Very few species of flowers are mentioned in the Bible although they abounded in Palestine. It has been calculated that in Western Syria and Palestine from two thousand to two thousand five hundred plants are found, of which about five hundred probably are British wild-flowers. Their beauty is often alluded to (Cant. 2:12; Matt. 6:28). They are referred to as affording an emblem of the transitory nature of human life (Job 14:2; Ps. 103:15; Isa. 28:1; 40:6; James 1:10). Gardens containing flowers and fragrant herbs are spoken of (Cant. 4:16; 6:2).
FLOWERS [isbe]FLOWERS - flou'-erz (BLOOM, BLOSSOM, etc.):
(1) gibh`ol, literally, "a small cup," hence, calyx or corolla of a flower (Ex 9:31, "The flax was in bloom").
(2) nets (Gen 40:10, nitstsah, "a flower" or "blossom"; Job 15:33; Isa 18:5). These words are used of the early berries of the vine or olive.
(3) nitstsan, "a flower"; plural only, nitstsanim (Song 2:12, "The flowers appear on the earth").
(4) perach, root to "burst forth" expresses an early stage of flowering; "blossom" (Isa 5:24; 18:5); "flower" (Nah 1:4, "The flower of Lebanon languisheth"). Used of artificial flowers in candlesticks (Ex 25:31 ff).
(5) tsits, "flower" (Isa 40:6); plural tsitstsim, flowers as architectural ornaments (1 Ki 6:18); tsitsah, "the fading flower of his glorious beauty" (Isa 28:1,4; also Nu 17:8; Job 14:2, etc.).
(6) anthos, in Septuagint equivalent of all the Hebrew words (Jas 1:10,11; 1 Pet 1:24).
The beauty of the profusion of flowers which cover Palestine every spring receives but scant reference in the Old Testament; Song 2:12 is perhaps the only clear reference. It is noticeable that the native of Syria thinks little of flowers unless it be for their perfume. our Lord's reference to the flowers ("lilies") is well known (Mt 6:28; Lk 12:27). For details of the flowers of modern Palestine, see BOTANY. The aptness of the expression "flower of the field" for a type of the evanescence of human life (Job 14:2; Ps 103:15; Isa 40:6; Jas 1:10) is the more impressive in a land like Palestine where the annual display of wild flowers, so glorious for a few short weeks, is followed by such desolation. The fresh and brilliant colors fade into masses of withered leaves (not uncommonly cleared by burning), and then even these are blown, away, so that but bare, cracked and baked earth remains for long months where once all was beauty, color and life.