Paradise signifies a garden, the word being translated out of Greek into Latin, and so into French and English. In Hebrew it is called Heden, which signifies delights, a garden of all manner of delights, a place beset with all kind of fruitful and beautiful trees. There were two special trees in it, one called the tree of life, the other of the knowledge of good and evil.
Some say it was called the tree of life from the effect, because of the hidden power and force it had a of sustaining and prolonging man’s life.1 Although it be a dispute, whether it had this force as meat [food] to prolong life or as medicine to prevent death, old age and diseases, as likewise whether this power in the tree were natural or supernatural.
Therefore others say it was called so not from the effect, but signification, because it was an outward sign, that God would give them immortality if they did continue.
1. Paradise was a little model of heaven, and a sign of the great heaven, assuring Adam, that if he continued in obedience to God, he should be translated into heaven, to enjoy God supernaturally, as there he did enjoy him naturally: for the Law saying, “Do this and live,” [Luke 10:28] means it of ever lasting life.
—Edward Leigh, A Treatise Of Divinity Consisting Of Three Books (London, 1646), 122 [Spelling and punctuation modernized].