Song of Solomon 7:12
Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.
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(12) Tender grape appear.—Literally, vine blossome open. (See Note on Song of Solomon 2:13.)

My lovesi.e., caresses. LXX., as before, read “breasts.”

Song of Solomon 7:12. Let us get up early — The church having lost her beloved, by her former laziness, now doubles her diligence; to the vineyards — To particular congregations. Let us see if the vines, &c. — Let us inquire into the success of our labours, what souls are brought in and built up, and how they prosper and grow in grace. There will I give thee my loves — There I will discover the fervency of my affections to thee, and maintain communion with thee in thy holy ordinances.

7:10-13 The church, the believing soul, triumphs in its relation to Christ, and interest in him. She humbly desires communion with him. Let us walk together, that I may receive counsel, instruction, and comfort from thee; and may make known my wants and my grievances to thee, with freedom, and without interruption. Communion with Christ is what all that are made holy earnestly breathe after. And those who would converse with Christ, must go forth from the world. Wherever we are, we may keep up communion with God. Nor should we go where we cannot in faith ask him to go with us. Those who would go abroad with Christ, must begin early in the morning of their days; must begin every day with him, seek him early, seek him diligently. A gracious soul can reconcile itself to the poorest places, if it may have communion with God in them; but the most delightful fields will not satisfy, unless the Beloved is there. Let us not think to be satisfied with any earthly object. Our own souls are our vineyards; they should be planted with useful trees. We should often search whether we are fruitful in righteousness. Christ's presence will make the vine flourish, and the tender grapes appear, as the returning sun revives the gardens. If we can appeal to him, Thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee; if his Spirit witness with our spirit, that our souls prosper, it is enough. And we must beg of him to search and try us, to discover us to ourselves. The fruits and exercises of graces are pleasant to the Lord Jesus. These must be laid up, and always ready; that by our bringing forth much fruit, he may be glorified. It is all from him, therefore it is fit it should be all for him.His desire is toward me - All his affection has me for its object. The bride proceeds to exercise her power over his loving will. 12. (Mr 1:35; Joh 9:4; Ga 6:10). Assurance fosters diligence, not indolence. Let us get up early: the church having offended and lost her Beloved by her former laziness, now doubles her diligence, and discovers how earnestly she was set upon the following work.

To the vineyards; to particular congregations. See Song of Solomon 6:11 Isaiah 5:1.

Let us see if the vines flourish &c.; let us inquire into the success of our labours, what souls are brought in and built up, how they prosper and grow in grace, whether they abound in good works, &c.

There will I give thee my loves; there I will discover the sincerity and fervency of my affections to thee, and maintain communion with thee in thy holy ordinances.

Let us get up early to the vineyards,.... After a night's lodging in the fields, or among the "Cyprus trees". By which "vineyards" may be meant particular churches, gathered according to Gospel order, and distinguished from the world, planted with fruitful vines, and fenced by almighty power: hither the church proposes to "get up early", very early in the morning; being willing to take the first and most seasonable opportunity of visiting the saints, to know their state and condition; and, that her visit might not be in vain, she is for taking Christ along with her;

let us see if the vine flourish; true believers in Christ; who, though weak and worthless in themselves, yet being ingrafted in Christ, the true vine, bring forth fruit, and become flourishing in grace and good works; of the flourishing or flowering of the vine; see Gill on Sol 2:13;

whether the tender grape appear; or when "the flower of the vine opens" (e), and goes off, and the small grape appears: by which young converts may be meant, who are tender, and have but a small degree of faith and knowledge; and yet these are not overlooked, much less despised, by Christ and his church, but are delighted with the promising appearance they make;

and the pomegranates bud forth; stronger believers, taller and more fruitful than the former; see Sol 4:13; the actings and exercise of whose grace are signified by "budding forth", in an open and visible manner: the church is concerned for the good and welfare of the saints of all ranks and sizes; of vines and pomegranates, as well as tender grapes; and of the budding of the one, as well as of the opening and flowering of the other. And seeing these ends proposed by her are the same with Christ's, Sol 6:11; she might conclude they would prevail upon him to go with her, particularly what follows:

there will I give thee my loves; in the fields, villages, and vineyards, when alone, and observing the state and condition of particular churches and saints; and having communion with Christ, the church might hope and expect to have her heart enlarged, and drawn forth in love to Christ more abundantly; and that she should be able to manifest it more largely to him, and give clearer and fuller proofs of it: and this she observes in order to gain her point, and get him to go along with her; knowing that her love, in the actings and exercise of it, was very acceptable to him, Sol 4:10; I see not why the word for "loves" may not be rendered "my lovely flowers"; as a word nearly the same, in Sol 7:13, is by some rendered, "these lovely flowers give a good smell", which seems to refer to the flowers here; such as were to be met with in plenty, in fields and vineyards, among vines and pomegranates, as lilies, violets, &c. and may be an allusion to lovers, who used to give to those they loved sweet smelling flowers (f); and here may signify the graces of the Spirit, and the actings of them, which are fragrant, and acceptable to Christ.

(e) "num si, vel gemmas suas aperuerit flos vitis", Michaelis; to the same sense Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius. (f) "Naias amat Thyrsin, Glauce Almona, Nisa Theonem; Nisa rosas, Glauce violas, dat lilia Nais". Cythereus Sidonius apud Auson.

Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the {e} vine flourisheth, whether the tender grape appeareth, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.

(e) If the people that are called to Christ bring forth any fruit.

12. if the vine flourish] whether the vine hath budded, R.V. Cp. Song of Solomon 6:11.

whether the tender grape appear] Rather, and its blossom be open, R.V. For the word semâdhar = ‘blossom,’ cp. ch. Song of Solomon 2:13; Song of Solomon 2:15. It is found nowhere else in the O.T.

there will I give thee] There, in contrast to here and now. As Oettli remarks, first freedom, then love.

Song of Solomon 7:1212 In the morning we will start for the vineyards,

     See whether the vine is in bloom,

     Whether the vine-blossoms have opened,

     The pomegranates budded -

     There will I give thee my love.

13 The mandrakes breathe a pleasant odour,

     And over our doors are all kinds of excellent fruits,

     New, also old,

     Which, my beloved, I have kept for thee.

As the rising up early follows the tarrying over night, the description of that which is longed for moves forward. As השׁכּים is denom. of שׁכם, and properly signifies only to shoulder, i.e., to rise, make oneself ready, when early going forth needs to be designated it has generally בּבּקר (cf. Joshua 6:15) along with it; yet this word may also be wanting, 1 Samuel 9:26; 1 Samuel 17:16. נשׁךּ לכּר equals נשׁב ונלך לבר, an abbreviation of the expression which is also found in hist. prose, Genesis 19:27; cf. 2 Kings 19:9. They wished in the morning, when the life of nature can best be observed, and its growth and progress and striving upwards best contemplated, to see whether the vine had opened, i.e., unfolded (thus, Sol 6:11), whether the vine-blossom (vid., at Sol 2:13) had expanded (lxx ἤνθησεν ὁ κυπρισμός), whether the pomegranate had its flowers or flower-buds (הנצוּ, as at Sol 6:11); פּתּח is here, as at Isaiah 48:8; Isaiah 60:11, used as internally transitive: to accomplish or to undergo the opening, as also (Arab.) fattaḥ

(Note: Vid., Fleischer, Makkari, 1868, p. 271.)

is used of the blooming of flowers, for (Arab.) tafttaḥ (to unfold). The vineyards, inasmuch as she does not say כּרמינוּ, are not alone those of her family, but generally those of her home, but of her home; for these are the object of her desire, which in this pleasant journey with her beloved she at once in imagination reaches, flying, as it were, over the intermediate space. There, in undisturbed quietness, and in a lovely region consecrating love, will she give herself to him in the entire fulness of her love. By דּדי she means the evidences of her love (vid., under Sol 4:10; Sol 1:2), which she will there grant to him as thankful responses to his own. Thus she speaks in the spring-time, in the month Ijjar, corresponding to our Wonnemond (pleasure-month, May), and seeks to give emphasis to her promise by this, that she directs him to the fragrant "mandragoras," and to the precious fruits of all kinds which she has kept for him on the shelf in her native home.

דּוּדי (after the form לוּלי), love's flower, is the mandragora officinalis, L., with whitish green flowers and yellow apples of the size of nutmegs, belonging to the Solanaceae; its fruits and roots are used as an aphrodisiac, therefore this plant was called by the Arabs abd al-sal'm, the servant of love, postillon d'amour; the son of Leah found such mandrakes (lxx Genesis 30:14, μῆλα μανδραγορῶν) at the time of the vintage, which falls in the month of Ijjar; they have a strong but pleasant odour. In Jerusalem mandrakes are rare; but so much the more abundantly are they found growing wild in Galilee, whither Shulamith is transported in spirit. Regarding the מגדים (from מגד, occurring in the sing. exclusively in the blessing of Moses, Deuteronomy 33), which in the Old Testament is peculiar to the Song, vid., Sol 4:13, Sol 4:16. From "over our doors," down to "I have kept for thee," is, according to the lxx, Syr., Jerome, and others, one sentence, which in itself is not inadmissible; for the object can precede its verb, Sol 3:3, and can stand as the subject between the place mentioned and the verb, Isaiah 32:13, also as the object, 2 Chronicles 31:6, which, as in the passage before us, may be interpunctuated with Athnach for the sake of emphasis; in the bibl. Chald. this inverted sequence of the words is natural, e.g., Daniel 2:17. But such a long-winded sentence is at least not in the style of the Song, and one does not rightly see why just "over our doors" has the first place in it. I therefore formerly translated it as did Luther, dividing it into parts: "and over our doors are all kinds of precious fruits; I have," etc. But with this departure from the traditional division of the verse nothing is gained; for the "keeping" (laying up) refers naturally to the fruits of the preceding year, and in the first instance can by no means refer to fruits of this year, especially as Shulamith, according to the structure of the poem, has not visited her parental home since her home-bringing in marriage, and now for the first time, in the early summer, between the barley harvest and the wheat harvest, is carried away thither in her longing. Therefore the expression, "my beloved, I have kept for thee," is to be taken by itself, but not as an independent sentence (Bttch.), but is to be rendered, with Ewald, as a relative clause; and this, with Hitz., is to be referred to ישׁנים (old). Col refers to the many sorts of precious fruits which, after the time of their ingathering, are divided into "new and old" (Matthew 13:52). The plur. "our doors," which as amplif. poet. would not be appropriate here, supposes several entrances into her parents' home; and since "I have kept" refers to a particular preserving of choice fruits, al does not (Hitzig) refer to a floor, such as the floor above the family dwelling or above the barn, but to the shelf above the inner doors, a board placed over them, on which certain things are wont to be laid past for some particular object. She speaks to the king like a child; for although highly elevated, she yet remains, without self-elation, a child.

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