King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Song of Solomon 7

The graces of the church. (1-9) The delight of the church in Christ. (10-13)

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The graces of the church

1 How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.

2 Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.

3 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.

4 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.

5 Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.

6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

7 This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.

8 I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;

9 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.

The delight of the church in Christ

10 I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.

11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.

12 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.

13 The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. What? Christ commends the Jews, who shall at last embrace the faith with great fervour. W. — Thou. Heb. and Sept. “ye.” They join this sentence with the preceding chapter. H. — Companies. Heb. “as it were the choir (or dance) of Mahanaim,”( C). where Jacob saw the camps of angels, near the Jaboc. H. Gen. xxxii. — These dances might be proverbial.

Ver. 4. Ivory. Preachers communicate the sentiments of the Church, (C.) which prevails against the gates of hell. Cassiod.

Ver. 5. Carmel. Shaded with trees. C. — Heb. “purple,” which colour was sometimes given to the hair. Propert. ii. 18. — Channels. Of the dyers. Heb. “to beams.” C. — Prot. “the king is held in the galleries” to view thee. H. — Christ was all charity, and the faithful are twice dyed, with the love of God, and of their neighbour. M.

Ver. 7. Grapes. The Church triumphs over her adversaries, and feeds her children. C.

Ver. 8. Up. Christ shed his blood on the cross, and enabled his Church, composed of Jews and Gentiles, who were before barren, to produce a numerous progeny. C. — Mouth. Heb. and Sept. “nose.”

Ver. 9. Lips. Sept. “sufficient for my lips and teeth.” H. — The wine in that country was very thick, when kept a long time. It here denotes charity, or the gospel truths. Lu. v. 37. Acts ii. 13. Heb. “causing the lips of them who sleep to speak,” (C.) as the apostles did, in transports of zeal. Theod. — Yet the reading of the Sept. Aquila, &c. seems preferable. C.

Ver. 10. Turning. The Church is submissive to Jesus Christ, and is entirely actuated by the Spirit. C. — She takes the words, as it were out of his mouth, (v. 9.) and answers, worthy, &c. acknowledging that all the praise belongs to him.

Ver. 11. Villages. She begs that he would come and remain with her. W. — She accompanies him into the country, on the morning after the fifth night. There Christ affords the purest delights, (v. 12. C.) and the Church (M.) becomes his mother, while she instructs and feeds others. S. Greg. hom. M.

Ver. 13. Mandrakes. Heb. dodai comes from the same root as dodi, “my breasts or loves.” v. 12. H. — It may denote oranges, as mandrakes are not spring-fruits. Gen. xxx. 14. C. — Yet (H.) married women eagerly sought after mandrakes. Here they may signify such as are fit to gain souls to Christ. M. — And the old. Or great abundance. Lev. xxvi. 10. Matt. xiii. 52. C. — She acknowledges Christ to be the Saviour of all, under the Old and the New Testament. W. — A doctor of the Church shews Christ in the prophets, and figures of the law, as well as manifested in the gospel. Aponius, &c. C.