Song of Solomon 4:12
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a spring locked, a fountain sealed.

King James Bible
A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

American Standard Version
A garden shut up is my sister, my bride; A spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

Douay-Rheims Bible
My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up.

English Revised Version
A garden shut up is my sister, my bride; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

Webster's Bible Translation
A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

Song of Solomon 4:12 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Shulamith replies to these words of praise:

6 Until the day cools and the shadows flee,

   I will go forth to the mountain of myrrh

   And to the hill of frankincense.

All those interpreters who suppose these to be a continuation of Solomon's words, lose themselves in absurdities. Most of them understand the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense of Shulamith's attractions, praised in Sol 4:5, or of her beauty as a whole; but the figures would be grotesque (cf. on the other hand Sol 5:13), and אל לי אלך prosaic, wherefore it comes that the idea of betaking oneself away connects itself with לו הלך (Genesis 12:1; Exodus 18:27), or that it yet preponderates therein (Genesis 22:2; Jeremiah 5:5), and that, for לי אלך in the passage before us in reference to Sol 2:10-11, the supposition holds that it will correspond with the French j m'en irai. With right Louis de Leon sees in the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense names of shady and fragrant places; but he supposes that Solomon says he wishes to go thither to enjoy a siesta, and that he invites Shulamith thither. But we read nothing of this invitation; and that a bridegroom should sleep a part of his marriage-day is yet more unnatural than that, e.g., Wilh. Budus, the French philologist, spent a part of the same at work in his study. That not Solomon but Shulamith speaks here is manifest in the beginning, "until the day," etc., which at Sol 2:17 are also Shulamith's words. Anton (1773) rightly remarks, "Shulamith says this to set herself free." But why does she seek to make herself free? It is answered, that she longs to be forth from Solomon's too ardent eulogies; she says that, as soon as it is dark, she will escape to the blooming aromatic fields of her native home, where she hopes to meet with her beloved shepherd. Thus, e.g., Ginsburg (1868). But do myrrh and frankincense grow in North Palestine? Ginsburg rests on Florus' Epitome Rerum Romans 3.6, where Pompey the Great is said to have passed over Lebanon and by Damascus "per nemora illa odorata, per thuris et balsami sylvas." But by these thuris et balsami sylvae could be meant only the gardens of Damascus; for neither myrrh nor frankincense is indigenous to North Palestine, or generally to any part of Palestine. Friedrich (1866) therefore places Shulamith's home at Engedi, and supposes that she here once more looks from the window and dotes on the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense, "where, at the approach of twilight, she was wont to look out for her betrothed shepherd." But Shulamith, as her name already denotes, is not from the south, but is a Galilean, and her betrothed shepherd is from Utopia! That myrrh and frankincense were planted in the gardens of Engedi is possible, although (Sol 1:14) mention is made only of the Al-henna there. But here places in the neighbourhood of the royal palace must be meant; for the myrrh tree, the gum of which, prized as an aroma, is the Arab. Balsamodendron Myrrha, and the frankincense tree, the resin of which is used for incense, is, like the myrrh tree, an Arab. amyrid. The Boswellia serrata,

(Note: Lassen's Ind. Alterthumskunde, I334.)

indigenous to the East Indies, furnishes the best frankincense; the Israelites bought it from Sheba (Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah 6:20). The myrrh tree as well as the frankincense tree were thus exotics in Palestine, as they are in our own country; but Solomon, who had intercourse with Arabia and India by his own mercantile fleet, procured them for his own garden (Ecclesiastes 2:5). The modest Shulamith shuns the loving words of praise; for she requests that she may be permitted to betake herself to the lonely places planted with myrrh and frankincense near the king's palace, where she thinks to tarry in a frame of mind befitting this day till the approaching darkness calls her back to the king. It is the importance of the day which suggests to her this לי אלך, a day in which she enters into the covenant of her God with Solomon (Proverbs 2:17). Without wishing to allegorize, we may yet not omit to observe, that the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense put us in mind of the temple, where incense, composed of myrrh, frankincense, and other spices, ascended up before God every morning and evening (Exodus 30:34.). המּור הר is perhaps a not unintentional accord to הר המּוריּה (2 Chronicles 3:1), the mountain where God appeared; at all events, "mountain of myrrh" and "hill of frankincense" are appropriate names for places of devout meditation, where one holds fellowship with God.

Song of Solomon 4:12 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Songs 6:2,11 My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies...

Proverbs 5:15-18 Drink waters out of your own cistern, and running waters out of your own well...

Isaiah 58:11 And the LORD shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and make fat your bones...

Isaiah 61:10,11 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation...

Jeremiah 31:12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine...

Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come to us as the rain...

1 Corinthians 6:13,19,20 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication...

1 Corinthians 7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares for the things of the Lord...

Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, neither whatever works abomination, or makes a lie...


2 Corinthians 1:22 Who has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Ephesians 1:13 In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed...

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed to the day of redemption.

Revelation 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

Cross References
Genesis 29:3
and when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place over the mouth of the well.

Proverbs 5:15
Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.

Proverbs 5:16
Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?

Proverbs 5:18
Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,

Song of Solomon 4:9
You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

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