Canticle of Canticles Chapter 8
The love of the church to Christ: his love to her.
8:1. Who shall give thee to me for my brother, sucking the breasts of my mother, that I may find thee without, and kiss thee, and now no man may despise me?
8:2. I will take hold of thee, and bring thee into my mother's house: there thou shalt teach me, and I will give thee a cup of spiced wine and new wine of my pomegranates.
8:3. His left hand under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me.
His left hand, etc. . .Words of the church to Christ. His left hand, signifying the Old Testament, and his right hand, the New.
8:4. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you stir not up, nor awake my love till she please.
8:5. Who is this that cometh up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her beloved? Under the apple tree I raised thee up: there thy mother was corrupted, there she was defloured that bore thee.
Who is this, etc. . .The angels with admiration behold the Gentiles converted to the faith: coming up from the desert, that is, coming from heathenism and false worship: flowing with delights, that is, abounding with good works which are pleasing to God: leaning on her beloved, on the promise of Christ to his Church, that the gates of hell should not prevail against it; and supported by his grace conferred by the sacraments. Under the apple tree I raised thee up; that is, that Christ redeemed the Gentiles at the foot of the cross, where the synagogue of the Jews (the mother church) was corrupted by their denying him, and crucifying him.
8:6. Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy as hard as hell, the lamps thereof are fire and flames.
8:7. Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing.
8:8. Our sister is little, and hath no breasts. What shall we do to our sister in the day when she is to be spoken to?
Our sister is little, etc. . .Mystically signifies the Jews, who are to be spoken to: that is, converted towards the end of the world: and then shall become a wall, that is, a part of the building, the church of Christ.
8:9. If she be a wall: let us build upon it bulwarks of silver: if she be a door, let us join it together with boards of cedar.
8:10. I am a wall: and my breasts are as a tower since I am become in his presence as one finding peace.
8:11. The peaceable had a vineyard, in that which hath people: he let out the same to keepers, every man bringeth for the fruit thereof a thousand pieces of silver.
8:12. My vineyard is before me. A thousand are for thee, the peaceable, and two hundred for them that keep the fruit thereof.
8:13. Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the friends hearken: make me hear thy voice.
8:14. Flee away, O my beloved, and be like to the roe, and to the young hart upon the mountains of aromatical spices.