Song of Solomon 5:1
I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yes, drink abundantly, O beloved.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
V.

(1) I am come into my garden.—This continues the same figure, and under it describes once more the complete union of the wedded pair. The only difficulty lies in the invitation, “Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved” (Marg., and be drunken with loves). Some suppose an invitation to an actual marriage feast; and if sung as an epithalamium, the song might have this double intention. But the margin, “be drunken with loves,” suggests the right interpretation. The poet, it has been already said (Note, Song of Solomon 2:7), loves to invoke the sympathy of others with his joys, and the following lines of Shelley reproduce the very feeling of this passage. Here, as throughout the poem, it is the “new strong wine of love,” and not the fruit of the grape, which is desired and drunk.

“Thou art the wine, whose drunkenness is all

We can desire, O Love! and happy souls,

Ere from thy vine the leaves of autumn fall,

Catch thee and feed, from thine o’erflowing bowls,

Thousands who thirst for thy ambrosial dew.”

Prince Athanase.

Song of Solomon 5:1. I am come into my garden — This is the bridegroom’s answer. I have gathered my myrrh, &c. — I have eaten of my pleasant fruits; I have taken notice of, and delight in, the service and obedience of my people. Eat, O friends — Believers are here encouraged with freedom and cheerfulness to eat and drink their spiritual food.5:1 See how ready Christ is to accept the invitations of his people. What little good there is in us would be lost, if he did not preserve it to himself. He also invites his beloved people to eat and drink abundantly. The ordinances in which they honour him, are means of grace.My honeycomb - literally, "my reed" or "my wood," i. e., the substance itself, or portions of it in which the comb is formed. The bees in Palestine form their combs not only in the hollows of trees and rocks, but also in reeds by the river-banks. The king's meaning appears to be: "All pleases me in thee, there is nothing to despise or cast away."

Eat, O friends - A salutation from the king to his assembled guests, or to the chorus of young men his companions, bidding them in the gladness of his heart Sol 3:11 partake of the banquet. So ends this day of outward festivity and supreme heart-joy. The first half of the Song of Songs is fitly closed. The second half of the poem commences Sol 5:2 with a change of tone and reaction of feeling similar to that of Sol 3:1. It terminates with the sealing Sol 8:6-7 of yet deeper love.

CHAPTER 5

So 5:1-16.

1. Answer to her prayer (Isa 65:24; Re 3:20).

am come—already (So 4:16); "come" (Ge 28:16).

sister … spouse—As Adam's was created of his flesh, out of his opened side, there being none on earth on a level with him, so the bride out of the pierced Saviour (Eph 5:30-32).

have gathered … myrrh—His course was already complete; the myrrh, &c. (Mt 2:11; 26:7-12; Joh 19:39), emblems of the indwelling of the anointing Holy Ghost, were already gathered.

spice—literally, "balsam."

have eaten—answering to her "eat" (So 4:16).

honeycomb—distinguished here from liquid "honey" dropping from trees. The last supper, here set forth, is one of espousal, a pledge of the future marriage (So 8:14; Re 19:9). Feasts often took place in gardens. In the absence of sugar, then unknown, honey was more widely used than with us. His eating honey with milk indicates His true, yet spotless, human nature from infancy (Isa 7:15); and after His resurrection (Lu 24:42).

my wine—(Joh 18:11)—a cup of wrath to Him, of mercy to us, whereby God's Word and promises become to us "milk" (Ps 19:10; 1Pe 2:2). "My" answers to "His" (So 4:16). The myrrh (emblem, by its bitterness, of repentance), honey, milk (incipient faith), wine (strong faith), in reference to believers, imply that He accepts all their graces, however various in degree.

eat—He desires to make us partakers in His joy (Isa 55:1, 2; Joh 6:53-57; 1Jo 1:3).

drink abundantly—so as to be filled (Eph 5:18; as Hag 1:6).

friends—(Joh 15:15).

Canticle IV.—(So 5:2-8:4)—From the Agony of Gethsemane to the Conversion of Samaria.Christ answereth the church’s invitation, and showeth her the delight he took in her fruit, Song of Solomon 5:1. She acknowledges her negligence to Christ in not opening the door, Song of Solomon 5:2-6. Of the harsh usage she met with, Song of Solomon 5:7. She tells the daughters of Jerusalem she is sick of love to Christ. Song of Solomon 5:8. Their question concerning him, Song of Solomon 5:9. A description of Christ by his graces, Song of Solomon 5:10-15, in whom she boasteth, Song of Solomon 5:16.

I am come into my garden: this is the Bridegroom’s answer to her request, delivered in the next foregoing words.

I have eaten my honey-comb with my honey; I have drunk my wine, with my milk; I have eaten of my pleasant fruits, as thou didst desire. I have taken notice of, and delight in, the service and obedience of my people.

Friends; the friends of the Bridegroom; whereby he understands either,

1. The holy angels and glorified saints, who in a sublime and spiritual sense may be said to eat and drink in heaven, the happiness whereof is frequently represented under the name and notion of a feast. Or rather,

2. Believers or members of the church militant upon earth, who by the argument of Christ’s gracious presence with them, and acceptation of their works signified in the last words, are here invited and encouraged with great freedom and cheerfulness to eat and drink their spiritual food, to feed upon God’s holy word and sacraments, to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God, who here gives them a hearty welcome to this feast.

I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse,.... This verse should rather have concluded the preceding chapter, being Christ's answer to the church's request, which was speedily and exactly granted as she desired; which shows it was according to the will of Christ, and of which he informs her; for sometimes he is present, when it is not known he is: of the titles used, see Sol 4:8; and of Christ's coming into his garden, Sol 4:16. What he did, when come into it, follows:

I have gathered my myrrh with my spice: to make an ointment of, and anoint his guests with, after invited, as was usual in those times and countries, Luke 7:38; "oil of myrrh" is mentioned, Esther 2:12; These may designs, either the sufferings of Christ; which, though like myrrh, bitter to him, are like spice, of a sweet smelling savour, to God and to the saints; the fruits of which, in the salvation of his people, are delightful to himself, and which he is now reaping with pleasure: or the graces of his Spirit in exercise in them, in which Christ delights; see Sol 4:13; and testifies by his presence; and having got in his harvest, or vintage, as the word (q) used signifies, he makes a feast for himself and friends, as was the custom of former times, and now is;

I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey: bread with honey, as the Septuagint version, dipped in honey, or honey put upon it; see Ezekiel 16:13; or the sugar cane with the sugar, as Jarchi, approved by Gussetius (r): the meaning may be, he plucked up a sugar cane and ate the sugar out of it, which is called by Arrianus, , as Cocceius observes; or rather a piece of an honeycomb, full of honey, just taken out of the hive, had in great esteem with the Jews; see Luke 24:42; the word for "honeycomb" properly signifies wood honey, of which there was plenty in Judea, 1 Samuel 14:25; though this was in a garden, where they might have their hives, as we have. By which may be meant the Gospel and its doctrines, sweeter than the honey and the honeycomb; and, being faith fully dispensed, is pleasing to Christ;

I have drunk my wine with my milk; a mixture of wine and milk was used by the ancients (s); and which, Clemens Alexandria says (t), is a very profitable and healthful mixture: by which also may be intended the doctrines of the Gospel, comparable to wine and milk; to the one, for its reviving and cheering quality; to the other, for its nourishing and strengthening nature; see Isaiah 55:1; and See Gill on Sol 4:11, and See Gill on Sol 7:9. Here is feast, a variety of sweet, savoury, wholesome food and drink; and all Christ's own, "my" myrrh, "my" spice, &c. as both doctrines and graces be: with which Christ feasts himself, and invites his friends to eat and drink with him:

eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved; the individuals, of which the church consists, are the "friends" who are reconciled to God by the death of Christ, and to himself by his Spirit and grace; and whom he treats as such, by visiting them, and disclosing the secrets of his heart to them, John 15:14; and "beloved", beloved of God, and by Christ and by the saints there is a mutual friendship and love between Christ and his people: and these he invites to eat of the provisions of his house, of all the fruits of his garden, to which they are welcome; and of his love and grace, and all the blessings of it, which exceed the choicest wine; and of which they may drink freely, and without danger; "yea, be inebriated with loves" (u), as the words may be rendered; see Ephesians 5:18. With the eastern people, it was usual to bid their guests welcome, and solicit them to feed on the provisions before them; as it is with the Chinese now, the master of the house takes care to go about, and encourage them to eat and drink (w).

(q) Sept. "messui", V. L. (r) Comment. Ebr. p. 179, 337. (s) "Et nivei lactis pocula mista mero", Tibullus, l. 3. Eleg. 5. v. 34. (t) Paedagog. l. 1. c. 6. p. 107. (u) "et inebriamini amoribus", Mercerus, Schmidt, Cocceius, so Ainsworth. (w) Semedo's History of China, par. c. 1. 13.

I have come into my {a} garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drank my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

(a) The garden signifies the kingdom of Christ, where he prepares the banquet for his elect.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ch. Song of Solomon 5:1. The great question regarding this verse is how the perfect tenses in it are to be understood. Some maintain that they must be rigorously taken as perfects; others think that they should be understood in one or other of the modified perfect senses which this tense may have in Heb. Grammatically we may render either, I have come, or I come (cp. Ges. Gr. § 106 i); or lastly I will come, perf. of confidence (Ges. § 106 n). Those who, like Delitzsch, suppose that the marriage has taken place, take the first; Budde, who regards the song as one sung after the marriage has been celebrated, but during the week of festivities, takes the second; those who regard the marriage as still in the future cannot but take the perfs. in the third sense. In that case the words indicate that after what the bride has revealed of her love, the bridegroom feels that the marriage is as good as accomplished.

I have gathered my myrrh with my spice] Rather, I have plucked my myrrh with my balsam.

eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved] The chief difficulty here is whether dôdhîm, the word translated ‘friends,’ should not be rendered ‘caresses,’ as it has meant hitherto throughout the book, or whether it is to be taken in the sense of ‘beloved friends,’ as its parallelism to rç‘îm would suggest. That dôdhîm may have this latter meaning seems clear, for in many languages the abstract word, ‘love,’ is used in a concrete signification. On the whole this rendering beloved friends seems the best here. Siegfried seeks to establish a distinction between dôdhîm written defectively (רדים), and the same word written fully (רֹודים), the former being used, he says, only of caresses, the latter of friends, quoting König, Lehrgeb. vol. 11. 2, 262 b. He translates, “Eat ye too, O companions, and intoxicate yourselves, O friends,” and says that the clause would mean in prose, ‘do ye marry also.’ But in that case some way of emphasising the ye would have been expected. It seems preferable to understand the words of an invitation to his friends to come to the marriage feast he has spoken of as being as good as made (Ewald).

drink abundantly] That the bridegroom should invite them to drink to satiety is in accord with what would appear to have been the custom, viz. to shew sympathy at such a feast by departing from the habitual abstemiousness of the East in regard to wine. Cp. John 2:10, the marriage at Cana of Galilee. That shâkhar may mean merely to drink to satiety, not to drunkenness, is proved by Haggai 1:6, “Ye eat, but ye have not enough, ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink”; where lěsŏbhâh is parallel to lěshokhrâh. Some prefer to take the last clause as an address by the daughters of Jerusalem (Ginsburg), or by the poet to the young pair (Hitzig).Verse 1. - I am come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk. Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved. My myrrh with my balsam (see 1 Kings 10:10). There were celebrated plantations at Jericho. The Queen of Sheba brought "of spices very great store;" "There came no more such abundance of spices as these which the Queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon." Is there a reference to the conversion of the heathen nations in this? The wine and milk are what God offers to his people (see Isaiah 55:1) without money and without price. Οἰογάλα is what Chloe gives to Daphnis (cf. Psalm 19:6). It would seem as though the writer intended us to follow the bridal procession to its destination in the royal palace. The bridal night intervenes. The joy of the king in his bride is complete. The climax is reached, and the rest of the song is an amplification. The call to the friends is to celebrate the marriage in a banquet on the second day (see Genesis 29:28; Judges 14:12; Tobit 11:18; and cf. Revelation 19:7 and Revelation 19:9). A parallel might be found in Psalm 22:26, where Messiah, at the close of his sufferings, salutes his friends, the poor, and as they eat at his table gives them his royal blessing, "Vivat cor vestrum in aeternum!" The perfect state of the Church is represented in Scripture, both in the Old Testament and in the New, as celebrated with universal joy - all tears wiped away from off all faces, and the loud harpings of innumerable harpers. Can we doubt that this wonderful book has tinged the whole of subsequent inspired Scripture? Can we read the descriptions of triumphant rejoicing in the Apocalypse and not believe that the apostolic seer was familiar with this idealized love song? He proceeds still further to praise her attractions.

10 How fair is thy love, my sister-bride!

     How much better thy love than wine!

     And the fragrance of thy unguents than all spices!

11 Thy lips drop honey, my bride;

     Honey and milk are under thy tongue;

     And the fragrance of thy garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.

Regarding the connection of the pluralet. דּודים with the plur. of the pred., vid., at Sol 1:2. The pred. יפוּ praises her love in its manifestations according to its impression on the sight; טבוּ, according to its experience on nearer intercourse. As in Sol 4:9 the same power of impression is attributed to the eyes and to the necklace, so here is intermingled praise of the beauty of her person with praise of the fragrance, the odour of the clothing of the bride; for her soul speaks out not only by her lips, she breathes forth odours also for him in her spices, which he deems more fragrant than all other odours, because he inhales, as it were, her soul along with them. נפת, from נפת, ebullire (vid., under Proverbs 5:3, also Schultens), is virgin honey, ἄκοιτον (acetum, Pliny, xi. 15), i.e., that which of itself flows from the combs (צוּפים). Honey drops from the lips which he kisses; milk and honey are under the tongue which whispers to him words of pure and inward joy; cf. the contrary, Psalm 140:4. The last line is an echo of Genesis 27:27. שׂלמה is שׂמלה (from שׂמל, complicare, complecti) transposed (cf. עלנה from עולה, כּשׂבּה from כּבשׂה). As Jacob's raiment had for his old father the fragrance of a field which God had blessed, so for Solomon the garments of the faultless and pure one, fresh from the woods and mountains of the north, gave forth a heart-strengthening savour like the fragrance of Lebanon (Hosea 4:7), viz., of its fragrant herbs and trees, chiefly of the balsamic odour of the apples of the cedar.

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