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The word is probably of Persian origin, denoting an enclosed park or pleasure-ground. It is used in the LXX of Gen. 2 and 3 as the Greek rendering of the ‘garden’ planted by God in Eden. In later Jewish literature it came to signify a state of blessedness, whether material or spiritual. In Lk. 23: 43 it has been variously interpreted as referring either to the intermediate state of the just before the Resurrection (limbo) or as a synonym of the heaven of the blessed; it is used in the second sense in 2 Cor. 12: 4 and Rev. 2: 7. In popular usage it usually denotes the state of future bliss.

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