
first line of that poem. I would assume that the pervasive use of
imagery echoing the four elements in 4Q links that poem -- or those
poems - to the echo of Chaucer in TWL???)
Here follows the complete OED article on _paradise_ (n)
Early ME. a. F. paradis (also in early semi-popular form paraïs,
pareïs), ad. L. parads-us, a. Gr. , a. OPers. pairidaza enclosure, park,
f. pairi around + diz to mould, form; whence also Armenian pardez, late
Heb. pards (Neh. ii. 8 the park of the Persian king, also Eccl. ii. 5);
in mod.Pers. and Ar. firdaus garden, paradise.
Used in Gr. (first by Xenophon) for a (Persian) enclosed park, orchard,
or pleasure ground; by the LXX for the garden of Eden, and in N.T. and
Christian writers for the abode of the blessed, which is the earliest
sense recorded in Eng. The OE. equivalent was neorxna wang; cf. Hexam.
St. Basil 16 Paradisum æt we hata on Englisc neorxna wang; called also,
Phnix 418, se hala wong (wong land, territory, surface of the ground).]
1. a. The garden of Eden. Also called earthly (terrenal, terrene,
terrestre) paradise, to distinguish it from the heavenly paradise.
a1175 Cott. Hom. 221 God a hine brohte into paradis. c1175 Lamb. Hom.
129 Heo weren ipult ut of paradise. c1250 Gen. & Ex. 291 He sa in
paradis Adam and eue in mike[l] pris. 13.. K. Alis. 5685 Paradys terrene
is righth in the Est. 1340 Ayenb. 50 Ase he did to euen and to Adam in
paradys terestre. c1400 Destr. Troy 5496 Evfraton & e flode
Tyger..passyn out of peradis urghe the playn Rewme. 1481 CAXTON Reynard
xxxii. (Arb.) 83 Bytwene the grete Inde & erthly paradyse. 1588 PARKE
tr. Mendoza's Hist. China 397 The riuer Ganges, one of the foure that
comme foorth of paradice terrenall. 1667 MILTON P.L. IV. 132 He..to the
border comes Of Eden, where delicious Paradise..Crowns with her
enclosure green..the champain head Of a steep wilderness. 1885 Encycl.
Brit. XVIII. 236/2 The earthly paradise, as developed by Christian
fancy, is the old garden of Eden, which lay in the far East beyond the
stream of Ocean, raised so high on a triple terrace of mountain that the
deluge did not touch it.
c1175 Lamb. Hom. 129 et wes eorliche parais. a1225 Ancr. R. 66 Eue heold
ine parais longe tale mid te neddre. 13.. in Pol. Rel. & L. Poems (1866)
230 e ates of parais oruth eue weren iloken.
b. Hence in names of plants and animals: apples of paradise, the fruit
of the plantain, Musa paradisiaca; bird of paradise, see BIRD n. 7;
grains of paradise, see GRAIN n. 4.
1585 T. WASHINGTON tr. Nicholay's Voy. I. xvi. 17b, Apples of paradice,
which they call muses.
c. ellipt. The plumage of a bird of paradise (cf. BIRD n. 7).
1905 E. WHARTON House of Mirth II. x. 446 Mrs. Trenor's hat? The one
with the green Paradise? 1928 Daily Express 24 May 5/3 The same firm was
responsible for wonderful curls of shaded paradise,..toning from dark to
palest beige tones.
2. a. Heaven, the abode of God and his angels and the final abode of the
righteous. (Now chiefly poetic.)
[c1000 Ags. Gosp. Luke xxiii. 43 To-dæ u bist mid me on paradiso [Hatton
on paradise; Gr. , Vulg. in paradiso; WYCLIF in paradys, TIND. in
paradise].] c1205 LAY. 24122 at he..efen heom his paradis, æt heo mosten
bruken blisse mid ænglen. a1240 Ureisun in Cott. Hom. 191 I-brouht of
helle in-to paradise. 1340 Ayenb. 14 et lif wy-oute ende et is e blisse
of paradis. 1484 CAXTON Fables of Æsop v, I haue dremed that the Angels
had led one of yow in to paradys or heuen. 1500-20 DUNBAR Poems lxxvi. 4
A fre chois gevin to Paradice or Hell. 1587 FLEMING Contn. Holinshed
III. 1352/1 If he vouchsafe to call you into paradise, how blessed shall
you be. 1635 A. STAFFORD Fem. Glory cxxii. (1869) 122 You..shall at
length arrive at the Celestiall Paradice. 1858-60 J. GARDNER Faiths of
World II. 11 The Jewish Rabbis teach that there is an upper and a lower
paradise or heaven. 1862 F. W. FABER Hymn, O Paradise, O Paradise..Where
loyal hearts and true, Stand ever in the light..In God's most holy
c1175 Lamb. Hom. 61 To bon in heuene fuliwis. In toue[?] sete of parais.
a1225 St. Marher. 13 Paraises eten aren arewe iopenet e nu. a1300 Floriz
& Bl. 76 Him ute he was in parais. c1325 Song Virg. 33 in O.E. Misc. 195
Leuedi quene of parays.
b. The Muslim heaven or elysium.
c1400 MANDEVILLE (1839) xii. 132 if a Man aske them [Saracens], what
Paradys thei menen; thei seyn, to Paradys, that is a place of Delytes,
where men schulle fynde alle maner of Frutes, in alle Cesouns [etc.].
1702 ROWE Tamerl. IV. i. 1766 Prophet, take notice I disclaim thy
Paradice. 1813 BYRON Giaour 489 note, The Koran allots at least a third
of Paradise to well-behaved women. 1816 Siege Cor. 255 Secure in
paradise to be By Houris loved immortally. 1841 LANE Arab. Nts. I. 20
Some assert Paradise to be in the seventh heaven, and, indeed, I have
found this to be the general opinion of my Muslim friends.
c. By some theologians, the word as used in Luke xxiii. 43 is taken to
denote an intermediate place or state where the departed souls of the
righteous await resurrection and the last judgement. Cf. 'Abraham's
bosom', Luke xvi. 23.
a1690 G. BULL Serm. Acts i. 25, Wks. 1846 I. 55 Then..he [St. Paul] saw
also the intermediate joys of paradise, wherewith the souls of the
faithful are refreshed until the resurrection. Ibid. 59. 1703 D. WHITBY
Paraphr. N.T. Luke xxiii. 43. 1713 A. CAMPBELL Doctr. Mid. State (1721)
53. 1739-56 DODDRIDGE Fam. Expositor (1761) IV. 523 He was also caught
up into Paradise, that Garden of God, which is the Seat of happy Spirits
in the intermediate State, and during their Separation from the Body.
1776 WESLEY Let. to Miss Bishop 17 Apr., In Paradise, in the
intermediate state between death and the resurrection. a1806 HORSLEY
Serm. (1811) 395 Paradise was certainly some place where our Lord was to
be on the very day on which he suffered, and where the companion of his
sufferings was to be with him. It was not heaven. 1835 J. H. NEWMAN Par.
Serm. (1837) III. xxv. 412 Paradise is not the same as Heaven, but a
resting-place at the foot of it. 1885 Catholic Dict. (ed. 3) 518 The
Limbus Patrum is the Paradise of Luc. xxiii. 43, so called because it
was a place of rest and joy, though the joy was imperfect.
3. a. A place like or compared to Paradise; a region of surpassing
beauty or delight, or of supreme bliss.
c1300 St. Brandan 147 That is Foweles Parays, a wel joyful place. c1386
CHAUCER Knt.'s T. 379 Fful blisfully in prison maistow dure. In prison?
certes nay but in Paradys. 1387 TREVISA Higden (Rolls) VII. 215 No man
schulde be i-chose pope but he were of e paradys of Italy i-bore. 1553
EDEN Treat. Newe Ind. (Arb.) 15 A man woulde thinke it were a very
Paradyse of pleasure. 1590 SPENSER F.Q. II. xii. 58 There the most
daintie Paradise [the Bowre of Blisse] on ground It selfe doth offer to
his sober eye. 1607 NORDEN Surv. Dial. v. 230, I was once in
Somersetshire, about a place neere Tanton, called Tandeane... You speake
of the Paradice of England. 1617 [see HELL 10]. 1745 P. THOMAS Jrnl.
Anson's Voy. 297 Among their Buildings are many which..appear..perfect
Paradises. 1814 P. HAWKER Diary (1893) I. 123 These gardens are the most
perfect paradise I ever saw. 1891 E. KINGLAKE Australian at H. 136
[Australia] is a rather overdone Paradise of the working man.
b. fig. A state of supreme bliss or felicity. See also FOOL'S PARADISE.
c1386 CHAUCER Merch. T. 21 Wedlok is so esy and so clene That in this
world it is a Paradys. a1548 HALL Chron., Hen. VII 6 This poore priest
brought into this foolishe paradice through his awne fantasticall
ymaginacion. 1742 GRAY Eton 98 Thought would destroy their paradise.
1813 M. EDGEWORTH Patron. (1833) II. xxviii. 211 As she seemed entering
the paradise of love and hope. 1897 'OUIDA' Massarenes xl, I shall deny
him the paradise of your embrace. 1902 A. M. FAIRBAIRN Philos. Chr.
Relig. I. ii. 79 Comfort..seems to many Englishmen the only real
c. Assoc. Football. (With capital initial.) A name given to Celtic Park,
Glasgow, the home ground of the Celtic Football Club.
1946 C. A. OAKLEY Second City III. 168 Celtic Park..seemed so palatial,
in odd comparison with an adjacent graveyard, that it was described as
the 'Paradise'. 1958 C. TULLY Passed to You xxii. 92 One of the best
things about being at Paradise is that you're pretty certain to move in
good company... You'll go a long way before you meet a better bunch than
the Tims of Parkhead.
4. a. An Oriental park or pleasure-ground, esp. one enclosing wild
beasts for the chase. b. Hence sometimes applied to an English park
in which foreign animals are kept.
1613 PURCHAS Pilgrimage (1614) 75 Betweene Orpha and Caramit, was the
Paradise of Aladeules, where he had a fortress destroyed by Selim. 1621
BURTON Anat. Mel. II. ii. IV. (1651) 269 A Persian Paradise, or pleasant
park, could not be more delectable in his sight. 1775 R. CHANDLER Trav.
Asia M. (1825) I. 296 He had moreover an extensive paradise or park,
full of wild beasts. 1865 RAWLINSON Anc. Mon. III. i. 34 Semiramis built
a palace, and laid out a paradise. 1900 Daily News 3 Aug. 5/1 A
'paradise' is the technical term for a preserve in which attempts are
made with more or less success to acclimatize foreign birds and animals.
The three most successful paradises in England are Haggerstone Castle,
near Beale; Leonardslee, in Sussex; and Woburn Abbey.
5. A pleasure-garden in general; spec. the garden of a convent. Obs.
Hence sometimes surviving in the street nomenclature of old cities or
towns; e.g. 'Paradise Square', Oxford.
[1374-5 Durham Acc. Rolls (Surtees) 180 In reparacione muri circa
paradis'.] 1610 HOLLAND Camden's Brit., Irel. II. 111 Minding to replant
it like unto a certaine garden or Paradise. 1662 EVELYN Diary 9 June,
[At Hampton Court] There is a parterre which they call Paradise, in
which is a very pretty banquetting-house set over a cave or cellar. 1686
Ibid. 4 Aug., Signior Verrio..now settled in his Majesty's garden at St.
James's, which he had made a very delicious Paradise. 1875 PARKER Gloss.
Archit. (ed. 4), Paradise,..also the garden of a convent: the name seems
originally to have been given to the open court, or area, in front of
the old church of St. Peter's at Rome.
6. Sometimes given (perh. orig. in jest) as a distinctive name to a
particular apartment. Obs.
1485 Rolls of Parlt. VI. 372/2 The Keping of the Houses called Paradyse
and Hell, within the Hall of Westminster,..and also the Keping of the
Purgatory within the said Hall, whiche Nicholas Whytfeld late had and
occupied. 1538 LELAND Itin. (1710) I. 39, I saw in a litle studiyng
Chaumber ther caullid Paradice the Genealogie of the Percys. Ibid. 46.
7. slang. The gallery of a theatre, where the 'gods' are. Cf. F.
paradis. (Slang Dict. 1873.)
8. attrib. and Comb., as paradise body, garden, weather, etc., also
paradise-like adj.; paradise apple, (a) a variety of apple: cf.
paradise-stock; (b) the Forbidden Fruit or Pomello; paradise-bird =
bird-of-paradise: see BIRD n. 7; paradise crane, the blue or Stanley
crane, Anthropoides paradisea, found in South Africa and distinguished
by a cluster of very long, black tail feathers; paradise-duck, a species
of sheldrake (Casarca variegata) found in New Zealand; paradise-fish,
(a) see quot. 1858; (b) a brilliantly coloured East Indian fish
(Macropodus viridiauratus) sometimes kept in aquariums;
paradise-flycatcher, a bird of the genus Terpsiphone, remarkable for the
length of its middle tail-feathers; paradise-grain = grain of Paradise:
see GRAIN n. 4; paradise-grosbeak, an African species of grosbeak (Loxia
erythrocephala), grey and white, with red head and chin, often kept as a
cage-bird; paradise stock, a hardy slow-growing apple-tree used as a
stock by nurserymen for dwarfing other varieties; paradise-tree, a small
West Indian tree, Simaruba glauca.
1676 WORLIDGE Cider 159 The *Paradice-Apple is a curious Fruit, produced
by grafting a Permain on a Quince. 1699 EVELYN Kal. Hort. Nov. (ed. 9)
131 Stocks of the Paradise or sweet Apple-kernel. 1834 Penny Cycl. II.
191/2 The stocks..are the wild crab, the doucin or English paradise, and
the French paradise apple. 1857 MAYNE Expos. Lex., Paradise Apple,
common name for the fruit of the Citrus Paradisi.
1617 K. THROGMORTON in St. Papers Col. (1870) 50 [Sends presents,
including] a *paradise bird'. 1774 GOLDSM. Nat. Hist. VIII. Index Ffib,
Paradise-bird..an inhabitant of the Molucca islands.
1690 BAXTER Kingd. Christ i. (1691) 10 Some think that the [resurrection
body] ..is to be a *Paradise body, like Adams before he sinned.
1906 Daily Chron. 8 May 7/4 His consignment..included..three *paradise
cranes, five wolves and seven baboons. 1958 E. T. GILLIARD Living Birds
of World 146/1 Other species [of crane] are named for their ornamental
plumage, coloration, wattles or geographical rangesas, for example..the
Paradise or Stanley Crane..of southern Africa; and the Crowned Crane.
1845 E. J. WAKEFIELD Adv. N. Zealand iii. 57 The *paradise duck..is
nearly as large as a goose, and of beautiful plumage. 1882 Pall Mall G.
29 June 4/2 He is pretty sure of a good bag of pigeons, with as many
paradise ducks as he cares to carry.
1858 SIMMONDS Dict. Trade, *Paradise-fish, a species of Polynemus, which
is esteemed excellent food in India. 1885 C. F. HOLDER Marvels Anim.
Life 18 In Siam there is found a fish..known to science as the
Macropodus or paradise-fish, on account of its curiously-shaped fins.
1893 NEWTON Dict. Birds 275 One of the most remarkable groups of
Muscicapidæ is that known as the *Paradise Flycatchers,..the males are
distinguished by the growth of exceedingly long feathers in their tail.
1910 O. LINDEMANN tr. Delius's Village Romeo & Juliet 178, I know
another place not very far from here where we'll be quite unknown. 'Tis
the *Paradise Garden. Ibid. 192 Der Paradiesgarten... The
Paradisegarden. 1972 Country Life 23 Mar. 682/3 It has been suggested
that such places as this, in which an attempt is made to bring together
plants from all parts of the world, should be known as paradise gardens.
1977 A. WILSON Strange Ride R. Kipling iv. 221 The Woolsack [sc. their
South African house] was a delight to the whole Kipling family... For
the children..it was clearly a Paradise garden.
1705 W. BOSMAN Guinea xvi. (1721) 285 Malagueta, otherwise called
*Paradice-Grains, or Guinea Pepper.
1663 GERBIER Counsel cvj, Your Lordships *Paradise-like Garden at
1706 LONDON & WISE Retir'd Gard'ner I. I. xvii. 82 An Apple upon a
*Paradise Stock. 1834 Penny Cycl. II. 191/2 The doucin or English
paradise stock, which is what the English nurserymen usually sell as the
paradise stock, is intermediate in its effect between the crab and the
1875 W. CORY Lett. & Jrnls. (1897) 381 Last week was a marvel of