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Thursday, June 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Song of Solomon 4

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-16

Song of Solomon 4:8 . Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse. This endearing appellative occurs here for the first time. This summerhouse of Solomon was built in the forest of Lebanon, and was intended for Pharaoh’s daughter, as a retreat during the warmer season. Look from the top of Amana, a commanding summit of that range of mountains. Then, crossing the whole kingdom, come with me to the top of Shenir and Hermon, as described in Deuteronomy 3:9. Thence also survey the happy land from the lions’ dens, and the mountains of the leopards. These are the hills whence the kingdom could be seen to the greatest advantage, and in which exalted situations the sentiments of Moses, on seeing the land from mount Pisgah, might again inspire the breast.


This chapter opens with the bridegroom’s eulogies on the beauties of the church. The poetry is flowery and uniform with the poem. If we would avoid the ridiculous and insipid expositions which some of the ancients, and many of the moderns, have given of this passage, we must be content with saying, that the eyes of the church resemble those of the innocent dove. By connecting the beauty of her hair with that of the goats on mount Gilead, and the whiteness of her teeth with the washed and fruitful flocks of sheep, we learn, that the church is a collective body, and equally distinguished by beauty and encrease. Her coral lips drop with wisdom. Every word is distinguished by modesty and grace. Her neck and head are as the beautiful arsenal which David built. There is much of majesty and awe in the aspect of the church; and yet she is indulgent, and nourishes her little ones with the breasts of consolation. But what shall mortals say of beauty derived from heaven? She is all fair, and free from every spot. Christ has loved the church, and given himself for it, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, holy and without blemish. The king’s daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold.

The spouse is next invited to see the kingdom from the most commanding elevations of prospect, equally gratifying the eye with vision, and the mind with contemplation. Hail, happy land, abounding in every variety of beauty, and adorning of cosmography. But the Lord’s portion is his people. On entering the royal gardens, the idea was suggested, that the church is the garden of the Lord; an idea which originated in paradise, and is beautifully illustrated by the prophets concerning the glory of the latter day, and also in the book of Revelations. It is a garden enclosed, out of the wild wastes of a sinful world. The soil is fallowed, and planted with the choicest plants. Solomon sent to India for spice-trees. Just so does Jesus Christ renovate the heart, root out every weed, not of his Father’s planting; and adorn the soul with every celestial temper and divine affection. He replenished his garden with pools, streams, and fountains; but his fountains of grace and comfort are so sealed that strangers cannot drink of them. In this garden he daily walks, cleanses it of weeds as they rise, and beautifies it with all the lustre of his presence, and the glory of his name.

We have Solomon’s address to the winds. Awake, oh north wind; come in thy season, thou reign of cold. Seal up the powers of vegetation, and give repose to nature, while thou enrichest the earth, and preparest her for the efforts of spring. So the severer winds of the Spirit nip our worldly joys, and penetrate every corner of the heart, that we may bring forth more fruit unto God.

He invites the south wind to chase back the cold to the arctic region, to foster the tender plants in the warmth of her bosom, to array all nature in the charms and beauties of the spring, that the spicy fragrance of his garden may be diffused abroad. So when the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit opens heaven in the heart, love, joy, peace and righteousness diffuse their influence over all our life and conduct. For however private and concealed our communion with God may be, the excellence of the christian temper will be communicated through all the circle of our acquaintance, as a sweet odour unto God, and grateful to men.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/song-of-solomon-4.html. 1835.
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