Song of Solomon 4:16
Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.
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(16) Blow upon my garden.—After the description of his beloved’s charms under these figures, the poet, under a companion figure, invokes the “airs of love” to blow upon the garden, that its perfumes may “flow out” for him—that the object of his affections may no longer keep herself reserved and denied to him. Tennyson’s melodious lines are recalled which describe how, when a breeze of morning moves,

“The woodbine spices are wafted abroad,

And the musk of the roses blown.”

Let my beloved . . .—This should form a separate verse, being the reply made to the appeal in the first part of the verse. The maiden yields to her lover’s suit.

Song of Solomon 4:16. Awake, O north wind, &c. — These winds may signify the several dispensations of God’s Spirit. Blow upon my garden — This verse is spoken by the spouse. And she calls the garden both hers and his, because of that oneness which is between them, Song of Solomon 2:16. That the spices may flow out — That my graces may be exercised. Let my beloved come into his garden — Let Christ afford his gracious presence to his church; and eat his pleasant fruits — And let him delight himself in that service which is given him, both by the religious worship, and by the holy conversation of his people.

4:16 The church prays for the influences of the blessed Spirit, to make this garden fruitful. Graces in the soul are as spices in these gardens, that in them which is valuable and useful. The blessed Spirit, in his work upon the soul, is as the wind. There is the north wind of conviction, and the south wind of comfort. He stirs up good affections, and works in us both to will and to do that which is good. The church invites Christ. Let him have the honour of all the garden produces, and let us have the comfort of his acceptance of it. We can invite him to nothing but what is his own already. The believer can have no joy of the fruits, unless they redound some way or other to the glory of Christ. Let us then seek to keep separate from the world, as a garden enclosed, and to avoid conformity thereto.The bride's brief reply, declaring her affection for the king and willingness to belong to him. 16. Awake—literally, "arise." All besides is ready; one thing alone is wanted—the breath of God. This follows rightly after His death (So 6:12; Ac 2:1-4). It is His call to the Spirit to come (Joh 14:16); in Joh 3:8, compared to "the wind"; quickening (Joh 6:63; Eze 27:9). Saints offer the same prayer (Ps 85:6; Hab 3:2). The north wind "awakes," or arises strongly, namely, the Holy Ghost as a reprover (Joh 16:8-11); the south wind "comes" gently, namely, the Holy Ghost as the comforter (Joh 14:16). The west wind brings rain from the sea (1Ki 18:44, 45; Lu 12:54). The east wind is tempestuous (Job 27:21; Isa 27:8) and withering (Ge 41:23). These, therefore, are not wanted; but first the north wind clearing the air (Job 37:22; Pr 25:23), and then the warm south wind (Job 37:17); so the Holy Ghost first clearing away mists of gloom, error, unbelief, sin, which intercept the light of Jesus Christ, then infusing spiritual warmth (2Co 4:6), causing the graces to exhale their odor.

Let my beloved, &c.—the bride's reply. The fruit was now at length ripe; the last passover, which He had so desired, is come (Lu 22:7, 15, 16, 18), the only occasion in which He took charge of the preparations.

his—answering to Jesus Christ's "My." She owns that the garden is His, and the fruits in her, which she does not in false humility deny (Ps 66:16; Ac 21:19; 1Co 15:10) are His (Joh 15:8; Php 1:11).

Awake; or, arise; either,

1. To be gone, as being commonly hurtful to plants and gardens; or rather,

2. To come, as the next clause explains it. For both the north wind and the south wind have their several uses in gardens; the former to purge and cool the air, and to bring fair weather; the latter to warm and moisten the earth, and cherish the plants. And these winds may signify the several dispensations either of God’s providence, or rather of his Spirit, which is compared to the wind, John 3:8, whereby the following effects are produced.

My garden: this verse is spoken; by the spouse, as appears from the last clause of it. And she calls the garden both hers and his, because of that oneness which is between them, Song of Solomon 2:16, whereby they have a common interest one in another’s person and concerns.

That the spices thereof may flow out; that my graces may be exercised to thy glory, the edification of others, and my own comfort.

Let my Beloved come into his garden, let Christ afford his gracious presence more and more to his church, and eat his pleasant fruit; and let him delight himself in that service and glory which is given to him, both by the religious worship and by the holy conversations of his people.

Awake, O north wind,.... These words, according to some (l), are the words of the church continued, praying for the spirit; to which sense the order and connection of the words seem to incline; though the language suits best with Christ, who has the command of the winds, and a right and property in the garden, the church: nor does it seem so agreeable, that the church should petition Christ to let loose the north wind upon her, if by that are meant afflictive dispensations of Providence; but agrees well enough with Christ, since these come not without his will and order, and by him made to work together for good; by which he nips the corruptions of his people, tries their graces, and causes them to come forth into exercise: though some (m) think this is a command to the north wind to remove, and be gone, and blow no longer, since it was spring, Sol 2:11; and would be harmful to the plants in the garden; and the verb "blow" is singular, and only in construction with the south wind; and, besides, winds diametrically opposite (n) cannot blow together in the same horizon, with a continued blast: though others (o) are of opinion, that both winds are designed, being both useful to gardens; the one to scatter the clouds, and make the air clear and wholesome, and restrain the luxuriance of the plants; and the other, being moist and warming, of use to bring plants and fruits to maturity; and both may design the Spirit of God, in his different operations and effects, through the law and the terrors of it, and by the Gospel and its comforting doctrines;

and come, thou south, blow upon my garden; the church, Christ's property, as she asserts in the latter part of the verse: the Spirit of God is intended by the "south", or south wind; who is compared to the "wind", because it blows like that, freely, and as he pleases, when, where, and on whom, and imperceptibly, powerfully, and irresistibly, John 3:8; and to the "south wind", because it is a warm wind, brings serenity, and makes fruitful with showers of rain: so the Spirit of God warms the cold heart of a sinner; thaws his frozen soul, and comforts with the discoveries of divine love; brings quietness and peace into the conscience; and makes fruitful in grace and good works, by causing the rain of Gospel doctrines to descend and distil upon men. The end to be answered is,

that the spices thereof may flow out; the spices in the garden, the odoriferous plants, might emit a fragrant smell; though Virgil (p) represents the south wind as harmful to flowers; so it might be in Italy, where it dried them up, as Servius on the place observes; and yet be useful to them in Palestine, where it blew from the sea, and is sometimes so called, Psalm 107:3. Spices denote the graces of believers, rare, precious, and odorous; and their "flowing out" the exercise of them, their evidence, increase, and the ripening of them; when they diffuse a sweet odour to Christ and others, and make it delightful to walk in his garden; as it is to walk in one after a delightful shower of rain, and when the wind gently blows upon it. And hence what is prayed for being granted, the church speaks again, and invites Christ, saying;

let my beloved come into his garden; which "coming" is to be understood, not of Christ's first, nor of his second coming; but of his spiritual coming, to visit his people, grant his presence, and manifest his love; which is very desirable by them; and, when granted, is reckoned a great favour, and is an instance of the condescending grace of Christ, John 14:22; the church is "his garden" by his own choice, his Father's gift, the purchase of his blood, and the power of his grace: and here he is invited to come,

and eat his pleasant fruits; meaning either the graces of the Spirit, which are his fruits; and called Christ's, because they come from him, and are exercised on him, and he is the author and finisher of them: or the good works of believers, which are performed by virtue of union to him, and abiding in him; are done in his strength, and designed for his glory: and both are "pleasant", that is, well pleasing and acceptable to him; the graces of the Spirit, when in exercise, as appears from Sol 4:9; and good works, when done in faith, from a principle of love, and to his glory: and he may be said to eat them when he expresses his well pleasedness with them, and acceptation of them.

(l) So Cocceius, Marckius, Michaelis. (m) Foliot, Sanctius, & Tig. Not. in loc. So Ambrose is Psal. i. 5. p. 686. (n) Aristot. Meteorolog. l. 2. c. 6. (o) Jarchi & Aben Ezra in loc. (p) "Floribus austrum perditus", Bucolic. Eclog. 2. v. 58.

Awake, O {i} north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

(i) She desires Christ to comfort her and to pour the graces of his Spirit on her, which is meant by the North and South wind.

16. It is doubtful whether this whole verse is spoken by the Shulammite, or the latter clause only, her lover being still the speaker in the first half of the verse. That he is still the speaker in the first clause is suggested by ‘my garden’ in Song of Solomon 4:16 b and ‘his garden’ in Song of Solomon 4:16 c. But the change of pronoun is quite compatible with the view that the bride is the speaker throughout. My garden would then be ‘myself,’ ‘my person,’ as in ch. Song of Solomon 1:6, ‘my vineyard.’ His garden again, in the mouth of the Shulammite indicates, as Oettli well remarks, “a certain shamefast modesty.” Probably the view that the bride speaks the whole verse is preferable.

Awake, O north wind] The north wind is cool in Palestine, and the south or south-west wind is warm. They are here called upon to bring forth, by their alternation, the perfumes (not the spices) of the garden, that they may flow out, i.e. she desires that the graces of her person and her mind may come to their highest perfection. This would be more appropriate in the mouth of the bride, who like all true lovers would desire to be nobler and more beautiful than she is, that her lover might find her worthy, than in the mouth of her lover, who would naturally think of her as being altogether fair.

Let my beloved come into his garden, &c.] This last clause of the verse is spoken, it should be remembered, by a loving woman shut up in a royal dwelling away from her lover, and expresses her longing for the time when she shall be wholly his.

pleasant fruits] R.V. precious fruits, as in Song of Solomon 4:13.

Verse 16. - Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his precious fruits. This is the answer of the bride to the lavish praises of her husband. I am all his. She is yet unworthy of the king and of his love until the seasonal changes have developed and unfolded and spread forth her excellences. The north represents cold; the south, heat. Let the various influences from different quarters flow gently over the garden and call forth the fragrance and the fruits (cf. Esther 2:12). There is rich suggestion in such words. Whether we think of the individual soul or of the Church of Christ, the true desire of those who delight in the love of the Saviour is that all the gifts and graces which can be bestowed may make them worthy of him who condescends to call his people his delight. Surely it is no mere romantic idyll that is before us. Such significance cannot be a mere coincidence when it is so transparent and so apt.

Song of Solomon 4:16The king's praise is for Shulamith proof of his love, which seeks a response. But as she is, she thinks herself yet unworthy of him; her modesty says to her that she needs preparation for him, preparation by that blowing which is the breath of God in the natural and in the spiritual world.

16 Awake, thou North (wind), and come, thou South!

     Blow through my garden, cause its spices to flow -

     Let my beloved come into his garden,

     And eat the fruits which are precious to him.

The names of the north and south, denoting not only the regions of the heavens, but also the winds blowing from these regions, are of the fem. gender, Isaiah 43:6. The east wind, קדים, is purposely not mentioned; the idea of that which is destructive and adverse is connected with it (vid., under Job 27:21). The north wind brings cold till ice is formed, Sir. 43:20; and if the south wind blow, it is hot, Luke 12:55. If cold and heat, coolness and sultriness, interchange at the proper time, then growth is promoted. And if the wind blow through a garden at one time from this direction and at another from that, - not so violently as when it shakes the trees of the forest, but softly and yet as powerfully as a garden can bear it, - then all the fragrance of the garden rises in waves, and it becomes like a sea of incense. The garden itself then blows, i.e., emits odours; for (פּח equals the Arab. fakh, fah, cf. fawh, pl. afwâh, sweet odours, fragrant plants) as in היּום רוּח, Genesis 3:8, the idea underlies the expression, that when it is evening the day itself blows, i.e., becomes cool, the causative הפיחי, connected with the object-accus. of the garden, means to make the garden breezy and fragrant. נזל is here used of the odours which, set free as it were from the plants, flow out, being carried forth by the waves of air. Shulamith wishes that in her all that is worthy of love should be fully realized. What had to be done for Esther (Esther 2:12) before she could be brought in to the king, Shulamith calls on the winds to accomplish for her, which are, as it were, the breath of the life of all nature, and as such, of the life-spirit, which is the sustaining background of all created things. If she is thus prepared for him who loves her, and whom she loves, he shall come into his garden and enjoy the precious fruit belonging to him. With words of such gentle tenderness, childlike purity, she gives herself to her beloved.

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