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The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible

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 Verse 15
Chapter 3
Chapter 5

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Song of Solomon 4:16

Awake, O north wind
These words, according to some F12, are the words of the church continued, praying for the spirit; to which sense the order and connection of the words seem to incline; though the language suits best with Christ, who has the command of the winds, and a right and property in the garden, the church: nor does it seem so agreeable, that the church should petition Christ to let loose the north wind upon her, if by that are meant afflictive dispensations of Providence; but agrees well enough with Christ, since these come not without his will and order, and by him made to work together for good; by which he nips the corruptions of his people, tries their graces, and causes them to come forth into exercise: though some F13 think this is a command to the north wind to remove, and be gone, and blow no longer, since it was spring, (Song of Solomon 2:11) ; and would be harmful to the plants in the garden; and the verb "blow" is singular, and only in construction with the south wind; and, besides, winds diametrically opposite F14 cannot blow together in the same horizon, with a continued blast: though others F15 are of opinion, that both winds are designed, being both useful to gardens; the one to scatter the clouds, and make the air clear and wholesome, and restrain the luxuriance of the plants; and the other, being moist and warming, of use to bring plants and fruits to maturity; and both may design the Spirit of God, in his different operations and effects, through the law and the terrors of it, and by the Gospel and its comforting doctrines; and come, thou south, blow upon my garden;
the church, Christ's property, as she asserts in the latter part of the verse: the Spirit of God is intended by the "south", or south wind; who is compared to the "wind", because it blows like that, freely, and as he pleases, when, where, and on whom, and imperceptibly, powerfully, and irresistibly, (John 3:8) ; and to the "south wind", because it is a warm wind, brings serenity, and makes fruitful with showers of rain: so the Spirit of God warms the cold heart of a sinner; thaws his frozen soul, and comforts with the discoveries of divine love; brings quietness and peace into the conscience; and makes fruitful in grace and good works, by causing the rain of Gospel doctrines to descend and distil upon men. The end to be answered is, [that] the spices thereof may flow out;
the spices in the garden, the odoriferous plants, might emit a fragrant smell; though Virgil F16 represents the south wind as harmful to flowers; so it might be in Italy, where it dried them up, as Servius on the place observes; and yet be useful to them in Palestine, where it blew from the sea, and is sometimes so called, (Psalms 107:3) . Spices denote the graces of believers, rare, precious, and odorous; and their "flowing out" the exercise of them, their evidence, increase, and the ripening of them; when they diffuse a sweet odour to Christ and others, and make it delightful to walk in his garden; as it is to walk in one after a delightful shower of rain, and when the wind gently blows upon it. And hence what is prayed for being granted, the church speaks again, and invites Christ, saying; let my beloved come into his garden;
which "coming" is to be understood, not of Christ's first, nor of his second coming; but of his spiritual coming, to visit his people, grant his presence, and manifest his love; which is very desirable by them; and, when granted, is reckoned a great favour, and is an instance of the condescending grace of Christ, (John 14:22) ; the church is "his garden" by his own choice, his Father's gift, the purchase of his blood, and the power of his grace: and here he is invited to come, and eat his pleasant fruits;
meaning either the graces of the Spirit, which are his fruits; and called Christ's, because they come from him, and are exercised on him, and he is the author and finisher of them: or the good works of believers, which are performed by virtue of union to him, and abiding in him; are done in his strength, and designed for his glory: and both are "pleasant", that is, well pleasing and acceptable to him; the graces of the Spirit, when in exercise, as appears from (Song of Solomon 4:9,10) ; and good works, when done in faith, from a principle of love, and to his glory: and he may be said to eat them when he expresses his well pleasedness with them, and acceptation of them.


F12 So Cocceius, Marckius, Michaelis.
F13 Foliot, Sanctius, & Tig. Not. in loc. So Ambrose is Psal. i. 5. p. 686.
F14 Aristot. Meteorolog. l. 2. c. 6.
F15 Jarchi & Aben Ezra in loc.
F16 "Floribus austrum perditus", Bucolic. Eclog. 2. v. 58.


Copyright Statement
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

Bibliography Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 4:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <>. 1999.


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