however, from the researches of Celsius and other learned
authors, that in place of the rose a bulbous plant is
referred to in all probability a species of narcissus.
Royle considers the plant as probably Narcissus tazetta,
the Polyanthus narcissus.
This plant belongs to the natural order Amaryllidaceae,
the Amaryllis family. Its white, fragrant flowers, are
pushed forth in clusters from sheathing leaves, and it
has a corona or crown in the centre of the flower. It is
found in Palestine and in Syria, and it is highly esteemed
both for its beauty and its fragrance. It is one of the
plants which deck the meadows in spring with their
blossoms. It seems to have adorned the level tract along
the Mediterranean between Mount Carmel and Csesarea,
and which was known as the rich plain of Sharon.
Hence the name "rose of Sharon." The fertility and
richness of this plain are alluded to by Isaiah when he
ROSE or SHARON. (Narcissus tazetta.)
speaks of "the excellency of Carmel and Sharon" (Isa.
xxxv. 2). Canon Tristram is disposed to think that the
Anemone coronaria is the true rose of Sharon.
The plant is employed in Scripture to shadow forth
Him " who offered himself a sacrifice to God for a sweet-
smelling savour;" and to picture the blessedness of that
time when the earth shall be full of the knowledge of
In some of the apocryphal books we meet with the
word which properly means rose, the rhodon of the
Roses are highly prized in the East, and many wild
species have been observed in Syria. The damask and
hundred-leaved rose are cultivated extensively. What
has been called the rose of Jericho is a species of cruci-
form plant, Anastatica hierochuntica, which, after flower-
ing, dries up into a sort of ball.
(Panicum miliaceum, Linn.)
" Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles,
and millet." EZEK. iv. 9.
|HE Hebrew word dokhan, or dochan, occurs
in Ezekiel iv. 9, where the Lord says to the
prophet, " Take thou also unto thee wheat,
and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet,
and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee
bread thereof." These are all plants which are used at
the present day to furnish articles of food in Eastern
countries. The millet is the produce of Panicum
miliaceum. It is the cenchros of the Greeks. The
grain is called warree in the East Indies. It belongs to
the natural order Graminese or Grasses. Some suppose
that Panicum italicum and Sorghum vulgare, the great
millet or sowaree, may also be included in the Hebrew
word. Both of these are grasses which furnish materials
for bread. The common millet is imported from the
Mediterranean into Britain. It is sometimes grown in
England to supply birds' seed. The plant has an erect
stalk or culm from two to four feet high, with large
leaves and a nodding cluster of fruit. In India and
Persia at the present day it is extensively used for food,
and it is often mixed with other grain to form bread.
MILLET. (Panicum miliaceum.)
There is another grain resembling millet which is
imported as an article of food. It is the Andropogon
sorghum, durra, or dourra. It is said to be represented,
along with other grains, on the ancient tombs of Egypt.
(Lolium temukntum, Linn. )
"His enemy came and sowed tares [darnel] among the wheat."
MATT. xiii. 25.
I HE Greek word zizania occurs in Matthew
xiii. 25-30, and is translated "tares." The
plant to which it refers appears to have been
one which had some resemblance to wheat
at least in the blade and hence totally unlike the plant
called tares now-a-days, which is a kind of vetch. It is
said, " But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed
tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when
the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then
appeared the tares also." It is stated, also, that there
was a difficulty in separating the one from the other, and
a risk of pulling up the wheat as well as the tares in
the attempt of the servants to get rid of the latter.
From a careful investigation of the matter, it has been
supposed that the tare (zizaniori) was the plant called
darnel-grass (Lolium temulentum), which, while it has
some resemblance to wheat, differs from it totally in
quality. The darnel is a noxious grass, having narcotic
qualities to a certain extent ; and hence the necessity for
rooting it out. An attempt
to do so, especially in the
early stages of growth,
might be unsuccessful, from
the great similarity between
it and wheat. It is only
at the time of harvest, when
the fruit is produced, that
the two crops can be accu- f
rately distinguished. The
plant is the ziwan or zawan
of the Arabs, the infelix |
lolium of Virgil (Georg. i.
154). Bad wheat sent
from the Continent often
contains darnel. Darnel is
found in Palestine and
Syria; and the grains of
it when eaten are said to
produce at the present day
giddiness and stupefaction.
Dr. Robinson says that
among splendid fields of
wheat near Kiibrikhah are still found tares. They are like
the wheat, and are not to be distinguished until the ear
appears. The grain resembles wheat in form, but is
smaller and dark. In Beirut poultry are fed upon the
TARES OF PALESTINE.
grain, and it is kept for sale for that purpose. When
not separated from the wheat, bread made from the flour
often produces deleterious effects in persons who eat it.
Both wheat and darnel belong to the natural order
Graminese or Grasses. They are easily distinguished
when in flower, by the wheat having two glumes, and
its florets having their edges next the rachis or common
stalk ; while in the darnel there is one glume, and the
florets have their backs next the rachis.
The mode of gathering the harvest in Palestine re-
sembles in some instances that mentioned in the parable.
When the millet crop, for instance, is ripe, the reapers
pull it up with their hands, and along with it the weeds
that have grown up beside it, and then separate them.
The tares represent those false professors who are
associated in this world with the wheat that is, the true
people of God. Both grow up together, and may at first
seem alike, just as the wise and foolish virgins appeared
to be. Man cannot distinguish accurately between the
true and the false. If he were to attempt to root out
the tares, he would in many instances pull up the wheat
also. The Lord alone sees the heart, and he knows those
who are his. He will, at the great harvest day, separate
the one from the other.
LILY OLD TESTAMENT.
(Nymphcea lotus, Linn.)
"My beloved... feedeth among the lilies." SONG OF SOL. ii. 16, vi. 3.
]HE Hebrew word shushan, or shoshannah, is
translated " lily" in the authorized version of
the Old Testament. The plant appears to
be different from the krinon, or lily of the
New Testament, although as to this authors are not
agreed. Dr. Koyle and others consider the lily of the
Old Testament to be Nymphcea lotus, one of the water-
lilies of the Nile. The plant belongs to the natural
order Nymphseacese. It is the lotus of the ancient
Egyptians, sacred to Isis ; but it is quite different from
the lotus of the Lotophagi, and from the lotus of
Homer and Dioscorides, as well as from that of Hippoc-
rates. 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, as
described in 1 Kings vii. 19, 22, 26, and 2 Chron-
icles iv. 5.
184 LILY OLD TESTAMENT.
The plant grows in still waters and slow-running
streams ; there it produces its large shield-like leaves,
expands its blossoms, and sends forth its fragrant odour.
It grows near the margin of the water, two to three feet
deep usually. Its large roots are embedded in the mud
below. The blade of the leaf is nearly circular, varying
from nine to twenty-four inches in diameter, and attached
to the leaf stalk in the very centre. In the young state
its rounded leaves float on the surface of the water, but
when advanced they rise to the height of four or five
feet above the surface. It is a native of Egypt, and
is found in the Nile, especially near Rosetta and Dami-
etta, and in rice-fields during the time they are under
In the Song of Solomon constant allusion is made to
the lilies. Their beauty and their perfume are made to
LILY OLD TESTAMENT. 185
shadow forth the preciousness of Christ to his Church.
Thus, in chapter ii., verse 1, Christ says, " I am the
rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys ; " again, in
chapter v., verse 13, it is said of Christ by his people,
" His lips are like lilies, dropping sweet-smelling myrrh."
Hear again what Christ says of his Church : " As the
lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters "
(chapter ii., verse 2) as a glorious and sweet flower
in the midst of a thorny wilderness, where all else is
bleak and desolate.
This plant is one of those which are alluded to in
ancient times as giving a supply of food. The seeds
were used to make bread, and the root was also eaten.
Even at the present day, in Eastern countries, the roots
and stalks furnish articles of diet, and the large farina-
ceous or mealy seeds of this and another kind of water-
lily are roasted and eaten. This may, perhaps, explain
the allusions made in the Song of Solomon (ii. 16, iv. 5,
and vi. 3), to feeding among the lilies ; or the allusion
may refer to a kind of cyperus or rush, of which cattle
are very fond, and which grows along with the lily in
the waters. Christ leads his people here beside still
waters, such as those in which the lily grows; and he
feeds them with the bread of life.
In Ecclesiastes xi. 1, it is said, " Cast thy bread upon
the waters : for thou shalt find it after many days."
This may be in allusion to the mode in which the seeds
of the lily are sown. They are enveloped in clay and
cast into the water ; they then sink into the mud, and
after many days appear above the water, bearing flowers,
186 LILY OLD TESTAMENT.
and producing seeds, which are used as bread. This
mode of sowing is practised now by certain tribes in
Hosea says, " Israel shall grow as the lily " (xiv. 5).
As the water-lilies grow vigorously in the waters under
the shining of the southern sun, so Israel, fed by the
refreshing streams of living water, shall flourish under
the shining of the Sun of Righteousness.
In the titles of Psalms xlv. and Ixix. the word sJw-
shannim occurs, which has been translated " lilies." Some
have thought that the word refers to the form of the
musical instrument used, resembling lilies ; others re-
mark that the imagery in these psalms is considered in
part as having referencp to what took place at marriages
in Egypt, when the female attendants adorned their
head-dresses with the water-lilies. How emphatically,
then, do these emblems, taken from the lilies, bring out
the meaning of the various allusions in the Song of Solo-
mon to Christ as the Bridegroom and his Church as the
LILY NEW TESTAMENT.
(Anemone coronaria, Linn.)
" Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow." MATT. vi. 28.
I HE word krina is translated "lilies" in the
New Testament. It occurs in two passages
(Matt. vi. 28, and Euke xii. 27), in which
our Lord calls upon us to " consider the lilies
of the field." There is some difficulty in determining
what the plants were. They must have been well known
to our Lord's hearers, as growing in the fields near the
Sea of Galilee, where he was discoursing. It would
appear, from the report of those who have visited
Palestine, that in the early spring months the fields
abound in various species of lily, tulip, narcissus, iris, and
gladiolus ; and it is, no doubt, to one of these that
reference is made. Many have thought that the white
lily (Lilium candidum) is the plant referred to ; but
Koyle thinks that this cannot be the case, inasmuch as
that plant is not considered to be a native of Palestine,
although it is occasionally cultivated there. He is dis-
posed, after careful examination, to conclude that the
188 LILY NEW TESTAMENT.
chaleedonian, or scarlet martagon lily (Lilium chal-
cedonicum), is the " lily of the field." It 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 conspicuous and showy object, which
would naturally attract the attention of his hearers.
LILY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.
The plant belongs to the natural order Liliacese. The
six parts of the perianth are of a scarlet colour, and are
turned back. Dr. Thomson describes a plant in Palestine,
called Huleh lily, which delights much in the valleys, but
is also found on the mountains. It abounds in the woods
north of Tabor.
LILY NEW TESTAMENT. 189
Tristram considers the Anemone coronaria as the New
Testament krinon. He says : " The true floral glories of
Palestine are the pheasant's eye (Adonis), the ranunculus,
and the anemone, but especially the latter. The Anemone
coronaria, well known in our gardens, of various colours
lilac, white, and red, but most generally a brilliant
scarlet is the flower which is the most gorgeously
painted, the most conspicuous in spring, and the most
universally spread of all the floral treasures of the Holy
Land ; and I should feel inclined to fix on it as the ' lily
of the field' of our Lord's discourse. It is found every-
where, on all soils, and in all situations. It covers the
Mount of Olives, it carpets all the plains, and nowhere
does it attain a more luxurious growth than by the
shores of the Lake of Galilee." As -rivals to the anemone
in brilliancy are the Ranunculus asiaticus and Adonis
Our Lord refers to the lily as being near the Plain of
Gennesaret. It was showy, and it was compared with
the robes of Solomon. Probably red, from its com-
parison to lips. The term " lily " seems to be applied
to a number of plants. No doubt there is a lily in
the Holy Land (Lilium chalcedonicum), the red Turkish
lily. Many plants get the name of lily, such as species
of iris, gladiolus, narcissus, asphodelus, squills, fritil-
We are told that " Solomon in all his glory was not
arrayed like one of these" lilies (Matt. vi. 29 ; Luke xii.
27). In order to understand this, let us look at the
beautiful structure in which the colours of the flower
190 LILY NEW TESTAMENT.
reside. The flower-leaves of the lily, when magnified
by the microscope, are seen to consist of a number of
beautiful honeycomb-like cells, in which the colouring
matter is formed and stored. It is of an elegant texture,
far exceeding in beauty anything that man could make.
Solomon's robes, if examined by means of a magnifying
glass, would, so far as they were the work of man, have
appeared coarse ; but the more the clothing of the lily
is magnified, the more exquisite is its beauty. The
colours of Solomon's robes might have been gorgeous,
but they were not disposed in the way in which God
paints the flowers. What are the greatest works of men
when compared with those of the Almighty Creator ?
The green covering of the "grass of the field," which
probably means the foliage of the lilies, defies all the
art of man to imitate.
How wondrous is the quiet growth of the lilies ! There
is no toiling or spinning on their part. The process of
growth is carried on by an unseen power, even by God,
who waters the ground, and who superintends the for-
mation of every minute cell and tube which enter into
the composition of the plant.
(Cucumis melo, Linn.)
"We remember... the cucumbers and the melons." NUM. xi. 5.
JHE Hebrew plural word abbatichim, or abba-
tichin, occurs only once in the Bible, and has
been translated " melons." It is the pepones
of the Greek and Latin. The Septuagint
has the word sieyos, a term which is now-a-days given
to a genus allied to the cucumber. The plant referred
to is the Cucumis melo of botanists, the common melon;
and perhaps also Cucurbita citrullus (Cucumis citrullus
of Linnseus), the water-melon. These plants belong to
the natural order Cucurbitacese, the Cucumber family,
which includes sixty-six known genera, and about three
hundred and thirty species. The plants of this family
are herbs with succulent stems, climbing by means of
lateral tendrils which are transformed stipules ; their
leaves are palmate and rough; their flowers generally
unisexual ; their stamens five, adhering to the calyx ; and
their fruit formed by three carpels, constituting what has
been called a pepo. The plants are generally acrid in
their qualities, although many of them, especially under
cultivation, yield edible fruit, such as the cucumber, melon,
gourd, pumpkin, squash, and vegetable marrow. Colocynth
and elaterium, which are powerful purgatives, also belong
to this order. (See article on Wild Gourd.) The
plants are natives of warm climates chiefly, and abound
MELON. (Cucumis melo.)
in India. In these countries their edible fruits are
highly prized, and hence the words in which the children
of Israel alluded to them when they murmured in
the desert : " We remember the fish, which we did eat
in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons," etc.
(Num. xi. 5.)
Dr. Royle thinks that the common melon is the plant
alluded to ; and he grounds his opinion in part on the
resemblance between the Arabic word for melon, butikh,
and the Hebrew word. Moreover, he thinks that there
is no evidence of the water-melon having been known to
the ancient Egyptians. In Arabic the water-melon is
called butikh-hindee, or Indian melon.
The melon was introduced into Britain about 1520.
There are a great number of varieties now in cultivation.
The best kinds are included under the name Cantaloupe ;
an appellation, according to Don, bestowed on them from
a seat of the Pope near Rome, where this variety is sup-
posed to have been originally produced.
( Urtica urens, Linn.)
"It was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face
thereof." PBOV. xxiv. 31.
| HE Hebrew words charul, kimosh, and kirn-
shon, occur in several places in the Old Tes-
tament, and have been translated "nettles."
There are some doubts as to the correctness
of the translation. Charul is found in three passages.
In Prov. xxiv. 30, 31, it is written: "I went by the
field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man
void of understanding ; and, lo, it was all grown over
with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof."
Job says, when speaking of the children of the destitute :
" Among the bushes they brayed ; under the nettles they
were gathered together " (Job xxx. 7). And the prophet
Zephaniah, in speaking of the desolation coming on
Moab and Ammon, predicts thus : " Surely Moab shall
be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah,
even the breeding of nettles, and salt pits, and a perpetual
desolation" (Zeph. ii. 9). The plant referred to is
obviously one which grows as a weed in gardens, and
comes up in desolate places where men have had their
habitations. This is very characteristic of the nettle,
which follows man's footsteps in all parts of the world
Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. In wild and deserted
glens, the sites of cottages are often marked by nettles ;
and the ruins of old castles
give rise to a large crop of
these weeds. Some have sup-
posed that a thorny or spiny
shrub was meant. Royle is
disposed to think, from the
resemblance between charul
and the Arabic khardul, that
a kind of mustard was re-
ferred to, and he has figured
Sinapis orientalis as the
probable species. But this
plant does not answer well
to the description, seeing it
is not a weed of gardens
nor a product specially of
ruins. There is much conjecture on this matter. The
correspondence between the word in Hebrew and Arabic
no doubt adds plausibility to Royle's conjecture, and
our own word charlock is applied also to a kind of
mustard. Some of the species of sinapis grow to a great
Again: the Hebrew words kimosh and kimshon, or
kimmashon, translated " nettle," occur in two places. In
NETTLE. (Urtica, wrens.)
Isaiah xxxiv. 13, it is said, "And thorns shall come up
in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses
thereof." Hosea says, "The pleasant places for their
silver, nettles shall possess them : thorns shall be in
their tabernacles" (ix. 6); and in Proverbs the garden
of the sluggard is described as covered with kimshonim,
translated "thorns," and in some versions "thistles"
Nettles belong to the genus Urtica. There are two
common species, which are found generally distributed
over the globe; Urtica dioica, the great nettle; and
Urtica urens, the small nettle. Urtica pilulifera, the
Roman nettle, also occurs in many places. These belong
to the natural order Urticacese. They have inconspicu-
ous green flowers without a corolla, their stamens are
often elastic, their fruit is a single-seeded nut, and they
are covered with stinging hairs.
In Scripture, nettles are made to point out the effect
of sloth and idleness, and they indicate the passing
nature of all human greatness as regards earthly habita-
tions. They are constantly mentioned as marks of waste
(Allium sativum, Linn.)
"We remember... the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick." NUM. xi. 5.
HE Hebrew plural word shumim occurs only
once in the Old Testament,
and is translated "garlick."
It is the skordon of the
It was one of the vegetable
of Egypt after which the
Israelites lusted in the desert. An allied
Arabic word is at the present day used for
garlic. The plant is the A Ilium sativum,
belonging to the natural order Liliacese,
the Lily family. It was much cultivated
in Egypt, and is noticed by Herodotus
as having been used in part for the food
of the labourers engaged in building the
Pyramids. Koyle thinks it probable
that the shallot (Allium ascalonicum)
might be the species referred to, and
not the common garlic. The shallot, or
eschalot, is common in Eastern countries,
and derives the name ascalonicum from
having been brought into Europe from Ascalon in Palestine.
|EVERAL Hebrew words are translated " grass."
The word chatzir, which is commonly applied
to the leek, has been also translated " grass."
(See article Leek and reference to the passage.)
The word seems to have been applied to every green herb
which could be used for pasture. In many passages of
Isaiah the word is used : " All flesh is grass " (Isa. xl. 6) ;
" They shall spring up as among the grass " (Isa. xliv. 4).
(See also Isaiah xxxv. 7, li. 12.) There are a great
number of grasses in Palestine.
The word yered in Numbers xxii. 4 is also translated
"grass." Desher is the most common name for green
grass. It is used in Genesis i. 11: " Let the earth
bring forth grass." The name being general includes
many species of grass, some being tall and luxuriant,
others short and stunted.
Reference is often made in Scripture to the life of
man as being like grass : " But the rich, in that he is
made low : because as the flower of the grass he shall
pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burn-
ing heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower
thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth:
so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways" (James
i. 10, 11). Here the withering of the grass is used as
an emblem of man passing away ; and the flower of grass
is also alluded to. In the flower of grass, the most con-
spicuous organs are the stamens, which commonly hang
out of the surrounding scales when the plant is in flower.
The upper parts of these stamens are attached to slender
threads, and the wind easily blows them away. This
is very emblematical of the thread of life, which is so
easily snapped in a moment.
The flat roofs of the houses at Ru.no in Lebanon are
constructed, according to Robinson, by laying first large
beams at intervals of several feet ; then rude joists ; on
which again are arranged small poles close together, or
brushwood ; and upon this is spread earth or gravel
rolled hard. Grass is often seen growing on these roofs.
(Psalm cxxix. 6.)