CPG 3684
Author Apollinaris
Greek Text PG 87.2, 1548-1549, 1552-1553, 1556, 1581, 1584, 1608, 1662, 1697, 1704, 1708, 1721, 1724, 1749

Song of Songs 1:2-3 Because your breasts are better than wine. And the fragrance of your oils is beyond all the aromatic herbs.

Since the many wines in Scripture are stronger and weaker, now the breasts of the bridegroom are compared to the stronger wines. For they would not be compared with the weaker ones. So the bride, after being gladdened by many different wines and having made preparation to receive the breasts of the bridegroom which are better than these, says, “These are more honorable than the wine in the law and the prophets.” And the same thing is true about the oil as is about the wine. See how in the case of the gospel citizenship, she said, “fragrance,” but in the case of the law service she sets down “aromatic herbs,” showing that of the former is spiritual excellence but of the latter is coarseness.

Song of Songs 1:3 Your name is perfume poured out.

For by the name of Christ all things are cleansed, healed, baptized, and sweet things are caused to dwell in us. He says the Holy Spirit and the poured-out name works the pouring out of the Spirit upon all, according to “You were sanctified and justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6:11). The name which does these things is rightfully perfume poured out.

Song of Songs 1:4 We will love your breasts more than wine. Righteousness loved me.

Because of this, let us love more than the human stream of your words, for righteousness, Jesus, loved you. Through him what is crooked is directed straight. Such a person is the disciple whom Jesus loved.

Song of Songs 1:6 The sons of my mother fought against me. They made me keeper in the vineyards. My vineyards I did not keep.

And these things would refer also to those who formerly persecuted the Church but later taught those who had been persecuted by them, such as Paul. For Symmachus published in the singular, saying, “‘The son of my mother fought against me. He made me keeper in the vineyards,’ that is, after the persecuting, he made me to keep the commandments of God.”

Song of Songs 2:3 As an apple tree among the trees of the thicket, so is my nephew in the midst of his brothers. In his shade I have desired and sat. And his fruit is sweet in my throat.

Then truly the senses of my soul are sweetened when the shade of the apple tree separates us from the blaze of trials so as to not be burned up by this kind of sun. But it is not possible to be refreshed under the shade of the tree of life unless the desire leads the soul to it.

Song of Songs 2:4 Lead me into the house of wine.

And wine is for the merriment of the heart, according to the Psalmist (103:15). And wine is sweet-smelling, according to Zechariah (9:17).
But it is fitting for the arriving bride to say, “Lead me into the house of wine.” For she was not previously in the vineyard. For after those who are called around the third and sixth and ninth hours, she is called at the eleventh hour after hearing, “Why have you been standing here all day idle? Go into my vineyard” (Mt 20:6-7). For she was idle because she was not working what belonged to her but was keeping the vineyards of others. And she first receives the compensation of love, the royal stamp, the spiritual gift. Therefore also Aquila says, “He arranged love for me.” For “I want to give to this most recent one as to you” (Mt 20:14) comes from love.

Song of Songs 2:13-14 Arise, come, my neighbor, my beauty, my dove. And come, my dove, in the covering of the rock, near the outer wall. Show me your face and let me hear your voice. For your voice is sweet and your face is lovely.

Or also the inner man is the wall and the outer man is the outer wall, which Aquila published in “Hidden things.” In this Christ also orders prayers to be made.

Song of Songs 4:12 You are a closed garden, my sister, bride. You are a closed garden, a sealed-off spring.

The bride is a closed garden for another reason: because it has more in it than is apparent to the mind.

Song of Songs 5:13 His lips are lilies with myrrh.

He says the lips which confess death are dripping with myrrh. He blooms like a lily but to us he is introduced as the transfer through death to life.

Song of Songs 6:1 Where has your nephew gone, beauty among women? Where has your nephew turned his attention? And we will seek him with you.

The bridegroom, the Word, is present everywhere, but the presence of the Savior is at work for what is necessary, as previously in Israel, so now wholly in the Church, and especially in the saints. So here she shows through these symbols that he is staying, hinting at the time when he said he would be beaten and wounded and stripped of his garment.

Song of Songs 6:2 I to my nephew. My nephew to me. He shepherds among the lilies.

So that no one may think that her garden and the bridegroom’s dwelling there differ, she shows that she is the one grazed by him and she is the lilies. After she has said these things, the bridegroom appears, singing her praises and talking about what in her is pleasing, in keeping with, “I love those who love me” (Pro 8:17).

Song of Songs 6:8-9 There are sixty queens and eighty concubines and young women without number. My dove, my perfect one, is one. The only one to her mother. She is chosen by her who bore her. The daughters saw her and will bless her. And queens and concubines will praise her.

And in another way. Her greatest perfection is revealed in her affinity with God, for the perfect Church is compared with both the preeminent ones of the former calling and those who are now second after her. The calling of the former people is worldly and corresponds to the six days on which the world was created. It is authoritative and placed in the reign. But the royal worthiness is kept by the Israelite race with Christ according to the prophecies promising the throne of David and its upholder, Christ, in keeping with what is in the Gospels, “And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever” (Lk 1:33). The number 80 shows the New Testament.

Song of Songs 6:9 Who is this who peeks out like the dawn?—Beautiful like the moon, chosen like the sun, awesome as the ordered things.

And she is compared to different things according to her different qualities. For she has the gentleness of the moon and the purity of the sun.

Song of Songs 8:12 My vineyard is mine before me. The thousands are for Solomon and the two hundred are for those who keep his fruit.

So in the beginning he says, “Our vines bloom,” but at the end of the book he introduced the perfectly ripe fruit. And for the king of the earth and the keepers the reward from the wine is great at the time when the master and keeper of the vineyard comes and is glorified. As Paul says, “When he comes to be glorified among his saints” (2 Thess 1:10), and again the guard of the vineyard says, “We will be a boast for the day of Christ” (Phil 2:16). But since everything is accomplished by the grace of Christ, full perfection pertains to him. Great also is the reward of the servants, as he spoke through parables about the one who doubled the mina and the one who quintupled it. They were placed over the same number of cities as their multiplication. But in general Matthew says that he places the good servant and faithful steward over everything which belongs to him (Mt 25:21). But if there is no difference between the two, the distribution of the thousands comes to the servants, for they receive the things of the Lord two hundred apiece, divided five ways. For the Lord also uses five virgins to represent those who meet him, which are the saints. So my hallowed vineyard and its fruit-bearing is divided equally, in keeping with my sharing, to perfect people into five classes: apostles, prophets, teachers, taught, and martyrs. Although they are also the twigs and farmers and overseers. For they are indicated in many ways.

Translated by AMJ

Last updated: 8-16-2013

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