Song of Solomon 7:2

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

Thy navel is like a round goblet,.... According to some, not the navel itself is meant; but a covering of it, a jewel or plate of gold in the shape of it; and because the word for "round", in the Chaldee language, signifies the "moon", and so Ben Melech interprets it, some have thought of the "round tire like the moon", Isaiah 3:18; though that was rather an ornament about the neck. Bishop Patrick is of opinion that it refers to "the clothing of wrought gold", Psalms 45:13; which had, on the part that covered the belly, a raised embossed work, resembling a heap or sheaves of wheat; about which was an embroidery of curious flowers, particularly lilies; and, in the midst of the whole, a fountain or conduit, running with several sorts of liquor, into a great bowl or basin: and Fortunatus Scacchus {n} interprets it of a garment, covering this part, embroidered with lilies. All which may represent the beautiful robe of Christ's righteousness the church is adorned with. But rather the part itself is meant, and designs the ministers of the Gospel; who, in the administration of the word and ordinances, are that to the church as the navel is to a human body; that is in an eminent part of it, is the strength of the intestines, conduces much to the health of the body, and by which the child in the womb is supposed to receive its nourishment: ministers are set in the highest place in the church; are strong in themselves, through the grace and power of Christ and the means of strengthening others; and of keeping the church a good plight and healthful state, by the wholesome words and sound doctrines they preach; and also of nourishing souls in embryo, and when new born, with the sincere milk of the word: and as the navel is said to be like a "round goblet", cup, bowl, or basin, this aptly describes that part; and may express the perfection of Gospel ministers, their gifts and grace, not in an absolute, but comparative sense, the round or circular form being reckoned the most perfect; and also the workmanship bestowed on them, the gifts and grace of the Spirit, a round goblet being turned and formed by some curious artist; and likewise their capacity to hold and retain Gospel truths. And they are compared, not to an empty one, but to one

which wanteth not liquor; meaning the large and never failing supplies of gifts and grace from Christ; so that they never want the liquor, the oil and wine of Gospel truths, to communicate to others, Zechariah 4:12. The word used signifies a "mixture", or a "mixed liquor" {o}, as of wine and milk, Song of Solomon 5:1; or rather of wine and water, much used in the eastern countries; so the wine of Sharon used to be mixed, two parts water and one wine {p}: and this designs, not a mixture of divine truths and human doctrines, which ought not to be made; but the variety of Gospel truths ministers deliver to others, and that in a manner they are most capable of receiving them. Some {q} render the words as a wish, "let there not want", &c. and so they declare the tender concern of Christ, that his church might have a continual supply in the ministry of the word;

thy belly is like a heap of wheat; which denotes the fruitfulness of the church in bringing souls to Christ, comparable to a pregnant woman; and whose fruit, young converts born in her, are compared to "a heap of wheat" for their number, choiceness, and solidity, being able to bear the fan of persecution: it was usual with the Jews to scatter wheat on the heads of married persons at their weddings, three times, saying, "increase and multiply" {r}; see Isaiah 66:8. This heap of wheat is said to be "set about", or "hedged, with lilies" {s}; which suggests, that it was not a heap of wheat on the corn floor which is meant, but a field of standing wheat, enclosed and fenced, not with thorns, but lilies; and these lilies may signify grown saints, who are often compared to lilies in this book, by whom young converts are encompassed and defended; or the beauties of holiness, in which they appear as soon as born again, Ps 110:3.

{n} Eleochrysm. Sacr. l. 3. p. 1016.
{o} gzmh krama, Sept. "mixtio", Mercerus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "mixtura", Marckius, Michaelis.
{p} T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 77. 1. Nidda, fol. 19. 1.
{q} So Junius & Tremellius, Ainsworth.
{r} Vid. Selden. Uxor. Heb. l. 2. c. 15. p. 195.
{s} hgwo pefragmhnh, Sept. "vallatus", V. L. "circumseptus", Tigurine version, Michaelis; "septus", Pagninus, Montanus, Brightman, Cocceius, Marckius, & alii.