Bible Commentaries

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Song of Solomon 3


The bride relates to the chorus what appears to be an imaginary occurrence transacted in a dream (like that of Song of Song of Solomon 5:2-8 ). The Targum takes this section to be typical of the wanderings of Israel after the Holy One in the wilderness, as the next Song of Song of Solomon 3:6-11 is made to represent their entrance into the land.

Verse 1

By night - i. e., In the night-hours.

Verse 3

The city - One near the bride‘s native home, possibly Shunem.

Verse 4

I held him - This begins the fourth stanza. The bride‘s mother is mentioned again in Song of Song of Solomon 6:9 ; Song of Song of Solomon 8:2 .

Verse 5

See Song of Song of Solomon 2:7 note.

Verses 6-11

The principal and central action of the Song; the bride‘s entry into the city of David, and her marriage there with the king. Jewish interpreters regard this part of the poem as symbolizing the “first” entrance of the Church of the Old Testament into the land of promise, and her spiritual espousals, and communion with the King of kings, through the erection of Solomon‘s Temple and the institution of its acceptable worship. Christian fathers, in a like spirit, make most things here refer to the espousals of the Church with Christ in the Passion and Resurrection, or the communion of Christian souls with Him in meditation thereon.

Jeremiah 23:10; Joel 2:22; Isaiah 42:11; Psalm 65:12.

Pillars of smoke - Here an image of delight and pleasure. Frankincense and other perfumes are burned in such abundance round the bridal equipage that the whole procession appears from the distance to be one of moving wreaths and columns of smoke.

All powders of the merchant - Every kind of spice forming an article of commerce.

Psalm 91:5.

1 Kings 1:11. This is the last mention of her in sacred history.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.