This thy stature is like to a palm tree
Made up of the above parts commended, and others had in view, as appears from the relative "this". The word for "stature" properly signifies height, tallness, and erectness; and which were reckoned agreeable in women, as well as men; (See Gill on 1 Samuel 9:2); hence methods are often made use of to make them look taller, as by their head dresses, their shoes, and by stretching out their necks, ( Isaiah 3:16 ) ; and the simile of a tree is not an improper one: and so Galatea is, for height and tallness, compared to an alder and to a plane tree F8; and Helena, to a cypress tree in a garden F9, on the same account; and here the church to a palm tree: the Egyptian palm tree is said to be the best F11; and if Solomon here has any reference to Pharaoh's daughter, his wife, he might think of that, which is described
``of body straight, high, round, and slender F12,''and fitly expresses a good shape and stature. The church's stature is no other than the "stature of the fulness of Christ", ( Ephesians 4:13 ) ; which will be attained unto when all the elect are gathered in, and every member joined to the body, and all filled with the gifts and graces of the spirit designed for them, and are grown up to a just proportion in the body; and in such a state Christ seems to view his church, and so commends her by this simile: saints are oftentimes compared to palm trees in Scripture on other accounts; see ( Psalms 92:12 ) ; and thy breasts to clusters [of grapes];
on a vine which might be planted by and run up upon a palm tree, as Aben Ezra suggests: though rather clusters of dates, the fruit of the palm tree, are designed, since this fruit, as Pliny F13 observes, grows in clusters; and to clusters of the vine the church's breasts are compared in ( Song of Solomon 7:8 ) . And by these "breasts" may be meant either the ministers of the Gospel, who communicate the sincere milk of the word to souls; and may be compared to clusters for their numbers, when there is plenty of them, which is a great mercy to the church; and for their unity, likeness, and agreement in their work, in their ministrations, and in the doctrine they preach, though their gifts may be different; or else the two Testaments, full of the milk of the word; and comparable to "clusters" of grapes or dates, because of the many excellent doctrines and precious promises in them; which, when pressed by hearing, reading, meditation, and prayer, yield both delight and nourishment to the souls of men. Some think the two ordinances of the Gospel, baptism and the Lord's supper, are intended, which are breasts of consolation; and, when the presence of Christ, and the manifestations of his love, are enjoyed in them, they afford much pleasure and satisfaction; and as those breasts are full in themselves, they are beautiful in the eye of Christ, and as such commended; (See Gill on Song of Solomon 4:5).
F8 Ovid. Metamorph. l. 13. Fab. 8.
F9 Theocrit. Idyll. 18. v. 30.
F11 A. Gellii Nect. Attic. l. 7. c. 16. Vid. Strabo. Geograph. l. 17. p. 563.
F12 Sandys's Travels, l. 2. p. 79.
F13 Nat. Hist. l. 13. c. 4.