ADVERTISING
 
Tuesday, February 20   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Is the sexual exploitation of women an issue in your city?




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Antonio Cruz
 

The En Gedi oasis

Henna is only referred to twice in the Song of Songs (chapter 1:14 and 4:13), in relation to beauty, fragrance and love.

ZOE AUTHOR Antonio Cruz 11 FEBRUARY 2018 11:00 h GMT+1
The En Gedi oasis, near the Dead Sea. / Photo: Antonio Cruz

 



My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi. Song of songs ch. 1:14



 



The Henna plant (ligustrum vulgare) is a bush that grows to a height of 2 to 3 metres (occasionally up to 5). Also known as wild privet in English, the plant belongs to the oleaceae family. It has very supple branches and dark green leathery leaves, not unlike those of the olive tree.



Its flowers form clusters made up of small white blossoms, and give off a pleasantly sweet fragrance. Each blossom has only two stamens. The fruit consists of small black berries, about three millimetres in diameter, which, as they contain small amounts of arsenic, are bitter and poisonous.



Despite this, they have been known since ancient times to have many medicinal applications (cataplasms for rashes, burns and headaches, and also dyes for hair, etc.)



It is native to Asia and Europe, where it thrives especially in humid forests, and is used in gardening to make hedges or fences. The leaves can be dried and crushed to produce a reddish dye known as henna, which is used as hair-dye. Some oriental women also make paint with it for their hands and feet, a technique known as mehndi



Henna is only referred to twice in the Song of Songs (chapter 1:14 and 4:13), in relation to beauty, fragrance and love. It was a very common plant in Palestine and, generally speaking, it was highly appreciated in the East, especially on account of its fragrance.



The En Gedi oasis, mentioned in the texts quoted above, was also known as the "Goat Springs", or the "Wild Goat Springs", belonged to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:62), and was where David took refuge when he was being hunted down by Saul (1 Samuel 24:1). It was a place of refreshment for wayfarers crossing the desert next to the Dead Sea as it had a permanent spring of water and a beautiful waterfall which it is still possible to visit today. It was home to a vast array of plants from which perfumes and cosmetics were obtained.



The beloved featured in the Song of Songs returns her lovers compliments with the images that she knew best: a bunch of henna flowers from the En Gedi vineyards. A good way of expressing love is to speak well of the beloved using beautiful words or lovely, deeply-felt similes and examples which spring from the mind, but also from the heart.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - The En Gedi oasis
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest

About 70 people from European countries met at the Younger Leaders Gen gathering in Hungary (19-22 October) to discuss the challenges of the church in the continent and build partnerships. Photos: Evi Rodemann and Jari Sippola.

 
I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
VIDEO Video
 
A marriage story A marriage story

The  great love story for everyone.

 
Be safe on social media Be safe on social media

A video about the way traffickers target teenage girls online, produced by anti-slavery gorup Abolishion.

 
In Mission In Mission

A 360º lyric video about how all followers of Jesus Christ are called to serve God. Duo in Spanish (Alex Sampedro) and Portuguese (Marcos Martins).

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
Creation Care and the Gospel, in France Creation Care and the Gospel, in France

The conference drew about 90 delegates from across Europe. Scientists, theologians, activists reflected together on the theme “God’s Word and God’s World”.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.