Song of Solomon 5:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh.

New Living Translation
His cheeks are like gardens of spices giving off fragrance. His lips are like lilies, perfumed with myrrh.

English Standard Version
His cheeks are like beds of spices, mounds of sweet-smelling herbs. His lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh.

New American Standard Bible
"His cheeks are like a bed of balsam, Banks of sweet-scented herbs; His lips are lilies Dripping with liquid myrrh.

King James Bible
His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
His cheeks are like beds of spice, towers of perfume. His lips are lilies, dripping with flowing myrrh.

International Standard Version
His cheeks are like beds of spices, like towers of perfume. His lips are lilies, dripping with liquid myrrh.

NET Bible
His cheeks are like garden beds full of balsam trees yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with drops of myrrh.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
His cheeks are like a garden of spices, a garden that produces scented herbs. His lips are lilies that drip with myrrh.

Jubilee Bible 2000
His cheeks are as a bed of aromatic spices, as fragrant flowers; his lips like lilies, dripping sweet smelling myrrh that transcends.

King James 2000 Bible
His cheeks are like a bed of spices, like sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dripping sweet smelling myrrh.

American King James Version
His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

American Standard Version
His cheeks are as a bed of spices, As banks of sweet herbs: His lips are as lilies, dropping liquid myrrh.

Douay-Rheims Bible
His cheeks are as beds of aromatical spices set by the perfumers. His lips are as lilies dropping choice myrrb.

Darby Bible Translation
His cheeks are as a bed of spices, raised beds of sweet plants; His lips lilies, dropping liquid myrrh.

English Revised Version
His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as banks of sweet herbs: his lips are as lilies, dropping liquid myrrh.

Webster's Bible Translation
His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet-smelling myrrh.

World English Bible
His cheeks are like a bed of spices with towers of perfumes. His lips are like lilies, dropping liquid myrrh.

Young's Literal Translation
His cheeks as a bed of the spice, towers of perfumes, His lips are lilies, dropping flowing myrrh,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:9-16 Even those who have little acquaintance with Christ, cannot but see amiable beauty in others who bear his image. There are hopes of those who begin to inquire concerning Christ and his perfections. Christians, who are well acquainted with Christ themselves, should do all they can to make others know something of him. Divine glory makes him truly lovely in the eyes of all who are enlightened to discern spiritual things. He is white in the spotless innocence of his life, ruddy in the bleeding sufferings he went through at his death. This description of the person of the Beloved, would form, in the figurative language of those times, a portrait of beauty of person and of grace of manners; but the aptness of some of the allusions may not appear to us. He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all that believe. May his love constrain us to live to his glory.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers,.... Which may intend the presence of Christ with his people in his word and ordinances; often called his "face", which he shows, and they seek after, than which nothing is more desirable; walking in the light of his countenance is preferable to walking among spicy beds, where fragrant plants and odoriferous flowers grow: or the cheeks, being the seat of modesty and blushing, may denote the great humility of Christ, seen in his assumption of our nature, throughout the whole course of his life, and especially at his death, and which renders him very delightful to his people; how lovely does the meek and lowly Jesus look! how beautiful are those blushing cheeks of his, who, being equal with God, took upon him the form of a servant! The cheeks may intend not bare cheeks, but with the hair growing upon them, the hair of the beard; which puts forth itself, and grows upon the cheeks or "jaws" (o), as it may be rendered, which makes a man look graceful and majestic; so Aben Ezra interprets the word of the beard, and so many Christian (p) interpreters, which puts out like aromatic plants on spicy beds. This was literally true of Christ, who was a grown man when he suffered, and gave his cheeks to the smiters, and who plucked off the hair of his beard: and in a mystical sense it may intend either believers in Christ, who are the hair of his cheeks, as well as of his head; and who, like spicy beds and fragrant flowers, are odoriferous to Christ and to one another; or "as towers of perfumes" (q) as some, which ascend upwards in the exercise of faith, hope, and love: or rather the graces of the Spirit in Christ, as man and Mediator; which, like the hair of the beard, are in Christ, in great numbers, without measure, and make him very lovely and graceful; and are like beds of spices and sweet flowers, for the variety and sweet smelling savour of them. Though it seems, best of all, to be expressive of the manliness, courage, prudence, gravity, and majesty of Christ; of which the beard, thick set and well grown, is an indication; all which appeared in the whole conduct and deportment of Christ among men; in his ministry, in his life and conversation, at his apprehension, arraignment, condemnation, sufferings, and death. The cheeks rising, and being a little elevated, are fitly described by beds in a garden, by "towers of perfumes", or fragrant flowers and fruit trees, reared up in the form of towers, or pyramids; or by a dish of fruit preserves, placed in such a figure: and the hair of the cheeks, or beard, are aptly represented by spices, rising up from a bed of them; and all denote the beauty, savour, and majesty of Christ. Or, as the Vulgate Latin version, "as beds of spices set by confectioners"; not as aromatic plants, set in rows by the gardener; but the spices themselves, set in rows by the confectioner in vessels (r), placed in his shop in rows to be sold; which being of various colours, especially white and red, the cheeks, for colour and eminence, are compared unto them;

his lips like lilies dropping sweet smelling myrrh; by which are meant the words of Christ, which drop from his lips; which are like lilies, for their purity, thinness, and beautiful colour: the words of Christ are pure words, free from all pollution, deceit, and human mixtures; nor are his lips big with his own praises, but with expressions of regard for his Father's glory; and are very pleasant, gracious, and graceful. But then the comparison is not between them and white lilies, for not white, but red lips, are accounted the most beautiful; see Sol 4:3; wherefore rather red or purple lilies are respected, such as Pliny (s), and other writers (t), speak of; such as grew in Syria (u), a neighbouring country; and also in Egypt (w) grew lilies like to roses. Some (x) think the allusion is to crowns, made of red or purple lilies, wore at nuptial festivals, on which were poured oil of myrrh, and so dropped from them; but the phrase, "dropping sweet smelling myrrh", is not in construction with "lilies", but with "lips": signifying, that the lips or words of Christ were like to lilies; not so much or not only for their thinness and colour, as for the sweet smell of them, very odorous, grateful, and acceptable; as are the doctrines of peace, pardon, righteousness, life, and salvation, to sensible souls, delivered in the ministry of the word: the manner of which delivery of them is expressed by "dropping"; gradually, by little and little, as Christ's church and people can bear them; seasonably, and at proper times, as their wants require constantly, as while Christ was here or, earth, so now he is in heaven, by his ministers, in all ages, to the end of the world; and yet sweetly and gently refreshing, and making fruitful; see Deuteronomy 32:2. Moreover, the kisses of Christ's lips, or the manifestations of his love, may be taken into the sense of this clause; which together with the grateful matter and graceful manner of his words, render him very acceptable to his church; see Sol 1:2; and such a sentiment is expressed, in much the same language, by others (y).

(o) "maxillae ejus", Pagninus, Montanus, Marckius, Michaelis. (p) Sanctius, Cocceius, Ainsworth, Marckius, Michaelis. (q) "turribus pigmentorum", Marckius; "condimentorum", Schmidt, Michaelis. (r) Vid. Fortunat. Scacchi Eleochrys. Sacr. l. 1. c. 18. p. 90. (s) Nat. Hist. l. 21. c. 5. (t) Theophrast. apud Athenaei Deipnosophist. l. 15. c. 8. p. 681. Maimon. in Misn. Sheviith, c. 7. s. 6. & Alshech in loc. Midrash Esther, s. 4. fol. 91. 1.((u) Dioscorides, l. 1. c. 163. Apud Fortunat. Scacch. ut supra, (Eleochrys. Sacr.) l. 1. c. 27. p. 134. (w) Herodot. Euterpe, sive l. 2. c. 92. (x) Scacch. ibid. l. 1. c. 28. p. 138, 139. (y) "Olent tua basia myrrham", Martial. Epigr. l. 2. Ep. 10.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13. cheeks—the seat of beauty, according to the Hebrew meaning [Gesenius]. Yet men smote and spat on them (Isa 50:6).

bed—full, like the raised surface of the garden bed; fragrant with ointments, as beds with aromatic plants (literally, "balsam").

sweet flowers—rather, "terraces of aromatic herbs"—"high-raised parterres of sweet plants," in parallelism to "bed," which comes from a Hebrew root, meaning "elevation."

lips—(Ps 45:2; Joh 7:46).

lilies—red lilies. Soft and gentle (1Pe 2:22, 23). How different lips were man's (Ps 22:7)!

dropping … myrrh—namely, His lips, just as the sweet dewdrops which hang in the calyx of the lily.

Song of Solomon 5:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
Admiration by the Bride
12"His eyes are like doves Beside streams of water, Bathed in milk, And reposed in their setting. 13"His cheeks are like a bed of balsam, Banks of sweet-scented herbs; His lips are lilies Dripping with liquid myrrh. 14"His hands are rods of gold Set with beryl; His abdomen is carved ivory Inlaid with sapphires.…
Cross References
Song of Solomon 1:10
Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels.

Song of Solomon 2:1
I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.

Song of Solomon 5:5
I arose to open for my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with flowing myrrh, on the handles of the bolt.

Song of Solomon 6:2
My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather lilies.
Treasury of Scripture

His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

cheeks

Songs 1:10 Your cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, your neck with chains of gold.

Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked …

as a

Psalm 4:6,7 There be many that say, Who will show us any good? LORD, lift you …

Psalm 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that …

Psalm 89:15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, …

Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine …

sweet flowers

Songs 3:6 Who is this that comes out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, …

his lips

Songs 4:11 Your lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are …

Psalm 45:2 You are fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into your …

Isaiah 50:4 The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should …

Luke 4:22 And all bore him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which …

dropping

Songs 5:5 I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, …

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