(1) (chabhatstseleth; anthos, "a flower" (Song of Solomon 2:1) krinon, "a lily" (Isaiah 35:1)): By general consent English Versions of the Bible is wrong: in Song of Solomon 2:1 margin reads "Hebrew habazzeleth, the autumn crocus" and in Isaiah 35:1, margin reads "or autumn crocus." This is the Colchicum autumnale (Natural Order, Liliaceae). A Targum on Song of Solomon 2:1 explains the Hebrew word as "narcissus" , a very common plant in the plains and mountains of Palestine and a great favorite with the natives. Two species, N. tazetta and N. serolinus (Natural Order, Amaryllideae), occur, the latter being the finer; they are autumn plants. All authorities agree that the so-called "rose" was some kind of bulbed plant. (2) (rhodon, "the rose," mentioned in Ecclesiasticus 24:14; 39:13; 50:8; The Wisdom of Solomon 2:8; 2 Esdras 2:19): There is no reason why the rose, of which several varieties are common in Palestine, should not be meant. Tristram favors the rhododendron. The expression, "rose plants in Jericho," in Ecclesiasticus 24:14 has nothing whatever to do with what is now sold there as a "rose of Jericho," a dwarf annual plant, Anastatica hierochuntina (Natural Order, Cruciferae), which dries up and can be made to reexpand by placing the root in water.
E. W. G. Masterman
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