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the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Song of Solomon 1

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

Verses 1-17



In studying this Love Song the primary application to the remnant of Israel must not be lost sight of. It is to be kept in mind that we are on Jewish ground and that the perfect assurance of that perfect love, which we know as members of His body, is lacking. The deeper spiritual applications which the individual believer may make in heart communion with the Lord, must be left to each person. In a certain sense we are here in the “Holiest” of all, for love-communion with our Saviour-Lord is the most precious thing. It produces that worship and adoration which is so acceptable in His sight, the worship in the Spirit. Our annotations will therefore be more of a general nature, but, we trust, under God, helpful to a deeper study of the book.


The bride speaks first. She is occupied with the Beloved One. What He is, and all His kindness and loveliness have produced in her heart the love and admiration she expresses. The first rapturous outburst is, “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth; for Thy love is better than wine.” She does not mention the Beloved by name; for her there is but One, beautifully illustrated by Mary when she came to the sepulchre and seeking Him said to the one she supposed to be the gardener, “If thou has borne Him hence.” The kiss expresseth reconciliation Luke 15:20 , it is the token of peace, and above all, of affection. Thus the remnant of Israel will long for Him, for reconciliation, peace, and His affections. But true believers, the members of Himself, know in fullest assurance their reconciliation in Him; that He is peace and enjoy His affection. His love is better than wine. Wine is the symbol of earthly joys and pleasures; far better than anything under the sun is His love.

In Song of Solomon 1:3 His worthy Name is described as “ointment poured forth.” It is because of all He is and all He gives. Well do we sing, “How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear.” The passage reminds us of Mark 14:3 . For all who know Him His Name is the Name above every other name. But while we know His Name in all its preciousness, His own people Israel, the godly among them, will know Him likewise in the future. The virgins mentioned here, loving Him, are those separated ones in Israel who refuse to fall in line with the antichristian delusion of the great tribulation. We find them mentioned in Revelation 14:1-5 .

The bride desires to be drawn by Him and knows that if He draws all will run after Him. Then the King appears and brings her into His chambers, typifying full communion of love. Joy and rejoicing are the results.

Song of Solomon 1:5-6 are the bride’s confession. She confesseth she is black, which does not denote at all, as some have taken it, that she was an Ethiopian. It means sunburnt, as she declares, “Look not upon me because I am black, because the sun has looked upon me.” She passed through the scorching heat of affliction and sorrow, yet she is comely Ezekiel 16:10 ; through His mercy and kindness not forsaken. The daughters of Jerusalem the bride addresses are those of the nation, who do not yet share her knowledge of the Beloved, the Messiah. Israel had been called to be “the keeper of the vineyards,” that is, the keeper of nations and to be a blessing to them; but she had failed; not even her own vineyard did she keep. It is her confession to Him whom she now knows and longs for.

And she wants to belong to Him only, and be with Him where He is. She seeks shelter in the place where He makes His flock to rest at noon; for her soul loves Him. For her He is become the shepherd of Israel, who has found His sheep Isaiah 49:10 ; Ezekiel 34:13-31 ). And if the remnant of Israel thus longs for Him and His precious fellowship, how much more should we, His heavenly people, love Him and be attached to Him only! Then He speaks in verse 8. Because of her confession He calls her the fairest among women. She is to go forth “by the footsteps of the flock.” What He says of her, what she is, He Himself has produced in her and for her. The horses imply energy and swiftness (same as in the New Testament); the ornaments the gifts of His love Ezekiel 16:11 . Interesting is Song of Solomon 1:11 , “We will make beadrows of gold with studs of silver.” The Jews believe that both God and the Messiah are Kings. “We” denotes the Father and the Son; the beadrows of gold and studs of silver denote the joy and the nuptial crown for the bride Esther 2:17 ; Ezekiel 16:12 . Thus Messiah will crown His faithful ones in Israel, while His church will be crowned in glory.

Then the bride speaks again of her affections in the rest of the chapter. While the bridegroom calls her fair, she in return cries out, Behold, Thou art fair, my Beloved, yea, pleasant.

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 1". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/song-of-solomon-1.html. 1913-1922.
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