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Lilies of the Field

Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception

Volume 16
Editor(s): Christine Helmer, Steven L. McKenzie, Thomas Römer, Jens Schröter, Barry Dov Walfish, Eric J. Ziolkowski
De Gruyter (Berlin, Boston) 2018

New Testament

Eric Ziolkowski

The phrase “the lilies (of the field)” (τὰ κρίνα [τοῦ ἀγροῦ]) occurs in Matt 6:28 and Luke 12:27 within a longer discourse about not worrying about eating, drinking, and clothing (Matt 6:25–34; Luke 11:22–31). According to the two-source-hypothesis, this discourse goes back to Q (see “Q [Gospel Source]”) which would already have contained the phrase “the lilies of the field.” It serves as an illustration of God’s care for human needs, especially for their body: if God takes care of the lilies …

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