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Smith's Bible Dictionary

(Heb. shushan, shoshannah). Although there is little doubt that the Hebrew word denotes some plant of the lily species, it is by no means certain what individual of this class it specially designates. The plant must have been a conspicuous object on the shores of the Lake of Gennesaret, (Matthew 6:28; Luke 12:27) it must have flourished in the deep broad valleys of Palestine, (Solomon 2:1) among the thorny shrubs, ib. (Solomon 2:2) and pastures of the desert, ib. (Solomon 2:16; 4:5; 6:3) and must have been remarkable for its rapid and luxuriant growth. (Hosea 14:5), Ecclus. 39:14. That its flowers were brilliant in color would seem to be indicated in (Matthew 6:28) where it is compared with the gorgeous robes of Solomon; and that this color was scarlet or purple is implied in (Solomon 5:13) There appears to be no species of lily which so completely answers all these requirements as the Lilium chalcedonicum , or scarlet martagon, which grows in profusing in the Levant. But direct evidence on the point is still to be desired from the observation of travellers. (It is very probable that the term lily here is general, not referring to any particular species, but to a large class of flowers growing in Palestine, and resembling the lily, as the tulip, iris, gladiolus, etc. --ED.)

Easton's Bible Dictionary
The Hebrew name shushan or shoshan, i.e., "whiteness", was used as the general name of several plants common to Syria, such as the tulip, iris, anemone, gladiolus, ranunculus, etc. Some interpret it, with much probability, as denoting in the Old Testament the water-lily (Nymphoea lotus of Linn.), or lotus (Cant. 2:1, 2; 2:16; 4:5; 5:13; 6:2, 3; 7:2). "Its flowers are large, and they are of a white colour, with streaks of pink. They supplied models for the ornaments of the pillars and the molten sea" (1 Kings 7:19, 22, 26; 2 Chronicles 4:5). In the Canticles its beauty and fragrance shadow forth the preciousness of Christ to the Church. Groser, however (Scrip. Nat. Hist.), strongly argues that the word, both in the Old and New Testaments, denotes liliaceous plants in general, or if one genus is to be selected, that it must be the genus Iris, which is "large, vigorous, elegant in form, and gorgeous in colouring."

The lilies (Gr. krinia) spoken of in the New Testament (Matthew 6:28; Luke 12:27) were probably the scarlet martagon (Lilium Chalcedonicum) or "red Turk's-cap lily", which "comes into flower at the season of the year when our Lord's sermon on the mount is supposed to have been delivered. It is abundant in the district of Galilee; and its fine scarlet flowers render it a very conspicous and showy object, which would naturally attract the attention of the hearers" (Balfour's Plants of the Bible).

Of the true "floral glories of Palestine" the pheasant's eye (Adonis Palestina), the ranunuculus (R. Asiaticus), and the anemone (A coronaria), the last named is however, with the greatest probability regarded as the "lily of the field" to which our Lord refers. "Certainly," says Tristram (Nat. Hist. of the Bible), "if, in the wondrous richness of bloom which characterizes the land of Israel in spring, any one plant can claim pre-eminence, it is the anemone, the most natural flower for our Lord to pluck and seize upon as an illustration, whether walking in the fields or sitting on the hill-side." "The white water-lily (Nymphcea alba) and the yellow water-lily (Nuphar lutea) are both abundant in the marshes of the Upper Jordan, but have no connection with the lily of Scripture."

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) A plant and flower of the genus Lilium, endogenous bulbous plants, having a regular perianth of six colored pieces, six stamens, and a superior three-celled ovary.

2. (n.) A name given to handsome flowering plants of several genera, having some resemblance in color or form to a true lily, as Pancratium, Crinum, Amaryllis, Nerine, etc.

3. (n.) That end of a compass needle which should point to the north; -- so called as often ornamented with the figure of a lily or fleur-de-lis.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

lil'-i (shushan (1 Kings 7:19), shoshannah (2 Chronicles 4:5 Songs 2:1 Hosea 14:5); plural (Songs 2:16; Songs 4:5; Songs 5:13; Songs 6:2; 7:02; Ecclesiasticus 39:14; 50:8); krinon (Matthew 6:28 Luke 12:27)): The Hebrew is probably a loan word from the Egyptian the original s-sh-n denoting the lotus-flower, Nymphaea lotus. This was probably the model of the architectural ornament, translated "lily-work," which appeared upon the capitals of the columns in the temple porch (1 Kings 7:19), upon the top of the pillars (1 Kings 7:22) and upon the turned-back rim of the "molten sea" (1 Kings 7:26).

Botanically the word shoshannah, like the similar modern Arabic Susan, included in all probability a great many flowers, and was used in a way at least as wide as the popular use of the English word "lily." The expression "lily of the valleys" (Songs 2:1) has nothing to do with the plant of that name; the flowers referred to appear to have been associated with the rank herbage of the valley bottoms (Songs 4:5); the expression "His lips are as lilies" (Songs 5:13) might imply a scarlet flower, but more probably in oriental imagery signifies a sweet-scented flower; the sweet scent of the lily is referred to in Ecclesiasticus 39:14, and in 50:8 we read of "lilies by the rivers of water." The beauty of the blossom is implied in Hosea 14:5, where Yahweh promises that repentant Israel shall "blossom as the lily." A "heap of wheat set about with lilies" (Songs 7:2) probably refers to the smoothed-out piles of newly threshed wheat on the threshing-floors decorated by a circlet of flowers.

The reference of our Lord to the "lilies of the field" is probably, like the Old Testament references, quite a general one.

The Hebrew and the Greek very likely include not only any members of the great order Liliaceae, growing in Palestine, e.g. asphodel, squill, hyacinth, ornithogalum ("Star of Bethlehem"), fritillaria, tulip and colocynth, but also the more showy irises ("Tabor lilies" "purple irises," etc.) and the beautiful gladioli of the Natural Order. Irideae and the familiar narcissi of the Natural Order Amaryllideae.

In later Jewish literature the lily is very frequently referred to symbolically, and a lotus or lily was commonly pictured on several Jewish coins.

E. W. G. Masterman

2918. krinon -- a lily
... a lily. Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter Transliteration: krinon Phonetic Spelling:
(kree'-non) Short Definition: a lily Definition: a lily growing wild, variously ...
// - 6k

4677. Sousanna -- "lily," Susanna, one of the women accompanying ...
... "lily ... Word Origin of Hebrew origin shushan Definition "lily," Susanna, one of the
women accompanying Jesus on His journeys NASB Word Usage Susanna (1). Susanna. ...
// - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
7799. shushan -- probably lily (or any lily-like flower)
... probably lily (or any lily-like flower). Transliteration: shushan or shoshan or
shoshannah Phonetic Spelling: (shoo-shan') Short Definition: lily. ...
/hebrew/7799.htm - 6k

7802. Shushan Eduth -- Shoshannim-Eduth, Shushan-eduth
... Word Origin from shushan and eduth; perhaps "lily of testimony," a song title.
Shushaq Definition see NH7895. Shoshannim-Eduth, Shushan-eduth ...
/hebrew/7802.htm - 6k

8348. Sheshan -- a man of Judah
... Sheshan. Perhaps for shuwshan; lily; Sheshan, an Israelite -- Sheshan. see HEBREW
shuwshan. 8347, 8348. Sheshan. 8349 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/8348.htm - 6k


As the Lily among Thorns, So is My Love among the Daughters.
... CHAPTER II. 2. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
By these words the Bridegroom signifies the progress ...
// of songs of solomon/2 as the lily among.htm

The Lily of the Valley. PM
... 328 The Lily of the Valley. PM. The Abiding Friend. ... He's the Lily of the Valley,
the bright and Morning Star, He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul. ...
// otterbein hymnal/328 the lily of the.htm

Verse 1. I am the Flower of the Field, and the Lily of the Valleys ...
... CHAPTER II. VERSE 1. I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys. ... I
am the lily of the valleys, which only grows in annihilated souls. ...
// of songs of solomon/verse 1 i am the.htm

Chapter ii.
... CHAPTER II. Anglican version. Vulgate. 1. I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily
of the valleys.1. I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys. ...
// of songs of solomon/chapter ii.htm

The Dew and the Plants
... HOSEA THE DEW AND THE PLANTS. 'I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as
the lily, and cast forth his ... The lily, the cedar, the olive, are in my text. ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture a/the dew and the plants.htm

The Sermon on the Mount.
... To the Jew he was the highest representative of earthly grandeur, yet he
was surpassed by the common lily of the field. Which lily ...
/.../mcgarvey/the four-fold gospel/xlii the sermon on the 6.htm

But You, Beloved, who Possess this Faith, or who have Begun Now ...
... hath not been silent, where in the Song of Songs the Bridegroom speaking unto the
Bride, that is, Christ the Lord unto the Church, saith, "As a lily in the ...
/.../augustine/concerning faith of things not seen /11 but you beloved who.htm

April 25, 1893
... Remember that He did not say: "I am the flower of the gardens, a carefully-tended
Rose"; but, "I am the Flower of the fields and the Lily of the valleys." [218 ...
// of a soul/xiv april 25 1893.htm

What the True and Seemly Manner of Praising; the Father
... Greater Than the Son, Not in Substance, But in Order; Virginity the Lily;
Faithful Souls and Virgins, the One Bride of the One Christ. ...
/.../chapter i what the true and.htm

January the Eleventh Self-Made or God-Made
... MATTHEW vi.26-33. Think of Lot and then think of a lily of the field! ... Look upon avarice
at its worst, upon a Shylock, and then gaze upon a lily of the field! ...
/.../my daily meditation for the circling year/january the eleventh self-made or.htm

Lily (9 Occurrences)
... Some interpret it, with much probability, as denoting in the Old Testament
the water-lily (Nymphoea lotus of Linn.), or lotus (Cant. ...
/l/lily.htm - 15k

Lily-work (2 Occurrences)
Lily-work. Lilywork, Lily-work. Lima . Int. Standard Bible
Encyclopedia LILY-WORK. The ornament of the capitals on the ...
/l/lily-work.htm - 7k

Lily-blossoms (2 Occurrences)
Lily-blossoms. Lily, Lily-blossoms. Lily-flower . Multi-Version Concordance
Lily-blossoms (2 Occurrences). 1 Kings 7:26 And its ...
/l/lily-blossoms.htm - 7k

Lily-flower (1 Occurrence)
Lily-flower. Lily-blossoms, Lily-flower. Lilywork . Multi-Version
Concordance Lily-flower (1 Occurrence). Song of Songs ...
/l/lily-flower.htm - 6k

Blossom (23 Occurrences)
... 1 Kings 7:26 And its thickness was a hand-breadth, and its brim was like the work
of the brim of a cup, with lily-blossoms; it held two thousand baths. ...
/b/blossom.htm - 14k

Lilies (15 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary (n.) Plural of Lily. ... 1 Kings 7:19 And the capitals that
were upon the top of the pillars in the porch were of lily-work, four cubits. ...
/l/lilies.htm - 10k

Lotus (2 Occurrences)
... 5. (n.) An ornament much used in Egyptian architecture, generally asserted to
have been suggested by the Egyptian water lily. Int. ... See LILY. ...
/l/lotus.htm - 8k

... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia LILY-WORK. The ornament of the capitals on ...
temple (1 Kings 7:19, 22). See LILY; TEMPLE; JACHIN AND BOAZ. ...
/l/lilywork.htm - 6k

Rim (18 Occurrences)
... 1 Kings 7:26 It was a handbreadth thick: and its brim was worked like the brim
of a cup, like the flower of a lily: it held two thousand baths. ...
/r/rim.htm - 11k

Brim (9 Occurrences)
... 1 Kings 7:26 It was a handbreadth thick: and its brim was worked like the brim
of a cup, like the flower of a lily: it held two thousand baths. ...
/b/brim.htm - 10k

Questions about Song of Solomon |

What is contextualization? |

What is the lily of the valley (Song of Solomon 2:1)? |

Lily: Dictionary and Thesaurus |

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Lily (9 Occurrences)

1 Kings 7:19
The capitals that were on the top of the pillars in the porch were of lily work, four cubits.

1 Kings 7:22
On the top of the pillars was lily work: so was the work of the pillars finished.

1 Kings 7:26
It was a handbreadth thick: and its brim was worked like the brim of a cup, like the flower of a lily: it held two thousand baths.

2 Chronicles 4:5
It was a handbreadth thick; and its brim was worked like the brim of a cup, like the flower of a lily: it received and held three thousand baths.

Psalms 60:1
For the Chief Musician. To the tune of "The Lily of the Covenant." A teaching poem by David, when he fought with Aram Naharaim and with Aram Zobah, and Joab returned, and killed twelve thousand of Edom in the Valley of Salt. God, you have rejected us. You have broken us down. You have been angry. Restore us, again.

Song of Songs 1:17
The beams of our houses 'are' cedars, Our rafters 'are' firs, I 'am' a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys!

Song of Songs 2:1
I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.

Song of Songs 2:2
As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

Hosea 14:5
I will be like the dew to Israel. He will blossom like the lily, and send down his roots like Lebanon.




Lily of the Lips of the Beloved

Lily: Lessons of Trust Gathered From

Lily: Molded on the Rim of the Molten Laver in the Temple

Lily: The Principal Capitals of the Temple Ornamented With Carvings of

Related Terms

Lily-work (2 Occurrences)

Lily-blossoms (2 Occurrences)

Lily-flower (1 Occurrence)

Blossom (23 Occurrences)

Lilies (15 Occurrences)

Lotus (2 Occurrences)


Rim (18 Occurrences)

Brim (9 Occurrences)

Baths (8 Occurrences)

Curved (10 Occurrences)

Susanna (1 Occurrence)

Shape (17 Occurrences)

Sharon (9 Occurrences)

Valleys (38 Occurrences)

Flower (33 Occurrences)

Thorns (56 Occurrences)

Thick (129 Occurrences)

Handbreadth (9 Occurrences)

Hand-breadth (7 Occurrences)

Pillars (132 Occurrences)

Vestibule (36 Occurrences)

Naharaim (5 Occurrences)

Narcissus (2 Occurrences)

Lima (1 Occurrence)


Flourisheth (6 Occurrences)

Trees (179 Occurrences)

Thickness (12 Occurrences)

Tune (15 Occurrences)

Rose (279 Occurrences)

Eduth (3 Occurrences)

Defenses (8 Occurrences)

Darling (13 Occurrences)

Double (49 Occurrences)

Miktam (6 Occurrences)

Pad (1 Occurrence)

Poplar (4 Occurrences)

Portico (37 Occurrences)

Perfumer (4 Occurrences)

Perfume (202 Occurrences)

Brambles (5 Occurrences)

Capacity (5 Occurrences)

Capitals (21 Occurrences)

Chapiters (15 Occurrences)

Colour (22 Occurrences)

Shoshannim (3 Occurrences)


Shushan (19 Occurrences)

Shushan-eduth (1 Occurrence)

Striketh (19 Occurrences)

Hair (135 Occurrences)

Cup (86 Occurrences)

Worked (145 Occurrences)

Striving (33 Occurrences)

Burst (33 Occurrences)

Maidens (40 Occurrences)

Porch (37 Occurrences)

Zobah (15 Occurrences)

Roots (31 Occurrences)

Hadst (43 Occurrences)

Choirmaster (55 Occurrences)

Cedars (37 Occurrences)

Song (207 Occurrences)

Breadth (100 Occurrences)

Flowers (42 Occurrences)

Rejected (96 Occurrences)

Completed (109 Occurrences)

Overseer (84 Occurrences)

Cubits (156 Occurrences)

Root (54 Occurrences)

Dew (35 Occurrences)

Treasure (66 Occurrences)

Musician (112 Occurrences)

Wisdom (320 Occurrences)

Salt (45 Occurrences)

Fought (109 Occurrences)

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