1: Shoes - Were anciently evidences of a free and comfortable state, whereas slaves and mourners used to go bare - foot.
4: Like fishpools - Full, and clear, and quiet, and pleasant. Heshbon - A pleasant and well watered city, beyond Jordan. The tower - Which was in all probability built by Solomon in the mountain of Lebanon, the northern border of the land of Israel towards Damascus; and therefore a very fit place for a watch - tower. Which looketh - There was another tower or building in or near Jerusalem, which was called the house of the forest of Lebanon,(1Ki 7:2).
5: Carmel - Eminent and pleasant to the eye, and fruitful as mount Carmel was. Which may denote that her mind was replenished with knowledge, and other excellent gifts of the Holy Ghost. Purple - Which colour was anciently much esteemed. Is held - In which he walks, and having once espied thee, is unable to take off his eyes from thee.
6: Delights - For those various lovely features which, are in thee.
7: Palm - tree - Tall and strait, 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.
8: I said - Within myself, I resolved. I will - 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. Take hold - Partly to prune and dress them, and partly to gather the fruit. The smell - Of thy breath; which is often called the breath of a man's nostrils.
9: Thy mouth - Thy speech, the palate being one of the principal instruments of speech. Wine - Grateful and refreshing for thee my beloved, who reapest the comfort and benefit of that pleasure which I take in thee. Causing - The most dull, and stupid, and sleepy persons to speak.
10: I am - This and the following verses contain the words of the bride, in answer to the bridegroom's endearing expressions delivered in the foregoing verses.
11: Go forth - That being retired from the crowd, we may more freely and sweetly converse together.
12: Early - The church having lost her beloved by her former laziness, now doubles her diligence. Vineyards - To particular congregations. Let us see - 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 - There I will discover the fervency of my affections to thee, and maintain communion with thee in thy holy ordinances.
13: Mandrakes - This Hebrew word is used (Ge 30:14,15), and the signification of it is very much doubted and disputed by interpreters. The word here signifies sweet and pleasant flowers, and therefore if it be understood of mandrakes, they were of another sort than ours, as flowers of the same kind in several climates have very different natures and qualities. At our gates - Brought thither by divers persons to congratulate our nuptials. All fruits - Fruits of this year and of the former. Which seems to be meant of the various fruits and operations of the Spirit, and degrees of grace in several believers.
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