Song of Solomon

by Ken Cayce

Ken Cayce All rights reserved.


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Song of Solomon Explained

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Book of Song of Solomon Explained

Title: Several titles have been suggested for the book, all taken from the first verse: "The Song of Songs", "the Song of Solomon", or "Canticles". The first title is a Hebrew way of expressing the superlative: "The Most Excellent Song"; the second denotes authorship; and the third means "Songs", being taken from the Latin translation.

Authorship: The first verse of the book may be taken to mean the song written by Solomon or the song about Solomon. However, the Old Testament states that Solomon composed 1,005 songs (1 Kings 4:32), so one might expect him to be the author. Also, internal evidence points to Solomonic authorship: the geographical locations mentioned in the book imply a unified monarchy, and some details fit well with Solomon's reign (compare the reference to the horses in Pharaoh's chariots at 1:9 with 1 Kings 10:28-29). Finally, there is no good reason to reject the traditional view that assigns the book to Solomon.

Date: The book was probably written by Solomon early in his reign, near the middle of the tenth century B.C.

Background - Setting: This book has been done in the allegorical view and not the literal view (see description below). I was taken back when if in the literal sense this is about the Shulamite, then why wasn't the Shulamite mentioned until 75% of the book was completed (SOS 6:13 in the KJV)? I see Solomon as a type of Christ in his wisdom and wealth, and in the largeness and peacefulness of his kingdom (in SOS 3:7). And he reigned 40 years in peace did he not? This is an interesting book as you read it, as no two people will get the exact same thing out of it. But let the Holy Spirit lead and guide you as you read this and it can be an amazing experience and fill you with peace and enjoyment. And please, don't email me and try to give me your interpretation of what a particular verse or part of a verse may mean. I could spend the rest of my life going back and forth on this book alone. This is poetry and thus will affect each person in a different way, and that is a good thing.

Definition of Views/Interpretations: Allegorical interpretation is an interpretive method (exegesis), which assumes that the Bible has various levels of meaning and tends to focus on the spiritual sense (which includes the allegorical sense), the moral (or topological, relating to, or involving biblical interpretation stressing moral metaphor sense), and the anagogical sense, (a method of symbolic interpretation of spiritual statements or events, especially scriptural exegesis that detects allusions to the afterlife), as opposed to the literal sense.

Christian Allegorical View (Primary Model): Christian commentators applied a similar allegorical method in their interpretation of the Song, viewing the bridegroom as Jesus Christ and the bride as His church. This has been the dominant Christian view for most of church history, although it has lost support in the last century or two. Exactly when this view was first embraced by Christians is not known. All one can say is that evidence of it exists as early as Hippolytus (ca. A.D. 200), though only fragments of his commentary have survived. Interpretations of the details of the Song have been quite varied, but the following examples suffice to give the general sense of how the text was treated. The one who is brought into the king's chambers is said to be those whom Christ had wedded and brought into His church. The breasts (in 4:5), are taken to be the Old and New Covenants, and the "hill of frankincense" (in 4:6), is said to speak of the eminence to which those who crucify fleshly desires are exalted.

Not surprisingly, Origen became the grand champion of the allegorical interpretation of Song of Songs. In addition to a series of homilies, he produced a ten-volume commentary on the book. Origen was influenced by the Jewish interpretation and by his elder contemporary Hippolytus, but he was also a product of several philosophical forces at work in his day, namely, asceticism and Gnostic tendencies that viewed the material world as evil. "Origen combined the Platonic and Gnostic attitudes toward sexuality to denature the Canticle and transform it into a spiritual drama free from all carnality. The reader was admonished to mortify the flesh and to take nothing predicated of the Song with reference to bodily functions, but rather to apply everything toward the apprehension of the divine senses of the inner man."

Undoubtedly this diminished view of human sexuality, so prevalent in that day, fanned the flames of the allegorical interpretation of the Song. There were few dissenting voices over the years, and even the greatest Christian leaders succumbed to this approach. As Glickman points out, "No less a theologian than Augustine fell into this error, genuinely espousing the view that the only purpose for intercourse is the bearing of children and that before the fall of Adam it was not necessary even for that."

Jerome (331-420), who produced the Latin Vulgate, praised Origen and embraced most of his views. As a result, he was instrumental in introducing the allegorical interpretation into the Western churches. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), preached eighty-six sermons on the Song of Songs, covering only the first two chapters. He was given to obsessive allegorical interpretation in an attempt to purge it of any suggestion of "carnal lust." Many others throughout church history approached the book allegorically, including John Wesley, Matthew Henry, E. W. Hengstenberg, C. F. Keil, and H. A. Ironside.

Song of Solomon Commentary: All scripture, we are sure, is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for the support and advancement of the interests of his kingdom among men, and it is never the less so for there being found in it some things dark and hard to be understood, which those that are unlearned and unstable wrest to their own destruction. In our belief, both of the divine extraction and of the spiritual exposition of this book, we are confirmed by the ancient, constant, and concurring testimony both of the church of the Jews. To whom were committed the oracles of God, and who never made any doubt of the authority of this book. And of the Christian church, which happily succeeds them in that trust and honor.

(1). It must be confessed, on the one hand, that if he who barely reads this book be asked, as the eunuch was "Understandest thou what thou readest"? He will have more reason than he had to say, "How can I, except some man shall guide me?" The books of scripture-history and prophecy are very much like one another, but this Song of Solomon's is very much unlike the songs of his father David. Here is not the name of God in it; it is never quoted in the New Testament. We find not in it any expressions of natural religion or pious devotion, no, nor is it introduced by vision, or any of the marks of immediate revelation. It seems as hard as any part of scripture to be made a savor of life unto life. Nay, and to those who come to the reading of it with carnal minds and corrupt affections, it is in danger of being made a savor of death unto death; it is a flower out of which they extract poison. And therefore, the Jewish doctors advised their young people not to read it till they were thirty years old. Lest by the abuse of that which is most pure and sacred (horrendum dictum, "horrible to say"), the flames of lust should be kindled with fire from heaven, which is intended for the altar only.

(2). But It must be confessed, on the other hand, that with the help of the many faithful guides we have for the understanding of this book it appears to be a very bright and powerful ray of heavenly light. Admirable fitted to excite pious and devout affections in holy souls, to draw out their desires towards God. To increase their delight in him, and improve their acquaintance and communion with him.

It is an allegory, the letter of which kills those who rest in that and look no further, but the spirit of which gives life, (2 Cor. 3:6; John 6:63). It is a parable, which makes divine things more difficult to those who do not love them, but more plain and pleasant to those who do (Matt. 13:14, 16). Experienced Christians here find a counterpart of their experiences, and to them it is intelligible, while those neither understand it nor relish it who have no part nor lot in the matter. It is a song celebrating a marriage, or nuptial song, wherein, by the expressions of love between a bridegroom and his bride, are set forth and illustrated the mutual affections that pass between God and a distinguished remnant of mankind. It is a pastoral; the bride and bridegroom, for the livelier representation of humility and innocence, are brought in as a shepherd and his shepherdess. Now;

(3). This song might easily be taken in a spiritual sense by the Jewish church, for whose use it was first composed, and was so taken, as appears by the Chaldee-Paraphrase and the most ancient Jewish expositors. God betrothed the people of Israel to himself; he entered into covenant with them, and it was a marriage-covenant. He had given abundant proofs of his love to them, and required of them that they should love him with all their heart and soul. Idolatry was often spoken of as spiritual adultery, and doting upon idols, to prevent which this song was penned, representing the complacency which God took in Israel and which Israel ought to take in God. And encouraging them to continue faithful to him, though he might seem sometimes to withdraw and hide himself from them, and to wait for the further manifestation of himself in the promised Messiah.

(4). It may more easily be taken in a spiritual sense by the Christian church, because the condescension and communications of divine love appear more rich and free under the gospel than they did under the law, and the communion between heaven and earth more familiar. God sometimes spoke of himself as the husband of the Jewish church (Isa. 54:5, Hosea 2:16, 19), and rejoiced in it as his bride (Isa. 62:4-5). But more frequently is Christ represented as the bridegroom of his church (Matt. 25:1; Rom. 7:4; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:32), and the church as the bride, the Lamb's wife, (Rev. 19:7; 21:2, 9). Pursuant to this metaphor Christ and the church in general, Christ and particular believers, are here discoursing with abundance of mutual esteem and endearment.

The best key to this book is the 45th Psalm, which we find applied to Christ in the New Testament, and therefore this ought to be so too. It requires some pains to find out what may, probably, be the meaning of the Holy Spirit in the several parts of this book. As David's songs are many of them level to the capacity of the meanest, and there are shallows in them learned, and there are depths in it in which an elephant may swim. But, when the meaning is found out, it will be of admirable use to excite pious and devout affections in us. And the same truths which are plainly laid down in other scriptures when they are extracted out of this come to the soul with a more pleasing power. When we apply ourselves to the study of this book we must not only, with Moses and Joshua, "put off our shoe from off our foot", and even forget that we have bodies, because "the place where we stand is holy ground". But we must, with John, "come up hither", must spread our wings, take a noble flight, and soar upwards, till by faith and holy love we "enter into the holiest". For "this is no other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven".

Historical - Theological Themes: In contrast to the two distorted extremes of ascetic abstinence and lustful perversion outside of marriage, Solomon's ancient love song exalts the purity of marital affection and romance. It parallels and enhances other portions of Scripture which portray God's plan for marriage, including the beauty and sanctity of sexual intimacy between husband and wife. The Song rightfully stands alongside other classic Scripture passages which expand on this theme (e.g., Gen. 2:24; Psalm 45; Prov. 5:15-23; 1 Cor 7:1-5; 13:1-8; Eph. 5:18-33; Col. 3:18-19; and 1 Peter 3:1-7).

(Hebrews 13:4), captures the heart of this song, "Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge".


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Song of Solomon 1 Song of Solomon 5
Song of Solomon 2 Song of Solomon 6
Song of Solomon 3 Song of Solomon 7
Song of Solomon 4 Song of Solomon 8

Song of Solomon 1

Song of Solomon Chapter 1

"The song of songs": The most excellent of all songs, Hebrew idiom (Exodus 29:37; Deut. 10:14). A foretaste on earth of the "new song" to be sung in glory (Rev. 5:9; 14:3; 15:2-4).

Solomon's description "King of Israel," or "Jerusalem," is not added, as in the opening of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Not because Solomon had not yet ascended the throne, but because his personality is hidden under that of Christ, the true Solomon (equivalent to Prince of Peace). The earthly Solomon is not introduced, which would break the consistency of the allegory. Though the bride bears the chief part, the Song throughout is not hers, but that of her "Solomon." He animates her. He and she, the Head and the members, form but one Christ. Aaron prefigured Him as priest; Moses, as prophet; David, as a suffering king; Solomon, as the triumphant prince of peace. The camp in the wilderness represents the Church in the world. The peaceful reign of Solomon, after all enemies had been subdued, represents the Church in heaven, of which joy the Song gives a foretaste. A description of the earnest longing of the church after Christ, verses (1:1-4). A confession of her deformity; and prays for direction (1:5-7). Christ's direction and command (1:8). He showed his love to her both for her strength and comeliness (1:9-10), and gives her gracious promises (1:11). The church's commendation of Christ both for the sweetness of fellowship with him, and the excellency of ordinances (1:12-17).

"The song of songs"; the most excellent of all songs, whether composed by profane or sacred authors, by Solomon or by any other. So, this Hebrew phrase is understood in other cases, as the Holy of Holies signifies the Most Holy. And the highest King is called King of kings; and there are multitudes of such instances, as hath been often observed. And so, this might well be called, whether you consider the author of it. Who was a great prince, and the wisest of all mortal men, with only the two Adams excepted. Or the subject of it, which is not Solomon, but a greater than Solomon, even Christ, and his marriage with the church, as hath been noted. Or the matter of it, which is loftiest and mysterious. Containing in it the greatest and noblest of all the mysteries contained either in the Old or the New Testament. Most spiritual and causing feelings of sadness, breathing forth the hottest flames of love between Christ and his people. Most sweet, and comfortable, and useful to all that read it with serious Christian eyes. Nor is it the worse because profane and wanton wits abuse it, and endeavor to fasten their absurd and filthy senses upon some passages in it. The truth is, this book requires a sober and God fearing reader (not one that was foolish and having an offensive sexual desire). For which reason, some of the ancient Hebrews advised young men to forbear the reading of it, till they were thirty years old.

(Psalms chapter 45), is a companion to this book. It is also a song of loves, which speaks of Christ and His kingdom. "My beloved" is a frequent expression.

This is what the Christians call Christ, as in the following Scripture.

Song of Solomon 2:16 "My beloved [is] mine, and I [am] his: he feedeth among the lilies." The Father, also, spoke of Jesus as "My beloved".

Matthew 3:17 "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Matthew 17:5 "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him."

Song of Solomon 1:1 "The song of songs, which [is] Solomon's."

This is the Song of songs, excellent above any others, for it is wholly taken up with describing the excellences of Christ, and the love between him and his redeemed people.

The most excellent of all songs. And so this might well be called, whether we consider the author of it, who was a great prince, and the wisest of all mortal men. Or the subject of it, which is not Solomon, but a greater than Solomon, even Christ, and his marriage with the church. Or the matter of it, which is most lofty, containing in it the noblest of all the mysteries contained either in the Old or the New Testament. Most pious and compassionate, breathing forth the hottest flames of love between Christ and his people, sweetest and comfortable. And useful to all that read it with serious Christian eyes.

Wrote by Solomon, king of Israel, as the "amanuensis" of the Holy Ghost; and not by Hezekiah and his men, as the Jews say. Or, "concerning Solomon". Christ, of whom Solomon was a type (see SOS 3:7); of his person, excellences, love to his church, care of her, and concern for her. And of the nearness and communion he admitted her to, and indulged her with. The Jews have a saying, that wherever the word Solomon is used in this song, the Holy One is meant, the holy God, or Messiah. It is called "the Song of songs", because the most excellent, as the Holy of Holies, King of kings, etc., which, with the Hebrews, express a magnificence. This being more excellent than the one thousand and five songs, written by Solomon, or than any human composure whatever. Yea, preferable to all Scriptural songs, as to subject, manner of style, and abundance of it.

Verses 2-6: The church, or rather the believer, speaks here in the character of the spouse of the King, the Messiah. The kisses of his mouth mean those assurances of pardon with which believers are favored, filling them with peace and joy in believing, and causing them to abound in hope by the power of the Holy Ghost. Gracious souls take most pleasure in loving Christ, and being loved of him. Christ's love is more valuable and desirable than the best this world can give. The name of Christ is not now like ointment sealed up, but like ointment poured forth. Which denotes the freeness and fullness of the setting forth of his grace by the gospel. Those whom he has redeemed and sanctified, are here the virgins that love Jesus Christ, and follow him whithersoever he goes (Rev. 14:4). They entreat him to draw them by the quickening influences of his Spirit. The more clearly we discern Christ's glory, the more sensible shall we be that we are unable to follow him suitably, and at the same time be more desirous of doing it. Observe the speedy answer given to this prayer. Those who wait at Wisdom's gate, shall be led into truth and comfort. And being brought into this chamber, our griefs will vanish. We have no joy but in Christ, and for this we are indebted to him. We will remember to give thanks for thy love; it shall make more lasting impressions upon us than anything in this world. Nor is any love acceptable to Christ but love in sincerity (Eph. 6:24). The daughters of Jerusalem may mean professors not yet established in the faith. The spouse was black as the tents of the wandering Arabs, but comely as the magnificent curtains in the palaces of Solomon. The believer is black, as being defiled and sinful by nature, but comely, as renewed by Divine grace to the holy image of God. He is still deformed with remains of sin, but comely as accepted in Christ. He is often base and contemptible in the esteem of men, but excellent in the sight of God. The blackness was owing to the hard usage that had been suffered. The children of the church, her mother, but not of God, her Father, were angry with her. They had made her suffer hardships, which caused her to neglect the care of her soul. Thus, under the emblem of a poor female, made the chosen partner of a prince, we are led to consider the circumstances in which the love of Christ is accustomed to find its objects. They were wretched slaves of sin, in toil, or in sorrow, weary and heavy laden, but how great the change when the love of Christ is manifested to their souls!

Song of Solomon 1:2 "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love [is] better than wine."

"Let him": Him, whom her thoughts were so much employed about; her affections were so strongly after; and whose image was as it were before her, present to her mind. That is, Solomon; Christ, the antitype of Solomon, the church's beloved. This is spoken in the person of the Church, or of the faithful soul inflamed with the desire of Christ, whom she loves.

"The kisses of his mouth": She desires, intend some fresh manifestations and discoveries of his love to her. By some precious word of promise from his mouth, applied to her; and by an open espousal of her, and the consummation of marriage with her. The usual tokens of love and good-will. She means the communications of his love and favor, his graces and comforts breathed into her from the Spirit of Christ.

"Thy love": This sudden change of the person is frequent in pathetic discourses. First she speaks of him as absent, but speedily grows into more acquaintance with him, and by ardent desire and faith, embraces him as present.

"Is better than wine": Than the most delicious meat or drink, or than all sensual delights, one kind being put for all. For the antiquity of it, it being from everlasting. And for the purity of it, being free from all dregs of dissimulation and deceit on the part of Christ. And from all merit, motives, and conditions, on the part of the church. For its plenty, being shed plenteously in the hearts of believers, and who may drink abundantly of it. And for its freeness and cheapness, being to be had without money and without price. And it is preferable to wine for the effects of it; which not only revives and cheers heavy hearts, but quickens dead sinners, and comforts distressed saints. And of which they may drink plentifully, without hurt, yea, to great advantage.

The way a bride and her groom show their mutual love for each other is in kissing each other's lips. This shows a very close relationship that the world does not share in. Christ has just such a relationship with the church.

John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

The greatest love that exists is that Agape love that Christ had for His followers.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

This love is far beyond human love. This is love of the unlovely.

Song of Solomon 1:3 "Because of the savor of thy good ointments thy name [is as] ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee."

It was usual for lovers to anoint themselves, their hair, garments, etc. to commend themselves to each other. And it was common to commend each other's ointments, and the grateful smell of them none being like them, or so agreeable as theirs. By these ointments may be meant the grace of Christ, the fullness of it, the oil of gladness with which he is anointed above his fellows, and without measure. And which so greatly recommends him to his church and people (Psalm 45:7).

"Thy name is as ointment poured forth": Which denotes the freeness and fullness of the setting forth of his grace by the gospel. The name of Christ is not now like ointment sealed up, but like "ointment poured forth". Those whom he has redeemed and sanctified, are here the virgins that love Jesus Christ, and follow him whithersoever he goes (Rev. 14:4). They entreat him to draw them by the quickening influences of his Spirit. The more clearly we discern Christ's glory, the more sensible shall we be that we are unable to follow him suitably, and at the same time be more desirous of doing it. The very names of lovers are dear to one another, sweeter than nectar itself; the very mention of them gives an inexpressible pleasure. This may respect not merely the fame of Christ spread abroad in the world through the ministry of the word. Nor the Gospel only, which is his name (Acts 9:15). And is like a box of ointment broke open, which diffuses the savor of his knowledge everywhere. But some precious name of his, as Immanuel, God with us. Jesus, a Savior; but more particularly his name Messiah, which signifies anointed, the anointed Prophet, Priest, and King of his church.

"Therefore do the virgins love thee": They that are pure in heart and conversation. For the preciousness of his person, the fullness of grace in him, and the truths of his Gospel. And which love shows itself in a desire of his presence, and communion with him. In a regard to his word and worship, to his truths and ordinances. And to his people, to conversation and communion with them. By these virgins are meant either congregational churches that strictly adhere to Christ, and to his pure worship. Or particular believers, for their inviolate attachment to him. For the singleness and sincerity of their love to him. For their incorruptness in the doctrine of faith. For the truth and spirituality of their worship. For the purity of their lives and conversations. For their beauty and comeliness through Christ. For their colorful and costly attire, being clothed with his righteousness. And for their modest behavior, having the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.

Jesus told a parable about ten virgins who were waiting for the bridegroom. Five of them ran out of oil, before He arrived. This is speaking of virgins in the sense of those who have not profaned themselves with false gods.

2 Corinthians 11:2 "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ."

The virgin in all of these instances, is speaking of the believers in Christ, who make up the bride. The name of Jesus is sweet to the Christians. Jesus means Savior, and that is exactly what He did for all of us who will receive Him. We see in the following Scripture, that one woman thought much more of Jesus than she did her expensive perfume.

Matthew 26:7 "There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat [at meat]."

Song of Solomon 1:4 "Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee."

With the cords of love, for what draw lovers to each other more strongly? Under the influence of that they cannot bear to be without each other's company. Aben Ezra takes these words to be spoken by the virgins, who every one of them said this, promising upon it to follow after the one drawing. But they are rather the request of the church, desirous of nearer and more intimate communion with Christ. For this is not to be understood of drawing at first conversion, as the fruit of love, and under the influence of grace (Jer. 31:3). But of being brought nearer to Christ, and to enjoy more of him.

"We will run after thee": The church and the virgins, she and her companions, or particular believers. Every one of them in their respective stations would act with more rigor upon such drawings. They would run in a way of duty, follow Christ, and walk in his steps. As they had him for an example, and according to his word, and in the ways of his commandments. Or "that we may run after thee"; intimating that there is no running without drawing. No following Christ, at least no running after him with readiness and cheerfulness, without being drawn by his love, and influenced by his grace.

"The King hath brought me into his chambers": The blessing she sought after, and was so solicitous for in the preceding verses. Namely, to have the marriage consummated, to be owned by Christ as his spouse and bride, by taking her home and introducing her into the nuptial chamber. By putting her into the enjoyment of himself, and the possession of his substance. And this being done by him as King of saints, yea of the world, showed great condescension on his part, and great honor bestowed on her. Since by this act, as he was King, she was declared queen!

"We will be glad and rejoice in thee": She and her bridesmaids, the virgins that attended her. That is, "when he should introduce" her into his chambers, as some render the words. Then they should express their joy and gladness on that occasion. And that in the greatness, glory, and fitness of his person. In the fullness of grace in him and in the blessings of grace from him. In what he has done for, and is, to his church and people. In the offices he bears, and in the relations he stands in to them. And particularly that of a husband, now declared.

We will remember thy love more than wine": Which, upon the introduction of the bride to the bridegroom, might be plentifully drank. Of the desire of Christ's love to wine (see notes on SOS 1:2). It may design more particularly the love of Christ, expressed at this time of solemnizing the marriage between him and his church in an open manner (Hosea 2:19). And which would never be forgotten. Christ's love is remembered when thought of and meditated upon. When faith is exercised on it, and the desires of the soul are drawn after it, and the affections set upon it. And when it is often spoken of to others, being uppermost in the mind. Saints under the Gospel dispensation have an ordinance for this purpose, to commemorate the love of Christ.

The upright love thee": Men and women of upright hearts and conversations, who have right spirits renewed in them. Or Israelites indeed, in whom there is no guile. Who have the truth of grace in them, and walk uprightly according to the rule of God's word, and the Gospel of Christ. And do all they do sincerely, from a principle of love, and with a view to the glory of God. Those love Christ superlatively, sincerely, fervently, and constantly. And "love him rightly", or "most uprightly", as some render the phrase.

These are words spoken from a heart of love. I believe the bride is speaking to her bridegroom here. The upright are the Christians. All believers in Christ will be carried to the chambers of the Lord.

John 14:2-3 "In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also."

He wants our love more than anything else. He asked Peter three times, "Lovest thou me"? He loves us, and wants us to return that love to Him.

Song of Solomon 1:5 "I [am] black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon."

The church having obtained of Christ, what she wanted, turns to the daughters of Jerusalem. The same perhaps with the virgins her companions. They seem to be young converts, it may be not yet members of the visible church, but had a great respect for the church, and she for them. And who, though they had but a small knowledge of Christ her beloved, yet were desirous of knowing more of him, and seeking him with her (see 3:9). To these she gives this character of herself, that she was "black" in herself, through original sin and actual transgression. In her own eyes, through indwelling sin, and many infirmities, spots, and blemishes in life. And in the eyes of the world, through afflictions, persecutions, and reproaches, she was attended with, and so with them the off scouring of all things. "But comely" in the eyes of Christ, called by him his "fair one", the "fairest among women", and even "all fair" (see 1:8). Through his comeliness put upon her, the imputation of his righteousness to her and through the beauties of holiness upon her. Through, the sanctifying influences of his Spirit. And, being in a church state, walking in Gospel order, attending to the commands and ordinances of Christ. And so beautiful as Tirzah, and comely as Jerusalem (see 6:4). And upon all accounts "desirable" to Christ, and to his people, as the word may be rendered.

"As the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon": Each of which are thought by some to refer to both parts of her character. And suppose that the tents of Kedar, though they might look poor on the outside, were full of wealth and riches within. And Solomon's curtains, or hangings, might have an outward covering not so rich and beautiful as they were on the inside. Which within were all set with precious stones and jewels. But rather the blackness of the church is designed by the one, and her comeliness by the other.

Black in this particular instance, means dusky. "Comely" means suitable or beautiful in this Scripture. The word "Kedar" means to be dark. It is also a tribe descended from Ishmael. The curtains of Solomon could be speaking of a tent in the wilderness, where he stayed when he was away from the palace. The bridegroom seems to be speaking of her unworthiness here. It appears from the verse above, these are the Christians who make up the bride and not the natural house of Israel.

Song of Solomon 1:6 "Look not upon me, because I [am] black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; [but] mine own vineyard have I not kept."

Meaning not with scorn and disdain because of her meanness; nor as prying into her infirmities to expose her; nor with joy at her trials and afflictions. none of these can be supposed in the daughters of Jerusalem addressed by her. But rather, not look on her as amazed at her sufferings, as though some strange thing had befallen her. Not at her blackness only, on one account or another, lest they should be stumbled. But at her beauty also.

"Because I am black": Or "blackish" somewhat black, but not so black as might be thought, or as she was represented. The radicals of the word being doubled, some understand it as diminishing. But rather it increases the signification (see Psalm 14:2). And so it may be rendered "very black", exceeding black. And this she repeats for the sake of an opportunity of giving the reason of it, as follows:

"Because the sun hath looked upon me": And had burnt her, and made her black; which effect the sun has on persons in some countries, and especially on such who are much abroad in the fields, and employed in rural services; as she was. Being a keeper of vineyards, as in this verse, and of flocks of sheep, as in the following. This may be understood of the sun of persecution that had beat upon her, and had left such impressions on her, and had made her in this hue, and which she bore patiently. Nor was she ashamed of it; nor should she be upbraided with it, nor slighted on account of it (see Matt. 13:6).

"My mother's children were angry with me": By whom may be meant carnal professors, members of the same society. Externally children of the same mother, pretend to godliness, but are enemies to it. These were "angry" with the church for holding and defending the pure doctrines of the Gospel. For keeping the ordinances as they were delivered. And for faithful reproofs and admonitions to them and others, for their disagreeable walk. And these grieved the church, and made her go mourning, and in black. And more blackened her character and reputation than anything else whatever.

"They made me the keeper of the vineyards": This is another thing that added to her blackness. Lying abroad in the fields to keep the "vineyards" of others, by which may be meant false churches, as true ones are sometimes signified by them. And her compliance with their corrupt worship and ordinances, which was not voluntary, but forced. They made me, obliged her, and this increased her blackness; as also what follows.

"But mine own vineyard have I not kept": Which made her blacker still. Her church state, or the spiritual affairs of her own. Her duty and business incumbent on her, were sadly neglected by her. And this sin of hers she does not pretend to extenuate by the usage of her mother's children. But ingenuously confesses the fault was her own, to neglect her own vineyard and keep others, which was greatly prejudicial to her, and was resented by Christ. Upon which it seems he departed from her, since she was at a loss to know where he was, as appears from the following words. With the Romans, neglect of fields, trees, and vineyards, came under the notice of the censors, and was not to go unpunished. "Mine own vineyard": Speaks of herself (compare 8:12).

This black again means dark from the sun. It is almost as if the bride is saying, do not look at my outward appearance. It appears the bride had done the work that had been intended for the brothers. This still makes me think of the physical house of Israel, which represents the "male child" throughout the Bible. The "maid child" always represent the church. The maid child did the work the male child would not do.

Matthew 10:36 "And a man's foes [shall be] they of his own household."

Galatians 4:29 "But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him [that was born] after the Spirit, even so [it is] now."

Natural Israel (brothers), were the flesh. Spiritual Israel (daughters), are the Christians.

Verses 7-8: Observe the title given to Christ, "O Thou whom my soul loveth". Those that do so, may come to him boldly, and may humbly plead with him. Is it with God's people a noon-time of outward troubles, inward conflicts? Christ has rest for them. Those whose souls love Jesus Christ, earnestly desire to share in the privileges of his flock. Turning aside from Christ is what gracious souls dread more than anything else. God is ready to answer prayer. Follow the track, ask for the good old way, observe the footsteps of the flock, look what has been the practice of godly people. Sit under the direction of good ministers; beside the tents of the under shepherds. Bring thy charge with thee, they shall all be welcome. It will be the earnest desire and prayer of the Christian, that God would so direct him in his worldly business, and so order his situation and employment, that he may have his Lord and Savior always before him.

Song of Solomon 1:7 "Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest [thy flock] to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?"

With all her heart, cordially and sincerely. For, notwithstanding her sinful compliance with others, and neglect of her own affairs, she had not lost her love to Christ. And, being sensible of her sin and folly, whereby she was deprived of his company, and communion with him, applies to him to guide, direct, and restore her wandering soul. And particularly inform her where she says;

"Where thou feedest": That is his flock, like a shepherd. For this phrase supposes him to be a shepherd, as he is, of God's choosing, appointing, and setting up. The chief, the good, the great, and only Shepherd of the sheep. And that he has a flock to feed, which is but one, and a little one, is his property, given him by God. Purchased by his blood, called a flock of slaughter, and yet a beautiful one, he has undertaken to feed. And feeding it includes the whole business of a shepherd, in leading the sheep into pastures. Protecting them from all enemies, restoring them when wandering, healing their diseases, watching over them in the night seasons, and making all necessary provisions for them. Or, "tell me how thou feedest"; the manner of it, and with what. Which he does by his ministers, word, and ordinances. With himself, the bread of life; with the doctrines and promises of the Gospel, and with the discoveries of his love.

"Where thou makest thy flocks to rest at noon": Either at the noon of temptation, when Satan's fiery darts fly thick and fast; when Christ is a shadow and shelter in his person, grace, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice (Isa. 25:4). Or the noon of affliction, when he makes their bed in it, and gives them rest from adversity. Or the noon of persecution, when Christ leads his flocks to cooling shades, and gives them rest in himself, when troubled by others. The allusion, is to shepherds, in hot countries, leading their flocks to some shady place, where they may be sheltered from the scorching heat of the sun.

"For why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?" Not real associates with Christ, that keep company with him, and are attached to his word and ordinances. But false friends, hypocrites and heretics, rivals with him, who set up schemes of worship and doctrine in opposition to his. Such as Papists, Socinians (those denying the divinity of Christ and consequently denying the Trinity), etc. Now such false teachers have had their flocks in all ages, such as have followed them, and have formed separate societies. And therefore, the church, sensible of their craftiness, and her own weakness, and liableness to go astray, desires she might not be under, and left to such a temptation, as to apostatize from Christ, and join to such persons and their flocks, or seem to do so.

This is the bride speaking to the bridegroom (Jesus). He is the Shepherd. His sheep do not follow after other shepherds.

John 10:27 " My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"

He leads all the believers to a place of safety.

Song of Solomon 1:8 "If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents."

Or, "seeing thou knowest not". The saints in this imperfect state know but in part and are ignorant of many things, and in some measure of themselves. For though they know much of the sinfulness and deceitfulness of their hearts, yet they know not all. And of their imperfection and weakness, yet not the whole of it. Saints have not a perfect knowledge of Christ and his truths, and are sometimes at a loss to know where he is. His word is purely preached, and his ordinances faithfully administered.

"O thou fairest among women": These are not the words of the daughters of Jerusalem, as some think. Who were not capable of giving her the following advice and directions. But of Christ himself, to whom the church applied for it. Who, though black in her own eyes, and in the eyes of others, yet was fair. Surpassingly fair, fairer than all others in his eye. Even notwithstanding her late sinfulness and negligence. Which shows the invariableness of his love; who directs her as follows.

"Go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock": Not "from the footsteps". As if it was an exhortation to depart from false teachers, their doctrine and worship, and the abettors of them. She was tempted to turn aside to. But the "footsteps" are the rule and mark by which she was to go, and on which she was to keep her eye. And steer her course by, in seeking after Christ. For by "the flock" is meant the flock of Christ. And by the "footsteps" of it the ways and ordinances in which saints walk in obedience to Christ. And who are to be followed so far as they follow him; their steps are to be trod in. And this is the readiest and most likely way to find Christ. Even where saints meet together, the word is preached, and ordinances administered.

"Feed thy kids": Take care for the feeding of all, and especially young and weak Christians, who do and shall associate themselves to thee, whom the Holy Ghost calls lambs (John 21:15-16), as here kids.

"Beside the shepherds' tents": Under the conduct, and according to the instruction, of my faithful shepherds, or pastors. First and chiefly those who have gone before thee. The prophets and apostles, and after, and in subordination to them, and to their writings. Others whom I shall raise from time to time to feed my people with wisdom and understanding.

The fairest among women is the bride of Christ. They are to bring the young Christians with them. They are to eat what the Shepherd has provided. They must stay as close as possible to the Shepherd. Their protection is in His presence. This is like the Christians on earth staying as close to the Lord as they can. They are waiting for the rapture of the church. They will be doing whatever they can to bring more into the sheepfold. They do not wander out in the world, they stay close to the Shepherd.

Verses 1:9-17: The Bridegroom gives high praises of his spouse. In the sight of Christ believers are the excellent of the earth, fitted to be instruments for promoting his glory. The spiritual gifts and graces which Christ bestows on every true believer, are described by the ornaments then in use (verses 10-11). The graces of the saints are many, but there is dependence upon each other. He who is the Author, will be the Finisher of the good work. The grace received from Christ's fullness, springs forth into lively exercises of faith, affection, and gratitude. Yet Christ, not his gifts, is most precious to them. The word translated camphire, signifies atonement or propitiation. Christ is dear to all believers, because he is the propitiation for their sins. No pretender must have his place in the soul. They resolved to lodge him in their hearts all the night; during the continuance of the troubles of life. Christ takes delight in the good work which his grace has wrought on the souls of believers. This should engage all who are made holy, to be very thankful for that grace which has made those fair, who by nature were deformed. The spouse (the believer), has a humble, modest eye, discovering simplicity and godly sincerity. Eyes enlightened and guided by the Holy Spirit, that blessed Dove (see Matt. 3:16). The church expresses her value for Christ. Thou art the great Original, but I am but a faint and imperfect copy. Many are fair to look at, yet their temper renders them unpleasant. But Christ is fair, yet pleasant. The believer (verse 16), speaks with praise of those holy ordinances in which true believers have fellowship with Christ. Whether the believer is in the courts of the Lord, or in retirement; whether following his daily labors, or confined on the bed of sickness, or even in a dungeon. A sense of the Divine presence will turn the place into a paradise. Thus the soul, daily having fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, enjoys a lively hope of an incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance above.

Song of Solomon 1:9 "I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots."

The church having taken the direction of Christ, had now found him, and was with him. And when for her encouragement and comfort he greets her as his love, an appellation very usual among lovers. And in the chestiest sense between husband and wife; the church was Christ's love. Being both the object and subject of it; to whom he had showed love, and whose love was shed abroad in her heart. "My love": The first of 9 uses (1:15; 2:2, 10, 13; 4:1, 7; 5:2; 6:4).

"To a company of horses": Christ's church and people be compared to "the horse" for their strength, majesty, and comeliness. They are strong in Christ, and in his grace, and of an undaunted courage in bearing hardships, reproaches, and persecutions for his sake. And in fighting the Lord's battles. They are stately and majestic, especially a company of them in Gospel order (SOS 6:4). And are very comely and beautiful in their trappings, clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and the graces of his Spirit. And to a "company" of them, a collection of goodly ones, as Egyptian ones, reckoned the best; and those in Pharaoh's chariot best of all. Joined together in a chariot, all drawing one way. Christ's church and people are a choice and select company, distinguished from others by the grace of God. And cost a great price, the blood of Christ. They are well fed with the finest of the wheat; and are under the care both of angels and Gospel ministers. And look very beautiful as under the yoke of Christ, and joined together in Gospel bonds, being of the same faith and judgment. Drawing one way, striving together for the faith of the Gospel, and endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

The horses are just speaking of the stately beauty and the strength that the horses had. They were at the command of Pharaoh. They were the finest in the land. This is speaking of the bride, being chosen and being the finest.

Song of Solomon 1:10 "Thy cheeks are comely with rows [of jewels], thy neck with chains [of gold]."

"Rows of jewels": Which being fastened to the heads of brides, used to hang down upon and to adorn their cheeks, according to the manner in those times. He mentions the cheeks as the chief seat of beauty. And he intimates that the church's beauty is not natural, nor from herself. But from the jewels wherewith Christ adorns her.

"Thy neck": Which is mentioned as another visible part and seat of beauty (Hosea 10:11). But to accommodate every part and ornament named in this book to some particular thing in the church.

"Chains of gold": Whereby, as well as by the rows of jewels. He may seem to design all those persons and things wherewith the church is made beautiful in the eyes of God and of men. Such as excellent ministers, and saints, righteous laws, holy ordinances, and the gifts and graces of God's Spirit. All which are given by God to the church, and are her best ornaments.

This is speaking of the blessings the groom had bestowed upon the bride. Jesus has brought us blessings beyond measure, the greatest of which is eternal life. The chains of gold around the neck show His approval of the bride.

Song of Solomon 1:11 "We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver."

"We": I thy Bridegroom, with the cooperation of my Father, and of the Holy Spirit. Such plural expressions are sometimes used in Scripture concerning one God, to note the plurality of persons in one Divine essence. As hath been noted upon (Gen. 1:26), and elsewhere. The switch to the personal pronoun "we" indicates Solomon is drawing others into his praise for his beloved. What we say about our spouses in public reflects on them ... and us.

"Borders of gold with studs of silver": Beautiful and honorable ornaments, such as those (in verse 1:10). Variety of expressions are used to signify the various kinds and improvements of the gifts and graces which are bestowed by Christ upon the church. The phrase here used may be compared with that of apples of gold in pictures of silver (Prov. 25:11).

"Silver" symbolizes redemption. Gold symbolizes God. God has put a protection around His bride. He has sealed her with redemption.

Song of Solomon 1:12 "While the king [sitteth] at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof."

These are the words of the church, relating what influence the presence of Christ, her Lord and King, had upon the exercise of her graces. While he was keeping the nuptial feast, on account of his marriage with her. He was anointed King of saints from eternity, before his incarnation. When he was rejoicing before God his Father, as if at a feast. And while he was thus distant, the faith, hope, desire, and expectation of the saints, were exercised on him, as their Lord and King, that was to come. When he did come, he came as a King, as was foretold of him. Though his kingdom was not of this world. And while he was here, the Gospel of the kingdom of heaven was preached, and emitted a sweet savor in Judea. And when he went up to heaven, after his resurrection, he was declared Lord and Christ, and sat down at the right hand of God. Being encircled by angels and glorified saints. And in the meanwhile, before his second coming as King, when he will appear as such in a more glorious manner, he sits down at his table. In the ordinance of the supper, feasting with, entertaining, and welcoming his church and people.

"My spikenard": The graces of his Spirit conferred upon me, here compared to those sweet ointments, which the master of the feast caused to be poured out upon the heads of the guests (Luke 7:38). In which ointments spikenard was a chief ingredient.

"Sendeth forth the smell thereof": This denotes the exercise and manifestation of her graces, which are a sweet-smelling savor in the nostrils of her husband, and of her companions.

"Spikenard" is a strong perfume. The king is at rest. The Lord is even now sitting at the right hand of the Father. One of the things we are instructed to do as Christians, is to partake of the Lord's table. Every time we take communion, we are to do it in remembrance of Him. The fragrance is the sweet odor rising to the Lord. The prayers of the saints are to rise to Him as a sweet smelling savor.

Song of Solomon 1:13 "A bundle of myrrh [is] my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts."

These are the words of the church continued. Expressing her great delight in Christ, and her strong love and affection for him, and therefore calls him "my well beloved". Which is expressive both of the greatness of Christ's love to her, and of the strength of her affection to him, as well as of her faith of interest in him. Hence she says, he was as "a bundle of myrrh" to her. "Well-beloved": The first of 24 appearances.

"He shall lie all night betwixt my breasts": "It" or "he"; the bundle of myrrh, or Christ, which comes to the same sense. By her "breasts" are meant her heart, where Christ dwells by faith. Which is the best room the church has, and where she desires Christ might lodge. So Alshech explains it of being in her heart. And the time in which she would have him continue here is "all night"; meaning the night of affliction, temptation, etc. Or rather the whole time of this life, until the everlasting day breaks. And so it is a desire of Christ's presence with her, and of her having communion with him, as long as she lived in the world. And between her breasts, and in her bosom she desires he might be for an ornament to her. Like sweet flowers, and for her delight and pleasure, refreshment and comfort. And that he might be always in her sight, and never be forgotten by her.

"Myrrh" is sweet smelling savor for the wedding bed. Myrrh was also used in the anointing oil. This is speaking of that wonderful communion between Christ and His church. The statement above is speaking of Christ's personal relationship with each believer. Christianity is not collective. It is a personal relationship between Christ and each Christian. Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship. "Betwixt my breasts" means next to my heart.

Song of Solomon 1:14 "My beloved [is] unto me [as] a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of En-gedi."

En-gedi was a place near Jericho, and famous for palm trees, as that was, hence called Hazazon-tamar (2 Chron. 20:2). Now as Christ compares himself to a vine (John 15:1); the church may compare him to a cluster of the grapes of the Cyprus vine, reckoned the best. There being a cluster of all perfections, divine and human, in him. And of all the spiritual blessings of the everlasting covenant, and of all the precious promises in it. And of all the grace of the Spirit, and the fullness of it, which is in him. The Jews calls a man, eminent for virtue, and a large share of knowledge, "clusters". And they interpret "eschol", a cluster, by, "a man that has all things in him". Such a one is Christ, in the highest sense, having all perfections, excellences, and virtues in him. Some leave the word untranslated, "copher", and which has the signification of atonement and propitiation. And so well agrees with Christ, who is the propitiation for sin, and has made atonement for it. "En-gedi": Is in South Palestine, near the Dead Sea (Joshua 15:62; Ezek. 47:10), and is famous for aromatic shrubs.

The figurative meaning of "camphire" is the price of redemption. There were beautiful gardens in En-gedi in the time of Solomon. Jesus is our redemption. The plan of salvation is beautiful beyond compare.

Song of Solomon 1:15 "Behold, thou [art] fair, my love; behold, thou [art] fair; thou [hast] doves' eyes."

These are the words of Christ, commending the beauty and comeliness of the church. Expressing his great affection for her, and his high esteem of her. Of her fairness and beauty.

"Behold, thou art fair": Exceeding fair, really so, both inwardly and outwardly. Both with respect to justification and sanctification. Verbal affirmation fueled this romance.

"Doves' eyes": Large and beautiful in the doves of Syria. The prominent features of her beauty (Matt. 10:16). Gentleness, innocence, and constant love, emblem of the Holy Ghost, who changes us to His own likeness (Gen. 8:10-11; Matt 3:16).

The bride has spoken of the wonder of the groom in previous verses. Now the groom speaks of the soft eyes of the bride. The "dove" symbolizes love. Not only does the Lord love us, but He wants our love as well. He wants to see love in our eyes for Him. The beauty spoken of here is that inward beauty that is seen in the eyes, which are the windows to the soul.

Song of Solomon 1:16 "Behold, thou [art] fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed [is] green."

These are the words of the church, giving back to Christ his commendation of her, and much in the same words, as more properly belonging to him than her. He calls her "my love", she calls him "my beloved". He says that she was "fair"; the same she says of him, with a like note of wonder, attention, and declaration, he had prefixed to the commendation of her. Suggesting, that his fairness and beauty were essential, original, and underived, but hers was all from him. And therefore, he only ought to have the character. He, as man, is "fairer" than the children of men. As Mediator, is full of grace and truth, which makes him look lovely in the eyes of his people. And, as a divine Person, is the brightness of his Father's glory. To which she adds;

"Yea, pleasant": Looks pleasantly, with a smiling countenance on his people, being the image of the invisible God. Pleasant to behold, as the sun of righteousness, and Savior of men. Pleasant in all his offices and relations. The doctrines of his Gospel are pleasant words. His ways and ordinances, are ways of pleasantness. And especially having his presence, and communion with him in them. And which may be designed in the next clause.

"Also our bed is green": The same with "his bed which is Solomon's"; his by gift and purchase. The church's, by having a right through him, and an admittance to all the privileges of it. Where the word is preached, ordinances are administered, and souls are begotten and born again. There Christ and his church have fellowship with each other. Said to be "green", in allusion to the strewing of beds with green herbs and leaves, and branches of trees. Particularly the nuptial bed. And it may denote the fruitfulness of the saints in grace and holiness. Like green olive trees, in the house of God: or else numerous converts in the church, a large spiritual seed and offspring of Christ and the church, as were in the first times of the Gospel. And will be in the latter day. A green bed is an emblem of fruitfulness in the conjugal state; so the Targum and Jarchi interpret it.

The bed of green is similar to the green pastures in the 23rd Psalm.

Psalms 23:2 "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters."

The mutual admiration of the bride and groom is very important.

Song of Solomon 1:17 "The beams of our house [are] cedar, [and] our rafters of fir."

Not only strong and incorruptible, but also fragrant and delightful. Though I am in myself but a mean and rustic person, yet the house to which I invite thee, and where thou and I shall dwell together, is, by thy favor, built with cedar. Whereby is here signified the stability of God's church upon earth, which is called God's house (1 Tim. 3:15). And the firmness and sureness of God's word and promises.

"And our rafters of fir": By these may be meant the ordinances of the Gospel. Which are that to the churches as "rafters" are to a house, the means of supporting and strengthening it. So by the ordinances saints are supported in their spiritual state. And by them their spiritual strength is renewed. And these being said to be of "fir", which is a pleasant and lasting wood, may signify the delight that is had in ordinances, and the continuance of them.

This speaks of a home that is made of cedar. Cedar is a wood that is strong, and does not rot easily. This is a home that would be very similar to a comfortable country home.

Hebrews 11:10 "For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God."

Song of Solomon Chapter 1 Questions

  1. What other name is Song of Solomon known as?
  2. Who was the penman?
  3. The very first verse says these are ____________.
  4. A bride and groom show their mutual love for each other by _____________.
  5. Thy name is as ointment ____________ forth.
  6. Jesus told a parable about ______ virgins who were waiting for the bridegroom.
  7. I am jealous over you with _________ __________.
  8. Who is the virgin speaking of?
  9. The upright are the _____________.
  10. How many times did Jesus ask Peter, "Lovest thou me"?
  11. What does "black", in verse 5, mean?
  12. What does "comely" mean?
  13. What does "Kedar" mean?
  14. Who was Kedar descended from?
  15. Why was she black?
  16. The male child represents who?
  17. The "maid child" represents who?
  18. Who is the Shepherd?
  19. Who are the fairest among women?
  20. What are the horses, in verse 9, speaking of?
  21. What is the greatest blessing Jesus has given us?
  22. "Silver" symbolizes _______________.
  23. What is "spikenard"?
  24. What is "Myrrh"?
  25. Christianity is not a religion; it is a ________________.
  26. What is the figurative meaning of "camphire"?
  27. The _______ are the windows of the soul.
  28. The beams of our house is __________.

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Song of Solomon 2

Song of Solomon Chapter 2

Verses 1-7: Believers are beautiful, as clothed in the righteousness of Christ; and fragrant, as adorned with the graces of his Spirit. And they thrive under the refreshing beams of the Sun of righteousness. The lily is a very noble plant in the East; it grows to a considerable height, but has a weak stem. The church is weak in herself, yet is strong in Him that supports her. The wicked, the daughters of this world, who have no love to Christ, are as thorns. Worthless and useless, noxious and hurtful. Corruptions are thorns in the flesh. But the lily now among thorns, shall be transplanted into that paradise where there is no brier or thorn. The world is a barren tree to the soul; but Christ is a fruitful one. And when poor souls are parched with convictions of sin, with the terrors of the law, or the troubles of this world, weary and heavy laden, they may find rest in Christ. It is not enough to pass by this shadow, but we must sit down under it. Believers have tasted that the Lord Jesus is gracious. His fruits are all the precious privileges of the new covenant, purchased by his blood, and communicated by his Spirit. Promises are sweet to a believer, and precepts also. Pardons are sweet, and peace of conscience sweet. If our mouths are out of taste for the pleasures of sin, Divine consolations will be sweet to us. Christ brings the soul to seek and to find comforts through his ordinances, which are as a banqueting-house where his saints feast with him. The love of Christ, manifested by his death, and by his word, is the banner he displays, and believers resort to it. How much better is it with the soul when sick from love to Christ, than when overindulged with the love of this world? And though Christ seemed to have withdrawn, yet he was even then a very present help. All his saints are in his hand, which tenderly holds their aching heads. Finding Christ that's near to her, the soul is in great care that her communion with him is not interrupted. We easily grieve the Spirit by wrong tempers. Let those who have comfort, fear sinning it away.

Song of Solomon 2:1 "I [am] the rose of Sharon, [and] the lily of the valleys."

Whether Christ, or the church, is here speaking, is not certain. Most of the Jewish writers, and some Christian interpreters, take them to be the words of the church, expressing the excellency of her grace, loveliness, and beauty, she had from Christ. And intimating also her being in the open fields, exposed to many dangers and enemies, and so needed his protection. No rose can be more beautiful in color, and delightful to the eye, than the church is in the eyes of Christ, as clothed with his righteousness, and adorned with the graces of his Spirit. Nor is any rose of a sweeter and fragrant smell than the persons of believers are to God and Christ, being considered in him. And even their graces, when in exercise, yea, their duties and services, when performed in faith. And, as the rose, they grow and thrive under the warming, comforting, and refreshing beams of the sun of righteousness, where they delight to be.

Jesus is the Rose of Sharon. He is also, the Lily of the valley. When we are in the valley, we can look at the Lily and realize there is a better tomorrow in Jesus. Many times, when we look at the beautiful rose or the lily, it does something in our hearts and quickens our spirit to the reality of God. God's creation reveals His beauty to the world.

Song of Solomon 2:2 "As the lily among thorns, so [is] my love among the daughters."

These are manifestly the words of Christ concerning his church, whom he calls "my love" (see notes on SOS 1:9). And was his love still, though in such company, and in such an uncomfortable condition. In what sense she is comparable to a lily has been shown in (SOS 2:1). But here she is compared to one among "thorns": by which may be meant wicked men, comparable to thorns for their unfruitfulness and un-profitableness. For their being hurtful and pernicious to good men; and for their end, which is to be burned. Especially persecutors of religion, who are very distressing to the saints who dwell among them (see 2 Sam. 23:6).

There may be thorns of life surrounding us, but if we will keep our eye on the lily, we will have hope. God did not take the Christians out of the world. He saved them in the middle of the thorns. This is like the parable of the wheat and the tares that grow together until harvest. The tares are harvested and burned, and the wheat is taken to His barn (heaven).

Song of Solomon 2:3 "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so [is] my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit [was] sweet to my taste."

As the apple tree, in a garden or orchard, excels and is preferable to the wild barren trees of a forest, especially it appears so when laden with choice fruit. So the church, who here returns the commendation to Christ, asserts, that he as much excels all the "sons", the creatures of God, angels or men. Angels, as the Targum, who, though sons of God by creation, Christ is the Son of God, in a higher sense. He is their Creator, and the object of their worship. They are confirmed by him in the estate they are, and are ministering spirits to him. And he is exalted above them in human nature. Men also, the greatest princes and monarchs of the earth, are sometimes compared to large and lofty trees. But Christ is higher than they, and is possessed of far greater power, riches, glory, and majesty. All the sons of Adam in general may be meant. Wicked men, who are like forest trees, wild, barren, and unfruitful. Yea, even good men, Christ has the pre-eminence of them, the sons of God by adopting grace. For he is so in such a sense they are not. He is their Creator, Lord, Head, Husband, and Savior, and they have all their fruit from him. And so ministers of the word have their gifts and grace from him, and therefore Christ excels all that come under this designation of sons.

"I sat down under his shadow with great delight": Under the shadow of the apple tree, to which Christ is compared. Whose person, blood, and righteousness, cast a shadow, which is a protecting one, from the heat of divine wrath, from the curses of a fiery law. And from the fiery darts of Satan, and from the fury of persecutors (Isa. 25:4). And is a cooling, comforting, and refreshing one, like the shadow of a great rock to a weary traveler (Isa. 32:2). And such is Christ; "they that dwell under his shadow shall revive and grow" (Hosea 14:7). "Sitting" here supposes it was her choice; that she preferred Christ to any other shadow, looking upon him to be a suitable one in her circumstances (SOS 1:6). It intimates that peace, quietness, satisfaction, and security, she enjoyed under him. It denotes her continuance, and desire of abiding there (Psalm 91:1). For the words may be rendered, "I desired, and I sat down". She desired to sit under the shade of this tree, and she did. She had what she wished for; and she sat "with great delight": having the presence of Christ, and fellowship with him in his word and ordinances.

"And his fruit was sweet to my taste": The fruit of the apple tree, to which the allusion is. By "his fruit" here are meant the blessings of grace, which are Christ's in a covenant way, that come through his sufferings and death, and are at his disposal. Such as peace, pardon, justification, and fresh discoveries and manifestations of his love, of which the apple is an emblem. And these are sweet, pleasant, and delightful, to those that have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

The apple tree has beautiful blooms and wonderful fruit when it matures. For it to be in the middle of trees of wood (worldliness), makes it even more desirable. Jesus is like no other who ever lived.

John 1:14-17 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." "John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me." " And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace." "For the law was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."

The fruit He gave was grace and truth. All the prophets and judges were not to be compared with the very Son of God, who is the groom of all who will dare to believe.

Song of Solomon 2:4 "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me [was] love."

Or "into" it. The "house of wine", as it is literally in the original. Either the "wine cellar", as some, where stores of it were kept. Or, the "place of fasting", as others. And, as we render it, a "banqueting house"; where it was distributed and drank. A banquet of wine being put for a feast, and here the nuptial feast. And may design the Gospel feast in the house of God, where there is plenty of the wine of Gospel truths, and provisions of rich food, with which believers are sweetly refreshed and delightfully entertained. To take his people by the hand, as it were, and introduce them into his house, so well furnished. And to a table so well spread. And so the church relates it as an instance of divine favor, and as a fresh token of Christ's love to her. The covenant of grace and the Scriptures of truth may be thought of as a banqueting house, well stored with blessings, and promises, and rich provisions. Which, to be led and let into, is a singular kindness.

"And his banner over me was love": Signifying, that she was brought into the banqueting house in a grand, stately, and majestic manner, with flying colors. The motto on which inscribed was "love". Christ's name, inscribed on his, was "love", his church's love. And by which his company was distinguished from all others, even by electing, redeeming, and calling love. It may signify the security and protection of the saints, while in the house of God. And enjoying communion with him, being under the banner of love, with which they are encompassed as a shield. And it may denote the very manifest and visible displays of it, which the church now experienced.

The "banqueting" house is a place to take those who are very dear to you. This is speaking of a place of abundance. This is a place where you will hunger and thirst no more. His protection over His bride is love.

Isaiah 11:10 " And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious."

John 15:10 "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love."

Song of Solomon 2:5 "Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I [am] sick of love."

The church was now in a house of wine, where was plenty of it. Even of the love of Christ, compared to wine, and preferred unto it (SOS 1:2). The church though she had had large discoveries of it, desired more. And once that they have tasted of this love are eagerly desirous of it, and cannot be satisfied until they have their fill of it in heaven.

"Comfort me with apples": With exceeding great and precious promises; which, when fitly spoken and applied, are "like apples of gold in settings of silver" (Prov. 25:11). And are very comforting. Rather, with fresh and greater manifestations of his love still; for the apple is an emblem of love, as before observed; for one to send or throw an apple to another indicated love. The words, both in this and the former clause, are in the plural; and so may be an address to the other two divine Persons, along with Christ. To grant further manifestations of love unto her, giving the following reason for it.

"For I am sick of love": Not as loathing it, but as wanting, and eagerly desiring more of it. Being, as the Septuagint version is, "wounded" with it. Love's dart stuck in her, and she was inflamed therewith: and "languished". As the Vulgate Latin version is; with earnest desires after it; nor could she be easy without it, as is the case of lovers.

Song of Solomon 2:6 "His left hand [is] under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me."

The church, having desired to be stayed, supported, strengthened, and comforted, presently found her beloved with her, who with both hands sustained her. Which shows his tender love to her, care of her, and regard for her. And is expressive of the near and intimate communion she had with him. As the effect of union to him, often enjoyed in his house and ordinances. Likewise, of blessings of every kind she received from him. Temporal, mercies, or left hand blessings, which are necessary to support and carry through this wilderness.

"And his right hand doth embrace me": And spiritual, or right hand blessings, as justification, pardon, adoption, etc. Moreover, may denote the safety and security of the church, being encircled in the arms of her beloved, sustained by Christ's left hand, and embraced by his right hand. Out of whose hands none can pluck. We may render the verb either as indicative or imperative. The hand gently smooths with loving caresses. The historical sense is more in accordance with the context, as the next verse is an appeal to the attendant ladies. Behold my happiness, how my Beloved comforts me!

The left hand has to do with the world, or the earth. This is possibly saying He is lifting her head above the world. He lifts the church out of the world. The right side has to do with the Spirit. The love of Christ fills her with His Spirit. This is speaking of the Spirit of God covering the church.

Acts 2:17 "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:"

Song of Solomon 2:7 "I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake [my] love, till he please."

Of whom (see SOS 1:5). There is some difficulty in these words, whether they are spoken by the church, or by Christ. According to our version, they are the words of the church, and bids fair to be the sense; since they are spoken to the virgins, her companions, that waited on her. And the manner of speech is not by way of command, but of adjuration. Christ being the church's love; and the phrase, "till he please", best agrees with his sovereignty and authority. Who is at liberty to stay with, and remove from, his people at pleasure. And the context and scope of the place seem to confirm it. The church, enjoying communion with Christ, chooses not that he should be disturbed, and by any means be caused to depart from her.

"By the roes, and by the hinds of the field": Not that either Christ or his church swore by them; but the words may be descriptive of the persons addressed by the creatures, among whom they were feeding their flocks, or whom they delighted to hunt. And the charge is, that they would continue among them, and mind their business, and give no disturbance to Christ or the church.

"That ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please": Or, "till she please". If it is the charge of the church, it may lead to observe, that Christ is the object of the church's love. And that she is his resting place; that he may not be disturbed and raised up from it by an unfriendly behavior toward him, or by animosities among themselves. That saints should be very careful that they do not provoke Christ to depart from them. And that communion with him is entirely at his pleasure, when and how long it shall continue. It depends as much upon his sovereign will as the first acts of his grace towards them. But if this is the charge of Christ, not to disturb his church, then it may be observed, that the church is the object of Christ's love, and always continues so. That the church sleeps and takes her rest in Christ's arms. Which is not to be understood of a criminal drowsiness and sleep, but of comfortable repose and rest. Christ gives his beloved ones, in communion with himself; that he loves and delights in the company of his people, and would not have them disturbed in their fellowship with him. And though, while grace is in exercise, saints are desirous of enjoying Christ's presence always. Yet, when it is otherwise, they become indifferent to it, which provokes Christ to depart from them. And therefore it is said, "till she please". And as this charge is given to the "daughters of Jerusalem", young converts, or weak believers. It suggests, that they are apt to disturb both Christ and his church. To disturb Christ by their impatience and disobedience, like children; hence the church acts the part of a mother charging her children to be quiet, and not disturb her loving husband, while she enjoyed his company. And to disturb the church, through their weakness, not being able to bear the sublime doctrines of the Gospel, and through their ignorance of Gospel order.

The daughters of Jerusalem are the physical house of Israel. The one speaking in this, is the bride who is made up of the Christians. There is a time when Jesus will seek again, those of the physical house of Israel. Perhaps this is what is spoken of here.

Luke 23:28 "But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children."

Ephesians 5:32-33 "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband."

Verses 2:8-13: The church pleases herself with thoughts of further communion with Christ. None besides can speak to the heart. She sees him come. This may be applied to the prospect the Old Testament saints had of Christ's coming in the flesh. He comes as pleased with his own undertaking. He comes speedily. Even when Christ seems to forsake, it is but for a moment; he will soon return with everlasting loving-kindness. The saints of old saw him, appearing through the sacrifices and ceremonial institutions. We see him through a glass darkly, as he manifests himself through the lattices. Christ invites the new convert to arise from sloth and despondency, and to leave sin and worldly vanities, for union and communion with him. The winter may mean years passed in ignorance and sin, unfruitful and miserable, or storms and tempests that accompanied his conviction of guilt and danger. Even the unripe fruits of holiness are pleasant unto Him whose grace has produced them. All these encouraging tokens and evidences of Divine favor, are motives to the soul to follow Christ more fully. Arise then, and come away from the world and the flesh, into fellowship with Christ. This blessed change is owing wholly to the approaches and influences of the Sun of righteousness.

Song of Solomon 2:8 "The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills."

So says the church, who well knew Christ her beloved's voice. Which is known by all believers in him, and is distinguished by them from the voice of others. By the majesty and authority of it; by the power and efficacy of it; by its directing them to himself, and by the pleasure it gives them. And she speaks of it as being very delightful to her. It being the voice of him whom she loved, and a voice of love, grace, and mercy, of peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation.

"Behold, he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills": This may be, understood, either of Christ's first coming in the flesh, much prophesied of, long expected, and was very welcome. This was attended with many difficulties, comparable to mountains and hills. That he the Son of God should become man. That he should obey, suffer, and die for men, fulfil the law, satisfy justice, atone for sin, and save from all enemies. But those which seemed insuperable were easily surmounted by Christ: Or of his spiritual coming. Sometimes he withdraws himself, and then returns again, and faith, spying him at a distance, rejoices at his nearer approach. For impediments in his way, occasioned by unbelief, carnality, being lukewarm, backslidings, and ingratitude of his people. Those are removed and got over by him, nothing being able to separate from his love. And his coming, either way, is with all readiness, swiftness, speed, and haste.

At the voice of the King, even the dead will be quickened and rise from the grave. When He steps upon Mount of Olives, it cleaves in two. When He returns, the trumpet will blow in the sky. The trumpet is the same as His voice. All Christians are listening now for the voice of their beloved (Jesus Christ).

Song of Solomon 2:9 "My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, showing himself through the lattice."

In swiftness. He is coming to me with all speed, and will not tarry a moment beyond the proper season. The comparison of the beloved to a "roe" or "young hart" is symbolic of strength, masculinity and grace.

"Behold, he standeth behind our wall": Not the middle wall of the ceremonial law, behind which Christ under the Old Testament dispensation stood. But rather the wall of our hearts (Jer. 4:19). The hardness, infidelity, and carnal reasoning of it, which are so many walls of separation between Christ and his people. Behind which he stands, showing his resentment of those walls, in order to demolish them and get admittance. He is represented here, as nearer than when she first saw him, even at her very home.

"He looketh forth at the windows": This phrase, and that, through the lattice, intimate that the church does indeed see Christ. But as through a glass, darkly, as it is said even of gospel revelations (1 Cor. 13:12), which was much truer of legal administrations. And where Christ shows himself, in his glory and beauty, as kings and great personages look out at windows to show themselves to their people. Though Christ may also be said to look in at those windows, to observe the behavior of his people in his house and ordinances, with what attention, affection, faith, and reverence, they wait upon him in them.

This is coming nearer still. For, by the manner of the expression, it seems that he was within doors, since he is said, not to look through the windows, but to look "forth" at them, meaning the ordinances. Which are that to the church as windows to a house, the means of letting in light into the souls of men.

"Showing himself through the lattice": By which may be meant the same things, only a larger and clearer discovery of Christ in them, of which ordinances are the means. And yet, unless Christ shows himself through them, he cannot be seen in them. And a "behold" being prefixed to these gradual discoveries of himself, show them to be wonderful! A glance of him behind the wall is surprising; his looking in at the windows still more so; but his showing himself, in all his glories and excellences', through the lattice, is enough to throw into the greatest rapture. To fill with joy unspeakable and full of glory!

He is outside, and the bride must come out to Him. He is seeking fellowship with the believers. He will not force Himself into their lives. He shows Himself to them, but they must come out to Him.

Song of Solomon 2:10 "My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away."

Invited and called me outwardly by his word, and inwardly by his Spirit. Christ, the church's beloved, being so near her, she could distinctly hear and understand what he spoke, and relate the very words. Or, "he answered to me"; to a secret petition, put up to him for a fuller enjoyment of him. For there is mental as well as vocal prayer, which Christ, as God omniscient, knows full well, and gives answer to. Of this may be an answer to her petitions in (SOS 2:5); and as some in (SOS 2:6). However, Christ said something after related, that she well knew he spake, and not another, and to her in particular.

"Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away": The affectionate and endearing titles of "love" and "fair one", have been met with and explained (in SOS 1:5). And are repeated to show his ardent love to her, notwithstanding the frame she was in, which was very probably a slothful one, by the exhortations given. And to remove her discouragements, arising from her present state. And to prevail upon her to get up from her bed of carnal sloth and security, at least to shake off her indolence. And to quit her seat and company, and go along with him, or where he should direct, since it would be to her own advantage. For the words may be rendered, "rise up for thyself, and come away for thyself"; it will turn to thy account, and to do otherwise will be detrimental to thee.

This is speaking of the rapture of the church. His voice is what activates our spirit to rise and follow Him.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" "Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

Verses 11-13: Winter past, rains over, flowers appearing, and vines blooming use springtime as a picture of their robust, growing love for one another.

Song of Solomon 2:11 "For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over [and] gone;"

A season of the year which keeps people indoors, makes going abroad unsafe, unpleasant, and uncomfortable. Unfit for travelling, roads bad, rivers impassable, and journeying very difficult. But now this season being over, and the spring has come, the weather is fair, and everything is gay and pleasant, it is inviting to be abroad. Winter is by some writers used not for the season of the year, but for a storm or tempest. Thus, the winter and rain may be descriptive of the state and condition of Jews and Gentiles before the coming of Christ, and which then ceased. It having been a stormy dispensation with the one, and a time of darkness and ignorance with the other (Heb. 12:18).

Or rather it may in general represent the state of God's people both before and after conversion. Before conversion it is a time of darkness, coldness, barrenness, and unfruitfulness, and which are removed by the powerful and efficacious grace of Christ. And after conversion it is often a winter season with them, through the blustering winds of Satan's temptations. The storms of impending wrath for sin, as they imagine. And the nipping blasts of persecution, and sharp and severe afflictions they are at times exposed unto. Moreover, they are often in great darkness of soul, clouds inserted between Christ and them.

A great deal of coldness attends them. Their hearts are frozen up and hard, and no impression made on them by the preaching of the word, or by the providences of God. There is a coolness in their love to God and Christ, his people, ordinances, cause, and interest. Great barrenness and unfruitfulness in them, and they look like trees in winter, and with no appearance of fruit on them. Their hands are sealed up from working, and they become indolent and inactive. And by all these, fellowship with Christ is greatly interrupted. But, when the spring returns again, light breaks in upon them, and their hearts are melted with a sense of love. They become lively in their frames, and in the exercise of grace, and are fruitful in good works. And enjoy much calmness and serenity, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Sometimes they think the winter is not over when it is, and fear more storms are behind. Even of divine wrath and vengeance, though without reason. Since Christ has borne all wrath for them, and has satisfied law and justice, and has delivered them from wrath to come. And he that has done this says, "the winter is past"!

Between the time the Christians are carried away into heaven, and the return of Jesus with them to reign on the earth, the wrath of God falls. When Jesus comes back to the earth to reign, the entire earth will be like the garden of Eden. There will be no bad times, when Jesus is here caring for us. Sadness will be gone. Satan will be chained a thousand years.

Song of Solomon 2:12 "The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing [of birds] is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;"

This and the following clauses are here shown as evidences of the spring time. Which in the mystical and principal sense seems to signify the day of grace. Or the glad tidings of salvation proposed to sinners in the time of the law, by types, and shadows, and promises. But much more clearly and fully in the gospel, and all the discoveries and communications of God's grace to mankind in holy ordinances. In the gifts, and graces, and comforts of the Holy Spirit, revealed unto and appearing in believers. As buds and blossoms do in the spring time.

"The time of the singing of birds": When birds sing most freely and sweetly, as they do in the spring. Or, as the ancient translator's render it, of cutting or cropping, not trees, which agrees not with that season, but the flowers, last mentioned, for nosegays, or other uses.

"The turtle": Which changes its place according to the season, as is observed (Jer. 8:7). And by all other writers, who affirm that it disappears in winter, and appears in the spring, as some other birds also do. But this seems particularly to be mentioned, because it not only gives notice of the spring, but also aptly represent the Spirit of God. Which even the Chaldee paraphrase understands by this turtle, which appeared in the shape of a dove. And which works a dove-like meekness, and chastity, and faithfulness in believers.

"In our land": In Immanuel's land, as Canaan is called (Isa. 8:8), in the church.

Notice, the flowers appear, as if they had been gone. This is a time of new beginnings with our King (Jesus Christ). This speaks of the earth as if it is a beautiful farmland. There will be perfect peace, because the King of peace will reign. This speaks of that 1000 year day (the sabbath of rest), that Jesus brings to all who believe.

Song of Solomon 2:13 "The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines [with] the tender grape give a [good] smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away."

Another sign of spring being come, or of its being pretty much advanced. Since Christ makes this a token of summer being at hand (Matt. 24:32).

"And the vines with the tender grape give a good smell": And for the fruit of it, which is wholesome, pleasant, and delightful, as are the fruits of the Spirit, the fruits of grace and righteousness. And fruits meet for repentance, which ought to appear before a profession of religion is made.

Saints should bear fruit always, and ever continue to do so, even to old age. Nor do any ever become fruitful until their hearts have been pricked and cut by the word of God. And they never grow better, or are more fruitful, than when attended with afflictions and tribulations. When they first enter into the waters of affliction, like Peter, they sink, but, when more used to them, they lift up their heads above them, and bear up with great courage and resolution. By the "green figs" may be meant the beginnings of grace in the soul, some stirrings of affection to Christ, desires of knowledge of him. Panting and breathing after his ordinances, love to his people; all which appear soon, are very imperfect. And, like unripe figs, liable to be shaken off. And it is a miracle of grace that the first impressions of it are not destroyed by the force of corruption and temptation. And it may be observed, that grace in its first appearance, though but small, is not despised, but taken notice of by Christ. Yea, he makes use of it as exercised by young converts to stir up old professors, as here the church, to be more active and vigorous in it.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; repeated from (SOS 2:10). Which shows sluggishness on the part of the church, that she needed one exhortation after another. And great love on the part of Christ, that notwithstanding this he persists in calling her; and even importunity in him, that he will have no denial: and it may be observed, that what is entertaining to most of the senses is mentioned to engage the church to arise and go along with her beloved. The flowery fields would be pleasing to her eye, the chirping birds to her ear, the sweet and ripening figs to her taste, and the refreshing odor of the vines to her smell.

The "fig tree" symbolizes the physical house of Israel. This then, is speaking of a new growth of physical Israel. Remember God had a remnant of the natural Israelite who came to Jesus. This is a renewing of them, as well as the followers of Jesus who are spiritual Israel. All who believe in Jesus, both Jew and Gentile, are included in this.

Verses 2:14-17: The church is Christ's dove; she returns to him, as her Noah. Christ is the Rock, in whom alone she can think herself safe. And find herself easy, as a dove in the hole of a rock, when struck at by the birds of prey. Christ calls her to come boldly to the throne of grace, having a great High Priest there, to tell what her request is. Speak freely, fear not a slight or a repulse. The voice of prayer is sweet and acceptable to God; those who are sanctified have the best comeliness. The first risings of sinful thoughts and desires, the beginnings of trifling pursuits which waste the time. Trifling visits, small departures from truth, whatever would admit some conformity to the world. All these, and many more, are little foxes which must be removed. This is a charge to believers to mortify their sinful appetites and passions, which are as little foxes. That destroy their graces and comforts, and crush good beginnings. Whatever we find a hindrance to us in that which is good, we must put away. He feedeth among the lilies. This shows Christ's gracious presence among believers. He is kind to all his people. It becomes them to believe this, when under desertion and absence, and so to ward off temptations. The shadows of the Jewish dispensation were dispelled by the dawning of the gospel day. And a day of comfort will come after a night of desertion. Come over the mountains of Bether, the mountains that divide, looking forward to that day of light and love. Christ will come over every separating mountain to take us home to himself.

Song of Solomon 2:14 "O my dove, [that art] in the clefts of the rock, in the secret [places] of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet [is] thy voice, and thy countenance [is] comely."

The bridegroom is still addressing his beloved one, who has not yet come forth from the house in the rocks, though she has shown herself at the window. The language is highly poetical, and may be compared with similar words in Homer and Virgil. The Lord loveth the sight of his people. He delights in their songs and in their prayers. He is in the midst of their assemblies. Secret religion is not the highest religion. The highest emotions of the soul do not decrease in their power as they are expressed. They become more and more a ruling principle of life. There are many who need this encouragement to come forth out of secrecy, out of solitude, out of their own private home and individual thoughts. And realize the blessing of fellowship with the Lord and with his people.

We do know that the Lord hides us in the cleft of the rock. Of course, He is that Rock. He loves to hear our voices lifted in prayer, praise, and song to Him. We are a sweet sound in His ear. He loves to be with us, as we love to be with Him. There is sweet communion as with a bride and bridegroom.

Song of Solomon 2:15 "Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines [have] tender grapes."

Of which there were great numbers in Judea (see Judges 15:4). These words are directed not to angels, nor to civil magistrates, but to ministers of the word. And therefore, calls upon her attendants and companions, to assist in taking and destroying those which were harmful to it. They seem to be the words of Christ since they not only show the care of his vines, the churches; but express power and authority over those they are spoken to. And perhaps they may be the words of them both jointly; since the church, with Christ, and under him, has a right to stir up her officers to do their work, and fulfil their ministry, they have received of Christ for her service. The foxes are the false teachers, to whom the false prophets of old were compared (Ezek. 13:3). Foxes are crafty and subtle creatures, malignant and mischievous, hungry and voracious, full of deceit and dissimulation. Now ministers of the Gospel are ordered to take these, detect them, and refute their errors, and reprove them sharply for them. And, after proper steps are taken, to reject them, to cast them out of the vineyards, the churches, and keep them out.

"The little foxes": Heresies and heretics are to be nipped in the bud, before they increase to more ungodliness. Otherwise errors, which may seem small at first, soon grow larger and spread themselves, and become fatal to the churches.

"That spoil the vines": As foxes do, by gnawing the branches, biting the bark, making bare the roots, devouring the ripe grapes, and infecting all with their noxious teeth and vicious breath. So false teachers make divisions and schisms in churches; disturb their peace; unsettle some, and subvert others. And sap the foundation of religion, and corrupt the word of God.

"For our vines have tender grapes": Or "flowers" (See notes on SOS 2:13). The "vines" are the churches; the "tender grapes", or "flowers", young converts, which Christ has a particular regard unto (Isa. 40:11). And these, having but a small degree of knowledge, are more easily imposed upon and seduced by false teachers; and therefore, for their sakes, should be carefully watched, and vigorously opposed, since otherwise a promising vintage is in danger of being spoiled. Christ, in this address, intimates, that not only he and the church, but, he ministers also, had an interest in the vines and tender grapes, as they have (see SOS 8:11). And therefore, should be the more concerned for their welfare. Hence, he calls them "ours".

The "foxes" are speaking of the false teachers, demons, or subordinate devils. They are constantly attacking the "vines" (Christians). It is almost impossible to have new growth, because of the constant attack. This is a prayer for this attack to be taken away.

Song of Solomon 2:16 "My beloved [is] mine, and I [am] his: he feedeth among the lilies."

These are the words of the bride, who having come to him upon his gracious invitation, now makes her boast of him. And of that intimate union and communion which was between them.

"He feedeth among the lilies": Either

(1), He feeds his flock in sweet and lovely pastures, where there is not only herbage to feed them, but lilies to delight them. Or rather;

(2), He feeds himself, i.e. he abideth and refreshes himself among his faithful people. Which are compared to lilies, above (verse 2:2; Hosea 14:5); as Christ also, is here (verse 2:1).

This is the bride speaking of the bridegroom (Jesus).

Hebrews 8:10 "For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:"

This is speaking of all Israel (both Jew and Gentile), who have accepted Jesus. This reminds me of the words of the song "In the Garden". It speaks of sweet fellowship with the Lord among the flowers. He walks and talks with His bride, as He walked with Adam and talked with Him in the garden of Eden. Fellowship is totally restored.

Song of Solomon 2:17 "Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether."

Until the morning of that blessed day of the general resurrection, when all the shadows, not only of ignorance, and sin, and calamity, but even of all ordinances, and outward administrations, shall cease.

"Turn, my beloved": Return to me. For although Christ had come to her, and she had gladly received him, yet he was gone again, as is here implied, and evidently appears from the following verse. Which sudden change is very agreeable to the state of God's people in this world. Where they are subject to frequent changes.

"And be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether": In swiftness; make haste to help me. The church desires Christ to be most ready to help her in all dangers. "Upon the mountains of Bether": A place in the land of promise, where it seems those creatures were in great abundance. If referring to his second coming, the spacious heavens may be meant, in which Christ will appear, and which now interpose and separate from his bodily presence. And therefore, the church importunately desires his coming with speed and swiftness, like a roe or a young hart, and be seen in them (see Rev. 22:10).

The day that breaks is that eternal day, where night never comes again. This is just another way of saying, come quickly Lord Jesus.

Romans 13:12 "The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light."

2 Peter 1:19 "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:"

Song of Solomon Chapter 2 Questions

  1. Who is the Rose of Sharon?
  2. Who is the Lily of the valley?
  3. When we look at the beauty of nature, what does it do to us?
  4. Where did the lily, in verse 2, grow?
  5. What does that mean for us?
  6. What happens to the tares in the parable?
  7. What happens to the wheat?
  8. What does "wood" symbolize?
  9. What does the "banqueting house" show us?
  10. His protection over His bride is __________.
  11. What are the "flagons" of verse 5?
  12. The left hand has to do with the __________.
  13. Why is His left hand under the bride's head?
  14. The right hand speaks of the ___________.
  15. This is a great mystery: but I speak of ________ and the ________.
  16. What happens to the Mount of Olives, when Jesus steps on it as King?
  17. In verse 9, where is the Lord?
  18. What is verse 10 speaking of?
  19. What happens on the earth, between the rapture of the church and Jesus' return as King?
  20. Verse 12 speaks of the earth as if it were a beautiful__________.
  21. The "fig tree" symbolizes ___________ _________.
  22. Who is the Rock?
  23. What does the Lord love for us to do, that is a sweet sound in His ear?
  24. Who are the "foxes"?
  25. Who are the "vines"?
  26. What does verse 16 remind the author of?
  27. What day is verse 17 speaking of?

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Song of Solomon 3

Song of Solomon Chapter 3

Verses 1-5: It was hard to the Old Testament church to find Christ in the ceremonial law. The watchmen of that church gave little assistance to those who sought after him. The night is a time of coldness, darkness, and drowsiness, and of dim apprehensions concerning spiritual things. At first, when uneasy, some feeble efforts are made to obtain the comfort of communion with Christ. This proves in vain; the believer is then roused to increased diligence. The streets and broad ways seem to imply the means of grace in which the Lord is to be sought. Application is made to those who watch for men's souls. Immediate satisfaction is not found. We must not rest in any means, but by faith to apply directly to Christ. The holding of Christ, and not letting him go, denotes earnest cleaving to him. What prevails is a humble, ardent pursuing by prayer, with a lively exercise of faith on his promises. So long as the faith of believers keeps hold of Christ, he will not be offended at their earnest asking, yea, he is well pleased with it. The believer desires to make others acquainted with his Savior. Wherever we find Christ, we must take him home with us to our houses, especially to our hearts. And we should call upon ourselves and each other, to beware of grieving our holy Comforter, and provoking the departure of the Beloved.

Song of Solomon 3:1 "By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not."

The day being not yet broke, the night of Jewish darkness still on the church, and the shadow of the ceremonial law as yet stretched upon her. And having some knowledge of Christ by types and prophecies, desires more, and seeks it in the use of means. Though the words may be taken in a larger sense, and represent the state and condition of the church and of all true believers in any age, and at one time as well as another. Who, when their beloved is absent, it is "night" with them. As Christ's presence makes day, his absence makes night. And it was now night with the Church. Either of affliction, or of darkness and desertion, and indeed of both. One night after another, successively, she sought her beloved. Which both expresses the continuance of her state, and her diligence and constancy in seeking Christ. The place where she sought him was "her bed"; not the same as in (verse 1:16). Which was both Christ's and hers, and where a different word is used, but this was purely her own. Either a bed of affliction, when good men usually seek the Lord (Isa. 26:16; Hosea 5:15). Or rather of carnal ease and security, in which she continued, and rose not up from it to seek her beloved. Which shows the cold, lukewarm, lazy frame she was in, and formal manner in which she sought him, and so succeeded not. However, he was still the person "whom her soul loved", cordially and sincerely. Though not so fervently as she had done. True love, though it may be abated, cannot be lost.

"I sought him, but I found him not": Because she sought him not in the right manner; not timely, nor fervently and diligently, nor in a proper place. Not in her closet, by prayer, reading, and meditation, nor in public ordinances as she afterwards did; but on her bed.

This speaks of the church wanting the Lord Jesus to come back, but something seems to be delaying Him. Sometimes Christians feel this separation, when they long to be out of this world and be with Jesus in heaven. They long for that close relationship they will enjoy with the Lord. Paul spoke a little of this, when he wanted to die and be with the Lord.

Philippians 1:21-25 "For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain." "But if I live in the flesh, this [is] the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I wot not." "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:" "Nevertheless to abide in the flesh [is] more needful for you." "And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;"

This world is not the home of the Christian. The desire of the Christian is to be with Jesus. The Lord leaves us here for the purpose of winning the lost to Him.

Song of Solomon 3:2 "I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not."

Perceiving she had taken a wrong method, and therefore unsuccessful, she fixes on another. And, in the strength of divine grace, determines to pursue it. And "now", at once, immediately, without any delay, "rise" from her bed of sloth and ease, and forego her carnal pleasures, in pursuit of her beloved. Which showed the sincerity of her love to him.

"And go about the city": Not the city of Jerusalem, though there may be an allusion to it; but the spiritual city, of which saints are fellow citizens. Where they dwell, and where the word is preached, and the ordinances are administered. And "going about" it, as she proposed, showed her diligence and industry in seeking him. And the night being an unseasonable time to walk about a city, especially for women, this is a further proof of her great love to Christ. In that she not only exposed herself to reproach and scandal, but to harm and danger also. But being fired with love, and fearless of danger, and set on finding her beloved, she resolved to proceed, whatever she suffered. Hence she sought him;

"In the streets, and in the broad ways": That is, of the city, such as commonly are in cities. So Troy is described as a city, having broad ways in it. And also Athens: meaning the public ordinances of the Gospel, where he takes his walks, and often shows himself. In seeking him here, she was right, though she did not succeed.

"I will seek him whom my soul loveth": Her love was still the same, not abated, but more likely to be increased through disappointment. Nor was she discouraged, but was determined to go on seeking, till she found him.

"I sought him, but I found him not": This was to chastise her for her former negligence. To try her faith, love, and patience. And to show that even the best means, though to be used, are not to be depended on. And that Christ has his own time and way to make himself known to his people, which depends on his sovereign will.

Jesus will not be found in the broad ways. The path that leads to righteousness is a straight and narrow path. Christianity is not a one-time experience; it is a daily walk through life to Jesus. It is like a marriage. You do not get married, have one experience with your groom, and then go back into the world. Marriage and Christianity are eternal commitments.

Song of Solomon 3:3 "The watchmen that go about the city found me: [to whom I said], Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?"

By whom are meant the ministers of the Gospel; who are called watchmen, as the prophets were under the Old Testament (Isa. 52:8). In allusion to watchmen in cities; and are so called in regard to themselves, it being their duty to watch over themselves. And to their doctrine, and all opportunities to preach it, and the success of it. Their business with respect to others is to give the time of night. To point out the state and condition of the church; to give notice of danger to sinners in the broad road to destruction; and to saints, through the prevalence of error, heresy, and immorality. All which require sobriety, vigilance, prudence, courage, and faithfulness. And show the necessity and utility of the Gospel ministry, and the awfulness of it. And the care Christ takes of his churches, in providing such officers in them.

"That go about the city", denoting their industry and diligence; and being in the way of their duty, they "found" the church, fell upon her case in their ministry, and hit it exactly. Which shows the efficacy of the word under a divine direction. Which finds out sinners, and their sins; saints, and their particular cases, unknown to ministers; and the church, having met with something suitable to her case under their ministry.

"Found me": While they walked round about the city, according to their duty.

"To whom I said": Without either fear or shame, as being transported and wholly swallowed up with love.

"Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?" She doth not name him, because she thought it needless. As supposing that a person of such transcendent excellency could not be unknown to men in that public capacity. Their answer is not mentioned, either because they gave her no answer, at least no satisfactory answer. Or because by their silence she gathered that they were unable or unwilling to inform her. And being eager in the pursuit of her Beloved, she would not lose time in impertinent discourses with them.

The watchmen are those who are to watch and warn. I believe this is speaking of spiritual leaders, who are to warn the people of the coming of the Lord. The Christian, in this instance, is asking the watchmen to help them find the time of the coming of the Lord.

Song of Solomon 3:4 "[It was] but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me."

Christ met me, and manifested his love to me, according to his promise made to those that seek him constantly and diligently (Prov. 8:17; Matt. 7:7).

"I held him, and would not let him go": Being taught by my late experience how sorrowful a thing it was to lose him. And how hard it was to find and recover him when he was lost.

"Until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chambers of her that conceived me": The allusion is to the tents and apartments women had in former times, distinct from their husbands (Gen. 24:67). And all this may be understood either of the visible church, and the ordinances of it. The mother of all true believers, where they are born again, brought up and nourished. And where Christ may be said to be brought, when his name is professed, his Gospel is embraced, and his ordinances are submitted to. And here the church is desirous of introducing Christ, that she with others might magnify him, and praise him for all the instances of his grace and goodness, and have communion with him. Or else the heart, and the inmost recesses of it, may be meant. Where the incorruptible seed of divine grace is cast. Where the new creature; conceived, born, and brought up, until it becomes a perfect man. And where Christ is desired to be, and to dwell by faith, and saints may have uninterrupted communion with him. Christ is, as it were, the father that begets, and the church, the mother that conceives and brings forth believers.

This is odd, but it speaks of the individual finding Christ for himself. The watchmen knew not when the Lord cometh. This speaks of the individual Christian who finds Christ, and hangs on with everything within him. He will not let go. The groom may have delayed His coming, but He was always near. This speaks of the "omnipresence" of God. He is near and yet; He is in heaven at the right hand of the Father. The fact of the mother's chambers here, is speaking of this being a holy union, which is not outside the teachings of the mother. This is not a clandestine relationship, but one sanctioned by the teachings of God.

Song of Solomon 3:5 "I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake [my] love, till he please."

Which are either the words of Christ, adjuring the young converts not to disturb the church; who had now Christ in her arms. Taking repose with him, being wearied with running about in search of him. Or they are the words of the church; who having experienced a long absence of Christ, and having been at much pains in search of him, and now had found him, was very unwilling to part with him. And fearing these young converts should by any unbecoming word or action provoke him to depart, she gives them a solemn charge.

"By the roes and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please": See notes on (SOS 2:7).

This is the same statement as (verse 2:7), in the last lesson. We took note that the "daughters of Jerusalem" were speaking of the physical house of Israel.

Verses 3:6-11: A wilderness is an emblem of the world. The believer comes out of it when he is delivered from the love of its sinful pleasures and pursuits, and refuses to comply with its customs and fashions. To seek happiness in communion with the Savior. A poor soul shall come up, at last, under the conduct of the Comforter. Like a cloud of incense ascending from the altar, or the smoke of the burnt-offerings. This signifies pious and devout affections, and the mounting of the soul heaven-ward. The believer is filled with the graces of God's Spirit. His devotions now are very lively. These graces and comforts are from the heavenly Canaan. He, who is the Peace of his people, the King of the heavenly Zion, has provided for the safe conveyance of his redeemed through the wilderness of this world. The bed, or litter, was contrived for rest and easy conveyance, but its beauty and magnificence showed the quality of its owner. The church is well guarded; more are with her than are against her. Believers, when they repose in Christ, and with him, though they have their fears in the night, are yet safe. The chariot here denotes the covenant of redemption, the way of our salvation. This is that work of Christ, which makes him loved and admired in the eyes of believers. It is framed and contrived, both for the glory of Christ, and for the comfort of believers. It is well ordered in all things and sure. The blood of the covenant, that rich purple, is the cover of this chariot, by which believers are sheltered from the wind and storms of Divine wrath, and the troubles of this world. But the midst of it is that love of Christ which passes knowledge (Eph. 3:19), this is for believers to rest upon. Christ, in his gospel, manifests himself. Take special notice of his crown. Applying this to Christ, it speaks the honor put upon him, and his power and dominion.

Song of Solomon 3:6 "Who [is] this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?"

The persons speaking seem to be the daughters of Jerusalem (the physical house of Israel), who, upon occasion of the bride's speech to them, make this reply. The person spoken of is the spouse.

"That cometh out of the wilderness": Believers were to be called. Not only out of the holy land, which was as the garden of God, but also out of the Gentile world. Which, in prophetical writings, is frequently described under the notion of a wilderness, as (Isa. 35:1 43:19-20). Withal he seems to allude to the people of Israel, which to the wonder and astonishment of all those parts came up out of the wilderness into Canaan.

"Like pillars of smoke": Being conducted out of the wilderness as by a pillar of smoke going before them. As the Israelites were led through the wilderness to Canaan, by a pillar of cloud and fire (Exodus 13:21).

"Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense": The spouse is said to be thus perfumed, for her excellent virtues and religious services, which are pleasant and acceptable to God. And for the merits and graces of Christ, which are a sweet savor to God, wherewith she is enriched and beautified.

"With all the powders of the merchants": Which are fetched by the merchants from Arabia, or other remote parts.

God led the children of Israel through the wilderness with a pillar of smoke by day and a fire by night. The bridegroom is perfumed with myrrh and frankincense. "Frankincense" accompanies the meat sacrifice. Jesus was the perfect Lamb sacrifice. He was anointed for the sacrifice by the woman with the box of ointment.

Mark 14:3 "And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured [it] on his head."

Song of Solomon 3:7 "Behold his bed, which [is] Solomon's; threescore valiant men [are] about it, of the valiant of Israel."

Not Solomon the son of David, and penman of this song, but a greater than he, the antitype of him. So it is interpreted of the Messiah by many Jewish writers. They were both sons of David and sons of God, and kings and preachers in Jerusalem. Solomon was a type of Christ in his wisdom and wealth, and in the largeness and peacefulness of his kingdom. In his marriage with Pharaoh's daughter, and in building the temple, a figure of the church. And by his bed is meant the place where saints meet together for religious worship, his church visible, which is his resting and dwelling place. Where souls are begotten and born again, and have fellowship with Christ. And which he has a property in by gift and purchase. And a "behold" is prefixed to it as a note of attention, directing the daughters of Jerusalem to turn off the discourse from her, and from commendation of her, to consider the greatness of Christ her beloved. Who might conclude, that if his bed was so stately as after described, how great must he himself be. And as a note of admiration, to show how much she was affected with the greatness of his grace to her. And the privileges she enjoyed of having nearness to him, and fellowship with him.

"Threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel": Ministers of the Gospel, such as are Israelites indeed. Faithful and upright; and who are valiant, and heartily concerned for the good and welfare of Christ's people. And are careful that nothing hurt them, nor disturb their rest and repose.

This symbolizes the Lord coming after His bride. This is very similar to the 45th Psalm.

Psalms 45:10 "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house;"

This is speaking of carrying her home to be with Him. Threescore is 60. This 60 is speaking of the bodyguard which bring her to the groom. The church is ministered to by the angels of God.

Hebrews 1:14 "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"

Song of Solomon 3:8 "They all hold swords, [being] expert in war: every man [hath] his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night."

Or a "sword"; the word is singular, which designs the word of God, called the sword of the Spirit. And said to be sharper than a twoedged sword (Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12). Which every one of the ministers of the Gospel hold in their hands. And which denotes not only their apprehension, but their retention of it, and firm adherence to it. It cleaves to them, and they to that. They and their sword cannot be parted, as Gussetius observes the word signifies. These ministers could not be prevailed upon to drop it, or part with it, but retained it to the last. Which shows them to be valiant men.

"Being expert in war": In military straits, in the spiritual war against sin, Satan, and the world, in common with other Christians. And in fighting the good fight of faith, against all opposition of the doctrines of the Gospel. Knowing how to use to the best advantage the spiritual sword, the Scriptures of truth, to defend the Gospel, and refute error.

"Every man hath his sword upon his thigh": As a preparation for war, and an indication of readiness to engage in it (Psalm 45:3). For, being on the thigh, it is near, easy to come at, at once upon occasion, and so always in a posture of defense. All which expresses the familiar acquaintance ministers have with the word of God. Its nearness, so that they can easily come at it, and furnish themselves with a sufficient proof of truth. And with proper arguments for the refutation of error. And this is done:

"Because of fear in the night": When there is most danger. Hence king Cyrus considering that men are most easily taken when eating and drinking, and in the bath, and in bed, and in sleep, looked out for the most faithful men to be his bodyguard. By "night" or "nights" may be meant the nights of desertion, temptation, affliction, and persecution. When saints are in fear of their spiritual enemies, and of being overcome and destroyed by them. Now Christ has provided a guard for his people, to prevent or remove these fears, and defend them from such as would make inroads upon their faith and comfort. Namely, his ministers, that by their ministering they may be a means of securing their peace and comfort, and of freeing them from all terrible apprehensions of things. Which, as it shows the safety and security of the saints, so the tender care and concern of Christ for them.

The bride of Christ (church), may go through dangerous places, but the Lord protects Her. The "sword", sometimes symbolically means the Word of God.

Psalms 46:1 "God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

Psalms 62:7 "In God [is] my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, [and] my refuge, [is] in God."

Song of Solomon 3:9 "King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon."

"A chariot": In which the royal Bridegroom and bride might ride together in state, as the manner was in the nuptial solemnities of such persons. By this chariot he seems to understand the word of Christ dispensed by his ministers in the church. Whereby both Christ is exalted and rides triumphantly in the world. Conquering his enemies, and subduing the world to the obedience of the gospel. And all believers are carried with safety and comfort through this present evil world, into those blessed mansions of heavenly glory.

"Of the wood of Lebanon": I.e. of cedars, for which Lebanon was famous. Which wood, being incorruptible, does fitly signify the word of the gospel, which endureth forever (1 Peter 1:25). And is called the everlasting gospel (Rev. 14:6). In opposition to the legal institutions, which were to continue only until the time of reformation (as we read Heb. 9:10).

"Wood" as we discussed earlier, speaks of worldliness. This speaks of the chariot being of the world (see 1 Cor. 3:12).

Song of Solomon 3:10 "He made the pillars thereof [of] silver, the bottom thereof [of] gold, the covering of it [of] purple, the midst thereof being paved [with] love, for the daughters of Jerusalem."

The truths and doctrines of the Gospel are the "pillars" of it. Which, like pillars, are solid and substantial, and continue firm and immovable, and are of great use to support the children of God under the several trials and exercises they are attended with. And, for their utility, value, and duration, are said to be of "silver", and are as carefully to be sought for and into as that is, and even to be preferred to it, being of more worth than "thousands of gold and silver". The ministers of the Gospel are sometimes compared to pillars, and the church itself is said to be the pillar and ground of truth (Gal. 2:9).

"The bottom thereof of gold": Christ, the golden bottom of the Gospel, the sum and substance of it, the principal subject in it to be insisted on. He is laid in it as the bottom, ground, and foundation of faith and hope, and of everlasting life and salvation. And for its richness, firmness, and duration, may be said to be of gold, as the street of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:21). Or its "pavement", as the word here signifies. The Septuagint renders it, a "reclining" place, to sit and rest, or lean upon; such is Christ.

"The covering of it of purple": Or the top of it. The word signifies a chariot itself. It may respect such doctrines of the Gospel which relate to redemption, pardon of sin, and justification through the blood of Christ. And all under the purple covering of the blood of Christ are secure from wrath to come, and go safe to heaven.

"The midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem": The carpet wrought with lovely figures or with love stories. The doctrines and ordinances of the Gospel are full of love, of God in Christ, in providing Christ as a Savior, and sending him to be one. And of the love of Christ in assuming human nature, and suffering and dying in it for sinners. Even for Jerusalem sinners. The Gospel sets forth the heart of Christ as "inflamed", as the word here used signifies, with love to the daughters of Jerusalem. His dear children, which moved him to do all he did and suffered for them. And could his heart be looked into, the very images of these persons would be seen upon it. The ordinances of the Gospel are designed both to set forth, in the most striking manner, the love of Christ to his sons and daughters. For whose sake he became man and suffered death, and to draw forth their love to him. So the words may be rendered, "paved with love by the daughters of Jerusalem". Or "with the love of them". How delightful must it be to ride in such a chariot, or sit under such a ministry, where there is nothing but love! Moreover, the whole description of the "bride chamber", which some choose to render the word for "chariot", well agrees with the New Jerusalem state, as given in (Rev. 21:1). Where the church being as a bride prepared for her husband, will be introduced, the nuptial feast will be kept, and Christ will be seen by the daughters of Zion in all his regal glory. With the royal diadem on his head, as he is described in (verse 3:11).

"Silver" speaks of redemption. "Gold" speaks of God. "Purple" speaks of royalty. To me, this is speaking of the bride coming from the earth, or the worldly. She is redeemed (silver), by the blood of Jesus. God (gold), is the foundation. The path is paved by the love of God. Jesus is the way that was opened to Physical Israel first, and then made open to the Gentiles who became spiritual Israel through belief.

Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Song of Solomon 3:11 "Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart."

The same with the daughters of Jerusalem. The reason of the variation is, because Christ, here so gloriously described, is King of Zion, and they his subjects. These the church observing, being intent on looking at the bed and chariot she had described, calls them from those objects to look at a more glorious one. To whom Solomon in all his glory, on his coronation or marriage day, to which the allusion is, was not equal. Wherefore she invites them to "go forth" and look at him. As people are forward to go out of their houses to see a crowned king pass along the streets, especially on his coronation day. And men never see any glory and excellency in Christ, until they go out of themselves, and look off of every other object to him alone.

"And behold King Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals": Alluding to a custom with the Jews and other nations, to put nuptial crowns on the heads of married persons, both men and women, on the marriage day. Christ is undoubtedly here meant by Solomon, who is King of Zion, King of saints (see notes on SOS 3:7). Christ became man, was crowned by the love of God with the glorious crown of his divinity. By whose mother is meant either the church, the Jerusalem above, the mother of us all, of Christ mystical. Or else every believer, who is not only his brother and sister, but his mother (Matt. 12:50). And this may refer to the time when Christ is first made known unto and held by a sensible sinner, in the glory of his person. And the fullness of his grace, as sitting and riding in the chariot of the everlasting Gospel. When such honor him, and crown him by venturing on him, and believing in him. For every act of faith on Christ is putting the crown upon his head. And every submission to his ordinances is an acknowledging him King of saints. And every ascription of salvation to him and his grace by any, is casting their crowns at his feet and setting one on his head. And such a time is the time of his open espousals to them, when such consent to be his forever, and give up their whole selves to him. There was a secret espousal of all the elect to Christ, upon the Father's grant of them to him in eternity. And there is an open espousal of them to him personally, at their conversion under the ministry of the word, when they are espoused as chaste virgins to Christ. At which time there is a large breaking forth of Christ's love to them, and of theirs to him. Hence it is called "the love of their espousals" (see 2 Cor. 11:2).

"And in the day of the gladness of his heart": When Christ gladly and cheerfully receives such souls into his embraces, and rejoices over them as the bridegroom over the bride. Now the church would have the daughters of "Jerusalem behold". Look at this glorious person with an eye of faith and love, with attention and admiration (see Zech. 9:9). There being such astonishing, incomparable, and transcendent excellences in him, which require such looks as these.

"Zion" symbolizes the church. This is speaking of the bride of Christ. The crown of the Lord is because He is King.

Hebrews 2:9 "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."

Revelation 19:12-13 "His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were] many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself." "And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God."

Song of Solomon Chapter 3 Questions

  1. What is verse 1 speaking of?
  2. When do Christians feel this separation the most?
  3. Who spoke of this very clearly?
  4. What is wrong with the search in verse 2?
  5. What is Christianity?
  6. Marriage and Christianity are ___________ commitments.
  7. Who does the author believe the watchmen are speaking of?
  8. What is the Christian asking the watchmen?
  9. What is verse 4 speaking of?
  10. What does "omnipresence" mean?
  11. Who are "daughters of Jerusalem"?
  12. Where did God manifest Himself to the children of Israel in a pillar of smoke?
  13. What special use did the "frankincense" have?
  14. What does verse 7 symbolize?
  15. Threescore is ______.
  16. Who protects the church?
  17. What does the "sword" symbolize?
  18. King Solomon made himself a chariot of the ________ of Lebanon.
  19. "Wood" speaks of _________________.
  20. "Silver" speaks of ____________.
  21. The church is redeemed by the ______ of Jesus.
  22. What does "purple" mean?
  23. "Zion" symbolizes the _________.

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Song of Solomon 4

Song of Solomon Chapter 4

Verses 4:1-7: If each of these comparisons has a meaning applicable to the graces of the church, or of the faithful Christian, they are not clearly known. And great mistakes are made by fanciful guesses. The mountain of myrrh appears to mean the mountain Moriah, on which the temple was built. Where the incense was burned, and the people worshipped the Lord. This was his residence till the shadows of the law given to Moses were dispersed by the breaking of the gospel day, and the rising of the Sun of righteousness. And though, in respect of his human nature, Christ is absent from his church on earth. And will continue to be so till the heavenly day break. Yet he is spiritually present in his ordinances, and with his people. How fair and comely are believers, when justified in Christ's righteousness, and adorned with spiritual graces! when their thoughts, words, and deeds, though imperfect, are pure, manifesting a heart nourished by the gospel.

Song of Solomon 4:1 "Behold, thou [art] fair, my love; behold, thou [art] fair; thou [hast] doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair [is] as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead."

Being clothed with my righteousness, and adorned with all the graces of my Spirit. He repeats it both to confirm his assertion, and to show the fervency of his affection.

"Thou hast doves' eyes": Whereas the beauty of the spouse is here described in her several parts. We need not labor much about the application of each particular to some distinct grace of the church. It being the chief design of the description to show that completeness and absolute perfection which the church hath in part received, and shall more fully receive in the future life.

"Within thy locks": Which being decently composed, make the eyes appear more amiable. Withal this intimates the modesty of her looks. Her eyes are not wanton, and wandering. Or lofty, but sober, and humble, and confined within their proper bounds, looking directly upon her husband. Not looking indirectly upon other lovers, nor minding other gods or christs. If the eyes signify teachers, the locks may note the people assembled together to hear their teachers. To whom they are a great ornament when they thrive by his teaching.

"Thy hair is as a flock of goats": The hair of goats in the East is fine like silk. As long hair is her glory, and marks her subjection to man (1 Cor. 11:6-15). So, the Nazarite's hair marked his subjection and separation unto God (compare Judges 16:17 with 2 Cor. 6:17; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9). Jesus Christ cares for the minutest concerns of His saints (Matt. 10:30). He has respect for the multitude of the faithful, which are many in number.

This is the bridegroom speaking to the bride. The groom is looking into the eyes of the bride, and likes what He sees. The eyes reveal what she really is inside. The hair of the goat was long and black. Perhaps that is what is intended in the comparison here. This example of Solomon as groom on the earth, and all the beauty he sees in his bride is an example of the beauty Christ sees in His church.

Ephesians 5:28-29 "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself." "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:"

Song of Solomon 4:2 "Thy teeth [are] like a flock [of sheep that are even] shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none [is] barren among them."

"Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep": That is, like the teeth of a flock of sheep. As her eyes were like the eyes of doves, and her hair like the hair of goats.

"That are even shorn": As some render the word. Which may denote the equality of Gospel ministers in power and authority. One having no superiority over another. All having the same mission and commission, employed in the same work, preaching the same Gospel. And though their gifts are different, yet there is a harmony and agreement in the doctrines they preach.

"Which came up from the washing": White and clean, which is another property of good teeth. As the teeth of sheep be, and they themselves are, when just come up out of the washing pit. This may signify the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which are necessary to ministers of the word, in order to preach it. And more especially the purity of their lives and conversations, in which they should be examples to the flock.

"Whereof everyone bear twins, and none is barren among them": This may express the fruitfulness and success of Gospel ministers, in bringing many souls to Christ. And was particularly true of the apostles, and first ministers of the Gospel, who were instrumental in the conversion of many. And who bore twins to Christ, Jews and Gentiles. By meditation they feed upon Christ, his Gospel, doctrines, and promises. And are sanctified, and in some measure, cleansed from the pollution of their minds and actions. Ascend heavenwards in their thoughts, desires, and affections; and are not "barren" and unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ and his Gospel. And generally, through meditation, bring forth the "twins" of prayer and praise. By faith also they feed on Christ and his grace. Is "pure", sincere, and unfeigned and is always fruitful, and bears the "twins" of love to Christ, and of love to his saints. And is not "barren", but attended with the fruits of righteousness.

The comparison of the teeth of the bride to sheep is speaking of the whiteness. The sheep are washed and cleansed after the shearing. The believers in Christ are washed in the blood of the Lamb and made white as snow. The twins could be speaking of the fruitfulness and there is none barren. One of the blessings of a marriage is the children it produces. On the spiritual side of this, one of the blessings of being washed in the blood and saved, is when others are washed and saved, because of your witness. Most true Christians bear spiritual children.

Song of Solomon 4:3 "Thy lips [are] like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech [is] comely: thy temples [are] like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks."

Fine, and smooth, soft, round, and red, in which the beauty of the lips consists. "Thy speech is comely"; which is added, partly as another ingredient of an amiable person, and partly to explain the foregoing comparison. The communication or discourse of believers is edifying, and comfortable, and acceptable to God and to serious men. To which may be added, that the doctrines of the Gospel, delivered by the ministers of the church, who are her lips, may be taken into the sense of this clause. Which are like a "thread", spun out of the Scriptures, and are harmonious and all of a piece, consistent and closely connected. The subject and matter of which are the blood, sufferings, and death of Christ, and the blessings that come thereby. Which also, like scarlet, are valuable and precious.

"And thy speech is comely": Which explains the preceding clause; and shows, that by her lips her speech is meant, which is "comely", that is, graceful and amiable. As it is when believers speak of Christ, of his person, offices, and grace. And for him, in vindication of his truths and ordinances. When they speak to him, in prayer or in praise; and when, in common conversation, their speech is with grace.

"Like a piece of a pomegranate": This may note both the church's beauty and her modesty, which shows itself by blushes in those parts when she hath fallen into any sin, as the highest believers in this world sometimes do. And these may be compared to "a piece of a pomegranate", because of their being full of gifts, and grace, and good works, visible to men. And for their harmony and union among themselves, and with the church and its members. And the strict regard that, in all things, is had to the rules and laws of Christ. All which make the officers of the church, and the discipline of it, acceptable to him.

"Within thy locks": A further evidence both of beauty and modesty (see verse 4:1). This may be expressive of the meekness and humility of its officers, who are not to lord it over God's heritage. And of the private manner in which admonitions are to be given, in case of private offences. And of the affairs and concertos of a church being kept private, and not blazed abroad.

This is speaking of red lips. We discovered in another lesson that comely means beautiful. The pomegranates could be speaking of the reddish color of the bride's cheeks.

Song of Solomon 4:4 "Thy neck [is] like the tower of David builded for an armory, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men."

"Thy neck": This may seem to represent the grace of faith, by which we are united to Christ, as the body is to the head by the neck. And through which Christians receive their spiritual food, and consequently their strength and ability for action.

"Is like the tower of David": Round, and smooth, and white, long, and straight, and upright, firm, and strong. And moreover, adorned with chains of gold or pearl, or the like ornaments; all which things, as they set forth the beauty of the neck. So they may signify the various excellences and uses of faith.

"Whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men": No other armor is mentioned, as in this armory, but shields. They being a principal part of armor, and are especially so called, as in the Septuagint version of (1 Kings 14:26). These shields are armor of mighty men. Mighty, through God and his grace, to perform mighty actions, and do great exploits. Being furnished from the spiritual armory with the whole armor of God. To repel Satan's temptations, to defend the Gospel, and refute error. Particularly the ministers of the word are those mighty men; though it is applicable to all saints.

Perhaps, this is speaking of the bride being made to reign with the King.

2 Samuel 22:51 "[He is] the tower of salvation for his king: and showeth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore."

In this instance, the "tower" is spoken of as spiritual strength.

Ephesians 4:15-16 "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:" "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."

Song of Solomon 4:5 "Thy two breasts [are] like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies."

"Two breasts": Another part in which beauty consists (Ezek. 16:7). By which some understand the two testaments, or the two sacraments. But these are rather Christ's than the church's breasts. To others, the church's fervent love to Christ, and to all the saints, for the breasts signify love (Prov. 5:9; SOS 1:13). Or others, her fruitfulness, both in good works, and in bringing up children unto Christ, like a nurse with her breasts. But the following comparison seems not to respect the use of the breasts, or the love which is signified or manifested by them, but their comeliness. And therefore, this is generally to be understood of the church's beauty in all parts, as hath been said.

"Which feed among the lilies": Shrinking from thorns of strife, worldliness, and ungodliness (2 Sam. 23:6; Matt 13:7). Roes feed among, not on the lilies. Where these grow, there is moisture producing green pasturage. The lilies represent her white dress (Psalm 45:14; Rev. 19:8).

Proverbs 5:19 "[Let her be as] the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love."

Song of Solomon 4:6 "Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense."

Until the day of grace breaks on every elect sinner, and the shadows of darkness, ignorance, and unbelief, are in a great measure fled and gone. Or until the everlasting day breaks, and there will be no more night, nor any darkness of affliction, nor any more desertion, doubts, and fears (see SOS 2:17). They are the words of Christ, declaring where he would go till that time came. These words are uttered by the bride, and here returned by the bridegroom as an answer to that request. And this place may be understood of the day of glory, when all shadows and ordinances shall cease.

"I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense": To my church upon earth, which was typified by the mountain of Moriah and the temple upon it. This, in prophetic writings, is called a mountain, and may well be called a mountain of myrrh and frankincense. Both for the acceptable services which are there offered to God, and for the precious gifts, and graces, and comforts of the Holy Spirit. Which are of a sweet-smelling savor to God and men, and which there, and there only, are poured forth. Thus Christ directs his bride, to wit, particular believers, where they may find and enjoy him, namely, in his church and ordinances.

The two young roes feed among the lilies at night, and at daybreak, they run away. Christ even now, is in heaven awaiting the time to come to the earth. On the earth is possibly speaking of a life of darkness. The day breaks when we are carried away into heaven with Jesus. There is no night there. The "hill of frankincense" could be speaking of the sacrifice. The myrrh is speaking of the sweet smell. Jesus is the perfect Lamb sacrifice.

Song of Solomon 4:7 "Thou [art] all fair, my love; [there is] no spot in thee."

Being justified by the righteousness of Christ, washed in his blood, and sanctified by his Spirit. Of the title, my "love" (see SOS 1:9). The church is often said by Christ to be "fair", his "fair one", and the "fairest among women" (SOS 1:8). But here "all fair", being a perfection of beauty, and perfectly comely through his comeliness. This is said to show her completeness in Christ, as to justification. And that, with respect to sanctification, she had a perfection of parts, though not of degrees. And to observe, that the church and "all" the true members of it were so. The meanest and weakest believer, as well as the greatest and strongest. It is added;

"There is no spot in thee": Not that the saints have no sin in them; nor any committed by them. Nor that their sins are not sins; or that they have no spots in them, with respect to sanctification, which is imperfect. But with respect to their justification. As having the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, and covered with that spotless robe, they are considered as having no spot in them. God sees no sin in them, so as to reckon it to them, and condemn them for it. And they stand blameless in his sight. And will be presented by Christ, both to himself and to his father, and in the view of men and angels, "not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing" (Eph. 5:27), upon them.

This matters not whether it is speaking of Jesus, who was perfect and totally without sin, or whether it is speaking of the chaste virgin bride that is without spot or wrinkle. The bride is made righteous in the blood of Jesus.

Verses 4:8-15: Observe the gracious call Christ gives to the church. It is;

(1) A precept: So this is Christ's call to his church to come off from the world. These hills seem pleasant, but there are in them lions' dens; they are mountains of the leopards.

(2) As a promise: Many shall be brought as members of the church, from every point. The church shall be delivered from her persecutors in due time, though now she dwells among lions (Psalm 57:4).

Christ's heart is upon his church; his treasure is therein; and he delights in the affection she has for him. Its working in the heart, and its works in the life. The odors wherewith the spouse is perfumed, are as the gifts and graces of the Spirit. Love and obedience to God are more pleasing to Christ than sacrifice or incense. Christ having put upon his spouse the white raiment of his own righteousness, and the righteousness of saints. And perfumed it with holy joy and comfort, he is well pleased with it. And Christ walks in his garden unseen. A hedge of protection is made around, which all the powers of darkness cannot break through. The souls of believers are as gardens enclosed, where is a well of living water (John 4:14; 7:38), the influences of the Holy Spirit. The world knows not these wells of salvation, nor can any oppose or corrupt this fountain. Saints in the church, and graces in the saints, are fitly compared to fruits and spices. They are planted, and do not grow of themselves. They are precious; they are the blessings of this earth. They will be kept to good purpose when flowers are withered. Grace, when ended in glory, will last forever. Christ is the source which makes these gardens fruitful; even a well of living waters.

Song of Solomon 4:8 "Come with me from Lebanon, [my] spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards."

This is a new title given the church, my "spouse". Here first mentioned, because the day of espousals was over (SOS 3:11). And having on the wedding garment, in which she was so fair and spotless, as before described, she looked somewhat like a bride, and the spouse of Christ. And is chiefly used by Christ, to prevail upon her to go with him, which relation, duty, and affection, obliged her to do.

"Look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens": From the mountains of the leopards; Amana is thought by some to be the mountain which divided Cilicia from Syria.

"The mountain of the leopards": Which was round and high, was two miles from Tripoli northward, three from Arce southward, and one from Lebanon." Now these words may be considered as a call of Christ to his people, to come out from among wicked men, comparable to such creatures. And he makes use of two arguments to enforce it. The one is taken from the nature of such men, and the danger of being with them; who are like to lions, for their cruel and persecuting temper. And to leopards, for their being full of the spots of sin; and for their craftiness and malice, exercised towards those who are quiet in the land. And for their swiftness and readiness to do mischief. Wherefore it must be both uncomfortable and unsafe to be with such persons. The other argument is taken from their enjoyment of Christ's company and presence, which must be preferable to theirs, for pleasure, profit, and safety, and therefore most eligible. Besides, Christ chose not to go without his church. She was so fair, as before described, and so amiable and lovely in his sight, as the next scriptures follows.

This is the bridegroom calling the bride from her past earthly life, to be with Him. Lebanon and the other names here, are symbolic. The Bridegroom is calling His bride out of the world to Him.

Song of Solomon 4:9 "Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, [my] spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck."

Here another new title is given to the church, "my sister", with the repetition of the former, my "spouse". For one and the same person, with the Hebrews, might be sister and spouse (see 1 Cor. 9:5). And this may be used in a love strain, and so not improper in a love poem, as this was (see SOS 8:8). Likewise, the church may be called Christ's sister, because of his incarnation, in virtue of which he is not ashamed to call his people his brethren, and so his sisters (Heb. 2:11). And on account of their adoption; in which respect, he that is Christ's Father is theirs. And which is evidenced in regeneration; when they, through grace, do the will of his Father, and so are his brother, and sister, and mother (Matt. 12:50). And, upon the whole, it is used to express the great affection of Christ for the church, and his high esteem of her. And which appears by his saying;

"Thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes": The allusion may be to the custom of the eastern women; who, when they walked abroad or spoke to any, showed but one eye. The other, with the rest of the face, being covered with a veil. The eyes of women are ensnaring to lovers; the church has more eyes than one. Mention is made of the eyes of the understanding (Eph. 1:18). Faith is one of them, and may he here chiefly intended. By which a soul looks on Christ, the glories of his person, and the fullness of his grace. And looks to him for the blessings of grace now, and eternal glory hereafter. And with this Christ's heart is ravished; even with "one look" from it, or "glance" of it, as some render it.

"With one chain of thy neck": With the several graces of the Spirit, linked together as in a chain. Which were about the neck of the church, and as ornamental to her as a pearl necklace (SOS 1:10). And with every link in this chain Christ's heart is ravished and delighted. The Vulgate Latin version is, "with one lock of hair of thy neck": which hung down in it, and looked very beautiful; and with which lovers are sometimes taken.

"Ravished" in this verse, means she has encompassed His heart. She has taken His heart completely. My sister spouse is a step beyond being promised. This is His young bride. The fact of one eye or one chain, ravishing Him, perhaps, means that under the veil, He had just seen this much, but it was enough to cause His heart to race. It could also mean that her concentration was upon Him, as if she had one eye.

Song of Solomon 4:10 "How fair is thy love, my sister, [my] spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!"

Of these titles (see SOS 4:8-9). And of the love of the church to Christ (see SOS 1:3). Here said to be "fair", lovely and delightful, grateful and acceptable. As it is to Christ, in the several acts and effects of it. And therefore, the word is plural, "thy loves"; being exceeding beautiful in his eye, and extremely well pleasing to him. Therefore, says "how fair!" as admiring it, it being hard to say how fair it was. And this appears from the large manifestations of Christ's love to those that love him. And from his causing all things to work together for the good of such. And from his preparing and laying up things, unseen and unheard of, for them.

"How much better is thy love than wine!" Which is saying the same thing of her love to him she says of his to her (SOS 1:2). Her love to Christ is more pleasant, more cheering, and more acceptable to him, than the wine of legal sacrifices. Or than all burnt offerings; or than any duty whatever, unless that is the principle from whence it flows (Mark 12:33).

"And the smell of thine ointments than all spices!" The same with Christ's ointments, commended (SOS 1:3). Namely, the graces of the Spirit, which are in Christ without measure, and from him communicated to his people. And when exercised by them, are very delightful to him, and preferred by him to "all spices". Even to all those used in the holy anointing oil, typical of them (Exodus 30:23).

A "spouse" is a bride. This speaks of the special love He has for His bride. To Him, she is beautiful. He would not trade her love for anything, and that includes fine wine.

Song of Solomon 4:11 "Thy lips, O [my] spouse, drop [as] the honeycomb: honey and milk [are] under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments [is] like the smell of Lebanon."

Thy speeches both to me in prayer and praises, and to men for their edification, are highly acceptable to me. In praise of Christ, and thankfulness to him; or in the ministration of the doctrines of the Gospel, which are pleasant words. Or in common conversation, are pleasing to Christ. When, like the honey, they drop freely and without constraint. Gradually, at proper seasons and opportunities, as prudence directs. And continually, more or less, ever dropping something to the glory of divine grace, and the good of souls.

"Honey and milk": Words more sweet and comfortable than honey or milk. To be nursed with such a mixture. And this being very grateful to the taste, the speech of the church for pleasantness is compared unto it.

"Under thy tongue": By which phrase he may possibly intimate that her words were not uttered in hypocrisy, or with evil design, as many fair and smooth speeches are. But proceed from her very heart, which is under her tongue, as mischief is said to be under his tongue (Psalm 10:7). Who devised it in his heart.

"And the smell of thy garments": Of that righteousness, wherewith I have clothed and adorned thee. Christ and the graces of the Spirit are often compared to garments, as (Rom. 13:14; Eph. 4:24; 1 Peter 5:5).

"The smell of Lebanon": Which is also mentioned and commended (Hosea 14:6). Which must needs be very sweet and grateful in regard of the great numbers of sweet-smelling spices and trees which grew in that mountain.

There are many things this could imply. The kisses between husband and wife are special. They are moments when the world is completely shut out. The implication here, could be the special relationship Christ has with His church. They are not part of the world. They belong to Him, and Him alone. His love for them is so great, it far surpasses this love and kisses of the bride and groom.

Hebrews 13:15 "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name."

The smell of Lebanon could be like Cedar, which does not fade away. It preserves the relationship as cedar preserves from moths.

Song of Solomon 4:12 "A garden enclosed [is] my sister, [my] spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed."

We must bear in mind that these words are supposed to be spoken on the journey in the marriage procession. The bride is not yet brought to the royal palace. She is still travelling in the royal litter. The idea of a paradise or garden is carried from the beginning of Scripture to the end, the symbol of perfect blessedness. The figure of the closed or shut-up garden represents the bridegroom's delight in the sense of absolute and sole possession, for himself and no other. The language is very natural at such a time, when the bride is being taken from her home. We may compare with the figures here employed those in (Prov. 5:15-20), to express the chastity of the bride.

Now the church may be thus compared, because of the abundance of grace in her, and in each of her members. Which is as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life (John 4:14). And because of the doctrines of the Gospel, called a fountain (Joel 3:18). With which Gospel ministers water the plants in Christ's garden, the members of the church. Whereby they are revived, refreshed, and flourish; and their souls become as a watered garden, whose springs fail not.

"A spring shut up, a fountain sealed": Which, either applied to the doctrines of grace and truth, in and from Christ and may denote the secrecy and safety of them from the men of the world. Or to the grace of Christ, communicated by him to the saints and may denote the security of it, the invisible operations of it, and the sole exercise of it on him. For these phrases denote the inviolable chastity of the church to Christ, in her faith, love, service, and worship (see Prov. 5:15).

This is saying, the bride has all she needs. The garden is a place of love and peace. This is a place of rest. The church is a comfort, companion, joy, and lover to Him. The spouse is for Him alone. The spring shut up and fountain sealed shows she is His. He will not share His bride (church), with anyone. We have spoken before that Jesus will have 100% of us, or He will not have us at all. He will not share us with false gods.

Song of Solomon 4:13 "Thy plants [are] an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,"

These plants are the members of the church, true converts, believers in Christ. Pleasant plants, plants of renown, planted in the church by Christ's heavenly Father, and shall never be plucked up. Or, thy gardens, as it may be rendered; particular churches, well taken care of and watered. These make an orchard, or are like one, even a paradise, as the word signifies. It is generally thought to be a Persian word (see Neh. 2:8). But Hillerus derives it from to "separate", it being a garden, separated and enclosed as before. One like Eden's garden, exceeding pleasant and delightful: and not like an orchard of any sort of trees, but of "pomegranates". Of which there were plenty in Canaan, therefore called a "land of pomegranates" (Deut. 8:8). Many places in it had their names from there (Joshua 15:32). To which believers in Christ may be compared, for the various sorts of them, for their largeness, fruitfulness, and uprightness. Saints have gifts and grace differing from one another as to size. But all pomegranates, trees of righteousness; some are larger and excel, others are full of all the fruits of righteousness. But all are, more or less, fruitful and upright in heart. And so, the saints of the higher class may be here designed, as those of a lower are by other trees and spices after mentioned.

"With pleasant fruits": That are valuable, precious, and desirable, of which an enumeration follows.

"Camphire, with spikenard": Or "cypresses", or "cypresses with nards"; both in the plural number. The former may intend cypress trees, so called on account of their berries and fruits growing in clusters (see SOS 1:14). And the latter, because there are different sorts of them. To these saints may be compared, because pleasant and delightful, of a sweet smell, and rare and excellent.

Song of Solomon 4:14 "Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:"

The former is the best sort of nard, and therefore mentioned and repeated, to which saints may be compared. Because of the graces of the Spirit in them. Which, when exercised, give a sweet odor, and are exceeding grateful to Christ (see SOS 1:12).

"Calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense": "Calamus" is the sweet cane in (Isa. 43:24). "Cinnamon" is the rind or bark of a tree. Both grow in India and in Arabia. As also trees of "frankincense", which are only in Arabia. The two first were ingredients in the holy anointing oil, and the latter in the holy perfume (Exodus 30:23).

"Myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices": Now all these trees, plants, and spices, signify truly precious souls, possessed of the graces of the Spirit. Comparable to them for their valuableness and excellency, their sweet smell, and the reviving and refreshing nature of them. Which make the subjects of these graces very agreeable to Christ, and to one another. What a garden is the church thus planted!

The words and emotions which come from the bride are beautiful to the bridegroom. Everything about her reminds Him of a beautiful garden, and the fruit it produces. Christ loves the church as the Bridegroom loves the bride. The union between Christ and the church is unexplainable. He bought her with His precious blood. He cares for her day to day. His love for her is greater than human love. It is unselfish love. He cannot say enough good about His bride. All of the valuable spices are mentioned to show He loves her more than all of them.

Song of Solomon 4:15 "A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon."

A well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. Some take these words to be the words of Christ continued, speaking still of his church, and explaining and enlarging upon what he had said of her (SOS 4:12). But rather they are the words of the church. Who, upon hearing herself commended, and knowing that all her fruitfulness, and the flourishing condition she was in, were owing to the grace of Christ, breaks forth in these words. And ascribes all to him, saying, "O fountain of gardens, O well of living waters".

"A well of living waters": Though my spouse be in some sort a fountain shut up, yet that is not so to be understood as if she kept her waters to herself. For she is like a fountain of living or running water, which flows into gardens, and makes its flowers and plants to flourish. The church conveys those waters of life, which she receives from Christ, to particular believers.

"And streams from Lebanon": She is the source of all the joy and refreshment of his existence, just as a fountain is the cause of all the coolness and shade of the garden which it waters.

The beauty of the gardens and the living waters are like the fresh flow of love from the bride to the groom. This is like the life in the Spirit that we live.

John 4:10 "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."

John 4:14 "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

John 7:38 "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."

Song of Solomon 4:16 "Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, [that] the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits."

The church prays for the influences of the blessed Spirit, to make this garden fruitful. Graces in the soul are as spices in these gardens, that in them which is valuable and useful. The blessed Spirit, in his work upon the soul, is as the wind. There is the north wind of conviction, and the south wind of comfort. She desires Christ to comfort her and to pour the graces of his Spirit on her, which is meant by the North and South wind. The church invites Christ. Let him have the honor of all the garden produces, and let us have the comfort of his acceptance of it. We can invite him to nothing but what is his own already. The believer can have no joy of the fruits, unless they contribute greatly some way or other to the glory of Christ. Let us then seek to keep separate from the world, as a garden enclosed, and to avoid conformity thereto.

The "north and the south" represent conviction and comfort. The garden has to have both to do well. This is the bride inviting the Bridegroom to come and stay in the garden with her. Perhaps, this is speaking of the 1000 year reign of Jesus upon the earth, when the entire land will be like a huge garden. The devil will be chained, and the earth will be like a paradise garden. Whether we are thinking of an individual Christian, or whether we are thinking of the church as a whole, the desire of the bride is to become more pleasing to the bridegroom. The gifts of the Spirit that the believers receive through the Spirit will help them become more pleasing to their Savior.

Song of Solomon Chapter 4 Questions

  1. Thou hast ________' eyes within thy locks.
  2. Who is speaking in verse 1?
  3. What do the eyes reveal?
  4. The comparison of the teeth of the bride to sheep is speaking of the _______________.
  5. What makes the believers white as snow?
  6. What is another blessing, other than being saved?
  7. Most true Christians bear ____________ children.
  8. Thy lips are like a thread of __________.
  9. "Comely" means _____________.
  10. The "tower" is spoken of as ____________ strength.
  11. On the earth is, possibly, speaking of a life of ______________.
  12. When does the day break for the Christian?
  13. What are the two possibilities for the meaning of verse 7?
  14. The Bridegroom is calling His bride out of the _________ to Him.
  15. What does "ravished" mean?
  16. What does "sister spouse" tell us?
  17. What % of us will Jesus settle for?
  18. Everything about the bride reminds the Bridegroom of what?
  19. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow ___________ of __________ _________.
  20. What do the "north and south" represent in verse 16?
  21. What time could this be speaking of?
  22. Where will the devil be during this time?
  23. The earth will be like a ______________ ___________.

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Song of Solomon 5

Song of Solomon Chapter 5

Song of Solomon 5:1 "I am come into my garden, my sister, [my] spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved."

This verse should rather have concluded the preceding chapter, being Christ's answer to the church's request, which was speedily and exactly granted as she desired. Which shows it was according to the will of Christ, and of which he informs her. For sometimes he is present, when it is not known he is. See how ready Christ is to accept the invitations of his people. What little good there is in us would be lost, if he did not preserve it to himself. He also invites his beloved people to eat and drink abundantly. The ordinances in which they honor him, are means of grace. So ends this day of outward festivity and supreme heart-joy. The first half of the Song of Songs is fitly closed. The second half of the poem commences (SOS 5:2), with a change of tone and reaction of feeling similar to that of (SOS 3:1). It terminates with the sealing (SOS 8:6-7), of yet deeper love.

"I have eaten my honey-comb with my honey; I have drunk my wine, with my milk": I have eaten of my pleasant fruits, as thou didst desire. I have taken notice of, and delight in, the service and obedience of my people.

"Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved": The individuals, of which the church consists, are the "friends" who are reconciled to God by the death of Christ. And to himself by his Spirit and grace; and whom he treats as such, by visiting them, and disclosing the secrets of his heart to them (John 15:14). And "beloved", beloved of God, and by Christ and by the saints there is a mutual friendship and love between Christ and his people. And these he invites to eat of the provisions of his house, of all the fruits of his garden, to which they are welcome. And of his love and grace, and all the blessings of it, which exceed the choicest wine. And of which they may drink freely, and without danger. "Yea, be inebriated with loves", as the words may be rendered (see Eph. 5:18). With the eastern people, it was usual to bid their guests welcome, and solicit them to feed on the provisions before them. As it is with the Chinese now, the master of the house takes care to go about, and encourage them to eat and drink.

The Scripture above, is not to be taken literally. This has to be the Lord Jesus Christ speaking to the church, because He calls them both sister and spouse.

Matthew 12:50 "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."

The church of the Lord Jesus Christ, throughout the Bible, is the maid child. The Natural Israelite is spoken of as the man child. All believers in Christ are the bride of Christ. All believers are also, the sons of God. This is just showing that male and female alike, belong to God. God had met with Adam in the garden of Eden. The garden of fellowship is restored in heaven for the believer. This speaks of that wonderful fellowship of believers and their God. "Myrrh" is sweet aloes for the wedding bed. This speaks of the union of Christ and His church. Jesus told the apostles, they would not drink wine with Him again until heaven.

Matthew 26:29 "But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."

Friends speaks of sharing His joy.

Verses 5:2-8: Churches and believers, by carelessness and security, provoke Christ to withdraw. We ought to notice our spiritual slumbers and distempers. Christ knocks to awaken us, knocks by his word and Spirit, knocks by afflictions and by our consciences; thus (Rev. 3:20). When we are unmindful of Christ, still he thinks of us. Christ's love to us should engage ours to him, even in the most self-denying instances; and we only can be gainers by it. Careless souls put slights on Jesus Christ. Another could not be sent to open the door. Christ calls to us, but we have no mind, or pretend we have no strength, or we have no time, and think we may be excused. Making excuses is making light of Christ. Those put contempt upon Christ, who cannot find in their hearts to bear a cold blast, or to leave a warm bed for him. See the powerful influences of Divine grace. He put in his hand to unbolt the door, as one weary of waiting. This betokens a work of the Spirit upon the soul. The believer's rising above self-indulgence, seeking by prayer for the consolations of Christ, and to remove every hindrance to communion with him.

These actions of the soul are represented by the hands dropping sweet-smelling myrrh upon the handles of the locks. But the Beloved was gone! By absenting himself, Christ will teach his people to value his gracious visits more highly. Observe, the soul still calls Christ her Beloved. Every desertion is not despair. Lord, I believe, though I must say, Lord, help my unbelief. His words melted me, yet, wretch that I was, I made excuses. The smothering and stifling of convictions will be very bitter to think of, when God opens our eyes. The soul went in pursuit of him; and not only prayed, but used means, sought him in the ways wherein he used to be found. The watchmen wounded me. Some refer it to those who misapply the word to awakened consciences. The charge to the daughters of Jerusalem, seems to mean the distressed believer's desire of the prayers of the feeblest Christian. Awakened souls are more sensible of Christ's withdrawings than of any other trouble.

Song of Solomon 5:2 "I sleep, but my heart waketh: [it is] the voice of my beloved that knocketh, [saying], Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, [and] my locks with the drops of the night."

Like persons that are half awake, half asleep. Christ and the church having feasted together at his invitation, she soon after fell asleep, as the disciples did after a repast with their Lord. Yet not so fast asleep but that she was sensible of it. For this was not the dead sleep of sin, in which unconverted men are, and are insensible of. Nor a judicial slumber some are given up unto, and perceive it not. Yet a frame of spirit unbecoming saints, and displeasing to Christ. Though consistent with grace, which at such a time is not, or very little, in exercise; they are slothful in duty, and backward to it. The phrase is sometimes used to describe a sluggish, slothful man; they are indifferent and lukewarm about divine things. They content themselves with the bare externals of religion, without the lively exercise of grace. And without fervency and spirituality in them, and seem willing to continue so (see Matt. 25:6).

"It is the voice of my beloved": In the assistance of the Gospel, which is to be distinguished from the voice of a stranger, even when dull and sleepy under hearing it, and little affected with it. Christ was the church's beloved still, had an affection for him, though not thoroughly awaked by his voice, but sleeps on still. This method failing, he takes another, or repeats the same with an additional circumstance.

"That knocketh, saying, "open to me": Which is to be understood not so much of his knocking by the ministry of the word to awaken her out of sleep, but in a providential way. By taking in his hand the rod of affliction, or scourge of persecution, and lashing therewith in order to bring her out of her carnal security (see Rev. 3:20). And he not only knocked but called.

"Saying, open to me": Open the door unto me, and let me in. So lovers are represented as at the door or gate to get admittance, and know not which to call the hardest and cruel, the door or their lover. There is an emphasis on the word "me"! Me, thy Lord, thy head, thy husband, thy friend, that loves thee so dearly; to whom her heart was shut, her affections contracted. Her desires towards him relaxed; wherefore he implores her to "open" to him, which denotes an enlarging of her affections to him. An exercise of grace on him, an expression of the desires of her soul unto him; which yet could not be done without efficacious grace exerted (as in SOS 5:4). But, the more to win upon her, he gives her good words, and the most endearing titles, expressive of love and relation.

"My sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled": Which are all made use of before, excepting the last (see SOS 1:9). That is, "my undefiled", which she was, not as a descendant of Adam, nor as in herself, but as washed in the blood of Christ. Justified by his righteousness, and sanctified by his Spirit. And as having been enabled by divine grace to preserve her chastity, and keep the "bed undefiled" (Heb. 13:4). Not guilty of spiritual adultery among all her infirmities, even idolatry and superstition (see Rev. 14:4). Or "my perfect one"; not in a legal, but in an evangelical sense, being completely redeemed, perfectly justified, fully pardoned, and sanctified in every part, though not to the highest degree. And perfect in Christ, though not in herself. Other arguments follow to engage her attention to his request.

"For my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night": Through standing so long at the door, in the night season, waiting to be let in. So lovers represent their case in such circumstances, as dealt very hard with. By which may be meant the sufferings of Christ, either in the persons of his ministers, who are exposed to the rage and reproach of men for ministering in his name to the church. Or which he endured in his own person, in his estate of humiliation. And particularly in the night he was betrayed, and during the time of darkness he hung upon the cross. When he bore the sins of his people, and his Father's wrath; compared to "dew", and "drops of the night". Because of the multitude of them he endured in soul and body, and because so uncomfortable to human nature. Though as dew is useful and fructifying to the earth, so were these the means of many fruits and blessings of grace, and of bringing many souls to glory. Now though these arguments were expressed in the strongest, moving, and melting language, yet were ineffectual.

We see from this, that when the body is asleep, the spirit of man is still active. The Lord does knock at our door to get us saved. We must allow Him to come in. "Undefiled" is the same as a chaste virgin in;

2 Corinthians 11:2 "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ."

Both words indicate they have not worshipped false gods. We see what Jesus said about knocking in the next verse.

Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

The spirit of mankind must answer that knock of the Lord, and be saved. The spirit must over-rule the flesh. To open the door to Christ is an act of our own free will.

Ephesians 5:14 "Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."

Song of Solomon 5:3 "I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?"

In order to lie down on her bed at night, and take her ease. Meaning her conversation garments, which she had not been careful of to keep, but had betook herself to carnal ease and rest, and was off her watch and guard (Neh. 4:23). And being at ease, and free from trouble, affliction, and persecution, was unwilling to arise and go with her beloved. Lest she should meet with the same trials and sufferings as before, for the sake of him and his Gospel. Which may be greatly the sense of her next words.

"How shall I put it on?" Which suggests an apprehension of difficulty in doing it, it being easier to drop the performance of duty than to take it up again. And shows slothfulness and sluggishness, being loath and not knowing how to bring herself to it. And an aversion of the carnal and fleshly part unto it. Yea, as if she thought it was unreasonable in Christ to desire it of her, when it was but her reasonable service. Or as if she imagined it was dangerous, and would be detrimental to her rest, and prejudicial to her health.

"I have washed my feet": As persons used to do when coming off of a journey, and about to go to bed. Being weary; as she was of spiritual exercises, and of the observance of ordinances and duties. And so betook herself to carnal ease, and from which being called argues.

"How shall I defile them?" By rising out of bed, and treading on the floor, and going to the door to let her beloved in. As if hearkening to the voice of Christ, obeying his commands, and taking every proper step to enjoy communion with him, would be defiling her. Whereas it was the reverse of these that did it: from the whole it appears, that not only these excuses were idle and frivolous, but sinful. She slighted the means Christ made use of to awaken her, by calling and knocking. She sinned against light and knowledge, sleeping on, when she knew it was the voice of her beloved. She acted a disingenuous part in inviting Christ into his garden, and then presently fell asleep. And then endeavored to shift the blame from herself, as if she was no ways culpable. But what was desired was either difficult, or unreasonable, or unlawful. She appears guilty of great ingratitude, and discovers the height of folly in preferring her present ease to the company of Christ.

Sometimes, we are walking through life doing alright. It seems the furthest thing from our mind, is coming to Christ. This is speaking of someone who is satisfied, not realizing his need for a Savior. To answer that call, he would have to put on his coat and shoes. Complacency about salvation perhaps, could be disastrous. Today is the day of salvation. In fact, this very moment is the moment of salvation.

Song of Solomon 5:4 "My beloved put in his hand by the hole [of the door], and my bowels were moved for him."

To remove the bolt or bar which kept him from entering in. By the "door" is meant the door of her heart, which was in a great measure shut against Christ, through the prevalence of corruption. And the "hole" in it shows that it was not entirely shut up, there was a little love broke out from her to him. A little light broke in from him upon her; but her heart was much narrowed and straitened. Her grace low in exercise, yet there was some faith, some love, etc. Wherefore Christ takes the advantage of the little hole or crevice there was, and "put in his hand"; which is to be understood of powerful and efficacious grace, and the exertion of it on her. Which is as necessary to awake a drowsy saint, and reclaim a backsliding professor. And to quicken to the exercise of grace, and performance of duty, as to the conversion of a sinner (Acts 11:22). And this is a proof of the greatness of Christ's love to his church. That notwithstanding her rude carriage to him, he does not utterly forsake her, but left something behind that influenced her. As well as of his mighty power, in that what calls, knocks, raps, good words, and melting language, could not do, his hand did at once.

"And my bowels were moved for him": The passions of her soul; her grief and sorrow for sin, in using him in so ill a manner. Her shame for being guilty of such ingratitude. Her fear lest he should utterly depart from her. Her love, which had been chill and cold, now began to kindle and appear in flames. Her heart, and the desires of it, were in motion towards him; and a hearty concern appeared that he should be used so unfriendly by her. That his company and communion with him should be slighted, who had so greatly loved her, and endured so much for her.

This is speaking of the Lord trying to enter, but the door to our heart is bolted shut like this door. The Lord may woo us several times trying to get us to come to Him. The sad thing is, at sometime He will stop trying. We must come to the Lord, while the invitation is still there. "My bowels were moved for Him", means that her heart was stirred within her. It is speaking of her innermost being. Many times people are touched by a sermon, and their heart is tender toward the Lord. If they do not come to the Lord right then, the Spirit of the Lord may not touch them and draw them the next time they come to church. (Verse 4 above), is speaking of the extreme measures the Lord takes to get you saved.

Song of Solomon 5:5 "I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped [with] myrrh, and my fingers [with] sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock."

As soon as touched by the hand of mighty grace, she not only resolved to rise, but actually rose. And that directly, not being easy to lie any longer on her bed of carnal security. Being now made heartily and thoroughly willing to let in her beloved, who she supposed was still at the door. But in that she was mistaken. However, she met with a rich experience of his grace and goodness.

"And my hands dropped with myrrh": Dropped from the Bridegroom's hand upon the door in great abundance, when he put it into the hole of the door (SOS 5:4). And consequently, upon her hands and fingers when she touched the door to open it. By which she signifies that Christ, though he withdrew himself from her, yet left a sweet savor behind him. Infusing into her, and stirring up in her, the graces of the Spirit, such as repentance, which is bitter as myrrh, and earnest desire after Christ.

"And my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock": The myrrh run over her hands and fingers as she was drawing back the lock. Which may denote that her grace was now in exercise and on the flow, in great abundance. Which put her on her duty, and which became odorous and acceptable to Christ. Or it may signify myrrh brought and left there by Christ. And may express the abundance of grace from him, communicated by him, to draw and allure her to him. To supple and soften her hard heart, to take off the stiffness of her will, and the rustiness of her affections, and make the lock of unbelief draw back easier, and so open a way for himself into her heart. And to excite grace in her, her faith and love, and cause her to come forth in exercise on him. And her hands and fingers "dropping" herewith shows that all the grace a believer has is from Christ. From whom, in the way of his duty, he receives a large measure of it. While the church was on her bed of sloth there was no flow of sweet smelling myrrh. But, now she is up and doing her duty, her hands and fingers are overflowed with it.

This is speaking of the sweetness involved in coming to the Lord. The beautiful, unconditional love that He has for those who receive Him is mentioned here. There is so much love and forgiveness, that it pours like liquid.

Revelation 22:17 "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

Song of Solomon 5:6 "I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, [and] was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer."

Which was what he desired, and was done in virtue of his putting in his hand by the hole of the door. Or by the exertion of his efficacious grace, working in her both to will and to do, without which it would not have been done. Namely, her heart dilated, the desires and affections of her soul enlarged towards Christ, and every grace drawn forth and exercised on him. And though the heart of a believer is sometimes shut to Christ, yet when it is opened, it is only patent to him. The church thought Christ was still at the door, and might be the more confirmed in it by what she found on the handles of the lock. But lo, her mistake.

"But my beloved had withdrawn himself": And was gone: this was a sad disappointment! She expected to have seen him, and been received in his arms and embraced in his bosom; but instead of that, he was gone out of sight and hearing. This withdrawing was to chastise her for her former carriage, and to show her more the evil of her sin, and his resentment of it. To try the truth and strength of her grace to inflame her love the more, and sharpen her desires after his presence. To prize it more when she had it, and be careful not to lose it.

"My soul failed when he spake": Or "went out"; not out of her body, but she fell into a swoon, and was as one dead; for a while. And this was "at" or "through his word", as it may be rendered. Through what he said when he turned about and departed, expressing his resentment at her behavior. Or rather at the remembrance of his kind and tender language he used when he first called her to arise, "saying, open to me, my sister, my spouse" (SOS 5:2). And when she called to mind how sadly she had slighted and neglected him, it cut her to the heart, and threw her into this fainting fit.

"I sought him, but I could not find him": In the public ordinances of his house (see notes on SOS 3:2).

"I called him, but he gave me no answer": Called him by his name as she went along the streets and broad ways of the city, where she supposed he might be. Praying aloud, and most earnestly and fervently, that he would return to her. But had no answer, at least not immediately. And thus be treated in the same manner she had treated him. He had called to her and she disregarded him, and now she calls to him, and he takes no notice of her. But this was not in a way of vindictive wrath and punishment (as in Prov. 1:24); but of chastisement and correction.

This is like coming to the Lord one day too late. He had come and knocked at her door, but the virgin had not answered in time. The soldiers, who crucified Jesus, realized He was the Son of God when the earth quaked and the darkness came upon the earth. It was too late; they had already crucified Him.

Song of Solomon 5:7 "The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me."

The governors of the church (as SOS 3:3). Who, though by their place and office they be obliged to comfort and protect the faithful, do frequently discourage and oppress them. As they manifestly did both in the days of Isaiah, and Jeremiah, and the other holy prophets. And in the time of Christ and his apostles, and in different other ages.

"They smote me, they wounded me": The intention is to show into what evil she fell by having to seek her beloved instead of being with him. She is mistaken and misjudged. She is smitten and wounded with reproaches and false accusations, as though she were a guilty and evil minded woman. She is subjected to abuse and ill treatment from those who should be her guardians.

"The keepers of the walls took away my veil from me" Here false teachers are meant as before, as appears from their abuse of the church. Taking away her veil from her, such as women wore for ornament, or as a sign of modesty or as a token of subjection to their husbands (Isa. 3:23; Gen. 24:65). And may here design either their falsely accusing her good conduct, which was her outward covering. Or their attempt to take away from her the doctrine of Christ's imputed righteousness, which is her covering, the wedding garment, the nuptial robe.

The watchmen were the spiritual leaders, who were to warn the people. They not only did not tell the people this was their Messiah, they actually smote Jesus. He was wounded by them for our transgressions. The veil in the temple was torn from the top to the bottom, when Jesus was crucified. The temple and the bride are both uncovered.

Song of Solomon 5:8 "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I [am] sick of love."

Young converts, as before observed. Who, upon the hideous outcry the church made in the streets, came to her to know what was the matter, whom she after related. This shows the humility and condescension of the church, in desiring the assistance of weaker saints in her present case. And her earnestness and resolution to make use of all ways and means she could to find her beloved. And it becomes saints to assist to one another; and conversation with one another, even with weak believers.

"If ye find my beloved": Who had but little knowledge of him, and communion with him, since at present he was yet to be found by them. And it was possible, notwithstanding, that they might find him before she did, as Christ showed himself to Mary Magdalene, before he did to the disciples.

"That ye tell him that I am sick of love": Only this one thing, which was most on her heart and uppermost in her mind, and under which she must die, if not relieved. "Tell him that I am sick with love"; and that for him. Through his absence, and her eager longing after him, and the discoveries of his love to her. And which, though not incurable, nor a sickness unto death, for Christ suffers none to die through love to him, yet is a very painful one. And is to be known by a soul's panting after Christ. And its jealousy of his love, and by its carefulness, diligence, and industry, to enjoy the manifestations of it. Of this love sickness (see notes on SOS 2:5).

This is a call for the daughters of Jerusalem to join the church in search of Jesus.

Galatians 6:2 "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."

Verses 5:9-16: Even those who have little acquaintance with Christ, cannot but see amiable beauty in others who bear his image. There are hopes of those who begin to inquire concerning Christ and his perfections. Christians, who are well acquainted with Christ themselves, should do all they can to make others know something of him. Divine glory makes him truly lovely in the eyes of all who are enlightened to discern spiritual things. He is white in the spotless innocence of his life, ruddy in the bleeding sufferings he went through at his death. This description of the person of the Beloved, would form, in the figurative language of those times, a portrait of beauty of person and of grace of manners. But the aptness of some of the allusions may not appear to us. He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all that believe. May his love constrain us to live to his glory.

Song of Solomon 5:9 "What [is] thy beloved more than [another] beloved, O thou fairest among women? what [is] thy beloved more than [another] beloved, that thou dost so charge us?"

The same title Christ gives her (SOS 1:8); and from whom these daughters seem to have taken it. And, in giving it to her, might be assured they were right, since he, who knew her perfectly well, so calls her. In what sense she was so fair (see notes on SOS 1:8). And this they used, to show their esteem of her, and that they were willing to do all the service they could for her. And what made them so attentive to her charge, and so desirous of knowing her beloved. But with a true believer in Christ, he is preferable to them all. To riches, pleasures and honors; to all creatures, and creature enjoyments; and self, in every sense of it, is parted with for him. He is fairer, wiser, and richer, than all others. And this question is repeated by the daughters;

"What is thy beloved more than another beloved?" To show their surprise it the charge given them. The suspicion they had of peculiar excellences in her beloved. And to declare their seriousness and earnestness to know more of Christ. And their importunity to have a speedy answer; and the rather for what follows.

"That thou dost so charge us?" So awfully and solemnly, so seriously and strictly, with so much warmth and vehemence.

These are the unsaved wanting a reason to follow Jesus. They want to know what is so much better about what He offers, than what the false gods offer. Tell us why you believe Him to be better, and we might follow too, is what they are saying?

Song of Solomon 5:10 "My beloved [is] white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand."

This, and the following verses, contain the church's answer to the question of the daughters. She first gives a general description of her beloved, and then descends to particulars. The description of him in general is, that he is "white and ruddy". Having the whiteness of the lily, and the redness of the rose (SOS 2:1); which make a perfect beauty. It may denote, in general, his fairness, beauty, and glory. Being, as a divine Person, the brightness of his Father's glory. As man; fairer than the children of men. As the Mediator, full of grace and truth; and in all his offices, as Prophet, Priest, and King, and in all the relations he stands in to his, as Father, Husband, Brother, and Friend, he appears most lovely and amiable.

"The chiefest among ten thousand": Whether angels or men. He is the Creator of angels, the object of their worship. And has a more excellent name and nature than they, to whom they are subject, and are ministering spirits. He is superior to men, good and bad, high and low. Lord of all, King of kings, and Head of saints, and has the pre-eminence over all creatures. Or the sense is, Christ is a more excellent standard bearer than all others. There may be ten thousand persons that carry a flag, but none to be compared with him, for comeliness, strength, and courage. Or he is lifted up, as a standard, above others, angels and men. As he was upon the cross, and now, in the ministry of the word, that souls may gather unto him, and enlist themselves in his service (see Isa. 11:10).

This white is bright like a shining light. Jesus is the Light of the world. Ten thousand is speaking of a vast amount so large you could not number them. There is no other like Jesus.

Song of Solomon 5:11 "His head [is as] the most fine gold, his locks [are] bushy, [and] black as a raven."

Here the church enters into a particular description and commendation of her beloved, which continues to the end of the chapter. And she begins with his "head", which she compares to the finest gold. And this being the best and finest, is used to express the superlative excellence of Christ. For it may be rendered, "the gold of gold", there is none like it. By Christ's "head" some understand the Father of Christ, said to be the Head of Christ (1 Cor. 11:3). Not as Christ is a divine Person, but as man and Mediator; who, as such, was subject to his Father, supported and upheld by him. And who, for his excellent glory, is compared to the finest gold, there being no glory like his.

"His locks are bushy, and black as a raven": Being like "locks" of hair beautifully set, as when congregated and united together in Gospel order. Are an ornament to Christ the Head, and afford a delightful sight to spectators (Col. 2:5). And these being like "crisped" or "curled" hair, as some render the word, may denote the hardiness and strength of believers. To perform duty, withstand enemies, and endure hardness, as good soldiers of Christ. Curled hair being the hardest and strongest. But it seems best to understand by them the administrations of Christ's kingly office; which are executed with the utmost prudence, vigor, and strength. For curled hair is a sign of a dry brain, which produces acuteness and sharpness of wit, as well as of vigor, strength, and courage. And which, how dark and obscure they may seem to be, and to carry in them severity to enemies. Yet being managed with wisdom, as before observed, and also according to the rules of justice and equity. And look very beautiful when made manifest, and are admired by the saints (Rev. 15:3).

The fine gold symbolizes God. This is speaking of the One we call Jesus. He is the Son of God.

Song of Solomon 5:12 "His eyes [are] as [the eyes] of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, [and] fitly set."

The church's eyes are said to be (SOS 1:15); which are her ministers, endowed with dove like gifts in measure. As Christ is without measure, in fullness. But these are Christ's eyes, which may signify his omniscience, who has seven eyes (Zech. 3:9).

"By rivers of waters": Christ, being greatly delighted with his people, has fixed his eyes on them, and he never withdraws them from them. For these waters may point at the object of Christ's love, even Gospel churches, consisting of such as are justified and sanctified by his grace, compared to "clean water". Among whom the doctrines of the Gospel are powerfully preached, and the ordinances purely administered. And the waters of the sanctuary flow, by which souls are delighted and refreshed. And to these Christ looks (Isa. 66:2). And his eyes being like doves' eyes.

"Washed with milk": May denote the purity of them, being purer eyes than to behold iniquity. And the meekness and mildness of them, not red and wrathful, but full of mercy, pity, and compassion. As if they had been washed with milk.

His eyes are filled with compassion and love. The white of the eye was so white, it appeared to have been washed in milk. Those who drink strong drink and live rowdy lives have blood-shot eyes. This is speaking of wholesomeness to the fullest extent, with the eyes of white. His eyes were strong, but full of devotion to His bride (church).

Song of Solomon 5:13 "His cheeks [are] as a bed of spices, [as] sweet flowers: his lips [like] lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh."

Which may intend the presence of Christ with his people in his word and ordinances. Often called his "face", which he shows, and they seek after, which nothing is more desirable. Walking in the light of his countenance is preferable to walking among spicy beds, where fragrant plants and odoriferous flowers grow. Or the cheeks, being the seat of modesty and blushing, may denote the great humility of Christ, seen in his assumption of our nature, throughout the whole course of his life. And especially at his death, and which renders him very delightful to his people.

"His lips like lilies dropping sweet smelling myrrh": By which are meant the words of Christ, which drop from his lips; which are like lilies, for their purity, thinness, and beautiful color. The words of Christ are pure words, free from all pollution, deceit, and human mixtures. Nor are his lips big with his own praises, but with expressions of regard for his Father's glory. And are very pleasant, gracious, and graceful. But the phrase, "dropping sweet smelling myrrh", is not in construction with "lilies", but with "lips". Signifying, that the lips or words of Christ were like the lilies; not so much or not only for their thinness and color, as for the sweet smell of them, very odorous, grateful, and acceptable. As are the doctrines of peace, pardon, righteousness, life, and salvation, to sensible souls, delivered in the ministry of the word. The manner of which delivery of them is expressed by "dropping"; gradually, by little and little, as Christ's church and people can bear them. Seasonably, and at proper times, as their wants require constantly, as while Christ was here or, earth, so now he is in heaven. By his ministers, in all ages, to the end of the world. And yet sweetly and gently refreshing, and making fruitful (see Deut. 32:2). Moreover, the kisses of Christ's lips, or the manifestations of his love, may be taken into the sense of this clause. Which together with the grateful matter and graceful manner of his words, render him very acceptable to his church (see SOS 1:2). And such a sentiment is expressed, in much the same language, by others.

This is speaking of a very wholesome look. Everything about Him was desirable. He even smelled of sweet odors.

Revelation 21:23 "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof."

Song of Solomon 5:14 "His hands [are as] gold rings set with the beryl: his belly [is as] bright ivory overlaid [with] sapphires."

Beryl is with great propriety mentioned, because it was usual to wear it on the fingers. This was one of the precious stones in the breastplate of the high priest, a type of Christ (Exodus 28:20). One of the pearl foundations of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:20). The appearance of the wheels in Ezekiel's vision was like it (Ezek. 1:16). The body of the glorious person, seen by Daniel, is said to be as that (Dan. 10:6). So that it is no wonder the hands of Christ should be compared to gold rings set with it. And never do the hands of Christ appear as thus described, and look more beautiful and lovely, than when he is beheld as grasping, holding, and retaining his people in his hands, out of which they never be plucked. And who are as so many gold rings, jewels, pearls, and precious stories, in his esteem. And as holding the bright stars, the ministers of the word there, who sparkle in their gifts and graces, like so many gems. And particularly this may be expressive of the munificence and liberality of Christ, in the distribution of his gifts and graces to his people. So freely and generously, so largely and plenteously, and so wisely and faithfully, as he does. And a beautiful sight it is, to the eye of faith, to behold him with his hands full of grace, and a heart ready to distribute it.

"His belly is as bright ivory, overlaid with sapphires": Which most of the ancient interpreters understand of the human nature of Christ, described by one part of it, because of its frailty and weakness in itself. And is compared to bright ivory. Partly because of its firmness and constancy in suffering, and partly because of its purity, holiness, and innocence. And is said to be "overlaid with sapphires", because of its exaltation and glory at the right hand of God. And to an overlay or enamel of "sapphires", for the riches, worth and value of it. Or rather to the ephod with the breastplate, in which were twelve precious stones, and among these the sapphire. And which may represent Christ, as the great High Priest, bearing all his elect upon his heart in heaven. Having entered there, in their name, to take possession of it for them, until they are brought into the actual enjoyment of it.

Jesus is the Right Hand of God. He is the Doer of the Godhead. His hands are representing the Godhead in their work. "Gold" symbolizes God. The "ivory" speaks of the extreme whiteness, or righteousness. The sapphire is blue. It shows His heavenly character. The white and the blue mingled like this speaks of His holiness.

Song of Solomon 5:15 "His legs [are as] pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance [is] as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars."

"His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold": Or legs, being the instruments of walking, may intend either his ways of love, grace, and mercy, in the covenant before time, in favor of his people. And which, like marble pillars, are pure, firm, and constant, and like such, in golden sockets, glorious and excellent. Or his walk and conversation, when incarnate and in his state of humiliation; which was always upright, even, and constant. And upon which were a beauty, glory, and luster, answerable to the comparisons here used. Or his walks in the churches, his golden candlesticks. Among whom he delights to be, and to whom his presence is desirable, beautiful, and glorious.

"His countenance is as Lebanon": His shape, form, personage, appearance, and demeanor. Which was a goodly mountain on the north of Judea. High, pleasant, and set with fruitful and fragrant trees, and made a very delightful appearance. To which Christ may be compared for his height, being higher than the kings of the earth, than the angels of heaven, and then of the heavens themselves. And for pleasantness, being more glorious and excellent than that or any other mountain. And for the fruitful and fragrant trees of righteousness that grow upon him, have their root in him, and their fruitfulness from him. And which diffuse a grateful odor, by their graces and good works, to Christ and his saints. And who himself more especially, like this mountain, emits a fragrant smell. In his person, grace, righteousness, and sacrifice, to all passers-by, and true believers in him. It is added;

"Excellent as the cedars": Which grew on Lebanon; being the choicest, and preferable to all others. To which Christ may be compared, for tallness, stateliness, fragrancy, and durableness. Especially the former, which is always thought to add gracefulness and majesty to men (see note on 1 Sam. 9:2).

The pillars of marble show great strength, and also righteousness. The gold socket shows this held together by God. The bridegroom was not only handsome beyond compare, but was holy as well. The "cedars" show strength and endurance.

Song of Solomon 5:16 "His mouth [is] most sweet: yea, he [is] altogether lovely. This [is] my beloved, and this [is] my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem."

Or sweetness itself; yea, exceeding sweet. That is, the words of his month, and the doctrines of the Gospel. The precious promises of it, the kind invitations given, and the comfortable things spoken in it. Yea, the commands of Christ in his word are not grievous, but pleasant and delightful. And nothing is more common with lovers than to admire each other's voice (see SOS 2:14). And may be applied to the voice of the Gospel, which is sweet, delightful, charming, and alluring. Being a voice of love, grace, mercy, peace, pardon, life, and salvation. Some interpret it of the breath of his mouth; which being "most sweet", and recommends him to the affections of his people. And may design the expressions of his love to them, and his intercession for them.

"Yea, he is altogether lovely": In his person, offices, people, word, and ordinances. His loveliness is perfect, nothing wanting in it; He is so to all, to his Father, angels, and saints. Or, he is "all desires"; exceeding desirable, having all excellences, perfections, and fullness in him.

"This is my beloved": Whom she had often called so; and still was her beloved. For though she had suffered much for him, nothing could separate from her love to him. And she adds another endearing character.

"And this is my friend": Which appeared by his espousal of her. By his becoming a surety for her; and by his assumption of her nature, and suffering in her room and stead. By paying her debts, and purchasing her person. By entering into heaven in her name, and taking possession of it for her, acting the part of an advocate on her account. By gracious visits to her, and familiar converse with her. By granting her large supplies of grace, and affording her help and relief in all times of need. By giving good and wholesome counsel to her, and by disclosing the secrets of his heart unto her (John 15:15). And he is such a friend that sticks closer than a brother. That loves at all times; is constant and faithful.

"O ye daughters of Jerusalem": Is not this enough to describe my beloved to you, to distinguish him from all others? can you blame me for my affection to him, making such a strict inquiry after him, and giving such a solemn charge to you concerning him? is it not enough to draw out your love unto him, and set you seeking after him with me?

Psalms 8:1 "O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens."

Psalms 19:10 "More to be desired [are they] than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb."

Psalms 45:2 "Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever."

This is the bride (church), telling the daughters of Jerusalem of their great loss. He is our Friend. He is our Savior. He is our Bridegroom.

He is all good things wrapped up into One.

Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things."

Jesus, our Bridegroom, is all of them.

Song of Solomon Chapter 5 Questions

  1. Who is verse 1 speaking of?
  2. Who is spoken of as the maid child throughout the Bible?
  3. Who is spoken of as the man child?
  4. Who are the bride of Christ?
  5. What is the garden of verse 1?
  6. What is "myrrh"?
  7. I sleep, but my heart ___________.
  8. What is "undefiled" the same as?
  9. The spirit must over-rule the _________.
  10. What is verse 3 speaking of?
  11. When is the day of salvation?
  12. What is verse 4 speaking of?
  13. What does "My bowels were moved for Him" mean?
  14. The Jews rejected Jesus as their _________.
  15. Who were the watchmen in verse 7?
  16. He was wounded for our _____________.
  17. What were the unsaved saying in verse 9?
  18. The "white", in verse 10, is like what?
  19. Fine gold symbolizes ________.
  20. His eyes are filled with _______________ and _________.
  21. The white of the eye was so white, it looked like what had happened to it?
  22. His cheeks are as a bed of ____________.
  23. Who is the Doer of the Godhead?
  24. Ivory speaks of extreme _____________.
  25. What do pillars of marble show?
  26. The "cedar" shows __________.
  27. What are some of the things Jesus is to us?

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Song of Solomon 6

Song of Solomon Chapter 6

Those made acquainted with the excellences of Christ, and the comfort of an interest in him, desire to know where they may meet him. Those who would find Christ, must seek him early and diligently.

Song of Solomon 6:1 "Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee."

The title is the same used by them, and by Christ before them (SOS 1:8). And here repeated, to assure her that they were serious in asking this question, and that it was in great respect to her they put it. And which, to the same sense, in other words, is expressed.

"Whither is thy beloved turned aside?" Which way did he take? On what hand did he turn, to the right or left, when he went from thy door? They ask no longer who or what he was, being satisfied with the church's description of him. By which they had gained some knowledge of him, and had their affections drawn out unto him. And were desirous of knowing more of him and of being better acquainted with him, and to enjoy his company and presence. Though as yet they had but little faith in him, and therefore could not call him "their" beloved, only "her" beloved. And this question is put and repeated in this manner, to show that they were serious and in earnest. Yea, were in haste, and impatient to know which way he went.

"That we may seek him with thee": It was not mere speculation or curiosity that led them to put the above questions. They were desirous to go into practice, to join with the church in the search of Christ. To seek him with her in the word and ordinances; upon which they were determined. Could they get any hint from her where he had gone, and where was it they were most likely to find him. For so the words may be rendered, "and we will seek him with thee". This they had resolved on among themselves, and only wanted directions which way to steer their course. Or a grant to go along with the church in quest of her beloved.

This is speaking of the Bridegroom being gone away for a while. This symbolizes the Lord Jesus, who is even now seated in heaven at the right hand of the Father. He is building a home for His bride. The world does not understand that He is gone away, and is coming back for His bride.

John 14:3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also."

They are constantly asking, "If He is coming back, why has He not already come"? The bride is even now saying, "Come quickly Lord Jesus".

Verses 6:2-3: Christ's church is a garden, enclosed, and separated from the world. He takes care of it, delights in it, and visits it. Those who would find Christ, must attend him in his ordinances, the word, sacraments, and prayer. When Christ comes to his church, it is to entertain his friends. And to take believers to himself: he picks the lilies one by one; and at the great day he will send forth his angels to gather all his lilies, that he may be for ever admired in them. The death of a believer is not more than the owner of a garden plucking a favorite flower; and He will preserve it from withering, yea, cause it to flourish for ever, with increasing beauty. If our own hearts can witness for us that we are Christ's, question not his being ours, for the covenant never breaks on his side. It is the comfort of the church, that he feeds among the lilies, that he takes delight in his people.

Song of Solomon 6:2 "My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies."

The spouse had hitherto been at a loss for her Beloved, but having diligently sought him, and inflamed both her own and others' affections with love to him by her just commendations. Now at last she meets with a gracious answer from God, directing her where to find him. Which also comes very seasonably. Not only for her own relief and comfort, but also for the benefit of others, who inquired after him.

"To the beds of spices": Of odoriferous plants; to which particular believers, planted regularly in the churches of Christ, may be compared. For the excellency and fragrancy of their graces; and among whom Christ delights to be (see SOS 4:13).

"To feed in the gardens": To feed his flocks there: not on commons and in fields, but in gardens, which is unusual. And by which are meant particular churches, where Christ feeds his people. By his Spirit and by his ministers, word and ordinances, with himself, the bread of life. With the discoveries of his love, better than wine; and with the doctrines and promises of the Gospel.

"And to gather lilies": To crop them with the hand; lilies are liable to be cropped, hence Horace calls the lily "breve lilium", the short lived lily. To these saints may be compared, for the glory, splendor, and beauty, they receive from Christ (see SOS 2:2). There was a gathering of these at the death of Christ (Eph. 2:10). And there is a gathering of them in effectual calling, and into a church state, and into nearer communion with Christ. But here it seems to signify gathering them by death, when fully ripe, to enjoy everlasting fellowship with him.

The Garden of Eden was patterned after the garden in heaven, where the tree of life is. Jesus is, even now, there waiting until the Father tells Him it is time to come and get His bride.

Song of Solomon 6:3 "I [am] my beloved's, and my beloved [is] mine: he feedeth among the lilies."

Expressive of interest in Christ, and union to him, and of her faith therein. Which still continued, notwithstanding her unbecoming behavior toward Christ, and her many infirmities (SOS 5:2). Aben Ezra connects the words with the preceding, "my beloved is gone", etc. But though he is, and I am left alone, I know I am his, and he is mine. Which throws a beauty upon the words, and declares the excellency and strength of her faith; for herein lies the glory and excellency of faith. To believe in an unseen Christ: though it may be the Shekinah was with her, as the Targum has it. Or Christ had now appeared to her, and was found by her, and therefore, like Thomas, says, "my Lord and my God".

"He feedeth among the lilies" (see notes on SOS 2:16).

The bride is not in despair. She knows Her bridegroom is coming back. All Christians who are the bride have taken on the name of their groom. The name "Christian", starts with Christ.

Hebrews 8:10 "For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:"

Revelation 21:3 "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God."

Verses 6:4-10: All the real excellence and holiness on earth center in the church. Christ goes forth subduing his enemies, while his followers gain victories over the world, the flesh, and the devil. He shows the tenderness of a Redeemer. The delight he takes in his redeemed people, and the workings of his own grace in them. True believers alone can possess the beauty of holiness. And when their real character is known, it will be commended. Both the church and believers, at their first conversion, look forth as the morning, their light being small, but increasing. As to their sanctification, they are fair as the moon, deriving all their light, grace, and holiness from Christ. And as to justification, clear as the sun, clothed with Christ, the Sun of righteousness. And fighting the good fight of faith, under the banners of Christ, against all spiritual enemies.

Song of Solomon 6:4 "Thou [art] beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as [an army] with banners."

These are the words of Christ, who had now again manifested himself to his church. Whereby he declares, that though he had for a season hid his face from her, yet still he retained a sincere and fervent affection to her. And that, notwithstanding her manifold infirmities, she was yet beautiful in his eyes.

"As Tirzah": A very pleasant city, as its very name signifies, and therefore made the royal seat of the kings of Israel. Of which see (1 Kings 14:17; 15:31, 33; 16:6).

"Comely as Jerusalem": Which was beautiful, both for its situation (Psalm 48:2), and for its goodly buildings, especially the temple (Lam. 2:15).

"Terrible as an army with banners": To her enemies, though so lovely to Christ. This shows that not a single person is meant all along, who could not with propriety be compared to an army. But a collective body, as the church is. And that the church on earth is militant, and, like a well-disciplined army, in good standing, and provided with proper officers and suitable armor. And in a posture of defense, and ready to fight when attacked. And so "terrible" to her enemies, Satan and his principalities, wicked men and false teachers. Who are terrified by their having such a General at the head of them as Christ. And being under such banners as his, and provided with such good weapons of warfare, as are mighty through God.

The bride of Christ is spoken of as all believers in Christ. It is also spoken of as New Jerusalem. The Scripture above, is the beginning of the groom speaking wonderful things to His bride.

Ephesians 5:27 "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."

The church is the city of God.

Song of Solomon 6:5 "Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair [is] as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead."

Her eyes of faith and love; not through dislike of them, but as ravished with them. His passions were so struck by them, and his heart pierced with them, that he could stand it out no longer against her (see SOS 4:9). Some render the words, "turn about thine eyes over against me". This being the first time of meeting, after her ungrateful treatment of him, she might be filled with shame and confusion for it. And therefore, hung down her head, or looked on one side. Wherefore he encourages her to look him full in the face, with a holy confidence. For such looks of faith are very agreeable to Christ (see SOS 2:14).

"For they have overcome me": That is, her eyes, they had made a conquest of his heart. Which does not imply weakness in Christ, but condescending grace, that he should suffer himself, as it were, to be overpowered by the faith and love of his people. Who has conquered them and all their enemies. Christ has a kind of pride as well as pleasure in his church. He is proud of the beauty he has put upon her, and of the graces he has wrought in her; especially of her faith, when in exercise (see Matt. 8:10). And by others, "they have made me fiercer"; not with anger and indignation, but with love. There is a force, a fierceness in love, as well as in wrath. "Love is strong as death, and jealousy is cruel as the grave" (SOS 8:6). It is so in the church, and much more in Christ. All which shows the power of faith, to which mighty things are ascribed (Heb. 11:1); and here the conquest of Christ himself.

"Thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead": This clause, and the whole following verse, are repeated from (SOS 4:1-2). And this repetition is not vain nor absurd, but very agreeable to the nature of a pastoral and song of love, as being an effect and testimony of vehement affection. And besides it confirms what was said before, and shows that the church's miscarriages, and Christ's desertion of her upon it, had not made him change his opinion of her, or affection to her.

In an earlier Scripture, we saw that the goats had long black hair. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is victorious, when Jesus is present. Jesus is the victor. No earthly power will be able to withstand the church. The reason being the power of the Lord Jesus Christ in the church.

Even for the king the gentle eyes of the bride have an awe-striking majesty. Such is the condescension of love. Now from (SOS 6:5-7), the longest of the repetitions which abound in the Song. Marking the continuance of the king's affection as when first solemnly proclaimed (SOS 4:1-6). The two descriptions belong, according to some (Christian), expositors, to the Church of different periods. In other words, to the primitive Church in the splendor of her first vocation, and to the Church under Constantine. Other (Jewish), expositors apply them to "the congregation of Israel" under the first and second temples respectively.

Song of Solomon 6:6 "Thy teeth [are] as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and [there is] not one barren among them."

Not vain repetition of (SOS 4:1-2). The use of the same words shows His love unchanged after her temporary unfaithfulness (Mal. 3:6).

We have touched on this before. The teeth are white. This just means they are very fruitful.

Song of Solomon 6:7 "As a piece of a pomegranate [are] thy temples within thy locks."

The same descriptions are given in (SOS 4:3; see notes there). And these are repeated, to show the reality of the church's beauty, and for the sake of confirmation. And that it still continued the same, notwithstanding her failings and infirmities. And that Christ had the same esteem of her, and love to her, he ever had. That part of the description, respecting the church's lips and speech (in SOS 4:3); is here omitted, though added (at the end of SOS 6:6); by the Septuagint.

This perhaps, is speaking of our mind stayed upon God. God is not interested so much in a church with outward beauty, as He is in its inward beauty. He does not want us to have a form of religion. He wants us to love Him with all our heart, body, soul and mind.

Song of Solomon 6:8 "There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number."

In this verse and (SOS 6:9), the church is commended as she stood related to others. And is compared with them, and preferred to them. The words may be considered either as an assertion, "there are", etc. or as a supposition, "though there be", etc. Yet Christ's church is but one, and excels them all. "Queens" are principal and lawful wives of kings. "Concubines", secondary or half wives, as the word signifies; who were admitted to the bed, but their children did not inherit. "Virgins", unmarried persons, maids of honor, who waited on the queen. The allusion is to the custom of kings and great personages, who had many wives, and more concubines. And a large number of virgins to wait on them (see 1 Kings 11:3). Or to a nuptial solemnity, and the ceremony of introducing the bride to the bridegroom, attended with a large number of persons of distinction.

"And virgins without number": The multitudes of poor, weak, ignorant people, seduced by them. And what figure to any extent these make, or pretensions to be the true churches of Christ, they are none of his, his spouse is preferred to them all. Or rather true believers in Christ, of different degrees, are here meant. Queens, those that have the greatest share of gifts grace, most nearness to Christ, and communion with him. By "concubines", believers of a lower class, and of a more servile spirit, and yet sometimes are favored with, fellowship with Christ. And by "virgins", young converts, who have not so large an experience as the former. And this distribution agrees with (1 John 2:13). And the rather this may be the sense, since each of these are said to praise the church in (SOS 6:9), who is preferable to them, and includes them all.

Threescore is speaking of 60. Fourscore is speaking of 80. The queens, concubines and virgins represent the different types of women. The virgins represent the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Song of Solomon 6:9 "My dove, my undefiled is [but] one; she [is] the [only] one of her mother, she [is] the choice [one] of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; [yea], the queens and the concubines, and they praised her."

Of these titles (see SOS 2:14). Christ's church is called one, in distinction from the many before mentioned. And either designs her small number, in comparison of the nations of the world. And of false churches, like one to sixty or eighty, and even to an innumerable company (see Eccl. 9:14; Luke 12:32). Or else her unity in herself, being but one general assembly and church of the firstborn, made up of various particular congregated churches. And "one body", consisting of various members, united together in affection, and partakers of the same grace, blessings, and privileges. Actuated by "one Spirit", the Spirit of God (Eph. 4:4). And having but "one Head", Christ Jesus (Eph. 4:15). And it may signify that the church is the spouse of Christ. Though other princes may have sixty queens, and eighty concubines, and virgins without number to wait on them (SOS 6:8). Christ had but one, and was well pleased with her, and desired no other.

"She is the only one of her mother": The Jerusalem above, the mother of us all. Or the sense is, she was to Christ as a mother's only child, most tenderly beloved by him.

"She is the choice one of her that bare her": Esteemed and loved best of all her mother's children. The word may be rendered, "the pure" or "clean one". So the church is, as clothed in "clean" linen, the righteousness of Christ. Cleansed from sin in his blood; sprinkled with the clean water of the covenant, and of an unspotted conversation.

"The daughters saw her, and blessed her": Yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. It may seem strange that concubines should praise a queen; but it was not unusual in the eastern countries; with the Persians. As the queen admitted of many concubines by the order of her lord the king. So, the queen was had in great veneration, and even adored by the concubines: which may respect either the great esteem the church had, or should have, in the world. Even from the great men of it, as she will have in the latter day (Isa. 49:23). Or which young converts have for her; who may more especially be meant by the "daughters" and "virgins", who (in SOS 6:1), call the church the "fairest among women". These blessed her, and pronounced her happy, and wished all happiness to her. They "praised her", spoke well of her, and commended her for her beauty. Which was pleasing to Christ, and therefore observed by him.

Now we see the "virgins" separated out. They are those who have never worshipped false gods. They are pure. The "concubines" here, speak of the unconverted world. They are aware of Christianity, even though they never became the bride of Christ (Church). The "queens" represent the natural Israelite that was in power, but was never converted to Christianity.

Galatians 4:26 "But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all."

Song of Solomon 6:10 "Who [is] she [that] looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, [and] terrible as [an army] with banners?"

Many Jewish allegorists interpret the whole as referring to the times of the second temple, and to the present dispersion of Israel, during which, God continuing to graciously grant His mercy. Israel prays for final restoration, the coming of Messiah, and the glory of the latter day. Christian interpreters have made similar applications to the now militant Church looking for the Second Advent, or to the ancient synagogue praying for the Incarnation.

"As the morning": The glorious beauty of the bride bursts upon them like a second dawn, as she comes forth to meet them at the commencement of another day. Special poetical words are used for "sun" (burning heat) and "moon" (white one). The same terms are applied to sun and moon in (Isa. 24:23; 30:26).

"Fair as the moon": Shining in the night, by light borrowed from the sun. So the bride, in the darkness of this world, reflects the light of the Sun of righteousness (2 Cor. 3:18).

"Clear as the sun": Being clothed with Christ, the sun of righteousness (Rev. 12:1). And so, all fair and without spot.

"And terrible as an army with banners": Fighting the good fight of faith, under the banners of Christ, against all spiritual enemies.

The queens and the concubines cannot believe the virgin is so precious to the Bridegroom.

Revelation 19:14 "And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."

Matthew 13:43 "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."

Verses 6:11-13: In retirement and in meditation the Christian character is formed and perfected. But not in the retirement of the idle, the self-indulgent, or the trifler. When the Christian is released from the discharge of his duties in life, the world has no attractions for him. His prayer is, that all things belonging to the Spirit may live and grow within him, and around him. Such are the interesting cares and employments of him whom the world wrongly deems unhappy, and lost to his true interests. In humility and self-abasement, the humble Christian would turn away from the sight of all; but the Lord delights to honor him. Chiefly, however, may the reference be to the ministering angels who shall be sent for the soul of the Christian. Their approach may startle, but the departing soul shall find the Lord its strength and its portion for ever. The church is called the Shulamite. The word signifies perfection and peace; not in herself, but in Christ, in whom she is complete, through his righteousness. And has peace, which he made for her through his blood, and gives unto her by his Spirit.

Song of Solomon 6:11 "I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, [and] to see whether the vine flourished, [and] the pomegranates budded."

This is very properly taken notice of in this song of love. It being usual for newly married persons to get nuts, and throw them among children, to make pastime. To signify, among other things, that they now renounced childish things. These are the words of Christ, declaring to the church where he went, and what he employed himself about, when he departed from her (see SOS 6:2). Of the garden, as it intends the church (see notes on SOS 5:12). Into which he was invited to come, and did, as here (see SOS 4:16). Here it is called a "garden of nuts", which may design a spot in it destined for this fruit.

And by "nuts", which grew in the garden, the church, true believers, may be designed. Who, like them, have a mean outward appearance, but are valuable within, having the true grace of God in them. And because of their different coverings, their outward conversation garments, the robe of Christ's righteousness, and the internal sanctification of the Spirit, which answer to the husk and shell, and the thin inward skin over the nut. And because of their hardiness in enduring afflictions and troubles, the shell may represent. And because of their best and most excellent parts being hidden, even grace, the hidden man of the heart, signified by the kernel. And which will not fully appear until the shell or tabernacle of the body is broken down. And because of their safety from harm and pollution, amidst the storms of afflictions, persecutions, and temptations. And pollutions of the world, the principle of grace, like the kernel, remains unhurt and undefiled. And because of the multitude of believers, united and cleaving together, which is delightful to behold, like clusters of nuts in a nut garden.

"To see the fruits of the valley": To observe the graces of his Spirit. The acts, exercise, and growth of them in humble souls, among whom he delights to be (Isa. 57:15). The Septuagint version is, "the shoots of the brook" or "river": and may denote the fertile soil in which believers are planted. Even by the river of divine love; with which being watered, they flourish (Psalm 1:3).

"And to see whether the vine flourished": Particular churches, or believers, compared to vines. Who may be said to flourish, when they increase in numbers, and are fruitful in grace and good works (see SOS 2:13).

"And the pomegranates budded": Of which (see SOS 4:13). The budding, of them may design the beginnings, or first putting forth of grace in the saints. Which Christ takes much notice of, and is highly pleased with.

The main message to be taken from this, is in the word "I". It shows that she, of her own free, will followed her groom. She was not a bond slave. She had freedom of movement. Christians come to Christ of their own free will. God does not force us to accept Him. He wants our love.

Song of Solomon 6:12 "Or ever I was aware, my soul made me [like] the chariots of Amminadib."

These are either the words of the church or of Christ, saying, "I know not" as the first clause may be rendered. If the words of the church, the sense may be, that though she knew not where her beloved was gone, when he went from her, yet she ran about in search of him as swiftly as the chariots of Amminadib. And when she did know that he was gone down into the garden, immediately, on a sudden, at an unawares, such was the strength of her love and affection to him. Then she moved as swiftly after him as if she had been in one of those chariots. And this may signify also her courage and resolution, that, notwithstanding all difficulties and discouragements she met with, she drove on as briskly and as courageously after him as ever Amminadib did, in one of his chariots, in the field of battle.

"Amminadib" means people of liberality. This just means that she had freedom or liberty to go and do as she wished. She went wherever she chose to go. This is very important because of the freedom we have to receive the Lord, or to reject Him. God does not want us to be like puppets on strings. He wants our love. He wants us to choose to be with Him.

Song of Solomon 6:13 "Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies."

By whom the church is meant, so called from her being the spouse of Christ, the true Solomon. It being common for the wife to have the same name with her husband. Thus, with the Romans, if the man's name was Caius, the woman's name was Caia. Is the name of Christ Solomon? The church's name is Shulamite (The Lord our Righteousness, see Jer. 23:6). The word from which this is derived signifies both perfection and peace. And the church may be called the Shulamite from her perfection, not in herself, but in Christ, in whom she is complete, and perfectly comely through his righteousness. And is also denominated from the peace which she has from Christ, and he has made for her through his blood, and he gives unto her by his Spirit. And from what she does or should enjoy in her members, and from what she will be possessed of to all eternity. Now the church, the Shulamite, is very importunately desired by the daughters of Jerusalem to return. Which is said no less than four times, which shows how vehemently desirous they were of her company. And perceiving she was about to go from them, most earnestly press her to return, or to "turn". To turn herself, that her beauty and comeliness might be more plainly seen; for this is the end proposed by them.

"That we may look upon thee": That they might still have more opportunity of viewing her, and more narrowly to examine her beauty, for which she was so much commended. And that they might enjoy more of her company and conversation, which had been, and they might hope would be, more useful and instructive to them. A question upon this follows;

"What will ye see in the Shulamite?" Which question is put, either by the daughters among themselves; some wishing for her return. And others asking what they expected to see in her, should she return. Or rather it is put by the church herself; who asks the daughters, what they expected to see in her. A poor, mean, unworthy creature, not fit to be looked on, having nothing extraordinary, nor indeed valuable or of worth, in seeing of her? Which question is thus answered;

"As it were the company of two armies": Either by the daughters, declaring what they expected to see in the church. Either such a glorious and joyful meeting between Christ and her, as is often between great persons, attended with singing and dancing. So, the word for company is rendered by the Septuagint "choroi", a "company" of those that dance and sing (see Psalm 68:24). Or such an appearance as an army makes at the reception of their prince, when it is divided into two bands, for the sake of greater honor and majesty. Or rather this answer is returned by the church herself; signifying that nothing was to be seen in her but two armies, flesh and Spirit, sin and grace, continually warring against each other. Which surely, she thought, could be no desirable and pleasing sight to them (see Rom. 7:23).

I believe the "Shulamite" here, is speaking of the bride of Christ (the church). Those in attendance are calling her back. She is the church. The two armies could be speaking of Flesh (sin), and Spirit (grace).

Luke 15:10 "Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."

Song of Solomon Chapter 6 Questions

  1. Who is gone away for a while?
  2. Who does this symbolize?
  3. What is the bride saying now?
  4. My beloved is gone down into his __________.
  5. What was the garden of Eden patterned after?
  6. Why is the bride not in despair?
  7. The tabernacle of God is with ________.
  8. Besides the Christians, what is called the bride of Christ?
  9. What have we learned about goat hair?
  10. Why can the world not defeat the church?
  11. What is verse 7 speaking of?
  12. How does He want us to love Him?
  13. How many is threescore?
  14. How many is fourscore?
  15. What do "queens", "concubines", and "virgins" speak of?
  16. In verse 9, who is separated out?
  17. Who are they?
  18. What does verse 11 show us?
  19. What does "Amminadib" mean?
  20. Why is this important?
  21. Who is the "Shulamite"?

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Song of Solomon 7

Song of Solomon Chapter 7

Verses 7:1-9: The similarities here are different from what they were before, and in the original, refer to glorious and splendid clothing. Such honor has all his saints; as having put on Christ, they are distinguished by their beautiful and glorious apparel. They adorn the doctrine of God their Savior in all things. Consistent believers honor Christ, recommend the gospel, and convince and awaken sinners. The church resembles the stately and spreading palm. While her love for Christ, and the obedience resulting therefrom, are precious fruit of the true Vine. The King is held in the galleries. Christ takes delight in the assemblies and ordinances of his people; and admires the fruit of his grace in them. When applied to the church and to each faithful Christian, all this denotes that beauty of holiness, in which they shall be presented to their heavenly Bridegroom.

Song of Solomon 7:1 "How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs [are] like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman."

It is no unusual thing to describe the comeliness of women by their feet, and the ornaments of them. He describes the comely beauty of the Church in every part, which is to be understood spiritually. That this is said of the church, is plain from the designation of her.

"O Prince's daughter!" the same with the King's daughter (Psalm 45:13). The daughter of the King of kings; for being espoused to Christ. His Father is her Father, and his God her God. Besides, she is born of him who is the Prince of the kings of the earth (1 John 2:28). She is both a Prince's wife and a Prince's daughter. It may be rendered, "O noble", or "princely daughter"! Being of a free princely spirit, in opposition to a servile one (Psalm 51:12). Of a bountiful and liberal spirit, as in (Isa. 32:5). In distributing temporal things to the necessities of the poor. And in communicating spiritual things to the comfort and edification of others.

"The joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman": A skillful artificer, a goldsmith or jeweler. The allusion seems to be to some ornaments about the knees or legs, wore by women in those times (see Isa. 3:18). And this may serve to set off the luster and beauty of the church's conversation. And since it seems not so decent to describe the parts themselves mentioned, the words may rather design the leg covering or garments, with which they were covered. And may signify the garments of salvations and robe of Christ's righteousness, whereby the church's members are covered, so that their nakedness is not seen. But it seems best by these "joints", or "turnings of the thighs", by which they move more orderly and regularly, to understand the principles of the walk and conversation of saints. As one observes; without which it cannot be ordered aright. For principles denominate actions, good and bad. And the principles of grace, by which believers move in their Christian walk, are as valuable and as precious as jewels. Such as faith and love, and a regard to the glory of God. And which are curiously wrought by the finger of God, by his Holy Spirit, who "works in them both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

We are looking at these lessons from the spiritual standpoint, and not the literal. The Scriptures must help us in our relationship with Christ for them to be useful to us. The "feet with shoes" indicate she is going somewhere. The church in action is a delight to the Lord. He wants us moving. The church that stands still is stagnant and will probably, begin to decline. Notice the statement "prince's daughter". All Christians will reign with King Jesus. We will be princes.

Revelation 5:10 "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."

Jesus is the head and we reign under Him. We are to be about our Father's business as Jesus was. The hands indicate the work. The "jewels" speak of our precious relationship with Christ. We are jewels to him. How beautiful are the feet of them who bring the gospel.

Song of Solomon 7:2 "Thy navel [is like] a round goblet, [which] wanteth not liquor: thy belly [is like] a heap of wheat set about with lilies."

But rather the part itself is meant, and designs the ministers of the Gospel. Who, in the administration of the word and ordinances, are that to the church as the navel is to a human body. That is in an eminent part of it, and is the strength of the intestines, conduces much to the health of the body, and by which the child in the womb is supposed to receive its nourishment. Ministers are set in the highest place in the church. They are strong in themselves, through the grace and power of Christ and the means of strengthening others. And of keeping the church a good plight and healthful state, by the wholesome words and sound doctrines they preach. And also of nourishing souls in embryo, and when new born, with the sincere milk of the word. And as the navel is said to be like a "round goblet", cup, bowl, or basin, aptly describing that part. And may express the perfection of Gospel ministers, their gifts and grace. Not in an absolute, but comparative sense, the round or circular form being reckoned the most perfect. And also the workmanship bestowed on them, the gifts and grace of the Spirit, a round goblet being turned and formed by some curious artist. And likewise, their capacity to hold and retain Gospel truths. And they are compared, not to an empty one, but to one;

"Which wanteth not liquor": Meaning the large and never failing supplies of gifts and grace from Christ. So that they never want for the liquor, the oil and wine of Gospel truths, to communicate to others (Zech. 4:12-14). The word used signifies a "mixture", or a "mixed liquor", as of wine and milk (SOS 5:1). Or rather of wine and water, much used in the eastern countries. So, the wine of Sharon used to be mixed, two parts water and one wine: and this designs, not a mixture of divine truths and human doctrines, which ought not to be made. But the variety of Gospel truths ministers deliver to others, and that in a manner they are most capable of receiving them.

"Thy belly is like a heap of wheat": Which denotes the fruitfulness of the church in bringing souls to Christ, comparable to a pregnant woman. And whose fruit, young converts born in her, are compared to "a heap of wheat" for their number, choiceness, and solidity, being able to bear the fan of persecution. It was usual with the Jews to scatter wheat on the heads of married persons at their weddings, three times, saying, "increase and multiply" (see Isa. 66:8). This heap of wheat is said to be "set about", or "hedged, with lilies"; which suggests, that it was not a heap of wheat on the corn floor, which is meant, but a field of standing wheat, enclosed and fenced, not with thorns, but lilies. And these lilies may signify grown saints, who are often compared to lilies in this book, by whom young converts are encompassed and defended. Or the beauties of holiness, in which they appear as soon as born again (Psalm 110:3).

In the physical, we could be looking at a description of a dance before the lover. These body parts are involved in that sort of dance. We however, are looking at the connection with the church. This is a description of the beauty of the body (Christians).

Song of Solomon 7:3 "Thy two breasts [are] like two young roes [that are] twins."

This is the same as in (SOS 4:5); but there the addition occurs, "which feed among the lilies." That is omitted here, perhaps, only because lilies are just before spoken in the previous verse. The description is now in the lips of the ladies; before it was uttered by the king himself.

Song of Solomon 7:4 "Thy neck [is] as a tower of ivory; thine eyes [like] the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim: thy nose [is] as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus."

Two things recommend the neck, erectness and whiteness. Both are here expressed, the one by a "tower", the other by "ivory"; hence a fine beautiful neck is called an ivory one. Of the church's neck, as it may design either the ministers of the word, or the Scriptures of truth (see notes on SOS 4:4). Where it is compared to "the tower of David", and here to "a tower of ivory": However, it is used as expressive of the purity of the lives of Gospel ministers, and the evenness of their doctrines. And of the purity, beauty, glory, axial harmony of the Scriptures.

Thine eyes like the fish pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim": Heshbon was formerly the seat of Sihon, king of the Amorites (Num. 22:26). Of which Bath-rabbim was one of its gates; so called. Either because it led to Rabbah, a city near it, and mentioned with it (Jer. 49:3); or because of the great numbers that went in and out by it. For it may be rendered, "the daughter of many", or "of great ones". Near this gate, it seems, were very delightful fish pools, to which the eyes of the church are compared. In the Hebrew language, the word for eyes and fountains is the same. The eyes having fluid in the lens of the eye, and so fitly compared to fish pools. Of the eyes of the church, as they may design either the ministers of the word, or the eyes of her understanding, particularly faith (see notes on SOS 1:15). Here they are said to be like "fish pools", whose waters are clear, quiet, constant and immovable. And, if applied to ministers, may denote the clearness of their sight in discerning the truths of the Gospel. And their being filled with the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ. And their being blessings to the churches of Christ, and to the souls of men the word for "fish pools" comes from a word which signifies "to bless". And such being observed as were near the gate of Bath-rabbim, may have respect to the multitude that attend their ministry, and receive benefit by it. In which they are constant and invariable, and all of a piece, and appear very beautiful to those to whom they are useful. And if applied to the church's eyes of understanding, those of faith and knowledge, may denote the absolute clearness of the meaning of them, in the discernment of spiritual things. And the fixedness and immovableness of them on the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ; looking alone to him, and off of every other object. And so very attractive to him, and beautiful in his sight, as well as their abounding with the waters of evangelic repentance and humiliation (see SOS 4:9).

"Thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon, which looketh towards Damascus": A tower on that part of Mount Lebanon which faced Damascus, which lay in a plain, and so open to view, as well as exposed to winds. Which tower was so high, as Adrichomius says, that from thence might be numbered the houses in Damascus. By which also may be meant the ministers of the word. Nor need it seem strange that the same should be expressed by different metaphors, since the work of ministers is of different parts. Who, as they are as eyes to see, so like the nose to smell. And having a spiritual discerning of Gospel truths, both savor them themselves, and diffuse the savor of them to others. And are both the ornament and defense of the church. Many denote the vigilance and courage of faithful ministers, who watch the church's enemies, and their motions, and, with a manful courage, face and attack them. Moreover, this description may respect the majesty and magnanimity of the church herself. The former may be intimated by her nose, which, when of a good size, and well proportioned, adds much grace and majesty to the countenance. And the latter by its being compared to the impregnable tower of Lebanon, looking towards Damascus, signifying that she was not afraid to look her worst enemies in the face. Or the whole may express her prudence and discretion in spiritual things. By which she can distinguish truth from error, and discern dangers afar off, and guard against them.

The tower of ivory would have been tall and slender. It would also have been dazzling white, which speaks of righteousness. The eyes are deep with feeling. The bride is mentioned as the holy city Jerusalem. The implication is that the bride (church), and the city are one. In the natural that would be impossible, but nothing is impossible to God. The nose here, is symbolic of a tower.

Song of Solomon 7:5 "Thine head upon thee [is] like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king [is] held in the galleries."

Set with hair, thick and long, as Carmel with plants and trees. Now Christ is the church's Head in various senses. He is her federal and representative Head in eternity and time. Her political Head, as a King to his subjects; an economical Head, as the husband to the wife, as parents to their children, and a master to servants. And as such, may be compared to Carmel; for the multitude dependent on him, whom he represents, and is connected with under various relations. For his height, being higher than the kings of the earth, and all other heads. And for fruitfulness, all the fruits of the church, and of all true believers, coming from him. Some render the word, "as crimson", or "scarlet"; which may set forth his royal dignity and majesty. This color being wore by kings and great personages; or the ardent love of Christ to his body, the church, and the members of it. Or his bloody sufferings for them.

"And the hair of thine head like purple": In a figurative sense, the second Adam's hair is said to be like purple. By which believers that grow on Christ, the Head of the church, may be meant. Who have their dependence on him, and their strength and nourishment from him (see SOS 4:1). And these may be said to be like "purple", because of their royal dignity, being made kings unto God by Christ. And because of their being washed in the purple blood of Christ. And because of the sufferings they endure for his sake; and especially such may be so compared, who have spilt their blood and laid down their lives on his account.

"The king is held in the galleries": The same with the Head of the church, the King of Zion, and King of saints, whose kingdom is a spiritual and everlasting one. And by the "galleries" in which he is held may be meant the ordinances of the Gospel. Where Christ and his people walk and converse together. Where he discloses the secrets of his heart to them, leads them into a further acquaintance with his covenant, and the blessings and promises of it. And from whence they have delightful views of his person and fullness. Now Christ being said to be "held in these galleries" may signify his fixed habitation in his house and ordinances. Where he has promised to dwell, and delights to be.

"Carmel" in this particular Scripture, is a city and it means fruitful field. "Purple" speaks of royalty. She is crowned with royalty, is what this is saying. The king is waiting to bring His praises to the bride.

Song of Solomon 7:6 "How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!"

These are the words of the King in the galleries, wondering at the church's beauty, it being incomparable and inexpressible, it could not be said well how great it was. And expressing the strength of his love to her, which was invariably the same as ever. Of the "fairness" of the church, and of this title, "love" (see SOS 1:9). And here she is said also to be "pleasant" to him, as his spouse and bride, in whom he takes infinite delight and pleasure. Loving her with a love of complacency and delight. And therefore adds, "for delights", which he had in her before the world was (Prov. 8:31). She was all delight to him; her words, her actions and gestures, her comely countenance, and her sweet and pleasant voice in prayer and praise. And her ravishing looks of faith and love, her heavenly airs, and evangelic walk. And in all which she appeared beautiful and delightful, beyond all human thought and expression.

The bride (church), is beautiful in every aspect to the Bridegroom.

Zephaniah 3:17 "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee [is] mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."

Song of Solomon 7:7 "This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters [of grapes]."

Here the church is compared to the stature of a palm tree. The church's stature is no other than the "stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13). Which will be attained when all the elect are gathered in, and every member joined to the body. And all filled with the gifts and graces of the spirit designed for them, and are grown up to a just proportion in the body. And in such a state Christ seems to view his church, and so commends her by this simile. Saints are oftentimes compared to palm trees in Scripture on other accounts (see Psalm 92:12).

"And thy breasts to clusters of grapes": On a vine which might be planted by and run up upon a palm tree, as Aben Ezra suggests. Though rather clusters of dates, the fruit of the palm tree, are designed, since this fruit, as Pliny observes, grows in clusters. And to clusters of the vine the church's breasts are compared in (SOS 7:8). And by these "breasts" may be meant either the ministers of the Gospel, who communicate the sincere milk of the word to souls. And may be compared to clusters for their numbers, when there is plenty of them, which is a great mercy to the church. And for their unity, likeness, and agreement in their work, in their ministrations, and in the doctrine they preach, though their gifts may be different. Or else the two Testaments, full of the milk of the word; and comparable to "clusters" of grapes or dates, because of the many excellent doctrines and precious promises in them. Which, when pressed by hearing, reading, meditation, and prayer, yield both delight and nourishment to the souls of men. Some think the two ordinances of the Gospel, baptism and the Lord's supper, are intended, which are breasts of consolation. And, when the presence of Christ, and the manifestations of his love, are enjoyed in them, they afford much pleasure and satisfaction. And as those breasts are full in themselves, they are beautiful in the eye of Christ, and as such commended (see notes on SOS 4:5).

We see from the following Scriptures that we are tall in stature, because we stand in the knowledge of Jesus.

Ephesians 3:17 "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,"

Ephesians 3:18-19 May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;" "And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."

Christians are like the palm tree in that they may grow tall and stately, but they are solidly grounded in Christ. The breasts speak of the fruit the tree produces.

Song of Solomon 7:8 "I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;"

By the "palm tree" may be meant the church militant, who yet gets the victory over all her enemies, of which the palm tree is an emblem. And Christ's "going up" to it is expressive of his right to it, and property in it. Which he has by his Father's gift, his own purchase, and the power of his grace, and may go up to it when he pleases. Also of his presence with his church, and of the delight he takes in her, viewing her stature, fruit, and flourishing circumstances.

"I will take hold of the boughs thereof": Either to crop them, the tops of them, which, of the first year's growth, are very tender and sweet, and may be eaten. Or to gather the fruit on them; his own grace in exercise, and good works performed under the influence of it (see SOS 4:16). Or to prune them; which he does by the ministry of the word, reproving sin, and refuting error. And, by afflictive providences, purging away sin. And by suffering persecution to befall his churches, whereby he clears them of carnal professors, and lops off withered and fruitless branches.

"Now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine": Round, full, soft, and succulent, like the berries of the vine tree, the grapes that grow in clusters on it. Of these (see notes on SOS 7:7).

"And the smell of thy nose like apples" (see notes on SOS 7:4). Here it may denote the inward constitution and outward conduct of the church, which were sound and healthful. She had an inward principle of grace, from whence proceeded a savory conduct, a savory breath, and a holy breathing after divine and spiritual things. Or it may intend the things she had a savor of, as divine truths and excellent doctrines, comparable to "apples" (SOS 2:5). And all spiritual and heavenly things, when they have the presence of Christ, and the quickening influences of his Spirit.

The "palm" tree was symbolic of love. The Lord delights in the love of the believers who make up the church. The "vine" is speaking of Christ (John 15:5).

Galatians 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,"

Ephesians 5:9 "(For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)"

Song of Solomon 7:9 "And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth [down] sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak."

Which may intend, either her taste, as the word is rendered in (SOS 2:3). By which she can distinguish good wine from bad, or truth from error. Or her breath, sweet and of a good smell, like the best wine. The breathings of her soul in prayer, which are sweet odors, perfumed with the incense of Christ's mediation. Or rather her speech, the words of her mouth; the roof of the mouth being an instrument of speech. The same word is sometimes rendered "the mouth" (SOS 5:16). And may denote both her speech in common conversation, which is warming, refreshing, comforting, and quickening. And in prayer and praise, which is well pleasing and delightful to Christ. And especially the Gospel preached by her ministers, comparable to the best wine for its antiquity, being an ancient Gospel. And for its purity, unadulterated, and free from mixture, and as faithfully dispensed. And its delight, flavor, and taste, to such who have their spiritual senses exercised. And for its cheering, refreshing, and strengthening nature, to drooping weary souls. It follows;

"For my beloved, that goeth down sweetly": Is received and taken down with all readiness, by those who have once tasted the sweetness and felt the power of it. Or, "that goeth to righteousnesses"; leading to the righteousness of Christ for justification, and teaching to live soberly and righteously. Or, "that goeth to my beloved, straightway" or "directly". Meaning either to his Father, Christ calls his beloved. To whose love the Gospel leads and directs souls, as in a straight line. As to the source of salvation, and all the blessings of grace. The Gospel leading souls directly to him, his person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, for peace, pardon, justification, and atonement. Or, "that goeth to my beloved to uprightnesses". That is, to the church, who is Christ's beloved, consisting of upright men in heart and life. Whom Christ calls his beloved and his friends (SOS 5:1). And whom Christ treats with his best wine, his Gospel. And which is designed for them, their pleasure, profit, comfort, and establishment.

"Causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak": Either such who are in the dead sleep of sin. Who, when the Gospel comes with power, are quickened by it. And it produces in them humble confessions of sin. Causing them to speak in praise of Christ, and his grace, and of the salvation which he has procured for lost sinners. It brings them to Zion, to declare what great things God has done for them. Or else drowsy professors, in lifeless frames, and much gone back in religion. Who, when aroused and quickened by the Gospel, and brought out of their lethargy, are ready to acknowledge their backslidings with shame. To speak meanly and modestly of themselves, and very highly of Christ and his grace, who has healed their backslidings, and still loves them freely. None more ready to exalt and magnify Christ, and speak in praise of what he has done for them.

This wine is possibly speaking of being filled with the Holy Spirit of God, and then, being able to speak by that Spirit. "Those that are asleep" are the unsaved. When you are saved and filled with the Spirit of God, then you speak the good news of the gospel.

Matthew 26:27 "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave [it] to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;"

The cup spoken of here, contained wine that symbolized the blood of Jesus. They drank the life that He provided them.

Verses 7:10-13: The church, the believing soul, triumphs in its relation to Christ, and interest in him. She humbly desires communion with him. Let us walk together, that I may receive counsel, instruction, and comfort from thee. And may make known my wants and my grievances to thee, with freedom, and without interruption. Communion with Christ is what all that are made holy earnestly breathe after. And those who would converse with Christ, must go forth from the world. Wherever we are, we may keep up communion with God. Nor should we go where we cannot in faith ask him to go with us. Those who would go abroad with Christ, must begin early in the morning of their days and must begin every day with him. Then seek him early and seek him diligently. A gracious soul can reconcile itself to the poorest places, if it may have communion with God in them. But the most delightful fields will not satisfy, unless the Beloved is there. Let us not think to be satisfied with any earthly object. Our own souls are our vineyards; they should be planted with useful trees. We should often search whether we are fruitful in righteousness. Christ's presence will make the vine flourish, and the tender grapes appear, as the returning sun revives the gardens. If we can appeal to him, "Thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee". If his Spirit witness with our spirit, that our souls prosper, it is enough. And we must beg of him to search and try us, to discover us to ourselves. The fruits and exercises of graces are pleasant to the Lord Jesus. These must be laid up, and always ready. That by our bringing forth much fruit, he may be glorified. It is all from him, therefore it is fit it should be all for him.

Song of Solomon 7:10 "I [am] my beloved's, and his desire [is] toward me."

These are the words of the church, strongly expressing the assurance of faith she had of her union to Christ, and interest in him. Which shows that "that" grace is attainable, and that there may be a continuation of the exercise of it. It may be expressed again and again, as it is by the church in this Song (SOS 2:16). And that this grace has no tendency to licentiousness, but excites to duty. And makes more careful in it (of which SOS 7:11), is a proof. "Come, let us go forth", etc. Moreover, these words may be considered as a modest acknowledgment of the church's, that all she was and had were Christ's, and came from him. All the beauty he had commended in her; all fruitfulness in grace, and strength in the exercise of it. Her light and knowledge in divine truths and her zeal and courage to defend them. Her upright stature, and holy walk and conversation, and every good thing else, were owing to his grace. And here she also makes a voluntary surrender of all to him again; as she received all from him, she devotes all to him.

"And his desire is towards me": And only to her, as his spouse and bride. It was towards her from everlasting, when he asked her of his Father, and he gave her to him. And so it was in time, to procure her salvation. Hence, he became incarnate, and suffered and died in her stead. His desire is towards his people before conversion, waiting to be gracious to them; and, after conversion, to have their company, and their grace exercised on him, and to behold their beauty. Nor will his desires be fully satisfied until he has got them all with him in glory. And this phrase not only signifies the conjugal relation of the church to Christ, he being her husband, and she his wife. The desire of his eyes, as a wife is called (Ezek. 24:16). But takes in the whole care and concern of Christ for her, as her husband. Who sympathizes with her under all her distresses; and protects her from all dangers and enemies. And provides everything necessary for her, for time and eternity. Some render the words, "seeing his desire is towards me". Therefore, she expresses her faith in him, and gives up herself to him

This is the bride speaking and recognizing the fact that she belongs to the Bridegroom. Jesus bought us and paid for us with His precious shed blood.

John 17:24 "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world."

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

Song of Solomon 7:11 "Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages."

The word "come" is often used by Christ, and here by the church, in imitation of him (see SOS 2:10). This call is the call of the church upon Christ, to make good his promise (SOS 7:8). And is an earnest desire after the presence of Christ, and the manifestations of his love. Which desire is increased the more it is enjoyed. And it shows the sense she had of her own insufficiency for the work she was going about. She knew that visiting the several congregations of the saints would be too little purpose, unless Christ was with her, and therefore she urges him to it. Not that he was backward and unwilling to go with her, but he chooses to seem so. To make his people the more earnest for his presence, and to prize it the more when they have it. And it is pleasing to him to hear them ask for it. The endearing character, "my beloved", is used by the church, not only to express her affection for Christ, and faith of interest in him, but as an argument to engage him to go along with her. Her requests follow;

"Let us go forth into the field": From the city, where she had been in quest of Christ, and had now found him (SOS 5:7). Into the country, for recreation and pleasure. The allusion may be to such who keep their country houses, to which they retire from the city, and take their walks in the fields, to see how the fruits grow, and enjoy the country air. The church is for going abroad into the fields; but then she would have Christ with her. Walking in the fields yields no pleasure unless Christ is there. There is no recreation without him. The phrase expresses her desire of his presence everywhere. At home and abroad, in the city and the fields. And of her being with him alone, that she might tell him all that's on her mind, and impart her love to him. Which she could better do alone than in company, as it may also signify her desire to have the Gospel spread in the world. In the barren parts of it, which looked like uncultivated fields, the Gentile world. And so, in one of the ancient Jewish commentaries. These "fields", and the "villages" in the next clause, are interpreted of the nations of the world.

"Let us lodge in the villages": Which, though places of mean entertainment for food and lodging, yet, Christ being with her, were more eligible to her than the greatest affluence of good things without him. And, being places of retirement from the noise and hurry of the city, she chose them, that she might be free of the cares of life. And enjoy communion with Christ, which she would have continued; and therefore was desirous of "lodging", at least all night (as in SOS 1:13). Some render the words, "by", "in", or "among the Cyprus trees" (see SOS 1:14). By which may be meant the saints, comparable to such trees for their excellency, fragrancy, and fruitfulness. And an invitation to lodge by or with these could not be unwelcome to Christ, they being the excellent in the earth, in whom is all his delight.

This speaks of a time and place of peace. This is like the 23rd Psalm.

Psalms 23:1 "The LORD [is] my shepherd; I shall not want." "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters." "He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."

Song of Solomon 7:12 "Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, [whether] the tender grape appear, [and] the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves."

After a night's lodging in the fields, or among the "Cyprus trees". By which "vineyards" may be meant particular churches, gathered according to Gospel order, and distinguished from the world. Planted with fruitful vines, and fenced by almighty power. Here the church proposes to "get up early", very early in the morning. Being willing to take the first and most seasonable opportunity of visiting the saints, to know their state and condition. And, that her visit might not be in vain, she is for taking Christ along with her.

"Let us see if the vine flourish": True believers in Christ; who, though weak and worthless in themselves, yet being engrafted in Christ, the true vine. Bringing forth fruit, and become flourishing in grace and good works. Of the flourishing or flowering of the vine (see notes on SOS 2:13).

"Whether the tender grape appear": Or when "the flower of the vine opens", and goes off, and the small grape appears. By which young converts may be meant, who are tender, and have but a small degree of faith and knowledge. And yet these are not overlooked, much less despised, by Christ and his church. But are delighted with the promising appearance they make.

"And the pomegranates bud forth": Stronger believers, taller and more fruitful than the former (see SOS 4:13). The exercise of whose grace are signified by "budding forth", in an open and visible manner. The church is concerned for the good and welfare of the saints of all ranks and sizes. Of vines and pomegranates, as well as tender grapes, and of the budding of the one, as well as of the opening and flowering of the other. And seeing these ends proposed by her are the same with Christ's (SOS 6:11). She might conclude they would prevail upon him to go with her, particularly what follows:

"There will I give thee my loves": In the fields, villages, and vineyards, when alone, and observing the state and condition of particular churches and saints. And having communion with Christ, the church might hope and expect to have her heart enlarged, and drawn forth in love to Christ more abundantly. And that she should be able to manifest it more largely to him, and give clearer and fuller proofs of it. And this she observes in order to gain her point, and get him to go along with her. Knowing that her love, in the acts and exercise of it, was very acceptable to him (SOS 4:10). I see not why the word for "loves" may not be rendered "my lovely flowers"; as a word nearly the same (in SOS 7:13). Is by some rendered, "these lovely flowers give a good smell", which seems to refer to the flowers here. Such as were to be met with in plenty, in fields and vineyards, among vines and pomegranates, as lilies, violets, etc. And may be an allusion to lovers, who used to give to those they loved sweet smelling flowers; and here may signify the graces of the Spirit. And the acts of them, which are fragrant, and acceptable to Christ.

The "vineyard" is the church. The "vine" is Jesus Christ. This may be a peculiar thing to ask about the church, but we know many churches are not flourishing in the truth of the gospel.

John 15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman."

We must be very careful to lift up the name of Jesus in our churches. We must not be Christians in name only. Some have a form of Christianity, but deny the power thereof. We must produce fruit fit for the kingdom.

Song of Solomon 7:13 "The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates [are] all manner of pleasant [fruits], new and old, [which] I have laid up for thee, O my beloved."

And by them here may be intended, either the saints and people of God, compared to them for their fragrancy. Being clad with the garments of Christ, which smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia, and are anointed with the savory ointments of the grace of the Spirit. Whose prayers are sweet odors; and their works, with their persons, accepted with God in Christ. Or rather the graces of the Spirit in lively exercise may be meant. Such as those lovely flowers of faith, hope, love, repentance, patience, self-denial, humility, thankfulness, and others.

"And at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits": In distinction from the mandrakes and flowers in the fields (Gen. 30:14). And in allusion to a custom, in many countries, to garnish the posts of the door of newly married persons with branches of trees, fruits, and flowers. And at other festivals, besides nuptial ones, which made it inviting to enter in. And these "all manner of pleasant fruits" may denote the plenty, variety, and excellency of the blessings of grace. And of the graces of the Spirit, believers have from Christ. And of the doctrines and ordinances of the Gospel, which are for their use. And may be said to be "at our gates", as being ready at hand, in the hearts of saints, and in the mouths of Gospel ministers. And open and visible, held forth to public view in the word and ordinances. And which are administered at Wisdom's gates, the gates of Zion, where they are to be met with and had. And which are;

"New and old": Denoting the plenty of grace and blessings of it. Of old laid up in Christ, and from whom there are fresh supplies continually. Or rather the doctrines of the Old and New Testament; which, for matter and substance, are the same. And with which the church, and particularly her faithful ministers, being furnished, bring forth out of their treasure things new and old (Matt. 13:52).

"Which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved": Christ, whom her soul loved. For though the above fruits, the blessings, promises, and doctrines of grace. Which she laid up in her heart, mind, and memory. To bring forth and make use of at proper times and seasons, were for her own use and benefit. And of all believers, yet in all for the honor and glory of Christ, the author and donor of them. Respect may be had to a custom with lovers, to lay up fruits for those they love. At least such custom may be compared with this.

Mandrakes were thought of as love flowers. They were supposed to make you more fertile. True Christianity produces fruit. Some are old, some are young. Some are black, some are white. Some are males, some are females. There is a great variety of fruit. Christianity must be deeper than just emotion. Christ wants our heart and our will. He wants us to love Him above all else and to obey Him.

Matthew 22:37 "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."

1 Samuel 15:22 "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams."

The beloved of God love Him and obey Him.

Song of Solomon Chapter 7 Questions

  1. We are looking at these lessons from the _________ standpoint.
  2. What does "the feet with shoes" indicate?
  3. The church that stands still is ______________.
  4. What does "prince's daughter" show us?
  5. "Hands" indicate _________.
  6. What do the "jewels" speak of?
  7. Verse 2, in the physical, could be speaking of what?
  8. Thy neck is as a tower of __________.
  9. Describe this tower.
  10. What does this dazzling white speak of?
  11. The bride is spoken of as the holy city ______________.
  12. "Carmel", in verse 5, is a ________.
  13. What does the name mean?
  14. "Purple" speaks of ___________.
  15. Why are the Christians spoken of as tall in stature?
  16. The "palm tree" was symbolic of _______.
  17. The "vine" speaks of whom?
  18. What is the wine, in verse 9, referring to?
  19. Who is "those who are asleep" referring to?
  20. What did this wine refer to?
  21. Who is speaking in verse 10?
  22. Your ________ is the temple of the Holy Ghost.
  23. What does verse 11 speak of?
  24. The "vineyard" is the __________.
  25. The "vine" is _________ _______.
  26. "Mandrakes" were thought of as _______ ____________.
  27. True Christianity produces ________.
  28. Who are Christians made up of?

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Song of Solomon 8

Song of Solomon Chapter 8

Verses 8:1-4: The church wishes for the constant intimacy and freedom with the Lord Jesus that a sister has with a brother. That they might be as his brethren, which they are, when by grace they are made partakers of a Divine nature. Christ is become as our Brother; wherever we find him, let us be ready to own our relation to him, and affection for him, and not fear being despised for it. Is there in us an ardent wish to serve Christ more and better? What then have we laid up in store, to show our affection to the Beloved of our souls? What fruit unto holiness? The church charges all her children that they never provoke Christ to withdraw. We should reason with ourselves, when tempted to do what would grieve the Spirit.

Song of Solomon 8:1 "O that thou [wert] as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! [when] I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised."

Or, "who will give thee as a brother to me?" A usual form of wishing (Deut. 5:29; Psalm 14:7). The church here not only requests that Christ would be like a brother to her, but appear to be really one, and to act the part of one towards her. With whom she might as freely converse as brother and sister may. Several Jewish writers own, that the King Messiah is intended here; and in such a relation Christ does stand to his church and people, by virtue of his incarnation (Heb. 2:11). Hence many of the ancients take this to be a wish of the Jewish church, for the coming of Christ in the flesh. And also through their adoption, he and they having one Father (John 20:17). And by being of a like nature, disposition, and practice (Matt. 12:50). As well as on the score of love and friendship (Prov. 18:24). And this relation Christ fills up, by the intimacy and familiarity he uses them with. By his compassion on them, and sympathy with them, in all their afflictions. By the help, aid, and relief, he gives them. By his condescension to their weaknesses, and by his great love and affection for them. As a further description of him as a brother, it is added;

"That sucked the breasts of my mother": Which may denote the truth and reality of Christ's incarnation, being a sucking infant. And the near relation of Christ to his people, being a brother by the mother's side, reckoned the nearest, and their affection to each other the strongest. By her "mother" may be meant Jerusalem above, the mother of us all. And, by her "breasts", the ordinances, of which Christ, as man, partook when on earth, and now may be said to suck, as formed in the hearts of his people.

"When I should find thee without": Or, "in the street"; in public ordinances, where Christ is to be found. Or outside of Judea, in the Gentile world, where, after his coming in the flesh, his Gospel was preached, the ordinances administered, and he was there to be found. Or in the most public place and manner, where she should not be ashamed to own him, his truths and ordinances, before men.

"I would kiss thee": Not only with a kiss of acceptance (Prov. 24:16); but of love and affection, of faith and confidence, of homage and subjection, of worship and adoration (see Psalm 2:12). This is a usage with relations and friends, brothers and sisters, at meeting. Hence Heunischius refers this to the time when the saints shall meet Christ in the clouds. Who will be admitted to the nearest embraces of him, with unspeakable pleasure, and enjoy him to all eternity.

"Yea, I should not be despised": For taking such freedom with Christ, her brother. Or, "they would not despise me". Neither men nor angels, for such an action, and still less God, the Father, Son, and Spirit. Which she might conclude from the relation between them, it being no more unseemly than for a sister to use such freedom with an own brother, even in the street. And from the reception she had reason to believe she should meet with from Christ. Who would not turn away his face from her, when she offered to kiss him, which would occasion shame and blushing. The whole expresses her boldness in professing Christ, without fear or shame, in the most public manner.

This is wishing to be the brother, that the relationship could have gone on from the beginning. It is interesting to me, that even though the Christians are the bride of Christ, they are also all sons of God. Jesus is The Son of God, but all believers in Christ are adopted into the family of God, and are sons of God.

Romans 8:14-15 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."

This is a spiritual thing. In the Spirit, we can be the bride of Christ and the sons of God all at the same time. These are not speaking of a gender, but a relationship. The kiss just indicates sweet love.

Luke 7:45-47 "Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet." "My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment." "Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loveth little."

Song of Solomon 8:2 "I would lead thee, [and] bring thee into my mother's house, [who] would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate."

The general assembly and church of the firstborn is mother to the church visible, to particular churches and believers, where they are born, educated, and brought up. For which they have a great affection, as persons usually have for the place of their nativity and education. And here the church desires to have Christ with her; either to consummate the marriage between them (Gen. 24:67), or to enjoy his presence there, with great delight and pleasure. The act of "leading" shows great familiarity with him, great love and respect for him, and a hearty welcome to her mother's house. All which is done by prayer, in the exercise of faith. And the act of "bringing" denotes on her part the strength of faith in prayer; and on his part great condescension (see SOS 3:4).

"Who would instruct me": Meaning her mother. The allusion may be to a grave and prudent woman, who, taking her newly married daughter aside, teaches her how to behave towards her husband, that she may have his affections, and live happily with him. The house of God is a school of instruction, where souls are taught the ways of Christ, the doctrines of the Gospel, and the duties of religion. Nor are the greatest believers above instruction, and the means of it. Some render the words, "thou shalt", or "thou wouldest teach me". Meaning Christ, who teaches as none else can. He teaches by his Spirit, who leads into all truth. By the Scriptures, which are profitable for instruction; and by his ministers, called pastors and teachers. And by his ordinances administered in his house; where the church desired the presence of Christ. And might expect instruction from him, being in the way of her duty. And to hear such marriage precepts, as in (Psalm 45:10). In return, the church promises Christ;

"I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine, of the juice of my pomegranate": Or, "wine of my pomegranate"; of which mention is made in Jewish writings and by other authors. There was a city in the tribe of Dan, called "Gath-rimmon" (Joshua 21:24); the winepress of the pomegranate, or where they made pomegranate wine. Now these sorts of wine being accounted the best and most agreeable, the church proposes to treat Christ with them. By which may be meant the various graces of the Spirit, and the exercise of them in believers. Which give Christ pleasure and delight, and are preferred by him to the best wine (see SOS 4:10).

We see a true desire to learn the perfect ways of the Lord. The woman here, is the church of God. We read in the book of Revelation of the Light of Jesus being in all 7 churches. This speaks of not only being ministered to by Jesus, but ministering to Him as well. The love of the bride for Christ is shown here.

Galatians 4:26 "But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all."

The "mother's house" then, is speaking of New Jerusalem.

Acts 17:11-12 "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." "Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few."

Song of Solomon 8:3 "His left hand [should be] under my head, and his right hand should embrace me."

That is, when she should have the presence of Christ in her mother's house. Or the words are a petition that so it might be, "let his left hand", etc.; or a declaration of what she did enjoy, "his left hand is under my head", etc.; (see notes on SOS 2:6).

We discovered in an earlier lesson that the left hand was lifting her out of this sinful world, and the right hand spoke of the spiritual blessings. This is saying, He anointed her with the Holy Spirit of God.

Song of Solomon 8:4 "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake [my] love, until he please."

The phrase, "by the roes and by the hinds of the field", used in (SOS 2:7); is here omitted. Not as if the charge was less vehement and earnest here, for the form of expostulation seems rather to express more earnestness. For the words may be rendered, "why will ye", or "why should ye stir up, and why awake my love?" Being apprehensive they were about to do it; and which she tries to persuade them from, as unreasonable and dangerous, and might be prejudicial to them as well as to her. The allusion is to virgins, that sung songs at marriages. One in the evening, lulling to sleep; and another in the morning, awaking and stirring up from it.

We also discovered that the "daughters of Jerusalem" were speaking of the physical house of Israel. Jesus spoke to them in the following Scripture.

Luke 23:28 "But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children."

They should weep, because they rejected Jesus.

Verses 8:5-7: The Jewish church came up from the wilderness, supported by Divine power and favor. The Christian church was raised from a low, desolate condition, by the grace of Christ relied on. Believers, by the power of grace, are brought up from the wilderness. A sinful state is a wilderness in which there is no true comfort; it is a wandering, wanting state. There is no coming out of this wilderness, but leaning on Christ as our Beloved, by faith. Not leaning to our own understanding, nor trusting in any righteousness of our own; but in the strength of him, who is the Lord our Righteousness. The words of the church to Christ which follow, entreat an abiding place in his love, and protection by his power. Set me as a seal upon thine heart; let me always have a place in thine heart; let me have an impression of love upon thine heart. Of this the soul would be assured, and without a sense thereof no rest is to be found. Those who truly love Christ, are jealous of everything that would draw them from him. Especially of themselves, lest they should do anything to provoke him to withdraw from them. If we love Christ, the fear of coming short of his love, or the temptations to forsake him, will be most painful to us. No waters can quench Christ's love to us, nor any floods drown it. Let nothing abate our love to him. Nor will life, and all its comforts, entice a believer from loving Christ. Love of Christ, will enable us to repel and triumph over temptations from the smiles of the world, as well as from its frowns.

Song of Solomon 8:5 "Who [is] this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth [that] bare thee."

Which words are spoken by the daughters of Jerusalem, occasioned by her charge to them, by which they were excited to look more earnestly at her, whom Christ had indulged with so much nearness to him. At which they express their surprise, and describe her by her ascent "from the wilderness"; that is, of the world, out of which she was chosen and called. And from a state of nature, out of which she was brought; and was rising up in a state of grace to a state of glory (see notes on SOS 3:6).

"Leaning upon her beloved?" Faith in Christ, whom her soul loved, and who loved her, is signified hereby (see Isa. 50:10). Which is the grace by which believers lean on the person of Christ, for acceptance with God. On his righteousness, for justification; and on his fullness, for the supply of their wants; and trust in his blood for pardon and cleansing. As sensible sinners do at first conversion, when they venture their souls on Christ. And commit the care and keeping of them to him, and trust their whole salvation with him. Such souls give up themselves to Christ; cleave to him, with full purpose of heart; walk with him, and walk on in him, as they have received him. Deriving all her strength from him, to exercise grace, perform duty, withstand temptation, and persevere to the end, conscious of her own weakness. Faith, in every sense of the word is intended.

"I raised thee up under the apple tree": Not the words of Christ concerning the church, since the affixes are masculine. But what the church said concerning Christ, when leaning on his arm as she went along with him. So the words may be connected with the preceding, by supplying the word "saying", as Michaelis observes; relating a piece of former experience, how that when she was under the apple tree, sat under the shadow of it (SOS 2:3). That is, under the ordinances of the Gospel; where, having no sensible communion with Christ for some time, he being as it were asleep, she, by her earnest prayers and entreaties, awaked him. And raised him up, to take notice of her. Whereby she enjoyed much nearness to him, and familiarity with him.

"There thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee": Which may be said either concealing the Old Testament church, who conceived hope of the coming of Christ, waited for it, and was often like a woman in pain until he was brought forth. Which at length was done, to the joy of those that looked for him. Or of the New Testament church, hoping, looking, waiting for the second coming of Christ, in the exercise of faith and prayer. And is like a woman in travail, and will be until he makes his appearance. And both may be meant, the one by the former, the other by the latter phrase, and may be the reason of the repetition of it. It may be applied to the apostles of Christ, who travailed in birth, until Christ was brought forth into the Gentile world, through the preaching of the Gospel. And so to all Gospel ministers, who are in like case until Christ be formed in the souls of men. Which is no other than the new birth, and is attended with pain like that of a woman in travail. And every regenerate person may be said, in this sense, to be Christ's mother, as well as his brother and sister (Matt. 12:50). And each of the above things are usually done under and by the means of the word and ordinances; which may be signified by the apple tree, or, however, the shadow of it.

The bride is not of the daughters of Jerusalem. She is made up of the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is that wild olive branch that was grafted into the tree. This bride is not of the physical house of Israel. This is a stranger from the wilderness, the Gentiles. These are those who took Jesus on simple faith. The bride is dressed in the white robe of righteousness that Jesus provided her. We find that the strength of the bride (church), comes from Jesus.

John 15:4 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me."

Song of Solomon 8:6 "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love [is] strong as death; jealousy [is] cruel as the grave: the coals thereof [are] coals of fire, [which hath a] most vehement flame."

These are still the words of the church, speaking to Christ as she walked along with him, as the Hebrew text show. In which she desires to have a fixed abiding place in his heart; to continue firmly in his love, and to have further manifestations of it. To be always remembered and supported by him; to be ever on his mind, and constantly under his care and protection. And to have a full assurance of interest in his love, and in his power, which is the sealing work of his Spirit (Eph. 1:13). The church's desire is, that she might be affectionately loved by Christ. Be deeply fixed in his heart, be ever in his view, owned and acknowledged by him, and protected by the arm of his power. Her reasons follow:

"For love is strong as death": That is, the love or the church to Christ, which caused her to make the above requests. Death conquers all; against it there is no standing. Such was the love of the church, it surmounted all difficulties that lay in the way of enjoying Christ. Nothing could separate from it; she was conquered by it herself; and could not live without him. She could readily part with life and suffer death for his sake. Death itself could not part her from him, or separate him from her love. So that her love was stronger than death.

"Jealousy is cruel as the grave": The jealousy she had of Christ's love to her which was her weakness. And yet it was very torturing and afflicting, though at the same time it showed the greatness of her love to Christ. Or "envy", that is of wicked men. She was the object of, which exceeds cruel wrath and outrageous anger (Prov. 27:4). Or rather her "zeal", which is no other than ardent love for Christ; his Gospel, cause, and interest. Which ate up and consumed her spirits, as the grave does what is cast into it (Psalm 119:139).

"The coals thereof are coals of fire": Which expresses the fervency of her love to Christ, and zeal for the honor of his name. Which, though sometimes cold and languid, is rekindled, and becomes hot and flaming. And is, like fire, insatiable, one of the four things that say, "It is not enough" (Prov. 30:16).

"Which hath a most vehement flame": Nothing is, nor common with other writers, than to attribute flame to love, and to call it a fire. Here a most vehement flame. Or, "the flame of Jah" or "Jehovah"; an exceeding great one. The Hebrews use one or other of the names of God, as a superlative. So the mountains of God, and cedars of God, mean exceeding great ones. And here it expresses the church's love in the highest degree, in such a flame as not to be quenched, as follows. Or it signifies, that the flame of love in her breast was kindled by the Lord himself, by his Spirit, compared to fire. Or by his love, shed abroad in her heart by him. Hence it appears to be false, what is sometimes said, that the name of God is not used in this Song; since the greatest of all his names, Jah or Jehovah, is here expressed.

Notice that this is not a flesh relationship. This is of the heart. The bride has taken Jesus in her heart. The seal is like a signet. The wedding band used in marriages is a symbol of the very same thing. Read the love chapter (in 1 Corinthians chapter 13). Husbands and wives should not be jealous of each other. They should not be given reason to be jealous either. They are for each other. This marriage is to be forever.

2 Corinthians 11:2 "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ."

Jealousy is like a burning fire.

Song of Solomon 8:7 "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if [a] man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned."

The love of the church to Christ, which is inextinguishable and incapable of being overcome, by the many waters and floods of wicked and ungodly men. Neither by their flattery and fair promises; nor by their cruel edicts, force and persecution. By neither can they withdraw the love of the saints from Christ, nor tempt them to desert his interest. Nor by all the afflictions God is pleased to bring upon them. Rather their love is increased thereby, which they consider as effects of the love, wisdom, and faithfulness of God, as designed for their good. Nor even by their sins and corruptions; for though, through the abounding of these, their love may wax cold, yet it never becomes extinct. It may be left, but not lost. Its fervency may be abated, but that itself remains. Nor by Satan's temptations, who sometimes comes in like a flood, threatening to carry all before him. But the Spirit lifts up a standard against him, and maintains his own work of faith and love (Isa. 59:19). Nor by the terrors of the law, and the apprehensions of divine wrath, they are sometimes pressed with, signified by waves and floods (Psalm 88:6). Nor by all the hardships and difficulties, scoffs and reproaches, which attend believers in their Christian race. Which are so far from alienating their affections from Christ, that they rather endear him the more unto them. And make heaven, and the enjoyment of him there, the more desirable.

"If a man would give, all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be regarded with contempt": It is true of the love of Christ to his people, as also what is said before. But is rather to be understood of the love of the church to Christ. Which is a grace so valuable, as not to be purchased with money. If this, or any other grace, is to be bought, it is to be bought without money and without price. It is to be had freely of Christ; and, where possessed, will not be parted with for anything that may be offered. If a rich man's whole estate was offered for it, to a lover of Christ; yea, the riches of the Indies, or the vast treasures of the whole globe, on condition of his parting with him. And deserting his cause and interest, and dropping or neglecting his love to him, it would be treated by him with the, almost disdain and contempt (see Phil. 3:8). Now all this is used by the church as an argument to gain her request, "set me as a seal", etc. (SOS 8:6). Since my soul is all in flames of love to thee, which cannot be quenched by all I suffer on thy account; nor will be parted with for all that the world can give me. This love of the church reaches to Christ, and to all that belong to him, even to a little sister (as in SOS 8:8).

Paul sums it up very well in the following Scriptures.

Romans 8:38-39 "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come," "Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Verses 8:8-12: The church pleads for the Gentiles, who then had not the word of God, nor the means of grace. Those who are brought to Christ themselves, should contrive what they may do to help others to him. Babes in Christ are always seen among Christians, and the welfare of their weak brethren is an object of continual prayer with the stronger believers. If the beginning of this work were likened to a wall built upon Him the precious Foundation and Corner-stone, then the Gentile church would become as a palace for the great King, built of solid silver. If the first preaching of the gospel were as the making a door through the wall of partition, that door should be lasting, as cased with boards of durable cedar. She shall be carefully and effectually protected, enclosed so as to receive no damage. The church is full of care for those yet uncalled. Christ says, I will do all that is necessary to be done for them. See with what satisfaction we should look back upon the times and seasons, when we were in his eyes as those that find favor. Our hearts are our vineyards, which we must keep with all diligence. To Christ, and to his praise, all our fruits must be dedicated. All that work for Christ, work for themselves, and shall be unspeakable gainers by it.

Song of Solomon 8:8 "We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?"

Which seems to be the Gentile church, so called by the Jewish church. For as the church, catholic or universal, with respect to its parts, is called a mother, as often in this Song; so these parts, with respect to each other, as the Jewish and Gentile churches, may be called sisters. And the rather, as they belong to the same Father and family, are partakers of the same grace, and are of the same faith and religion as to the substance of them. And the object and nature of their worship the same, though as to circumstances different. And it may be observed that the Gentile church is not only sister to the Jewish church, but to Christ, and therefore she says, not I, but we, have such a sister; of which relation (see SOS 4:9). Also, that she stood in this relation to Christ and to the Jewish church before the coming of Christ, and before the Gospel was preached to her, and she was called and separated from the world. As elect Gentiles are also called the sheep of Christ, and children of God, before that time (John 10:16). This church is described as a "little sister", younger in age than the Jewish church, and in some respects less honorable (Rom. 3:1). The same with the younger son and brother, in the parable of the prodigal son. Little in esteem among men, especially the Jews, (Eph. 2:11). Little in stature, light, knowledge, and faith, at first conversion. And but few in number, particularly at first, and in comparison of the world. And so, the church of Christ, consisting both of Jews and Gentiles, is called a little flock (Luke 12:32). As a further description of her, it is added;

"And she hath no breasts": Is not arrived in years of ripeness, nor marriageable (see Ezek. 16:7). The time of her open espousal to Christ was not yet come. At this time, she had no ministers nor ordinances, from whence she could have the sincere milk of the word, or share it with others. And it was some time after the Gospel came among the Gentiles, before they had a settled ministry.

"What shall we defer our sister?" Or, "what shall be done for her?" Being moved with pity to her, in her forlorn and helpless condition, like a little infant (Ezek. 16:4). And willing to do anything for her that lay in her power, though seeming at a loss to know what to do for her. The believing Jews were very assisting to the Gentiles, in carrying the Gospel among them at first. And in supplying them with ministers, and with money too, to carry on the interest of Christ among them. The Jewish church here is not forgetful of the chief and principal agent, Christ, and therefore says, what shall we do? She was willing to do what she could; but she knew all would be insignificant without Christ, his agency and blessing. The time she was concerned what should be done for her in is;

"In the day when she shall be spoken for": Or "with", or "unto". When she should be wooed or treated with for marriage, by the ministers of the word, at the first preaching of the Gospel to her. Or be spoken to by her enemies, by fair words, or severe menaces, to desert the faith. Or, "be spoken of"; the fame of her be spread abroad, far and near, for her light, knowledge, and faith. For her profession, and her sufferings for it. And the concern is, how she should behave under all the noise and talk about her: or, "be spoken against". As she would be by unbelieving Jews, and by ignorant Heathens, for embracing the Christian religion, and for receiving the Gospel of Christ, submitting to his ordinances, and professing his name (Acts 28:22).

The little sister is not yet mature. I believe this is speaking of the very young Christian church that is still on milk and honey of the Word. This is speaking also of those young Christians who already are saved, desiring to bring others into the true fellowship with Christ.

Song of Solomon 8:9 "If she [be] a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she [be] a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar."

Built upon a sure foundation; and firmly established in her faith on Christ, and love to him. And is constant therein, and stands as a wall against the attacks of enemies.

"We will build upon her a palace of silver": Though at first but as a side wall, yet should become a complete habitation, even a palace for Christ, the King of kings. And, being designed for so illustrious an inhabitant, should be a "silver" one, denoting its worth, value, and splendor. The builders of it are the church and her ministers; though Christ is the principal builder (Zech. 6:12). Or, "a tower of silver", signifying, that she should be well fortified, and be put into a posture of defense against her enemies. The Gentile church at first had but a very small appearance of a building, a foundation just laid, a side wall erected. But, in a short time, a noble structure, a stately tower, a silver palace, was built for God.

"And if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar": If the door of the Gospel was opened among the Gentiles, it should be succeeded to the building a holy temple to the Lord. Which should be not only ornamented, but so well fenced, that it should not be in the power of their enemies to deface and demolish it. Or if the door of their hearts was opened, to receive Christ, and his glorious train of grace, they should be adorned and beautified with a larger measure of them. Or if being come into a church state, and the door of it was set open to receive good men, and exclude bad men, this would be to their honor comfort and safety. Or this phrase is expressive of the finishing of the building, the gate or door being set up. Though it rather seems to intend the low and mean estate of the Gentile church at first, when there was but little appearance of a building, only a door set up. Which afterwards grew up into a stately and magnificent palace, like that of Solomon's, built of cedar boards of the wood of Lebanon. Which may denote her fragrancy, perpetuity, and incorruptibleness.

The "wall" is speaking of a steadfast Christian who is unmovable. Jesus is the Corner stone, and we are the lively stones.

1 Peter 2:5 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."

The door would be more moveable. We see however, the door is to be enclosed with cedar. The cedar preserves and strengthens. The strong Christians are to help the weaker.

Acts 20:35 "I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."

Song of Solomon 8:10 "I [am] a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favor."

The words of the little sister, or Gentile church; either wishing she was what was supposed, and desiring to be in a well settled state, "O that I was a wall!" Or as asserting that she was in such a state, well walled. God was a wall of fire about her. Salvation was appointed as walls and bulwarks to her. She was one of the two walls Christ was a cornerstone unto, and cemented together. And was a wall built up of lively stones, of true believers, built on Christ, the foundation. And established in the doctrine of grace; and constant and immovable in her love to Christ.

"And my breasts like towers": Round, plump, and high; signifying that she was now marriageable. And the time of her being presented as a chaste virgin to Christ, and of her open espousals to him, was now come. Of ministers of the word, of the Scriptures, and of the ordinances of the Gospel, as signified by breasts (see notes on SOS 4:5). Which may be said to be "like towers": ministers of the word, because set for the defense of the Gospel. The Scriptures, because an armory from whence saints are supplied with armor, to repel Satan's temptations, refute errors, and defend truth. And the ordinances of the Gospel, because they stand firm and immovable against all the efforts of men to subvert and abolish them. And these are peculiar to the Gentile church, under the Gospel dispensation.

"Then was I in his eyes as one that found favor": From the time that the Gentile church became a wall, firmly built on Christ, and was formed into a church state, and had a settled ministry and Gospel ordinances, she became acceptable to Christ, and was admitted to near communion with him. And not only her person, but her services, met with a favorable acceptance from him. And these privileges and blessings were the fruit of his love, layout, and good will, he bore to her. Which before was secret and hidden, but now her breasts being fashioned, her time was a time of love, of the open love of Christ to her, and of her espousals to him. And when, as the words may be rendered, she was "as one that found peace". Peace being made by the blood of Christ, and the partition wall broken down between Jew and Gentile, and they peaceably joined together in a Gospel church state. And when she enjoyed inward peace and tranquility of mind, which is found in Christ, the word and ordinances. Even all kind of prosperity, which peace, with the Hebrews, includes. Every spiritual blessing, as reconciliation, justification, pardon, adoption, and eternal life, which are all the fruits and effects of divine favor, good will, grace, and love.

The wall is made up of the Christians who are grounded in the Word. They are always attached to the Corner stone.

1 Corinthians 15:58 " Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

The Lord always sees and approves the good work you do for the Lord.

Song of Solomon 8:11 "Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand [pieces] of silver."

The little sister, or Gentile church, goes on to give an account of the success of the Gospel, the planting of churches, and the establishment of the interest of Christ in the Gentile world. Together with the advantages that accrued to Christ from it. For not Solomon literally, but a greater than he, is here, Christ, the antitype of him, the Prince of peace (see notes on SOS 3:7). By the "vineyard" is meant the church, especially under the New Testament dispensation. So called, because separated from the world by sovereign grace; planted with precious and fruitful plants, which Christ has a property in, by his Father's gift and his own purchase. And therefore, receives of the fruit of it; takes delight and pleasure to walk in it; and takes care to keep it in order, and to protect and preserve it. This is said to be at Baal-hamon; perhaps the same with Baal-gad, the names signifying much the same, and where Solomon might have a vineyard (Joshua 11:17). The word signifies "the master", or "lord of a multitude"; the Gentile world, consisting of a multitude of nations; and in which were many churches, and consisting of many persons.

"He let out the vineyard unto keepers": To his apostles, and to ministers of the Gospel in succeeding times. And who have their employment in it. Some to plant, others to water; some to prune, to reprove and correct for bad principles and practices, and others to support and uphold weak believers. And others to defend truth, and preserve the church from innovation in doctrine and worship. The "letting" it out to these agrees with the parables in (Matt. 20:1); where there seems to be an allusion to this passage. Christ is the proprietor of the vineyard, and the principal vinedresser; yet he makes use of his ministers to take the care of it, watch and keep it in order. For which purpose he lets, or "gives", it to them, as the word is, for he makes them in some sense owners. And they have an interest in the churches, and their life and comfort, greatly lie in the fruitfulness and well-being of them. The vines are called "ours" (SOS 2:15).

"Everyone for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver": Or shekels, which shows the fruitfulness of the vineyard, that its produce should be worth so much. And the great usefulness of the Gospel ministry, in bringing souls to Christ. The fruit of his labor is as dear to him as pieces of silver (Luke 15:8). Christ's ministers are his rent gatherers, and the collectors of his fruit (John 15:16). And though they have different talents and success, yet, being honest and faithful, the meanest are reckoned to bring in the same as others, or what make for Christ's delight, pleasure, and glory. As will appear when the reckoning day comes, and an account will be given in (Matt. 25:19).

The "vineyard" in the verse above, is possibly showing us the value of the church in the sight of God. "Silver" means redemption. We know that there is no money in the world that we would trade for our salvation. The vineyard is the church in its relationship with the vine (Jesus Christ). Read the 21st chapter of Matthew, beginning with the 33rd verse about the vineyard. Just as the Scripture above, the vineyard was a prized possession.

Song of Solomon 8:12 "My vineyard, which [is] mine, [is] before me: thou, O Solomon, [must have] a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred."

These are either the words of Christ, asserting and confirming his right and property in his vineyard, the church; and which he distinguishes from and prefers to all others. And which being said to be before him denotes his exact knowledge of every vine in it. Not a plant escaping his watchful eye; his presence in it, his care of it, the delight and complacency he has therein. Or else the words of the church, expressing her care, watchfulness, and diligence in the vineyard, and her concern for the welfare of the several vines and plants in it (see SOS 1:6). And certain it is that the next clause is spoken by her.

"Thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand": A thousand pieces or shekels of silver, as before. The church is willing Christ should have all he desires and demands, his whole due and full revenue of glory from his people. For he is meant, and not Solomon literally, as many Jewish writers acknowledge. And the church being now in his presence, and using familiarity with him, thus addresses him.

"And those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred": By which may be meant an honorable maintenance for themselves and families, and much esteem and respect among the people to whom they minister. This is the double honor in (1 Tim. 5:17). Christ has the greatest share, as in reason he should, being the proprietor of the vineyard, and having the chief care and oversight of it, and gives it its increase. However, faithful ministers have their reward, which lies greatly in the conversion of sinners, and edification of saints. For that is their joy, and crown of rejoicing; and in eternal happiness they shall enjoy hereafter (1 Thess. 2:19).

Christians should be caring for the vineyard and causing new growth, and bringing new fruit.

Acts 20:28 "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."

Verses 8:13-14: These verses close the conference between Christ and his church. He first addresses her as dwelling in the gardens, the assemblies and ordinances of his saints. He exhorts her to be constant and frequent in prayers, supplications, and praises, in which he delights. She replies, craving his speedy return to take her to be wholly with Him. The heavens, those high mountains of sweet spices, must contain Christ, till the times come, when every eye shall see him, in all the glory of the better world. True believers as they are looking for, so they are hastening to the coming of that day of the Lord. Let every Christian endeavor to perform the duties of his station, that men may see his good works, and glorify his heavenly Father. Continuing earnest in prayer for what we want, our thanksgivings will abound, and our joy will be full; our souls will be enriched, and our labors prospered. We shall be enabled to look forward to death and judgment without fear. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Song of Solomon 8:13 "Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear [it]."

These are the words of Christ to the church, describing her by her habitation, and may be rendered, "O thou, inhabitress of the gardens". The word used, being in the feminine gender, which determines the sense of it, as belonging to the church. By the "gardens" are meant particular congregations, the dwelling places of the church, and where she has work to do by her ministers, to plant, water, prune, and dress the gardens. And of particular believers, whose business it is to attend on the ministry of the word, and other ordinances. And dwelling here may denote diligence and constant attendance here, and which is approved of by Christ, and well pleasing to him. And it is honorable, as well as profitable and delightful, to have a place in these gardens, and especially an abiding one. And indeed those, to whom Christ gives a place and a name here, are in no danger of being turned or driven out, as Adam was from Eden.

"The companions hearken to thy voice": Meaning either the divine Persons, the Father and the Holy Ghost, as the companions of Christ, of the same nature, perfections, and glory with him. Who listen to what the church and true believers say to them and to one another (Mal. 3:16). The friends of Christ and his people, who hearken to the conversation of believers, in private and public. And especially to the Gospel, preached in the assembly of the saints (Eph. 3:10). Or rather the daughters of Jerusalem, who all along attend the bride in this Song, and are the virgins her companions (Psalm 45:14). And it is a title that belongs to all truly gracious souls (Psalm 122:8). Who hearken to the voice of the church, to the Gospel, preached by her ministers; which is a joyful sound, and gives great delight and pleasure.

"Cause me to hear it": That is, her voice; so sweet and charming to him as in (SOS 2:14). Her voice in prayer and praise; in speaking of him, his person, offices, and grace, to others, and confessing his name before men. Some render the words, "preach me"; and then the sense is, seeing the companions flock unto thee, and listen with great attention and pleasure to thy voice, and take the opportunity of preaching me unto them. Let my person, righteousness, and grace, be the subject of thy ministry: and which was done in the first times of the Gospel, by the apostles. Has been, more or less, ever since, by faithful ministers; and will be continued until the second coming of Christ, prayed for in (SOS 8:14).

The Bridegroom (Jesus), is speaking to His bride here. Jesus will restore the church to its original beauty, and provide a heavenly Garden of Eden for her to dwell in. The simplicity of Christianity is spoken of here. That is what makes it so beautiful. Jesus quickens the spirit of individuals in the church. He is the quickening Spirit. It is Jesus who perfects His bride (church). Notice how the bride receives power.

John 15:7 "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."

John 16:24 "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."

Jesus provides for His bride (church).

Song of Solomon 8:14 "Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices."

These are the words of the church, to Christ, calling him her "beloved"; a title often used in this Song (see SOS 1:13). And is continued to the last. For Christ was still the object of her love; and she had now a comfortable sense of her interest in him, and claimed it. And makes use of this title, not only to distinguish him from others, but to obtain her request the more easily, that he would "make haste", and come. Which may either be understood of his speedy coming in the flesh, and appearing on Mount Zion and in the temple, where the spicy and sweet smelling incense was offered. Or of his spiritual presence, in his house and upon the mountains, and in all the assemblies of Zion. Where the prayers and praises of the saints go up to God, as sweet odors, perfumed with the incense of Christ's mediation. Or the petition may respect the first spread of the Gospel throughout the Gentile world. Which, being like a box of ointment opened, would diffuse the savor of the knowledge of Christ everywhere. Or rather it expresses the breathings of the New Testament church after the second coming of Christ, being the last petition of the church in this Song. And with which she closes it, as John does the Revelation, and with it the whole canon of Scripture in like manner, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus". That is, come quickly. And when the church says, "make haste", she does not desire Christ to come before the appointed time, nor will he. His coming may and will be hastened indeed, yet in his own time. But it shows her eager and earnest desire after it, being as it were impatient for it. The word, may be rendered, "flee away"; not that the church desired Christ to depart from her; she valued his presence at another rate. But she being weary of a sinful troublesome world, and breathing after everlasting rest in another, desires him to remove from hence, and take her with him to heaven, where she might enjoy his presence without any disturbance.

"And be thou like to a roe, or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices": Where spices and aromatic plants grow, as on Lebanon. Of Christ, compared to a roe or a young hart (see notes on SOS 2:9). These creatures being remarkable for their swiftness in running upon mountains and other high places (see Hab. 3:19). The church desires that Christ would be as swift in his motion as those creatures, and come quickly and speedily, and take her with him to the "spicy mountains". The heavenly state, and all the joys and glories of it. And there have everlasting and uninterrupted communion with Christ. And be out of the reach of every troublesome enemy; be in the utmost safety and security; and in the possession of pleasures that will never end. This state may be expressed by "mountains of spices": because of the height and sublimity of it. And because of the permanency and everlasting duration of it; and because of its delightfulness and pleasantness. Where will be fullness of joy, and pleasures for evermore.

This is saying, "Come quickly Lord Jesus."

Revelation 22:17 "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

Revelation 22:20 "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

Song of Solomon Chapter 8 Questions

  1. Why was the brother mentioned in verse 1?
  2. What does the author find interesting about the bride of Christ?
  3. These are not speaking of a gender, but a ________________.
  4. In verse 2, we see a true desire to do what?
  5. The woman, here, is the ________.
  6. Which churches was the Light of Jesus in?
  7. The "mother's house" is speaking of ______ ______________.
  8. What was the left hand doing in verse 3?
  9. What was the right hand blessing of verse 3?
  10. Who are the "daughters of Jerusalem" speaking of?
  11. Why were they weeping?
  12. What is the bride dressed in?
  13. The seal is like a __________.
  14. What is the love chapter in the Bible?
  15. How does Paul sum up verse 7?
  16. Who is verse 8 speaking of?
  17. Who is the "wall" in verse 9?
  18. What is special about cedar?
  19. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye ______________, _______________ always abounding in the work of the Lord.
  20. What is the "vineyard", in verse 11, showing?
  21. Where can you read more thoroughly about the vineyard?
  22. Who is speaking in verse 13.

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