Thy lips, O [my] spouse, drop [as] the
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 F19; and lovers are said to be sweeter to one another than the sweet honey F20: 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" F21, and sometimes "candylos" F23, which was the same composition; Galen F24 says, it was not safe to take goats' milk without honey; Jove is said F25 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 F26 compares his hymn or ode to honey mixed with milk, as being sweet and grateful; and in Plautus F1,
``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 F2; 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 ) ( 119:103 ) ; 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 F3: 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 ) ( Genesis 27:27 ) ( Hosea 14:6 ) . 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.
F19 Vid. Theocrit. Idyll. 21. v. 26, 27. Homer. Iliad. 1. v. 249.
F20 Plauti Asinaria, Act. 3. Sc. 3. v. 24.
F21 Vid. Cohen de Lara, Ir David, p. 52. The word is used in T. Hieros. Challah, fol. 57. 4.
F23 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.
F24 Lib. de Bono Sapore, c. 4.
F25 Lactant. de Fals. Relig. l. 1. c. 22. See Isa. vii. 15.
F26 Nemea, Ode 3. d. 10, 11.
F1 Trucul. Act. 1. Sc. 2. v. 75, 76,
F2 "Nec pigeat tritum niveo cum lacte papaver sumere, et expressis, mella liquata favis", Ovid. Fasti, l. 4. v. 149, 150.
F3 (eimata yuwdea) , Homer. Odyss. 5. v. 264. & 21. v. 52.