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Bible Commentaries
Song of Solomon 4

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


A.M. 2990. B.C. 1014.

Christ commends his church for her beauty, Song of Solomon 4:1-7 . He calls her to go with him, Song of Solomon 4:8 . Manifests his love and affection for her, Song of Solomon 4:9 . A further commendation of her, Song of Solomon 4:10-15 . She prays for the effectual operation of his Holy Spirit on her to make her fruitful, Song of Solomon 4:16 .

Verse 1

Song of Solomon 4:1. Behold These words are evidently spoken by the bridegroom; thou art fair Being clothed with my righteousness, and adorned with all the graces of my Spirit. Behold, thou art fair He repeats it both to confirm his assertion, and to show the fervency of his affection. Thou hast dove’s eyes Whereas the beauty of the spouse is here described in her several parts, we need not labour much about the application of each particular to some distinct grace of the church, it being the chief design of the description to show that completeness and absolute perfection which the church hath in part received, and shall more fully receive in the future life. Thy hair is as a flock of goats That is, as the hair of a flock of goats, which in these parts was of extraordinary length, softness, and comeliness; that appear from mount Gilead A very fruitful place, fit for breeding all sorts of cattle, and especially of goats, because it was a hilly and woody country.

Verses 2-3

Song of Solomon 4:2-3. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep Numerous, and placed in due order: that are even and shorn Smooth and even, as also clean and white. Whereof every one bears twins Which seems to denote the two rows of teeth: and none is barren among them Not one tooth is lacking. Thy speech is comely Which is added as another ingredient of an amiable person; and to explain the foregoing metaphor. The discourse of believers is edifying and comfortable, and acceptable to God, and to serious men. Thy temples Under which he comprehends the cheeks; are like a piece of pomegranate In which there is a lovely mixture of red and white.

Verses 4-5

Song of Solomon 4:4-5. Thy neck This may represent the grace of faith, by which we are united to Christ, (as the body is to the head by the neck,) by which Christians receive their spiritual food, and consequently their strength and ability for action; is like the tower Upright, firm, and strong; and moreover, adorned with chains of gold, or pearl, or the like ornaments; of David Some tower built by David, when he repaired and enlarged his royal city, and used by him as an armory. Whereon there hang a thousand bucklers Such as are reserved for the use of mighty men. A thousand is put indefinitely for a great number. Which feed among the lilies In the fields where lilies grow.

Verse 6

Song of Solomon 4:6. Until the day break, &c. These words are uttered by the bride, (chap. 2:17,) and here returned by the bridegroom as an answer to that request. And this place may be understood of the day of glory, when all shadows and ordinances shall cease; I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, &c. To my church upon earth, which was typified by the mountain of Moriah and the temple upon it. This, in prophetic writings, is called a mountain, and may well be called a mountain of myrrh and frankincense, both for the acceptable services which were there offered to God, and for the precious gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, which are of a sweet-smelling savour to God and men. Thus Christ directs believers where they may find him, namely, in his church and ordinances.

Verse 8

Song of Solomon 4:8. Come with me Unto the mountain of myrrh, mentioned Song of Solomon 4:6. From Lebanon, my spouse This is the first time that Christ gives her this name, which he does both to oblige and encourage her to go with him. Look from the top of Amana To the place to which I invite thee to go, which from those high mountains thou mayest easily behold. From the mountains of the leopards From these or other mountains, which are inhabited by lions and leopards. This seems to be added as an argument to move the spouse to go with him, because the places where now she was were not only barren, but also dangerous.

Verses 9-10

Song of Solomon 4:9-10. My sister, my spouse So he calls her to show the greatness of his love, which could not sufficiently be expressed by any one relation. With one of thine eyes With one glance. One chain of thy neck With one of those other graces and perfections wherewith thou art adorned. How fair is thy love How amiable and acceptable to me. The smell of thine ointments Of the gifts and graces of God’s Spirit, wherewith thou art anointed.

Verse 11

Song of Solomon 4:11. Thy lips drop as the honey-comb Thy speeches both to me in prayer and praises, and to men for their edification, are highly acceptable to me. Honey and milk are under thy tongue Words more sweet and comfortable than honey or milk. The smell of thy garments Of that righteousness wherewith I have adorned thee; is like the smell of Lebanon Which was very sweet and grateful in regard of the great number of sweet-smelling spices and trees which grew on that mountain.

Verse 12

Song of Solomon 4:12. A garden For order and beauty, for pleasant walks, and flowers, and fruits; enclosed Defended by the care of my providence:

and reserved for my proper use. A spring shut up To preserve it from all pollution, and to reserve it for the use of its owner, for which reason springs were shut up in those countries where water was scarce and precious.

Verses 13-14

Song of Solomon 4:13-14. Thy plants are an orchard Believers, which are planted in thee, are like the plants or fruits of an orchard, which are pleasant to the eye, and delicious to the taste or smell, whereby he signifies the variety and excellence of the gifts and graces in the several members of the church. Spike-nard Which he mentions here with camphire, and in the next verse with saffron, because it is mixed with both these, and, being so mixed, yields the more grateful smell. All trees of frankincense Such trees as produce frankincense.

Verse 15

Song of Solomon 4:15. A well of living waters Though my spouse be in some sort a fountain shut up, yet that is not so to be understood as if she kept her waters to herself, for she is like a fountain of living or running water, which flows into gardens, and makes its flowers and plants to flourish. The church conveys those waters of life, which she receives from Christ, to particular believers. And streams from Lebanon Like those sweet and refreshing rivers which flow down from mount Lebanon, of which Jordan is one.

Verse 16

Song of Solomon 4:16. Awake, O north wind, &c. These winds may signify the several dispensations of God’s Spirit. Blow upon my garden This verse is spoken by the spouse. And she calls the garden both hers and his, because of that oneness which is between them, Song of Solomon 2:16. That the spices may flow out That my graces may be exercised. Let my beloved come into his garden Let Christ afford his gracious presence to his church; and eat his pleasant fruits And let him delight himself in that service which is given him, both by the religious worship, and by the holy conversation of his people.

Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 4". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rbc/song-of-solomon-4.html. 1857.
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