35 Rose (Rosa × damascena)
© Botanischer Garten Uni MS

botanical background


order: Rosales

family: Rosaceae

subfamily: Rosoideae

genus: roses

species: Damask rose (Rosa × damascena)

attributes: thorns

origin: central Europe

Note: The rose can be found in the courtyard of the Bible Museum. Similar roses can be seen at the Botanical Garden (region: Farmer‘s Garden.)


in the Bible

I am the rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is My love among the daughters.

Song of Songs 2,1-2


In the Bible the rose is a metaphor for beauty and maturity. It is mentioned neither in Old nor New Testament, but features only in the Septuaginta, a collection of texts from the Old Testament in Greek. In the apocryphal writings of Jesus Sirach the rose is used as a metaphor for beauty (Sir 50,8) and growth (Sir 39,13). The rose of Jericho in Sir 24,14 on the other hand has nothing to do with a rose. It refers to a desert plant which can survive longer periods of time without rain and starts to bloom immediately when in contact with water.


mentions: several

other text passages: 

Wisdom 2,8

Sirach 24,18 (rose of Jericho)

Sirach 39,17

Sirach 50,8



Hepper, F. Nigel: Pflanzenwelt der Bibel. Eine illustrierte Enzyklopädie von F. Nigel Hepper, Stutgart 1992, 57-58.

Riede, Peter: Rose, in: Das wissenschaftliche Bibellexikon im Internet (Sep. 2015), URL: https://www.bibelwissenschaft.de/wibilex/das-bibellexikon/lexikon/sachwort/anzeigen/details/rose/ch/55c5b40f6fa5447525b1eac79fbe9679/ (abgerufen 06.06.2023).

Modern King James Version.

© Botanischer Garten Uni MS
© Bibelmuseum Münster