Song of Solomon 4:11

Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.

Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb,.... Words, for sweetness, delight, and pleasure, like that; so the speech of persons, flowing from their mouth and tongue, is said to be sweeter than the honeycomb {s}; and lovers are said to be sweeter to one another than the sweet honey {t}: so the lips or words of the church in prayer, as the Targum; or in praise of Christ, and thankfulness to him; or in the ministration of the doctrines of the Gospel, which are pleasant words; or in common conversation, are pleasing to Christ; when, like the honey, they drop freely and without constraint; gradually, at proper seasons and opportunities, as prudence directs; and continually, more or less, ever dropping something to the glory of divine grace, and the good of souls;

honey and milk are under thy tongue; rolled, as a sweet morsel, there: the ancients had a sort of food of this mixture, a cake made of honey and milk, called by the Greeks "meligala" {u}, and sometimes "candylos" {w}, which was the same composition; Galen {x} says, it was not safe to take goats' milk without honey; Jove is said {y} to be nursed with such a mixture: and this being very grateful to the taste, the speech of the church for pleasantness is compared unto it; so Pindar {z} compares his hymn or ode to honey mixed with milk, as being sweet and grateful; and in Plautus {a},

"your words are honey and milk:''

and, it may be further observed, that such a mixture of milk and honey, with poppies in it, was given to the newly married bride, and drank when brought home to her husband {b}; which was now the case of the church. The doctrines of the Gospel may be meant, comparable to honey and milk; to "honey", for their sweetness and acceptableness: for their nourishing nature; and for, their being gathered out of the choice flowers of the Scriptures, by the laborious ministers of the word, who are like to bees; see Psalms 19:10; to "milk", for the purity of them and the nourishment had by them; for their being easy of digestion, when mixed with faith; and for their being of a cooling nature, to allay the heat of a fiery law in the conscience; and for the recovery and restoration of souls by them, in a declining condition; see 1 Peter 2:2; these may be said to be "under the tongue", when they have a place in the heart, are the subject of constant meditation, a sweetness is tasted in them; and they are had in readiness to speak of them upon all occasions;

and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon; the ancients formerly scented their garments; Calypso gave to Ulysses sweet smelling garments {c}: such are Christ's robe of righteousness, and garments of salvation, which are said to "smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia"; with which the saints being arrayed, the smell of their raiment is as "the smell of a field the Lord has blessed", and so like the smell of Lebanon, a mountain abounding with odoriferous trees and plants; see Psalms 45:8. Or the outward conversation garments of the saints may be designed, the mention of which fitly follows the lips and tongue; for when works go along with words, and practice with profession; when to lips dropping the doctrines of the Gospel, like the honeycomb, are joined the sweet smelling garments of an agreeable life and conversation; the Christian is very much ornamented, and becomes lovely and amiable.

{s} Vid. Theocrit. Idyll. 21. v. 26, 27. Homer. Iliad. 1. v. 249.
{t} Plauti Asinaria, Act. 3. Sc. 3. v. 24.
{u} Vid. Cohen de Lara, Ir David, p. 52. The word is used in T. Hieros. Challah, fol. 57. 4.
{w} Athenaeus, l. 1. c. 8. p. 9. & l. 14. c. 13. p. 644. Suidas in voce,

kandulov. Aristoph. Pax, & Florent. Christian. in ibid. p. 633.
{x} Lib. de Bono Sapore, c. 4.
{y} Lactant. de Fals. Relig. l. 1. c. 22. See Isa. vii. 15.
{z} Nemea, Ode 3. d. 10, 11.
{a} Trucul. Act. 1. Sc. 2. v. 75, 76,
{b} "Nec pigeat tritum niveo cum lacte papaver sumere, et expressis, mella liquata favis", Ovid. Fasti, l. 4. v. 149, 150.
{c} eimata yuwdea, Homer. Odyss. 5. v. 264. & 21. v. 52.