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Word Study: Garden

my-gardenThe Wonder of My Garden

How I love the look, smell and touch of my garden! I am awed with its ever-changing beauty as the day progresses. The quiet evenings are as lovely as the morning’s dew. During the day, the moving sun highlights my garden with its intense light and subtle shadows. After sunset, the moonlight dances over the whites and yellows and its fragrance is magnified. The only thing I really miss at night are the birds. The crickets chirp, but it’s not the same thing as hearing the sound of a hummingbird fluttering nearby. My garden brings me so much joy. I love digging in the dirt and turning over the soil. I don’t even mind the rocks or weeds. Why? Because I’ve worked the soil so much, I can pull them out easily.

To me, my garden represents what’s going on inside of me. It’s like a picture of my heart and my spirit. The more I cultivate it and plant it with good seeds and healthy plants, the greater the fruit of my labor. I and those who experience it, reap the benefits of all the hard work.


Strongs #1588 (Hebrew) gan; root word: ganan
As fenced, garden; from root word, ganan, meaning to hedge about; protect, defend


  1. a plot of ground, usually near a house, where flowers, shrubs, vegetables, fruits, or herbs are cultivated
  2. a fertile and delightful spot or region


  1. to prepare and work on land in order to raise crops, to till
  2. to promote or improve the growth by labor and attention
  3. to devote oneself to; to seek to promote or foster

Interesting Note: I was intrigued with this word, cultivate, and did some more research on it in other dictionaries. One defined is as: nurture, nurse, foster, cherish. Analogous words: develop, mature, ripen; raise, rear, educate, train, instruct, teach, improve, better, ameliorate. Contrasting words: neglect, ignore, disregard, slight.

breeding, culture, refinement.

Culture, cultivation, breeding, refinement are comparable when they denote a quality of person or group of persons which reflects his or their possession of excellent taste, manners, and social adjustment. Culture implies a high degree of enlightenment that has been acquired by familiarity with what is best in the civilized life of many ages and lands; in addition, it usually suggests fineness of taste, delicacy of perception, and gracious urbanity of manners. Cultivation is often preferred to culture because it suggests the continuous pursuit of culture and the self-discipline which accompanies such pursuit, rather than its achievement, and is therefore more modest and often more appropriate.

Nurse, nurture, foster, cherish, cultivate are comparable especially when they mean to give the care necessary to the growth, development, or continue welfare or existence of someone or something.

Cultivate basically implies the care and attention given to land in order to increase its fertility or to plants in order to improve their condition. In its extended use it implies comparable and attention to the improvement or growth of some usually desirable thing.

Webster’s defines cultivate as refined, educated; to prepare or prepare and use for the raising of crops; also to loosen or break up the soil around (growing plants); to foster the growth of; culture; to improve by labor, care, or study; refine the mind; further, encourage.


  1. bearing, capable of producing
  2. bearing or capable of offspring
  3. producing an abundance


  1. giving great pleasure or delight, highly pleasing, pleasant, enjoyable, charming, enchanting, delectable

Interesting Note: An old definition for prune means “to preen” which comes from a Latin word meaning “to anoint”. Preen means to trim or dress feathers or fur. To dress oneself carefully. The word comes from the pricking action of a bird’s beak in preening. As I thought on this, I was reminded of the Lord’s words to Saul, “Why do you kick against the pricks?” The dictionary defines this phrase as: to resist incontestable facts or authority; protest uselessly.

Another Interesting Note: In horticulture, the word “prick” means to transplant a seedling into a container that provides room for growth. Hmm…


  1. the fertilized mature ovule of a flowering plant
  2. to place, introduce, etc. especially in the hope of increase or profit

Interesting Note: When man fell from grace and Eden was lost, the promise of restoration was in “The Seed”. Genesis 3:23 tells us, “Therefore, the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” Adam and his descendants were forever forbidden their paradise on earth. BUT, the promise was in The Seed. Note definition #2: “in the hope of increase or profit”. Jesus Christ is certainly our Hope of increase and profit!


  1. In terms of a crop or harvest, yield emphasizes what is given by the land in return for expenditure of time and labor. It also means to give forth, produce by a natural process or in return for cultivation. The opposite of yield is RESIST!

Interesting Note: This definition seems like a double message to me. 1) If I yield to the Holy Spirit, I’ll bring forth fruit. In other words, I gain. And 2) If I don’t yield, I am resisting, which is rebellion. In other words, I lose. Either way you look at it, it seems better to yield than resist. Or, as the saying goes, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”. I’d rather lose the battle and win the war. How about you?

And the Lord planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil… And the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Genesis 2:8,9,15

The word “dress” means to work, serve, till, labor, or worshiper. The Hebrew word for “keep” means to hedge about (as with thorns), guard, protect, preserve, save, lay wait for, watch (man).

“To lead down the garden path” – to deceive or mislead in an enticing way; lead on. Isn’t it amazing to find this reference to our “enemy” in the dictionary?

Editor’s Note: These word studies – looking deeper into the meanings of words – helps us to grow exponentially. By searching for the deeper, and sometimes, hidden meanings, we gain much fruit for our labor. Ask the Lord to give you a hunger for the hidden and deep. And the next time a word sticks in your mind, go, look it up. I guarantee you’ll find some wonderful surprises!

Study of The Word: THE OLD TESTAMENT

  • And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day…Genesis 3:8a
    To me, this verse is awesome! It is confirmation to me that our Creator loves His creation! Just imagine the peace and quiet there must have been in Eden at the end of the day. What a delightful time to enjoy the Presence of God. It’s no wonder we see so many people walking in the mornings and evenings. Perhaps they know something we don’t know. Perhaps they’re enjoying a walk with the Lord God. Another thought about this verse is the truth, at least for me, that when I’m outside, I hear the Holy Spirit talking to me through what I see or what I’m doing. This experience is the foundation of Garden Gems, revelations the Holy Spirit gives me in my garden.
  • The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. Isaiah 51:3
  • For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. Isaiah 61:11
  • Build ye houses, and dwell in them; plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Jeremiah 29:5
  • Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. Jeremiah 31:12
  • And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. Amos 9:14

Study of The Word: THE NEW TESTAMENT

  • It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it. Luke 13:19
  • The seed is the word of God. Luke 8:11
  • Stir up the gift of God which is in you. 2 Timothy 1:6
  • Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of nations. Revelation 22:1,2
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