Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
1. He had been a brother already. Why, then, this prayer here?
It refers to the time after His resurrection, when the previous
outward intimacy with Him was no longer allowed, but it was
implied it should be renewed at the second coming
For this the Church here prays; meanwhile she enjoys inward
spiritual communion with Him. The last who ever "kissed" Jesus Christ
on earth was the traitor Judas. The bride's return with the King to her
mother's house answers to
after the mission to Samaria. The rest spoken of
that sucked . . . mother--a brother born of the same mother; the
2. Her desire to bring Him into her home circle
who would instruct me--rather, "thou wouldest instruct me," namely,
how I might best please thee
(Isa 11:2, 3; 50:4;
Joh 14:26; 16:13).
spiced wine--seasoned with aromatic perfumes. Jesus Christ ought to
have our choicest gifts. Spices are never introduced in the song in His
absence; therefore the time of His return from "the mountain of spices"
is contemplated. The cup of betrothal was given by Him at the last
supper; the cup or marriage shall be presented by her at His return
Till then the believer often cannot feel towards, or speak of, Him as
he would wish.
3, 4. The "left and right hand," &c., occurred only once actually
and here optatively. Only at His first manifestation did the Church
palpably embrace Him; at His second coming there shall be again
sensible communion with Him. The rest in
which is a spiritual realization of the wish in
and the charge not to disturb it, close the first, second, and fourth
canticles; not the third, as the bridegroom there takes charge Himself;
nor the fifth, as, if repose formed its close, we might mistake
the present state for our rest. The broken, longing close, like that of
the whole Bible
reminds us we are to be waiting for a Saviour to come. On "daughters of
Jerusalem," see on
CALL OF THE
GENTILES TO THE
5. Who is this--Words of the daughters of Jerusalem, that is, the
churches of Judea; referring to Paul, on his return from Arabia ("the
wilderness"), whither he had gone after conversion
I raised thee . . . she . . . bare thee--
The first words of Jesus Christ to the bride since her going to the
garden of nuts
(So 6:9, 10);
so His appearance to Paul is the only one since His ascension,
is not an address of Him as visible: her reply implies He is not
Spiritually, she was found in the moral wilderness
but now she is "coming up from" it
especially in the last stage of her journey, her conscious weakness
casting itself the more wholly on Jesus Christ
Found ruined under the forbidden tree
restored under the shadow of Jesus Christ crucified, "the green tree"
fruit-"bearing" by the cross
"Born again by the Holy Ghost" "there"
In this verse, her dependence, in the similar verse,
&c., His omnipotence to support her, are brought out
6. Implying approaching absence of the Bridegroom.
seal--having her name and likeness engraven on it. His Holy Priesthood
also in heaven
(Ex 28:6-12, 15-30;
"his heart" there answering to "thine heart" here, and "two shoulders"
to "arm." (Compare
with Hag 2:23).
But the Holy Ghost
(Eph 1:13, 14).
she was "leaning" on Him, that is, her arm on His arm, her head
on His bosom; so she prays now that before they part, her
impression may be engraven both on His heart and His arm,
answering to His love and His power
love is strong as death--
This their love unto death flows from His
(Joh 10:15; 15:13).
jealousy . . . the grave--Zealous love, jealous of all that would
come between the soul and Jesus Christ
Ps 106:30, 31;
Lu 9:60; 14:26;
cruel--rather, "unyielding" hard, as the grave will not let go those
whom it once holds
a most vehement flame--literally, "the fire-flame of Jehovah"
Nowhere else is God's name found in the Song. The zeal that
burnt in Jesus Christ
Lu 12:49, 50)
kindled in His followers
7. waters--in contrast with the "coals of fire"
cannot quench love
Re 12:15, 16).
Our many provocations have not quenched His love
if . . . give all the substance . . .
contemned--Nothing short of Jesus Christ Himself, not even heaven
without Him, can satisfy the saint
Satan offers the world, as to Jesus Christ
so to the saint, in vain
(1Jo 2:15-17; 5:4).
Nothing but our love in turn can satisfy Him
8. The Gentile Church
"We," that is, the Hebrew Church, which heretofore admitted Gentiles to
communion, only by becoming Judaic proselytes. Now first
idolatrous Gentiles are admitted directly
Generally, the saint's anxiety for other souls
Joh 4:28, 29).
no breasts--neither faith nor love as yet
which "come by hearing" of Him who first loved us. Not yet fit to be His
bride, and mother of a spiritual offspring.
what shall we do--the chief question in the early Church at the first
How shall "the elder brother" treat the "younger," already received by
In the day . . . spoken for--that is, when she shall be
sought in marriage
namely, by Jesus Christ, the heavenly bridegroom.
9. wall . . . door--the very terms employed as to the Gentile question
If she be a wall in Zion, founded on Jesus Christ
we will not "withstand God"
(Ac 11:17; 15:8-11).
But if so, we must not "build"
on her "wood, hay, stubble"
that is, Jewish rites, &c., but "a palace of silver," that is, all the
highest privileges of church communion
Image from the splendid turrets "built" on the "walls" of Jerusalem,
and flanking the "door," or gateway. The Gentile Church is the "door,"
the type of catholic accessibleness
but it must be not a mere thoroughfare but furnished with a wooden
framework, so as not merely to admit, but also to safely enclose: cedar
is fragrant, beautiful, and enduring.
10. The Gentile Church's joy at its free admission to gospel
(Ac 15:30, 31).
She is one wall in the spiritual temple of the Holy Ghost, the Hebrew
Church is the other; Jesus Christ, the common foundation, joins them
breasts . . . towers--alluding to the silver palace, which the bridal
virgins proposed to build on her
"Breasts" of consolation
faith and love
opposed to her previous state, "no breasts"
Eze 16:46, 61
was fulfilled, both Samaria and the Gentiles being joined to the Jewish
favour--rather, "peace." The Gentile Church too is become the Shulamite
or peace-enjoying bride of Solomon, that is, Jesus Christ, the
Prince of Peace
Reject not those whom God accepts
Ac 15:8, 9).
Rather, superadd to such every aid and privilege
11. The joint Church speaks of Jesus Christ's vineyard. Transference
of it from the Jews, who rendered not the fruits, as is implied by the
silence respecting any, to the Gentiles
Baal-hamon--equivalent to the owner of a multitude; so Israel in
"a very fruitful hill"
abounding in privileges, as in numbers.
thousand pieces--namely, silverlings, or shekels. The vineyard
had a thousand vines probably; a vine at a silverling
referring to this passage.
12. "mine" by grant of the true Solomon. Not merely "let out to
keepers," as in the Jewish dispensation of works, but "mine" by
grace. This is "before me," that is, in my power [MAURER]. But though no longer under constraint of
"keeping" the law as a mere letter and covenant of works, love
to Jesus Christ will constrain her the more freely to render all to
after having paid what justice and His will require should be paid to
(1Co 7:29-31; 9:14).
"Before me" may also mean "I will never lose sight of it" (contrast
[MOODY STUART]. She will not
keep it for herself, though so freely given to her, but for His use and
Ro 6:15; 14:7-9;
Or the "two hundred" may mean a double tithe (two-tenths of the
whole paid back by Jesus Christ) as the reward of grace for our
surrender of all (the thousand) to Him
then she and "those that keep" are the same [ADELAIDE NEWTON]. But Jesus Christ
pays back not merely two tithes, but His all for our all
13. Jesus Christ's address to her; now no longer visibly present.
Once she "had not kept" her vineyard
now she "dwells" in it, not as its owner, but its superintendent under
Jesus Christ, with vinedressers ("companions"), for example, Paul, &c.
(Ac 15:25, 26),
(So 8:11, 12);
these ought to obey her when she obeys Jesus Christ. Her voice in
prayer and praise is to be heard continually by Jesus Christ, if her
voice before men is to be effective
Ac 6:4; 13:2, 3).
14. (See on
As she began with longing for His first coming
so she ends with praying for His second coming
Php 3:20, 21;
MOODY STUART makes the roe
upon spices to be the musk deer. As there are four gardens, so four
mountains, which form not mere images, as Gilead, Carmel, &c., but part
of the structure of the Song: (1) Bether, or division
God's justice dividing us from God. (2) Those "of leopards"
sin, the world, and Satan. (3) That "of myrrh and aloes"
(So 4:6, 14),
the sepulchre of Calvary. (4) Those "of spices," here answering to "the
hill of frankincense"
where His soul was for the three days of His death, and heaven,
where He is a High Priest now, offering incense for us on the fragrant
mountain of His own finished work
(Heb 4:14, 7:25;
Re 8:3, 4);
thus He surmounts the other three mountains, God's justice, our sin,
death. The mountain of spices is as much greater than our sins, as
heaven is higher than earth
The abrupt, unsatisfied close with the yearning prayer for His
visible coming shows that the marriage is future, and that to
wait eagerly for it is our true attitude