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The birth of Paradise

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Chapter Summary

The first chapters of Genesis mention a landscaped, enclosed park, full of fruit-trees, planted by God himself, with a river running through it and pedestrian pathways. The translators of the Septuagint have called this park paradeisos. The enormous impact of the Biblical description of Paradise has been often studied and its main lines are now well known. Less familiar is the development of the term ?paradise' itself. In order to provide a more exact answer to this question the chapter looks at the term in the early Achaemenid period, the later Achaemenid period, its development in the post-Achaemenid era. It concludes with a discussion as to why the translators of Genesis opted for this specific word to translate the Hebrew term Gan Eden.

Keywords: Achaemenid period; Biblical description; Gan Eden; Genesis; paradeisos; paradise; Septuagint

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