Song of Solomon 5:16
His mouth is most sweet: yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) His mouth is most sweet.—Literally, his palate (see Margin) sweetnesses, i.e., his voice is exquisitely sweet. The features have already been described, and chek, palate, is used of the organ of speech and speech itself (Job 6:30; Proverbs 5:3).

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.He is altogether lovely - literally, the whole of him desires or delights; the plural substantive expressing the notion of the superlative. Theodoret, applying to our Lord the whole description, interprets well its last term: "Why should I endeavor to express His beauty piecemeal when He is in Himself and altogether the One longed-for, drawing all to love, compelling all to love, and inspiring with a longing (for His company) not only those who see, but also those who hear?" 16. Literally, "His palate is sweetness, yea, all over loveliness," that is, He is the essence of these qualities.

mouth—so So 1:2, not the same as "lips" (So 5:13), His breath (Isa 11:4; Joh 20:22). "All over," all the beauties scattered among creatures are transcendently concentrated in Him (Col 1:19; 2:9).

my beloved—for I love Him.

my friend—for He loves me (Pr 18:24). Holy boasting (Ps 34:2; 1Co 1:31).

His mouth is most sweet, which was said before in other words, Song of Solomon 5:13, and is here justly repeated, because it was a principal part of Christ’s beauty, and the chief instrument of the spouse’s comfort and happiness, which wholly depends upon his sweet and excellent speeches, his holy precepts and gracious offers and promises contained in the gospel. He is altogether lovely; not to run out into more particulars, in one word, there is no part of him which is not exquisitely beautiful.

This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend, O daughters of Jerusalem, and therefore you have no cause to wonder or to blame me if I am transported with love to so excellent a personage. His mouth is most sweet,.... Or sweetness itself (k); yea, "sweetnesses" (l); exceeding sweet. That is, the words of his month, the doctrines of the Gospel, the precious promises of it, the kind invitations given, and the comfortable things spoken in it; yea, the commands of Christ in his word are not grievous, but pleasant and delightful: or the kisses of his mouth may be meant, the sensible manifestations of his love, Sol 1:2; Some think the voice of Christ is intended, and the sound of it (m), whether the word be translated "mouth", "throat", or "roof of the mouth", as it may signify either; all which are instruments of the voice, and nothing is more common with lovers than to admire each other's voice; see Sol 2:14; and may be applied to the voice of the Gospel, which is sweet, delightful, charming, and alluring, being a voice of love, grace, and mercy, peace, pardon, life, and salvation. The word may be rendered "taste", as in Sol 2:3; and which may be taken, either actively, for the distinguishing taste of Christ between things perverse and good, and between carnal and spiritual ones, and so for the provision of savoury food he makes for his people; or passively, of his being, in his person, offices, and grace, sweet to the taste of a believer. Some interpret it of the breath of his mouth; which being "most sweet", recommends him to the affections of his people; and may design the expressions of his love to them, and his intercession for them;

yea, he is altogether lovely; in his person, offices, people, word, and ordinances; his loveliness is perfect, nothing wanting in it; he is so to all, to his Father, angels, and saints: or, he is "all desires" (n); exceeding desirable, having all excellencies, perfections, and fulness in him; and being so in all his characters, offices, and relations, he stands in to his people; to whom he is all things (o), even all in all; they desire none but him. And now, by this description of him, the daughters of Jerusalem could not be at a loss to know who he was, and that he must be preferable to all other beloveds. And the church closes the account by claiming interest in him; her faith in him, and love to him, being increased, while she was speaking of him:

this is my beloved; whom she had often called so; and still was her beloved; for though she had suffered much for him, nothing could separate from her love to him: and she adds another endearing character,

and this is my friend: which appeared by his espousal of her; by his becoming a surety for her; by his assumption of her nature, and suffering in her room and stead; by paying her debts, and purchasing her person; by entering into heaven in her name, taking possession of it for her, and acting the part of an advocate on her account; by gracious visits to her, and familiar converse with her; by granting her large supplies of grace, and affording her help and relief in, all times of need; by giving good and wholesome counsel to her, and by disclosing the secrets of his heart unto her, John 15:15; and he is such a friend that sticks closer than a brother; that loves at all times; is constant and faithful, and always to be confided in; he is a rich, powerful, everlasting, and unchangeable friend. All this the church says, in the strength of faith, with the greatest affection, in the most exulting strains, and as glorying in him, and boasting of him: and now, as if she should say,

O ye daughters of Jerusalem, is not this enough to describe my beloved to you, to distinguish him from all others? can you blame me for my affection to him, making such a strict inquiry after him, and giving such a solemn charge to you concerning him? is it not enough to draw out your love unto him, and set you a seeking after him with me? And such an effect it had upon them, as appears from the following chapter.

(k) So is used of lovers by Solon in Plutarch. in Erotica, p. 751. and in Apulei Apolog. p. 192. (l) "dulcedines", Pagninus, Montanus, Marckius, Michaelis. (m) &c. Theocrit Idyll. 8. v. 82. (n) "et totus ipsa desideria", Marckius, Michaelis. (o) "Omnia Caesar erat", Lucan. Pharsal. l. 3. v. 108. "Id unum dixero, quam ille omnibus omnis fuerit", Paterculus, l. 2.

His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. His mouth] Lit. his palate, but here as elsewhere the mouth as the organ of speech.

is most sweet] Rather, is sweetnesses. The meaning is that his mouth utters nothing but pleasant things; cp. Proverbs 16:21. “This touch gives animation to the beautiful statue which has been described.” Oettli.

yea, he is altogether lovely] Lit. all of him is desirablenesses, cp. Ezekiel 24:16, “the desire of thine eyes” = that in which thine eyes take delight.

This … this] She points triumphantly to her picture. Has she not more than answered the scornful question of Song of Solomon 5:9?Hereupon Shulamith describes to them who ask what her beloved is. He is the fairest of men. Everything that is glorious in the kingdom of nature, and, so far as her look extends, everything in the sphere of art, she appropriates, so as to present a picture of his external appearance. Whatever is precious, lovely, and grand, is all combined in the living beauty of his person.

(Note: Hengstenberg finds in this eulogium, on the supposition that Solomon is the author, and is the person who is here described, incomprehensible self-praise. But he does not certainly say all this immediately of himself, but puts it into the mouth of Shulamith, whose love he gained. But love idealizes; she sees him whom she loves, not as others see him, - she sees him in her own transforming light.)

She first praises the mingling of colours in the countenance of her beloved.

10 My beloved is dazzling white and ruddy,

     Distinguised above ten thousand.

The verbal root צח has the primary idea of purity, i.e., freedom from disturbance and muddiness, which, in the stems springing from it, and in their manifold uses, is transferred to undisturbed health (Arab. ṣaḥḥ, cf. baria, of smoothness of the skin), a temperate stomach and clear head, but particularly to the clearness and sunny brightness of the heavens, to dazzling whiteness (צחח, Lamentations 4:7; cf. צחר), and then to parched dryness, resulting from the intense and continued rays of the sun; צח is here adj. from צחח, Lamentations 4:7, bearing almost the same relation to לבן as λαμπρός to λευκός, cogn. with lucere. אדום, R. דם, to condense, is properly dark-red, called by the Turks kuju kirmesi (from kuju, thick, close, dark), by the French rouge fonc, of the same root as דּם, the name for blood, or a thick and dark fluid. White, and indeed a dazzling white, is the colour of his flesh, and redness, deep redness, the colour of his blood tinging his flesh. Whiteness among all the race-colours is the one which best accords with the dignity of man; pure delicate whiteness is among the Caucasian races a mark of high rank, of superior training, of hereditary nobility; wherefore, Lamentations 4:7, the appearance of the nobles of Jerusalem is likened in whiteness to snow and milk, in redness to corals; and Homer, Il. iv. 141, says of Menelaus that he appeared stained with gore, "as when some woman tinges ivory with purple colour." In this mingling of white and red, this fulness of life and beauty, he is דּגוּל, distinguished above myriads. The old translators render dagul by "chosen" (Aquila, Symm., Syr., Jerome, Luther), the lxx by ἐκλελοχισμένος, e cohorte selectus; but it means "bannered" (degel, Sol 2:4), as the Venet.: σεσημαιωμένος, i.e., thus distinguished, as that which is furnished with a degel, a banner, a pennon. Grtz takes dagul as the Greek σημειωτός (noted). With רבבן, as a designation of an inconceivable number, Rashi rightly compares Ezekiel 16:7. Since the "ten thousand" are here though of, not in the same manner as דגולים, the particle min is not the compar. magis quam, but, as at Genesis 3:14; Judges 5:24; Isaiah 52:14, prae, making conspicuous (cf. Virgil, Aen. v. 435, prae omnibus unum). After this praise of the bright blooming countenance, which in general distinguished the personal appearance of her beloved, so far as it was directly visible, there now follows a detailed description, beginning with his head.

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