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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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LILY.—The lily (שׁוּשַׁן, שׁוֹשַׁנָּה, κρίνον) is mentioned by various OT writers (1 Kings 7:19, 2 Chronicles 4:5, Song of Solomon 2:1 etc., Hosea 14:5). In the NT there is but one reference (Matthew 6:28 and || Luke 12:27). From the expression ‘lilies of the field,’ we gather that they were wild flowers, while the comparison of them with the regal robes of Solomon (Matthew 6:29) implies that they were not white, but coloured (cf. Song of Solomon 5:13). The plant that best accords with these conditions is the scarlet anemone (A. coronaria), with which, in the spring of the year, the Galilaean hillsides are clothed. (See Tristram, Fauna and Flora of Palestine, p. 208; Nat. Hist. of Bible, p. 462). The nature of the reference might, however, favour the supposition that our Lord used the term ‘lilies’ in a very general way, and that it should be taken as comprising a variety of flowers, such as anemones, poppies, and tulips.

Hugh Duncan.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Lily'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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