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  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - SONG OF SOLOMON 1
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    CHAPTER 1

    So 1:1-17. CANTICLE I.-- (So 1:2-2:7) --THE BRIDE SEARCHING FOR AND FINDING THE KING.

    1. The song of songs--The most excellent of all songs, Hebrew idiom (Ex 29:37; De 10:14). 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 (Joh 20:15), as if everyone must know whom she means, the one chief object of her desire (Ps 73:25; Mt 13:44-46; Php 3:7,8).
    - kiss--the token of peace from the Prince of Peace (Lu 15:20); "our Peace" (Ps 85:10; Col 1:21; Eph 2:14).
    - 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 (Job 23:12; Lu 4:22; 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 (1Sa 20:41; Joh 14:21; 15:15).
    - thy love--Hebrew, "loves," namely, tokens of love, loving blandishments.
    - 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" (So 4:10). Wine was created by His first miracle (Joh 2:1-11), 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 kingdom (Mt 26:29), which we can never drink to "excess," as the other (Eph 5:18; compare Ps 23:5; Isa 55:1).

    3. Rather, "As regards the savor of thy ointments, it is good" [MAURER]. In 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 person (Ps 45:7, 8). Ec 7:1, 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 Ac 4:12), 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 (Mr 14:5), 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 (Eph 5:2).
    - poured-- (Isa 53:12; Ro 5:5).
    - 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 (2Co 11:2; Re 14:4). The same Hebrew is translated, "thy hidden ones" (Ps 83:3). The "ointment" of the Spirit "poured forth" produces the "love of Christ" (Ro 5:5).

    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 helplessness.
    - Draw me--The Father draws (Joh 6:44). The Son draws (Jer 31:3; Ho 11:4; Joh 12:32). "Draw" here, and "Tell" (So 1:7), reverently qualify the word "kiss" (So 1:2).
    - 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 (Isa 40:31; Ps 119:32, 60).
    - after thee--not before (Joh 10:4).
    - king . . . brought me into-- (Ps 45:14, 15; Joh 10:16). He is the anointed Priest (So 1:3); King (So 1:4).
    - 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 friends (Es 4:11; 5:2; Ps 27:5). 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 (Joh 2:21), whereby believers are brought within the veil (Eph 2:6; Heb 10:19, 20). Entrance into the closet for prayer is the first step. The earnest of the future bringing into heaven (Joh 14:3). His chambers are the bride's also (Isa 26:20). There are various chambers, plural (Joh 14:2).
    - be glad and rejoice--inward and outward rejoicing.
    - in thee-- (Isa 61:10; Php 4:1, 4). Not in our spiritual frames (Ps 30:6, 7).
    - remember--rather, "commemorate with praises" (Isa 63:7). The mere remembrance of spiritual joys is better than the present enjoyment of carnal ones (Ps 4:6, 7).
    - upright--rather, "uprightly," "sincerely" (Ps 58:1; Ro 12:9); so Nathanael (Joh 1:47); Peter (Joh 21:17); or "deservedly" [MAURER].

    5. black--namely, "as the tents of Kedar," equivalent to blackness (Ps 120:5). 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 (Ro 7:18, &c.; 8:1); 1Ti 1:15, "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 (Eze 16:14).
    - curtains--first, the hangings and veil in the temple of Solomon (Eze 16:10); then, also, the "fine linen which is the righteousness of saints" (Re 19:8), the white wedding garment provided by Jesus Christ (Isa 61:10; Mt 22:11; 1Co 1:30; Col 1:28; 2:10; Re 7:14). Historically, the dark tents of Kedar represent the Gentile Church (Isa 60:3-7, &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 (Mt 2:1-12): 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 (So 5:8); desirous to seek Him with her (So 6:1; compare So 6:13; 7:1, 5, 8). In So 7:8, 9, the bride's Beloved becomes their Beloved; not, however, of all of them (So 8:4; compare Lu 23:27, 28).

    6. She feels as if her blackness was so great as to be gazed at by all.
    - mother's children-- (Mt 10:36). She is to forget "her own people and her father's house," that is, the worldly connections of her unregenerate state (Ps 45:10); they had maltreated her (Lu 15:15, 16). Children of the same mother, but not the same father [MAURER], (Joh 8:41-44). 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 (Mt 16:26; Lu 9:25). The believer has to watch against the same danger (1Co 9:27). So he will be able, instead of the self-reproach here, to say as in So 8:12.

    7. my soul loveth--more intense than "the virgins" and "the upright love thee" (So 1:3, 4; Mt 22:37). 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 (Ps 23:1-6). The bride, having first enjoyed communion with him in the pavilion, is willing to follow Him into labors and dangers; arising from all absorbing love (Lu 14:26); this distinguishes her from the formalist (Joh 10:27; Re 14:4).
    - feedest--tendest thy flock (Isa 40:11; Heb 13:20; 1Pe 2:25; 5:4; Re 7:17). 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 alone.
    - makest . . . to rest--distinct from "feedest"; periods of rest are vouchsafed after labor (Isa 4:6; 49:10; Eze 34:13-15). Communion in private must go along with public following of Him.
    - turneth aside--rather one veiled, that is, as a harlot, not His true bride (Ge 38:15), [GESENIUS]; or as a mourner (2Sa 15:30), [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" (Lu 22:28), so long as she has not Himself present. The opposite spirit to 1Co 3:4.

    8. If--she ought to have known (Joh 14:8, 9). The confession of her ignorance and blackness (So 1:5) leads Him to call her "fairest" (Mt 12:20). Her jealousy of letting even "His companions" take the place of Himself (So 1:7) led her too far. He directs her to follow them, as they follow Him (1Co 11:1; Heb 6:10, 12

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