I went down into the garden of nuts
This is very properly taken notice of in this song of love; it being usual for newly married persons to get nuts, and throw them among children, to make pastime; to signify, among other things, that they now renounced childish things F21. These are the words of Christ, declaring to the church where he went, and what he employed himself about, when he departed from her; see ( Song of Solomon 6:2 ) . Of the garden, as it intends the church, (See Gill on Song of Solomon 5:12); into which he was invited to come, and did, as here; see ( Song of Solomon 4:16 ) ( 5:1 ) ; here it is called a "garden of nuts", which may design a spot in it destined for this fruit; by which some understand "nutmegs", which is not very likely, since such grew not in those parts: rather "walnuts", which the Arabs call "gauz" or "geuz", which is the same word that is here used; Pistacia nuts were well known in Syria F23, which joined to Judea. And by "nuts", which grew in the garden, the church, true believers, may be designed; who, like them, have a mean outward appearance, but are valuable within, having the true grace of God in them; and because of their divers coverings, their outward conversation garments, the robe of Christ's righteousness, and the internal sanctification of the Spirit, which answer to the husk and shell, and the thin inward skin over the nut; and because of their hardiness in enduring afflictions and troubles, the shell may represent; and because of their best and most excellent parts being hidden, even grace, the hidden man of the heart, signified by the kernel, and which will not fully appear until the shell or tabernacle of the body is broken down; and because of their safety from harm and pollution, amidst the storms of afflictions, persecutions, and temptations, and pollutions of the world, the principle of grace, like the kernel, remains unhurt and undefiled; and because of the multitude of believers, united and cleaving together, which is delightful to behold, like clusters of nuts in a nut garden. Some render it, "the pruned garden", or "garden of pruning" F24; whose plants, trees, and vines, are pruned and kept in good order, by Christ's father, the husbandman and vinedresser; see ( Song of Solomon 2:12 ) ( 5:12 ) . The ends of Christ in going into it were, to see the fruits of the valley;
to observe the graces of his Spirit; the actings, exercise, and growth of them in humble souls, among whom he delights to be, ( Isaiah 57:15 ) ; the Septuagint version is, "the shoots of the brook" or "river": and may denote the fertile soil in which believers are planted, even by the river of divine love; with which being watered, they flourish, ( Psalms 1:3 ) ; [and] to see whether the vine flourished;
particular churches, or believers, compared to vines; who may be said to flourish, when they increase in numbers, and are fruitful in grace and good works; see ( Song of Solomon 2:13 ) ; [and] the pomegranates budded;
of which, see ( Song of Solomon 4:13 ) ; the budding, of them may design the beginnings, or first putting, forth, of grace in the saints; which Christ takes much notice of, and is highly pleased with.
F21 Vid. Chartarium de Imag. Deorum, p. 89. & Kipping. Antiqu. Rom. l. 4. c. 2. p. 697. "Sparge marite nuces" Virgil. Bucolic. Eclog. 8. v. 30. "Da nuces pueris", Catuili Juliae Epithal. Ep. 59, v. 131.
F23 Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 13. c. 5. Athenaei Deipnosophist. l. 14. c. 17. p. 649.
F24 (zwga tng) "hortos putatos", Junius & Tremellius; Heb. "tonsionis", Piscator; "hortum putationis", Marckius.