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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Song of Solomon 2

 

 

Verse 2

The King's Love for His Beloved- Literal Interpretation- The king responds to the Shulamite's description of herself in Song of Solomon 2:1 as a common flower by saying that she was the most beautiful flower of them all. The lily, as do all beautiful flowers, brings great delight to those who admire it. However, the curse that God placed upon the earth bred thorns ( Genesis 3; Genesis 17-19). Thus, Westwood suggests the lily among thorns could represent the righteous in the midst of a corrupt and evil world. 114] In contrast to the delight brought by the beautiful lilies, the nature of the thorn is to bring pain and discomfort to those who handle it. Zckler notes how the same parallelism in Song of Solomon 2:2 of the beautiful of the lily among thorns is used by the beloved in the next verse by comparing him to an apple tree among the trees of the wood ( Song of Solomon 2:3). 115]

114] John Westwood, A Short Paraphrase of the Song of Solomon (London: Simpkin, Marshall and Co, 1848), 9.

115] Otto Zckler, The Song of Solomon , trans. by W. Henry Green, in Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, ed. Philip Schaff (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1872), 61.

Figurative Interpretation - The Lord acknowledges His love for the believer in his/her resurrected position in Christ.

Song of Solomon 2:2 As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

Song of Solomon 2:2Word Study on "lily" - Strong says the Hebrew word "lily" "shuwshan" ( שׁוּשַׁן) (H 7799) means, "a lily (from its whiteness), as a flower or [archaic] an ornament." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 15 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "lily 13, Shoshannim 2." However, its compound uses in Psalm 60 (Shushan-eduth) and Psalm 80 (Shoshannim-Eduth) can be included. It is found 8 times in Songs ( Song of Solomon 2:1-2; Song of Solomon 2:16; Song of Solomon 4:5; Song of Solomon 5:13; Song of Solomon 6:2-3; Song of Solomon 7:2). Lilies were used to adorn Solomon's Temple ( 1 Kings 7:19; 1 Kings 7:22; 1 Kings 7:26, 2 Chronicles 4:5). This word or its derivatives are used in the title of four psalms as "Shoshannim" ( Psalm 45, 60, 69, 80). Psalm 45 is a song of love, where a wedding processional is described. In Songs the Beloved is describes as "a lily of the valley," and "a lily among thorns" ( Song of Solomon 2:1-2). The Lover feeds among the lilies in the garden ( Song of Solomon 2:16; Song of Solomon 4:5; Song of Solomon 6:3), and gathers lilies ( Song of Solomon 5:13). Hosea describes the children of Israel as a lily, saying, "I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon." ( Hosea 14:5) Watchman Nee suggests that the lilies mentioned in Songs is symbolic of those who are upright before God. 116]

116] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 53.


Verses 3-7

The King's Provisions for His Beloved - Literal Interpretation- With the exchange of love between the king and the Shulamite, the Beloved begins to partake of the blessings from his banquet table. She feasts upon the apples ( Song of Solomon 2:3), sits under his banner of love at his table of provision ( Song of Solomon 2:4), and is sustained with raisin-cakes and apples ( Song of Solomon 2:5). The beloved falls more deeply in love and becomes "lovesick" ( Song of Solomon 2:5). She longs for his close embrace ( Song of Solomon 2:6) and warns other young virgins not to fall into this passion before its proper time ( Song of Solomon 2:7).

Figurative Interpretation - God's love and provision for mankind have always been available from the beginning of time. God planted a beautiful garden in Eden and placed man in the garden so that He could fellowship with man and feed him with His table of blessings. Yet, it is only when a person accepts God's love and follows the footsteps of the righteous into a local body of Christ that he partakes of God's manifold blessings.

Song of Solomon 2:3 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

Song of Solomon 2:3Word Study on "the apple tree" - Strong says the Hebrew word "apple tree" "tappuwach" ( תַּפּוּחַ) (H 8598) word means, "an apple, apple tree." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 6 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "apple tree 3, apple." (see Proverbs 25:11, Song of Solomon 2:3; Song of Solomon 2:5; Song of Solomon 7:8; Song of Solomon 8:5, Joel 1:12). Thomas Constable says, "The apple tree was a symbol of love in ancient poetry because of its beauty, fragrance and sweet fruit." 117]

117] Thomas L. Constable, Notes on Song of Solomon (Garland, Texas: Sonic Light, 2000) [on-line]; accessed 28 December 2008; available from http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes.htm; Internet, 26.

Song of Solomon 2:3Literal Interpretation- In Song of Solomon 2:3 the Shulamite expresses joy and delight in her intimate relationship with her beloved. This delight is expressed metaphorically as eating the fruit of the apple tree. This interpretation is supported in Joel 1:12, where the withered grapevine, fig tree, pomegranate tree, palm tree and apple tree symbolized the joy that was withered away from Israel.

Joel 1:12, "The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men."

In the natural an apple tree benefits mankind in two ways. It provides shade from the sun for times of rest as well as providing sweet fruit for refreshing and strengthening man.

Zckler notes how the same "parallelism" in Song of Solomon 2:2 of the beautiful of the lily among thorns is used by the beloved in the next verse by comparing him to an apple tree among the trees of the wood ( Song of Solomon 2:3). 118]

118] Otto Zckler, The Song of Solomon , trans. by W. Henry Green, in Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, ed. Philip Schaff (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1872), 61.

Figurative Interpretation - Figuratively speaking, the apple tree was a symbol of love in the ancient world. Thus, we would understand this comment in Song of Solomon 2:3 to say that the Shulamite woman was being refreshed in her soul as she sat under his shadow of attention and tasted the words of affection that her lover was bestowing upon her. Watchman Nee says that apple tree is figurative of Christ "in the fullness of His love." His shadow would be His divine protection security, and the fruit would be His sustenance and provision. 119] Bickle notes that the position of sitting is a position of receiving God's grace, rather than giving herself in divine service. 120] As young believers we experience God's love in tremendous ways. We see His divine intervention in our lives, and almost effortless, we find Him answering our prayers and meeting our needs. The apple tree will again be referred to in a similar way in Song of Solomon 8:5.

119] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 148.

120] Mike Bickle, Session 7 - The Bride's Identity in the Beauty of God ( Song of Solomon 1:12-2:7), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 18.

Westwood compares the seasonal apple tree to the tree of life in Heaven, which bears fruit every month. 121]

121] John Westwood, A Short Paraphrase of the Song of Solomon (London: Simpkin, Marshall and Co, 1848), 9-10.

Revelation 22:2, "In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."

Song of Solomon 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

Song of Solomon 2:4Word Study on "love" - Strong says the Hebrew word "love" "ahabah" ( אַהֲבָה) (H 160), means, "love." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used forty (40) times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "love 40." It is found 11times in the Song of Solomon ( Song of Solomon 2:4-5; Song of Solomon 2:7; Song of Solomon 3:5; Song of Solomon 3:10; Song of Solomon 5:8; Song of Solomon 7:6; Song of Solomon 8:4; Song of Solomon 8:6-7[twice]), with one of these uses as a substantive to refer to her lover ( Song of Solomon 7:6).

Song of Solomon 2:4Literal Interpretation- No one comes to the king's banquet uninvited. Thus, Song of Solomon 2:5 shows that the Shulamite was called from her toils in the field by the king to attend a banquet in one of his banquet halls.

Song of Solomon 2:5 Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.

Song of Solomon 2:5Word Study on "flagons" - Strong says the Hebrew word "flagons" "ash-ee-shaw"" ( אֲשִׁישָׁה) (H 809) means, "something pressed together, i.e. a cake of raisins or other comfits." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 4times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "flagon 4." It is used three times in the phrase "flagon of wine." Webster defines a flagon as "a vessel with a narrow mouth, used for holding and conveying liquors. It is generally larger than a bottle, and of leather or stoneware rather than of glass." Modern versions translate this word as "raisin-cakes." Note the other uses in the Old Testament, which supports the translation of "raisin-cakes" within its context.

2 Samuel 6:19, "And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house."

1 Chronicles 16:3, "And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine."

Song of Solomon 2:5, "Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love."

Hosea 3:1, "Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine."

Song of Solomon 2:5Word Study on "apples" - Strong says the Hebrew word "apple tree" "tappuwach" ( תַּפּוּחַ) (H 8598) word means, "an apple, apple tree." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 6 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "apple tree 3, apple." (see Proverbs 25:11, Song of Solomon 2:3; Song of Solomon 2:5; Song of Solomon 7:8; Song of Solomon 8:5, Joel 1:12). Thomas Constable says, "The apple tree was a symbol of love in ancient poetry because of its beauty, fragrance and sweet fruit." 122]

122] Thomas L. Constable, Notes on Song of Solomon (Garland, Texas: Sonic Light, 2000) [on-line]; accessed 28 December 2008; available from http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes.htm; Internet, 26.

Song of Solomon 2:5Word Study on "love" - Strong says the Hebrew word "love" "ahabah" ( אַהֲבָה) (H 160), means, "love." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used forty (40) times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "love 40." It is found 11times in the Song of Solomon ( Song of Solomon 2:4-5; Song of Solomon 2:7; Song of Solomon 3:5; Song of Solomon 3:10; Song of Solomon 5:8; Song of Solomon 7:6; Song of Solomon 8:4; Song of Solomon 8:6-7[twice]), with one of these uses as a substantive to refer to her lover ( Song of Solomon 7:6).

Song of Solomon 2:5Literal Interpretation- The RSV says, "Sustain me with raisins, refresh me with apples; for I am sick with love." In other words, the beloved is asking for strength because love has made her weak. It is interesting to compare the fruit mentioned in Song of Solomon 2:5 to a comment made by Jesse Duplantis in his book Heaven: Encounters of the God-kind in which he describes his visit to Heaven. During his visit he had to continue to eat the fruit of the trees in order to sustain his strength in the presence of God. 123]

123] Jesse Duplantis, Heaven Close Endounters of the God Kind (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Harrison House, 1996), 73, 76, 113.

Figurative Interpretation - A new believer is naturally passionate for the Lord even in his/her immature state, just as a child is passionate to be with his mother and not a stranger.

Song of Solomon 2:6 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.

Song of Solomon 2:6Literal Interpretation- The RSV translates Song of Solomon 2:6 as a wish rather than as an action in progress by saying, "O that his left hand were under my head, and that his right hand embraced me!" This fits the context well as it describes the lovesickness of the beloved longing for her lover to embrace her. We find Song of Solomon 2:6-7 being repeated again in Song of Solomon 8:3-4.

Song of Solomon 8:3-4, "His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please."

Figurative Interpretation - It is God's hand that supports us and holds us up. He embraces us and protects us. Thus, Song of Solomon 2:6 suggests a position of rest. Perhaps this statement means that this position of salvation and divine provision in the church is the rest that I now find as a servant of God.

Song of Solomon 2:7 I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

Song of Solomon 2:7Word Studies on "the roes" - Strong says the Hebrew word "roe" "tseb-ee'" ( צְבִי) (H 6643) means, "prominence; splendor (as conspicuous); also a gazelle (as beautiful)." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 39 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "roe 9, roebuck 5, glory 8, glorious 6, beautiful 1, beauty 1, goodly 1, pleasant 1." This Hebrew word is used 5 times in the Song of Songs ( Song of Solomon 2:7; Song of Solomon 2:9; Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 3:5; Song of Solomon 8:14). Of all the animals in the ancient Orient, the deer symbolized grace and beauty. In Song of Solomon 2:9; Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 8:14 this word is used metaphorically of the Lover, who figuratively represents Christ.

Song of Solomon 2:7Word Study on "love" - Strong says the Hebrew word "love" "ahabah" ( אַהֲבָה) (H 160), means, "love." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used forty (40) times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "love 40." It is found 11times in the Song of Solomon ( Song of Solomon 2:4-5; Song of Solomon 2:7; Song of Solomon 3:5; Song of Solomon 3:10; Song of Solomon 5:8; Song of Solomon 7:6; Song of Solomon 8:4; Song of Solomon 8:6-7[twice]), with one of these uses as a substantive to refer to her lover ( Song of Solomon 7:6).

Comments- The possessive personal pronoun "my" is not found in the original Hebrew text. The translators of the KJV added it as a means of clarifying their interpretation of the verse to say that Shulamite woman was telling the daughters of Jerusalem not to awaken her lover. The word "love" in this verse is a reference to the emotion and passion of love and not to a person.

Song of Solomon 2:7Comments- Song of Solomon 2:7 serves as a final verse to one of the five divisions of the Song of Solomon. There are three other identical verses in the Song of Solomon that serves to mark these divisions ( Song of Solomon 2:7, Song of Solomon 3:5, Song of Solomon 8:4).

Song of Solomon 2:7, "I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please."

Song of Solomon 3:5, "I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please."

Song of Solomon 8:4, "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please."

Literal Interpretation- In these verses the beloved charges the daughters of Jerusalem not to stir up the passions of love until it is time. She bases this plea upon the example in nature of the wild gazelles and does of the field. She uses this example because gazelles and deer were considered the most beautiful creatures of the forest, yet they were the most elusive and hard to find. In contrast, domesticated animals and livestock lacked the beauty, but were easily tamed. As God made these animals beautiful, but elusive in this dispensation of man's fall, these creatures will one day be tamed and companions for us in heaven. In a sense, it is not time for these creatures to be tamed.

In the same way, the beloved is telling the daughters of Jerusalem that catching love and enjoying its pleasures is like catching a beautiful deer. It may appear to be something much to be desired, but it is as elusive as the deer of the forest. This Shulamite woman has discovered that passion during the early stages of courtship is a difficult emotion to manage and does not give her the rest and peace that she expected it to give her; for passion binds someone and does not turn him loose. As much as a romantic love affair appears desirable, she warns the other virgins to wait for God to bring it to pass in His time; otherwise, it will overwhelm someone and cause more harm than good.

In other words, true rest is not found in the strong passions of courtship ( Song of Solomon 1:2 to Song of Solomon 2:7), nor, as she will later discover, in her engagement ( Song of Solomon 2:8 to Song of Solomon 3:5), nor in her wedding ( Song of Solomon 3:6 to Song of Solomon 5:1), nor in the state of marriage ( Song of Solomon 5:2 to Song of Solomon 8:4). But she will find out that true rest can only be found in yielding herself to her husband and bearing fruit within a marriage ( Song of Solomon 8:10).

Many young girls have been damaged emotionally by letting the passions of love get stirred up before its time. It takes years for them to grow mature enough to deal with the pains and sorrows produced from such passions. Some never do get over the pain. For this reason many marriages have been harmed because such pains were brought into the marriage from a former relationship. I remember praying to the Lord one day and saying, "Lord, it hurts so much to love." His reply to me was John 3:16, "For God so loved the world…."

Regarding the themes that are repeated in each of these phases of love, we find that the beloved suffers from lovesickness during the courtship ( Song of Solomon 2:5) and does not find rest. During the engagement she suffers from being separated from her lover ( Song of Solomon 3:1-4) and does not find rest. During the wedding she suffers from having to abandon her freedom and desires as a single person in order to walk in unity with her husband ( Song of Solomon 5:2-8). During the development of her marriage she must deal with the desire to have her husband's undivided attention ( Song of Solomon 8:1-4).

Figurative Interpretation - The repetitive statements in Song of Solomon 2:7; Song of Solomon 3:5; Song of Solomon 8:4 reflect the seasons of our spiritual journey. Other believers are warned not to interfere in God's redemptive work in someone's life. It is natural for a Christian to want others to quickly come to the same level of maturity, or to do the same things, read the same books, or join the same church. We are warned here to not rush someone along at our own preconceived pace, since God leads every believer at his own pace. We are not to meddle in God's love affair with another believer.

The Lord teaches us as we are able to bear the journey. Jesus told His disciples, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." ( John 16:12) As we learn to apply God's Word to our lives, it sets us on our divine journey, which takes us to a place of rest in Christ. There are seasons of rest, but God will move us along the journey by nudging us out of rest and on to maturity in Christ.

Song of Solomon 2:7Comments- The Beauty of the Deer of the Field - Illustration- In the mid-90's my brother Steve took me deer hunting in Fredricksburg, Texas, a small, but beautiful, town in the foothills of central Texas. We arrived before dawn at the feeding station where the deer were feeding on corn. We crawled on the ground after parking a distance away in order not to frighten the deer away. We took our positions and both put our gun sights on a deer. He let me pull my trigger first and he quickly followed. His small deer fell immediately, but the doe I shot ran off into the thickets to my disappointment. With the skill of a hunter my brother had us wait for a while, knowing that the deer I hit would settle down a short way off. If we pursued it immediately it would run too far off to find. We eased into the thicket after about thirty minutes and found a trail of blood, which led us to the deer's internal organs, which were lying on the ground. I now felt sick and remorseful for what I had done. We tracked the doe and eased up on her a few times, only to have her run off a distance. Finally, with no more strength, she looked up at me as I approached her with the most beautiful brown eyes I had ever seen. These large eyes with their beautiful, long eyelashes melted my heart. She looked me straight in the eyes and seemed to say, "Why are you killing me?" My brother made the final shot and killed her. He went on to hunt many more deer, but as for me, I will probably never kill another deer after that experience.


Verse 8

The Engagement (Scene 2: The Shulamite's House) (Separation or Sanctification) - Literal Interpretation- The second song ( Song of Solomon 2:8 to Song of Solomon 3:5) reflects the season of engagement, or betrothal, that takes place in a relationship of growing love. In the African culture the wife brings her lover to her parent's home and introduces him. This event is called an introduction, and a man is free to take her to his home at any time afterwards. However, in the Middle Eastern culture this event is considered the betrothal that precedes the wedding. In the opening scene ( Song of Solomon 2:8-15) the Shulamite hears the voice of her beloved woos her and asking for her love. In Song of Solomon 2:16 to Song of Solomon 3:5 we have the Shulamite's response to her lover's call. She accepts ( Song of Solomon 2:16-17) and then experiences the pain that results from being separated from the person who is about to become her husband ( Song of Solomon 3:1-5). Love becomes so strong that it even becomes difficult to sleep at night. At this point in love's journey she has not entered into rest.

Figurative Interpretation - The second song opens with the Shulamite being wooed from her bed rest by her lover. Figuratively speaking, this song represents the call of the Lord for a believer to separate himself from the world and sanctify himself as one who is betrothed to Christ ( 2 Corinthians 11:2). Within the context of Song of Solomon , a believer's call to sanctification is described as someone who is called apart for communion with God. This time of separation is important for every believer. We see in the life of Moses that he stayed in the desert forty years before entering in to divine service. Paul the apostle spent three years in Arabia before serving the Lord. Queen Esther spend one year separating herself and preparing herself to be presented before the king and to serve him.

If a believer stays at the king's banqueting table and never grows in devotion the Lord, then his love will never be tested as genuine. For example, when David fled Jerusalem because of Absalom, many of his servants join in this rebellion. These servants had fed at the king's table for years; but their heart was not with the king. The rebellion served as a test of David's servants. Love must be tested, and this is what God is doing by calling us from our place of rest. He is testing our devotion to Him.

We find another example in the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve were feasting in God's blessings in the Garden. In order to test their love and devotion to Him, God gave them one commandment to avoid the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve yielded to their own fleshly desires and disobeyed God's command and failed the test of love.

Outline- Note the proposed outline of this section:

1. Scene 1 - A Time of Courtship — Song of Solomon 2:8-17

a) The Bridegroom's Call — Song of Solomon 2:8-15

b) The Bride's Response — Song of Solomon 2:16-17

2. Scene 2 - Love is Tested — — Song of Solomon 3:1-5

Historical Background of Oriental Betrothal - The next stage of love is the period of engagement, which is symbolized in Song of Solomon 2:8 to Song of Solomon 3:5. The oriental Jewish culture called it "betrothal." John Gill, in his comments on Matthew 1:18, gives us the account and manner of the Jewish custom of betrothing by quoting Maimonides:

"Before the giving of the law, if a man met a woman in the street, if he would, he might take her, and bring her into his house and marry her between him and herself, and she became his wife; but when the law was given, the Israelites were commanded, that if a man would take a woman he should obtain her before witnesses, and after that she should be his wife, according to Deuteronomy 22:13 and these takings are an affirmative command of the law, and are called אירוסין או קידושין ‘espousals' or ‘betrothings' in every place; and a woman who is obtained in such a way is called מאורסת או מקודשת ‘espoused' or ‘betrothed'; and when a woman is obtained, and becomes מקודשת"espoused", although she is not yet נבעלה ‘married, nor has entered into her husband's house', yet she is a man's wife." (Mishneh Torah, vol 16: Hilchot Ishot c 1sect 1 ,2 ,3) 124]

124] John Gill, Matthew , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Matthew 1:18.

Deuteronomy 22:13, "If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,"

Albert Barnes says that the Jewish custom was to have an interval of ten to twelve months between the contract for marriage, or betrothal, and the actual wedding. During this interval, the virgin was betrothed, or espoused, to her future husband. This engagement was as strong as the marriage itself. 125]

125] Albert Barnes, The Gospel According to Matthew , in Barnes" Notes, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on Matthew 1:18.

In Deuteronomy 22:22-29, the Law of Moses considered a virgin who has been betrothed to a man as being bound under the same laws as a wife. If another man lay with such a betrothed virgin, then death is the penalty. If the virgin is not betrothed when a man lays with her, then the penalty is weakened to a monetary fine. The only way that this relationship between a man and his betrothed virgin can be broken is by a writing of divorce, since he was considered her husband ( Matthew 1:19).

Deuteronomy 22:23-24, "If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the Prayer of Manasseh , because he hath humbled his neighbour"s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you."

Matthew 1:19, "Then Joseph her husband, being a just Prayer of Manasseh , and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily."

We see the strength and bond of the act of betrothal in the story of Jacob and Laban. After seven years of labor, Jacob demanded his "wife" from Laban, her father ( Genesis 29:21).

Genesis 29:21, "And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her."


Verses 8-15

Illustration- Note these insightful words from Frances J. Roberts about this passage:

"O My children, there is the sound of the turtledove going throughout the land. It is the voice of the Bridegroom calling forth His Bride. It is the wooing of the Spirit bringing forth a people for His Name. Yea, it is the Lord of Glory, Jesus Christ Himself, drawing together them that are His. It is the call of love, and they who truly love Him shall respond…..I tell you, there shall be a revelation of My nearness given to My dear ones before My second coming. Anticipate Me. Watch for Me. Thy heart shall listen, and thy heart shall hear. I am not far off. I am looking through the lattice. Ye shall see Me - ye shall know - ye shall rejoice." 126]

126] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 106.

Song of Solomon 2:8 The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

Song of Solomon 2:8Word Study on "mountains" - Strong says the Hebrew word "mountain" "har" ( הַר) (H 2022) means, "a mountain or range of hills." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 546 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "mountain 261, mount 224, hill 59, hill country 1, promotion 1." This word is used 5 times in the Song of Solomon ( Song of Solomon 2:8; Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 4:1; Song of Solomon 4:6; Song of Solomon 8:14).

Comments- The Song of Solomon describes the mountains metaphorically as "the mountains of Bether" ( Song of Solomon 2:17), "mount Gilead" ( Song of Solomon 4:1), "the mountain of myrrh" ( Song of Solomon 4:6), "the mountain of spices" ( Song of Solomon 8:14), "the mountains of the leopards" ( Song of Solomon 4:8). The hills are referred to as "the hill of frankincense" ( Song of Solomon 4:6). Watchman Nee says the phrase "the mountains of spices" refers to "the new millennial world of fragrance and beauty." 127] The mountains and hills seem to refer to the heavenly, spiritual realm of eternity that the believer partakes of in a limited measure along his earthly journey.

127] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 157.

Song of Solomon 2:8Word Study on "hills" - Strong says the Hebrew word "hill" "gib`ah" ( גִּבְעָה) (H 1389) means, "a hillock, hill, little hill." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 69 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "hill 69." This word is used 2times in the Song of Songs ( Song of Solomon 2:8; Song of Solomon 4:6).

Song of Solomon 2:8Figurative Interpretation- In the Song of Solomon the mountains and hills refer to the heavenly realm, where the resurrected Christ dwells, and from where the Holy Spirit was sent. Song of Solomon 2:8 can be interpreted allegorically to mean that God comes to us in the spirit realm.

In contrast, Watchman Nee and Mike Bickle interpret the mountains and hills to represent the difficulties of this life. They say Song of Solomon 2:8 describes the Lord victoriously overcoming all things of this world. 128]

128] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 43; Mike Bickle, Session 8 - Challenging the Comfort Zone ( Song of Solomon 2:8-17), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 2.

Song of Solomon 2:9 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.

Song of Solomon 2:9 — "My beloved is like a roe or a young hart" - Word Study on "a roe" - Strong says the Hebrew word "roe" "tseb-ee'" ( צְבִי) (H 6643) means, "prominence; splendor (as conspicuous); also a gazelle (as beautiful)." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 39 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "roe 9, roebuck 5, glory 8, glorious 6, beautiful 1, beauty 1, goodly 1, pleasant 1." This Hebrew word is used 5 times in the Song of Songs ( Song of Solomon 2:7; Song of Solomon 2:9; Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 3:5; Song of Solomon 8:14). Of all the animals in the ancient Orient, the deer symbolized grace and beauty. In Song of Solomon 2:9; Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 8:14 this word is used metaphorically of the Lover, who figuratively represents Christ. It may refer to Christ in Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 8:14.

Word Study on "a hart" - Strong says the Hebrew word "hart" "ah-yawl'" ( אַיָּל) (H 354) means, "a stag or male deer, hart." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 11times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "hart(s)." This Hebrew word is used 3times in the Song of Songs ( Song of Solomon 2:9; Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 8:14). Of all the animals in the ancient Orient, the deer symbolized grace and beauty. In Songs this word is possibly used metaphorically of the Lover, who figuratively represents Christ.

Comments- On three occasions the Lover is described as a deer. Watchman Nee refers to the phrase in the title of Psalm 22, "upon Aijeleth Shahar" as a reference to the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. This Hebrew phrase literally reads, "to the deer of the dawn." In the Song of Solomon Jesus is referred to figuratively as a deer ( Song of Solomon 2:9; Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 8:14). The dawn is figurative of His Resurrection. 129]

129] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 42-3.

Song of Solomon 2:9 — "he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice" - Comments- In her book Come Away My Beloved Frances J. Roberts makes a reference to the lattice as being a shelter that the Lord has provided for His children, a place where man can commune with God.

"O My beloved, abide under the shelter of the lattice - for I have betrothed thee unto Myself…" 130]

130] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 13.

Song of Solomon 2:9Figurative Interpretation- Allegorically, the Beloved looking in the window in Song of Solomon 2:9 can be interpreted to mean that God speaks to our spirit, or heart, which is the window of our soul. We see a similar metaphor used in Revelation 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

Song of Solomon 2:10-13 — The Lover's Call - Literal Interpretation- In Song of Solomon 2:10-13 the Beloved tells of the call of her Lover.

Figurative Interpretation - Christ Jesus is telling His child that it is time to bear fruit in the kingdom of God. A new season in life has come. God had cursed the earth for man's sake. But Jesus bore all of man's sins so that he was no longer bound by that curse. Prosperity was now offered to man through faith in Christ. In order to bear this fruit, the believer must separate himself with God for a season.

God Tells Us that Redemption Has Come- The description of peace and tranquility upon earth in Song of Solomon 2:11-13 is figurative of a cry that redemption has come for mankind upon earth. Romans 8:20-23 tells us that all of creation is in travail, awaiting the redemption of the children of God. Sadhu Sundar Singh says that "winter" represents a time of great distress. 131] Springtime represents a time of refreshing to man's soul. Song of Solomon 2:11-13 is figuratively saying that once we are saved and rest in the Lord, the distress of this life is over. The Lover is going to now guide His Beloved into a place of rest by teaching her to come aside with him in communion.

131] Sadhu Sundar Singh, At the Master's Feet, translated by Arthur Parker (London: Fleming H. Revell Co, 1922) [on-line]; accessed 26 October 2008; available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/singh/feet.html; Internet, "III Prayer," section 3, part 5.

Romans 8:20-23, "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."

Song of Solomon 2:10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

Song of Solomon 2:10Comments- Note these insightful words from Frances J. Roberts about Song of Solomon 2:10 :

"O My beloved, ye do not need to make your path (like a snow plow), for lo, I say unto thee, I go before you. Yea, I shall engineer circumstances on thy behalf. I am thy husband, and I will protect thee and care for thee, and make full provision for thee. I know thy need, and I am concerned for thee: for thy peace, for thy health, for thy strength. I cannot use a tired body, and ye need to take time to renew thine energies, both spiritual and physical. I am the God of Battle, but I am also the One who said: They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. And Jesus said, Come ye apart and rest a little while.

"I will teach you, even as I taught Moses on the back side of the desert, and as I taught Paul in Arabia. So will I teach you. Thus it shall be a constructive period, and not in any sense wasted time. But as the summer course to the school teacher, it is vital to thee in order that ye be fully qualified for your ministry.

"There is no virtue in activity as such - neither in inactivity. I minister to thee in solitude that ye may minister of Me to others as a spontaneous overflow of our communion. Never labor to serve, nor force opportunities. Set thy heart to be at peace and to sit at My feet. Learn to be ready, but not to be anxious. Learn to say ‘no' to the demands of men and to say ‘yes' to the call of the Spirit…...Come away, My beloved, and be as the doe upon the mountains; yea, we shall go down together to the gardens." 132]

132] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 145-6.

Figurative Interpretation - If we follow Frances Roberts' interpretation in Song of Solomon 2:10, the Lover is calling his Beloved away from the cares of this world, from the vanities of this life, to a place hidden in God, a place where the Spirit of God can commune with man. We find this call expressed in the opening verses of Song of Solomon , "Draw me, we will run after thee," ( Song of Solomon 1:4).

Song of Solomon 2:11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

Song of Solomon 2:11Comments- Sadhu Sundar Singh says that "winter" represents a time of great distress. 133] We see it used figuratively in Matthew 24:20.

133] Sadhu Sundar Singh, At the Master's Feet, translated by Arthur Parker (London: Fleming H. Revell Co, 1922) [on-line]; accessed 26 October 2008; available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/singh/feet.html; Internet, "III Prayer," section 3, part 5.

Matthew 24:20, "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:"

Song of Solomon 2:12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

Song of Solomon 2:12Word Study on "the turtle" - Strong says the Hebrew word "turtle" "towr" ( תֹּור) (H 8449) means, "ring-dove, turtledove." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 14times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "turtledove 9, turtle 5." It is used only one time in the Song of Songs ( Song of Solomon 2:12).

Song of Solomon 2:12Figurative Interpretation- The metaphors used in Song of Solomon 2:12 represent the resurrected life of the believer. The phrase "The flowers appear on the earth" may represent a life of newness and spiritual growth. The phrase "the time of the singing of birds is come" may represent a life of peace and joy. Frances Roberts interprets the phrase "and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land" to be a reference to the voice of the Bridegroom calling forth His Bride.

"O My children, there is the sound of the turtledove going throughout the land. It is the voice of the Bridegroom calling forth His Bride. It is the wooing of the Spirit bringing forth a people for His Name. Yea, it is the Lord of Glory, Jesus Christ Himself, drawing together them that are His. It is the call of love, and they who truly love Him shall respond…..I tell you, there shall be a revelation of My nearness given to My dear ones before My second coming. Anticipate Me. Watch for Me. Thy heart shall listen, and thy heart shall hear. I am not far off. I am looking through the lattice. Ye shall see Me - ye shall know - ye shall rejoice." 134]

134] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 106.

Song of Solomon 2:13 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

Song of Solomon 2:13Figurative Interpretation- In this resurrected life the phrase "the fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell" may represent the fruit of the Spirit that a believer begins to bring forth as he walks in communion with the Father.

Song of Solomon 2:14 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.

Song of Solomon 2:14 — "O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs" - Word Study on "dove" - Strong says the Hebrew word "dove" "yownah" ( יוֹנָה) (H 3123) means, "dove." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 32times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "dove 21, pigeon 10, variant + 016861." It is used 6 times in the Song of Songs ( Song of Solomon 1:15; Song of Solomon 2:14; Song of Solomon 4:1; Song of Solomon 5:2; Song of Solomon 5:12; Song of Solomon 6:9). On three occasions it refers to the Shulamite, and on three occasions the lovers describe one another with dove's eyes.

Word Study on "the clefts" - Strong says the Hebrew word "clefts" "chăgâv" ( חֲגָו) (H 2288) means "a rift in the rocks," and comes from an unused root that means, "to take refuge." The Enhanced Strong says it is used three times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "clefts 3." The other two uses are found in Jeremiah 49:16 and Obadiah 1:3.

Jeremiah 49:16, "Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD."

Obadiah 1:3, "The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?"

Word Study on "of the stairs" - Strong says the Hebrew word "stairs" "madrêgâh" ( מַדְרֵגָה) (H 4095) - It means, "a steep place, a step," and comes from an unused root meaning "to step." The Enhanced Strong says it is used two times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "stair 1, steep places 1." Its other use is found in Ezekiel 38:20.

Ezekiel 38:20, "So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground."

Comments- Song of Solomon 2:14 implies that the beloved dwells in a high and protected place above the dangers of the valleys below. Such crevices in high buildings and rocky hills would have been the natural habitat for birds such as doves ( Isaiah 2:21, Jeremiah 49:16, Obadiah 1:3).

Isaiah 2:21, "To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth."

Jeremiah 49:16, "Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD."

Obadiah 1:3, "The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?"

Song of Solomon 2:14Literal Interpretation- The Lover is still speaking in Song of Solomon 2:14. He asks His Beloved, who is sheltered like a dove in the clefts of the rocks, to commune with Him.

Figurative Interpretation - The dove represents the resurrected life with the indwelling Spirit of God. In Song of Solomon 2:14 the believer is sheltered by God in this resurrected life just as a bird hiding in the clefts of the rocks. It is in this place of separation that God desires to commune with us.

Song of Solomon 2:15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

Song of Solomon 2:15Word Study on "vine" - Strong says the Hebrew word "vineyard" "korem" ( כָּרַם) (H 3754) means, "a garden, a vineyard." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 93times in the Old Testament, being used in the KJV as "vineyard 89, vines 3, vintage 1." This word is used 9 times in the book of Songs. A vineyard figuratively refers to the labours that man does while serving the Lord in this life.

Comments- The Song of Songs refers to a garden nine times ( Song of Solomon 4:12; Song of Solomon 4:15-16; Song of Solomon 5:1; Song of Solomon 6:2; Song of Solomon 6:11; Song of Solomon 8:13) and to a vineyard nine times ( Song of Solomon 1:6; Song of Solomon 1:14; Song of Solomon 2:15; Song of Solomon 7:12; Song of Solomon 8:11-12) within its text. A garden is a place of meditation and rest, while a vineyard is a place of bearing fruit as a result of entering into rest and communion with God. For our life of walking in the Spirit and bearing fruit is simply the overflow of being filled with the Spirit while in communion with the Lord. The beloved's vineyard would figuratively represent a believer who has entered into his calling and ministry and is labouring for the Lord.

Song of Solomon 2:15Literal Interpretation- In Song of Solomon 2:10-15 we find the Lover discussing his vineyard that just beginning to bear fruit. His concern is that these small foxes will move through the vineyard and knock off this tender fruit before it can produce a harvest.

Figurative Interpretation - Song of Solomon 2:15 can be interpreted figuratively as a call to the Church for sanctification. It is only in a place of separation and communion that this process can begin. Christ is saying that the believer must begin to sanctify himself by laying aside the little sins that stop the fruit of the spirit from maturing. Watchman Nee says these little foxes are "small appearances of the old life." 135] Note these insightful words by Frances J. Roberts regarding this verse. He says that the little foxes represent the enemy, Satan's demons, who attempts to bring damage and spoil in our lives before the fruit has grown. The mature fruit is easily recognized and dealt with. But the "tender grapes" represent undeveloped fruit in our lives that Satan is trying to stop from growing by causing little, unnoticed sins to crop up in our lives.

135] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 52.

"Much that is truly sin and is causing thee distress is not even recognized by thee as such. Ye are in truth plagued more by these unidentified enemies than by all the overt sins ye have ever committed. For the overt sins are readily recognized and sorely grieved over, and for most of these forgiveness has already been received. Lo, it is the little foxes that are spoiling the vine. Thy vine hath tender grapes. If ye were bearing no fruit, ye would not be thus molested. Rejoice in that ye know that the enemy would not trouble thee unless ye were of some value to Me." 136]

136] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 175.

Song of Solomon 2:1-17 — The Shulamite Responds to Her Lover's Call - In Song of Solomon 2:16-17 we have the Shulamite's response to her lover's call.


Verse 16

Song of Solomon 2:16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.

Song of Solomon 2:16Word Study on "lilies" - Strong says the Hebrew word "lily" "shuwshan" ( שׁוּשַׁן) (H 7799) means, "a lily (from its whiteness), as a flower or [archaic] an ornament." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 15 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "lily 13, Shoshannim 2." However, its compound uses in Psalm 60 (Shushan-eduth) and Psalm 80 (Shoshannim-Eduth) can be included. It is found 8 times in Songs ( Song of Solomon 2:1-2; Song of Solomon 2:16; Song of Solomon 4:5; Song of Solomon 5:13; Song of Solomon 6:2-3; Song of Solomon 7:2). Lilies were used to adorn Solomon's Temple ( 1 Kings 7:19; 1 Kings 7:22; 1 Kings 7:26, 2 Chronicles 4:5). This word or its derivatives are used in the title of four psalms as "Shoshannim" ( Psalm 45, 60, 69, 80). Psalm 45 is a song of love, where a wedding processional is described. In Songs the Beloved is describes as "a lily of the valley," and "a lily among thorns" ( Song of Solomon 2:1-2). The Lover feeds among the lilies in the garden ( Song of Solomon 2:16; Song of Solomon 4:5; Song of Solomon 6:3), and gathers lilies ( Song of Solomon 5:13). Hosea describes the children of Israel as a lily, saying, "I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon." ( Hosea 14:5) Watchman Nee suggests that the lilies in Songs is symbolic of those who are upright before God. 137]

137] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 53.

Song of Solomon 2:16Literal Interpretation - "My beloved is mine, and I am his" - In Song of Solomon 2:16 the Shulamite responds with acceptance to her Lover's offer of marriage. The commitment of engagement means that two people now belong to one another. They can no longer cast their eyes upon another, as was still possible during the courtship phase of their love.

Figurative interpretation - "My beloved is mine, and I am his" - Song of Solomon 2:16 are words of intimacy. In a place of separation and communion intimacy develops between a child of God and the Lord. "he feedeth among the lilies" - Jesus communes with the upright in the prayer garden.


Verse 17

Song of Solomon 2:17 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.

Song of Solomon 2:17 — "Until the day break, and the shadows flee away" - Comments- Anyone who hunts deer knows that a deer feeds at night until early dawn, then flees away into the thickets and rests in hiding until the night comes. "Until the day break" - Duane Garrett gives a literally translation, "until the day breathes," which he interprets to mean "the day comes to life," which refers to sunrise. 138] "and the shadows flee away"- Duane Garrett says scholars have been divided over interpreting this phrase to mean either the start or beginning of the day. He believes it more naturally refers to the beginning of the day, with shadows being a metaphor for darkness. 139] Also, it is natural for this phrase to parallel the previous phrase "until the day break."

138] Duane Garrett, Song of Songs, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol 23B (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Song of Solomon 2:17.

139] Duane Garrett, Song of Songs, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol 23B (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Song of Solomon 2:17.

Figurative Interpretation - Christ will guide us through the darkness and lead us into the light.

Song of Solomon 2:17 — "turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether" - Word Study on "turn" - Strong says the Hebrew "turn" "cabab" ( סַבב) (H 5437) means, "to revolve, surround, border." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 154times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "(stood, turned, etc...) about 54, compass 41, turn 34, turn away 4, remove 3, returned 2, round 2, side 2, turn aside 2, turn back 2, beset 2, driven 2, compass in 2, misc 8." Garrett says the Hebrew word "turn" can be translated "turn" or "return." 140]

140] Duane Garrett, Song of Songs, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol 23B (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Song of Solomon 2:17.

Word Study on "a roe" - Strong says the Hebrew word "roe" "tseb-ee'" ( צְבִי) (H 6643) means, "prominence; splendor (as conspicuous); also a gazelle (as beautiful)." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 39 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "roe 9, roebuck 5, glory 8, glorious 6, beautiful 1, beauty 1, goodly 1, pleasant 1." This Hebrew word is used 5 times in the Song of Songs ( Song of Solomon 2:7; Song of Solomon 2:9; Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 3:5; Song of Solomon 8:14). Of all the animals in the ancient Orient, the deer symbolized grace and beauty. In Song of Solomon 2:9; Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 8:14 this word is used metaphorically of the Lover, who figuratively represents Christ. It may refer to Christ in Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 8:14.

Word Study on "a hart" - Strong says the Hebrew word "hart" "ah-yawl'" ( אַיָּל) (H 354) means, "a stag or male deer, hart." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 11times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "hart(s)." This Hebrew word is used 3times in the Song of Songs ( Song of Solomon 2:9; Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 8:14). Of all the animals in the ancient Orient, the deer symbolized grace and beauty. In Songs this word is possibly used metaphorically of the Lover, who figuratively represents Christ.

Word Study on "mountains" - Strong says the Hebrew word "mountain" "har" ( הַר) (H 2022) means, "a mountain or range of hills." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 546 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "mountain 261, mount 224, hill 59, hill country 1, promotion 1." This word is used 5 times in the Song of Solomon ( Song of Solomon 2:8; Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 4:1; Song of Solomon 4:6; Song of Solomon 8:14).

Comments- The Song of Solomon describes the mountains metaphorically as "the mountains of Bether" ( Song of Solomon 2:17), "mount Gilead" ( Song of Solomon 4:1), "the mountain of myrrh" ( Song of Solomon 4:6), "the mountains of the leopards" ( Song of Solomon 4:8), "the mountain of spices" ( Song of Solomon 8:14). The hills are referred to as "the hill of frankincense" ( Song of Solomon 4:6). Watchman Nee says the phrase "the mountains of spices" refers to "the new millennial world of fragrance and beauty." 141] The mountains and hills seem to refer to the heavenly, spiritual realm of eternity that the believer partakes of in a limited measure along his earthly journey.

141] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 157.

Word Study on "of Bether" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "bether" "beh"-ther" ( בֶּתֶר) (H 1336) means, "a section, a dividing." Strong says it means, "a section," and was "a (craggy) place in Palestine." For this reason, some translations allow "rugged mountains" (NIV, RSV), or "mountains of separation" (ASV, YLT). This Hebrew word is found only one time in the Old Testament.

AmpBible, "mountains which separate us"

ASV, "mountains of Bether," or "mountains of separation"

LXX, "mountains of ravines"

NIV, "rugged mountains"

Rotherham, "cleft mountains"

RSV, "rugged mountains"

RWebster, "mountains of Bether," or "mountains of divisions"

YLT, "mountains of separation"

John Gill tells us that according to Christianus Adrichomius (1533-1585) "Bether" is the same as "Bethel." 142] He says the Ethiopic version and the LXX both read "Bethel." Gill says this name may refer to the place called Bethron ( 2 Samuel 2:29), a place in Gilead, beyond Jordan. 143] JFB calls it the mountains of Bethron. 144]

142] John Gill cites Theatrum Terrae Sanctae, p 16. See John Gill, Song of Solomon , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Song of Solomon 2:17.

143] John Gill, Song of Solomon , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Song of Solomon 2:17.

144] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Song of Solomon , in A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Song of Solomon 2:17.

Comments- In contrast to domesticated animals, the deer is free to move at its own will and desire. Frances Roberts understands this call in Song of Solomon 2:17 to mean that we are to sit at the Master's feet and be ready to move when the Spirit tells us to move, and not be subject to the call of man.

"There is no virtue in activity as such - neither in inactivity. I minister to thee in solitude that ye may minister of Me to others as a spontaneous overflow of our communion. Never labor to serve, nor force opportunities. Set thy heart to be at peace and to sit at My feet. Learn to be ready, but not to be anxious. Learn to say ‘no' to the demands of men and to say ‘yes' to the call of the Spirit…...Come away, My beloved, and be as the doe upon the mountains; yea, we shall go down together to the gardens." 145]

145] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 145-6.

Song of Solomon 2:17Literal Interpretation - Song of Solomon 2:17 appears to be the words of the Love replying to the previous verse ( Song of Solomon 2:16), because this statement serves as a summary of Song of Solomon 2:8-15.

Figurative Interpretation - The phrase "Until the day break, and the shadows flee away" may refer to a believer's walk in this life prior to the first resurrection. This would be a reference to living in the natural realm, which is considered dark compared to walking in the realm of the Spirit of God. The mountains refer to the spiritual realm. The Shulamite is asking her beloved to return, so that she can walk in the divine realm. She will say in the next verse, "By night on my bed I sought him…" These statements together suggest that she is pursuing him, longing for him to continually knock on her lattice each night. Song of Solomon 2:17 could then be interpreted to mean that as long as we are in this mortal body God has ordained that we be led through the darkness of this world by coming apart and spending time with the Holy Spirit in order to find directions, as well as be strengthened by this blessed communion with God. We find similar statements in Song of Solomon 4:6 a and Song of Solomon 8:14 b.

Song of Solomon 4:6, "Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense."

Song of Solomon 8:14, "Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 2:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/song-of-solomon-2.html. 2013.

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