Song of Solomon 1** This book is a Divine allegory, which represents the lovebetween Christ and his church of true believers, under figurestaken from the relation and affection that subsist between abridegroom and his espoused bride; an emblem often employed inScripture, as describing the nearest, firmest, and most surerelation: see #Ps 45; Isa 54:5,6; 62:5; Jer 2:2; 3:1|; also inEzekiel, Hosea, and by our Lord himself, #Mt 9:15; 25:1|: seealso #Re 21:2,9; Eph 5:27|. There is no character in the churchof Christ, and no situation in which the believer is placed, butwhat may be traced in this book, as humble inquirers will find,on comparing it with other Scriptures, by the assistance of Godthe Holy Spirit, in answer to their supplications. Much,however, of the language has been misunderstood by expositorsand translators. The difference between the customs and mannersof Europe, and those of the East, must especially be kept inview. The little acquaintance with eastern customs possessed bymost of our early expositors and translators, has in many casesprevented a correct rendering. Also, the changes in our ownlanguage, during the last two or three centuries, affect themanner in which some expressions are viewed, and they must notbe judged by modern notions. But the great outlines, rightlyinterpreted, fully accord with the affections and experience ofthe sincere Christian. * The title. (1) The church confesses her deformity. (2-6) Thechurch beseeches Christ to lead her to the resting-place of hispeople. (7,8) Christ's commendation of the church, Her esteemfor Him. (9-17)1 This is "the Song of songs," excellent above any others, forit is wholly taken up with describing the excellences of Christ,and the love between him and his redeemed people. 2-6 The church, or rather the believer, speaks here in thecharacter of the spouse of the King, the Messiah. The kisses ofhis mouth mean those assurances of pardon with which believersare favoured, filling them with peace and joy in believing, andcausing them to abound in hope by the power of the Holy Ghost.Gracious souls take most pleasure in loving Christ, and beingloved of him. Christ's love is more valuable and desirable thanthe best this world can give. The name of Christ is not now likeointment sealed up, but like ointment poured forth; whichdenotes the freeness and fulness of the setting forth of hisgrace by the gospel. Those whom he has redeemed and sanctified,are here the virgins that love Jesus Christ, and follow himwhithersoever he goes, #Re 14:4|. They entreat him to draw themby the quickening influences of his Spirit. The more clearly wediscern Christ's glory, the more sensible shall we be that weare unable to follow him suitably, and at the same time be moredesirous of doing it. Observe the speedy answer given to thisprayer. Those who wait at Wisdom's gate, shall be led into truthand comfort. And being brought into this chamber, our griefswill vanish. We have no joy but in Christ, and for this we areindebted to him. We will remember to give thanks for thy love;it shall make more lasting impressions upon us than any thing inthis world. Nor is any love acceptable to Christ but love insincerity, #Eph 6:24|. The daughters of Jerusalem may meanprofessors not yet established in the faith. The spouse wasblack as the tents of the wandering Arabs, but comely as themagnificent curtains in the palaces of Solomon. The believer isblack, as being defiled and sinful by nature, but comely, asrenewed by Divine grace to the holy image of God. He is stilldeformed with remains of sin, but comely as accepted in Christ.He is often base and contemptible in the esteem of men, butexcellent in the sight of God. The blackness was owing to thehard usage that had been suffered. The children of the church,her mother, but not of God, her Father, were angry with her.They had made her suffer hardships, which caused her to neglectthe care of her soul. Thus, under the emblem of a poor female,made the chosen partner of a prince, we are led to consider thecircumstances in which the love of Christ is accustomed to findits objects. They were wretched slaves of sin, in toil, or insorrow, weary and heavy laden, but how great the change when thelove of Christ is manifested to their souls! 7,8 Observe the title given to Christ, O Thou whom my soulloveth. Those that do so, may come to him boldly, and may humblyplead with him. Is it with God's people a noon-time of outwardtroubles, inward conflicts? Christ has rest for them. Thosewhose souls love Jesus Christ, earnestly desire to share in theprivileges of his flock. Turning aside from Christ is whatgracious souls dread more than anything else. God is ready toanswer prayer. Follow the track, ask for the good old way,observe the footsteps of the flock, look what has been thepractice of godly people. Sit under the direction of goodministers; beside the tents of the under shepherds. Bring thycharge with thee, they shall all be welcome. It will be theearnest desire and prayer of the Christian, that God would sodirect him in his worldly business, and so order his situationand employment, that he may have his Lord and Saviour alwaysbefore him. 9-17 The Bridegroom gives high praises of his spouse. In thesight of Christ believers are the excellent of the earth, fittedto be instruments for promoting his glory. The spiritual giftsand graces which Christ bestows on every true believer, aredescribed by the ornaments then in use, ver. #10,11|. The gracesof the saints are many, but there is dependence upon each other.He who is the Author, will be the Finisher of the good work. Thegrace received from Christ's fulness, springs forth into livelyexercises of faith, affection, and gratitude. Yet Christ, nothis gifts, is most precious to them. The word translated"camphire," signifies "atonement or propitiation." Christ isdear to all believers, because he is the propitiation for theirsins. No pretender must have his place in the soul. Theyresolved to lodge him in their hearts all the night; during thecontinuance of the troubles of life. Christ takes delight in thegood work which his grace has wrought on the souls of believers.This should engage all who are made holy, to be very thankfulfor that grace which has made those fair, who by nature weredeformed. The spouse (the believer) has a humble, modest eye,discovering simplicity and godly sincerity; eyes enlightened andguided by the Holy Spirit, that blessed Dove. The churchexpresses her value for Christ. Thou art the great Original, butI am but a faint and imperfect copy. Many are fair to look at,yet their temper renders them unpleasant: but Christ is fair,yet pleasant. The believer, ver. #16|, speaks with praise ofthose holy ordinances in which true believers have fellowshipwith Christ. Whether the believer is in the courts of the Lord,or in retirement; whether following his daily labours, orconfined on the bed of sickness, or even in a dungeon, a senseof the Divine presence will turn the place into a paradise. Thusthe soul, daily having fellowship with the Father, the Son, andthe Holy Spirit, enjoys a lively hope of an incorruptible,undefiled, and unfading inheritance above.
Copyright information for MHCC
Welcome to STEP Bible
From Tyndale House, Cambridge UK
Use the search box to find Bibles, commentaries, passages, search terms, etc. Here are some examples:
This shows how to quickly lookup a passage.
Looking up a passage in three different translations is also easy.
This asks STEP to search for the Greek word for 'brother' and show the results in the ESV.
This example runs both a 'Hebrew word search' and a 'Text' search and shows the results in both the NIV and ESV.
You can mix most searches. This finds any word translated as 'throne' in the Prophets and the New Testament, but only in verses concerning the topic 'David'. This excludes verses which refer to a 'throne' in other contexts.
Interlinear Hebrew & Greek is available for some translations with grammar (and more soon). To reverse the interlinear order, click on a version abbreviation under the verse number.
© Tyndale House, Cambridge, UK - 2018