Song Of Solomon 5

1Christ awaketh the church with His calling. 2The church having a taste of Christ's love is sick of love. 9A description of Christ by his graces.

1I AM come 1into my garden, 2my sister, my spouse: 3I have gathered 4my myrrh with my spice; I have 5eaten my 6honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: 7eat, O 8friends;a drink, yea, 9drink abundantly, O beloved.

1 That is, in My church. Here the Bridegroom answers the request of the bride, Cant. 4:16. He is ready to fulfill the desire of those who fear Him, Psalm 145:19. See likewise Exod. 20:24.

2 See Cant. 4:8, 9.

3 That is, I have enjoyed the prayers and thanksgivings of believers, together with the good and pleasant fruits of good works, which I wrought in thee by the powerful working of the Holy Ghost. Of the preciousness of myrrh, see Cant. 1 on verse 13.

4 Observe here that Christ calls all these dishes, here mentioned, His dishes. He says: my myrrh, my spice, etc., for without Him we can do nothing, John 1:16; 15:5; 1 Cor. 4:7; Rev. 3:18.

5 That is, I have a delight and pleasure in thy good fruits, mentioned previously, and good works. On the contrary, the evil fruits of sinners are called poisonous grapes, which have bitter berries, Deut. 32:32, 33.

6 The Word of God and the doctrine of the Gospel, together with the obedience unto the same, and the use of the Holy Sacraments, are compared to food, honey and honeycomb, wine and milk, Psalm 19:10; 119:103; Isa. 55:1; John 4:34; 1 Peter 2:2. Because, as honey, wine and milk are pleasant and convenient to cheer and nourish the body, so are also the aforesaid matters pleasant and convenient to refresh and comfort the soul.

7 Here, Christ, the Bridegroom, invites His friends, the holy angels and all believing people, to rejoice with Him on account of the fair and pleasant fruits, that is, the obedience of His church upon the earth. See Luke 2:13, 14; 15:7, 10.

8 They are the friends of Christ, who do the will of His heavenly Father, John 15:14.

a Isa. 41:8; James 2:23.

9 See the annotation at Gen. 43:34. Drink abundantly is to say here: Be ye filled with love towards Me and towards one another, or, Be abundantly satisfied with spiritual joy, which abides unto life everlasting. See Prov. 9:5; Isa. 25:6; 55:1, 2.

210I sleep, 11but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that 12knocketh, saying, 13Open to me, 14my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for 15my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.

10 Here is shown that the bride, or some members of the church, after they have eaten and drunk well, that is, have abundantly enjoyed the mercies of Christ, do sometimes fall into sleep or slumbering, that is, become tardy and slack in zeal and good works, and fall into carnal ease and security. See Mat. 25:5; Rom 13:11; 1 Thes. 5:6, 7.

11 That is, nevertheless I did not forget my Bridegroom, but kept Him ever in my heart. Understand here by the heart the inward man, or the regenerate man, who is contrasted to the flesh, or the outward man, Rom. 2:28, 29. See likewise Mat. 26:41; Gal. 5:17.

12 The bride relates here the love and care of the Bridegroom, Who would not suffer her to rest quietly in the bed of worldly ease. Christ knocks at the door of our heart by His Word, through His Spirit, and by cross or chastisement, Rev. 3:20.

13 Or, Open me, namely, the door of thy heart; rise up out of the sleep of sin; let Me dwell in thy heart by faith, awakening it.

14 These pleasant names, which Christ here gives to His bride (she being yet in her infirmity) signify His transcendent love and affection to her, loving her, notwithstanding that she lives and walks in this sinful flesh still, not imputing her her sins and imperfections.

15 That is, I have endured much hardship and trouble. Hereby is intimated that Christ was to suffer much, and to undergo sore and heavy crosses and afflictions to deliver His bride, and to cleanse and purify her from her sins. For, to be wet with the dew of heaven is a great inconvenience, Gen. 31:40, and it signifies here to suffer misery or affliction, as Dan. 4:25; as also rain, when one is not covered or sheltered. So likewise drops signify leaking or soaking in of rain, that is, great troubles or adversities, Amos 6:11. Others takes these words thus: As the dew and rain do make the ground or earth fruitful, as such the doctrine of Christ causes His church to bring forth many fruits. See Deut. 32:2; Psalm 72:6; Hosea 14:5.

316I have put off my coat; 17how shall I put it on? 18I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?

16 The bride makes this answer to the Bridegroom, refusing to stand up to let Him in when He knocked at the door. By the putting off of the coat and the reclining in bed, may be understood the ease and security of this world, which do sometimes hinder and obstruct the true believing children of God, that they do not readily and openly profess Christ and His Word, as soon as He knocks and offers His grace unto them, fearing the trouble and persecution that usually attends it.

17 As if she had said: I cannot put it on without trouble.

18 This is yet another argument, proving that the bride had given herself to rest and ease, for, in those hot countries, where they commonly went barefoot, they were wont in the evening, when they went to take rest, to wash their feet. Which the bride having done, she was loath (as she here affirms) to rise from off her bed, to admit her Bridegroom, fearing to soil her feet. Of such frivolous and idle excuses see Luke 14:18, etc.

4My beloved 19put in his hand by the hole of the door, and 20my bowels were 21moved 22for him.

19 His hand, which had been at the keyhole of the door, He drew away, to depart as follows in verse 6. Other, put his hand through the hole of the door, namely, to open the door, and so here should be spoken of the door of the heart, and be intimated that Christ still continues to preach unto and exhorts His elect when they do not forthwith obey and follow Him, so moving and touching their hearts by the power and efficacy of the Holy Spirit, that He arouses them to a fervent love and longing after Him.

20 Or, my bowel. Hebr. my bowels.

21 By these words the bride testifies her restlessness, hearty sorrow and grief, for putting off her Bridegroom so uncivilly and discourteously, when He knocked at the door, verse 3. See the like phrase Jer. 4:19; 31:20.

22 Or, because of him, namely, because of the Bridegroom. Hebr. over him.

523I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped 24with myrrh, and my fingers with 25sweet smelling myrrh, 26upon the 27handles of the lock.

23 Here the bride manifests her grief by external signs of sorrow and amendment (fruits that are worthy of repentance) in rising up out of her bed, opening the door, seeking and calling after her Bridegroom, Who was gone away from her.

24 Understand here by myrrh the oil of myrrh, whereby is signified that the touch and operation of Christ by His Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers has exceeding great power, and that they, being sensible thereof in their hearts by true faith and repentance (as sweet smelling spices), do prepare themselves to receive their Bridegroom.

25 Or, running myrrh. Hebr. passing by or proceeding myrrh, or, excelling myrrh, that is, which passes all other in worthiness.

26 That is, which were at the handles of the lock.

27 Hebr. hands, or, palms, that is, handles, whereon a man lays his hand. Other, bars, and understand here the bolts wherewith the door was bolted from the inside, keeping Christ outside the door, and preventing Him from coming in, which now being oiled with the oil of myrrh, that is, her heart being anointed with the oil of grace, and so all locks and bolts, that is, all impediments and hindrances being removed, the Bridegroom might come in unto her unimpeded, to enjoy the fruits of His grace, which she had received of Him.

628I opened to my beloved; but my beloved 29had withdrawn himself, and 30was gone: 31my soul failed 32when he spake: Ib sought him, but 33I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

28 This goes yet one step further, namely, that she, being risen, opens the door herself, in order that the King of glory would be able to come in, laying aside all evasions and excuses that might hinder her from enjoying His gracious presence.

29 By the reduplication of this speech, wherein the bride complains of the departure of her Bridegroom, is signified her hearty sorrow, because she could not enjoy His presence as she had done in times past.

30 The same as the 29th annotation.

31 That is, I was as dead, namely, through fear and terror. See Gen. 35:18; 42:28, and the annotations there; as likewise 1 Kings 10:5. Or, my soul went out, namely, by reason of the great love and hearty longing, which I had after Him.

32 That is, because He had spoken so comfortably unto me, verse 2, to which I did not heed much or regard before, but now I am very much moved thereby.

b Cant. 3:1.

33 This is one of the sorest and greatest troubles that do befall the children of God, when God seems not to hear their prayers, though they cry and call night and day unto Him, Psalm 22:2; Isa. 59:1, 2, 3.

734The watchmen that went about the city 35found me, 36they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my 37veil from me.

34 See Cant. 3:3. Hereby is intimated that God sometimes permits His church to be persecuted and oppressed by tyrants and wicked governors, yea, also by false teachers and heretics, to chastise her for her drowsiness and negligence, and to make her the more watchful and zealous in time to come.

35 From this we may gather that the bride went not only to the door to seek her Bridegroom, but also further, seeking Him in every corner of the city.

36 Smiting is not only done with the hand or with sticks and swords, etc., but also with the tongue, as appears in Jer. 18:18. Yea, smiting signifies also sometimes to vex and torment someone, be it by what means so ever, Psalm 69:26; Isa. 53:4.

37 Or, tiffany. The Hebrew word has its origin from spreading abroad, because women are wont to spread abroad their veils over their heads, partly for ornament, Isa. 3:23, and partly for modesty’s sake, Gen. 20:16; 24:65; Jer. 2:32; likewise for a sign of subjection, 1 Cor. 11:6, 7, 10. Now to take such a covering from a woman’s head, this tends to her great shame and disgrace, so that the bride has cause here to complain of it, as if she had been counted a dishonest, light, unchaste woman. See Ezek. 23:26. Some understand here by the veil the bold profession of faith and of true religion. Of this veil the unfaithful shepherds or false teachers and tyrants seek to rob the church and the members thereof.

838Ic charge you, O 39daughters of Jerusalem, 40if ye find my beloved, 41that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.

38 That is, I charge you upon your oath. The bride speaks this, after she has escaped the watchmen’s hands, seeking for help and comfort among the true members of the church of Christ.

c Cant. 3:5.

39 Of the phrase daughters of Jerusalem see the annotations at Cant. 1 on verse 5; 2 on verse 7.

40 As if she had said: When ye come before Him in prayer, make known unto Him of the sad condition in which His bride is at present, namely, that I do so heartily long after His mercy, that He would be pleased to heal the wounds of my sins, that I must faint through longing, in case I must still do without the tokens of His love a long while.

41 Other, this ye shall tell him.

942What is thy beloved more 43than another beloved, 44O thou fairest among women? 45what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?

42 They are the words of such members of the church who as yet were not fully acquainted with Christ.

43 That is, than the other friends, who are also loved and are accounted dear, see verse 1, as the patriarchs, prophets and godly teachers, who have not the bride, but are friends of the Bridegroom, who rejoice in His voice, John 3:29.

44 See the annotation Cant. 1:8, and observe here that, although (as was said in verses 7, 8) the bride was so grievously beaten and wounded, being fallen into the dark night of persecution, yet she is called here the fairest among woman. See Heb. 11:26.

45 In that they put forth this question the second time, it intimates the great affection and desire which they have to know Christ aright.

1046My beloved is 47white and ruddy, 48the chiefest 49among ten thousand.

46 These are the words of the bride to those who had asked her concerning her Bridegroom, verse 9.

47 These two colors, being in one man at the same time, do much adorn and beautify him. The white color signifies pureness and triumphant glory. Wherefore it is said, that the angels appeared in white raiment, Mat. 28:3; Acts 1:10. Yea, also Christ Himself, Matthew 17. See also Rev. 6:2; 19:14. By the ruddy color is meant Christ’s Priestly Office, because He washed us in His blood, Rev. 1:5. See likewise Isa. 63:1, 2, 3, etc.; Rev. 19:13, etc.

48 Hebr. he is bannered or he bannereth. It is a similitude borrowed from an ensign-bearer, and his ensign or standard, which may be seen above all others. The meaning is: that the Lord Christ excels far above all the angels and all other creatures, because He bears in His hand and upholds alone, by His Divine power, the banner of His Holy Gospel, Isa. 11:12; 49:22. Other, He is adorned with a banner of ten thousand.

49 That is, over and above many thousands, a certain number for an uncertain. The sense is: although Christ has an innumerable host of the elect under Himself (Rev. 7:9; 19:14), yet He exceeds them all as their Head, Prince and Standard-bearer.

11His head is as the 50most fine gold, his locks are 51bushy, and 52black as a raven.

50 Hereby it is intimated that the Head, that is, the Divine Kingdom of the Bridegroom is exceeding fair and excellent, yea also perpetual and everlasting, Dan. 7:14.

51 Or, crisped, or, frizzled.

52 Hereby is signified the beauty of youth, for, in these times black hair was held to be an excellent grace and ornament in youth, being a sign of a hot and strong constitution.

12Hisd eyes are 53as the eyes of doves 54by the rivers of waters, washed 55with milk, and fitly 56set.

d Cant. 1:15; 4:1.

53 In Cant. 1:15; 4:1 it is said that the bride has dove eyes, and here it is said that the Bridegroom has dove eyes, that is, pure, clear, fair or beautiful eyes. In Dan. 10:6 eyes are attributed unto Christ as lamps of fire, and in Rev. 1:14, as a flame of fire; all of them signifying that He beholds the ways of all men, and that He brings to light the secret things of men, 2 Chron. 16:9; Psalm 11:4; 90:8; 94:9; Jer. 16:17; Heb. 4:13.

54 That is, which dwell somewhere at the water brooks.

55 That is, looking as white, as if they were washed with milk.

56 Hebr. sitting in the filling, that is, as precious stones stand or fit in the small ouches of golden rings, that is, they are neatly fitted and joined in, and stand like a precious stone fitted and fastened in a fair ring. Such are the pure and comely eyes of the Bridegroom Christ Jesus.

1357His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as 58sweet flowers: 59his lips like lilies, dropping 60sweet smelling myrrh.

57 The Bridegroom’s cheeks are compared to a garden bed of spices, not of such which are dry and withered, but of such that have flowers and leaves, giving a sweet and pleasant smell; whereby is signified the pleasant and acceptable graces of Christ, whereof all those, who receive Him be a true and lively faith, are made partakers. See Cant. 6:2.

58 Or, little spice-turrets. Understand such kind of apothecary’s boxes, which are high like little turrets or towers, wherein spices, perfumes or powders are kept.

59 That is, His lips send forth a sweet smell, as if the smell of lilies and myrrh were mixed together, that is, they bring forth sweet and comfortable doctrines.

60 That is, made of oil of sweet smelling lilies and myrrh, mixed among one another, as verse 5. This signifies the gifts and graces (or words of grace, Luke 4:22) poured out into the lips of Christ, Psalm 45:2.

1461His hands are as gold rings set with the 62beryl: 63his belly is as 64bright ivory 65overlaid with sapphires.

61 Other, On his hands are gold rings, etc. Understand here by the hands adorned with golden rings wherein are set precious stones, the precious, pure and glorious works of the Bridegroom. Thus the words hands is taken for working or power, 1 Chron. 29:12; 2 Chron. 20:6.

62 In Hebrew it is Tarshish; as Exod. 28:20.

63 Hebr. his bowels; but here by bowels must be understood the belly and the breast, in which the bowels are enclosed. Hereby is intimated the inward or hearty affections and inclinations of the Bridegroom, namely, His love, grace and compassion. See Luke 1:78; 2 Cor. 7:15; Philip. 2:1.

64 Hebr. the splendor of the tooth, namely, of the tooth of an elephant; do understand this of the fairest, most polished, brightest and clearest ivory.

65 That is, beautified or adorned with sapphires. Some sapphires are white and glitter like a diamond; others are blue. Understand here white sapphires whereby the pureness of the Bridegroom is set forth. Of the sapphire see likewise Job 28:6.

1566His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is 67as Lebanon, 68excellent as the cedars.

66 Under the name of legs or shanks, the thighs are also understood, yea, the entire abdomen of the body unto the feet, being the instruments or parts which carry, support and move the body from one place to another. This similitude is likewise used Rev. 1:15. See Psalm 147:10. The strength and power of Christ, or the mighty and constant help which He affords unto His church, are compared unto pillars of marble, which stand beautiful and firm, being set or grounded upon pure, or thick solid gold, signifying that the promises and works of the Lord are pure, firm and constant, yea, even prevailing against the gates of hell. In this respect Christ is called the Rock, upon which the church is built, Mat. 16:18; 1 Peter 2:6.

67 That is, glorious, strong and pleasant, like the fair, great and high trees which grew in abundance upon mount Lebanon; whereof see the annotation Cant. 4:8.

68 That is, fair and excellent as the cedars. Things, which do exceed others in beauty and greatness, are commonly chosen and picked out by men.

1669His mouth is most sweet: yea, 70he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, 71and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

69 That is, His words, speech, sayings (as Prov. 5:3; 8:7). Likewise His doctrines, comforts, promises. See Rom. 15:4; Col. 3:16.

70 Hebr. he is altogether desires, that is, all that is in Him is exceeding lovely and worthy that we should desire and covet to enjoy it. Such is Christ unto His church, and to all His elect, but to the wicked and reprobate He is a stumbling block and foolishness, 1 Cor. 1:23. See also Psalm 22:6; Isa. 52:14; 53:2.

71 With these words the bride intends to conclude the excellence and dignity of the Lord Christ above all others.