In reference to the megillah שִׁ֥יר הַשִּׁירִ֖ים Chapter 2 : verse 1, the Ivri (עִבְרִי) word "חֲבַצֶּ֣לֶת" is translated as Rose "וֶרֶד". - When using Google translate, Rose and Lily (שֽׁוֹשַׁנַּ֖ת) are synonymous, but it does not state Onion (בָּצָל) is synonymous with Rose.

שִׁ֥יר הַשִּׁירִ֖ים ch.2

[1] "I am a rose of the-Sharon, a rose of the-valleys." (אֲנִי֙ חֲבַצֶּ֣לֶת הַשָּׁר֔וֹן שֽׁוֹשַׁנַּ֖ת הָֽעֲמָקִֽים)

Why is "חֲבַצֶּ֣לֶת" traditionally translated as a "Rose" ( וֶרֶד ), instead of an "Onion" ( בָּצָל )?

  • 2
    The commentators equate Chavatzelet with a rose (the JPS says "crocus") but only Rashi's comment has explanation ("Alternatively, a young rose is called חבצלת and requires the abundant sunshine of the mountains. A mature rose is called שושנה, and the climate of the valley is best suited for it. (Sefer Duda’im)"). The torah temimah discusses the etymology more thoroughly sefaria.org/…
    – rosends
    Oct 28 '20 at 15:24
  • 3
    חבצלת is not derived from בצל any more than גב (back) from חגב (locust)
    – b a
    Oct 28 '20 at 17:08
  • 1
    Because it's not an onion! Oct 28 '20 at 19:38
  • 1
    I think I may have heard this translated as a lilly.
    – The GRAPKE
    Oct 28 '20 at 23:11
  • 1
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancratium_maritimum, assumes chavatzeles = lilly?
    – The GRAPKE
    Oct 28 '20 at 23:32

@rosends has already provided the main points in the comment, but I would add the following...

The Midrash in Shir HaShirim Rabbah 2:1 demonstrates how the word can be seen as a contraction of two words, much like the Torah Temimah discusses. But crucially in the final definition that the Midrash provides it says:

אֲנִי מַרְטֶבֶת כְּשׁוֹשַׁנָּה

I bloom like a lily

So conceivably, the two words "חֲבַצֶּ֣לֶת" and "שֽׁוֹשַׁנַּ֖ת" are synonymous because they grow in the same way.

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