Precious Oils ~ A Study of the Fragrances of the Bible~Flowers~Lily שׁוּשַׁן shuwshan

 

Lily

The flowers and plants named in the Bible are more than likely not the flowers that we associate them with. The debate of the proper identification of lily is our example.

Although every flower may possess, secondarily, its own specific symbolism, for all that, flowers generally are symbols of the passive principle.  The calix of a flower, like the chalice, is the receptacle of heavenly instrumentality, among the symbols of which dew and rain should be mentioned.  Furthermore, the way flowers grow up out of earth and water symbolizes manifestation rising out of these passive elements. …  The allegorical use of flowers is endless. Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant, The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols, 1969

In the shape of a trumpet, “Lily” in Scripture could be one of many different varieties: lily of the valley, hyacinth, anemone, crocus, narcissus or mountain tulip. No matter how the debate ends, most all agree that the lily is called Shoshanah.   

The word Shoshanna finds it’s root in the Hebrew word shesh, meaning six, which refers to the six petals of all the above named flowers. In the spring the hillsides of Israel put on all their glory after a long– drab winter, the spark of life in the beauty of the flowers is a welcome site. Take note that the six petal flowers just as the Magen David (Star or Shield of David) is also six-sided.

Modern day aromatherapy is unable to capture the lily of valleys into an essential oil, perhaps because parts of the Lily of the Valley flowers are highly poisonous. What you normally find on the commercial market is a synthetic oil that mirrors the fragrance of the little white bell flower that often grown on the shady side of older homes. No therapeutic or benefits can be associated with the synthetic oil of lily of the valley. Narcissus oil can be obtained, at a premium price, and is used in high-end perfumes.

In the Hebrew root word of “lily” we find the best description of flowers: to rejoice and be exuberant.  Lily of the Valley says “Return to Happiness” in the Language of Flowers.

The red rose, as we know it, was not an ancient part of the landscape. In the Bible, Shoshanna is an image of feminine beauty, especially in the Song of Songs allegory as the Lover compares his Beloved “as a lily (narcissus) among thorns.”

Scripture verses (KJV)

And the chapiters (the capital crown) that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work in the porch, four cubits. . . And upon the top of the pillars was lily work: so was the work of the pillars finished. I Kings 7:19&22

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.  As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. Song of Solomon 2:1-2

I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow (blossom) as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.  His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Hosea 14:4-7

 

Copyright 2008 ~ All Rights Reserved

Precious Oils ~ A Study of the Fragrances of the Bible    pg 28

By Apothecary Cynthia Hillson ~ Precious Oils Up On the Hill  http://www.TheFragrantBride.com

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