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Sunday, June 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
Song of Solomon 7

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.

Song of Solomon 7:1-13

Thy feet - rather, thy goings (Psalms 17:5). There is evident allusion to this in Isaiah 52:7 - "How beautiful ... are the feet of him ... that publisheth peace" (Shulamite, Song of Solomon 6:13).

Shoes - sandals are richly jewelled in the East. She is evidently "upon the mountains," where she was wafted (Song of Solomon 6:12), above the daughters of Jerusalem, who therefore portray her feet first.

Daughter - of God the Father, with whom Jesus Christ is one (Matthew 5:9): "children of (the) God" of peace, answering to Shulamite (Psalms 45:10-15; 2 Corinthians 6:18), as well as bride of Jesus Christ.

Prince's daughter - therefore princely herself, freely giving the word of life to others, not sparing her "feet," as in Prince's daughter - therefore princely herself, freely giving the word of life to others, not sparing her "feet," as in Song of Solomon 5:3. To act on the offensive is defensive to ourselves.

Joints of thy thighs (are) like jewels. Joints [ chamuwq (H2542), from chamaqu, to turn] - rather, the rounding; the full graceful curve of the hips in the female figure; like the rounding of a necklace (as the Hebrew for "jewels," chalaim, means). Compare with the English version, Ephesians 4:13-16; Colossians 2:19. Or, applying it to the girdle binding together the robes round the hips (Ephesians 6:14).

Cunning workman - (Psalms 139:14-16; Ephesians 2:10.)

Verse 2

Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.

Navel - rather, girdle-clasp, called from the part of the person underneath. The "shoes" (Song of Solomon 7:1) prove that dress is throughout presupposed on all parts where it is usually worn. She is "a bride adorned for her husband;" the "uncomely parts" being most adorned (1 Corinthians 12:23).

A round goblet. The girdle-clasp was adorned with red rubies resembling the "round goblet" (crater or mixer) of spice-mixed wine (not "liquor") (Song of Solomon 8:2; Isaiah 5:22). The wine of the "New Testament in His blood." The spiritual exhilaration by it was mistaken for that caused by new wine (Acts 2:13-17).

Belly - i:e., the vesture on it. As in Psalms 45:13-14, "clothing of worked gold and raiment of needlework" compose the bride's attire, so golden-coloured "wheat" and white "lilies" here. The ripe grain, in token of harvest joy, used to be decorated with lilies; so the accumulated spiritual food, the "bread of life" produced from Jesus, the "corn of wheat" falling into the ground and dying, and so bringing forth much fruit, is free from chaff, and is not fenced with thorns, but made attractive by lilies set about it-i.e, (Song of Solomon 2:2), believers, who in common partake of it. Associated with the exhilarating wine-cup (Zechariah 9:17), as here.

Verse 3

Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.

Two breasts. The daughters of Jerusalem describe her in the same terms as Jesus Christ in Song of Solomon 4:5. The testimonies of heaven and earth coincide.

Two young roes ... twins - faith and love.

Verse 4

Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.

Neck ... tower of ivory. In Song of Solomon 4:4 Jesus Christ saith, a tower of David builded for an armoury." Strength and conquest are the main thought in His description: here stately beauty and polished whiteness: contrast Song of Solomon 1:5.

Eyes ... fish-pools - seen by Burckhardt, clear (Revelation 22:1), deep, quiet, and full; reflecting the image of the heavenly Bridegroom.

In Heshbon - east of Jordan, residence of the Amorite king Sihon (Numbers 21:25 etc.), afterward held by Gad.

Bath-zabbim - daughter of a multitude; a crowded thoroughfare of Heshbon. Her eyes (Song of Solomon 4:1) are called by Jesus Christ "doves' eyes," waiting on Him. But here, looked on by the daughters of Jerusalem, they are compared to a placid lake. She is calm even amidst the crowd (John 16:33).

Nose ... tower of Lebanon - a border fortress, watching the hostile Damascus. Toward Jesus Christ, her face is full of holy shame (Song of Solomon 4:1; Song of Solomon 4:3, notes); toward spiritual foes like a watchtower (Habakkuk 2:1), her aspect is elevated, so that she looks not up from earth to heaven, but down from heaven to earth. The "nose" implies discernment of spiritual fragrance. Ministers, as standing prominent in discerning and guarding against dangers from the foe, may answer to this feature. The nose is also the Hebrew symbol of lofty indignation against the wicked (Psalms 18:8). Spiritual saga-city, indignation at sin and falsehood, and heavenly elevation are implied.

Verse 5

Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.

Head upon thee - the head-dress "upon" her.

Carmel - signifying a well-cultivated field (Isaiah 35:2). In Song of Solomon 5:15 He is compared to majestic Lebanon; she here, to fruitful Carmel. On her head-dress or crown. Compare 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4. Also the souls won by her-her "crown of rejoicing" (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20) at Christ's coming, a token of her fruitfulness.

Hair ... purple - royalty (Revelation 1:6). As applied to hair, it expresses the glossy splendour of black hair (Hebrew, dalat (H1803); literature, pendulous hair), so much admired in the East (Song of Solomon 4:1). While the King compares her hair to the flowing hair of goats (the token of her subjection), the daughters of Jerusalem compare it to royal purple.

The king - Hebrew, melek, without the article here, as in Psalms 45:1.

Is held in the galleries - so Song of Solomon 1:17, margin; Revelation 21:3, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them," etc. Just as the bride's hair is held bound by fillets, so "the King," in seeing her beautiful locks, "is held bound in the galleries," which pass from chamber to chamber, and in which He sees her. The "galleries" are the ordinances and means of grace, in which Christ and believers meet and walk together. But Maurer translates [ rªhaaTiym (H7298)] here, 'flowing ring-lets;' with these, as with thongs (so Lee, from the Arabic, translates it), "the King is held" bound (Song of Solomon 6:5). Contrast the snares in which the adulteress binds her victims (Ecclesiastes 7:26). Her purple crown of martyrdom especially captivated the King, appearing from His galleries (Acts 7:55-56). As Samson's strength was in His locks of consecration. Here first the daughters see the King themselves.

Verse 6

How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

How fair ... art thou, O love! Nearer advance of the daughters to the Church (Acts 2:47; Acts 5:13, end). Love to her is the first token of love to Him. (1 John 5:1, end).

Delights - fascinating charms to them and to the King (Song of Solomon 7:5; Isaiah 62:4, Hepbzi-bah). Hereafter, too (Revelation 21:9).

Verse 7

This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.

Palm tree - (Psalms 92:12) The sure sign of water near (John 7:38).

Clusters - not of dates, as Moody Stuart thinks. The parallelism (Song of Solomon 7:8), "clusters of the vine," shows it is here clusters of grapes, as the English version. Vines were often trained (termed 'wedded') on other trees.

Verse 8

I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;

Go up to the palm tree ... take hold of the boughs thereof. The daughters are no longer content to admire, but resolve to lay "hold" of her fruits, high though these be. The palm stem is bare for a great height, and has its crown of fruit-laden boughs at the summit. It is the symbol of triumphant joy. It was so used at Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem: so hereafter, at Christ's coming again, of which the palm-bearing multitude gave an earnest.

Now also thy breast - namely, those of restored and converted Israel (Isaiah 66:11).

As clusters of the vine - Jesus Christ (John 15:1). smell ... none - i:e., breath; the Holy Spirit breathed into her nostrils by Him whose "mouth is most sweet" (Song of Solomon 5:16).

Apples - citrons, off the tree to which He is likened (Song of Solomon 2:3).

Verse 9

And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.

Roof of thy mouth - thy voice (Proverbs 15:23).

Best wine - the new wine of the Gospel kingdom (Mark 14:25), poured out at Pentecost.

For my beloved - (Song of Solomon 4:10.) Here first the daughters call him theirs, and become one with the bride. The steps successively are - Song of Solomon 1:5, where they misjudge her; Song of Solomon 3:11 where they are called to go forth and behold King Solomon with the crown of His espousals (which are going on now, and will go on until the bride espoused shall become the wife (Revelation 21:9); Song of Solomon 5:8, where the possibility of their finding Him, before she regained Him, is expressed; Song of Solomon 5:9 where they are so struck with her love to the Beloved that they ask after Him; Song of Solomon 6:1, where they wish to 'seek Him with her;' Song of Solomon 7:6; Song of Solomon 7:9, where they break forth into admiration of her, and finally make her Beloved their Beloved.

Causing ... asleep to speak - (Isaiah 35:6; Ephesians 5:14.) Jesus Christ's first miracle turned water into 'good wine kept until now,' just as the Gospel revives those asleep and dying under the law (Romans 7:1-25; Romans 8:1).

Verse 10

I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.

I am my beloved's. Words of the daughters of Jerusalem and the bride, now united into one (Acts 4:32). They are mentioned again distinctly, Song of Solomon 8:4, as fresh converts were being added from among inquirers, and these needed to be charged not to grieve the Holy Spirit.

His desire is toward me - strong assurance. He so desires us as to give us sense of His desire toward us (1 John 4:16).

Verse 11

Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.

Field - the country. "The field (of the Gospel kingdom) is the world" (Matthew 13:38). Into this world-wide field the Church, in "going forth" according to her Lord's command (Mark 16:15), begs her Lord's presence with her, according to her Lord's promise, "Lo, I am with you alway" (Matthew 28:19-20). "The tender grape" (Song of Solomon 7:12, and "vines" occurred before (Song of Solomon 2:13). But here she prepares for Him all kinds of fruit, old and new; also, she anticipates, in going forth to seek them, communion with Him in "loves." "Early" implies immediate earnestness.

Let us lodge in the villages. "The villages," imply distance from Jerusalem. At Stephen's death the disciples were scattered from Jerusalem through Judea and Samaria, preaching the Word, (Acts 8:1-40.) Jesus Christ was with them, confirming the Word with miracles. They gathered the old fruits of which Jesus Christ had sowed the seed (John 4:35), as well as new fruits.

Lodge - forsaking home for Jesus Christ's sake (Matthew 19:29).

Verse 12

Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.

Let us get up early - making the most of time and opportunity (Galatians 6:10). Assurance fosters diligence, not indolence.

Verse 13

The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.

Mandrakes - Hebrew, duwdaa'iym (H1736), from duwd, or yaadad, meaning to love-apples supposed to exhilarate the spirits and excite love. Only here and Genesis 30:14-16. Atropa mandragora of Linnaeus; its leaves are like lettuce, but dark green; its flowers are purple; its root is forked; its fruit is about the size of an apple; and it is ruddy and sweet-smelling (though many might think the odour too strong); gathered in wheat-harvest, i:e., in May (Mariti, 2: 195).

Gates - the entrance to the kiosk or summer-house.

All manner of pleasant fruits, new and old ... laid up for thee. Love 'lays up' the best of everything for the pleasure of the person, beloved, thereby really, though unconsciously, "laying up in store for itself" (1 Timothy 6:18-19).

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/song-of-solomon-7.html. 1871-8.
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