And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine
Which may intend, either her taste, as the word is rendered in ( Song of Solomon 2:3 ) ; by which she can distinguish good wine from bad, truth from error; or her breath, sweet and of a good smell, like the best wine; the breathings of her soul in prayer, which are sweet odours, perfumed with the incense of Christ's mediation; or rather her speech, the words of her mouth; the roof of the mouth being an instrument of speech; the same word is sometimes rendered "the mouth", ( Song of Solomon 5:16 ) ( Proverbs 5:3 ) ( 8:7 ) ; and may denote both her speech in common conversation, which is warming, refreshing, comforting, and quickening; and in prayer and praise, which is well pleasing and delightful to Christ; and especially the Gospel preached by her ministers, comparable to the best wine for its antiquity, being an ancient Gospel; for its purity, unadulterated, and free from mixture, and as faithfully dispensed; its delight, flavour, and taste, to such who have their spiritual senses exercised; and for its cheering, refreshing, and strengthening nature, to drooping weary souls. It follows, for my beloved, that goeth [down] sweetly;
is received and taken down with all readiness, by those who have once tasted the sweetness and felt the power of it. Or, "that goeth to righteousnesses" F20; leading to the righteousness of Christ for justification, and teaching to live soberly and righteously: or, "that goeth to my beloved, straightway" or "directly" F21; meaning either to his Father, Christ calls his beloved, to whose love the Gospel leads and directs souls, as in a straight line, as to the source of salvation, and all the blessings of grace; or to himself, by a "mimesis", whom the church calls so; the Gospel leading souls directly to him, his person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, for peace, pardon, justification, and atonement: or, "that goeth to my beloved to uprightnesses" F23; that is, to the church, who is Christ's beloved, consisting of upright men in heart and life, whom Christ calls his beloved and his friends, ( Song of Solomon 5:1 ) ; and whom Christ treats with his best wine, his Gospel; and which is designed for them, their pleasure, profit, comfort, and establishment: causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak;
either such who are in the dead sleep of sin; who, when the Gospel comes with power, are quickened by it; and it produces in them humble confessions of sin; causes them to speak in praise of Christ, and his grace, and of the salvation which he has procured for lost sinners; it brings them to Zion, to declare what great things God has done for them: or else drowsy professors, in lifeless frames, and much gone back in religion; who, when aroused and quickened by the Gospel, and brought out of their lethargy, are ready to acknowledge their backslidings with shame; to speak meanly and modestly of themselves, and very highly of Christ and his grace, who has healed their backslidings, and still loves them freely; none more ready to exalt and magnify Christ, and speak in praise of what he has done for them. Some render the words, "causing the lips of ancient men to speak" F24; whose senses are not so quick, nor they so full of talk, as in their youthful days: wherefore this serves to commend this wine; that it should have such an effect as to invigorate ancient men, and give them a juvenile warmth and sprightliness, and make them loquacious, which is one effect of wine, when freely drunk F25; and softens the moroseness of ancient men F26: wine is even said to make an ancient man dance F1.
F20 (Myrvyml) "ad rectitudines", Montanus; "ad ea quae roetissima sunt", Tigurine version.
F21 "Directe", Mercerus; "rectissime", Brightman.
F23 "Ad rectitudines", i.e. "rectos homines", Marckius, Michaelis.
F24 (Mynvy) "veterum", Pagninus; "antiquorum", Vatablus.
F25 Philoxenus apud Athenaei Deipnosoph. l. 2. c. 1. p. 25. Vid. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 38. 1.
F26 Philoxenus apud Athenaei Deipnosoph. l. 11. c. 3. p. 463.
F1 Ibid. l. 4. c. 4. p. 134. l. 10. c. 7. p. 428.