lily

lily

A flower, such as the hyacinth or tulip, that grows from a bulb. Similar groups include the iris, crocus, and narcissus. The “lily of the valleys” of (Song 2:1-2) is not our common lily of the valley, but most likely the sweet-smelling blue hyacinth common in fields and rocky places. The lilies gathered in the gardens (Song 6:2) may be true lilies, such as the distinctive white Madonna lily and the scarlet Martagon lily, both of which are native to Palestine. The lilies that form the decorative floral motif of Solomon’s Temple (1Kgs 7:19; 1Kgs 7:26) are probably water lilies or the lotus. The reference to “lilies of the field” in (Matt 6:28-30) and (Luke 12:27-28) probably refers to the common crown anemone or windflower. This poppylike flower, which is not a true lily, blooms brightly and profusely in the spring throughout the hilly country of Bible lands.

Song 2:1-2

1I am a rose of Sharon,
a lily of the valleys.
2As a lily among brambles,
so is my love among maidens.

Song 6:2

2My beloved has gone down to his garden,
to the beds of spices,
to pasture his flock in the gardens,
and to gather lilies.

1Kgs 7:19

19Now the capitals that were on the tops of the pillars in the vestibule were of lily-work, four cubits high.

1Kgs 7:26

26Its thickness was a handbreadth; its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like the flower of a lily; it held two thousand baths.

Matt 6:28-30

28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin,29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glo ... View more

Luke 12:27-28

27Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.28But if God s ... View more

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.