Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
The root-verb גנן (ganan) means to surround or defend (Zechariah 9:15, 2 Kings 19:34). The verb occurs about eight times in the Bible, but its derivatives 120 times. According to HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, the basic idea of the verb is to "cover over and thus protect from danger," and it's only used to describe protection received from God. Most endearingly, this is expressed by Isaiah when he tells Hezekiah that God would protect Jerusalem like a hen its chicks (Isaiah 31:5).
This verb's derivatives are:
- The masculine noun גן (gan), meaning garden. A garden in Biblical times was seen as a plot that was separated from the outside world, but also a place of refuge from the heat of the day. The garden serves figuratively as a woman who protects her virtues (Song of Solomon 4:12) or as a symbol of national posterity (Amos 9:14). The most famous of all gardens is, of course, the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15).
- The feminine noun גנה (ganna), which is the feminine version of the preceding noun, also meaning garden (Job 8:16, Isaiah 1:30).
- The masculine and feminine noun מגן (magen), meaning shield, or similar protection (Genesis 15:1, Psalm 89:18).
- The verb מגן (magan), which is formed from the preceding noun and is usually translated with to deliver. It's used four times: Genesis 14:20, Proverbs 4:9, Isaiah 64:6 and Hosea 11:8.
- The feminine noun מגנה (meginna). This noun occurs only once, in Lamentations 3:65, in the expression "meginna of the heart" BDB Theological Dictionary translates this noun with covering. HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament translates it the same in the header of the article, but insists in the body that it means sorrow; sorrow of the heart; "a figure for obstinacy or blindness of heart".