I have come in to my garden, my sister-spouse, I have plucked my myrrh with my spice, I have eaten my comb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk. Eat, O friends, drink, Yea, drink abundantly, O beloved ones!
Song of Solomon 5:1 Additional TranslationsKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
She gives herself to him, and he has accepted her, and now celebrates the delight of possession and enjoyment.
1 I am come into my garden, my sister-bride;
Have plucked my myrrh with my balsam;
Have eaten my honeycomb with my honey;
Have drunk my wine with my milk -
Eat, drink, and be drunken, ye friends!
If the exclamation of Solomon, 1a, is immediately connected with the words of Shulamith, Sol 4:16, then we must suppose that, influenced by these words, in which the ardour of love and humility express themselves, he thus in triumph exclaims, after he has embraced her in his arms as his own inalienable possession. But the exclamation denotes more than this. It supposes a union of love, such as is the conclusion of marriage following the betrothal, the God-ordained aim of sexual love within the limits fixed by morality. The poetic expression בּאתי לגנּי points to the אל eht ot בּוא, used of the entrance of a man into the woman's chamber, to which the expression (Arab.) dakhal bihā (he went in with her), used of the introduction into the bride's chamber, is compared. The road by which Solomon reached this full and entire possession was not short, and especially for his longing it was a lengthened one. He now triumphs in the final enjoyment which his ardent desire had found. A pleasant enjoyment which is reached in the way and within the limits of the divine order, and which therefore leaves no bitter fruits of self-reproach, is pleasant even in the retrospect. His words, beginning with "I am come into my garden," breathe this pleasure in the retrospect. Ginsburg and others render incorrectly, "I am coming," which would require the words to have been בּא אני (הנּה). The series of perfects beginning with באתי cannot be meant otherwise than retrospectively. The "garden" is Shulamith herself, Sol 4:12, in the fulness of her personal and spiritual attractions, Sol 4:16; cf. כּרמי, Sol 1:6. He may call her "my sister-bride;" the garden is then his by virtue of divine and human right, he has obtained possession of this garden, he has broken its costly rare flowers.
ארה (in the Mishna dialect the word used of plucking figs) signifies to pluck; the Aethiop. trans. ararku karbê, I have plucked myrrh; for the Aethiop. has arara instead of simply ארה. בּשׂמי is here שׂבּם deflected. While בּשׂם, with its plur. besâmim, denotes fragrance in general, and only balsam specially, bāsām equals (Arab.) bashâm is the proper name of the balsam-tree (the Mecca balsam), amyris opobalsamum, which, according to Forskal, is indigenous in the central mountain region of Jemen (S. Arabia); it is also called (Arab.) balsaman; the word found its way in this enlarged form into the West, and then returned in the forms בּלסמון, אפּופלסמון, אפּלרלסמא (Syr. afrusomo), into the East. Balsam and other spices were brought in abundance to King Solomon as a present by the Queen of Sheba, 1 Kings 10:10; the celebrated balsam plantations of Jericho (vid., Winer's Real-W.), which continued to be productive till the Roman period, might owe their origin to the friendly relations which Solomon sustained to the south Arab. princess. Instead of the Indian aloe, Sol 4:14, the Jamanic balsam is here connected with myrrh as a figure of Shulamith's excellences. The plucking, eating, and drinking are only interchangeable figurative descriptions of the enjoyment of love.
"Honey and milk," says Solomon, Sol 4:11, "is under thy tongue." יער is like יערה, 1 Samuel 14:27, the comb (favus) or cells containing the honey, - a designation which has perhaps been borrowed from porous lava.
(Note: Vid., Wetstein in the Zeitsch. fr allgem. Erdkunde, 1859, p. 123.)
With honey and milk "under the tongue" wine is connected, to which, and that of the noblest kind, Sol 7:10, Shulamith's palate is compared. Wine and milk together are οἰνόγαλα, which Chloe presents to Daphnis (Longus, i. 23). Solomon and his Song here hover on the pinnacle of full enjoyment; but if one understands his figurative language as it interprets itself, it here also expresses that delight of satisfaction which the author of Psalm 19:6 transfers to the countenance of the rising sun, in words of a chaste purity which sexual love never abandons, in so far as it is connected with esteem for a beloved wife, and with the preservation of mutual personal dignity. For this very reason the words of Solomon, 1a, cannot be thought of as spoken to the guests. Between Sol 4:16 and Sol 5:1 the bridal night intervenes. The words used in 1a are Solomon's morning salutation to her who has now wholly become his own. The call addressed to the guests at the feast is given forth on the second day of the marriage, which, according to ancient custom, Genesis 29:28; Judges 14:12, was wont to be celebrated for seven days, Tob. 11:18. The dramatical character of the Song leads to this result, that the pauses are passed over, the scenes are quickly changed, and the times appear to be continuous.
The plur. דּודים Hengst. thinks always designates "love" (Liebe); thus, after Proverbs 7:18, also here: Eat, friends, drink and intoxicate yourselves in love. But the summons, inebriamini amoribus, has a meaning if regarded as directed by the guests to the married pair, but not as directed to the guests. And while we may say רוה דדים, yet not שׁכר דו, for shakar has always only the accus. of a spirituous liquor after it. Therefore none of the old translators (except only the Venet.: μεθύσθητε ἔρωσιν) understood dodim, notwithstanding that elsewhere in the Song it means love, in another than a personal sense; רעים and דח are here the plur. of the elsewhere parallels רע and דּוד, e.g., Sol 5:16, according to which also (cf. on the contrary, Sol 4:16) they are accentuated. Those who are assembled are, as sympathizing friends, to participate in the pleasures of the feast. The Song of Songs has here reached its climax. A Paul would not hesitate, after Ephesians 5:31., to extend the mystical interpretation even to this. Of the antitype of the marriage pair it is said: "For the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready" (Revelation 19:7); and of the antitype of the marriage guests: "Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Revelation 19:9).
Song of Solomon 5:1 Parallel CommentariesAbundantly Balsam Beloved Bride Drank Drink Drunk Eat Eaten Friends Garden Gathered Honey Honeycomb Honey-Comb Milk Myrrh Sister Spice Spouse WineAbundantly Balsam Beloved Bride Drank Drink Drunk Eat Eaten Friends Garden Gathered Honey Honeycomb Honey-Comb Milk Myrrh Sister Spice Spouse WineThe ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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