108. The most ancient people, when comparing man to a "garden" also compared wisdom, and the things relating to wisdom, to "rivers;" nor did they merely compare them, but actually so called them, for such was their way of speaking. It was the same afterwards in the Prophets, who sometimes compared them, and sometimes called them so. As in Isaiah:
Thy light shall arise in darkness, and thy thick darkness shall be as the light of day, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like an outlet of waters, whose waters lie not (Isa. 58:10-11).
Treating of those who receive faith and love. Again, speaking of the regenerate:
As the valleys are they planted, as gardens by the river's side; as lignaloes* which Jehovah hath planted, as cedar-trees beside the waters (Num. 24:6).
Blessed is the man who trusteth in Jehovah; he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that sendeth forth her roots by the river (Jer. 17:7-8).
In Ezekiel the regenerate are not compared to a garden and a tree, but are so called: The waters made her to grow, the deep of waters uplifted her, the river ran round about her plant, and sent out its channels to all the trees of the field; she was made beautiful in her greatness, in the length of her branches, for her root was by many waters. The cedars in the garden of God did not hide her; the fir-trees were not like her boughs, and the plane-trees were not like her branches, nor was any tree in the garden of God equal to her in her beauty; I have made her beautiful by the multitude of her branches, and all the trees of Eden that were in the garden of God envied her (Ezek. 31:4, 7-9).
From these passages it is evident that when the most ancient people compared man, or the things in man, to a "garden" they added the "waters" and "rivers" by which he might be watered, and by these waters and rivers meant such things as would cause his growth.
* The Latin is tentoria, "tents" seemingly a misprint for santalos. [Reviser.]