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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The Hebrew word: עדן
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Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary

עדן

The noun עדן ('eden) means delight, finery or luxury (2 Samuel 1:24, Psalm 36:8). The feminine variant of this noun is עדנה (edna), denoting delight or pleasure. The only Biblical usage of this noun happens in Genesis 18:12, where Sarah overhears Abraham's visitors state that she will have a son, and wonders if she will experience pleasure in her old age.

BDB Theological Dictionary resolutely states that this noun must convey sexual pleasure, but - even though here at Abarim Publications we surely hope that Sarah had a lot of it - Sarah's recorded pleasure was in finally giving birth to a child, not in the making of one.

Another derivative is the adjective עדין (adin), which the prophet Isaiah applies to a personification of Babylon's daughter (47:8). In searching for an English word that would describe a woman endowed with this adjective, BDB Theological Dictionary and HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament choose for voluptuous, but - even though here at Abarim Publications we have no objection whatsoever to women being voluptuous - the text merely implies Babylon to be delightful, much rather like the woman portrayed by Ezekiel (16:10-14). Most modern versions of the Bible translate this adjective with variants of either pleasurable or sensual, but others (Young) read luxurious.

Other derivatives or related words are:

  • The masculine noun מעדן (ma'adan), meaning delight (to be given to the soul - Proverbs 29:17) or eatable delicacies (Genesis 49:20, Lamentations 4:5).
  • The verb עדן (adan), meaning to luxuriate or to delight. This verb is used only once: " . . . and luxuriated/delighted in Thy great goodness". (Nehemiah 9:25).

Associated Biblical names

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