View Song of Songs 4 in the note window.
Christ commends his church, for her beauty, ver. 1 - 7.
He calls her to go with him, ver. 8.
Manifests his love and affection for her, ver. 9.
A farther commendation of her, ver. 10 - 15.
She prays for the effectual operation of his Holy Spirit on her to
make her fruitful, ver. 16.
1: Behold - These words are evidently spoken by the bridegroom.
Fair - Being clothed with my righteousness, and adorned with all the
graces of my spirit. Fair - He repeats it both to confirm his assertion,
and to shew the fervency of his affection. Dove's eyes - Whereas the
beauty of the spouse is here described in her several parts, we need
not labour much about the application of each particular to some distinct
grace of the church, this being the chief design of the description to
shew that compleatness and absolute perfection which the church hath in
part received, and shall more fully receive in the future life.
Goats - Which in these parts was of extraordinary length, and softness,
and comeliness. Mount Gilead - A very fruitful place, fit for breeding
all sorts of cattle, and especially of goats, because it was an hilly
and woody country.
2: A flock - Numerous, and placed in due order. Even - Smooth and
even, as also clean and white. Twins - Which seems to denote the two
rows of teeth. Barren - Not one tooth is lacking.
3: Thy speech - Which is added as another ingredient of an amiable
person; and to explain the foregoing metaphor. The discourse of believers
is edifying and comfortable, and acceptable to God, and to serious men.
Temples - Under which he comprehends the cheeks. Pomegranate - In which
there is a lovely mixture of red and white.
4: Thy neck - This may represent the grace of faith, by which we are
united to Christ, as the body is to the head by the neck. By which
Christians receive their spiritual food, and consequently their strength
and ability for action. The tower - Upright, firm, and strong; and
moreover adorned with chains of gold or pearl, or the like ornaments.
Of David - Some tower built by David, when he repaired, and enlarged
his royal city, and used by him as an armory. Bucklers - Such as are
reserved for the use of mighty men. A thousand is put indefinitely
for a great number.
5: Lillies - In the fields where lillies grow.
6: Until - These words are uttered by the bride, (So 2:17), and
here returned by the bridegroom as an answer to that request. And this
place may be understood of the day of glory, when all shadows and ordinances
shall cease. To the hill - To my church upon earth, which was typified
by the mountain of Moriah and the temple upon it. This in prophetic
writings is called a mountain, and may well be called a mountain of
myrrh and frankincense, both for the acceptable services which are there
offered to God, and for the precious gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit,
which are of a sweet smelling savour to God and men. Thus Christ directs
believers, where they may find him, namely in his church and ordinances.
8: Come - Unto the mountains of myrrh. Look - To the place to which
I invite thee to go, which from those high mountains thou mayest easily
behold. Of Leopards - From these or other mountains, which are inhabited
by lions and leopards. This seems to be added as an argument to move
the spouse to go with him, because the places where now she was, were
not only barren, but also dangerous.
9: My sister - So he calls her to shew the greatness of his love,
which cannot sufficiently be expressed by any one relation.
With one - With one glance. One chain - With one of those other graces
and perfections wherewith thou art adorned.
10: Fair - How amiable and acceptable to me. Ointments - Of the
gifts and graces of God's Spirit, wherewith thou art anointed.
11: Thy lips - Thy speeches both to me in prayer and praises, and to
men for their edification, are highly acceptable to me. Milk - Words more
sweet and comfortable than honey or milk. Garments - Of that righteousness
wherewith I have adorned thee. Lebanon - Which was very sweet and grateful
in regard of the great numbers of sweet - smelling spices and trees which
grow on that mountain.
12: A garden - For order and beauty, for pleasant walks, and flowers,
and fruits. Inclosed - Defended by the care of my providence: and reserved
for my proper use. Shut up - To preserve it from all pollution, and to
reserve it for the use of its owner, for which reason, springs were shut
up in those countries where water was scarce and precious.
13: Plants - Believers, which are planted in thee, are like the plants
or fruits of an orchard, which are pleasant to the eye, and delicious to
the taste or smell, whereby he signifies the variety and excellency of
the gifts and graces in the several members of the church.
Spikenard - Which he mentions here with camphire, and in the next verse
with saffron, because it is mixed with both these, and being so mixed,
yields. the more grateful smell.
14: All trees - Such trees as produce frankincense.
15: Living water - Though my spouse be in some sort a fountain shut
up, yet that is not so to be understood as if she kept her waters to
herself, for she is like a fountain of living or running water, which
flows into gardens, and makes its flowers and plants to flourish. The
church conveys those waters of life which she receives from Christ to
particular believers. Streams - Like those sweet and refreshing rivers
which flow down from mount Lebanon, of which Jordan is one.
16: North wind - These winds may signify the several dispensations of
God's spirit. My garden - This verse is spoken by the spouse. And he
calls the garden both hers and his, because of that oneness which is
between them, (So 2:16).
May flow - That my graces may be exercised. Let - Let Christ afford his
gracious presence to his church. And eat - And let him delight himself
in that service which is given him, both by the religious worship, and
by the holy conversation of his people.