A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams
] Some F3 take these words to be the words of Christ continued, speaking still of his church, and explaining and enlarging upon what he had said of her, ( Song of Solomon 4:12 ) ; but they are rather the words of the church; who, upon hearing herself commended, and knowing that all her fruitfulness, and the flourishing condition she was in, were owing to the grace of Christ, breaks forth in these words, and ascribes all to him, saying, "O fountain of gardens, O well of living waters", &c. for so the words may be rendered in the vocative case F4. By the "gardens" may be meant particular distinct churches, such as were gathered in the first times of the Gospel, and since, as the churches of Asia separated from the world, and planted with trees of righteousness, such as are before described: and though there are many gardens or churches, there is but one "fountain" which supplies them all with gifts and grace, and that is Christ, and his fulness, the fountain from whence flow all grace, and the blessings of it: who also is the "well of living waters"; a well deep and large, fathomless and bottomless, dug by sovereign grace, and full of all grace; signified by "waters", for the abundance of it; and said to be "living", because by it dead sinners are quickened, and drooping saints revived; and is ever running F5, ever flowing and overflowing; so that there is always a supply for all Christ's gardens, and for all believers in all ages; who, with the bucket of faith, draw water with joy out of this well, or wells of salvation, ( Isaiah 12:3 ) ; and the flows of grace from hence are like "streams from Lebanon", because of the abundance of it; the constant and continued supplies of it; the rapidity and force with which it comes, bearing down all obstacles in its way, and for the pleasure it gives, the flows of it being as delightful and grateful as streams of water in hot countries. Respect seems to be had to several places called by these names; there was one, called "the Fountain of Gardens", which flowed from Lebanon, six miles from Tripoli, and watered all the gardens, whence it had its name, and all the country that lay between these two places F6; and there was another, called "the Well of living Waters", a little mile to the south of Tyre; it had four fountains, from whence were cut various aqueducts and rivulets, which watered all the plain of Tyre, and all its gardens; which fountains were little more than a bow's cast from the main sea, and in which space six mills were employed F7: and there is a rupture in Mount Lebanon, as Mr. Maundrell F8 says, which runs up it seven hours' travelling; and which, on both sides, is steep and high, and clothed with fragrant greens from top to bottom; and everywhere refreshed with "fountains", falling down from the rocks, in pleasant cascades, the ingenious work of nature; and Rauwolff F9, who was on this mountain in 1575, relates;
``we came (says he) into pleasant groves, by delightful "rivulets" that arose from "springs", that made so sweet a noise, as to be admired by King Solomon, ( Song of Solomon 4:15 ) ;''and these streams gave rise to some rivers, as Jordan, Eleutherus
F11 to which the allusion is here. There were two cities, one in the tribe of Judah, and the other in the tribe of Issachar, called Engannim, the fountain of gardens, ( Joshua 15:34 ) ( 19:21 ) .
F3 So Cocceius, Schmidt, Heunischius, Marckius, Michaelis.
F4 So Ainsworth, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Marckius.
F5 "Flumine vivo", Virgil. Aeneid. l. 2. v. 715, "Semper fluenti", i.e. "naturali", Servius in ibid.
F6 Adrichom. Theatrum Terrae Sanctum, p. 107, 108.
F7 Ibid. p. 6.
F8 Journey from Aleppo p. 142, 143.
F9 Travels, part. 2. ch. 12. p. 187, 188. Ed. Ray.
F11 Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 20. Joseph. Antiqu. l. 5. c. 3. s. 1.