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The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible

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 Verse 7
Chapter 6
Verse 9
Chapter 8

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Song of Solomon 7:8

I said, I will go up to the palm tree
Which is easy of ascent; having, in the bark of the trunk or body of the tree, rings like steps, whereby the eastern people climb it with incredible swiftness, as Pliny F14 relates: these steps are made by the lower boughs being lopped off, whose knots, or "pollices", as Dr. Shaw F15 calls them, being gradually left upon the trunk of the tree, serve, like so many rungs of a ladder, to climb up the tree; either to fecundate it, or to lop it, or to gather the fruit; and Lucian says F16,

``those that have seen how men get up into palm trees, in Arabia, Egypt, and other places, must needs understand what he says about climbing the Phalli, in the temple of Hierapolis in Syria, he is describing.''
By the "palm tree" may be meant the church militant, who yet gets the victory over all her enemies, of which the palm tree is an emblem; and Christ's "going up" to it is expressive of his right to it, and property in it, which he has by his Father's gift, his own purchase, and the power of his grace, and may go up to it when he pleases; also of his presence with his church, and of the delight he takes in her, viewing her stature, fruit, and flourishing circumstances; I will take hold of the boughs thereof;
either to crop them, the tops of them, which, of the first year's growth, are very tender and sweet, and may be eaten F17; the top of the palm tree is said to be very sweet {r}; and which some call the "cerebrum", or brain of it, and is spoken of as very pleasant and nourishing F19: or to gather the fruit on them; his own grace in exercise, and good works performed under the influence of it; see (Song of Solomon 4:16) (5:1) ; or to prune them; which he does by the ministry of the word, reproving sin, and refuting error; and, by afflictive providences, purging away sin; and by suffering persecution to befall his churches, whereby he clears them of carnal professors, and lops off withered and fruitless branches; now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine;
round, full, soft, and succulent, like the berries of the vine tree, the grapes that grow in clusters on it; of these, (See Gill on 7:7); and the smell of thy nose like apples; (See Gill on 7:4). Here it may denote the inward constitution and outward conduct of the church, which were sound and healthful; she had an inward principle of grace, from whence proceeded a savoury conduct, a savoury breath, a holy breathing after divine and spiritual things: or it may intend the things she had a savour of, as divine truths and excellent doctrines, comparable to "apples", (Song of Solomon 2:5) (Proverbs 25:11) ; and all spiritual and heavenly things, when they have the presence of Christ, and the quickening influences of his Spirit.

F14 Ibid. So Sandys's Travels, l. 2. p. 79.
F15 Travels, tom. 1. p. 142. Edit. 2.
F16 De Dea Syria.
F17 Vid. Buxtorf. Lex. Talmud. in rad. (rwq) col. 2005.
F18 Plutarch. de San. Tuend. vol. 2. p. 133. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 13. c. 4.
F19 Athenaei Deipnosophist. l. 2. c. 28. p. 71.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 7:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <>. 1999.


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