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the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Song of Solomon 3

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New TestamentsBenson's Commentary


A.M. 3027. B.C. 977.

The church seeks Christ, finds him, and resolves not to displease him again, Song of Solomon 3:1-5 . Christ’s coming out of the wilderness; his bed, guard, and chariot, Song of Solomon 3:6-10 . An invitation of the church to the kingdom of glory, Song of Solomon 3:11 .

Verse 1

Song of Solomon 3:1. By night on my bed When others compose themselves to sleep, my affections were working toward him. I sought him I sought for Christ’s gracious and powerful presence. I sought him This repetition denotes her perseverance and unweariedness in seeking him; but found him not For he had withdrawn the manifestations of his love from me, either because I had not sought him diligently, or because I had abused his favour.

Verse 2

Song of Solomon 3:2. I will rise now I will immediately apply myself to seek him, without whom my bed can give me no rest, nor comfort; and go about the city The city of God, the church in which Christ resides. And in the broad ways Not finding him in private prayer and meditation, I sought him in the places of public assemblies and ordinances; but I found him not He saw fit still to delay the discoveries of his grace.

Verse 3

Song of Solomon 3:3. The watchmen The ministers of Christ, and rulers of the church; that go about the city To prevent disorders and dangers; found me While they walked round about the city according to their duty: to whom I said, Saw ye him She does not name him, because she thought it needless, as supposing a person of such transcendent excellence could not be unknown to men in that capacity. Their answer is not mentioned, either because they gave her no satisfactory answer, or, because by their silence she gathered that they were unable or unwilling to inform her; and being eager in the pursuit, she would not lose time in impertinent discourses with them.

Verse 4

Song of Solomon 3:4. It was but a little, &c., but I found him Christ met me, and manifested his love to me. I brought him into my mother’s house As the spouse here signifies particular believers, so her mother is the universal church, or the true Jerusalem, which hath its rise from above, which is the mother of us all, (Galatians 4:26,) in which Christ and believers are united, and have sweet communion together in holy ordinances, into which believers are said to bring Christ, by faith and prayer. Into the chamber of her that conceived me Christ is, as it were, the father that begets, and the church, the mother that conceives and brings forth believers.

Verse 6

Song of Solomon 3:6. Who is this, &c. The persons speaking seem to be the daughters of Jerusalem, who, upon occasion of the bride’s speech to them, make this reply. The person spoken of is the spouse: that cometh out of the wilderness Believers were to be called, not only out of the holy land, which was as the garden of God, but also out of the Gentile world, which, in prophetical writings, is frequently described under the notion of a wilderness: like pillars of smoke Being conducted out of the wilderness as by a pillar of smoke going before them, as the Israelites were led through the wilderness to Canaan, by a pillar of cloud and fire: perfumed with myrrh The spouse is said to be thus perfumed, for her excellent virtues and religious services, which are pleasant and acceptable to God, and for the merits and graces of Christ, which are a sweet savour to God, wherewith she is enriched and beautified: with all the powders of the merchants Which are fetched by the merchants from Arabia, or other remote parts.

Verses 7-8

Song of Solomon 3:7-8. Behold The bride-men continue their speech, and from the admiration of the bride, proceed to the admiration of the bridegroom: his bed The bed seems to denote the church, which is comely through Christ’s beauty, and safe by his protection, in which Christ is glorified, and believers enjoy sweet fellowship with him. Solomon’s Which is the bed, not of an ordinary man, but of a great king, whom Solomon typifies, and who is greater than Solomon. Threescore valiant men are about it Very many, a certain number being put for an uncertain. He alludes to Solomon’s guard, whereby he designs all those creatures, whether angels, princes, ministers, or others, whose ministry God uses for the protection of his church. Every man hath his sword Is prepared and ready to fight, to prevent those dangers which are frequent in the night season. The night may denote the whole time of this life, which may well be called night, in respect of that ignorance and error wherewith it is attended, (as the future life is compared to day,) this life being the only time wherein such a guard is necessary.

Verses 9-10

Song of Solomon 3:9-10 . King Solomon made a chariot In which the royal bridegroom and bride might ride together in state. By this chariot he seems to understand the word of Christ dispensed by his ministers, wherein Christ rides triumphantly in the world, conquering his enemies and subduing the world to the obedience of the gospel. Of the wood of Lebanon Of cedars, which wood being incorruptible, doth fitly signify the word of the gospel, which endureth for ever, 1 Peter 1:25. He made the pillars thereof There is no necessity that either this or the following particulars should be distinctly applied to several things in the gospel; this in the general may suffice, that as all the particulars are added to show the perfection and beauty of the chariot, so they imply that Christ’s word is every way amiable and perfect. The bottom thereof of gold The under and lower part. Whereby he may seem to intend the foundation of the word and promises, which is either God’s covenant, or Christ’s mediation, in whom all the promises are yea and amen. The covering of it The uppermost part of it. The midst The inward parts: being paved Covered and adorned; with love The love of Christ to the sons of men. For the daughters of Jerusalem For their delight and comfort, who all bear a part in this marriage.

Verse 11

Song of Solomon 3:11. Go forth The church bids particular believers go forth to see this sight. Behold, King Solomon The Messiah, of whom Solomon was an illustrious type. With the crown Which being applied to Solomon, may design that garland or crown which was usually worn in nuptial solemnities: but being applied to Christ, it denotes the honour that was given him, which, though principally done by his Father, yet is here ascribed to his mother, namely, the universal church, which, in respect to his humanity, may be called his mother, because he was born in and of her, and one of her members. In the day of his espousals When the church is married to him, which is done when the covenant is confirmed between them, or when persons are converted to Christ, and more completely when they are received by Christ into his immediate fellowship in the kingdom of glory. And in the day of the gladness of his heart When he rejoiceth over his bride.

Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 3". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rbc/song-of-solomon-3.html. 1857.
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