J. A. Trench.

from 'Truth for Believers' Vol. 3. — Miscellany.

The word "Paradise" was made familiar through the use of it in the Greek translation of the Old Testament to describe the garden that God planted for Adam. Nor is it ever used to describe anything else than a garden, orchard, or the like whether of that brightest spot in all the fair scene of God's creation where He put the man that He had formed, or of what man could make for himself in his own little measure of the same character.

Centuries later the memory of Eden survived to express what was rich and beautiful. (See Gen. 13:10 and Ezekiel's allusion to it in Ezek. 28 and Ezek. 31.) It is never found once in connection with the underworld, heart of the earth, or Hades.

The New Testament use is consistent with what we have seen, if it is transferred from earth to heaven as we might expect. Paradise is identified with the third heaven by Paul in 2 Corinthians 12. In Revelation 2:7 the Tree of Life is there, a reminiscence of the earthly paradise, but filling the whole scene.

The Paradise, then, where the converted robber went to be with Christ that day was the brightest spot in all the heavenly glory; absent from the body to be laid in the grave, he was present with the Lord. You cannot localize Hades, a purposely vague term to express the unseen. It is that condition of things into which the dissolution of the body leads all alike, answering to the Hebrew Sheol, into which the blessed Lord passed, but would not be left. (Ps. 16:10.)