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Thursday, June 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Song of Solomon 8

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole BibleCommentary Critical




Verse 1

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 (John 20:17). 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 John 20:17- :, after the mission to Samaria. The rest spoken of (John 20:17- :) answers to Acts 9:31.

that sucked . . . mother—a brother born of the same mother; the closest tie.

Verse 2

2. Her desire to bring Him into her home circle (John 1:41).

who would instruct me—rather, "thou wouldest instruct me," namely, how I might best please thee (Isaiah 11:2; Isaiah 11:3; Isaiah 50:4; Luke 12:12; John 14:26; John 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" (Song of Solomon 8:14) 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 (Song of Solomon 8:14- :). Till then the believer often cannot feel towards, or speak of, Him as he would wish.

Verse 3

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 :- (1 Peter 1:8), 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 (1 Peter 1:8- :), reminds us we are to be waiting for a Saviour to come. On "daughters of Jerusalem," see on 1 Peter 1:8- :.


Verse 5

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 (Song of Solomon 6:9; Song of Solomon 6:10); so His appearance to Paul is the only one since His ascension, Song of Solomon 6:10- : is not an address of Him as visible: her reply implies He is not visible (Song of Solomon 6:10- :). Spiritually, she was found in the moral wilderness (Ezekiel 16:5; Hosea 13:5); but now she is "coming up from" it (Jeremiah 2:2; Hosea 2:14), especially in the last stage of her journey, her conscious weakness casting itself the more wholly on Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9). "Raised" (2 Corinthians 12:9- :). Found ruined under the forbidden tree (2 Corinthians 12:9- :); restored under the shadow of Jesus Christ crucified, "the green tree" (2 Corinthians 12:9- :), fruit-"bearing" by the cross (Isaiah 53:11; John 12:24). "Born again by the Holy Ghost" "there" (John 12:24- :). In this verse, her dependence, in the similar verse, Song of Solomon 3:6, &c., His omnipotence to support her, are brought out (Song of Solomon 3:6- :).

Verse 6

6. Implying approaching absence of the Bridegroom.

seal—having her name and likeness engraven on it. His Holy Priesthood also in heaven (Exodus 28:6-12; Exodus 28:15-30; Hebrews 4:14); "his heart" there answering to "thine heart" here, and "two shoulders" to "arm." (Compare Jeremiah 22:24; Haggai 2:23). But the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 1:14). As in Song of Solomon 8:5, 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 (Song of Solomon 8:5- :; see Genesis 38:18; Isaiah 62:3).

love is strong as death— (Acts 21:13; Romans 8:35-39; Revelation 12:11). This their love unto death flows from His (John 10:15; John 15:13).

jealousy . . . the graveZealous love, jealous of all that would come between the soul and Jesus Christ (1 Kings 19:10; Psalms 106:30; Psalms 106:31; Luke 9:60; Luke 14:26; 1 Corinthians 16:22).

cruel—rather, "unyielding" hard, as the grave will not let go those whom it once holds (John 10:28).

a most vehement flame—literally, "the fire-flame of Jehovah" (Psalms 80:16; Isaiah 6:6). Nowhere else is God's name found in the Song. The zeal that burnt in Jesus Christ (Psalms 69:9; Luke 12:49; Luke 12:50) kindled in His followers (Acts 2:3; Romans 15:30; Philippians 2:17).

Verse 7

7. waters—in contrast with the "coals of fire" (Song of Solomon 8:6; 1 Kings 18:33-38). Persecutions (Acts 8:1) cannot quench love (Hebrews 10:34; Revelation 12:15; Revelation 12:16). Our many provocations have not quenched His love (Revelation 12:16- :).

if . . . give all the substance . . . contemned—Nothing short of Jesus Christ Himself, not even heaven without Him, can satisfy the saint (Revelation 12:16- :). Satan offers the world, as to Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:16- :), so to the saint, in vain (1 John 2:15-17; 1 John 5:4). Nothing but our love in turn can satisfy Him (1 John 5:4- :).

Verse 8

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 (Mark 5:19; John 4:28; John 4:29).

no breasts—neither faith nor love as yet (see on John 4:29- :), 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 council (John 4:29- :). How shall "the elder brother" treat the "younger," already received by the Father (John 4:29- :)? Generally (2 Samuel 15:15; John 9:4; Acts 9:6; Galatians 6:10).

In the day . . . spoken for—that is, when she shall be sought in marriage (Galatians 6:10- :), namely, by Jesus Christ, the heavenly bridegroom.

Verse 9

9. wall . . . door—the very terms employed as to the Gentile question (Acts 14:27; Ephesians 2:14). If she be a wall in Zion, founded on Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:14- :), we will not "withstand God" (Acts 11:17; Acts 15:8-11). But if so, we must not "build" (Acts 15:8-44.15.11- :) on her "wood, hay, stubble" (Acts 15:8-44.15.11- :), that is, Jewish rites, c., but "a palace of silver," that is, all the highest privileges of church communion (Galatians 2:11-18 Ephesians 2:11-22). 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 (1 Corinthians 16:9); 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.

Verse 10

10. The Gentile Church's joy at its free admission to gospel privileges (Acts 15:30; Acts 15:31). 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 (Acts 15:31- :).

breasts . . . towers—alluding to the silver palace, which the bridal virgins proposed to build on her (Song of Solomon 8:9). "Breasts" of consolation (Isaiah 66:11); faith and love (1 Thessalonians 5:8); opposed to her previous state, "no breasts" (Song of Solomon 8:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:3). Thus Ezekiel 16:46; Ezekiel 16:61 was fulfilled, both Samaria and the Gentiles being joined to the Jewish gospel Church.

favour—rather, "peace." The Gentile Church too is become the Shulamite (Ezekiel 16:61- :), or peace-enjoying bride of Solomon, that is, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace (Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:14). Reject not those whom God accepts (Numbers 11:28; Luke 9:49; Acts 15:8; Acts 15:9). Rather, superadd to such every aid and privilege (Acts 15:9- :).

Verse 11

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 Solomon's day ( :-); so Isaiah 5:1, "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 (Isaiah 7:23), referring to this passage.

Verse 12

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 Solomon (Romans 8:2-4; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 2:16), after having paid what justice and His will require should be paid to others (1 Corinthians 7:29-31; 1 Corinthians 9:14). "Before me" may also mean "I will never lose sight of it" (contrast 1 Corinthians 9:14- :) [MOODY STUART]. She will not keep it for herself, though so freely given to her, but for His use and glory (Luke 19:13; Romans 6:15; Romans 14:7-9; 1 Corinthians 12:7). 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 (Galatians 6:7; Hebrews 6:10); 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 (1 Corinthians 3:21-23).

Verse 13

13. Jesus Christ's address to her; now no longer visibly present. Once she "had not kept" her vineyard (Song of Solomon 1:6); now she "dwells" in it, not as its owner, but its superintendent under Jesus Christ, with vinedressers ("companions"), for example, Paul, c. (Acts 15:25 Acts 15:26), under her (Song of Solomon 8:11; Song of Solomon 8:12); 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 (Song of Solomon 2:14, end; Acts 6:4; Acts 13:2; Acts 13:3).

Verse 14

14. (See on :-). As she began with longing for His first coming ( :-), so she ends with praying for His second coming (Psalms 130:6; Philippians 3:20; Philippians 3:21; Revelation 22:20). 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 (Revelation 22:20- :), God's justice dividing us from God. (2) Those "of leopards" (Song of Solomon 4:8), sin, the world, and Satan. (3) That "of myrrh and aloes" (Song of Solomon 4:6 Song of Solomon 4:14), the sepulchre of Calvary. (4) Those "of spices," here answering to "the hill of frankincense" (Song of Solomon 4:6), 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 (Hebrews 4:14; Hebrews 7:25; Revelation 8:3; Revelation 8:4); 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 (Psalms 103:11). 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 (1 Corinthians 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 3:12).

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/song-of-solomon-8.html. 1871-8.
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