Song of Solomon 2:2
As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
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(2) Among the daughtersi.e., among other maidens.

2:1-7 Believers are beautiful, as clothed in the righteousness of Christ; and fragrant, as adorned with the graces of his Spirit; and they thrive under the refreshing beams of the Sun of righteousness. The lily is a very noble plant in the East; it grows to a considerable height, but has a weak stem. The church is weak in herself, yet is strong in Him that supports her. The wicked, the daughters of this world, who have no love to Christ, are as thorns, worthless and useless, noxious and hurtful. Corruptions are thorns in the flesh; but the lily now among thorns, shall be transplanted into that paradise where there is no brier or thorn. The world is a barren tree to the soul; but Christ is a fruitful one. And when poor souls are parched with convictions of sin, with the terrors of the law, or the troubles of this world, weary and heavy laden, they may find rest in Christ. It is not enough to pass by this shadow, but we must sit down under it. Believers have tasted that the Lord Jesus is gracious; his fruits are all the precious privileges of the new covenant, purchased by his blood, and communicated by his Spirit; promises are sweet to a believer, and precepts also. Pardons are sweet, and peace of conscience sweet. If our mouths are out of taste for the pleasures of sin, Divine consolations will be sweet to us. Christ brings the soul to seek and to find comforts through his ordinances, which are as a banqueting-house where his saints feast with him. The love of Christ, manifested by his death, and by his word, is the banner he displays, and believers resort to it. How much better is it with the soul when sick from love to Christ, than when surfeited with the love of this world! And though Christ seemed to have withdrawn, yet he was even then a very present help. All his saints are in his hand, which tenderly holds their aching heads. Finding Christ thus nigh to her, the soul is in great care that her communion with him is not interrupted. We easily grieve the Spirit by wrong tempers. Let those who have comfort, fear sinning it away.The king resumes, taking up the bride's comparison: "As the lily excels in beauty the thorny shrubs among which it grows, so my friend excels her companions." 2. Jesus Christ to the Bride (Mt 10:16; Joh 15:19; 1Jo 5:19). Thorns, equivalent to the wicked (2Sa 23:6; Ps 57:4).

daughters—of men, not of God; not "the virgins." "If thou art the lily of Jesus Christ, take heed lest by impatience, rash judgments, and pride, thou thyself become a thorn" [Luther].

As the lily among thorns; compared with thorns, which it unspeakably exceeds in glory and beauty;

so is my love among the daughters; so far, and much more, doth my church or people excel all other assemblies or people. The title of daughter is oft given to whole nations; whence we read of the daughter of Babylon, and of Egypt, and of Edom, &c., Isaiah 47:1 Jeremiah 46:11 Lamentations 4:21. These are Christ’s words, to which the spouse makes the following reply. And it is observable here, that as Christ is here represented as a shepherd, and the spouse as a country virgin, so the similitudes here used are agreeable to that estate. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. These are manifestly the words of Christ concerning his church, whom he calls "my love"; see Gill on Sol 1:9; and was his love still, though in such company, and in such an uncomfortable condition. In what sense she is comparable to a lily has been shown in Sol 2:1; but here she is compared to one among "thorns": by which may be meant wicked men, comparable to thorns for their unfruitfulness and unprofitableness; for their being hurtful and pernicious to good men; and for their end, which is to be burned; especially persecutors of religion, who are very distressing to the saints who dwell among them; see 2 Samuel 23:6; and her being among such serves for a foil, to set off her excellency the more: and the simile is designed, not so much to observe that Christ's lily grows among thorns, as to show that the church is as preferable to such persons as a lily is to thorns; which is justly remarked by Carolus Maria de Veil; and which sense the comparison requires, as appears by the reddition, so is "my love among the daughters": the nations and men of the world, and even carnal professors, members of the visible church, whom she as much exceeds in beauty, grace, and fruitfulness, as the lily exceeds thorns. Ainsworth thinks the "woodbind" or "honeysuckle" is meant, which grows in thorn hedges, and is sometimes called "lilium inter spinas", as Mercer observes; this is indeed of a sweet smell, yet very weak, and cannot support itself; and therefore twists and wraps itself about other trees, their twigs and branches, "convolvens se adminiculis quibuscunque", as Pliny (h) says; hence we call it "woodbind", and for the same reason its name in Greek is "periclymenon"; so saints are of a sweet fragrance to Christ, and, weak in themselves, cannot support themselves; yet they twine about Christ, lean on him, and are upheld by him, and depend on him for all good things. But it is the same word as in Sol 2:1, and may be rendered "lily" here as there; and not a "rose", as it is in the Targum, from which it is there distinguished. The lily is often mentioned in this love song; it is said to be the delight of Verus (i). Some call it "ambrosia".

(h) Nat. Hist. l. 27. c. 12. (i) Nicander apud Athenaeum, l. 15. c. 8. p. 683.

As the lily among thorns, so is my {a} love among the daughters.

(a) Thus Christ prefers his Church above all other things.

2. Solomon replies, turning her modest comparison into an exaltation of her above the ladies of the palace by saying, “My friend is indeed a lily and she is out of place, but only because the palace ladies are as thistles in comparison.” Chôach is perhaps a thistle here. Tristram, Fauna and Flora of Palestine, p. 336, says it is Notobasis Syriaca, a peculiarly strong and noxious thistle. But probably chôach meant many plants, and that the word does not always mean a thistle is shewn by its use in Proverbs 26:9, “as a chôach that goeth up into the hand of a drunkard,” where something of the nature of a brier must be intended. Cp. also the parable of Jehoash in 2 Kings 14:9.Verse 2. - As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. The king responds, taking up the lovely simile and giving it a very apt and charming turn, "My love is beyond comparison the chief and all around her are not worthy of notice beside her." The meaning is not thorns on the tree itself. The word would be different in that case. Rather it is thorn plants or bushes (choach); see 2 Kings 14:9. The daughters; i.e. the young damsels. The word "son" or "daughter" was commonly so used in Hebrew, the idea being that of simplicity, innocence, and gentleness. 13 A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me,

     Which lieth between by breasts.

14 A bunch of cypress-flowers is my beloved to me,

     From the vine-gardens of Engedi.

Most interpreters, ignoring the lessons of botany, explain Sol 1:13 of a little bunch of myrrh; but whence could Shulamith obtain this? Myrrh, מר (מרר, to move oneself in a horizontal direction hither and thither, or gradually to advance; of a fluid, to flow over the plain),

(Note: Vid., Schlotmann in the Stud. u. Krit. (1867), p. 217.)

belongs, like the frankincense, to the amyrids, which are also exotics

(Note: They came from Arabia and India; the better Arabian was adulterated with Indian myrrh.)

in Palestine; and that which is aromatic in the Balsamodendron myrrha are the leaves and flowers, but the resin (Gummi myrrhae, or merely myrrha) cannot be tied in a bunch. Thus the myrrh here can be understood in no other way than as at Sol 5:5; in general צרור, according to Hitzig's correct remark, properly denotes not what one binds up together, but what one ties up - thus sacculus, a little bag. It is not supposed that she carried such a little bag with her (cf. Isaiah 3:20), or a box of frankincense (Luth. musk-apple); but she compares her beloved to a myrrh-repository, which day and night departs not from her bosom, and penetrates her inwardly with its heart-strengthening aroma. So constantly does she think of him, and so delightful is it for her to dare to think of him as her beloved.

The 14th verse presents the same thought. כּפר is the cypress-cluster or the cypress-flowers, κύπρος (according to Frst, from כפר equals עפר, to be whitish, from the colour of the yellow-white flowers), which botanists call Lawsonia, and in the East Alḥennā; its leaves yield the orange colour with which the Moslem women stain

(Note: Vid., the literature of this subject in Defrmery's notice of Dozy-Engelmann's work in the Revue Critique, III 2 (1868), p. 408.)

their hands and feet. אשׁכּל (from שׁכל, to interweave) denotes that which is woven, tresses, or a cluster or garland of their flowers. Here also we have not to suppose that Shulamith carried a bunch of flowers; in her imagination she places herself in the vine-gardens which Solomon had planted on the hill-terraces of Engedi lying on the west of the Dead Sea (Ecclesiastes 2:4), and chooses a cluster of flowers of the cypress growing in that tropical climate, and says that her beloved is to her internally what such a cluster of cypress-flowers would be to her externally. To be able to call him her beloved is her ornament; and to think of him refreshes her like the most fragrant flowers.

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