Song of Solomon 7:8
I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;
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(8) Boughs.—Heb. sansan; only here. Probably a form derived from the sound, like salsal, zalzal, &c, denoting the waving of the long feathery branches of the palm.

Smell of thy nosei.e., “fragrance of thy breath,” ap = nose being used apparently because of the resemblance of its root, anap = breathe, with that of tappuach = apple.

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.8. The daughters are no longer content to admire, but resolve to lay hold of her fruits, high though these be. The palm stem is bare for a great height, and has its crown of fruit-laden boughs at the summit. It is the symbol of triumphant joy (Joh 12:13); so hereafter (Re 7:9).

breasts—(Isa 66:11).

the vine—Jesus Christ (Ho 14:7, end; Joh 15:1).

nose—that is, breath; the Holy Ghost breathed into her nostrils by Him, whose "mouth is most sweet" (So 5:16).

apples—citrons, off the tree to which He is likened (So 2:3).

I said within myself, I resolved,

I will go up to the palm tree; I will climb up, that so I may

take hold, as it follows, 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 of the boughs thereof, partly to prune and dress them, and partly to gather the fruit; whereby is signified Christ’s care of his church, and his delight in her.

Of thy nose; of thy breath; which is oft called the breath of or in a man’s nostrils, Genesis 7:22 Isaiah 2:22 Lamentations 4:20.

Like apples; either,

1. Common apples, which sometimes yield a very pleasant smell. Or,

2. Odoriferous apples. See Poole "Song of Solomon 2:5".

I said, I will go up to the palm tree,.... Which is easy of ascent; having, in the bark of the trunk or body of the tree, rings like steps, whereby the eastern people climb it with incredible swiftness, as Pliny (n) relates: these steps are made by the lower boughs being lopped off, whose knots, or "pollices", as Dr. Shaw (o) calls them, being gradually left upon the trunk of the tree, serve, like so many rungs of a ladder, to climb up the tree; either to fecundate it, or to lop it, or to gather the fruit; and Lucian says (p),

"those that have seen how men get up into palm trees, in Arabia, Egypt, and other places, must needs understand what he says about climbing the Phalli, in the temple of Hierapolis in Syria, he is describing.''

By the "palm tree" may be meant the church militant, who yet gets the victory over all her enemies, of which the palm tree is an emblem; and Christ's "going up" to it is expressive of his right to it, and property in it, which he has by his Father's gift, his own purchase, and the power of his grace, and may go up to it when he pleases; also of his presence with his church, and of the delight he takes in her, viewing her stature, fruit, and flourishing circumstances;

I will take hold of the boughs thereof; either to crop them, the tops of them, which, of the first year's growth, are very tender and sweet, and may be eaten (q); the top of the palm tree is said to be very sweet (r); and which some call the "cerebrum", or brain of it, and is spoken of as very pleasant and nourishing (s): or to gather the fruit on them; his own grace in exercise, and good works performed under the influence of it; see Sol 4:16; or to prune them; which he does by the ministry of the word, reproving sin, and refuting error; and, by afflictive providences, purging away sin; and by suffering persecution to befall his churches, whereby he clears them of carnal professors, and lops off withered and fruitless branches;

now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine; round, full, soft, and succulent, like the berries of the vine tree, the grapes that grow in clusters on it; of these; see Gill on Sol 7:7;

and the smell of thy nose like apples; See Gill on Sol 7:4. Here it may denote the inward constitution and outward conduct of the church, which were sound and healthful; she had an inward principle of grace, from whence proceeded a savoury conduct, a savoury breath, a holy breathing after divine and spiritual things: or it may intend the things she had a savour of, as divine truths and excellent doctrines, comparable to "apples", Sol 2:5; and all spiritual and heavenly things, when they have the presence of Christ, and the quickening influences of his Spirit.

(n) Ibid. So Sandys's Travels, l. 2. p. 79. (o) Travels, tom. 1. p. 142. Edit. 2.((p) De Dea Syria. (q) Vid. Buxtorf. Lex. Talmud. in rad. col. 2005. (r) Plutarch. de San. Tuend. vol. 2. p. 133. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 13. c. 4. (s) Athenaei Deipnosophist. l. 2. c. 28. p. 71.

I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;
8. I said] I have said or thought = I am minded to climb up the palm tree to take hold of its branches.

now also thy breasts shall be, &c.] Better, as R.V., let thy breasts be as clusters of the vine.

the smell of thy nose] i.e. as R.V. paraphrases, giving the meaning correctly, the smell of thy breath like apples.

Song of Solomon 7:8When 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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