Song of Solomon4:13

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Your children are beautiful, protected, and well-cared-for,

characterized by prosperity and blessings,

by the best that prosperity has to offer, by beauty and lots of refreshment,


1: "sprout"

The noun used here can mean “weapon, dart, spear or sprout.” How does “sprout” fit with these weapons? The word comes from a verb that means “to send forth.” The weapons in view are the types of weapons that one launches at the enemy; likewise a sprout is something that the plant sends forth.

Re; the imagery:  In the context of The Song, the intended meaning of “sprouts” is most likely their daughters. Here he says, “your sprouts” even though he is talking about “their daughters.” I conjecture that he said it that way in order to emphasize how well she (the Shulammite) was doing in her role as mother, nurturer, and caregiver.

2: "orchard”

This is a loan word from another language in that region; it is only used 3 times in the Bible so we don’t have many comparative uses to go on to determine its exact meaning. BDB say the word refers primarily to an enclosure, specifically one containing a well-cared-for selection of fruit trees and costly plants. The editors of the NET Bible say the word originally referred to the enclosed parks or “pleasure grounds” that were exclusively for the kings of Persia. The word’s Greek equivalent looks like the English word “paradise” when transliterated into English characters.

Re: the imagery: For the purpose of the paraphrase, it requires an entire phrase in which I have tried to capture the ideas of an enclosure, of beauty, and of special care. A modern-day orchard usually has only one type of tree in one area, but that was probably not the case in ancient times.


Pomegranates were a sign of prosperity and blessing. One may think it is no big deal that the daughters of the king were characterized by prosperity and blessing because they did nothing to earn it. But I don’t think that is how the word prosperity was being used. The Hebrews thought of blessings as taking many forms, not just monetary. Prosperity was likewise a broad term indicating a healthy and proper state of being on several levels, one of which was financial. There was also a spiritual element to these ideas, for if someone was blessed it implied he was living in a way that was pleasing to God. However, the concepts of blessed and prosperous were not the same thing. Not everyone who was wealthy was seen as pleasing God, but everyone who was blessed was. We could say he was proud of his daughters in part because they were not growing up to be rich little brats.


Fruit was a sign of prosperity and productivity because the tree had to be prosperous and productive in order for there to be any fruit.

5: “henna”

The word used here is “camphire,” but it is often translated “henna” because it is thought that they were the same plant. The interesting thing about this word is that the same spelling, when accented differently, means “the cost of a life, or ransom,” i.e. self-sacrifice. Observing self-sacrifice in someone is a touching and beautiful thing.

6: "nard"

Several aromatic oils are utilized here as a layered word-picture. Layer upon layer is used to emphasize the same meaning since these various oils were known to revive and refresh. To say the same thing over and over again with normal speech becomes boring or obnoxious in short order, but to do so with word-pictures generates a powerful impact. In this list, the exceptions are henna and calamus; henna is a picture of beauty while calamus is a picture of frailty or something delicate. However, both are used in conjunction with a picture of refreshment, which is the general emphasis of this list.