Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [Matthew 6:28,29 KJV.]

Considering the magnificence of the kingdom over which Solomon ruled, a kingdom that, arguably, was unprecedented and has, arguably, never been surpassed, why does a single lily growing in a field surpass it and in what respect does it do so ?

Does the word περιεβαλετο, arrayed, help us in this understanding ?

  • A visual aid with regard to lilies that grow wild where Jesus walked: google.com/…
    – Lesley
    Dec 5, 2019 at 13:22
  • Actually, I think this link showing a white lily might be more appropriate and I'm working on an answer to your question (but I don't know anything about Greek): flowersinisrael.com/Liliumcandidum_page.htm
    – Lesley
    Dec 5, 2019 at 14:19
  • @Lesley As a preacher once said 'Never mind trying to be clever with the Greek : just obey the English'. Which is not bad advice :) Stunning picture.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 5, 2019 at 14:42
  • Sadly, I was a complete dunce in school when it came to English grammar and rules.
    – Lesley
    Dec 5, 2019 at 16:28

2 Answers 2


Solomon, for all that he was gloriously arrayed in fine garments, blessed by God with wisdom, riches and achievements (1 Kings 10:4-10,) fell into sin and ended up living a life apart from God. Looking back over his wasted years he realised there had been no joy in them, only futility, vanity, and “a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:14). Solomon learned a very hard lesson and came to this conclusion:

Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14)

Unlike Solomon, the lily flourishes simply by accepting the provisions God has made to ensure its growth. God asks nothing of it and the result is the glory of God is displayed in all its magnificence.

Jesus used parables to teach important truths. In Matthew 6:27-34 he compared a single lily with the splendid clothing that Solomon put on, yet the lily is more gloriously attired in all its simplicity than anything Solomon could have thrown on.

Here we have Jesus using a parable to show that God’s glory is evidenced in a single lily, a glory that outshines anything man-made. God will bless us if we simply place our trust in Him to provide for our every need. Through our faith, God is glorified and puts to shame all the worldly wisdom and wealth that appeals to those who trust only in themselves.

EDIT: Perhaps the clue to this conundrum is to be found in Isaiah 61:10-11, a Messianic prophecy:

For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the soil makes the young plant come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

I have just been informed that the lily flower is a hermaphrodite - with both male and female parts – and the above verse links both the bridegroom and the bride. There is also a description of the bride, the Lamb’s wife, descending out of heaven from God, “having the glory of God” (Revelation 12:1). Psalm 110:3 also makes reference to the Messianic King-Priest as being “Arrayed in holy majesty” and then in Matthew 12:42 Jesus identifies himself as “one greater than Solomon”.

Finally, after Jesus’ transfiguration where “his face shone like the sun” Luke 13:43 says that “the righteous will shine like the son in his Father’s Kingdom”. Nothing in Solomon’s earthly kingdom comes close to the magnificence of the Kingdom of God, which is the holy Jerusalem, and to the Lamb’s wife who is “arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Revelation 19:7-8).


It's a lesson to appreciate all of nature that God created and how beautiful it all is, as compared to man-made raiment and works. A single lily can be studied for a lifetime and you would still not see and learn all the beauty within it.

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