Heb. karkom, Arab. zafran (i.e., "yellow"), mentioned only in Cant Matthew 4:13 Matthew 4:14 ; the Crocus sativus. Many species of the crocus are found in Palestine. The pistils and stigmata, from the centre of its flowers, are pressed into "saffron cakes," common in the East. "We found," says Tristram, "saffron a very useful condiment in travelling cookery, a very small pinch of it giving not only a rich yellow colour but an agreable flavour to a dish of rice or to an insipid stew."
(yellow ). ( Solomon 4:14 ) Saffron has front the earliest times been in high esteem as a perfume. "It was used," says Rosenmuller, "for the same purposes as the modern pot-pourri." The word saffron is derived from the Arabic zafran , "yellow." (The saffron (Crocus sativus ) is a kind of crocus of the iris family. It is used its a medicine, as a flavoring and as a yellow dye. Homer, Virgil and Milton refer to its beauty in the landscape. It abounds in Palestine name saffron is usually applied only to the stigmas and part of the style, which are plucked out and dried. --ED.) [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
saf'-run (karkom; krokos):
Identical with the Arabic kurqum, the same as za`faran, "saffron." The source of the true saffron is Crocus sativus (Natural Order, Indaceae), a plant cultivated in Palestine; there are 8 wild varieties in all of which, as in the cultivated species, the orange-colored styles and stigmas yield the yellow dye, saffron. Song of Solomon 4:14 probably refers to the C. sativus. There is a kind of bastard saffron plant, the Carthamus tinctorius (Natural Order, Compositae), of which the orange-colored flowers yield a dye like saffron.
E. W. G. Masterman
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