18 Lily (Lilium)
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botanical background


order: Liliales

family: Liliaceae

subfamily: Lilioideae

genus: lily (Lilium)

attributes: height up to 1,3 meters; enduring, herbaceous plant with a bell-mouthed blossom, in bloom from May to June


Lilies in general are on display. The field flowers probably refer to the white lily (Lilium candidum) indigenous to Galilee. This species cannot be seen at the Botanical garden.


in the Bible

Therefore I say to you, Do not be anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Behold the birds of the air; for they sow not, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them; are you not much better than they are? Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his stature? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They do not toil, nor do they spin, but I say to you that even Solomon in his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Therefore if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will HE not much rather clothe you, little-faiths? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed? For the nations seek after all these things. For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow shall be anxious for its own things. Sufficient to the day is the evil of it.

Matthew 6, 25-34


The white lily (Lilium candidum) and the sea daffodil (Pancratium maritimum) are indigenous to Palestine. The white lily is actually quite common.

The term used in the Old Testament (Hebrew חֲבַצֶּלֶת ḥǎvaṣṣælæt) could also refer to squills or daffodils. The Greek word corresponding for lily (κρίνον krinon) can be translated as flower in general.

In the New Testament the lily with it‘s strong scent is mentioned by Christ in the Sermon of the mount as splendid flower of the meadow (Mt 6,28 par).


mentions: several

other text passages (selected):

Song of Songs 2,1

Isaiah 35,1

Hosea 14,6

Matthew 6,28

Luke 12,27 (wild flowers of the field)



Riede, Peter: Lilie, in: Das wissenschaftliche Bibellexikon im Internet (Okt. 2015), URL: https://www.bibelwissenschaft.de/wibilex/das-bibellexikon/lexikon/sachwort/anzeigen/details/lilie/ch/bc0c4ac7ba37520126aa1f8bf9c91eac/ (abgerufen am 01.05.2023).

Modern King James Version.

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