Song of Solomon 7:7
This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) This thy stature.—Comp. Ecclesiasticus 24:14. Not only was the tall and graceful palm a common figure for female beauty, but its name, tamar, was common as a woman’s name (Genesis 38:6; 2Samuel 13:1, &c).

Clusters of grapes.—The italics were probably added by the English Version to bring the verse into agreement with “clusters of the vine” in the next verse; but no doubt the rich clusters of dates are at the moment in the poet’s thought.

Song of Solomon 7:7-8. Thy stature is like to a palm-tree — Tall and straight, or upright. And he seems to mention the palm-tree rather than any other, because it is constantly green and flourishing, and grows upward in spite of all pressures. I said — Within myself, I resolved; I will go up to the palm tree — Climb up, that so I may take hold of the boughs, which do not grow out of the sides, as in other trees, but only at the top of it. I will take hold, &c. — Partly to prune and dress them, and partly to gather the fruit. The smell, &c. — Of thy breath; which is often called the breath of a man’s nostrils.

7:1-9 The similitudes here are different from what they were before, and in the original refer to glorious and splendid clothing. Such honour have all his saints; and having put on Christ, they are distinguished by their beautiful and glorious apparel. They adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. Consistent believers honour Christ, recommend the gospel, and convince and awaken sinners. The church resembles the stately and spreading palm; while her love for Christ, and the obedience resulting therefrom, are precious fruit of the true Vine. The King is held in the galleries. Christ takes delight in the assemblies and ordinances of his people; and admires the fruit of his grace in them. When applied to the church and to each faithful Christian, all this denotes that beauty of holiness, in which they shall be presented to their heavenly Bridegroom.This thy stature - The king now addresses the bride, comparing her to palm, vine, and apple-tree for nobility of form and pleasantness of fruit; and the utterances of her mouth to sweetest wine.7. palm tree—(Ps 92:12). The sure sign of water near (Ex 15:27; Joh 7:38).

clusters—not of dates, as Moody Stuart thinks. The parallelism (So 7:8), "clusters of the vine," shows it is here clusters of grapes. Vines were often trained (termed "wedded") on other trees.

Like to a palm tree, tall and straight, or upright, as a tree. And he seems to mention the palm tree rather than any other, partly because it grows more directly upward than other trees; and partly because it is constantly green and flourishing, and groweth upward in spite of all pressures, and therefore was used in festival solemnities, Leviticus 23:40 John 12:13, and was a symbol of victory, Revelation 7:9; in all which respects it fitly represents the state of believers.

Clusters, large, and round, and full of juice. See Poole "Song of Solomon 7:3". This particular is added as an evidence of her maturity and married estate, and of her fruitfulness.

Grapes; which word may easily be supplied out of the next verse. Although the fruit of the palm tree also is said to grow in clusters.

This thy stature is like to a palm tree,.... Made up of the above parts commended, and others had in view, as appears from the relative "this". The word for "stature" properly signifies height, tallness, and erectness; and which were reckoned agreeable in women, as well as men; See Gill on 1 Samuel 9:2; hence methods are often made use of to make them look taller, as by their head dresses, their shoes, and by stretching out their necks, Isaiah 3:16; and the simile of a tree is not an improper one: and so Galatea is, for height and tallness, compared to an alder and to a plane tree (h); and Helena, to a cypress tree in a garden (i), on the same account; and here the church to a palm tree: the Egyptian palm tree is said to be the best (k); and if Solomon here has any reference to Pharaoh's daughter, his wife, he might think of that, which is described

"of body straight, high, round, and slender (l),''

and fitly expresses a good shape and stature. The church's stature is no other than the "stature of the fulness of Christ", Ephesians 4:13; which will be attained unto when all the elect are gathered in, and every member joined to the body, and all filled with the gifts and graces of the spirit designed for them, and are grown up to a just proportion in the body; and in such a state Christ seems to view his church, and so commends her by this simile: saints are oftentimes compared to palm trees in Scripture on other accounts; see Psalm 92:12;

and thy breasts to clusters of grapes; on a vine which might be planted by and run up upon a palm tree, as Aben Ezra suggests: though rather clusters of dates, the fruit of the palm tree, are designed, since this fruit, as Pliny (m) observes, grows in clusters; and to clusters of the vine the church's breasts are compared in Sol 7:8. And by these "breasts" may be meant either the ministers of the Gospel, who communicate the sincere milk of the word to souls; and may be compared to clusters for their numbers, when there is plenty of them, which is a great mercy to the church; and for their unity, likeness, and agreement in their work, in their ministrations, and in the doctrine they preach, though their gifts may be different; or else the two Testaments, full of the milk of the word; and comparable to "clusters" of grapes or dates, because of the many excellent doctrines and precious promises in them; which, when pressed by hearing, reading, meditation, and prayer, yield both delight and nourishment to the souls of men. Some think the two ordinances of the Gospel, baptism and the Lord's supper, are intended, which are breasts of consolation; and, when the presence of Christ, and the manifestations of his love, are enjoyed in them, they afford much pleasure and satisfaction; and as those breasts are full in themselves, they are beautiful in the eye of Christ, and as such commended; See Gill on Sol 4:5.

(h) Ovid. Metamorph. l. 13. Fab. 8. (i) Theocrit. Idyll. 18. v. 30. (k) A. Gellii Nect. Attic. l. 7. c. 16. Vid. Strabo. Geograph. l. 17. p. 563. (l) Sandys's Travels, l. 2. p. 79. (m) Nat. Hist. l. 13. c. 4.

This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. This thy stature] or as we should say, this form of thine.

is like to a palm tree] This is a very favourite figure with Oriental poets, graceful slenderness and tall stature being specially admired. Hence Tamar = ‘palm’ was a frequent woman’s name.

clusters of grapes] Heb. ashkôlôth, not necessarily of grapes. Cp. ch. Song of Solomon 1:14, where we have a cluster of henna, and here the clusters of ripe dates hanging from the palm are evidently meant. Oettli thinks their sweetness, not their form, the point of the comparison.

Chap. Song of Solomon 7:7—Chap. Song of Solomon 8:4. The King and the Shepherdess—the last Assault

We may suppose that after her attendants have completed the Shulammite’s adornment, and have finished their fulsome praises of her beauty, she receives a new visit from the king. In Song of Solomon 7:7-9 he gives utterance to his admiration in more sensuous terms than ever, and in Song of Solomon 7:9 b she turns his talk aside, and dwells upon her lover. In Song of Solomon 7:10 she gives her final answer in the exclamation that she belongs to him alone. The king then withdraws, and in Song of Solomon 7:11-13 she lets her heart go out to her absent lover, and calls upon him to go back with her into their obscure but happy country life. In Song of Solomon 8:1-3 she expresses a wish that he were her brother, so that she might love him without reproach, and concludes in Song of Solomon 7:4 with a modification of the adjuration in Song of Solomon 2:7 and Song of Solomon 3:5.

Song of Solomon 7:7When Solomon now looks on the wife of his youth, she stands before him like a palm tree with its splendid leaf-branches, which the Arabians call ucht insn (the sisters of men); and like a vine which climbs up on the wall of the house, and therefore is an emblem of the housewife, Psalm 128:3.

7 Thy stature is like the palm tree;

   And thy breasts clusters.

8 I:thought: I will climb the palm,

   Grasp its branches;

   And thy breasts shall be to me

   As clusters of the vine,

   And the breath of thy nose like apples,

Shulamith stands before him. As he surveys her from head to foot, he finds her stature like the stature of a slender, tall date-palm, and her breasts like the clusters of sweet fruit, into which, in due season its blossoms are ripened. That קומתך (thy stature) is not thought of as height apart from the person, but as along with the person (cf. Ezekiel 13:18), scarcely needs to be remarked. The palm derives its name, tāmār, from its slender stem rising upwards (vid., under Isaiah 17:9; Isaiah 61:6). This name is specially given to the Phoenix dactylifera, which is indigenous from Egypt to India, and which is principally cultivated (vid., under Genesis 14:7), the female flowers of which, set in panicles, develope into large clusters of juicy sweet fruit. These dark-brown or golden-yellow clusters, which crown the summit of the stem and impart a wonderful beauty to the appearance of the palm, especially when seen in the evening twilight, are here called אשׁוכלות (connecting form at Deuteronomy 32:32), as by the Arabians 'ithkal, plur. 'ithakyl (botri dactylorum). The perf. דּמתה signifies aequata est equals aequa est; for דּמה, R. דם, means, to make or to become plain, smooth, even. The perf. אמרתּי, on the other hand, will be meant retrospectively. As an expression of that which he just now purposed to do, it would be useless; and thus to notify with emphasis anything beforehand is unnatural and contrary to good taste and custom. But looking back, he can say that in view of this august attractive beauty the one thought filled him, to secure possession of her and of the enjoyment which she promised; as one climbs (עלה with בּ, as Psalm 24:3) a palm tree and seizes (אחז, fut. אחז, and אאחז with בּ, as at Job 23:11) its branches (סנסנּים, so called, as it appears,

(Note: Also that סנסן is perhaps equivalent to סלסל (זלזל, תלתל), to wave hither and thither, comes here to view.)

after the feather-like pointed leaves proceeding from the mid-rib on both sides), in order to break off the fulness of the sweet fruit under its leaves. As the cypress (sarwat), so also the palm is with the Moslem poets the figure of a loved one, and with the mystics, of God;

(Note: Vid., Hfiz, ed. Brockhaus, 2 Peter 46.)

and accordingly the idea of possession is here particularly intended. ויהיוּ־נא denotes what he then thought and aimed at. Instead of בּתּמר, Sol 7:9, the punctuation בּתּמר is undoubtedly to be preferred. The figure of the palm tree terminates with the words, "will grasp its branches." It was adequate in relation to stature, but less so in relation to the breasts; for dates are of a long oval form, and have a stony kernel. Therefore the figure departs from the date clusters to that of grape clusters, which are more appropriate, as they swell and become round and elastic the more they ripen. The breath of the nose, which is called אף, from breathing hard, is that of the air breathed, going in and out through it; for, as a rule, a man breathes through his nostrils with closed mouth. Apples present themselves the more naturally for comparison, that the apple has the name תּפּוּח (from נפח, after the form תּמכוּף), from the fragrance which it exhales.

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