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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Song of Solomon 8

 

 

Verses 1-4

The Beloved's Struggle for Undivided Attention - The child of God now declares her boldness to testify of her Saviour in public. He does not want to draw back from any act of obedience and public affection for the Lord ( Song of Solomon 8:1). He is willing to bring this testimony and anointing into the church, the body of Christ ( Song of Solomon 8:2). This idea is reflected in Song of Solomon 8:1-4 when she compares him to her brother whom she led about in her youth.

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).

Song of Solomon 8:1 O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.

Song of Solomon 8:1Literal Interpretation- In the oriental culture, as well as many conservative cultures, couples are frowned upon for showing physical affection publicly, while the innocent affection towards a brother or sister is allowed publicly.

Figurative Interpretation - Watchman believes Song of Solomon 8:1 means that a believer becomes keenly aware of his own physical limitations in serving the Lord at this level of maturity. His mortal body restrains him from serving the Lord wholly. He desires to be delivered from mortality and raised in immortality so that he can embrace Christ fully without the old sin nature pulling him away.

Song of Solomon 8:2 I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother"s house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.

Song of Solomon 8:2Word Study on "pomegranate" - Strong says the Hebrew word "pomegranate" "rimmôwn" ( רִמּוֹן) (H 7416) means "a pomegranate, the tree or the fruit," and it also refers to the pomegranate ornament used in the Tabernacle and Temple. The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 32times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "pomegranate 31, pomegranate tree 1." It is used times in the book of Songs ( Song of Solomon 4:3; Song of Solomon 4:13; Song of Solomon 6:7; Song of Solomon 6:11; Song of Solomon 7:12; Song of Solomon 8:2).

Comments- The pomegranate tree was one of the most attractive fruit trees in the Middle East, with brilliant scarlet blossom in the spring ( Song of Solomon 7:12). The Israelites planted the tree in orchards ( Song of Solomon 4:13; Song of Solomon 6:11; Song of Solomon 7:12) and made wine from its juice ( Song of Solomon 8:2) The beautiful texture of its inner fruit may have been behind the metaphorical phrase, "thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks" ( Song of Solomon 4:3; Song of Solomon 6:7). 245]

245] E. W. G. Masterman, "Pomegranate," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Song of Solomon 8:2Figurative Interpretation - Watchman Nee interprets Song of Solomon 8:2 to mean that in the resurrection we will feast together without restraints and show our full affections. 246]

246] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 144-5.

Song of Solomon 8:3 His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.

Song of Solomon 8:3Comments- Song of Solomon 2:6 is repeated in Song of Solomon 8:3.

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

Song of Solomon 8:3Figurative Interpretation - Song of Solomon 8:3 suggests a position of rest. Perhaps Song of Solomon 8:3 means that this hope of the resurrection is the rest that I now find as a servant of God.

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

Song of Solomon 8:4Word 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).

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.

Song of Solomon 8:4Comments- 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."

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).

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).


Verses 5-10

The Shulamite's Homeland: Her Love for Her Own People - In Song of Solomon 8:5-10 the scene becomes the place of birth of the Shulamite bride. She returns to her people, to the place where she was born, to the brothers who mistreated her by working her in their vineyards. Because the Shulamite gave herself to her husband, he will now give his attention to the redemption of her people. Through the years that I have served the Lord, I have entrusted my family and loved ones into His divine care. I have seen His hand at work in their lives through divine providence.

When we study the book of Song of Solomon , which is a love story, we soon realize that it is the love of God that is continually being poured out in our hearts that enables us to love and serve Him. In this love story, which is figurative of Christ's love for the world, and particularly for you and me, it is God's love that serves as the "engine," or driving force, that moves us towards our destiny of eternal rest. In Romans 5:5 Paul says, "because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Within the context of Romans 5:1-5 he is explaining that it is God's love being continually poured into our lives that strengthens us to rejoice in tribulations; it is God's love that enables us to patiently endure those trials until we experience His grace and see His hand at work through us and amongst us; it is God's love that gives us hope that the future will be brighter and anchors our souls to keep serving the Lord.

Paul the apostle will soon reveal his love and passion for his own people in Romans 9:1-3, which is the driving force the keeps him in the ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. He talks about a love so deep that it causes a continual sorrow in his heart. This is not a natural level of love, but rather, it is the love of God that has been poured into his heart by the Holy Spirit. He has given himself as a living sacrifice upon God's altar of divine service ( Romans 12:1) in hopes that God will work mightily amongst his loved ones, the Jews. The heartbreak comes in his own life because the ones he so dearly loves are those who persecute him the most. When Paul wrote this letter he was on his way back to Jerusalem, and the Holy Spirit was bearing witness that persecutions awaited him there. He says, "And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." ( Acts 20:22-24)

The Shulamite bride returns to the place of her birth ( Song of Solomon 8:5), with a love burning with jealousy, a driving force within her that cannot be quenched ( Song of Solomon 8:6). This is the same passion that drove Paul each day in the ministry, the same love that sustained him and gave him the strength to endure. The Shulamite's love will be poured forth for her little sister ( Song of Solomon 8:7). This is the place of maturity that God has called her to, the place where the Lord is now pleased with her ( Song of Solomon 8:10).

Song of Solomon 8:5-7 — Mature Love Described - Song of Solomon 8:5-7 describes the strength and endurance that only love can create within the heart of one who is deeply in love.

Literal Interpretation: The Strength of Love - The Shulamite woman began this journey with the flames of passion for her lover. By the end of her pursuit for rest in the midst of passion, she will discover love and jealousy are the strongest forces within the human soul. No other emotion has the strength to move a person like passion. She wants her husband's love and jealousy for her to be above all other things in his heart.

Figurative Interpretation - I understand Song of Solomon 8:6-7 figuratively to be a divine request for the mature believer, who is willing to sacrifice himself for God's love, to embrace God's passion for redeeming mankind. A believer is requested to carry the fire and passion for redemption that God carries for a lost and dying humanity.

Song of Solomon 8:5 Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.

Song of Solomon 8:5Word Study on "wilderness" - Strong says the Hebrew word "wilderness" "midbar" ( מִדְבָּר) (H 4057) means, "a pasture, open field, desert, speech." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 271times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "wilderness 255, desert 13, south 1, speech 1, wilderness + 07761." This word is used 3times in the Song of Solomon ("wilderness" Song of Solomon 3:6; "speech" Song of Solomon 4:3; "wilderness" Song of Solomon 8:5). Within the context of Song of Solomon 3:6; Song of Solomon 8:5, it probably refers to the open plains that surround many cities in the land of Palestine, which was used as pasture for the flocks, with this same Hebrew word used in Isaiah 42:11 to describe the relationship between the city and its surrounding plain, "Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice." Zöckler suggests it is a reference to "the plain of Estraẽlon or Merj ibn'Amir, lying southward toward Shunem to Jezreel," through which a traveler coming from the capital must pass. 251] In Song of Solomon 4:3 it necessitates a figurative meaning, "the instrument of speech", since it comes from the primitive root ( דָּבַר) (H 1696), which means, "to speak"; hence, we can imagine a shepherd driving his sheep with his words across the pasture.

251] 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), 128.

Song of Solomon 8:5Word Study on "I raised thee up" - Strong says the Hebrew word "I raised thee up" "`uwr" ( עוּר) (H 5782) is a primitive root meaning, "to wake." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 81times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "(stir, lift....) up 40, awake 25, wake 6, raise 6, arise 1, master 1, raised out 1, variant 1." This word is used one time in Songs.

Song of Solomon 8:5Word 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." 252]

252] 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 8:5Literal Interpretation- "Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?" - Zöckler believes this symbolizes the couple returning to the village and home of the young wife. Therefore, the village people are doing the speaking. 253] We have seen a similar statement in Song of Solomon 3:6, which says, "Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?" But this time the couple is not approaching in stately pomp adorned for a wedding, but in pure simplicity and true affection for one another. We imagine a couple coming from the open plains and entering into a city.

253] 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), 128.

The wife is described as leaning upon her beloved. This suggests a state of affection for him and also a dependence upon him. It certainly describes the wife as feeling secure and at rest in his love for her. Watchman Nee interprets this to mean that the wife is leaning close to her Beloved in recognition of her lack of strength. 254] He uses the story of Jacob's thigh being out of joint as a symbol of a Bible character that had to also lean upon the Lord. Nee says she was also leaning upon her Beloved because she could not find her way through the wilderness without his guidance.

254] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 147-8.

"I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee" - Otto Zckler says that Solomon is addressing the Shulamite, reminding her that it was under this apple tree that he "awakened" her love, meaning "I excited thy love," or "I won thy heart." He believes the following statements support Solomon speaking, since he then reminds his wife that it was under this tree that her mother gave birth to her, something that would not have taken place with Bathsheba in the courts of the king. 255] Hudson Taylor suggests this is the king speaking to his bride as he claims her from her birth. 256]

255] 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), 128.

256] J. Hudson Taylor, Union and Communion (Edinburgh, Great Britain: R. & R. Clark, Ltd, c 1893, 1929) [on-line]; accessed 28 December 2008; available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/taylor_jh/union.i.html; Internet, notes on Song of Solomon 8:5.

Figurative Interpretation- "Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?" - If we interpret the wilderness in light of the journey the children of Israel made in the wilderness as a place of testing; and in its application in the epistle of Hebrews , we can say that it refers to this world with its vanity and depravity. We are also reminded of Jesus coming up from His wilderness journey after forty days of trial. This phase of our journey is necessary to bring us to a place of maturity and total trust in God. The phrase "cometh up from the wilderness" means that the trial is finished. Bickle says that "coming up" means victory and not failure. He says that love is the ingredient that brings victory in the midst of trials. 257]

257] Mike Bickle, Session 19 - The Bridal Seal of Mature Love ( Song of Solomon 8:5-7), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 1-2.

The believer is travelling through this world of hardship "leaning upon her beloved," or trusting and resting in him. A figurative interpretation of the metaphor of "leaning upon her beloved" suggests that the beloved has now found rest. She discovered true rest in the previous passage when she yielded herself entirely to her husband in the marriage bed, figurative of the believer yielding oneself entirely to the will and purpose and plan of God, embracing God's passion for the redemption of mankind. Bickle compares this position of leaning to Paul's statement in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ"s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." 258] Paul learned to lean upon God's grace in the midst of hardships, as well as in times of pleasure. Also, at Peniel Jacob's thigh was put out of joint by the angel and his limp caused him to be dependent upon the Lord ( Genesis 32:1-32). Bickle explains that the Shulamite's position of leaning is an awareness of her weaknesses as a result of her trials. 259] He uses Paul's statement as an example when he said, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." ( 1 Timothy 1:15) In other words, Paul understood his tendency to cease depending upon the Lord and trust in his own flesh.

258] Mike Bickle, Session 19 - The Bridal Seal of Mature Love ( Song of Solomon 8:5-7), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 3-4.

259] Mike Bickle, Session 19 - The Bridal Seal of Mature Love ( Song of Solomon 8:5-7), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 4-5.

She is now focused upon her people and is leading the Lord to them in an effort to bring redemption to them. This would be her vineyard of labour in the Lord's work. Her position of leaning upon the king means that a believer has now become totally dependent upon the Lord, no longer moving about by his own will.

In this love story, the royal couple would have not been walking of foot on such a long journey. Rather, they would have been riding in a royal chariot, surrounded by an army of soldiers. This chariot is figurative of God's redemption for mankind, as is described in Song of Solomon 3:6-10.

"I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee" - Within the context of the previous statement of the Shulamite leaning upon her Lover, he reminds her of God's divine and loving hand of providence that brought her into this world through her natural birth. The phrase "I raised thee up under the apple tree tells her of God's divine provision throughout her spiritual journey. The apple tree is mentioned at the beginning of this journey of love ( Song of Solomon 2:3) and at the end ( Song of Solomon 8:5). Once a believer is able to look back and see God's amazing providence and provision throughout his journey, he is able to rest entirely in God for his future journey as God guides him to his destination of rest. Thus, this statement reflects back in order to prepare one to rest in God for the future.

Song of Solomon 8:6 Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.

Song of Solomon 8:6Word Study on "a seal…a seal" - Strong says the Hebrew word "seal" "chowtham" ( חֹותָם) (H 2368) means, "a signature-ring." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 14times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "signet 9, seal 5."

Comments- We read in Genesis 38:18 that Judah had a signet ring, which he gave to Tamar as a pledge.

Genesis 38:18, "And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him."

We read in the book of Exodus how God instructed Moses to take a stone and engrave the names of the tribes of Israel onto them as a signet, or seal and wear them in his priestly garments. These signet stones were intended to serve as a memorial before the Lord.

Exodus 28:11-12, "With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold. And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial."

On the golden ephod were twelve stones with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel engraved upon them as signets and worn upon the chest of the high priest. This served to remind the Lord of His people. We can conclude from Jeremiah 22:24 and Haggai 2:23 that a signet was symbolic of something that was highly prized by its owner.

Jeremiah 22:24, "As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence;"

Haggai 2:23, "In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts."

Song of Solomon 8:6Word 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 8:6Word Study on "strong" - Strong says the Hebrew word "strong" "`az" ( עַז) (H 5794) means, "strong, vehement, harsh." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 23times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "strong 12, fierce 4, mighty 3, power 1, greedy 1, roughly 1, stronger 1."

Song of Solomon 8:6Word Study on "cruel" - Hebrew "qasheh" ( קָשֶׁה) (H 7186) - Strong tells us it means, "hard, cruel, severe, obstinate." This word is used 36 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "stiffnecked + 062036, hard 5, roughly 5, cruel 3, grievous 3, sore 2, churlish 1, hardhearted 1, heavy 1, misc 9."

Song of Solomon 8:6 — "for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave" - Comments- Zöckler notes that the two adjectives "strong" ( עַז) (5794) and "cruel" ( קָשֶׁה) (7186) are also used together in Genesis 49:7 as "fierce" and "cruel," respectively. He suggests the author of Songs had this verse in mind when writing Song of Solomon 8:6. 260]

260] 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), 129.

Genesis 49:7, "Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel."

Song of Solomon 8:6Literal Interpretation- "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm" - Zöckler believes this statement draws a picture of the custom of a man wearing his signet ring around his neck on a chain, or about his arm, so that it was ever with him, signifying its value. 261] We see Judah giving his signet to Tamar in Genesis 35:18. Garrett notes how the twelve stones set within the ephod signified that Israel was God's covenant people. He says the wearing of the Jewish phylacteries were their reminder of their covenant with God. 262] Today, this marriage covenant is sealed with wedding rings. In the same sense, the Shulamite is asking her husband to entirely committed to her, and bring her so close to him in this covenant of love that she is ever before his thoughts. Bickle and others understand the king to be making this request, arguing that it flows better with the thoughts of this passage. It would be the king asking his wife to place him first in her life. 263]

261] 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), 128-9.

262] 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 8:6.

263] Mike Bickle, Session 19 - The Bridal Seal of Mature Love ( Song of Solomon 8:5-7), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 10-1.

Genesis 38:18, "And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him."

"for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave" - Nothing is able to overcome death. It is stronger than any forces that man can exert. In a similar way, love is the strongest emotion that man can experience, which has been given to him by God in order to seal love between a husband and a wife. When a man loves a woman, his tendency is to restrict her movements and attention towards himself. He becomes possessive of her undivided love.

Figurative Interpretation - "for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave" - As our intimacy with the Lord grows deeper, the Lord's jealously over us also grows deeper. He does not want us to stray far away. Our life becomes more restricted in movement and choices. Yet, it is within these restrictions of love's passions where one finds true rest in Christ.

"Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm" - Nee notes that "the ‘heart' is the seat of love, and the ‘arm' is where strength lies." 264] Nee compares this to the signet stones worn on the ephod of the priests. He interprets the believer to be asking the Lord to hold him close to His heart and "sustain" him with His divine strength. Bickle understands the Lord to be asking a believer to set Jesus as the seal of his heart. He notes from the context of the rest of this verse that this seal is the fire of the Holy Spirit within the heart of a believer. 265] Paul refers to the believer being "sealed" with the Holy Spirit of promise ( Ephesians 1:13).

264] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 149.

265] Mike Bickle, Session 19 - The Bridal Seal of Mature Love ( Song of Solomon 8:5-7), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 12-3.

Ephesians 1:13, "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,"

Bickel says the heart refer to a person's affections and the arm to his works. He says the seal of the heart means that we are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, and the seal of the arm means that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. 266]

266] Mike Bickle, Session 19 - The Bridal Seal of Mature Love ( Song of Solomon 8:5-7), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 129.

"the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame" - Bickle explains that this flame of jealousy tenderizes our hearts so that we embrace a divine passion for man's redemption. 267] This tender heart allows the Holy Spirit to pour Himself as liquid love into our hearts and feel the love of God towards mankind. Bickle notes that Deuteronomy 4:24 describes God's jealousy for His people as a consuming fire. 268]

267] Mike Bickle, Session 19 - The Bridal Seal of Mature Love ( Song of Solomon 8:5-7), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 28.

268] Mike Bickle, Session 19 - The Bridal Seal of Mature Love ( Song of Solomon 8:5-7), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 22.

Deuteronomy 4:24, "For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God."

Song of Solomon 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

Song of Solomon 8:7Word 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).

Song of Solomon 8:8-9 — The Little Sister - Song of Solomon 8:8-9 speaks of a little sister who is too young to become espoused. Some scholars suggest the figurative interpretation of Song of Solomon 8:8-10 is as a reference to the Gentile Church that will one day be grafted into the Jewish Church. Watchman Nee and Bickle interpret the "little sister" to be symbolic of all immature believers in the body of Christ. 269]

269] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 151-2; Mike Bickle, Session 20 - The Bride's Final Intercession and Revelation ( Song of Solomon 8:8-14), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 3.

Song of Solomon 8:8 We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?

Song of Solomon 8:8Figurative Interpretation - "We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts" - Nee understands the Shulamite's plea to be figurative of a mature believer who has learned to trust entirely in Christ's love, but who now sees the immaturity of other believers. 270] Being held tightly by these cords of love, and finding peace, the mature believer now looks at those who are still immature, suggested by the phrase "she hath no breasts." Bickle suggests the first person plural "we" symbolizes the "co-responsibility" of Jesus and the mature saints working together in bringing the Church to maturity in Christ. 271]

270] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 151.

271] Mike Bickle, Session 20 - The Bride's Final Intercession and Revelation ( Song of Solomon 8:8-14), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 5.

Bickle describes an encounter with the Lord in 1983regarding the responsibility of helping the Lord lead the Church into maturity. One morning in prayer he was complaining about the heavy responsibility of pastoring a congregation of five hundred people. He said he was simply pleased with perfecting holiness in his own life. The Lord spoke to him Joshua 1:2, "Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel." The Lord then quickened a question to him, "What is more important on earth than a holy person." While being puzzled with such a question, the Lord answered, "A whole generation of holy people." The Lord explained that He wanted not only the pastor, but the whole church to inherit the land. 272] In other words, in the life of a mature believer the most important thing to the Lord becomes his willingness to lead other believers into Heaven.

272] Mike Bickle, Session 20 - The Bride's Final Intercession and Revelation ( Song of Solomon 8:8-14), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 5-6.

"what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?" - We must reflect back to the opening song of the Songs and recall how the Shulamite was spoken for and was taken to the king's palace. Thus, the little sister who is spoken for symbolizes the day the believer is saved. Song of Solomon 8:8 is asking, "Once a person joins the local congregation, what is the role of the mature believer?"

Song of Solomon 8:9 If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.

Song of Solomon 8:9 — "If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver" - Word Study on "a wall"- Strong says the Hebrew word "wall" "chowmah" ( חֹומָה) (H 2346) means, "a wall of protection," and comes from an unused root that probably meant "to join." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 133times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "wall 131, walled 2." It is used 3times in the Song of Songs ( Song of Solomon 5:7; Song of Solomon 8:9-10).

Word Study on "a palace" - Hebrew "tiyrah" ( טִירָה) (H 2918) - Strong tells us that this word means, "encampment, battlement, tent camp, walled dwelling places". It comes from the primitive root ( טוּר) (H 2905), which means, "a row, a course". It is used 7 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "castle 3, palace 2, row 1, habitation 1". It is used one time in the Song of Songs ( Song of Solomon 8:9). Duane Garrett suggests in Song of Solomon 8:9 this word means either" an encampment (in which there is a row of tents)" or "a row of stones". 273]

273] 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 8:9.

Comments- Some translate the phrase "a palace of silver" as a "battlement (ramp) of silver" (LXX, RSV), or "towers of silver" (NIV), or "a turret of silver" (ASV), as a way of fortifying the wall. Some interpret this phrase as a way of beautifying the wall.

ASV, "If she be a wall, We will build upon her a turret of silver: And if she be a door, We will inclose her with boards of cedar." [a turret is a little tower]

LXX, "If she is a wall, let us build upon her silver bulwarks; and if she is a door, let us carve for her cedar panels."

NIV, "If she is a wall, we will build towers of silver on her. If she is a door, we will enclose her with panels of cedar."

RSV, "If she is a wall, we will build upon her a battlement of silver; but if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar."

Song of Solomon 8:9 — "and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar" - Word Study on "a door" - Strong says the Hebrew word "door" "deleth" ( דַּל) (H 1817) means, "something swinging, i.e. the valve of a door." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 88 times in the Old Testament, and is translated in the KJV as, "doors 69, gates 14, leaves 4, lid 1." It is used once in the Song of Songs ( Song of Solomon 8:9).

Comments- Nee interprets the door to refer to a person who serves as a witness that leads others to Christ.

"‘If she be a door,' that Isaiah , if she is indeed such a witness that others may enter by her into the true knowledge of God, then we will build into her the new heavenly life of Christ whose "countenance is as the cedar." 274]

274] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 153.

This is how the word "door" is used figuratively by Jesus Christ in John 10:1-10.

John 10:9, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."

Duane Garrett says the verb "we will inclose her" means "to besiege" in the sense of enclosing in order to fortify against an assault, which carries the same meaning of the previous phrase, "we will build upon her a palace of silver." 275]

275] 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 8:9.

Song of Solomon 8:9Comments- In Uganda people build a wall around their homes for security reasons. If a home owner has plenty of money, he will make it a decorative wall and entrance gate to enhance the beauty of the home. The doors of the house are often decorative as well.

Song of Solomon 8:9Literal Interpretation- Every young girl dreams about the day that her bridegroom will come to get her. As a bride, she can offer herself in one of two conditions. She can offer herself as a pure virgin, or as a polluted and defiled woman.

Duane Garrett notes that scholars frequently interpreters the wall as chastity and the door in contrast as promiscuity. He disagrees with the view of contrasting metaphors on the basis that the apodosis of each describes the same event, protecting the young girl from a possible assault. Also, Garrett believes it inappropriate to judge a young child on such a premature basis. He interprets both the door and the wall to be analogous of a barrier that protects the young girl. 276] In other words, the metaphors of the wall and the door are parallel and essentially say the same thing. Both a wall and a door serve the same function, which is to enclose and protect. The king described his bride earlier in Song of Solomon 4:12 using a similar metaphor of an enclosed garden.

276] 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 8:9.

Song of Solomon 4:12, "A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed."

Figurative Interpretation - Nee interprets a wall to represent a believer who is willing to separate himself from this world, so that Christ can begin to do a work of sanctification in his life, which is said figuratively as "we will build upon her a palace of silver." 277] He interprets the door to mean if a believer becomes a witness for Christ so that others can enter the kingdom of God, then "we," meaning the mature believer in partnership with the work of the Holy Spirit, will "inclose her with boards of cedar," or "build into her the new heavenly life of Christ whose ‘countenance is as the cedar.'" We find another place in John 10:1-10 where Jesus uses a door is used figuratively to refer to Himself as the access to peace and abundance in God.

277] Watchman Nee, Song of Songs (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: CLC Publications, c 1965, 2001), 152-3.

John 10:9, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."

Bickle is more specific in putting the responsibility of nurturing the young ones upon the mature believers. 278] It is the mature believer that is building and equipping the immature saints. He describes the distinctions of building a wall or a door as a reflection of the different gifts and callings that a mature believer must help the immature to achieve.

278] Mike Bickle, Session 20 - The Bride's Final Intercession and Revelation ( Song of Solomon 8:8-14), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 9-14.

Song of Solomon 8:10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.

Song of Solomon 8:10 — "I am a wall, and my breasts like towers" - Word Study on "a wall"- Strong says the Hebrew word "wall" "chowmah" ( חֹומָה) (H 2346) means, "a wall of protection," and comes from an unused root that probably meant "to join." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 133times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "wall 131, walled 2." It is used 3times in the Song of Songs ( Song of Solomon 5:7; Song of Solomon 8:9-10).

Comments- If we use Nee's interpretation that a wall represents a believer who is willing to separate himself from this world, and the little sister with no breasts represents immaturity, then the phrase "I am a wall, and my breasts like towers" would represent a believer who is strong in character.

Song of Solomon 8:10 — "then was I in his eyes as one that found favour" - Word Study on "favor" - Strong says the Hebrew word "favor" "shalom" ( שָׁלֹום) (H 7965) literally means, "safe," and figuratively, "well, happy, friendly," and used abstractly, "welfare, i.e. health, prosperity, peace." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 236 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "peace 175, well 14, peaceably 9, welfare 5, salute + 075924, prosperity 4, did 3, safe 3, health 2, peaceable 2, misc 15."

Comments- The destination of the beloved was to find peace. Her lover and husband had loved her passionately all the time and had never abandoned her. But she had to find within herself the assurance of his love.

Song of Solomon 8:10Literal Interpretation- The beloved finally does find rest by understanding that peace does not come by controlling the affections of her lover and husband, but by controlling her own personal devotion to him. By keeping herself pure and unstained from the outside influences she found that her husband began to look at her with special favor.

Figurative Interpretation - The wall (or hedge) and towers were build around the vineyards for protection and oversight by the keeper of the vineyard. Figuratively speaking, they represent the maturity of the believer, who has found favor from God. Her confession of her maturity symbolizes her declaration of serving as an example to those immature believers as they strive to reach her level. Paul reflects this statement in "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." ( 1 Corinthians 11:1) It is in this service that God's grace and anointing and gifts are poured forth through the mature believer's life. This is the place of rest that God is taking His people, to enter into their calling and ministry.


Verses 5-14

The Mature Marriage (Scene 5: The Vineyards and Gardens) (Bearing Fruit) - The fifth and final passage in Songs shows the woman at rest in her marriage because of the assurance of her husband's devotion, which took place in the intimacy of the marriage bed in the previous passage. Up until now, she has wanted to possess his undivided attention because she was not sure of his love. However, mature love does not possess and hold on too; rather, it gives and sets free. When she gives him the freedom to fulfill his calling and destiny through her life, she too finds rest. This is the place where the Lord wants to take every marriage; for it is only then that a couple can become fruitful and fulfill their destiny as one flesh. In fact, God's original purpose of marriage was to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth ( Genesis 1:27-28). This final passage reveals the fulfillment of that purpose as it describes Solomon with his numerous vineyards and gardens, one of which has been given to his bride. Song of Solomon 8:5-7 describes the king bringing his bride back to her homeland. We can imagine the emotions that tear at her heart as she finally returns to her place of birth. The love and emotions that were embedded within her heart during her childhood come forth in this passage. Because of the love the king has poured forth into the heart of her bride, she can now pour it forth upon her people. Her character of strength and endurance were shaped and mounded in the furnaces of fire and tribulation, a character that only love can create within the heart of one who dies to his own will. Song of Solomon 8:8-9 speaks of a little sister who is too young to become espoused. The sight of the vulnerability and immaturity of her beloved little sister make the Shulamite aware of her own growth and maturity ( Song of Solomon 8:10 a), a maturity and beauty that has positioned her in a place of favor with the king, because she realizes that only by the favor of the king was she chosen to come out of her village and grown to a place of maturity ( Song of Solomon 8:10 b). Song of Solomon 8:11-14 describes the wife in a position of absolute rest. She supports him in his pursuits of prosperity ( Song of Solomon 8:11-12), which symbolizes God's purpose and plan for his life that he was called to fulfill; and she expresses her abiding love and admiration for him ( Song of Solomon 8:13-14). This final passage reveals the fulfillment of that purpose as it describes Solomon with his numerous vineyards and gardens.

Figurative Interpretation - Figuratively, this fifth song represents the believer's ministry of intercession and evangelism for people as an overflow of his communion with Christ. His vineyard is the ministry of people to Christ. Now that she has found rest, she seeks this place of rest for those she loves. This is the place of true rest that God is calling every believer, when he is willing to take upon himself the weight of love and sorrow for a lost and dying humanity. It reflects a minister of the Gospel who sticks with a ministry that God called him to fulfill.

Illustration-We see this level of love and devotion reflected in Paul's statements about "having had the sentence of death" in his life, and having the "the sufferings of Christ abounding in him," and "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body"s sake."

2 Corinthians 1:9, "But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:"

2 Corinthians 1:5, "For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ."

Colossians 1:24, "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body"s sake, which is the church:"

Illustration- Another good example is found in Romans 9:1-3, where Paul reveals his heart and passion for his people Israel, who went to the Gentile nations trusting God to take care of his greatest desire, Israel's redemption. When God allowed Paul the apostle to carry this burden of pain and sorrow for a lost humanity, He gave Paul the most intimate access to His heart. God does not ask just any Christian to carry this burden. However, in the same way that a person does not share intimate pain publically, but rather, with only a few close friends that dearly love him, neither does God share His deepest emotions with everyone. He reserves it for those believers who have proved themselves to have a devout love for God and are willing to share His same concerns for humanity. Paul was willing to enter into God's sorrows for a lost humanity and carry this burden with God. Another example of mature love is seen in Jesus' statement to Peter in John 21:18, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not." Peter's willingness to suffer and die as a martyr reflects this mature level of love for God. Mark Buntain's wife, Huldah, is now 86 years old. She and her husband have served as missionaries with Calcutta Mercy Ministries in Calcutta, India for fifty years. 247] Another good example is found in the life of Arthur Blessitt, who has carried the cross into every nation on earth. 248] His life is a life of peace and joy, while pursuing the will of God in his life.

247] Huldah Buntain, interviewed by Benny Hinn, This is Your Day (Irving, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California, 2008), television program.

248] Arthur Blessitt, interviewed by Matthew Crouch, Behind the Scenes, on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California, 2008), television program.

Summary- In summary, the Shulamite found rest initially by following the path of the flocks and by dining at the king's banqueting table. This represents a believer's initial conversion and tasting of God's table of blessings ( Song of Solomon 1:5 to Song of Solomon 2:7). But this bed of rest soon faded away, and she began to search again for rest. Only now, she found rest by yielding to the call of separation and solitude in the clefts of the rocks ( Song of Solomon 2:8-17). This represents the early phase of Christian growth when God calls a child out of his worldly activities to a place of solitude. This period soon ended and she sought rest again, only this time to find Him in the midst of the city ( Song of Solomon 3:1-5). This represents the phase of Christian growth when a person learns to participate in Church life and learn its doctrine. Hudson Taylor notes that up to this point in time the Shulamite was the primary speaker. Now, the king is going to do most of the speaking, as the new bride learns to be quiet and yield herself to her husband. 249] The wedding ceremony symbolizes the phrase of Christian growth when a believer is set apart and anointed by the Spirit for divine service ( Song of Solomon 3:6 to Song of Solomon 5:1). Although this gives a period of rest, she is soon called out of this place of rest, and begins to seek it again. This time she encounters hardships before realizing her rest is found by returning to the garden where He feeds among the lilies ( Song of Solomon 5:2 to Song of Solomon 6:3). It is in this search that her Lover beholds her beauty again ( Song of Solomon 6:4 to Song of Solomon 7:9). Her eyes now turn to her vineyard where she will give him her love ( Song of Solomon 7:10-13).

249] J. Hudson Taylor, Union and Communion (Edinburgh, Great Britain: R. & R. Clark, Ltd, c 1893, 1929) [on-line]; accessed 28 December 2008; available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/taylor_jh/union.i.html; Internet, notes on Song of Solomon 3:6.

Illustration-Notes these words from Frances Roberts:

"My people may be recognized by their humility and sufferings; not by their social acceptability and their self-advertizing success: not by extravagant physical appointments of their structures; but by the grace of God at work in their hearts. Sacrifice is My status symbol, and man has not been eager to decorate the type of spiritual leadership I had in servants like Paul and Jeremiah.

"Do ye desire to follow Me truly? Look for the blood-stained prints of My feet. Go, as it were, to the cold, unyielding rock in the garden of Gethsemane, where self is put aside, and the cup of suffering is accepted. Die to thine own treacherous and deceitful heart. Rise with determination to go on unflinchingly, not hoping to spare thyself. Save thy life, and ye shall surely lose it. Offer it up to Me, this very day, in a renewal of consecration unto sacrificial living, and I will accept thee and thou shalt know joy as new wine." 250]

250] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 30-1.

Outline- Note the proposed outline of this section:

1. Scene 1 - The Shulamite's Homeland — Song of Solomon 8:5-10

a) Mature Love Described — Song of Solomon 8:5-7

b) The Little Sister — Song of Solomon 8:8-9

c) The Shulamite's Maturity — Song of Solomon 8:10

2. Scene 2 - The Place of Rest — Song of Solomon 8:11-14

a) The Vineyard- The Husband's Prosperity — Song of Solomon 8:11-12

b) The Garden- The Wife's Love & Admiration — Song of Solomon 8:13-14


Verses 11-14

The Woman's Place of Rest - Song of Solomon 8:11-14 describes the wife in a position of absolute rest. She supports him in his pursuits of prosperity ( Song of Solomon 8:11-12). She expresses her abiding love and admiration for him ( Song of Solomon 8:13-14).

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Vineyard- The Husband's Prosperity — Song of Solomon 8:11-12

2. The Garden- The Wife's Love & Admiration — Song of Solomon 8:13-14

Song of Solomon 8:11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.

Song of Solomon 8:11Word Study on "vineyard" - 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 8:11Word Study on "Baalhamon" - The Hebrew name "Baalhamon" "Ba`al Hamown" ( בַּעַל הָמֹון) (H 1174) is used only once in the Old Testament and refers to King Solomon's vineyard. It literally means, "lord (possessor) of abundance" (Strong) or "place of a multitude" (Gesenius). Strong says it comes from "ba'al" ( בָּעַל) (H 1167), which means, "a master, hence, a husband, or figuratively, an owner," and "hamown" ( הָמֹון) (H 1995), which means, "a noise, a tumult, a crown." Although there is only one reference to this town in the Scriptures, Duane Garrett notes an "old speculation" that the city Balamon ( βελαμών) mentioned in Judith 8:3 is a possible reference to Baalhamon, which was a city "near Dothan (north of Samaria)." 279]

279] 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 8:11.

Judith 8:3, "For as he stood overseeing them that bound sheaves in the field, the heat came upon his head, and he fell on his bed, and died in the city of Bethulia: and they buried him with his fathers in the field between Dothaim and Balamo." 280]

280] The Apocrypha: King James Version, 1995, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004).

Song of Solomon 8:11Figurative Interpretation - The fruitfulness of God's vineyard depends upon the spiritual health of God's people, just as in nature a garden produces according to how well it is tended. A pastor is responsible for the well-being of a local congregation. The Lord will give His vineyards only to those who are responsible, who will bring forth an abundance of fruit. There will be a day of accountability for each pastor who keeps one of the Lord's vineyards, just as Jesus taught in the parables of the landowner leaving his vineyards to his stewards. Bickle interprets the term "one thousand" to symbolic the fact that Christ will expect each steward to give his full respond to his vineyard. 281] Each steward will be judged according to his own talents and abilities. Bickle says the silver symbolizes redemption for mankind ( Malachi 3:3, Isaiah 7:23). 282]

281] Mike Bickle, Session 20 - The Bride's Final Intercession and Revelation ( Song of Solomon 8:8-14), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 25.

282] Mike Bickle, Session 20 - The Bride's Final Intercession and Revelation ( Song of Solomon 8:8-14), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 25.

Malachi 3:3, "And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness."

Isaiah 7:23, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns."

Song of Solomon 8:12 My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Song of Solomon , must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.

Song of Solomon 8:12Word Study on "vineyard" - 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.

Song of Solomon 8:12 — "My vineyard, which is mine, is before me" - 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 8:12Comments- African kings had many wives. African women were given the task of working in the fields, or overseeing the work of their gardens. I was told by a native Ugandan that their former kings gave each of their wives a plot of land to farm. The comments below of an Anglican missionary describing such social structures in Uganda are similar to what we read in Song of Solomon 8:12.

"Chiefs always had large cultivated plots of land attached to their enclosures. This was the case even in the capital, as it was impossible to depend upon the food supply from the country. The peasants and retainers of chiefs might be seen each morning and evening carrying heavy bundles of various kinds of food, plantains, potatoes, and beer to their chiefs from the country. The women had entire control over the plantations and general cultivation. It was looked upon as the women's right to attend to the gardens; indeed, they were their marriage portion, and no woman cared to marry a man who could not give her a garden and a house. One woman with ordinary care could, with comparative ease, support six or seven men from her garden." 283]

283] J. D. Mullins, The Wonderful Story of Uganda (London: Church Missionary Society, 1908), 203-4.

Song of Solomon 8:12Figurative Interpretation - "My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Song of Solomon , must have a thousand" - Jesus has many vineyards that he assigns pastors to oversee. The Shulamite, who represents a child of God, has been given one of them to tend. Bickle interprets this statement to mean that the child of God is offering all of his love in service to his Saviour. 284]

284] Mike Bickle, Session 20 - The Bride's Final Intercession and Revelation ( Song of Solomon 8:8-14), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 28.

"and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred" - Bickle interprets this phrase to refer to all of those who helped the mature believer in keeping the Lord's vineyard. 285] She could not have keep it by herself. In other words, they will share in the eternal rewards of their pastor's work.

285] Mike Bickle, Session 20 - The Bride's Final Intercession and Revelation ( Song of Solomon 8:8-14), in Song of Songs (Kansas City, Missouri: International House of Prayer, 1998), 29-30.

Song of Solomon 8:13 Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it.

Song of Solomon 8:13Word Study on "gardens" - Strong says the Hebrew word "garden" "gan" ( גַּן) (H 1588) literally means, "a garden (as fenced)." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 42times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "garden 42." The word is used 8 times in the Song of Songs ( Song of Solomon 4:12; Song of Solomon 4:15-16; Song of Solomon 5:1; Song of Solomon 6:2; Song of Solomon 8:13). It figuratively refers to a place of communion with God; for this was one of the reasons God planted the Garden of Eden, to have fellowship with man in the cool of the day.

Song of Solomon 8:13Figurative Interpretation - "Thou that dwellest in the gardens" - There are many "gardens" among God's children. These gardens are figurative of believers' hearts where the Lord is allowed to commune and dwell.

"the companions hearken to thy voice" - This phrase refers to those children of God who allow Christ into their garden hear and hearken to His voice.

"cause me to hear it" - While a child of God labours in the vineyards, he must not forget to balance his busy life with communion in the garden of prayer. He must continually hear the Lord's voice in order to fulfill his destiny.

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.

Song of Solomon 8:14Word 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.

Song of Solomon 8:14Word 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.

Song of Solomon 8:14Word 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." 286] 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.

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

Song of Solomon 8:14Word Study on "spices" - Strong says the Hebrew word "spices" "besem" ( בֶּשֶׂם) or "bôsem" ( בֹּשֶׂם) (H 1314) means, "fragrance, spicery, the balsam plant." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 29 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "spice 24, sweet odours 2, sweet 2, sweet smell 1." This word is used six times in the Song of Solomon ( Song of Solomon 4:10; Song of Solomon 4:14; Song of Solomon 4:16; Song of Solomon 5:13; Song of Solomon 6:2; Song of Solomon 8:14).

Song of Solomon 8:14Comments- 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." 287]

287] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 146-7.

Song of Solomon 8:14Figurative Interpretation- Watchman Nee says the phrase "the mountains of spices" refers to "the new millennial world of fragrance and beauty." 288] Thus, the cry of the Shulamite "make haste" would be figurative of the cry that ends the Holy Scriptures in Revelation 22:20, "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even Song of Solomon , come, Lord Jesus." Her cry represents the cry of the Church for redemption.

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

 


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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 8:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/song-of-solomon-8.html. 2013.

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Saturday, December 14th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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