The loveliness and purity of the bride are now set forth under the image of a paradise or garden fast barred against intruders, filled with rarest plants of excellent fragrance, and watered by abundant streams. Compare Proverbs 5:15-20.
Song of Songs 4:12
A fountain sealed - i. e., A well-spring covered with a stone Genesis 29:3, and sealed with "the king' s own signet" (Daniel 6:17; compare Matthew 27:66).
Song of Songs 4:13
Orchard - This is the renderlng here and in Ecclesiastes 2:5 of "pardes" (see Nehemiah 2:8 note). The pomegranate was for the Jews a sacred fruit, and a characteristic product of the land of promise (compare Exodus 28:33-34; Numbers 20:5; Deuteronomy 8:8; I Kings 7:18, I Kings 7:20). It is frequently mentioned in the Song, and always in connection with the bride. It abounds to this day in the ravines of the Lebanon.
Camphire - Cyprus. See Song of Songs 1:14 note.
Song of Songs 4:13-15
Seven kinds of spices (some of them with Indian names, e. g. aloes, spikenard, saffron) are enumerated as found in this symbolic garden. They are for the most part pure exotics which have formed for countless ages articles of commerce in the East, and were brought at that time in Solomon' s ships from southern Arabia, the great Indian Peninsula, and perhaps the islands of the Indian Archipelago. The picture here is best regarded as a purely ideal one, having no corresponding reality but in the bride herself. The beauties and attractions of both north and south - of Lebanon with its streams of sparkling water and fresh mountain air, of Engedi with its tropical climate and henna plantations, of the spice-groves of Arabia Felix, and of the rarest products of the distant mysterious Ophir - all combine to furnish one glorious representation, "Thou art all fair!"
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