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Bible Commentaries

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible
Song of Solomon 7

 

 

Verse 1

“How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! Your rounded thighs are like jewels, The work of the hands of a skillful workman. Your navel is like a round goblet, In which no mingled wine is wanting, Your waist is like a sheaf of wheat, Set about with lilies. Your two breasts are like two fawns, Which are twins of a roe-deer, Your neck is like the tower of ivory, Your eyes as the pools in Heshbon, By the gate of Bath-rabbim, Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon, Which looks toward Damascus. Your head upon you is like Carmel, And the hair of your head like purple, The king is held captive in its tresses.”

Now her beloved admires her perfect form. Her sandals reveal the shapeliness of her feet, as of a prince’s daughter. (She is depicted as a shepherdess in Song of Solomon 1:8; and as living in a house in Song of Solomon 2:9, but neither of these descriptions need indicate that she is not a minor tribal princess, compare Genesis 29:6; Exodus 2:16). Her rounded thighs, beautifully shaped, awaken his desires. Her navel is like an overflowing goblet offering to satisfy his thirst. Her waist reminds him of a sheaf of wheat, tied in the middle, and surrounded by beautiful lilies. Her breasts are like two twin fawns born from a roe deer, a symbol of fertility (compare Song of Solomon 4:5). Her neck is like an ivory tower (in contrast with the tower of David in Song of Solomon 4:4). The pools of Heshbon which describe her eyes were presumably famous for their purity and luminosity. The tower of Lebanon, no doubt thought of as viewed from a distance, was presumably specially shaped. The picture of Carmel is as having its summit covered in violet flowers, indicating that she has decorated her hair with flowers. And as a result those decorated tresses hold him gripped within their coils.

Israel no doubt delighted in this picture of God’s delight in her as they sang this song at their feasts. Her Maker was her husband (Isaiah 54:5). And we have here a further picture of the way in which Christ sees His beloved people as the perfection of beauty, and the delight of His eyes. The detailed descriptions are important in that they reveal that He takes note of every aspect of our lives. They also reveal that He is familiar with every ‘member’ of His church. Not one of us is overlooked. Compare for this 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 where the importance of each member of His church is brought out. Are you the feet? Then to Him you are beautiful. Are you the thighs? Then you are a delight to His heart. Are you the navel? Then He desires to drink from you. Are you the waist? Then He is enraptured with your loveliness. Are you the breast? Then He finds you fully satisfying. Are you the neck? Then He see you as like an ivory tower, offering refuge and purity to all. Are you the eyes? Then He finds joy in looking into your limpid depths. Are you the nose? Then He acknowledges you as His people’s watchman. Are you the head? Then He sees you as covered in the flowering of His righteousness.


Verses 1-4

SECTION 6.

The Restored Couple Rejoice In Each Other (Song of Solomon 7:1 to Song of Solomon 8:4).

The restoration of the royal couple is now complete. Their harmony is fully restored, and they can once again enjoy their pure untrammeled love, back in the land of their original courtship.

Once she returns from her walk the BELOVED continues to rejoice in his beautiful young wife.


Verses 6-9

The BELOVED continues.

“How fair and how pleasant are you, O love, for delights! This your stature is like to a palm-tree, And your breasts to its clusters. I said, I will climb up into the palm-tree, I will take hold of its branches, Let your breasts be as clusters of the vine, And the smell of your breath like apples, And your mouth like the best wine --.”

He now describes her statuesque beauty and compares her with a palm tree, with her breasts like coconuts, so that he can shin up the tree and sample her delights by grabbing hold of its branches; or like clusters of grapes on the vine. And he ends his idyllic picture with a description of the sweetness of her breasts, and the fact that her mouth is like the best wine. It is at this point that his wife then takes over the theme.

While we might find these long descriptions somewhat overextended, the people of Israel at their feasts no doubt delighted in these theoretical description of themselves in the Lord’s eyes, as it described His delight in them. (We say theoretical because it strictly only applied to the righteous among them). The same descriptions, of course apply to us. We too can delight in the descriptions, but we must remember that we are only beautiful in His eyes if we are truly His, and it is being revealed in our lives. It is only then that He can climb up and partake of our fruits.

His YOUNG WIFE takes up her husband’s rhythm and replies (note the use of ‘my beloved’ which indicates the change).


Verse 9

“ --- Which goes down smoothly for my beloved, And makes the lips of the sleepers to speak. I am my beloved’s, And his desire is towards me.”

Taking up her beloved’s theme his wife assures him that her lips will indeed provide the best wine for him, a wine which will go down his throat smoothly, causing his sleeping lips to say, ‘My love you are mine’. That is why, instinctively recognizing this, she is able to add, “I am my beloved’s and his desires is towards me.’ Note that she is longer thinking in terms of ‘my beloved is mine’ (Song of Solomon 2:16; Song of Solomon 6:3). She is wholly taken up with him, and the fact that his desire is for her. Happy are we when our whole delight is in Christ and His love for us, and when it is God Who is in all our thoughts.


Verses 11-13

The YOUNG WIFE continues her words to her beloved husband.

“Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field, Let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards, Let us see whether the vine has budded, And its blossom is open, And the pomegranates are in flower. There will I give you my love. The mandrakes give forth fragrance, And at our doors are all manner of precious fruits, new and old, Which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.”

The Beloved’s wife now calls on him in their reunited love to go forth with her into the countryside and the villages, and into the vineyards to see whether the vines have budded and the pomegranates are in flower. It is there that she will give him her love, in the place where the mandrakes (famous as an aphrodisiac - see Genesis 30:14-16) give forth their fragrance. The provision of ‘all manner of precious fruits’ at ‘our doors’, which she has laid up for him, may indicate the promise of the pleasures of love. The plural ‘our doors’ probably indicates the recognition of her as their princess by her countrymen and countrywomen. They gladly leave their gifts, possibly even tribute to their tribal chieftain, for her to share with her husband. But it may indicate a personal offering of herself to her beloved husband.

We can see how these verses might well have been used by the country folk in worship at their local feasts as they offered their love unrestrainedly to God. And it is a reminder to us that wherever we are we also should be desirous of going aside with our Beloved and offering up ourselves and our worship to Him, because we love Him so.

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 7:4". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/song-of-solomon-7.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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