1. Song of Solomon 4:16 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Why does the young woman call on the north and south wind to blow upon her garden?

Song of Solomon 4:16 (ESV)

16 Awake, O north wind, and come, O south wind! Blow upon my garden, let its spices flow.

The woman responds to the man’s expressed desire to enter into a marriage of deep intimacy with her. She expresses her wish that the wind will blow on the garden, sending its fragrance out into the countryside and thus guiding the lover to find it. There is no hesitancy or fear, she welcomes his approach.1 The garden that was once locked and the fountain that was earlier sealed are now freely and joyfully opened up for him to enjoy. The refusal in Song of Solomon 2:17 has now fully been reversed.2

When the woman summons the north wind and the south wind to awake and blow upon my garden, she uses the same Hebrew verb uri that was translated as stir up in Song of Solomon 2:7, where she warned the daughters of Jerusalem against arousing love too soon. She is now speaking of her own arousal. The winds turn this once slumbering and locked garden into an opened and awakened paradise that now wafts its delightful fragrance. The long-awaited day of their union has finally arrived.3 The mention of these two winds, north and south, coming from opposite directions, is imagery that shows that the woman is opening up herself completely and without reservation to the man.4