How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!
The bridegroom continues wondering at the church, his bride’s beauty, it being incomparable and inexpressible, it could not be said well how great it was; and expressing the strength of his love to her, which was invariably the same as ever. Of the “fairness” of the church, and of this title, “love,” see Song of Solomon 1:9; and here she is said also to be “pleasant” to him, as his spouse and bride, in whom he takes infinite delight and pleasure, loving her with a love of complacency and delight; and therefore adds, “for delights,” which he had in her before the world was, Proverbs 8:31. She was all delight to him; her words, her actions and gestures, her comely countenance, her sweet and pleasant voice in prayer and praise, her ravishing looks of faith and love, her heavenly airs, and evangelic walk; in all which she appeared beautiful and delightful, beyond all human thought and expression.
This thy breasts to clusters [of grapes]; thy stature is like to a palm tree,
…. Made up of the above parts commended, and 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.Sa 9:2”; hence methods are often made use of to make them look taller, and the simile of a tree is not an improper one: here the church is likened to a palm tree: the Egyptian palm tree is said to be the best; 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,” and fitly expresses a good shape and stature. The church’s stature is no other than the “stature of the fullness 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 Psalm 92:12; an emblem of victory (Rev.4:6, 7:9) and where it grows water is found.
though rather clusters of dates, the fruit of the palm tree, are designed, since this fruit 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 of the milk of the word; some suggest the breasts are baptism and the Lord’s supper, 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; They could also signify the sevenfold fruit of the Spirit manifest in love to God and ones neighbour which glorify Christ by nourishing others in the faith or are used to draw others to him (Matt.5:16, 7:16-20, John 15)—JK