1. Historically, at Jesus Christ's crucifixion and burial, Joseph of
Arimathea, and Nicodemus, and others, joined with His professed
disciples. By speaking of Jesus Christ, the bride does good not only to
her own soul, but to others
Compare the hypocritical use of similar words
2. gone down--Jerusalem was on a hill (answering to its moral elevation), and the gardens were at a little distance in the valleys
beds of spices--(balsam) which He Himself calls the "mountain of
the resting-place of His body amidst spices, and of His soul in
paradise, and now in heaven, where He stands as High Priest for ever.
Nowhere else in the Song is there mention of mountains of spices.
feed in . . . gardens--that is, in the churches, though He may have
withdrawn for a time from the individual believer: she implies an
invitation to the daughters of Jerusalem to enter His spiritual Church,
and become lilies, made white by His blood. He is gathering some lilies
now to plant on earth, others to transplant into heaven
Mr 4:28, 29;
3. In speaking of Jesus Christ to others, she regains her own
assurance. Literally, "I am for my beloved . . .
for me." Reverse order from
She now, after the season of darkness, grounds her convictions
on His love towards her, more than on hers towards Him
There, it was the young believer concluding that she was His,
from the sensible assurance that He was hers.
4. Tirzah--meaning "pleasant"
the royal city of one of the old Canaanite kings
and after the revolt of Israel, the royal city of its kings, before
Omri founded Samaria
(1Ki 16:8, 15).
No ground for assigning a later date than the time of Solomon to the
Song, as Tirzah was even in his time the capital of the north (Israel),
as Jerusalem was of the south (Judah).
Jerusalem--residence of the kings of Judah, as Tirzah, of
&c.; 122:1-3; 125:1, 2).
Loveliness, security, unity, and loyalty; also the union of Israel and
Judah in the Church
Eze 37:16, 17, 22;
Re 21:2, 12).
terrible--awe-inspiring. Not only armed as a city on the defensive,
but as an army on the offensive.
This is the way "the army"
"overcomes" not only enemies, but Jesus Christ Himself, with eyes fixed
represent the restoration of Jesus Christ to His Church at the
resurrection; His sending her forth as an army, with new powers
(Mr 16:15-18, 20);
His rehearsing the same instructions (see on
as when with them
overcome--literally, "have taken me by storm."
6. Not vain repetition of
So 4:1, 2.
The use of the same words shows His love unchanged after her temporary
8. threescore--indefinite number, as in
Not queens, &c., of Solomon, but witnesses of the espousals,
rulers of the earth contrasted with the saints, who, though many, are
but "one" bride
Lu 22:25, 26;
The one Bride is contrasted with the many wives whom Eastern kings had
in violation of the marriage law
9. Hollow professors, like half wives, have no part in the one bride.
only one of her mother--namely, "Jerusalem above"
The "little sister"
is not inconsistent with her being "the only one"; for that sister is
one with herself
As she exalted Him above all others
so He now her.
daughters . . . blessed her--
(Isa 8:18; 61:9;
So at her appearance after Pentecost
(Ac 4:13; 6:15; 24:25; 26:28).
10. The words expressing the admiration of the daughters.
as the morning--As yet she is not come to the fulness of her light
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
sun--Her light of justification is perfect, for it is His
The moon has less light, and has only one half illuminated; so the
bride's sanctification is as yet imperfect. Her future glory
The climax requires this to be applied to the starry and angelic hosts,
from which God is called Lord of Sabaoth. Her final glory
The Church Patriarchal, "the morning"; Levitical, "the moon";
Evangelical, "the sun"; Triumphant, "the bannered army"
11. The bride's words; for she everywhere is the narrator, and often
soliloquizes, which He never does. The first garden
was that of spring, full of flowers and grapes not yet ripe; the second,
autumn, with spices (which are always connected with the person of Jesus
Christ), and nothing unripe
&c.). The third here, of "nuts," from the previous autumn; the end of
winter, and verge of spring; the Church in the upper room
&c.), when one dispensation was just closed, the other not yet begun;
the hard shell of the old needing to be broken, and its inner sweet
kernel extracted [ORIGEN]
(Lu 24:27, 32);
waiting for the Holy Ghost to usher in spiritual spring. The
walnut is meant, with a bitter outer husk, a hard shell, and
sweet kernel. So the Word is distasteful to the careless; when
awakened, the sinner finds the letter hard, until the Holy Ghost
reveals the sweet inner spirit.
fruits of the Valley--MAURER translates,
"the blooming products of the river," that is, the plants
growing on the margin of the river flowing through the garden. She
goes to watch the first sproutings of the various plants.
12. Sudden outpourings of the Spirit on Pentecost
while the Church was using the means (answering to "the garden,"
Ammi-nadib--supposed to me one proverbial for swift driving. Similarly
Rather, "my willing people"
A willing chariot bore a "willing people"; or Nadib is the
Prince, Jesus Christ
She is borne in a moment into His presence
13. Entreaty of the daughters of Jerusalem to her, in her
chariot-like flight from them (compare
Shulamite--new name applied to her now for the first time. Feminine of Solomon, Prince of Peace; His bride, daughter of peace, accepting and
Historically, this name answers to the time when, not without a divine
design in it, the young Church met in Solomon's porch
(Ac 3:11; 5:12).
The entreaty, "Return, O Shulamite," answers to the people's desire to
keep Peter and John, after the lame man was healed, when they were
about to enter the temple. Their reply attributing the glory not to
themselves, but to Jesus Christ, answers to the bride's reply here,
"What will ye see" in me? "As it were," &c. She accepts the name
Shulamite, as truly describing her. But adds, that though "one"
she is nevertheless "two." Her glories are her Lord's, beaming through
(Eph 5:31, 32).
The two armies are the family of Jesus Christ in heaven, and that on
earth, joined and one with Him; the one militant, the other triumphant.
Or Jesus Christ and His ministering angels are one army, the Church the
other, both being one
(Joh 17:21, 22).
Allusion is made to Mahanaim (meaning two hosts), the scene of
Jacob's victorious conflict by prayer
(Ge 32:2, 9, 22-30).
Though she is peace, yet she has warfare here, between flesh and spirit
within and foes without; her strength, as Jacob's at Mahanaim, is Jesus
Christ and His host enlisted on her side by prayer; whence she obtains
those graces which raise the admiration of the daughters of