--THE BRIDE SEARCHING FOR AND FINDING THE KING.
1. The song of songs--The most excellent of all songs, Hebrew idiom
A foretaste on earth of the "new song" to be sung in glory
(Re 5:9; 14:3; 15:2-4).
Solomon's--"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 [MOODY STUART], but because his personality is hid 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 [ADELAIDE NEWTON]. 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.
2. him--abruptly. She names him not, as is natural to one whose heart
is full of some much desired friend: so Mary Magdalene at the sepulchre
as if everyone must know whom she means, the one chief object of
kiss--the token of peace from the Prince of Peace
of his mouth--marking the tenderest affection. For a king to permit
his hands, or even garment, to be kissed, was counted a great honor; but
that he should himself kiss another with his mouth is the greatest
honor. God had in times past spoken by the mouth of His prophets, who
had declared the Church's betrothal; the bride now longs for contact
with the mouth of the Bridegroom Himself
Heb 1:1, 2).
True of the Church before the first advent, longing for "the hope of
Israel," "the desire of all nations"; also the awakened soul longing
for the kiss of reconciliation; and further, the kiss that is
the token of the marriage contract
(Ho 2:19, 20),
and of friendship
Joh 14:21; 15:15).
thy love--Hebrew, "loves," namely, tokens of love, loving
wine--which makes glad "the heavy heart" of one ready to perish, so
that he "remembers his misery no more"
(Pr 31:6, 7).
So, in a "better" sense, Christ's love
(Hab 3:17, 18).
He gives the same praise to the bride's love, with the emphatic
addition, "How much"
Wine was created by His first miracle
and was the pledge given of His love at the last supper. The spiritual
wine is His blood and His spirit, the "new" and better wine of the
which we can never drink to "excess," as the other
3. Rather, "As regards the savor of thy ointments, it is good"
So 4:10, 11,
the Bridegroom reciprocates the praise of the bride in the same terms.
thy name--Christ's character and office as the "Anointed"
(Isa 9:6; 61:1),
as "the savor of ointments" are the graces that surround His
(Ps 45:7, 8).
in its fullest sense, applies to Him. The holy anointing oil of the
high priest, which it was death for anyone else to make (so
implies the exclusive preciousness of Messiah's name
(Ex 30:23-28, 31-38).
So Mary brake the box of precious ointment over Him, appropriately
the broken box typifying His body, which, when broken, diffused all
grace: compounded of various spices, &c.
(Col 1:19; 2:9);
of sweet odor
therefore--because of the manifestation of God's character in Christ
(1Jo 4:9, 19).
So the penitent woman
(Lu 7:37, 38, 47).
virgins--the pure in heart
The same Hebrew is translated, "thy hidden ones"
The "ointment" of the Spirit "poured forth" produces the "love of
4. (1) The cry of ancient Israel for Messiah, for example, Simeon,
Anna, &c. (2) The cry of an awakened soul for the drawing of the
Spirit, after it has got a glimpse of Christ's loveliness and its own
Draw me--The Father draws
The Son draws
"Draw" here, and "Tell"
reverently qualify the word "kiss"
me, we--No believer desires to go to heaven alone. We are converted
as individuals; we follow Christ as joined in a communion of saints
(Joh 1:41, 45).
Individuality and community meet in the bride.
run--Her earnestness kindles as she prays
Ps 119:32, 60).
after thee--not before
king . . . brought me into--
(Ps 45:14, 15;
He is the anointed Priest
chambers--Her prayer is answered even beyond her desires. Not only is
she permitted to run after Him, but is brought into the inmost
pavilion, where Eastern kings admitted none but the most intimate
(Es 4:11; 5:2;
The erection of the temple of Solomon was the first bringing of the
bride into permanent, instead of migratory, chambers of the King.
Christ's body on earth was the next
whereby believers are brought within the veil
Heb 10:19, 20).
Entrance into the closet for prayer is the first step. The earnest of
the future bringing into heaven
His chambers are the bride's also
There are various chambers, plural
be glad and rejoice--inward and outward rejoicing.
Php 4:1, 4).
Not in our spiritual frames
(Ps 30:6, 7).
remember--rather, "commemorate with praises"
The mere remembrance of spiritual joys is better than the
present enjoyment of carnal ones
(Ps 4:6, 7).
upright--rather, "uprightly," "sincerely"
Peter (Joh 21:17);
or "deservedly" [MAURER].
5. black--namely, "as the tents of Kedar," equivalent to blackness
She draws the image from the black goatskins with which the Scenite
Arabs ("Kedar" was in Arabia-Petræa) cover their tents
(contrasted with the splendid state tent in which the King was
awaiting His bride according to Eastern custom); typifying the darkness
of man's natural state. To feel this, and yet also feel one's self in
Jesus Christ "comely as the curtains of Solomon," marks the believer
"I am chief"; so she says not merely, "I was," but "I am";
still black in herself, but comely through His comeliness
put upon her
curtains--first, the hangings and veil in the temple of Solomon
then, also, the "fine linen which is the righteousness of saints"
the white wedding garment provided by Jesus Christ
Col 1:28; 2:10;
Historically, the dark tents of Kedar represent the Gentile
&c.). As the vineyard at the close is transferred from the Jews, who
had not kept their own, to the Gentiles, so the Gentiles are introduced
at the commencement of the Song; for they were among the earliest
enquirers after Jesus Christ
the wise men from the East (Arabia, or Kedar).
daughters of Jerusalem--professors, not the bride, or "the virgins,"
yet not enemies; invited to gospel blessings
(So 3:10, 11);
so near to Jesus Christ as not to be unlikely to find Him
desirous to seek Him with her
So 6:13; 7:1, 5, 8).
So 7:8, 9,
the bride's Beloved becomes their Beloved; not, however, of
all of them
Lu 23:27, 28).
6. She feels as if her blackness was so great as to be gazed at by
She is to forget "her own people and her father's house," that is, the
worldly connections of her unregenerate state
they had maltreated her
(Lu 15:15, 16).
Children of the same mother, but not the same father [MAURER],
They made her a common keeper of vineyards, whereby the sun looked
upon, that is, burnt her; thus she did "not keep her own" vineyard,
that is, fair beauty. So the world, and the soul
The believer has to watch against the same danger
So he will be able, instead of the self-reproach here, to say as in
7. my soul loveth--more intense than "the virgins" and "the upright
(So 1:3, 4;
To carry out the design of the allegory, the royal encampment is here
represented as moving from place to place, in search of green pastures,
under the Shepherd King
The bride, having first enjoyed communion with him in the pavilion, is
willing to follow Him into labors and dangers; arising from all
this distinguishes her from the formalist
feedest--tendest thy flock
1Pe 2:25; 5:4;
No single type expresses all the office of Jesus Christ;
hence arises the variety of diverse images used to portray the
manifold aspects of Him: these would be quite incongruous, if the Song
referred to the earthly Solomon. Her intercourse with Him is peculiar.
She hears His voice, and addresses none but Himself. Yet it is through
a veil; she sees Him not
(Job 23:8, 9).
If we would be fed, we must follow the Shepherd through the
whole breadth of His Word, and not stay on one spot
makest . . . to rest--distinct from "feedest"; periods of rest are
vouchsafed after labor
(Isa 4:6; 49:10;
Communion in private must go along with public following of Him.
turneth aside--rather one veiled, that is, as a harlot, not His
[GESENIUS]; or as a mourner
[WEISS]; or as one unknown
[MAURER]. All imply
estrangement from the Bridegroom. She feels estranged even among
Christ's true servants, answering to "thy companions"
so long as she has not Himself present. The opposite spirit to
8. If--she ought to have known
(Joh 14:8, 9).
The confession of her ignorance and blackness
leads Him to call her "fairest"
Her jealousy of letting even "His companions" take the place of Himself
led her too far. He directs her to follow them, as they follow Him
Heb 6:10, 12