I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feeds among the lilies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. Here she expresses her jealous feeling. They are not to search for him with her. That is her business alone, they have no claim to be even thus interested in him. She fears she has overshot the mark in the praises she has uttered concerning her beloved. She has held him up for their admiration, but seeing how great it is, she snatches him back as it were, lest she should lose him. ‘I alone am his and he is mine, he who is feeding his flock among the lilies.’
Towers of spicy plants.
A flower-bed is called ערוּגה, from ערג, to be oblique, inclined. His cheeks are like such a soft raised bed, and the impression their appearance makes is like the fragrance which flows from such a bed planted with sweet-scented flowers. Migedaloth are the tower-like or pyramidal mounds, and merkahhim are the plants used in spicery. The point of comparison here is thus the soft elevation; perhaps with reference to the mingling of colours, but the word chosen (merkahhim) rather refers to the lovely, attractive, heart-refreshing character of the impression. The Venet., keeping close to the existing text: αἱ σιαγόνες αὐτοῦ ὡς πρασιὰ τοῦ ἀρώματος πύργοι ἀρωματισμῶν (thus not a̓ρωματιστῶν] according to Gebhardt's just conjecture). But is the punctuation here correct? The sing. כערוגת is explained from this, that the bed is presented as sloping from its height downward on two parallel sides; but the height would then be the nose dividing the face, and the plur. would thus be more suitable; and the lxx, Symm., and other ancient translators have, in fact, read כערוגת. But still less is the phrase migdeloth merkahhim to be comprehended; for a tower, however diminutive it may be, it not a proper figure for a soft elevation, nor even a graduated flowery walk, or a terraced flowery hill, - a tower always presents, however round one may conceive it, too much the idea of a natural chubbiness, or of a diseased tumour. Therefore the expression used by the lxx, φύουσαι μυρεψικά, i.e., מרק' מהדּלות, commends itself. Thus also Jerome: sicut areolae aromatum consitae a pigmentariis, and the Targ. (which refers לחיים allegorically to the לוּחי of the law, and merkahhim to the refinements of the Halacha): "like the rows of a garden of aromatic plants which produce (gignentes) deep, penetrating sciences, even as a (magnificent) garden, aromatic plants." Since we read מגדּלות כערוגת, we do not refer migadloth, as Hitzig, who retains כערוגת, to the cheeks, although their name, like that of the other members (e.g., the ear, hand, foot), may be fem. (Bttch. 649), but to the beds of spices; but in this carrying forward of the figure we find, as he does, a reference to the beard and down on the cheeks. גּדּל is used of suffering the hair to grow, Numbers 6:5, as well as of cultivating plants; and it is a similar figure when Pindar, Nem. v. 11, compares the milk-hair of a young man to the fine woolly down of the expanding vine-leaves (vid., Passow). In merkahhim there scarcely lies anything further than that this flos juventae on the blooming cheeks gives the impression of the young shoots of aromatic plants; at all events, the merkahhim, even although we refer this feature in the figure to the fragrance of the unguents on the beard, are not the perfumes themselves, to which megadloth is not appropriate, but fragrant plants, so that in the first instance the growth of the beard is in view with the impression of its natural beauty.
13b His lips lilies,
Dropping with liquid myrrh.
Lilies, viz., red lilies (vid., under Sol 2:1), unless the point of comparison is merely loveliness associated with dignity. She thinks of the lips as speaking. All that comes forth from them, the breath in itself, and the breath formed into words, is עבר מור, most precious myrrh, viz., such as of itself wells forth from the bark of the balsamodendron. עבר, the running over of the eyes (cf. myrrha in lacrimis, the most highly esteemed sort, as distinguished from myrrha in granis), with which Dillmann combines the Aethiop. name for myrrh, karbê (vid., under Song _Num 5:5).
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