early 13c., "delightful place," figurative use of the place described in Genesis, usually referred to Hebrew edhen "pleasure, delight," but perhaps from Ugaritic base 'dn and meaning "a place that is well-watered throughout" (see also Aden).
delight. (1.) The garden in which our first parents dewlt (Gen. 2:8-17). No geographical question has been so much discussed as that bearing on its site. It has been placed in Armenia, in the region west of the Caspian Sea, in Media, near Damascus, in Palestine, in Southern Arabia, and in Babylonia. The site must undoubtedly be sought for somewhere along the course of the great streams the Tigris and the Euphrates of Western Asia, in "the land of Shinar" or Babylonia. The region from about lat. 33 degrees 30' to lat. 31 degrees, which is a very rich and fertile tract, has been by the most competent authorities agreed on as the probable site of Eden. "It is a region where streams abound, where they divide and re-unite, where alone in the Mesopotamian tract can be found the phenomenon of a single river parting into four arms, each of which is or has been a river of consequence." Among almost all nations there are traditions of the primitive innocence of our race in the garden of Eden. This was the "golden age" to which the Greeks looked back. Men then lived a "life free from care, and without labour and sorrow. Old age was unknown; the body never lost its vigour; existence was a perpetual feast without a taint of evil. The earth brought forth spontaneously all things that were good in profuse abundance." (2.) One of the markets whence the merchants of Tyre obtained richly embroidered stuffs (Ezek. 27:23); the same, probably, as that mentioned in 2 Kings 19:12, and Isa. 37:12, as the name of a region conquered by the Assyrians. (3.) Son of Joah, and one of the Levites who assisted in reforming the public worship of the sanctuary in the time of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:12).