Song of Solomon 4:13

Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,

Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates,.... These plants are the members of the church, true converts, believers in Christ; pleasant plants, plants of renown, planted in the church by Christ's heavenly Father, and shall never be plucked up; or, thy gardens, as it may be rendered {n}; particular churches, well taken care of and watered; these make an orchard, or are like one, even a paradise, as the word {o} signifies: it is generally thought to be a Persic word; see Nehemiah 2:8; but Hillerus {p} derives it from rrp, to "separate", it being a garden, separated and enclosed as before; one like Eden's garden, exceeding pleasant and delightful: and not like an orchard of any sort of trees, but of "pomegranates", of which there were plenty in Canaan, hence called a "land of pomegranates", Deuteronomy 8:8; many places in it had their names from thence, Joshua 15:32. To which believers in Christ may be compared, for the various sorts of them {q}, for their largeness, fruitfulness, and uprightness; saints have gifts and grace, differing from one another as to size, but all pomegranates, trees of righteousness; some are larger, and excel others, are full of all the fruits of righteousness; but all are, more or less, fruitful and upright in heart: and so the saints of the higher class may be here designed, as those of a lower are by other trees and spices after mentioned;

with pleasant fruits; that are valuable, precious, and desirable, of which an enumeration follows:

camphire, with spikenard; or "cypresses", or "cyprusses with nards" {r}; both in the plural number: the former may intend cypress trees, so called on account of their berries and fruits growing in clusters; see Song of Solomon 1:14; and the latter, because there are different sorts of them, as "nardus Italica", "Indica", and "Celtica": to these saints may be compared, because pleasant and delightful, of a sweet smell, and rare and excellent.

{n} Vid. Guisium in Misn. Sheviith, c. 2. s. 2.
{o} odrp paradeisov, Sept. "paradisus", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Cocceius, Marckius, Michaelis.
{p} Onomastic. Sacr. p. 291.
{q} Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 13. c. 19.
{r} So Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.