Song of Solomon 7:9
And the roof of your mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goes down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.
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(9) Causing the lips.—The text in this verse has evidently undergone some change. The LXX., in stead of siphtheî yesheynîm, lips of sleepers, read sephathaîm veshinnayîm, χέιλεσί μου καὶ ὸδοῦσι. The Marg., instead of yesheynîm, sleepers, reads yeshanîm, the ancient, which Luther adopts, translating “of the previous year.” Ledôdî, for my beloved, is evidently either an accidental insertion of the copyist, the eye having caught dôdî in the next verse, or more probably is wrongly vowelled. The verse is untranslatable as it stands; but by reading ledôdaî, “to my caresses” (comp. Song of Solomon 1:2; Song of Solomon 4:10; Song of Solomon 7:12), we get a sense entirely harmonious with the context, and this is a change less violent than to reject ledôdî altogether. It is the old figure, comparing kisses to wine (comp. Song of Solomon 1:2; Song of Solomon 2:4; Song of Solomon 5:1). “The roof of the mouth” (comp. Song of Solomon 5:16), or palate, is put by metonymy for the mouth generally. Dôbeb is either from the root dôb, cognate with zôb = flow gently, and means suffusing, in which case we translate “Thy mouth pours out an exquisite wine, which runs sweetly down in answer to my caresses, and suffuses (LXX. ἱκανούμενος, accommodating itself to) our lips as we fall asleep”—or, according to the Rabbinical interpretation, followed by the Authorised Version (which connects dôbeb with dabab, a Talmudic word = speaking), there may be in it the idea of a dream making the lips move as in speech. In this case the lines of Shelley suggest the meaning:—

“Like lips murmuring in their sleep

Of the sweet kisses which had lulled them there.”


Song of Solomon 7:9. The roof of thy mouth — Thy speech, the palate being one of the principal instruments of speech; like the best wine — Grateful and refreshing; for my beloved — Who reapest the comfort and benefit of that pleasure which I take in thee. Causing the lips, &c., to speak — The most dull, and stupid, and sleepy persons to speak.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.For my beloved, that goeth down sweetly - Words of the bride interrupting the king, and finishing his sentence, that goeth smoothly or pleasantly for my beloved. Compare Proverbs 23:31.9. roof of thy mouth—thy voice (Pr 15:23).

best wine—the new wine of the gospel kingdom (Mr 14:25), poured out at Pentecost (Ac 2:4, 13, 17).

for my beloved—(So 4:10). Here first the daughters call Him theirs, and become one with the bride. The steps successively are (So 1:5) where they misjudge her (So 3:11); So 5:8, where the possibility of their finding Him, before she regained Him, is expressed; So 5:9 (So 6:1; 7:6, 9; Joh 4:42).

causing … asleep to speak—(Isa 35:6; Mr 5:19, 20; Ac 2:47; Eph 5:14). Jesus Christ's first miracle turned water into "good wine kept until now" (Joh 2:10); just as the Gospel revives those asleep and dying under the law (Pr 31:6; Ro 7:9, 10, 24, 25; 8:1).

The roof of thy mouth; either,

1. Thy speech, the palate being one of the principal instruments of speech; or rather,

2. Thy taste, whereof the palate or roof of the mouth is the most proper and principal instrument, Job 34:3. But then this is not to be understood actively of her taste, but passively of the taste or relish which her Beloved had of her; as in the foregoing clause, the smell of her nose was not meant subjectively or actively of that sense of smelling which was seated in her nose, but objectively or passively of the breath of her nostrils, which was sweet to the smell of her Beloved.

Like the best wine, grateful and refreshing. For my beloved; either,

1. For thee my beloved, who reapest the comfort and benefit of that pleasure which I take in time; or,

2. For me thy Beloved, or, according to thy usual expression,

for my Beloved; which words Christ takes as it were out of her mouth, and repeats them emphatically; which agrees very well to the style and usage of these dramatical and amaropious writings. And this clause further intimates the church’s loyalty or faithfulness to Christ, that she reserves herself and all her loves for Christ alone.

That goeth down sweetly; whereas bad wine either goeth down slowly and tediously, or is not permitted to go down at all; Heb. that walketh directly; or, that moveth itself aright; which is given as the character of good wine, Proverbs 23:31.

Causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak; causing the most dull, and stupid, and sleepy-headed persons to speak, and that fluently and eloquently, which is a common effect of good wine. And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine,.... Which may intend, either her taste, as the word is rendered in Sol 2:3; by which she can distinguish good wine from bad, truth from error; or her breath, sweet and of a good smell, like the best wine; the breathings of her soul in prayer, which are sweet odours, perfumed with the incense of Christ's mediation; or rather her speech, the words of her mouth; the roof of the mouth being an instrument of speech; the same word is sometimes rendered "the mouth", Sol 5:16; and may denote both her speech in common conversation, which is warming, refreshing, comforting, and quickening; and in prayer and praise, which is well pleasing and delightful to Christ; and especially the Gospel preached by her ministers, comparable to the best wine for its antiquity, being an ancient Gospel; for its purity, unadulterated, and free from mixture, and as faithfully dispensed; its delight, flavour, and taste, to such who have their spiritual senses exercised; and for its cheering, refreshing, and strengthening nature, to drooping weary souls. It follows,

for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly; is received and taken down with all readiness, by those who have once tasted the sweetness and felt the power of it. Or, "that goeth to righteousnesses" (t); leading to the righteousness of Christ for justification, and teaching to live soberly and righteously: or, "that goeth to my beloved, straightway" or "directly" (u); meaning either to his Father, Christ calls his beloved, to whose love the Gospel leads and directs souls, as in a straight line, as to the source of salvation, and all the blessings of grace; or to himself, by a "mimesis", whom the church calls so; the Gospel leading souls directly to him, his person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, for peace, pardon, justification, and atonement: or, "that goeth to my beloved to uprightnesses" (w); that is, to the church, who is Christ's beloved, consisting of upright men in heart and life, whom Christ calls his beloved and his friends, Sol 5:1; and whom Christ treats with his best wine, his Gospel; and which is designed for them, their pleasure, profit, comfort, and establishment:

causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak; either such who are in the dead sleep of sin; who, when the Gospel comes with power, are quickened by it; and it produces in them humble confessions of sin; causes them to speak in praise of Christ, and his grace, and of the salvation which he has procured for lost sinners; it brings them to Zion, to declare what great things God has done for them: or else drowsy professors, in lifeless frames, and much gone back in religion; who, when aroused and quickened by the Gospel, and brought out of their lethargy, are ready to acknowledge their backslidings with shame; to speak meanly and modestly of themselves, and very highly of Christ and his grace, who has healed their backslidings, and still loves them freely; none more ready to exalt and magnify Christ, and speak in praise of what he has done for them. Some render the words, "causing the lips of ancient men to speak" (x); whose senses are not so quick, nor they so full of talk, as in their youthful days: wherefore this serves to commend this wine; that it should have such an effect as to invigorate ancient men, and give them a juvenile warmth and sprightliness, and make them loquacious, which is one effect of wine, when freely drunk (y); and softens the moroseness of ancient men (z): wine is even said to make an ancient man dance (a).

(t) "ad rectitudines", Montanus; "ad ea quae roetissima sunt", Tigurine version. (u) "Directe", Mercerus; "rectissime", Brightman. (w) "Ad rectitudines", i.e. "rectos homines", Marckius, Michaelis. (x) "veterum", Pagninus; "antiquorum", Vatablus. (y) Philoxenus apud Athenaei Deipnosoph. l. 2. c. 1. p. 25. Vid. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 38. 1.((z) Philoxenus apud Athenaei Deipnosoph. l. 11. c. 3. p. 463. (a) Ibid. l. 4. c. 4. p. 134. l. 10. c. 7. p. 428.

And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.
9. and the roof of thy mouth] Better, as R.V., and thy mouth. Chçkh is the palate, but it is used for the mouth. Cp. ch. Song of Solomon 5:16; Hosea 8:1. The reference here as in Song of Solomon 5:16 is to the sweet words of love which she whispers, they intoxicate like wine.

for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly] This should be, as in R.V., that goeth down smoothly for my beloved. Instead of smoothly, R.V. marg. gives ‘aright.’ Cp. for the phrase Proverbs 23:31, R.V. and margin. Budde would read lěchikkî, ‘for my palate,’ instead or lědhôdhî, ‘for my beloved,’ but there is no support for such a change in any version or MS. The translation of the A.V. is according to the accents, but most recent commentators, who take the dramatic or semi-dramatic view of the whole, assign these words to the bride, supposing that she interrupts the king and turns off the simile to her beloved.

causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak] Better, as R.V., gliding through the lips of those that are asleep. The A.V. may, following Jerome and Kimchi, have connected the word dôbhçbh with dibbâh, a calumny or evil rumour, or they may have read dôbhçr or medhabbçr. But dôbhçbh has no connexion with dibbâh, but is rather related to zâbh, and means ‘to go softly,’ hence the translation ‘going softly’ or ‘gliding’ over the lips of sleepers, or of those about to sleep. The whole clause would then mean that this wine was such that men drank it till they were rendered slumberous by it. But this is not very satisfactory, and the suggestion that, following the LXX, Aq., Syr., Vulg., we should read ‘gliding over my lips and teeth,’ or ‘over his lips and teeth,’ might perhaps be adopted.3 Thy two breasts are like two fawns,

   Twins of a gazelle.

Sol 4:5 is repeated, but with the omission of the attribute, "feeding among lilies," since lilies have already been applied to another figure. Instead of תּאומי there, we have here מּאמי (taǒme), the former after the ground-form ti'âm, the latter after the ground-form to'm (cf. נּאלי, Nehemiah 8:2, from גּאל equals גּאל).

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