Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
1. thy feet--rather, "thy goings"
Evident allusion to
"How beautiful . . . are the feet of him
. . . that publisheth peace" (Shulamite,
shoes--Sandals are richly jewelled in the East
She is evidently "on the mountains," whither she was wafted
above the daughters of Jerusalem, who therefore portray her
daughter--of God the Father, with whom Jesus Christ is one
"children of (the) God" (of peace), equivalent to Shulamite
as well as bride of Jesus Christ.
prince's--therefore princely herself, freely giving the word of life
to others, not sparing her "feet," as in
To act on the offensive is defensive to ourselves.
joints--rather, "the rounding"; the full graceful curve of the
hips in the female figure; like the rounding of a
necklace (as the Hebrew for "jewels" means). Compare with
the English Version,
Or, applying it to the girdle binding together the robes round the hips
Eph 2:10, 22; 5:29, 30, 32).
2. navel--rather, "girdle-clasp," called from the part of the person
underneath. The "shoes"
prove that dress is throughout presupposed on all parts where it
is usually worn. She is "a bride adorned for her husband"; the
"uncomely parts," being most adorned
The girdle-clasp was adorned with red rubies resembling the "round
goblet" (crater or mixer) of spice-mixed wine (not "liquor,"
The wine of the "New Testament in His blood"
The spiritual exhilaration by it was mistaken for that caused by new
belly--that is, the vesture on it. As in
Ps 45:13, 14,
gold and needlework compose the bride's attire, so golden-colored
"wheat" and white "lilies" here. The ripe grain, in token of harvest
joy, used to be decorated with lilies; so the accumulated spiritual
(Joh 6:35; 12:24),
free from chaff, not fenced with thorns, but made attractive by lilies
Ac 2:46, 47; 5:13, 14,
in common partaking of it). Associated with the exhilarating wine cup
3. The daughters of Jerusalem describe her in the same terms as
Jesus Christ in
The testimonies of heaven and earth coincide.
twins--faith and love.
4. tower of ivory--In
Jesus Christ saith, "a tower of David builded for an armory." Strength
and conquest are the main thought in His description; here, beauty and
polished whiteness; contrast
fishpools--seen by BURCKHARDT, clear
deep, quiet, and full
(1Co 2:10, 15).
Heshbon--east of Jordan, residence of the Amorite king, Sihon
&c.), afterwards held by Gad.
Bath-rabbim--"daughter of a multitude"; a crowded thoroughfare. Her
are called by Jesus Christ, "doves' eyes," waiting on Him. But here,
looked on by the daughters or Jerusalem, they are compared to a placid
lake. She is calm even amidst the crowd
tower of Lebanon--a border-fortress, watching the hostile Damascus.
Towards Jesus Christ her face was full of holy shame
towards spiritual foes, like a watchtower
elevated, so that she looks not up from earth to heaven, but down from
heaven to earth. If we retain "nose," discernment of spiritual
fragrance is meant.
5. upon thee--the headdress "upon" her.
Carmel--signifying a well-cultivated field
He is compared to majestic Lebanon; she here, to fruitful
Carmel. Her headdress, or crown
Also the souls won by her
(1Th 2:19, 20),
a token of her fruitfulness.
As applied to hair, it expresses the glossy splendor of black hair
(literally, "pendulous hair") so much admired in the East
While the King compares her hair to the flowering hair of goats (the
token of her subjection), the daughters of Jerusalem compare it
to royal purple.
But MAURER translates here, "flowing ringlets";
with these, as with "thongs" (so LEE, from the
Arabic translates it) "the King is held" bound
Her purple crowns of martyrdom especially captivated the King,
appearing from His galleries
(Ac 7:55, 56).
As Samson's strength was in his locks
Here first the daughters see the King themselves.
6. Nearer advance of the daughters to the Church
(Ac 2:47; 5:13,
end). Love to her is the first token of love to Him
delights--fascinating charms to them and to the King
Hephzi-bah). Hereafter, too
7. palm tree--
The sure sign of water near
clusters--not of dates, as MOODY STUART thinks. The parallelism
"clusters of the vine," shows it is here clusters of grapes. Vines were
often trained (termed "wedded") on other trees.
8. The daughters are no longer content to admire, but resolve to lay
hold of her fruits, high though these be. The palm stem is bare for a
great height, and has its crown of fruit-laden boughs at the summit. It
is the symbol of triumphant joy
the vine--Jesus Christ
nose--that is, breath; the Holy Ghost breathed into her nostrils by Him, whose "mouth is most sweet"
apples--citrons, off the tree to which He is likened
9. roof of thy mouth--thy voice
best wine--the new wine of the gospel kingdom
poured out at Pentecost
(Ac 2:4, 13, 17).
for my beloved--
Here first the daughters call Him theirs, and become one with the
bride. The steps successively are
where they misjudge her
where the possibility of their finding Him, before she regained Him, is
(So 6:1; 7:6, 9;
causing . . . asleep to speak--
Mr 5:19, 20;
Jesus Christ's first miracle turned water into "good wine kept until
just as the Gospel revives those asleep and dying under the law
Ro 7:9, 10, 24, 25; 8:1).
10. Words of the daughters of Jerusalem and the bride, now united
They are mentioned again distinctly
as fresh converts were being added from among enquirers, and these
needed to be charged not to grieve the Spirit.
his desire is toward me--strong assurance. He so desires us, as to
give us sense of His desire toward us
(Ps 139:17, 18;
11. field--the country. "The tender grape (MAURER translates, flowers) and vines" occurred before
But here she prepares for Him
all kinds of fruit old and new; also, she anticipates, in going forth to
seek them, communion with Him in "loves." "Early" implies immediate
earnestness. "The villages" imply distance from Jerusalem. At Stephen's
death the disciples were scattered from it through Judea and Samaria,
preaching the word
Jesus Christ was with them, confirming the word with miracles. They
gathered the old fruits, of which Jesus Christ had sown the seed
as well as new fruits.
lodge--forsaking home for Jesus Christ's sake
Assurance fosters diligence, not indolence.
13. mandrakes--Hebrew, dudaim, from a root meaning "to love";
love apples, supposed to exhilarate the spirits and excite love. Only
Atropa mandragora of LINNÆUS; its
leaves like lettuce, but dark green, flowers purple, root forked, fruit
of the size of an apple, ruddy and sweet-smelling, gathered in wheat
harvest, that is, in May (Mariti, ii. 195).
gates--the entrance to the kiosk or summer house. Love "lays up" the
best of everything for the person beloved
thereby really, though unconsciously, laying up for itself
(1Ti 6:18, 19).