In Shir Hashirim chapter 4, verse 14 states: "Spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all frankincense trees, myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices."
What is the significance of spikenard, saffron, calamus, cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh and aloes in this context? Are we to interpret these symbolically (as in they provide sweet aromatic smells and thus are pleasing to G*D.... mirroring the smell of the temple or Garden of Eden?) or were they historically the most valuable spices at this time? Or just the choice perfumes one would use to adorn themselves for beautification and fragrant reasons to make them more appealing to the opposite gender?
Do each of these spices represent a quality or trait in which would earn them the title "chief of all spices"?
But perhaps what is on my mind the most is... What makes these the "chief spices" instead of the spices used twice daily in the temple incense offering (Keterot)?? While I do know some overlap, i.e. Frankincense, but why isn't stacte (נָטָף), onycha (שְׁחֵלֶת), & galbanum (חֶלְבְּנָה) among the chief spices??? Or is it possible they are and we just don't know what the last three spices actually refer to?
Or is the author just using a different purpose here?