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Thursday, July 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Song of Solomon

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

- Song of Solomon

by Joseph Sutcliffe


Solomon was married to Pharaoh’s daughter, an honour flattering to the house of David. He resided in palaces ceiled with ivory, and surrounded with groves, gardens, pleasure-grounds, and retiring graces. In society with this princess he tasted a full cup of nuptial joy, accompanied with all the charms of oriental splendour. His heart, overflowing with gratitude, uttered its effusions in sacred verse. This most beautiful poem is a dialogue between him and the queen, for the charms of sacred literature are heightened by society. The object of the song is, first, to paint the chaste happiness of nuptial life, happiness often tasted by the peasant as much as by the prince. Secondly, it is designed to illustrate the mutual love of Christ and his church, the forty fifth psalm being applied in the same manner by St. Paul. Isaiah also says to the Hebrew church, the Lord thy Maker is thy husband; and Ezekiel, in the most glowing language, accuses the Hebrew church of adultery, because she had dishonoured the Lord by the worship of idols. The style of this poem is pastoral, but dignified: it is luxuriant, but chaste in the highest degree. In many places it seems not to be very dissimilar from several pieces translated from the Brahmins, by our learned countrymen in India. If any one do not read it with a pure heart, elevated by the hallowing mysteries of faith, he ought to blush for the peculiar depravity of his heart. The Hebrews boasted of this poem as possessed of incomparable merit, and altogether unequalled in the sublime and beautiful.

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