Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts
like clusters of fruit.
(24) The Hebrew word translated “palm tree” refers to the female flower out of which develops large cluster of juicy sweet fruit. Shulamit’s breasts are compared to such clusters. The word clusters refers to the dark brown or golden yellow cluster which grows at the summit of the branches and beautifies the appearance of the palm tree.
I said, “I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its
(24) p 56 the picture of fertilizing the palm tree
(22a) p 220 Some translations read “its clusters” of fruit. But the “its” is intentionally absent in the original, since the lyric will liken her breasts to two kinds of clusters: first to “date clusters” of the palm tree and then to “grape clusters” from the vine.
May your breasts be like the clusters of the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples,
and your mouth like the best wine.
May the wine go straight to my lover, flowing gently over lips and teeth.
(24) Shulamit interrupts Solomon’s statement about the wine to complete the figure begun by him. Bad tasting wine sticks to the palate. Good tasting wine goes down smoothly.
(22) p. 167. the Syriac, Septuagint and Vulgate read very closely weshinnim (and teeth)
(22a) p 129 a return to paradise—is this why Solomon and Shulamith contradict contemporary stereotype of romantic love? Like the idea that men seek only sexual satisfaction and women seek only emotional intimacy. Although this seems to me like an insult to both genders, the caricatures often contain a measure of truth. But in the Song, the pattern is different. In the return to paradise, each partner fully enjoys both emotional and physical intimacy.
(22a) p 220-222 compares this desire to Genesis 3.16 and 4.7 the role of the husband and the wife
This is a reference back to Genesis and the roles God assigned to Adam and Eve – compare it to the husband to love his wife and the wife to respect the husband in Paul’s writings. Somehow all three are describing the relationship.
(20) 643 Gordis commented on the radically different spirit in Gen 3:16 where Eve is punished by being made subservient to her husband and the present instance where virtually the same words are used to express the joyous desire of lovers for each other.