Song of Solomon 5:15

Song of Solomon 5:15

His legs [are as] pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine
The allusion may be to the "femoralia", or garments on the thighs of the high priest when he ministered in holy things, who was a type of Christ; which were made of thee twined linen, and, as the Rabbins say F5, of thread six times doubled; and so must sit very full and stiff, and be like pillars of marble, for colour, firmness, and stiffness; and below which was the hem of the holy robe: and, round about that, were pomegranates and golden bells, and which may be alluded to in the next clause, "set upon sockets of fine gold"; or else the allusion may be to the custom F6 of the eastern countries, where they sandals, bound about the feet with golden ribbons; or had their shoes adorned with gold and precious stones; or were made of gold, as were those which Demetrius wore: snow white feet, with golden knots, as Manilius F7 expresses it, must look very beautiful; and marble legs or feet, as the poet F8 calls them, with golden shoes, suggest the same idea. Now if a covering of the thighs is alluded to, this may respect the pure and spotless righteousness of Christ, and the glory and excellency of it; which covers the nakedness of saints; hides all their impurities, their sins, original and actual; and renders them acceptable in the sight of God: or the legs of Christ being thus compared may denote the strength and power of Christ, to bear up and support what has been or is laid upon him; as the whole universe, the earth, and all that is in it; the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises, which he is the basis and foundation of; the whole church, the persons of all the elect, whom he represented in eternity, and now in time; all their sins and transgressions, laid upon him and bore by him, in his body on the cross; the government of his people on his shoulder; their burdens, and them under all their trials, temptations, and afflictions; and as all the vessels, so all the glory of his Father's house: and these may set forth also the power of Christ, in treading under and trampling upon all his and his people's enemies, both when on the cross, and now in heaven, where he must reign until all enemies are put under his feet. Or legs, being the instruments of walking, may intend either his ways of love, grace, and mercy, in the covenant before time, in favour of his people; and which, like marble pillars, are pure, firm, and constant, and like such, in golden sockets, glorious and excellent: or his walk and conversation, when incarnate and in his state of humiliation; which was always upright, even, and constant; and upon which were a beauty, glory, and lustre, answerable to the metaphors here used: or his walks in the churches, his golden candlesticks; among whom he delights to be, and to whom his presence is desirable, beautiful, and glorious: or his providential dispensations towards his people; which are straight, upright, and equal, holy and righteous, firm and sure; the basis of which are his eternal purposes and decrees;

his countenance [is] as Lebanon:
his shape, form, personage, appearance, and mien; which was a goodly mountain on the north of Judea, high, pleasant, and set with fruitful and fragrant trees, and made a very delightful appearance; to which Christ may be compared for his height, being higher than the kings of the earth, than the angels of heaven, and than the heavens themselves; and for pleasantness, being more glorious and excellent than that or any other mountain; and for the fruitful and fragrant trees of righteousness that grow upon him, have their root in him, and their fruitfulness from him; and which diffuse a grateful odour, by their graces and good works, to Christ and his saints; and who himself more especially, like this mountain, emits a fragrant smell, in his person, grace, righteousness, and sacrifice, to all passers-by, and true believers in him. It is added,

excellent as the cedars;
which grew on Lebanon; being the choicest, and preferable to all others: to which Christ may be compared, for tallness, stateliness, fragrancy, and durableness F9; especially the former, which is always thought to add gracefulness and majesty to men; (See Gill on 1 Samuel 9:2).


F5 Kimchi Sepher Shorash. rad. (rzv) , Maimon. Hilchot Cele Hamikdash, c. 8. s. 14. Jarchi in loc.
F6 Vid. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 9. c. 35. & l. 37. c. 2.
F7 De Margaritis, l. 5.
F8 "Litora marmoreis pedibus signanda puellae", Ovid. Amor. l. 2. Eleg. 11. v. 5.
F9 "Et cedro digna locutus", Persii Satyr. 1. v. 42.