Her Nazarites were purer than snow
Such who separated themselves by a vow to the Lord, and abstained from drinking wine and strong drink, and by a moderate diet, and often washing themselves, as well as taking great care of their hair, appeared very neat and comely, like snow, without any spot or blemish. Some think such as were separated from others in dignity, very honourable persons, the sons of nobles, are meant, since the word has the signification of a "crown", and interpret it, her princes; Jarchi makes mention of this sense, and rejects it; but it is received by many: and the meaning is, that her young noblemen, who were well fed, and neatly dressed, looked as pure and as beautiful as the driven snow: they were whiter than milk;
this intends the same thing, expressed by another metaphor: they were more ruddy in body than rubies;
or rather "than precious stones"; and particularly "than pearls", which Bochart F17 proves at large are designed by the word used, which are white, and not red; and the word should be rendered, "clearer" or "whiter than pearls", as it is by Lyra and others F18; and the word in the Arabic language signifies white and clear F19, as pearls are; and so the phrase is expressive of the beauty and comeliness of these persons: and Ludolphus
F20 says, that in the Ethiopic language it signifies "beautiful"; and he translates the whole, "they were more beautiful than pearls"; denoting the clearness of their skins, and the goodness of their complexion: their polishing [was] of sapphire;
or "their cutting, sapphire" F21; they were as beautiful as if they had been cut out of sapphire, and polished; which is a very precious stone, and looks very beautiful; so smooth were their skins. The Targum is,
``their face or countenance is as sapphire.''Braunius F23 thinks the word used signifies the veins full of blood, which variously intersect the flesh like sapphirine rivers; and that the sense of the words is,
``their bodies were white like snow and milk, yea, shining like pearls (or red in the cheeks, lips like coral F24); veins full of blood running between like sapphire, of a most agreeable sky colour; which is, a true description of a most fair and beautiful body.''See ( Song of Solomon 5:14 ) . All this is to be understood of them before the famine, but, when that came upon them, then they were as follow:
F17 Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 5. c. 6. p. 688.
F18 (Mynynpm Mue wmda) "lucidiores corpore margaritis", Bochart; "candidi fuerunt [in] corpore prae margaritis", Noldius.
F20 Comment. in Ethiop. Hist. l. 1. No. 107.
F21 (Mtrzg rypo) "sapphirus excisio eorum", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Calvin; "[quasi] sectio eorum esset ex sapphiro", Munster.
F23 De Vestitu Sacerdot. Hebr. l. 2. c. 12. sect. 7. p. 676.
F24 So Bootius, Animadv. l. 4. c. 3. sect. 8. p. 144. Lutherus & Osiander in ib.