Song of Solomon 4:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.

New Living Translation
You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain.

English Standard Version
A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a spring locked, a fountain sealed.

New American Standard Bible
"A garden locked is my sister, my bride, A rock garden locked, a spring sealed up.

King James Bible
A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
My sister, my bride, you are a locked garden-- a locked garden and a sealed spring.

International Standard Version
My sister, my bride, is a locked garden a locked rock garden, a sealed up spring.

NET Bible
You are a locked garden, my sister, my bride; you are an enclosed spring, a sealed-up fountain.

New Heart English Bible
A locked up garden is my sister, my bride; a locked up spring, a sealed fountain.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
My bride, my sister is a garden that is locked, a garden that is locked, a spring that is sealed.

JPS Tanakh 1917
A garden shut up is my sister, my bride; A spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

New American Standard 1977
“A garden locked is my sister, my bride,
            A rock garden locked, a spring sealed up.

Jubilee Bible 2000
A closed garden is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

King James 2000 Bible
A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

American King James Version
A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

American Standard Version
A garden shut up is my sister, my bride; A spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

Douay-Rheims Bible
My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up.

Darby Bible Translation
A garden enclosed is my sister, [my] spouse; A spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

English Revised Version
A garden shut up is my sister, my bride; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

Webster's Bible Translation
A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

World English Bible
A locked up garden is my sister, my bride; a locked up spring, a sealed fountain.

Young's Literal Translation
A garden shut up is my sister-spouse, A spring shut up -- a fountain sealed.
Study Bible
Solomon Admires his Beloved
11"Your lips, my bride, drip honey; Honey and milk are under your tongue, And the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon. 12"A garden locked is my sister, my bride, A rock garden locked, a spring sealed up. 13"Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates With choice fruits, henna with nard plants,…
Cross References
Genesis 29:3
When all the flocks were gathered there, they would then roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the mouth of the well.

Proverbs 5:15
Drink water from your own cistern And fresh water from your own well.

Proverbs 5:16
Should your springs be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets?

Proverbs 5:18
Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Song of Solomon 4:9
"You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride; You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes, With a single strand of your necklace.
Treasury of Scripture

A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.


Songs 6:2,11 My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to …

Proverbs 5:15-18 Drink waters out of your own cistern, and running waters out of your own well…

Isaiah 58:11 And the LORD shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in …

Isaiah 61:10,11 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my …

Jeremiah 31:12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall …

Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth …

1 Corinthians 6:13,19,20 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy …

1 Corinthians 7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried …

Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, …


2 Corinthians 1:22 Who has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Ephesians 1:13 In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, …

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed to …

Revelation 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till …

(12) A garden inclosed.--Comp. with this passage Song of Solomon 4:12-15; Proverbs 5:15; Proverbs 5:21. The closed or walled garden and the sealed fountain appear to have been established metaphors for the pure and chaste wife. For the latter, at least, there is not only the above passage in Proverbs, but a prayer still in use in Jewish marriages: "Suffer not a stranger to enter into the sealed fountain," &c

Verse 12. - A garden shut up is my sister, my bride; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. We must bear in mind that these words are supposed to be spoken on the journey in the marriage procession. The bride is not yet brought to the royal palace. She is still travelling in the royal palanquin. The idea of a paradise or garden is carried from the beginning of Scripture to the end, the symbol of perfect blessedness. The figure of the closed or shut-up garden represents the bridegroom's delight in the sense of absolute and sole possession - for himself and no other. The language is very natural at such a time, when the bride is being taken from her home. We may compare with the figures here employed those in Proverbs 5:15-20. A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse,.... At a little distance from Bethlehem are pools of water, and below these runs a narrow rocky valley, enclosed on both sides with high mountains which the friars, as Mr. Maundrell says (d) will have to be the enclosed garden here alluded to; but it is more likely that the allusion is to a garden near Jerusalem, called the king's garden, Adrichomius (e) makes mention of, which was shut up, and only for the king's use and pleasure: to which the church may be compared; for its being distinguished from the world's wide waste, by the sovereign grace of God; and for the smallness of it in comparison of that; and for its pleasantness and fruitfulness, having pleasant and precious plants of great renown; or consisting of persons of different gifts and graces; in whose hearts these are not naturally, or do not grow there of themselves; but are sown or planted and raised up by the Spirit of God, for which the fallow ground of their hearts is thrown up: and that everything may be kept in good order, as in a garden, the plants are watered with the grace of God; the trees of righteousness are pruned by Christ's father, the vinedresser; the fences are kept up, and the whole is watched over night and day; and here Christ, the owner of it, takes his delightful walks, and grants his presence with his people. And the church is like an "enclosed" garden; for distinction, being separated by the grace of God, in election, redemption, effectual calling, &c. and for protection, being encompassed with the power of God, as a wall about it; and for secrecy, being so closely surrounded, that it is not to be seen nor known by the world; and indeed is not accessible to any but to believers in Christ; and is peculiarly for his use, who is the proprietor of it; see Sol 4:16;

a spring shut up, a fountain sealed; the allusion may be to the sealed fountains great personages reserved for their own use; such as the kings of Persia had, of which the king and his eldest son only might drink (f); and King Solomon might have such a spring and fountain in his garden, either at Jerusalem or at Ethan, where he had pleasant gardens, in which he took great delight, as Josephus (g) relates: and near the pools, at some distance from Bethlehem, supposed to be his, is a fountain, which the friars will have to be the sealed fountain here alluded to; and, to confirm which, they pretend a tradition, that Solomon shut up these springs, and kept the door of them sealed with his signet, to preserve the waters for his own drinking; and Mr. Maundrell (h), who saw them, says it was not difficult so to secure them, they rising underground, and having no avenue to them, but by a little hole, like to the mouth of a narrow well. Now the church may be thus compared, because of the abundance of grace in her, and in each of her members, which is as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life, John 4:14; and because of the doctrines of the Gospel, called a fountain, Joel 3:18; with which Gospel ministers water the plants in Christ's garden, the members of the church; whereby they are revived, refreshed, and flourish; and their souls become as a watered garden, whose springs fail not. Though some read this clause in connection with the former; "a garden enclosed art thou, with a spring" or flow of water "shut up, and with a fountain sealed" (i); meaning Christ and his fulness; from whence all grace is received by the church and its members; and with which they are supplied, and their souls are watered: and the phrases, "shut up" and "sealed", which, whether applied to the doctrines of grace and truth, in and from Christ, may denote the secrecy and safety of them from the men of the world; or to the grace of Christ, communicated by him to the saints, may denote the security of it, the invisible operations of it, and the sole exercise of it on him: for these phrases denote the inviolable chastity of the church to Christ, in her faith, love, service, and worship; see Proverbs 5:15; and are used in the Jewish writings (k), to express the chastity of the bride. Ambrose affirms (l), that what Plato (m) says concerning Jove's garden, elsewhere called by him the garden of the mind, is taken out of Solomon's Song.

(d) Journey from Aleppo, &c. p. 89. Edit. 7. (e) Theatrum Terrae Sanctae, p. 170. (f) Theatrum Deipnosoph. l. 12. c. 2. p. 515. (g) Antiqu. l. 8. c. 7. s. 3. Vid. Adrichom. p. 170. (h) Journey from Aleppo &c. p. 88, 89. (i) "Cum fluctu obserato, cum fonte obsignato", Marckius, so some in Michaelis. (k) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 75. Apud Wagenseil. Sota, p. 240. Seder Tephillot, fol. 203. 1. Ed. Basil. vid. Targum, Jarchi & Aben Ezra in loc. (l) De Bono Mortis, c. 5. (m) In Sympos. p. 1194. 12. The Hebrew has no "is." Here she is distinct from the garden (So 5:1), yet identified with it (So 4:16) as being one with Him in His sufferings. Historically the Paradise, into which the soul of Jesus Christ entered at death; and the tomb of Joseph, in which His body was laid amid "myrrh," etc. (So 4:6), situated in a nicely kept garden (compare "gardener," Joh 20:15); "sealed" with a stone (Mt 27:66); in which it resembles "wells" in the East (Ge 29:3, 8). It was in a garden of light Adam fell; in a garden of darkness, Gethsemane, and chiefly that of the tomb, the second Adam retrieved us. Spiritually the garden is the gospel kingdom of heaven. Here all is ripe; previously (So 2:13) it was "the tender grape." The garden is His, though He calls the plants hers (So 4:13) by His gift (Isa 61:3, end).

spring … fountain—Jesus Christ (Joh 4:10) sealed, while He was in the sealed tomb: it poured forth its full tide on Pentecost (Joh 7:37-39). Still He is a sealed fountain until the Holy Ghost opens it to one (1Co 12:3). The Church also is "a garden enclosed" (Ps 4:3; Isa 5:1, etc.). Contrast Ps 80:9-12. So "a spring" (Isa 27:3; 58:11); "sealed" (Eph 4:30; 2Ti 2:19). As wives in the East are secluded from public gaze, so believers (Ps 83:3; Col 3:3). Contrast the open streams which "pass away" (Job 6:15-18; 2Pe 2:17).4:8-15 Observe the gracious call Christ gives to the church. It is, 1. A precept; so this is Christ's call to his church to come off from the world. These hills seem pleasant, but there are in them lions' dens; they are mountains of the leopards. 2. As a promise; many shall be brought as members of the church, from every point. The church shall be delivered from her persecutors in due time, though now she dwells among lions, Ps 57:4. Christ's heart is upon his church; his treasure is therein; and he delights in the affection she has for him; its working in the heart, and its works in the life. The odours wherewith the spouse is perfumed, are as the gifts and graces of the Spirit. Love and obedience to God are more pleasing to Christ than sacrifice or incense. Christ having put upon his spouse the white raiment of his own righteousness, and the righteousness of saints, and perfumed it with holy joy and comfort, he is well pleased with it. And Christ walks in his garden unseen. A hedge of protection is made around, which all the powers of darkness cannot break through. The souls of believers are as gardens enclosed, where is a well of living water, Joh 4:14; 7:38, the influences of the Holy Spirit. The world knows not these wells of salvation, nor can any opposer corrupt this fountain. Saints in the church, and graces in the saints, are fitly compared to fruits and spices. They are planted, and do not grow of themselves. They are precious; they are the blessings of this earth. They will be kept to good purpose when flowers are withered. Grace, when ended in glory, will last for ever. Christ is the source which makes these gardens fruitful; even a well of living waters.
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