The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleSong of Solomon 5:7
The watchmen that went about the city, found me…
city and the watchmen in it, and of their finding the church,
(See Gill on 3:2);
(See Gill on 3:3);
they smote me, they wounded me;
taking her for a night walker, they
gave her ill words and hard blows this was not very becoming watchmen
to use those of the city in this manner; for, as Plato F12 says,
keepers of cities should be mild and gentle towards their own, but to
enemies rough and severe: if these were true ministers of Christ, this
they did by reproaching her for and upbraiding her with her
lukewarmness and unkindness to Christ, sharply reproving her for them;
and, instead of comforting her with the doctrines of grace, cut and
wounded her with the terrors of the law; or else hearing some sweet
discourses from them concerning the person and grace of Christ, her
heart was smitten and wounded therewith; and hence she charges the
daughters of Jerusalem, in (Song of Solomon 5:8) , that if they found her beloved,
that they would tell him, that she was "sick of" or "wounded with
love": but as they rather appear to be false teachers, since the church
would have shunned them, nor did she make any application to them, nor
any inquiry of them about her beloved, and met with cruel and unkind
usage from them, they may be said to smite and wounded her by their
false doctrines and scandalous lives, by the divisions they made, and
by the censures and reproaches they cast upon her, the odious names
they gave her, and by stirring up the civil magistrates against her;
all which agree with antichristian ministers;
the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me;
there were two
sorts of watchmen in a city, one that went about to see that all was
right and safe within; and others placed on the walls of it, who kept
their stand, and whose business it was to give notice of an enemy
approaching, and to defend the city from outward attacks upon it; and
such are the ministers of the word, (Isaiah 62:6) ; but 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, (Isaiah 3:23)
(Genesis 24:65) (1 Corinthians 11:6-10) ; 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, as Gregory Nyssene F13 calls the veil here: and such a veil was
given by the bridegroom with the Romans, and was called "flammeum",
from its being of a flame colour F14, either yellow or red, expressive
of the blushing modesty of the newly married bride F15; and the like
custom might obtain with the Jews.
F12 De Legibus, l. 2. p. 602.
F13 Homil. 12. in Cant. p. 651.
F14 "Non timidum nuptae leviter tinctura padorem, lutea demissos
velarunt flammea vultus", Lucan. Pharsal. l. 2. v. 360, 361. Vid.
Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 21. c. 8. "Uti tibi corycio glomerarem flammea
luto", Virgil. Cyris. Vid. Barthii ad Claudian. Fescen. Ode 4. v. 4.
F15 Vid. Chartarium de Imag. Deorurn, p. 84, 89. & Kipping. Antiqu.
Roman. l. 4. c. 2. p. 693, 694.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 5:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=so&chapter=005&verse=007>. 1999.