Song of Solomon Chapter 7
Verses 7:1-9: The similarities here are different from what they were before, and in the original, refer to glorious and splendid clothing. Such honor has all his saints; as having put on Christ, they are distinguished by their beautiful and glorious apparel. They adorn the doctrine of God their Savior in all things. Consistent believers honor Christ, recommend the gospel, and convince and awaken sinners. The church resembles the stately and spreading palm. While her love for Christ, and the obedience resulting therefrom, are precious fruit of the true Vine. The King is held in the galleries. Christ takes delight in the assemblies and ordinances of his people; and admires the fruit of his grace in them. When applied to the church and to each faithful Christian, all this denotes that beauty of holiness, in which they shall be presented to their heavenly Bridegroom.
Song of Solomon 7:1 “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter! the joints of thy thighs [are] like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.”
It is no unusual thing to describe the comeliness of women by their feet, and the ornaments of them. He describes the comely beauty of the Church in every part, which is to be understood spiritually. That this is said of the church, is plain from the designation of her.
“O Prince’s daughter!” the same with the King’s daughter (Psalm 45:13). The daughter of the King of kings; for being espoused to Christ. His Father is her Father, and his God her God. Besides, she is born of him who is the Prince of the kings of the earth (1 John 2:28). She is both a Prince’s wife and a Prince’s daughter. It may be rendered, “O noble”, or “princely daughter”! Being of a free princely spirit, in opposition to a servile one (Psalm 51:12). Of a bountiful and liberal spirit, as in (Isa. 32:5). In distributing temporal things to the necessities of the poor. And in communicating spiritual things to the comfort and edification of others.
“The joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman”: A skillful artificer, a goldsmith or jeweler. The allusion seems to be to some ornaments about the knees or legs, wore by women in those times (see Isa. 3:18). And this may serve to set off the luster and beauty of the church’s conversation. And since it seems not so decent to describe the parts themselves mentioned, the words may rather design the leg covering or garments, with which they were covered. And may signify the garments of salvations and robe of Christ’s righteousness, whereby the church’s members are covered, so that their nakedness is not seen. But it seems best by these “joints”, or “turnings of the thighs”, by which they move more orderly and regularly, to understand the principles of the walk and conversation of saints. As one observes; without which it cannot be ordered aright. For principles denominate actions, good and bad. And the principles of grace, by which believers move in their Christian walk, are as valuable and as precious as jewels. Such as faith and love, and a regard to the glory of God. And which are curiously wrought by the finger of God, by his Holy Spirit, who “works in them both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).
We are looking at these lessons from the spiritual standpoint, and not the literal. The Scriptures must help us in our relationship with Christ for them to be useful to us. The “feet with shoes” indicate she is going somewhere. The church in action is a delight to the Lord. He wants us moving. The church that stands still is stagnant and will probably, begin to decline. Notice the statement “prince’s daughter”. All Christians will reign with King Jesus. We will be princes.
Revelation 5:10 “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
Jesus is the head and we reign under Him. We are to be about our Father’s business as Jesus was. The hands indicate the work. The “jewels” speak of our precious relationship with Christ. We are jewels to him. How beautiful are the feet of them who bring the gospel.
Song of Solomon 7:2 “Thy navel [is like] a round goblet, [which] wanteth not liquor: thy belly [is like] a heap of wheat set about with lilies.”
But rather the part itself is meant, and designs the ministers of the Gospel. Who, in the administration of the word and ordinances, are that to the church as the navel is to a human body. That is in an eminent part of it, and is the strength of the intestines, conduces much to the health of the body, and by which the child in the womb is supposed to receive its nourishment. Ministers are set in the highest place in the church. They are strong in themselves, through the grace and power of Christ and the means of strengthening others. And of keeping the church a good plight and healthful state, by the wholesome words and sound doctrines they preach. And also of nourishing souls in embryo, and when new born, with the sincere milk of the word. And as the navel is said to be like a “round goblet”, cup, bowl, or basin, aptly describing that part. And may express the perfection of Gospel ministers, their gifts and grace. Not in an absolute, but comparative sense, the round or circular form being reckoned the most perfect. And also the workmanship bestowed on them, the gifts and grace of the Spirit, a round goblet being turned and formed by some curious artist. And likewise, their capacity to hold and retain Gospel truths. And they are compared, not to an empty one, but to one;
“Which wanteth not liquor”: Meaning the large and never failing supplies of gifts and grace from Christ. So that they never want for the liquor, the oil and wine of Gospel truths, to communicate to others (Zech. 4:12-14). The word used signifies a “mixture”, or a “mixed liquor”, as of wine and milk (SOS 5:1). Or rather of wine and water, much used in the eastern countries. So, the wine of Sharon used to be mixed, two parts water and one wine: and this designs, not a mixture of divine truths and human doctrines, which ought not to be made. But the variety of Gospel truths ministers deliver to others, and that in a manner they are most capable of receiving them.
“Thy belly is like a heap of wheat”: Which denotes the fruitfulness of the church in bringing souls to Christ, comparable to a pregnant woman. And whose fruit, young converts born in her, are compared to “a heap of wheat” for their number, choiceness, and solidity, being able to bear the fan of persecution. It was usual with the Jews to scatter wheat on the heads of married persons at their weddings, three times, saying, “increase and multiply” (see Isa. 66:8). This heap of wheat is said to be “set about”, or “hedged, with lilies”; which suggests, that it was not a heap of wheat on the corn floor, which is meant, but a field of standing wheat, enclosed and fenced, not with thorns, but lilies. And these lilies may signify grown saints, who are often compared to lilies in this book, by whom young converts are encompassed and defended. Or the beauties of holiness, in which they appear as soon as born again (Psalm 110:3).
In the physical, we could be looking at a description of a dance before the lover. These body parts are involved in that sort of dance. We however, are looking at the connection with the church. This is a description of the beauty of the body (Christians).
Song of Solomon 7:3 “Thy two breasts [are] like two young roes [that are] twins.”
This is the same as in (SOS 4:5); but there the addition occurs, “which feed among the lilies.” That is omitted here, perhaps, only because lilies are just before spoken in the previous verse. The description is now on the lips of the ladies; before it was uttered by the king himself.
Song of Solomon 7:4 “Thy neck [is] as a tower of ivory; thine eyes [like] the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim: thy nose [is] as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.”
Two things recommend the neck, erectness and whiteness. Both are here expressed, the one by a “tower”, the other by “ivory”; hence a fine beautiful neck is called an ivory one. Of the church’s neck, as it may design either the ministers of the word, or the Scriptures of truth (see notes on SOS 4:4). Where it is compared to “the tower of David”, and here to “a tower of ivory”: However, it is used as expressive of the purity of the lives of Gospel ministers, and the evenness of their doctrines. And of the purity, beauty, glory, axial harmony of the Scriptures.
Thine eyes like the fish pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim”: Heshbon was formerly the seat of Sihon, king of the Amorites (Num. 22:26). Of which Bath-rabbim was one of its gates; so called. Either because it led to Rabbah, a city near it, and mentioned with it (Jer. 49:3); or because of the great numbers that went in and out by it. For it may be rendered, “the daughter of many”, or “of great ones”. Near this gate, it seems, were very delightful fish pools, to which the eyes of the church are compared. In the Hebrew language, the word for eyes and fountains is the same. The eyes having fluid in the lens of the eye, and so fitly compared to fish pools. Of the eyes of the church, as they may design either the ministers of the word, or the eyes of her understanding, particularly faith (see notes on SOS 1:15). Here they are said to be like “fish pools”, whose waters are clear, quiet, constant and immovable. And, if applied to ministers, may denote the clearness of their sight in discerning the truths of the Gospel. And their being filled with the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ. And their being blessings to the churches of Christ, and to the souls of men the word for “fish pools” comes from a word which signifies “to bless”. And such being observed as were near the gate of Bath-rabbim, may have respect to the multitude that attend their ministry, and receive benefit by it. In which they are constant and invariable, and all of a piece, and appear very beautiful to those to whom they are useful. And if applied to the church’s eyes of understanding, those of faith and knowledge, may denote the absolute clearness of the meaning of them, in the discernment of spiritual things. And the fixedness and immovableness of them on the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ; looking alone to him, and off of every other object. And so very attractive to him, and beautiful in his sight, as well as their abounding with the waters of evangelic repentance and humiliation (see SOS 4:9).
“Thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon, which looketh towards Damascus”: A tower on that part of Mount Lebanon which faced Damascus, which lay in a plain, and so open to view, as well as exposed to winds. Which tower was so high, as Adrichomius says, that from thence might be numbered the houses in Damascus. By which also may be meant the ministers of the word. Nor need it seem strange that the same should be expressed by different metaphors, since the work of ministers is of different parts. Who, as they are as eyes to see, so like the nose to smell. And having a spiritual discerning of Gospel truths, both savor them themselves, and diffuse the savor of them to others. And are both the ornament and defense of the church. Many denote the vigilance and courage of faithful ministers, who watch the church’s enemies, and their motions, and, with a manful courage, face and attack them. Moreover, this description may respect the majesty and magnanimity of the church herself. The former may be intimated by her nose, which, when of a good size, and well proportioned, adds much grace and majesty to the countenance. And the latter by its being compared to the impregnable tower of Lebanon, looking towards Damascus, signifying that she was not afraid to look her worst enemies in the face. Or the whole may express her prudence and discretion in spiritual things. By which she can distinguish truth from error, and discern dangers afar off, and guard against them.
The tower of ivory would have been tall and slender. It would also have been dazzling white, which speaks of righteousness. The eyes are deep with feeling. The bride is mentioned as the holy city Jerusalem. The implication is that the bride (church), and the city are one. In the natural that would be impossible, but nothing is impossible to God. The nose here, is symbolic of a tower.
Song of Solomon 7:5 “Thine head upon thee [is] like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king [is] held in the galleries.”
Set with hair, thick and long, as Carmel with plants and trees. Now Christ is the church’s Head in various senses. He is her federal and representative Head in eternity and time. Her political Head, as a King to his subjects; an economical Head, as the husband to the wife, as parents to their children, and a master to servants. And as such, may be compared to Carmel; for the multitude dependent on him, whom he represents, and is connected with under various relations. For his height, being higher than the kings of the earth, and all other heads. And for fruitfulness, all the fruits of the church, and of all true believers, coming from him. Some render the word, “as crimson”, or “scarlet”; which may set forth his royal dignity and majesty. This color being worn by kings and great personages; or the ardent love of Christ to his body, the church, and the members of it. Or his bloody sufferings for them.
“And the hair of thine head like purple”: In a figurative sense, the second Adam’s hair is said to be like purple. By which believers that grow on Christ, the Head of the church, may be meant. Who have their dependence on him, and their strength and nourishment from him (see SOS 4:1). And these may be said to be like “purple”, because of their royal dignity, being made kings unto God by Christ. And because of their being washed in the royal blood of Christ. And because of the sufferings they endure for his sake; and especially such may be so compared, who have spilt their blood and laid down their lives on his account.
“The king is held in the galleries”: The same with the Head of the church, the King of Zion, and King of saints, whose kingdom is a spiritual and everlasting one. And by the “galleries” in which he is held may be meant the ordinances of the Gospel. Where Christ and his people walk and converse together. Where he discloses the secrets of his heart to them, leads them into a further acquaintance with his covenant, and the blessings and promises of it. And from whence they have delightful views of his person and fullness. Now Christ being said to be “held in these galleries” may signify his fixed habitation in his house and ordinances. Where he has promised to dwell, and delights to be.
“Carmel” in this particular Scripture, is a city and it means fruitful field. “Purple” speaks of royalty. She is crowned with royalty, is what this is saying. The king is waiting to bring His praises to the bride.
Song of Solomon 7:6 “How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!”
These are the words of the King in the galleries, wondering at the church’s beauty, it being incomparable and inexpressible, it could not be said well how great it was. And expressing the strength of his love to her, which was invariably the same as ever. Of the “fairness” of the church, and of this title, “love” (see SOS 1:9). And here she is said also to be “pleasant” to him, as his spouse and bride, in whom he takes infinite delight and pleasure. Loving her with a love of contentment and delight. And therefore adds, “for delights”, which he had in her before the world was (Prov. 8:31). She was all delight to him; her words, her actions and gestures, her comely countenance, and her sweet and pleasant voice in prayer and praise. And her ravishing looks of faith and love, her heavenly airs, and angelic walk. And in all which she appeared beautiful and delightful, beyond all human thought and expression.
The bride (church), is beautiful in every aspect to the Bridegroom.
Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee [is] mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
Song of Solomon 7:7 “This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters [of grapes].”
Here the church is compared to the stature of a palm tree. The church’s stature is no other than the “stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). Which will be attained when all the elect are gathered in, and every member joined to the body. And all filled with the gifts and graces of the spirit designed for them, and are grown up to a just proportion in the body. And in such a state Christ seems to view his church, and so commends her by this simile. Saints are oftentimes compared to palm trees in Scripture on other accounts (see Psalm 92:12).
“And thy breasts to clusters of grapes”: On a vine which might be planted by and run up upon a palm tree, as Aben Ezra suggests. Though rather clusters of dates, the fruit of the palm tree, are designed, since this fruit, as Pliny observes, grows in clusters. And to clusters of the vine the church’s breasts are compared in (SOS 7:8). And by these “breasts” may be meant either the ministers of the Gospel, who communicate the sincere milk of the word to souls. And may be compared to clusters for their numbers, when there is plenty of them, which is a great mercy to the church. And for their unity, likeness, and agreement in their work, in their ministrations, and in the doctrine they preach, though their gifts may be different. Or else the two Testaments, full of the milk of the word; and comparable to “clusters” of grapes or dates, because of the many excellent doctrines and precious promises in them. Which, when pressed by hearing, reading, meditation, and prayer, yield both delight and nourishment to the souls of men. Some think the two ordinances of the Gospel, baptism and the Lord’s supper, are intended, which are breasts of consolation. And, when the presence of Christ, and the manifestations of his love, are enjoyed in them, they afford much pleasure and satisfaction. And as those breasts are full in themselves, they are beautiful in the eye of Christ, and as such commended (see notes on SOS 4:5).
We see from the following Scriptures that we are tall in stature, because we stand in the knowledge of Jesus.
Ephesians 3:17 “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,”
Ephesians 3:18-19 May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;” “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Christians are like the palm tree in that they may grow tall and stately, but they are solidly grounded in Christ. The breasts speak of the fruit the tree produces.
Song of Solomon 7:8 “I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;”
By the “palm tree” may be meant the church militant, who yet gets the victory over all her enemies, of which the palm tree is an emblem. And Christ’s “going up” to it is expressive of his right to it, and property in it. Which he has by his Father’s gift, his own purchase, and the power of his grace, and may go up to it when he pleases. Also of his presence with his church, and of the delight he takes in her, viewing her stature, fruit, and flourishing circumstances.
“I will take hold of the boughs thereof”: Either to crop them, the tops of them, which, of the first year’s growth, are very tender and sweet, and may be eaten. Or to gather the fruit on them; his own grace in exercise, and good works performed under the influence of it (see SOS 4:16). Or to prune them; which he does by the ministry of the word, reproving sin, and refuting error. And, by afflictive providences, purging away sin. And by suffering persecution to befall his churches, whereby he clears them of carnal professors, and lops off withered and fruitless branches.
“Now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine”: Round, full, soft, and succulent, like the berries of the vine tree, the grapes that grow in clusters on it. Of these (see notes on SOS 7:7).
“And the smell of thy nose like apples” (see notes on SOS 7:4). Here it may denote the inward constitution and outward conduct of the church, which were sound and healthful. She had an inward principle of grace, from whence proceeded a savory conduct, a savory breath, and a holy breathing after divine and spiritual things. Or it may intend the things she had a savor of, as divine truths and excellent doctrines, comparable to “apples” (SOS 2:5). And all spiritual and heavenly things, when they have the presence of Christ, and the quickening influences of his Spirit.
The “palm” tree was symbolic of love. The Lord delights in the love of the believers who make up the church. The “vine” is speaking of Christ (John 15:5).
Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”
Ephesians 5:9 “(For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)”
Song of Solomon 7:9 “And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth [down] sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.”
Which may intend, either her taste, as the word is rendered in (SOS 2:3). By which she can distinguish good wine from bad, or truth from error. Or her breath, sweet and of a good smell, like the best wine. The breathings of her soul in prayer, which are sweet odors, perfumed with the incense of Christ’s mediation. Or rather her speech, the words of her mouth; the roof of the mouth being an instrument of speech. The same word is sometimes rendered “the mouth” (SOS 5:16). And may denote both her speech in common conversation, which is warming, refreshing, comforting, and quickening. And in prayer and praise, which is well pleasing and delightful to Christ. And especially the Gospel preached by her ministers, comparable to the best wine for its antiquity, being an ancient Gospel. And for its purity, unadulterated, and free from mixture, and as faithfully dispensed. And its delight, flavor, and taste, to such who have their spiritual senses exercised. And for its cheering, refreshing, and strengthening nature, to drooping weary souls. It follows;
“For my beloved, that goeth down sweetly”: Is received and taken down with all readiness, by those who have once tasted the sweetness and felt the power of it. Or, “that goeth to righteousnesses”; leading to the righteousness of Christ for justification, and teaching to live soberly and righteously. Or, “that goeth to my beloved, straightway” or “directly”. Meaning either to his Father, Christ calls his beloved. To whose love the Gospel leads and directs souls, as in a straight line. As to the source of salvation, and all the blessings of grace. The Gospel leading souls directly to him, his person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, for peace, pardon, justification, and atonement. Or, “that goeth to my beloved to uprightnesses”. That is, to the church, who is Christ’s beloved, consisting of upright men in heart and life. Whom Christ calls his beloved and his friends (SOS 5:1). And whom Christ treats with his best wine, his Gospel. And which is designed for them, their pleasure, profit, comfort, and establishment.
“Causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak”: Either such who are in the dead sleep of sin. Who, when the Gospel comes with power, are quickened by it. And it produces in them humble confessions of sin. Causing them to speak in praise of Christ, and his grace, and of the salvation which he has procured for lost sinners. It brings them to Zion, to declare what great things God has done for them. Or else drowsy professors, in lifeless frames, and much gone back in religion. Who, when aroused and quickened by the Gospel, and brought out of their lethargy, are ready to acknowledge their backslidings with shame. To speak meanly and modestly of themselves, and very highly of Christ and his grace, who has healed their backslidings, and still loves them freely. None more ready to exalt and magnify Christ, and speak in praise of what he has done for them.
This wine is possibly speaking of being filled with the Holy Spirit of God, and then, being able to speak by that Spirit. “Those that are asleep” are the unsaved. When you are saved and filled with the Spirit of God, then you speak the good news of the gospel.
Matthew 26:27 “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave [it] to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;”
The cup spoken of here, contained wine that symbolized the blood of Jesus. They drank the life that He provided them.
Verses 7:10-13: The church, the believing soul, triumphs in its relation to Christ, and interest in him. She humbly desires communion with him. Let us walk together, that I may receive counsel, instruction, and comfort from thee. And may make known my wants and my grievances to thee, with freedom, and without interruption. Communion with Christ is what all that are made holy earnestly breathe after. And those who would converse with Christ, must go forth from the world. Wherever we are, we may keep up communion with God. Nor should we go where we cannot in faith ask him to go with us. Those who would go abroad with Christ, must begin early in the morning of their days and must begin every day with him. Then seek him early and seek him diligently. A gracious soul can reconcile itself to the poorest places, if it may have communion with God in them. But the most delightful fields will not satisfy, unless the Beloved is there. Let us not think to be satisfied with any earthly object. Our own souls are our vineyards; they should be planted with useful trees. We should often search whether we are fruitful in righteousness. Christ’s presence will make the vine flourish, and the tender grapes appear, as the returning sun revives the gardens. If we can appeal to him, “Thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee”. If his Spirit witness with our spirit, that our souls prosper, it is enough. And we must beg of him to search and try us, to discover us to ourselves. The fruits and exercises of graces are pleasant to the Lord Jesus. These must be laid up, and always ready. That by our bringing forth much fruit, he may be glorified. It is all from him, therefore it is fit it should be all for him.
Song of Solomon 7:10 “I [am] my beloved’s, and his desire [is] toward me.”
These are the words of the church, strongly expressing the assurance of faith she had of her union to Christ, and interest in him. Which shows that “that” grace is attainable, and that there may be a continuation of the exercise of it. It may be expressed again and again, as it is by the church in this Song (SOS 2:16). And that this grace has no tendency to licentiousness, but excites to duty. And makes more careful in it (of which SOS 7:11), is a proof. “Come, let us go forth”, etc. Moreover, these words may be considered as a modest acknowledgment of the church’s, that all she was and had were Christ’s, and came from him. All the beauty he had commended in her; all fruitfulness in grace, and strength in the exercise of it. Her light and knowledge in divine truths and her zeal and courage to defend them. Her upright stature, and holy walk and conversation, and every good thing else, were owing to his grace. And here she also makes a voluntary surrender of all to him again; as she received all from him, she devotes all to him.
“And his desire is towards me”: And only to her, as his spouse and bride. It was towards her from everlasting, when he asked her of his Father, and he gave her to him. And so it was in time, to procure her salvation. Hence, he became incarnate, and suffered and died in her stead. His desire is towards his people before conversion, waiting to be gracious to them; and, after conversion, to have their company, and their grace exercised on him, and to behold their beauty. Nor will his desires be fully satisfied until he has got them all with him in glory. And this phrase not only signifies the conjugal relation of the church to Christ, he being her husband, and she his wife. The desire of his eyes, as a wife is called (Ezek. 24:16). But takes in the whole care and concern of Christ for her, as her husband. Who sympathizes with her under all her distresses; and protects her from all dangers and enemies. And provides everything necessary for her, for time and eternity. Some render the words, “seeing his desire is towards me”. Therefore, she expresses her faith in him, and gives up herself to him
This is the bride speaking and recognizing the fact that she belongs to the Bridegroom. Jesus bought us and paid for us with His precious shed blood.
John 17:24 “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Song of Solomon 7:11 “Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.”
The word “come” is often used by Christ, and here by the church, in imitation of him (see SOS 2:10). This call is the call of the church upon Christ, to make good his promise (SOS 7:8). And is an earnest desire after the presence of Christ, and the manifestations of his love. Which desire is increased the more it is enjoyed. And it shows the sense she had of her own insufficiency for the work she was going about. She knew that visiting the several congregations of the saints would be too little purpose, unless Christ was with her, and therefore she urges him to it. Not that he was backward and unwilling to go with her, but he chooses to seem so. To make his people the more earnest for his presence, and to prize it the more when they have it. And it is pleasing to him to hear them ask for it. The endearing character, “my beloved”, is used by the church, not only to express her affection for Christ, and faith of interest in him, but as an argument to engage him to go along with her. Her requests follow;
“Let us go forth into the field”: From the city, where she had been in quest of Christ, and had now found him (SOS 5:7). Into the country, for recreation and pleasure. The allusion may be to such who keep their country houses, to which they retire from the city, and take their walks in the fields, to see how the fruits grow, and enjoy the country air. The church is for going abroad into the fields; but then she would have Christ with her. Walking in the fields yields no pleasure unless Christ is there. There is no recreation without him. The phrase expresses her desire of his presence everywhere. At home and abroad, in the city and the fields. And of her being with him alone, that she might tell him all that’s on her mind, and impart her love to him. Which she could better do alone than in company, as it may also signify her desire to have the Gospel spread in the world. In the barren parts of it, which looked like uncultivated fields, the Gentile world. And so, in one of the ancient Jewish commentaries. These “fields”, and the “villages” in the next clause, are interpreted of the nations of the world.
“Let us lodge in the villages”: Which, though places of mean entertainment for food and lodging, yet, Christ being with her, were more eligible to her than the greatest affluence of good things without him. And, being places of retirement from the noise and hurry of the city, she chose them, that she might be free of the cares of life. And enjoy communion with Christ, which she would have continued; and therefore was desirous of “lodging”, at least all night (as in SOS 1:13). Some render the words, “by”, “in”, or “among the Cyprus trees” (see SOS 1:14). By which may be meant the saints, comparable to such trees for their excellency, fragrancy, and fruitfulness. And an invitation to lodge by or with these could not be unwelcome to Christ, they being the excellent in the earth, in whom is all his delight.
This speaks of a time and place of peace. This is like the 23rd Psalm.
Psalms 23:1 “The LORD [is] my shepherd; I shall not want.” “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
Song of Solomon 7:12 “Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, [whether] the tender grape appear, [and] the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.”
After a night’s lodging in the fields, or among the “Cyprus trees”. By which “vineyards” may be meant particular churches, gathered according to Gospel order, and distinguished from the world. Planted with fruitful vines, and fenced by almighty power. Here the church proposes to “get up early”, very early in the morning. Being willing to take the first and most seasonable opportunity of visiting the saints, to know their state and condition. And, that her visit might not be in vain, she is for taking Christ along with her.
“Let us see if the vine flourish”: True believers in Christ; who, though weak and worthless in themselves, yet being engrafted in Christ, the true vine. Bringing forth fruit, and become flourishing in grace and good works. Of the flourishing or flowering of the vine (see notes on SOS 2:13).
“Whether the tender grape appear”: Or when “the flower of the vine opens”, and goes off, and the small grape appears. By which young converts may be meant, who are tender, and have but a small degree of faith and knowledge. And yet these are not overlooked, much less despised, by Christ and his church. But are delighted with the promising appearance they make.
“And the pomegranates bud forth”: Stronger believers, taller and more fruitful than the former (see SOS 4:13). The exercise of whose grace are signified by “budding forth”, in an open and visible manner. The church is concerned for the good and welfare of the saints of all ranks and sizes. Of vines and pomegranates, as well as tender grapes, and of the budding of the one, as well as of the opening and flowering of the other. And seeing these ends proposed by her are the same with Christ’s (SOS 6:11). She might conclude they would prevail upon him to go with her, particularly what follows:
“There will I give thee my loves”: In the fields, villages, and vineyards, when alone, and observing the state and condition of particular churches and saints. And having communion with Christ, the church might hope and expect to have her heart enlarged, and drawn forth in love to Christ more abundantly. And that she should be able to manifest it more largely to him, and give clearer and fuller proofs of it. And this she observes in order to gain her point, and get him to go along with her. Knowing that her love, in the acts and exercise of it, was very acceptable to him (SOS 4:10). I see not why the word for “loves” may not be rendered “my lovely flowers”; as a word nearly the same (in SOS 7:13). Is by some rendered, “these lovely flowers give a good smell”, which seems to refer to the flowers here. Such as were to be met with in plenty, in fields and vineyards, among vines and pomegranates, as lilies, violets, etc. And may be an allusion to lovers, who used to give to those they loved sweet smelling flowers; and here may signify the graces of the Spirit. And the acts of them, which are fragrant, and acceptable to Christ.
The “vineyard” is the church. The “vine” is Jesus Christ. This may be a peculiar thing to ask about the church, but we know many churches are not flourishing in the truth of the gospel.
John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.”
We must be very careful to lift up the name of Jesus in our churches. We must not be Christians in name only. Some have a form of Christianity, but deny the power thereof. We must produce fruit fit for the kingdom.
Song of Solomon 7:13 “The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates [are] all manner of pleasant [fruits], new and old, [which] I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.”
And by them here may be intended, either the saints and people of God, compared to them for their fragrancy. Being clad with the garments of Christ, which smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia, and are anointed with the savory ointments of the grace of the Spirit. Whose prayers are sweet odors; and their works, with their persons, accepted with God in Christ. Or rather the graces of the Spirit in lively exercise may be meant. Such as those lovely flowers of faith, hope, love, repentance, patience, self-denial, humility, thankfulness, and others.
“And at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits”: In distinction from the mandrakes and flowers in the fields (Gen. 30:14). And in allusion to a custom, in many countries, to garnish the posts of the door of newly married persons with branches of trees, fruits, and flowers. And at other festivals, besides nuptial ones, which made it inviting to enter in. And these “all manner of pleasant fruits” may denote the plenty, variety, and excellency of the blessings of grace. And of the graces of the Spirit, believers have from Christ. And of the doctrines and ordinances of the Gospel, which are for their use. And may be said to be “at our gates”, as being ready at hand, in the hearts of saints, and in the mouths of Gospel ministers. And open and visible, held forth to public view in the word and ordinances. And which are administered at Wisdom’s gates, the gates of Zion, where they are to be met with and had. And which are;
“New and old”: Denoting the plenty of grace and blessings of it. Of old laid up in Christ, and from whom there are fresh supplies continually. Or rather the doctrines of the Old and New Testament; which, for matter and substance, are the same. And with which the church, and particularly her faithful ministers, being furnished, bring forth out of their treasure things new and old (Matt. 13:52).
“Which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved”: Christ, whom her soul loved. For though the above fruits, the blessings, promises, and doctrines of grace. Which she laid up in her heart, mind, and memory. To bring forth and make use of at proper times and seasons, were for her own use and benefit. And of all believers, yet in all for the honor and glory of Christ, the author and donor of them. Respect may be had to a custom with lovers, to lay up fruits for those they love. At least such custom may be compared with this.
Mandrakes were thought of as love flowers. They were supposed to make you more fertile. True Christianity produces fruit. Some are old, some are young. Some are black, some are white. Some are males, some are females. There is a great variety of fruit. Christianity must be deeper than just emotion. Christ wants our heart and our will. He wants us to love Him above all else and to obey Him.
Matthew 22:37 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
1 Samuel 15:22 “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.”
The beloved of God love Him and obey Him.
Song of Solomon Chapter 7 Questions
- We are looking at these lessons from the _________ standpoint.
- What does “the feet with shoes” indicate?
- The church that stands still is ______________.
- What does “prince’s daughter” show us?
- “Hands” indicate _________.
- What do the “jewels” speak of?
- Verse 2, in the physical, could be speaking of what?
- Thy neck is as a tower of __________.
- Describe this tower.
- What does this dazzling white speak of?
- The bride is spoken of as the holy city ______________.
- “Carmel”, in verse 5, is a ________.
- What does the name mean?
- “Purple” speaks of ___________.
- Why are the Christians spoken of as tall in stature?
- The “palm tree” was symbolic of _______.
- The “vine” speaks of whom?
- What is the wine, in verse 9, referring to?
- Who is “those who are asleep” referring to?
- What did this wine refer to?
- Who is speaking in verse 10?
- Your ________ is the temple of the Holy Ghost.
- What does verse 11 speak of?
- The “vineyard” is the __________.
- The “vine” is _________ _______.
- “Mandrakes” were thought of as _______ ____________.
- True Christianity produces ________.
- Who are Christians made up of?
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