During the last Bible study session, which happened to fall on Valentine’s Day, my friends and I were discussing the significance of roses on this special occasion.
One of my friends made a humorous remark, questioning whether roses played a crucial role in biblical times. This comment piqued our curiosity, and we decided to conduct an in-depth study of the Scriptures and Theological studies to uncover, “What do roses symbolize in the Bible?”
The Bible mentions the term “rose” metaphorically in Song of Solomon 2:1 to symbolize beauty and love. However, theologians suggest that the flower mentioned in that verse may not refer to the rose flower we know today. The word “rose” was used as a direct translation of the Greek and Hebrew words used during the writing of the Bible. The original Hebrew word “chavatzelet” and the Greek word “anthera” are often translated as “rose,” but they could refer to other types of flowers. Nevertheless, some theological studies also associate the rose with the Virgin Mary and the wounds of Christ.
In this post, I invite you to join me as we learn about the rose from a biblical perspective and what it symbolizes. If you’d also like to know the spiritual symbolism of roses and what the various colors mean, stick around to the end of the post.
Does the Bible mention roses?
Yes, the Bible mentions roses in Song of Solomon 2:1 in some translations: “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.”
However, as mentioned earlier, it’s worth noting that the actual term “rose” wasn’t used in the original Hebrew or Greek texts, and the flower referred to here may have been a different type of flower.
For instance, some theologians believe that the flower mentioned in this verse is a crocus, not a rose. Nonetheless, the symbolism of the rose in the Bible as a symbol of beauty and love is evident.
Bible verses about roses
As mentioned earlier, the only verse that mentions “roses” is Song of Solomon 2:1 (and this might not be the case in all Bible translations).
The flower in question might not be a rose as we know it today; it might be a different flower. The Hebrew word “chavatselet,” which is translated as “rose” in some Bible translations, isn’t a direct reference to the modern-day rose flower, rather, it’s thought to refer to a type of flower that was found in the region at the time.
However, it’s worth knowing that while the Bible doesn’t explicitly mention “roses,” it does mention other flowers metaphorically to convey messages of love, provision, and joy from God to us, as implied in below verses:
Isaiah 35:1-2, “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.”
Hosea 14:5-6, “I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon; his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon.”
“And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” – Matthew 6:28-29
3 symbolic meanings of roses in the Bible
As mentioned earlier, the word “rose” doesn’t appear in the Bible explicitly. However, flowers, which could be interpreted to mean roses in some bible translations, are often used symbolically in the Bible to convey;
Roses symbolize love, as suggested in Song of Solomon 2:1, where Solomon expresses his love for his bride, praises her beauty, and emphasizes her desirability.
This scripture has contributed to the rose being associated with love among Christians and in Christian traditions.
Restoration and hope
Theologians suggest that the rose may also symbolize restoration, transformation, hope, and joy, as implied in Isaiah 35:1-2, where the verse describes how the desert will bloom with abundant flowers as a sign of God’s blessing on the land of the Israelites.
In some Christian traditions, the petals of the rose are said to represent the wounds of Christ, with the red color symbolizing his blood.
However, this symbolism isn’t explicitly supported by any Bible verses.
The spiritual symbolism of roses
The rose is a flower that’s been celebrated for centuries across many cultures and religions, and it has a rich history of spiritual symbolism, for instance, in Islam, it’s admired and is often referred to as the “queen of flowers.”
The Prophet Muhammad is said to have described the rose as a symbol of love and beauty, and it’s also often used as a symbol of paradise in Islamic art.
In ancient Egypt, the rose was associated with the goddess Isis, who was considered the goddess of motherhood, fertility, and rebirth.
The rose was often used in offerings to Isis as a symbol of love and purity.
In Jewish tradition, the rose is seen as a symbol of the divine and is often used in meditative practices to connect with the divine.
In Greek mythology, the rose is associated with the goddess Aphrodite the goddess of love, beauty, and sexuality, who was often depicted wearing a crown of roses, and it represents love, passion, and desire.
Do rose colors matter?
Yes, the color of roses matters as each color has a symbolic meaning in different cultures and beliefs. Different colors can convey different emotions and messages, making it important to consider the color of a rose when giving or receiving them.
Let’s discuss some of the colors of roses and their symbolism;
Red roses have been a symbol of love, passion, and romance for centuries, and they’re often associated with other romantic occasions.
However, the significance of red roses goes beyond just romantic love. For instance, some Christians associate red roses with the blood of Christ and the sacrifice he made on the cross.
Therefore their appearance in religious art and symbolism to represent martyrdom and sacrifice.
Red roses are also associated with prosperity, good luck, and celebration, especially among the Chinese, and they are often used in weddings and other special occasions to bring good fortune to the couple.
Orange roses are vibrant and are often used to symbolize enthusiasm, excitement, passion, warmth, and joy. Some also associate orange roses with creativity, inspiration, and motivation.
Orange roses are often used as a symbol of friendship and gratitude as well and given as a gift to show appreciation and support.
In Western culture, yellow roses are often given as a symbol of friendship and platonic love. These roses also represent joy, happiness, and a positive outlook on life.
Yellow roses can also symbolize new beginnings, as they represent a bright future full of potential and possibilities and may, therefore, be given as a gift to someone starting a new job, moving to a new place, or beginning a new chapter in their life.
Yellow roses are also used in celebrations and festivals to create a festive and joyful atmosphere.
Lastly, yellow roses can also be used to honor and remember someone who passed away and represent the joy and happiness that the person brought to others during their life.
Blue roses are a relatively recent addition to the world of roses, as they were first commercially produced in 2004. These roses are often associated with mystery and the unattainable, and this may be due in part to the fact that they’re unique.
The color blue has long been associated with emotions such as loyalty, devotion, and sadness, and as such, blue roses can symbolize the same emotions.
Others believe that blue roses may be associated with prosperity and success as well. Some also associate blue roses with transcendence and the divine, as the color blue is often associated with the sky and the heavenly realms.
Green roses are associated with renewal and rebirth and may represent a fresh start or a new beginning. In some cultures, green roses may be associated with balance and harmony as well.
Green is also associated with health and well-being. Therefore a green rose may be given as a gift to someone who is recovering from an illness.
In other cultures, just like the color green, green roses are associated with wealth and prosperity. Green roses are relatively rare and unusual, and as such, they may also be seen as a symbol of individuality and uniqueness.
Pink roses are commonly associated with love and affection and are often given as gifts to express feelings of love, admiration, and gratitude towards someone.
In addition to expressing love and affection, pink roses are also commonly associated with gratitude and appreciation. Also, pink is often associated with femininity and gentleness, and as such, pink roses may be seen as a symbol of these qualities.
Pink roses may also be associated with healing and comfort from an illness or loss and may be given as gifts to express sympathy and offer comfort.
Lavender roses are a popular variety known for their unique color and delicate fragrance and are often associated with enchantment and mystery, particularly in the context of romantic relationships.
They may be given as gifts to express a sense of fascination or intrigue toward someone special. These roses are also commonly associated with elegance and refinement.
In some cultures, lavender roses may be associated with royalty and majesty and may be given as gifts to express admiration for someone’s regal qualities or to show respect for their position.
In many cultures, black roses are seen as a symbol of death and mourning and may be used as a floral tribute for funerals and other somber occasions.
Black roses can also be seen as a symbol of rebellion and resistance and may be used to express a sense of defiance or to show support for a particular cause or movement.
In some contexts, black roses can be associated with elegance and sophistication, especially when used as a decorative element to add a touch of drama and glamour to formal occasions.
While not traditionally associated with love and romance, black roses have recently gained popularity as a symbol of unconventional love and passion, especially in the entertainment scene, and they may be given as a gift to express a sense of dark or mysterious attraction.
In many cultures, peach roses are often associated with gratitude and may be given to express appreciation for a kind act or gesture.
Peach roses are also associated with friendship and sociability and may be given to a friend as a symbol of affection or to celebrate a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary.
In some contexts, peach roses are also seen as a symbol of sincerity and authenticity and may be used to express genuine feelings of love or admiration for another person.
Peach roses are also often used to convey a sense of joy and happiness and are, therefore, given as a gift to celebrate a special occasion such as a wedding or graduation.
Finally, peach roses are associated with sweetness and innocence and may be given as a symbol of young love or to express feelings of innocence and purity.
White roses are a classic and elegant variety known for their pure and pristine appearance and are often associated with purity, innocence, and new beginnings.
Therefore, often used in religious or spiritual contexts. White roses may be given as a symbol of hope and optimism for the future or to celebrate a new beginning in one’s life.
In some contexts, white roses may represent sympathy and remembrance, therefore, may be used at funerals or memorial services to honor the memory of a loved one.
White roses are a popular choice for weddings to symbolize the unity and commitment of the couple, and they may also be used as a symbol of gratitude and appreciation.
Ivory roses are typically associated with purity, innocence, and spirituality, and they’re often used in religious ceremonies, such as baptisms and weddings, to symbolize the purity of the occasion and the hope for a new beginning.
The ivory color is also seen as a representation of the divine and holy and is often used in the decoration of churches and other sacred spaces.
Ivory roses are also associated with royalty and nobility, as the color was historically used to signify wealth and luxury.
In this context, ivory roses may be used in grand celebrations and events to represent elegance and refinement. Ivory roses also carry messages of grace, elegance, and charm.
What Does the Bible Say About The Rose Of Sharon?
Some scholars believe that the “Rose of Sharon” is a symbolic reference to Jesus Christ, representing his beauty and perfection.
Other scholars interpret the “Rose of Sharon” as a metaphor for the bride in Song of Solomon, describing her beauty and worthiness.
Overall, the “Rose of Sharon” appears to be a symbol of beauty and perfection, whether it’s referring to Jesus Christ or the bride in Song of Solomon.
What does it mean that Jesus is the rose of Sharon?
The title “rose of Sharon” highlights Jesus’ beauty and purity. The rose of Sharon is a type of flower known for its beauty and perfection, and Jesus is considered to embody these qualities.
It’s important to remember that this phrase is only mentioned once in the Bible, and its interpretation as a metaphor for Jesus Christ isn’t explicitly stated.
However, it’s widely accepted among Christians as a symbol of Jesus’ beauty and purity, although it can be interpreted in different ways depending on one’s understanding of the Scriptures.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.