|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:6-27 Here is an affecting example of the danger of youthful lusts. It is a history or a parable of the most instructive kind. Will any one dare to venture on temptations that lead to impurity, after Solomon has set before his eyes in so lively and plain a manner, the danger of even going near them? Then is he as the man who would dance on the edge of a lofty rock, when he has just seen another fall headlong from the same place. The misery of self-ruined sinners began in disregard to God's blessed commands. We ought daily to pray that we may be kept from running into temptation, else we invite the enemies of our souls to spread snares for us. Ever avoid the neighbourhood of vice. Beware of sins which are said to be pleasant sins. They are the more dangerous, because they most easily gain the heart, and close it against repentance. Do nothing till thou hast well considered the end of it. Were a man to live as long as Methuselah, and to spend all his days in the highest delights sin can offer, one hour of the anguish and tribulation that must follow, would far outweigh them.
Verse 17. - I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. The substances mentioned were dissolved in or mixed with water, and then sprinkled on the couch. The love of such things is reckoned as a sign of luxury and vice (Isaiah 3:20, etc.). The three perfumes are mentioned together in Song of Solomon 4:14; "myrrh, aloes, and cassia," in Psalm 45:8. Septuagint, "I have sprinkled my couch with saffron, and my house with cinnamon." Myrrh is nowadays imported chiefly from Bombay, but it seems to be found in Arabia and on the coasts of the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. It is a gummy substance exuding from the bark of the balsamodendron when wounded, and possessing an aromatic odour not particularly agreeable to modern tastes. It was one of the ingredients of the holy oil (Exodus 30:28), and was used in the purification of women (Esther 2:12), as well as in perfuming persons and things, and, mixed with aloes, in embalming dead bodies (John 19:39). Aloes is the inspissated juice of the leaves of the aloe, a leguminous plant growing in India, Cochin China, Abyssinia, and Socotra. The ancients used the dried root for aromatic purposes. It is mentioned by Balaam (Numbers 24:6). Cinnamon, which is the same word in Hebrew and Greek, is the fragrant bark of a tree growing in Ceylon and India and the east coast of Africa.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I have perfumed my bed,.... As she had made it entertaining to the senses of seeing and feeling, it being showy and gaudy, soft and easy; so to the sense of smelling; and all to provoke lust, and draw into her embraces; by censing it with incense, as Donesh in Jarchi; or by sprinkling (s) a liquor, made of the following spices, on the head, posts, and sides of the bed, to remove all ill scents, and make it more acceptable; so the Targum, Vulgate Latin, Septuagint, and all the Oriental versions, render it, "I sprinkled my bed": or, it may be, by suffumigation, which women are said to use with their garments and bed clothes (t). Even this the harlot did,
with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon; all odorous, and of a sweet smell: Horace (u) speaks of the anointed beds of such persons; and of the above spices ointments were made, with which the harlot's bed might be perfumed. Cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, are reckoned among the wares of Babylon, or the church of Rome, Revelation 18:13.
(s) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 13. c. 1.((t) Clemens Alex. Paedagog. l. 2. c. 8. p. 177. (u) "Uctis cubilibus pellicum", Epod. Ode. 5. v. 69, 70.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. bed—a place for sleeping.
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