Except for Joel 1:12 and Proverbs 25:11, the apple is mentioned only in the Song of Solomon in 2:3, 5; 7:8a; and 8:5. The setting of the Song of Solomon is often a garden. The author of the book had a keen interest in plants and was an accomplished plant scientist (I Kings 4: 33) and, if we accept Solomon as the author of Ecclesiastes, the architect of beautiful gardens (Ecclesiastes 2:5). In his song, he refers to more than twenty different plants, more than any other book in the Bible except Isaiah.
Unlike many Bible plants, apples and apple trees are well known in most parts of the world. And the imagery of beauty, fragrance, and fruitfulness is obvious except perhaps in 2:3.
In describing the apple tree among the forest trees, the Beloved is presenting an atypical picture. Apples trees don't grow among forest trees! But if they did, the beauty of the tree both in flower and fruit would be in sharp contrast to the other trees in that part of the world most of which lack showy flowers and fruits. By using this analogy, the Beloved is referring to the unique beauty and character of her Lover, a theme often repeated in this book.
Apple and Apples References