Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, July 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Song of Solomon

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

- Song of Solomon

by Joseph Benson



THE form of this book is dramatical, wherein several parts are uttered in the name of several persons, who are chiefly, the bridegroom and the bride, and the friends or companions of the one and of the other. Nor is it declared what or when each of them speak, but that is left to the observation of the prudent reader. The design of the book in general is to describe the love and happy marriage of two persons, but it is not to be understood concerning Solomon and Pharaoh’s daughter, (although the occasion might be taken from that, or rather he makes an allusion to that,) but concerning God or Christ, and his church and people. This is sufficiently evident from the descriptions of this bridegroom and bride, which are such as could not, with any decency, be used or meant concerning Solomon and Pharaoh’s daughter. There are many expressions and descriptions, which being applied to them are absurd and monstrous. Hence it follows, that this book is to be understood allegorically concerning that spiritual love and marriage which is between Christ and his church. And this will be more than probable to any man who shall consider the following particulars: 1, That the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament, are full of allegorical passages ; which being known and confessed, it is needless to prove: 2, That the doctrine of Christ being the head and husband of God’s church or people, was well known, at least, to the prophets, and the wise and pious Israelites in the time of the Old Testament: 3, That God compares himself to a bridegroom, and his church to a bride, Isaiah 62:5, and calls, and owns himself the husband of his people, Isaiah 54:5; Hosea 2:16; Hosea 2:19-20. In which places, by comparing these with many other texts of Scripture, by God, or the Lord, is meant Christ, the second person in the Godhead, who then was to come down, and since did come from heaven to earth, for the consummation of that eternal design of marriage between God and his people: 4, That the forty-fifth Psalm, which is a kind of abridgment of this book, although it alludes to the marriage between Solomon and Pharaoh’s daughter, was written concerning the Messiah, as all interpreters, both Christian and Jewish, agree. From these considerations, and many others which might be suggested, it is sufficiently manifest, that the scope of this book is to describe the mutual love, union, and communion which is between Christ and his church, in the various conditions to which it is liable in this world.

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