Song of Solomon Chapter 4
Verses 4:1-7: If each of these comparisons has a meaning applicable to the graces of the church, or of the faithful Christian, they are not clearly known. And great mistakes are made by fanciful guesses. The mountain of myrrh appears to mean the mountain Moriah, on which the temple was built. Where the incense was burned, and the people worshipped the Lord. This was his residence till the shadows of the law given to Moses were dispersed by the breaking of the gospel day, and the rising of the Sun of righteousness. And though, in respect of his human nature, Christ is absent from his church on earth. And will continue to be so till the heavenly day break. Yet he is spiritually present in his ordinances, and with his people. How fair and comely are believers, when justified in Christ’s righteousness, and adorned with spiritual graces! when their thoughts, words, and deeds, though imperfect, are pure, manifesting a heart nourished by the gospel.
Song of Solomon 4:1 “Behold, thou [art] fair, my love; behold, thou [art] fair; thou [hast] doves’ eyes within thy locks: thy hair [is] as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.”
Being clothed with my righteousness, and adorned with all the graces of my Spirit. He repeats it both to confirm his assertion, and to show the fervency of his affection.
“Thou hast doves’ eyes”: Whereas the beauty of the spouse is here described in her several parts. We need not labor much about the application of each particular to some distinct grace of the church. It being the chief design of the description to show that completeness and absolute perfection which the church hath in part received, and shall more fully receive in the future life.
“Within thy locks”: Which being decently composed, make the eyes appear more amiable. Withal this intimates the modesty of her looks. Her eyes are not wanton, and wandering. Or lofty, but sober, and humble, and confined within their proper bounds, looking directly upon her husband. Not looking indirectly upon other lovers, nor minding other gods or christs. If the eyes signify teachers, the locks may note the people assembled together to hear their teachers. To whom they are a great ornament when they thrive by his teaching.
“Thy hair is as a flock of goats”: The hair of goats in the East is fine like silk. As long hair is her glory, and marks her subjection to man (1 Cor. 11:6-15). So, the Nazarite’s hair marked his subjection and separation unto God (compare Judges 16:17 with 2 Cor. 6:17; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9). Jesus Christ cares for the minutest concerns of His saints (Matt. 10:30). He has respect for the multitude of the faithful, which are many in number.
This is the bridegroom speaking to the bride. The groom is looking into the eyes of the bride, and likes what He sees. The eyes reveal what she really is inside. The hair of the goat was long and black. Perhaps that is what is intended in the comparison here. This example of Solomon as groom on the earth, and all the beauty he sees in his bride is an example of the beauty Christ sees in His church.
Ephesians 5:28-29 “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:”
Song of Solomon 4:2 “Thy teeth [are] like a flock [of sheep that are even] shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none [is] barren among them.”
“Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep”: That is, like the teeth of a flock of sheep. As her eyes were like the eyes of doves, and her hair like the hair of goats.
“That are even shorn”: As some render the word. Which may denote the equality of Gospel ministers in power and authority. One having no superiority over another. All having the same mission and commission, employed in the same work, preaching the same Gospel. And though their gifts are different, yet there is a harmony and agreement in the doctrines they preach.
“Which came up from the washing”: White and clean, which is another property of good teeth. As the teeth of sheep be, and they themselves are, when just come up out of the washing pit. This may signify the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which are necessary to ministers of the word, in order to preach it. And more especially the purity of their lives and conversations, in which they should be examples to the flock.
“Whereof everyone bear twins, and none is barren among them”: This may express the fruitfulness and success of Gospel ministers, in bringing many souls to Christ. And was particularly true of the apostles, and first ministers of the Gospel, who were instrumental in the conversion of many. And who bore twins to Christ, Jews and Gentiles. By meditation they feed upon Christ, his Gospel, doctrines, and promises. And are sanctified, and in some measure, cleansed from the pollution of their minds and actions. Ascend heavenwards in their thoughts, desires, and affections; and are not “barren” and unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ and his Gospel. And generally, through meditation, bring forth the “twins” of prayer and praise. By faith also they feed on Christ and his grace. Is “pure”, sincere, and unfeigned and is always fruitful, and bears the “twins” of love to Christ, and of love to his saints. And is not “barren”, but attended with the fruits of righteousness.
The comparison of the teeth of the bride to sheep is speaking of the whiteness. The sheep are washed and cleansed after the shearing. The believers in Christ are washed in the blood of the Lamb and made white as snow. The twins could be speaking of the fruitfulness and there is none barren. One of the blessings of a marriage is the children it produces. On the spiritual side of this, one of the blessings of being washed in the blood and saved, is when others are washed and saved, because of your witness. Most true Christians bear spiritual children.
Song of Solomon 4:3 “Thy lips [are] like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech [is] comely: thy temples [are] like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.”
Fine, and smooth, soft, round, and red, in which the beauty of the lips consists. “Thy speech is comely”; which is added, partly as another ingredient of an amiable person, and partly to explain the foregoing comparison. The communication or discourse of believers is edifying, and comfortable, and acceptable to God and to serious men. To which may be added, that the doctrines of the Gospel, delivered by the ministers of the church, who are her lips, may be taken into the sense of this clause. Which are like a “thread”, spun out of the Scriptures, and are harmonious and all of a piece, consistent and closely connected. The subject and matter of which are the blood, sufferings, and death of Christ, and the blessings that come thereby. Which also, like scarlet, are valuable and precious.
“And thy speech is comely”: Which explains the preceding clause; and shows, that by her lips her speech is meant, which is “comely”, that is, graceful and amiable. As it is when believers speak of Christ, of his person, offices, and grace. And for him, in vindication of his truths and ordinances. When they speak to him, in prayer or in praise; and when, in common conversation, their speech is with grace.
“Like a piece of a pomegranate”: This may note both the church’s beauty and her modesty, which shows itself by blushes in those parts when she hath fallen into any sin, as the highest believers in this world sometimes do. And these may be compared to “a piece of a pomegranate”, because of their being full of gifts, and grace, and good works, visible to men. And for their harmony and union among themselves, and with the church and its members. And the strict regard that, in all things, is had to the rules and laws of Christ. All which make the officers of the church, and the discipline of it, acceptable to him.
“Within thy locks”: A further evidence both of beauty and modesty (see verse 4:1). This may be expressive of the meekness and humility of its officers, who are not to lord it over God’s heritage. And of the private manner in which admonitions are to be given, in case of private offences. And of the affairs and concertos of a church being kept private, and not blazed abroad.
This is speaking of red lips. We discovered in another lesson that comely means beautiful. The pomegranates could be speaking of the reddish color of the bride’s cheeks.
Song of Solomon 4:4 “Thy neck [is] like the tower of David builded for an armory, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.”
“Thy neck”: This may seem to represent the grace of faith, by which we are united to Christ, as the body is to the head by the neck. And through which Christians receive their spiritual food, and consequently their strength and ability for action.
“Is like the tower of David”: Round, and smooth, and white, long, and straight, and upright, firm, and strong. And moreover, adorned with chains of gold or pearl, or the like ornaments; all which things, as they set forth the beauty of the neck. So they may signify the various excellences and uses of faith.
“Whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men”: No other armor is mentioned, as in this armory, but shields. They being a principal part of armor, and are especially so called, as in the Septuagint version of (1 Kings 14:26). These shields are armor of mighty men. Mighty, through God and his grace, to perform mighty actions, and do great exploits. Being furnished from the spiritual armory with the whole armor of God. To repel Satan’s temptations, to defend the Gospel, and refute error. Particularly the ministers of the word are those mighty men; though it is applicable to all saints.
Perhaps, this is speaking of the bride being made to reign with the King.
2 Samuel 22:51 “[He is] the tower of salvation for his king: and showeth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.”
In this instance, the “tower” is spoken of as spiritual strength.
Ephesians 4:15-16 “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:” “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
Song of Solomon 4:5 “Thy two breasts [are] like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.”
“Two breasts”: Another part in which beauty consists (Ezek. 16:7). By which some understand the two testaments, or the two sacraments. But these are rather Christ’s than the church’s breasts. To others, the church’s fervent love to Christ, and to all the saints, for the breasts signify love (Prov. 5:9; SOS 1:13). Or others, her fruitfulness, both in good works, and in bringing up children unto Christ, like a nurse with her breasts. But the following comparison seems not to respect the use of the breasts, or the love which is signified or manifested by them, but their comeliness. And therefore, this is generally to be understood of the church’s beauty in all parts, as hath been said.
“Which feed among the lilies”: Shrinking from thorns of strife, worldliness, and ungodliness (2 Sam. 23:6; Matt 13:7). Roes feed among, not on the lilies. Where these grow, there is moisture producing green pasturage. The lilies represent her white dress (Psalm 45:14; Rev. 19:8).
Proverbs 5:19 “[Let her be as] the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”
Song of Solomon 4:6 “Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.”
Until the day of grace breaks on every elect sinner, and the shadows of darkness, ignorance, and unbelief, are in a great measure fled and gone. Or until the everlasting day breaks, and there will be no more night, nor any darkness of affliction, nor any more desertion, doubts, and fears (see SOS 2:17). They are the words of Christ, declaring where he would go till that time came. These words are uttered by the bride, and here returned by the bridegroom as an answer to that request. And this place may be understood of the day of glory, when all shadows and ordinances shall cease.
“I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense”: To my church upon earth, which was typified by the mountain of Moriah and the temple upon it. This, in prophetic writings, is called a mountain, and may well be called a mountain of myrrh and frankincense. Both for the acceptable services which are there offered to God, and for the precious gifts, and graces, and comforts of the Holy Spirit. Which are of a sweet-smelling savor to God and men, and which there, and there only, are poured forth. Thus Christ directs his bride, to wit, particular believers, where they may find and enjoy him, namely, in his church and ordinances.
The two young roes feed among the lilies at night, and at daybreak, they run away. Christ even now, is in heaven awaiting the time to come to the earth. On the earth is possibly speaking of a life of darkness. The day breaks when we are carried away into heaven with Jesus. There is no night there. The “hill of frankincense” could be speaking of the sacrifice. The myrrh is speaking of the sweet smell. Jesus is the perfect Lamb sacrifice.
Song of Solomon 4:7 “Thou [art] all fair, my love; [there is] no spot in thee.”
Being justified by the righteousness of Christ, washed in his blood, and sanctified by his Spirit. Of the title, my “love” (see SOS 1:9). The church is often said by Christ to be “fair”, his “fair one”, and the “fairest among women” (SOS 1:8). But here “all fair”, being a perfection of beauty, and perfectly comely through his comeliness. This is said to show her completeness in Christ, as to justification. And that, with respect to sanctification, she had a perfection of parts, though not of degrees. And to observe, that the church and “all” the true members of it were so. The meanest and weakest believer, as well as the greatest and strongest. It is added;
“There is no spot in thee”: Not that the saints have no sin in them; nor any committed by them. Nor that their sins are not sins; or that they have no spots in them, with respect to sanctification, which is imperfect. But with respect to their justification. As having the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, and covered with that spotless robe, they are considered as having no spot in them. God sees no sin in them, so as to reckon it to them, and condemn them for it. And they stand blameless in his sight. And will be presented by Christ, both to himself and to his father, and in the view of men and angels, “not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing” (Eph. 5:27), upon them.
This matters not whether it is speaking of Jesus, who was perfect and totally without sin, or whether it is speaking of the chaste virgin bride that is without spot or wrinkle. The bride is made righteous in the blood of Jesus.
Verses 4:8-15: Observe the gracious call Christ gives to the church. It is;
(1) A precept: So this is Christ’s call to his church to come off from the world. These hills seem pleasant, but there are in them lions’ dens; they are mountains of the leopards.
(2) As a promise: Many shall be brought as members of the church, from every point. The church shall be delivered from her persecutors in due time, though now she dwells among lions (Psalm 57:4).
Christ’s heart is upon his church; his treasure is therein; and he delights in the affection she has for him. Its working in the heart, and its works in the life. The odors wherewith the spouse is perfumed, are as the gifts and graces of the Spirit. Love and obedience to God are more pleasing to Christ than sacrifice or incense. Christ having put upon his spouse the white raiment of his own righteousness, and the righteousness of saints. And perfumed it with holy joy and comfort, he is well pleased with it. And Christ walks in his garden unseen. A hedge of protection is made around, which all the powers of darkness cannot break through. The souls of believers are as gardens enclosed, where is a well of living water (John 4:14; 7:38), the influences of the Holy Spirit. The world knows not these wells of salvation, nor can any oppose or corrupt this fountain. Saints in the church, and graces in the saints, are fitly compared to fruits and spices. They are planted, and do not grow of themselves. They are precious; they are the blessings of this earth. They will be kept to good purpose when flowers are withered. Grace, when ended in glory, will last forever. Christ is the source which makes these gardens fruitful; even a well of living waters.
Song of Solomon 4:8 “Come with me from Lebanon, [my] spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards.”
This is a new title given the church, my “spouse”. Here first mentioned, because the day of espousals was over (SOS 3:11). And having on the wedding garment, in which she was so fair and spotless, as before described, she looked somewhat like a bride, and the spouse of Christ. And is chiefly used by Christ, to prevail upon her to go with him, which relation, duty, and affection, obliged her to do.
“Look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens”: From the mountains of the leopards; Amana is thought by some to be the mountain which divided Cilicia from Syria.
“The mountain of the leopards”: Which was round and high, was two miles from Tripoli northward, three from Arce southward, and one from Lebanon.” Now these words may be considered as a call of Christ to his people, to come out from among wicked men, comparable to such creatures. And he makes use of two arguments to enforce it. The one is taken from the nature of such men, and the danger of being with them; who are like to lions, for their cruel and persecuting temper. And to leopards, for their being full of the spots of sin; and for their craftiness and malice, exercised towards those who are quiet in the land. And for their swiftness and readiness to do mischief. Wherefore it must be both uncomfortable and unsafe to be with such persons. The other argument is taken from their enjoyment of Christ’s company and presence, which must be preferable to theirs, for pleasure, profit, and safety, and therefore most eligible. Besides, Christ chose not to go without his church. She was so fair, as before described, and so amiable and lovely in his sight, as the next scriptures follows.
This is the bridegroom calling the bride from her past earthly life, to be with Him. Lebanon and the other names here, are symbolic. The Bridegroom is calling His bride out of the world to Him.
Song of Solomon 4:9 “Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, [my] spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.”
Here another new title is given to the church, “my sister”, with the repetition of the former, my “spouse”. For one and the same person, with the Hebrews, might be sister and spouse (see 1 Cor. 9:5). And this may be used in a love strain, and so not improper in a love poem, as this was (see SOS 8:8). Likewise, the church may be called Christ’s sister, because of his incarnation, in virtue of which he is not ashamed to call his people his brethren, and so his sisters (Heb. 2:11). And on account of their adoption; in which respect, he that is Christ’s Father is theirs. And which is evidenced in regeneration; when they, through grace, do the will of his Father, and so are his brother, and sister, and mother (Matt. 12:50). And, upon the whole, it is used to express the great affection of Christ for the church, and his high esteem of her. And which appears by his saying;
“Thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes”: The allusion may be to the custom of the eastern women; who, when they walked abroad or spoke to any, showed but one eye. The other, with the rest of the face, being covered with a veil. The eyes of women are ensnaring to lovers; the church has more eyes than one. Mention is made of the eyes of the understanding (Eph. 1:18). Faith is one of them, and may he here chiefly intended. By which a soul looks on Christ, the glories of his person, and the fullness of his grace. And looks to him for the blessings of grace now, and eternal glory hereafter. And with this Christ’s heart is ravished; even with “one look” from it, or “glance” of it, as some render it.
“With one chain of thy neck”: With the several graces of the Spirit, linked together as in a chain. Which were about the neck of the church, and as ornamental to her as a pearl necklace (SOS 1:10). And with every link in this chain Christ’s heart is ravished and delighted. The Vulgate Latin version is, “with one lock of hair of thy neck”: which hung down in it, and looked very beautiful; and with which lovers are sometimes taken.
“Ravished” in this verse, means she has encompassed His heart. She has taken His heart completely. My sister spouse is a step beyond being promised. This is His young bride. The fact of one eye or one chain, ravishing Him, perhaps, means that under the veil, He had just seen this much, but it was enough to cause His heart to race. It could also mean that her concentration was upon Him, as if she had one eye.
Song of Solomon 4:10 “How fair is thy love, my sister, [my] spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!”
Of these titles (see SOS 4:8-9). And of the love of the church to Christ (see SOS 1:3). Here said to be “fair”, lovely and delightful, grateful and acceptable. As it is to Christ, in the several acts and effects of it. And therefore, the word is plural, “thy loves”; being exceeding beautiful in his eye, and extremely well pleasing to him. Therefore, says “how fair!” as admiring it, it being hard to say how fair it was. And this appears from the large manifestations of Christ’s love to those that love him. And from his causing all things to work together for the good of such. And from his preparing and laying up things, unseen and unheard of, for them.
“How much better is thy love than wine!” Which is saying the same thing of her love to him she says of his to her (SOS 1:2). Her love to Christ is more pleasant, more cheering, and more acceptable to him, than the wine of legal sacrifices. Or than all burnt offerings; or than any duty whatever, unless that is the principle from whence it flows (Mark 12:33).
“And the smell of thine ointments than all spices!” The same with Christ’s ointments, commended (SOS 1:3). Namely, the graces of the Spirit, which are in Christ without measure, and from him communicated to his people. And when exercised by them, are very delightful to him, and preferred by him to “all spices”. Even to all those used in the holy anointing oil, typical of them (Exodus 30:23).
A “spouse” is a bride. This speaks of the special love He has for His bride. To Him, she is beautiful. He would not trade her love for anything, and that includes fine wine.
Song of Solomon 4:11 “Thy lips, O [my] spouse, drop [as] the honeycomb: honey and milk [are] under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments [is] like the smell of Lebanon.”
Thy speeches both to me in prayer and praises, and to men for their edification, are highly acceptable to me. In praise of Christ, and thankfulness to him; or in the ministration of the doctrines of the Gospel, which are pleasant words. Or in common conversation, are pleasing to Christ. When, like the honey, they drop freely and without constraint. Gradually, at proper seasons and opportunities, as prudence directs. And continually, more or less, ever dropping something to the glory of divine grace, and the good of souls.
“Honey and milk”: Words more sweet and comfortable than honey or milk. To be nursed with such a mixture. And this being very grateful to the taste, the speech of the church for pleasantness is compared unto it.
“Under thy tongue”: By which phrase he may possibly intimate that her words were not uttered in hypocrisy, or with evil design, as many fair and smooth speeches are. But proceed from her very heart, which is under her tongue, as mischief is said to be under his tongue (Psalm 10:7). Who devised it in his heart.
“And the smell of thy garments”: Of that righteousness, wherewith I have clothed and adorned thee. Christ and the graces of the Spirit are often compared to garments, as (Rom. 13:14; Eph. 4:24; 1 Peter 5:5).
“The smell of Lebanon”: Which is also mentioned and commended (Hosea 14:6). Which must needs be very sweet and grateful in regard of the great numbers of sweet-smelling spices and trees which grew in that mountain.
There are many things this could imply. The kisses between husband and wife are special. They are moments when the world is completely shut out. The implication here, could be the special relationship Christ has with His church. They are not part of the world. They belong to Him, and Him alone. His love for them is so great, it far surpasses this love and kisses of the bride and groom.
Hebrews 13:15 “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.”
The smell of Lebanon could be like Cedar, which does not fade away. It preserves the relationship as cedar preserves from moths.
Song of Solomon 4:12 “A garden enclosed [is] my sister, [my] spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.”
We must bear in mind that these words are supposed to be spoken on the journey in the marriage procession. The bride is not yet brought to the royal palace. She is still travelling in the royal litter. The idea of a paradise or garden is carried from the beginning of Scripture to the end, the symbol of perfect blessedness. The figure of the closed or shut-up garden represents the bridegroom’s delight in the sense of absolute and sole possession, for himself and no other. The language is very natural at such a time, when the bride is being taken from her home. We may compare with the figures here employed those in (Prov. 5:15-20), to express the chastity of the bride.
Now the church may be thus compared, because of the abundance of grace in her, and in each of her members. Which is as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life (John 4:14). And because of the doctrines of the Gospel, called a fountain (Joel 3:18). With which Gospel ministers water the plants in Christ’s garden, the members of the church. Whereby they are revived, refreshed, and flourish; and their souls become as a watered garden, whose springs fail not.
“A spring shut up, a fountain sealed”: Which, either applied to the doctrines of grace and truth, in and from Christ and may denote the secrecy and safety of them from the men of the world. Or to the grace of Christ, communicated by him to the saints and may denote the security of it, the invisible operations of it, and the sole exercise of it on him. For these phrases denote the inviolable chastity of the church to Christ, in her faith, love, service, and worship (see Prov. 5:15).
This is saying, the bride has all she needs. The garden is a place of love and peace. This is a place of rest. The church is a comfort, companion, joy, and lover to Him. The spouse is for Him alone. The spring shut up and fountain sealed shows she is His. He will not share His bride (church), with anyone. We have spoken before that Jesus will have 100% of us, or He will not have us at all. He will not share us with false gods.
Song of Solomon 4:13 “Thy plants [are] an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,”
These plants are the members of the church, true converts, believers in Christ. Pleasant plants, plants of renown, planted in the church by Christ’s heavenly Father, and shall never be plucked up. Or, thy gardens, as it may be rendered; particular churches, well taken care of and watered. These make an orchard, or are like one, even a paradise, as the word signifies. It is generally thought to be a Persian word (see Neh. 2:8). But Hillerus derives it from to “separate”, it being a garden, separated and enclosed as before. One like Eden’s garden, exceeding pleasant and delightful: and not like an orchard of any sort of trees, but of “pomegranates”. Of which there were plenty in Canaan, therefore called a “land of pomegranates” (Deut. 8:8). Many places in it had their names from there (Joshua 15:32). To which believers in Christ may be compared, for the various sorts of them, for their largeness, fruitfulness, and uprightness. Saints have gifts and grace differing from one another as to size. But all pomegranates, trees of righteousness; some are larger and excel, others are full of all the fruits of righteousness. But all are, more or less, fruitful and upright in heart. And so, the saints of the higher class may be here designed, as those of a lower are by other trees and spices after mentioned.
“With pleasant fruits”: That are valuable, precious, and desirable, of which an enumeration follows.
“Camphire, with spikenard”: Or “cypresses”, or “cypresses with nards”; both in the plural number. The former may intend cypress trees, so called on account of their berries and fruits growing in clusters (see SOS 1:14). And the latter, because there are different sorts of them. To these saints may be compared, because pleasant and delightful, of a sweet smell, and rare and excellent.
Song of Solomon 4:14 “Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:”
The former is the best sort of nard, and therefore mentioned and repeated, to which saints may be compared. Because of the graces of the Spirit in them. Which, when exercised, give a sweet odor, and are exceeding grateful to Christ (see SOS 1:12).
“Calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense”: “Calamus” is the sweet cane in (Isa. 43:24). “Cinnamon” is the rind or bark of a tree. Both grow in India and in Arabia. As also trees of “frankincense”, which are only in Arabia. The two first were ingredients in the holy anointing oil, and the latter in the holy perfume (Exodus 30:23).
“Myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices”: Now all these trees, plants, and spices, signify truly precious souls, possessed of the graces of the Spirit. Comparable to them for their valuableness and excellency, their sweet smell, and the reviving and refreshing nature of them. Which make the subjects of these graces very agreeable to Christ, and to one another. What a garden is the church thus planted!
The words and emotions which come from the bride are beautiful to the bridegroom. Everything about her reminds Him of a beautiful garden, and the fruit it produces. Christ loves the church as the Bridegroom loves the bride. The union between Christ and the church is unexplainable. He bought her with His precious blood. He cares for her day to day. His love for her is greater than human love. It is unselfish love. He cannot say enough good about His bride. All of the valuable spices are mentioned to show He loves her more than all of them.
Song of Solomon 4:15 “A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.”
A well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. Some take these words to be the words of Christ continued, speaking still of his church, and explaining and enlarging upon what he had said of her (SOS 4:12). But rather they are the words of the church. Who, upon hearing herself commended, and knowing that all her fruitfulness, and the flourishing condition she was in, were owing to the grace of Christ, breaks forth in these words. And ascribes all to him, saying, “O fountain of gardens, O well of living waters”.
“A well of living waters”: Though my spouse be in some sort a fountain shut up, yet that is not so to be understood as if she kept her waters to herself. For she is like a fountain of living or running water, which flows into gardens, and makes its flowers and plants to flourish. The church conveys those waters of life, which she receives from Christ, to particular believers.
“And streams from Lebanon”: She is the source of all the joy and refreshment of his existence, just as a fountain is the cause of all the coolness and shade of the garden which it waters.
The beauty of the gardens and the living waters are like the fresh flow of love from the bride to the groom. This is like the life in the Spirit that we live.
John 4:10 “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”
John 4:14 “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
John 7:38 “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
Song of Solomon 4:16 “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, [that] the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.”
The church prays for the influences of the blessed Spirit, to make this garden fruitful. Graces in the soul are as spices in these gardens, that in them which is valuable and useful. The blessed Spirit, in his work upon the soul, is as the wind. There is the north wind of conviction, and the south wind of comfort. She desires Christ to comfort her and to pour the graces of his Spirit on her, which is meant by the North and South wind. The church invites Christ. Let him have the honor of all the garden produces, and let us have the comfort of his acceptance of it. We can invite him to nothing but what is his own already. The believer can have no joy of the fruits, unless they contribute greatly some way or other to the glory of Christ. Let us then seek to keep separate from the world, as a garden enclosed, and to avoid conformity thereto.
The “north and the south” represent conviction and comfort. The garden has to have both to do well. This is the bride inviting the Bridegroom to come and stay in the garden with her. Perhaps, this is speaking of the 1000 year reign of Jesus upon the earth, when the entire land will be like a huge garden. The devil will be chained, and the earth will be like a paradise garden. Whether we are thinking of an individual Christian, or whether we are thinking of the church as a whole, the desire of the bride is to become more pleasing to the bridegroom. The gifts of the Spirit that the believers receive through the Spirit will help them become more pleasing to their Savior.
Song of Solomon Chapter 4 Questions
- Thou hast ________’ eyes within thy locks.
- Who is speaking in verse 1?
- What do the eyes reveal?
- The comparison of the teeth of the bride to sheep is speaking of the _______________.
- What makes the believers white as snow?
- What is another blessing, other than being saved?
- Most true Christians bear ____________ children.
- Thy lips are like a thread of __________.
- “Comely” means _____________.
- The “tower” is spoken of as ____________ strength.
- On the earth is, possibly, speaking of a life of ______________.
- When does the day break for the Christian?
- What are the two possibilities for the meaning of verse 7?
- The Bridegroom is calling His bride out of the _________ to Him.
- What does “ravished” mean?
- What does “sister spouse” tell us?
- What % of us will Jesus settle for?
- Everything about the bride reminds the Bridegroom of what?
- He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow ___________ of __________ _________.
- What do the “north and south” represent in verse 16?
- What time could this be speaking of?
- Where will the devil be during this time?
- The earth will be like a ______________ ___________.