E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The Greeks used this word to denote the extensive parks and pleasure-grounds of the Persian kings. (Persian, pards; Greek, paradeisos.) (See CALAYA.)
An old word, paradise, which the Hebrews had borrowed from the Persians, and which at first designated the parks of the Achæmenidæ, summed up the general dream.Renan: Life of Jesus, xi.
Upper and Lower Paradise. The rabbins say there is an earthly or lower paradise under the equator, divided into seven dwellings, and twelve times ten thousand miles square. A column reaches from this paradise to the upper or heavenly one, by which the souls mount upwards after a short sojourn on the earthly one.
The ten dumb animals admitted to the Moslems paradise are:
(1) The dog Kratim, which accompanied the Seven Sleepers.
(2) Balaams ass, which spoke with the voice of a man to reprove the disobedient prophet.
(3) Solomons ant, of which he said, Go to the ant, thou sluggard
(4) Jonahs whale.
(5) The ram caught in the thicket, and offered in sacrifice in lieu of Isaac.