1. Song of Solomon 6:11 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Why does the woman go down to the nut orchard?

Song of Solomon 6:11 (ESV)

11 I went down to the nut orchard to look at the blossoms of the valley, to see whether the vines had budded, whether the pomegranates were in bloom.

Whereas the man went down to his garden to graze (Song of Solomon 6:1), the woman now goes down to gaze. Poetically, this going down flows from her exalted position in Song of Solomon 6:10, where her husband compares her to the moon and the sun high in the skies looking down.1

By this time the reader understands that the city is hostile to love and any type of garden or cultivated countryside (nut orchard, vineyard) setting welcomes intimacy. Spring is a time of love, a time of new fertility and suggestive of sexuality.2

The woman went down to look for evidence of the return of spring. The language of blossoms, a vineyard, and pomegranates reminds the reader of the words of the young man Song of Solomon 2:12–13, where these things were signs that the whole world was in flower, and that it was the time for love. Now, after responding negatively to his advances in Song of Solomon 5:3, the young woman is searching hopefully for similar signs of a spring thaw in their relationship.3