|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-11 Solomon soon found mirth and pleasure to be vanity. What does noisy, flashy mirth towards making a man happy? The manifold devices of men's hearts, to get satisfaction from the world, and their changing from one thing to another, are like the restlessness of a man in a fever. Perceiving it was folly to give himself to wine, he next tried the costly amusements of princes. The poor, when they read such a description, are ready to feel discontent. But the remedy against all such feelings is in the estimate of it all by the owner himself. All was vanity and vexation of spirit: and the same things would yield the same result to us, as to Solomon. Having food and raiment, let us therewith be content. His wisdom remained with him; a strong understanding, with great human knowledge. But every earthly pleasure, when unconnected with better blessings, leaves the mind as eager and unsatisfied as before. Happiness arises not from the situation in which we are placed. It is only through Jesus Christ that final blessedness can be attained.
Verse 5. - I made me gardens and orchards. Solomon's love of gardens appears throughout the Canticles (Song of Solomon 6:2, etc.). He had a king's garden on the slope of the hills south of the city (2 Kings 25:4); and Beth-hacchemm, "the House of the Vine," at Ain Karim, about six miles east of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 6:1); and at Baal-hamon another extensive vineyard (Song of Solomon 8:11). The word rendered "orchard" (parder) occurs also in Song of Solomon 4:13 and Nehemiah 2:8. It is a Persian word, and passed into the Greek form παράδειος (Xenophon, 'Anab.,' 1:2.7), meaning "a park" planted with forest and fruit trees, and containing herds of animals. It is probably derived from the Zend oairidaeza," an enclosure." (For the trees in such parks, see Song of Solomon 4:13, 14; and for an estimate of Solomon's works, Josephus, 'Ant.,' 8:07. 3.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I made me gardens and orchards,.... Of the king's garden, we read Jeremiah 39:4. Adrichomius (b) makes mention of a royal garden in the suburbs of Jerusalem, fenced with walls; and was a paradise of fruit trees, herbs, spices, and flowers; abounded with all kind of fruit, exceeding pleasant and delightful to the senses: and, as Solomon was so great a botanist, and knew the nature and use of all kinds of trees and herbs, 1 Kings 4:33; no doubt but he has a herbal garden, well stocked with everything of that kind, curious and useful; see 1 Kings 21:2. Gardens are made for pleasure as well as profit; Adam, as soon as created, was put into a garden, to add to his natural pleasure and felicity, as well as for his employment, Genesis 2:8; and the pleasure of walking in a garden, and partaking of the fruits of it, are alluded to by Solomon, Sol 4:12;
and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits; which, as before observed, he had thorough knowledge of, and many of which were brought him from foreign parts; and all served to make his gardens, orchards, parks, forests, and enclosures, very pleasant and delectable. The Targum adds,
"some for food, others for drink, and others for medicine.''
(b) Theatrum Terrae Sanctae, p. 170.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. gardens—Hebrew, "paradises," a foreign word; Sanskrit, "a place enclosed with a wall"; Armenian and Arabic, "a pleasure ground with flowers and shrubs near the king's house, or castle." An earthly paradise can never make up for the want of the heavenly (Re 2:7).
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