Song of Solomon 2:13
The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
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(13) The fig tree putteth forth her green figs.—Literally, has ripened its unripe figs. Heb., phag (preserved in Bethphage); not the early fruit that appears before the leaves (Matthew 24:31), but the green fruit that remains through the winter (Gesenius and Tristram).

The vines with the tender grape.—Literally, the vines (are) blossoms, i.e., are in blossom.

2:8-13 The church pleases herself with thoughts of further communion with Christ. None besides can speak to the heart. She sees him come. This may be applied to the prospect the Old Testament saints had of Christ's coming in the flesh. He comes as pleased with his own undertaking. He comes speedily. Even when Christ seems to forsake, it is but for a moment; he will soon return with everlasting loving-kindness. The saints of old saw him, appearing through the sacrifices and ceremonial institutions. We see him through a glass darkly, as he manifests himself through the lattices. Christ invites the new convert to arise from sloth and despondency, and to leave sin and worldly vanities, for union and communion with him. The winter may mean years passed in ignorance and sin, unfruitful and miserable, or storms and tempests that accompanied his conviction of guilt and danger. Even the unripe fruits of holiness are pleasant unto Him whose grace has produced them. All these encouraging tokens and evidences of Divine favour, are motives to the soul to follow Christ more fully. Arise then, and come away from the world and the flesh, come into fellowship with Christ. This blessed change is owing wholly to the approaches and influences of the Sun of righteousness.The vines ... - The vines in blossom give forth fragrance. The fragrance of the vine blossom ("semadar"), which precedes the appearance of "the tender grape," is very sweet but transient.13. putteth forth—rather, "ripens," literally, "makes red" [Maurer]. The unripe figs, which grow in winter, begin to ripen in early spring, and in June are fully matured [Weiss].

vines with the tender grape—rather, "the vines in flower," literally, "a flower," in apposition with "vines" [Maurer]. The vine flowers were so sweet that they were often put, when dried, into new wine to give it flavor. Applicable to the first manifestations of Jesus Christ, "the true Vine," both to the Church and to individuals; as to Nathanael under the fig tree (Joh 1:48).

Arise, &c.—His call, described by the bride, ends as it began (So 2:10); it is a consistent whole; "love" from first to last (Isa 52:1, 2; 2Co 6:17, 18). "Come," in the close of Re 22:17, as at His earlier manifestation (Mt 11:28).

Green figs; which it shooteth forth as soon as it doth leaves, in the spring time, Matthew 24:32.

A good smell; which, though not strong, is pleasant and grateful, and given by it in the progress of the spring.

Come away: these words are here repeated, to show both the church’s infirmity and indisposition, which needs so many calls and arguments to press so necessary and advantageous a duty; and Christ’s tender compassion to her weakness, and fervent desire of converse with her.

The fig tree putteth forth her green figs,.... Another sign of spring being come, nay, of its being pretty much advanced, since Christ makes this a token of summer being at hand, Matthew 24:32. Theopompus (e) speaks of figs in the middle of the spring. This tree puts forth its fruit at once, and does not flower or blossom (f), wherefore Habakkuk 3:17 is wrongly translated; See Gill on Habakkuk 3:17, though Arianus (g) speaks of its flowering: Aben Ezra thinks the word signifies the sweetening of the figs, and so points at the time when they are sweet and eatable. By the "fig tree" may be meant the saints putting forth their grace in exercise on Christ, who may be compared to fig trees for their leaves and fruit, and for the putting forth the latter before the former (h); for the fig tree is a tree full of large leaves, which may be an emblem of a profession of religion, and of a conversation agreeably to it, which yet are no covering, only the righteousness of Christ is that, yet ought to be and are ornamental; and for the fruit of it, which is wholesome, pleasant, and delightful, as are the fruits of the Spirit, the fruits of grace and righteousness, fruits meet for repentance, which ought to appear before a profession of religion is made. If the Egyptian fig tree is meant, that is a very fruitful tree; it is said to bear fruit seven times a year, but ripens no other way than by scratching it with iron hooks (i); and its wood cut down and cast into water, being dry, sinks, but when thoroughly wet will swim. Saints should bear fruit always, and ever continue to do so, even to old age; nor do any ever become fruitful until their hearts have been pricked and cut by the word of God; and they never grow better, or are more fruitful, than when attended with afflictions and tribulations; when they first enter into the waters of affliction, like Peter, they sink, but, when more used to them, they lift up their heads above them, and bear up with great courage and resolution. By the "green figs" may be meant the beginnings of grace in the soul, some stirrings of affection to Christ, desires of knowledge of him, pantings and breathings after his ordinances, love to his people; all which appear soon, are very imperfect, and, like unripe figs, liable to be shaken off; and it is a miracle of grace that the first impressions of it are not destroyed by the force of corruption and temptation; and it may be observed, that grace in its first appearance, though but small, is not despised, but taken notice of by Christ: yea, he makes use of it as exercised by young converts to stir up old professors, as here the church, to be more active and vigorous in it;

and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell; or "being in flower give a good smell" (k), as the word is used in the Targum in Isaiah 18:5; and that vines do flower appears from the same place, and from Genesis 40:10; as well as is observed by naturalists and others (l); and these flowers, and not the tender grapes, emit a sweet smell; and, as some say (m), not in the vineyards only, but in the country round about; and these are fitly mentioned next to figs, since the black fig is by some called the sister of the vine (n). By the vines may be intended distinct congregated churches of Christ, or particular believers; vines are very weak; and cannot bear up of themselves, must be fixed to some place, and be supported by something else; and being supported, will run up a great height, and bring forth much fruit. So saints are weak in themselves, and cannot support themselves; their strength is in Christ, and they are upheld by him, and have their dependence on him; and being supported by him they grow up to the stature of the fulness of Christ; and through their grafting into him, and abiding in him the true vine, bring forth much fruit to the glory of God, and such as is not to be found in others. The wood of the vine is of very little worth or use, Ezekiel 15:2; and yet is very lasting. Pliny (o) ascribes a sort of an eternity to it. Believers in Christ, however weak and worthless they are in themselves, as are their best works and services, yet being in Christ they shall abide in him for ever, and never perish, but have everlasting life. And by the "tender grapes", or "flowers", may be designed either the graces of the spirit, as before; or rather young converts, the fruit of Christ's vines, the churches, who, though weak and tender, yet are dear to Christ; and when there is a large appearance of them, it is a great encouragement to churches, and promises a glorious vintage. And the "smell" of these vines, with their grapes and flowers, may intend the fragrancy, of believers through the righteousness of Christ on them, and the odour of their graces, as exercised on him; and the sweet savour of their godly conversation, observed by all about them.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; repeated from Sol 2:10; which shows sluggishness on the part of the church, that she needed one exhortation after another; and great love on the part of Christ, that notwithstanding this he persists in calling her; and even importunity in him, that he will have no denial (p): and it may be observed, that what is entertaining to most of the senses is mentioned to engage the church to arise and go along with her beloved; the flowery fields would be pleasing to her eye, the chirping birds to her ear, the sweet and ripening figs to her taste, and the refreshing odour of the vines to her smell.

(e) Apud Atheanei Deipnosoph. l. 3. c. 4. p. 77. (f) Plutarch. Sympos. l. 6. problem. 9. Macrob. Saturnal. l. 3. c. 20. (g) In Epictet. l. 16. c. 15. (h) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 16. c. 26. (i) lbid. l. 13. c. 7. Athenaei Deipnosoph. l. 2. c. 11. p. 11. Solin. Polyhistor. p. 45. (k) "in flore constitutae", Mercerus, Michaelis; "vitis pars florens", Munster; "vineae florentes", Tigurine version; "nihil gratius florentis odore vitis", Ambros. Hexaemeron, l. 3. c. 12. (l) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 16. c. 25. & l. 17. c. 22. "Si bene floruerit vinea", &c. Ovid. Fasti, l. 5. so Horat. Epod. Ode 16. v. 44. (m) Danaeus in Hosea 14.7. Levini Lemn. Herb. Biblic. c. 2.((n) Hipponax apud Athenaei Deipnosoph. l. 3. c. 4. p. 78. (o) Nat. Hist. l. 14. c. 1.((p) "Odit verus amor, nec patitur moras", Senecae Hercul. Fur. v. 587.

The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
13. the fig tree putteth forth her green figs] The word for ‘green fig’ is paggâh, which occurs in its Aramaic form in the name Bethphage. According to Riehm’s Handwörterbuch, the fig bears two kinds of figs. (1) There is the early fig (Heb. bikkûrâh). These, when unripe, are called paggîm. They grow upon the old wood and appear before the leaf-buds, but require about four months, as a rule, to ripen. They are ripe towards the end of June. (2) The late figs (Heb. tě’çnîm) which grow successively upon the new branches so long as the development of vegetation continues, and ripen at various times. In Palestine they ripen from August onwards. Often, especially in the older trees, there are many figs still unripe when the leaves fall and vegetation stops. These remain on the tree in their unripe state throughout the winter and become ripe only in spring, partly before, and partly after, the coming of the leaves. These, which are usually darker and partly violet coloured, are called winter figs. These latter are the only ones that can be referred to here, for they are a mark of the coming of spring. Probably they too were called paggîm.

putteth forth] With regard to the word thus translated there is much difference of opinion. It is châněṭä́h, and the verb occurs elsewhere in Scripture only in Genesis 50:2; Genesis 50:26, where it means ‘to embalm.’ The dictionaries give two meanings, (1) to spice, (2) to embalm. The latter is here out of the question, but the words may mean, the fig tree spiceth her unripe figs, that is, gives taste and perfume to them. On the other hand it may be rendered reddeneth as the Heb. word for ‘wheat,’ viz. chiṭṭâh, is in all probability derived from this root, and means the red or reddish-brown (cp. Levy’s Neuhebr. Wörterb. 11. 203 a). The corresponding Arabic word which means to redden, occurs of leather only, but all the data suggest that it was also used of the colour of plants approaching maturity. Here consequently it most probably means, the fig tree maketh red ripe her winter figs, which grow red or even violet as they ripen.

and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell] Rather, as R.V., and the vines (are) in blossom, they give forth their fragrance. Blossom is in Heb. sěmâdhar, a word which occurs only in the Song of Solomon. The Rabbis and the Mishnah say that the word signifies the tender grapes when they first appear. Twenty days later they become bôsěrîm = ὄμφακες, and when they are fully ripe they are called ‘anâbhîm. Similarly Kimchi. But in the Targum to Isaiah 18:5 nitztzâh = ‘flower’ is translated by semâdhar, and in the Syriac version of Isaiah 17:11 the same word is used where we have, “thou makest thy seed to blossom,” so that probably it is to be taken as ‘bloom’ or flower, more especially as the vines would hardly have rudimentary grapes so early as April, which is the time when the rain is over and gone. The derivation of the word is unknown.

my love] Here, as in Song of Solomon 2:10 and elsewhere, my friend.

Arise, my love] should be Rise up, my friend.

Song of Solomon 2:1311 For, lo! the winter is past,

     The rain is over, is gone.

12 The flowers appear in the land;

     The time of song has come,

     And the voice of the turtle makes itself heard in our land.

13 The fig-tree spices her green figs,

     And the vines stand in bloom, they diffuse fragrance; -

     Rise up, my love, my fair one, and go forth!

The winter is called סתו, perhaps from a verb סתה (of the same root as סתר, סתם, without any example, since סוּת, Genesis 49:11, is certainly not derived from a verb סוּת), to conceal, to veil, as the time of being overcast with clouds, for in the East winter is the rainy season; (Arab.) shataā is also used in the sense of rain itself (vid., D. M. Zeitsch. xx. 618); and in the present day in Jerusalem, in the language of the people, no other name is used for rain but shataā (not metar). The word סתיו, which the Kerı̂ substitutes, only means that one must not read סתו, but סתו, with long a; in the same way עניו, humble, from ענה, to be bowed down, and שׂליו, a quail, from שׂלה, to be fat, are formed and written. Rain is here, however, especially mentioned: it is called gěshěm, from gāshǎm, to be thick, massy (cf. revīvīm, of density). With עבר, to pass by, there is interchanged חלף, which, like (Arab.) khalaf, means properly to press on, and then generally to move to another place, and thus to remove from the place hitherto occupied. In לו הלך, with the dat. ethicus, which throws back the action on the subject, the winter rain is thought of as a person who has passed by. נצּן, with the noun-ending n, is the same as ניסן, and signifies the flower, as the latter the flower-month, floral; in the use of the word, נצּן is related to נץ and נצּה, probably as little flower is to flower. In hǎzzāmīr the idea of the song of birds (Arab. gharad) appears, and this is not to be given up. The lxx, Aquila, Symm., Targ., Jerome, and the Venet. translate tempus putationis: the time of the pruning of vines, which indeed corresponds to the usus loq. (cf. זמר, to prune the vine, and מזמרה, a pruning-knife), and to similar names, such as אסיף ingathering of fruit, but supplies no reason for her being invited out into the open fields, and is on this account improbable, because the poet further on speaks for the first time of vines. זמר (זמּר) is an onomatopoeia, which for the most part denotes song and music; why should זמיר thus not be able to denote singing, like זמרה, - but not, at least not in this passage, the singing of men (Hengst.), for they are not silent in winter; but the singing of birds, which is truly a sign of the spring, and as a characteristic feature, is added

(Note: It is true that besides in this passage zāmǎr, of the singing of birds, is not demonstrable, the Arab. zamar is only used of the shrill cry of the ostrich, and particularly the female ostrich.)

to this lovely picture of spring? Thus there is also suitably added the mention of the turtle-dove, which is a bird of passage (vid., Jeremiah 8:7), and therefore a messenger of spring. נשׁמע is 3rd:pret.: it makes itself heard.

The description of spring is finished by a reference to the fig-tree and the vine, the standing attributes of a prosperous and peaceful homestead, 1 Kings 5:5; 2 Kings 18:31. פּג (from פּנג, and thus named, not from their hardness, but their delicacy) are the little fruits of the fig-tree which now, when the harvest-rains are over, and the spring commences with the equinox of Nisan, already begin to assume a red colour; the verb חנט does not mean "to grow into a bulb," as Bttch. imagines; it has only the two meanings, condire (condiri, post-bibl. syn. of בּשׁל) and rubescere. From its colour, wheat has the name חטּה equals חנטה; and here also the idea of colour has the preference, for becoming fragrant does not occur in spring-in the history of the cursing of the fig-tree at the time of the Passover, Mark (Mark 11:13) says, "for the time of figs was not yet." In fig-trees, by this time the green of the fruit-formation changes its colour, and the vines are סמדר, blossom, i.e., are in a state of bloom (lxx κυπρίζουσαι; cf. Sol 7:13, κυπρισμός) - it is a clause such as Exodus 9:31, and to which "they diffuse fragrance" (Sol 2:13) is parallel. This word סמדר is usually regarded as a compound word, consisting of סם, scent, and סמדר, brightness equals blossom (vid., Gesen. Thes.); it is undeniable that there are such compound formations, e.g., שׁלאנן, from שׁלה and שׁאן; חלּמישׁ, from (Arab.) ḥams, to be hard, and hals, to be dark-brown.

(Note: In like manner as (Arab.) karbsh, corrugare, is formed of karb, to string, and karsh, to wrinkle, combined; and another extension of karsh is kurnash, wrinkles, and mukarnash, wrinkled. "One day," said Wetstein to me, "I asked an Arab the origin of the word karnasa, to wrinkle, and he replied that it was derived from a sheep's stomach that had lain over night, i.e., the stomach of a slaughtered sheep that had lain over night, by which its smooth surface shrinks together and becomes wrinkled. In fact, we say of a wrinkled countenance that it is mathal alkarash albayt." With right Wetstein gathers from this curious fact how difficult it is to ascertain by purely etymological considerations the view which guided the Semites in this or that designation. Samdor is also a strange word; on the one side it is connected with sadr, of the veiling of the eyes, as the effect of terror; and on the other with samd, of stretching oneself straight out. E. Meier takes סמדר as the name of the vine-blossom, as changed from סמסר, bristling. Just as unlikely as that סמד is cogn. to חמד, Jesurun, p. 221.)

But the traditional reading סמדר (not סמדר) is unfavourable to this view; the middle ā accordingly, as in צלצל, presents itself as an ante-tone vowel (Ewald, 154a), and the stem-word appears as a quadril. which may be the expansion of סדּר, to range, put in order in the sense of placing asunder, unfolding. Symm. renders the word by οἰνάνθη, and the Talm. idiom shows that not only the green five-leaved blossoms of the vine were so named, but also the fruit-buds and the first shoots of the grapes. Here, as the words "they diffuse fragrance" (as at 7:14 of the mandrakes) show, the vine-blossom is meant which fills the vineyard with an incomparably delicate fragrance. At the close of the invitation to enjoy the spring, the call "Rise up," etc., with which it began, is repeated. The Chethı̂b לכי, if not an error in writing, justly set aside by the Kerı̂, is to be read לכי (cf. Syr. bechi, in thee, levotechi, to thee, but with occult i) - a North Palestinism for לך, like 2 Kings 4:2, where the Kerı̂ has substituted the usual form (vid., under Psalm 103 introd.) for this very dialectic form, which is there undoubtedly original.

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