I said, I will go up to the palm tree,
…. Which is easy of ascent; having, in the bark of the trunk or body of the tree, rings like steps, whereby the eastern people climb it with incredible swiftness, those that have seen how men get up into palm trees.” By the “palm tree” may be meant the church militant, who yet gets the victory over all her enemies, of which the palm tree is an emblem; and Christ’s “going up” to it is expressive of his right to it, and property in it, which he has by his Father’s gift, his own purchase, and the power of his grace, and may go up to it when he pleases; also of his presence with his church, and of the delight he takes in her, viewing her stature, fruit, and flourishing circumstances;
I will take hold of the boughs thereof;
to gather the fruit on them; his own grace in exercise, and good works performed under the influence of it; see Song of Solomon 4:16; or to prune them; which he does by the ministry of the word, reproving sin, and refuting error; and, by afflictive providences, purging away sin; and by suffering persecution to befall his churches, whereby he clears them of carnal professors, and lops off withered and fruitless branches;
now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine;
Moody Stuart says these are the exceeding great and precious promises, the sincere milk of the word, with the breasts likened to vast clusters of grapes, round, full, soft, and succulent. Wine and milk ever flow together in the streams of life—MS. See Isaiah 66:8.
and the smell of thy nose like apples;
Here it may denote the inward constitution and outward conduct of the church, which were sound and healthful; she had an inward principle of grace, from whence proceeded a savoury conduct, a savoury breath, a holy breathing after divine and spiritual things: ” There should be a holy fragrance around the children of God” (Anon). It may intend the things she had a savour of, as divine truths and excellent doctrines, comparable to “apples,” Song of Solomon 2:5; and all spiritual and heavenly things, when they have the presence of Christ, and the quickening influences of his Spirit. Moody Stuart compares this with the corruption of those dead in sins whose throat is an open sepulchre and who even when silent spread around them a noxious exhalation.