The Rose of Sharon is in full bloom. I have often wondered if this flowering bush of ours was the same " rose of Sharon" as cited in the Bible. According to one interpretation it symbolizes beauty, and it is used in the book of Song of Solomon to describe the beauty of King Solomon's lover":
"I am a flower of Sharon,* a lily of the valleys."
Chapter 2:1 of the Song of Songs.
A little digging turned up a wealth of information on this flower. And surprises. For example, it is the national flower of South Korea, a country recently visited by Pope Francis. At the bottom of this blog is a paragraph about that history.
Our flowering bush's "biblical pedigree" is 100% doubtful.
Here's a brief biblical account of the rose of Sharon.
Depending on the Bible translation, it might be referred to as "a rose of Sharon" or "the rose of Sharon". The Douay Rheims Bible translates the passage as "I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys." Darby's English translation, offers yet another translation: "I am a narcissus of Sharon, A lily of the valleys." link
Some sources note that the name "rose of Sharon" was first introduced in the King James Version Bible of 1611, however, Bible scholars now agree that the rose of Sharon of biblical times is not the modern day rose of Sharon shrub or bush. It is more likely to be a "flower of the field" like the sea daffodil (left) or a variety of narcissus, both native to the holy land.
Biblical scholars also debate the meaning of this passage contained within the Canticle of Canticles or Song of Songs which can be interpreted literally or allegorically. "In its literal sense, both the image and entire biblical song signify the beauty and bliss of marital love. They're also an allegory for the love between God and Israel and between Jesus Christ and the Christian church". link
Regarding the Rose of Sharon, the Early Church Father, St Jerome, interpreted it as Christ:
"He says Himself in the Song of Songs, I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley."
"The flower of the rod is Christ, who says of Himself: I am the rose of Sharon ..."
"As the author and prince of virginity He says boldly of Himself: I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys." references link
But the Church, always wise in matters aesthetic, did not insist upon the significance of the rose... as associated with the person of Christ. Origen, who held that the text which we render, ' I am the rose of Sharon,' was a self-description of our Lord, read the verse, ' I am the flower of the field,' so giving the Church no clear image. When in art an emblem was required to represent our Lord, the ancient catacomb devices of the lamb and the vine were employed. Any reference to Him under the metaphor of a flower was rare and usually vague, as the charming ' gold flower ' of the Bhckling Homiles. ' Then the Queen of all the maidens gave birth to the true Creator and Consoler of mankind, when the gold-flower came unto this world and received a human body from S. Mary, the spotless Virgin.' link
A Marian Garden Flower
In "the language of flowers", the Rose of Sharon means Consumed by love.
As a Marian garden flower one author wrote that rose of Sharon symbolically falls under the heading of Mystical Communion of God and the Soul:
"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. As the apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired: and his fruit was sweet to my palate."
"Hear me, ye divine offspring, and bud forth as the rose planted by the brooks of waters. Give ye a sweet odour as frankincense. Send forth flowers, as the lily, and yield a smell, and bring forth leaves in grace, and praise with canticles, and bless the Lord in his works."
Although this divine flower from our garden is not the biblical "rose of Sharon", as I might have thought, it certainly glorifies God from the gentle unfurling of pure white petals to the delicate illumination. A good name choice.
~on the narcissus blog
~Wedding peonies blog
~The Wedding Dance blog
National Flower of South Korea and how to draw it link.
The Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is the national flower of South Korea. The first record of the Rose of Sharon grown in Korea is mentioned in an article produced 1,400 years ago. A mythological fiction, Xuanzhongji , written in the Eastern Jin Dynasty of China, mentions "The Land of Wisemen is spread for 1,000 li where mugungwha flowers bloom plentifully". The name "mugungwha" was first used by the poet Lee Gyu-bo (,1168 – 1241) of the Goryeo Dynasty. wiki source
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