Lily

Over 3000 species of Palestinian flora are known to exist, but the Holy Land of our day can give only an imperfect idea of what it was in Biblical times.......

Over 3000 species of Palestinian flora are known to exist, but the Holy Land of our day can give only an imperfect idea of what it was in Biblical times. The hill-country of Juda and the Negeb are, as formerly, the grazing lands of the Judean herds, yet groves, woods, and forest flourished everywhere, few traces of which remain.

The cedar-forests of Lebanon had a world-wide reputation; the slopes of Hermon and the mountains of Galaad were covered with luxuriant pine woods; oak forests were the distinctive feature of Basan, throughout Ephraim clumps of terebinths dotted the land, while extensive palm groves were both the ornament and wealth of the Jordan Valley.

The arable land, much of which now lies fallow, was all cultivated and amply rewarded the tiller. The husbandman derived from his orchards and vineyards abundant crops of olives, figs, pomegranates, and grapes.

Nearly every Jewish peasant had his "garden of herbs", furnishing in season vegetables and fruits for the table, flowers, and medicinal plants. Only some 130 plants are mentioned in Scripture, which is not surprising since ordinary people are interested only in a few, whether ornamental or useful.

The first attempt to classify this flora is in Genesis 1:11-12, where it is divided into:

(1) deshe,signifying all low plants, e.g., cryptogamia;
(2) 'esebh, including herbaceous plants;
(3) 'es peri, embracing all trees. In the course of time, the curiosity of men was attracted by the riches of Palestinian vegetation; Solomon, in particular, is said to have treated about the trees (i.e., plants) from the lofty cedar "unto the hyssop that cometh out of the wall" (1Kings 4:33).

For the leader; according to "The Lily of..."
A miktam of David (for teaching)(Ps60:1)

I am a flower of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.
Like a lily among thorns......(Sg2:1,2)

Of the plants mentioned in the Bible, the most common varieties may be identified either with certainty or probability; but a large proportion of the biblical plant-names are generic rather than specific, e.g., briers, grass, nettles, etc.; and just what plants are meant in some cases is impossible to determine, e.g., algum, cockle, gall, etc. A complete alphabetical list of the plant-names found in the English Versions is here given, with an attempt at identification.

Lily. (1) Hebrew shushan, Arab. susan, a generical term applicable to many widely different flowers, not only of the order Liliaceae, but of Iridaceae, Amaryllidaceae, and others. Lilium candidum is cultivated everywhere; Gladiolus illyricus, Koch, G. septum, Gawl, G. atroviolaceus, Boiss., are indigenous in the Holy Land; Iris sari, Schott, I. palestina, Baker, I. lorteti, Barb., I. helenae, are likewise abundant in pastures and swampy places.
(2) The "lilies of the field" surpassing Solomon in glory were lilylike plants; needless to suppose that any others, e.g. the windflower of Palestine, were intended.


My lover has come down to his garden, to the beds of spices. To feed in the gardens and to gather lilies.
I belong to my lover, and my lover belongs to me; he feeds among the lilies.(Sg6:2-3)


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