1. He had been a brother already. Why, then,
this prayer here? It refers to the time after His resurrection, when
the previous outward intimacy with Him was no longer allowed,
but it was implied it should be renewed at the second coming (Joh 20:17). For this the Church here prays;
meanwhile she enjoys inward spiritual communion with Him. The
last who ever "kissed" Jesus Christ on earth was the traitor Judas. The
bride's return with the King to her mother's house answers to Ac 8:25, after the mission to Samaria. The
rest spoken of (So 8:4)
answers to Ac 9:31.
that sucked … mother—a brother
born of the same mother; the closest tie.
2. Her desire to bring Him into her home
who would instruct me—rather, "thou
wouldest instruct me," namely, how I might best please thee (Isa 11:2, 3; 50:4; Lu 12:12; Joh 14:26;
spiced wine—seasoned with aromatic
perfumes. Jesus Christ ought to have our choicest gifts. Spices are
never introduced in the song in His absence; therefore the time of His
return from "the mountain of spices" (So 8:14) is contemplated. The cup of betrothal
was given by Him at the last supper; the cup or marriage shall be
presented by her at His return (Mt 26:29). Till then the believer often cannot
feel towards, or speak of, Him as he would wish.
3, 4. The "left and right hand," &c.,
occurred only once actually (So 2:6), and
here optatively. Only at His first manifestation did the Church
palpably embrace Him; at His second coming there shall be again
sensible communion with Him. The rest in So 8:4, which is a spiritual realization
of the wish in So 8:3 (1Pe 1:8), and the charge not to disturb
it, close the first, second, and fourth canticles; not the third, as
the bridegroom there takes charge Himself; nor the fifth, as, if
repose formed its close, we might mistake the present state for
our rest. The broken, longing close, like that of the whole Bible
22:20), reminds us we are to
be waiting for a Saviour to come. On "daughters of Jerusalem," see on
V.—(So 8:5-14)—From The
Call of the Gentiles to the Close of Revelation.
5. Who is this—Words of the daughters of
Jerusalem, that is, the churches of Judea; referring to Paul, on his
return from Arabia ("the wilderness"), whither he had gone after
conversion (Ga 1:15-24).
I raised thee … she … bare
thee—(Ac 26:14-16). The first words of Jesus Christ to the
bride since her going to the garden of nuts (So 6:9, 10); so His appearance to Paul is the only
one since His ascension, So 8:13 is
not an address of Him as visible: her reply implies He is not
visible (1Co 15:8).
Spiritually, she was found in the moral wilderness (Eze 16:5; Ho
13:5); but now she is "coming
up from" it (Jer 2:2; Ho 2:14), especially in the last stage of her
journey, her conscious weakness casting itself the more wholly on Jesus
12:9). "Raised" (Eph 2:1-7). Found ruined under the forbidden tree
3:22-24); restored under the
shadow of Jesus Christ crucified, "the green tree" (Lu 23:31), fruit-"bearing" by the cross (Isa
53:11; Joh 12:24). "Born
again by the Holy Ghost" "there" (Eze 16:3-6). In this verse, her dependence,
in the similar verse, So 3:6,
&c., His omnipotence to support her, are brought out (De 33:26).
6. Implying approaching absence of the
seal—having her name and likeness
engraven on it. His Holy Priesthood also in heaven (Ex
28:6-12, 15-30; Heb 4:14);
"his heart" there answering to "thine heart" here, and "two shoulders"
to "arm." (Compare Jer 22:24, with Hag 2:23). But the Holy Ghost (Eph 1:13, 14). As in So 8:5, she was "leaning" on Him, that is, her
arm on His arm, her head on His bosom; so she prays now
that before they part, her impression may be engraven both on His
heart and His arm, answering to His love and His
power (Ps 77:15;
see Ge 38:18; Isa 62:3).
love is strong as death—(Ac
21:13; Ro 8:35-39; Re 12:11).
This their love unto death flows from His (Joh 10:15;
jealousy … the grave—Zealous
love, jealous of all that would come between the soul and Jesus
Christ (1Ki 19:10; Ps 106:30, 31;
Lu 9:60; 14:26; 1Co 16:22).
cruel—rather, "unyielding" hard, as
the grave will not let go those whom it once holds (Joh 10:28).
a most vehement flame—literally, "the
fire-flame of Jehovah" (Ps 80:16; Isa 6:6). Nowhere else is God's name
found in the Song. The zeal that burnt in Jesus Christ (Ps 69:9; Lu
12:49, 50) kindled in His
followers (Ac 2:3; Ro 15:30; Php 2:17).
7. waters—in contrast with the "coals of
fire" (So 8:6; 1Ki 18:33-38). Persecutions (Ac 8:1) cannot quench love (Heb 10:34;
Re 12:15, 16). Our many
provocations have not quenched His love (Ro 8:33-39).
if … give all the substance …
contemned—Nothing short of Jesus Christ Himself, not even
heaven without Him, can satisfy the saint (Php 3:8). Satan offers the world, as to Jesus
4:8), so to the saint, in
vain (1Jo 2:15-17; 5:4). Nothing but our love in turn can
satisfy Him (1Co 13:1-3).
8. The Gentile Church (Eze 16:48). "We," that is, the Hebrew Church,
which heretofore admitted Gentiles to communion, only by becoming
Judaic proselytes. Now first idolatrous Gentiles are
admitted directly (Ac 11:17-26). Generally, the saint's anxiety for
other souls (Mr 5:19; Joh 4:28, 29).
no breasts—neither faith nor love as
yet (see on So 4:5), which "come by hearing" of
Him who first loved us. Not yet fit to be His bride, and mother of a
what shall we do—the chief question in
the early Church at the first council (Ac 15:23-29). How shall "the elder brother" treat
the "younger," already received by the Father (Lu 15:25-32)? Generally (2Sa 15:15; Joh 9:4; Ac 9:6; Ga 6:10).
In the day … spoken for—that is,
when she shall be sought in marriage (Jud 14:7), namely, by Jesus Christ, the heavenly
9. wall … door—the very terms
employed as to the Gentile question (Ac 14:27; Eph 2:14). If she be a wall in Zion, founded on
Jesus Christ (1Co 3:11), we
will not "withstand God" (Ac 11:17; 15:8-11). But if so, we must not "build" (Ac
15:14-17) on her "wood, hay,
stubble" (1Co 3:12),
that is, Jewish rites, &c., but "a palace of silver," that is, all
the highest privileges of church communion (Ga
2:11-18; Eph 2:11-22). Image
from the splendid turrets "built" on the "walls" of Jerusalem, and
flanking the "door," or gateway. The Gentile Church is the "door," the
type of catholic accessibleness (1Co 16:9); but it must be not a mere thoroughfare
but furnished with a wooden framework, so as not merely to admit, but
also to safely enclose: cedar is fragrant, beautiful, and enduring.
10. The Gentile Church's joy at its free
admission to gospel privileges (Ac 15:30, 31). She is one wall in the spiritual
temple of the Holy Ghost, the Hebrew Church is the other; Jesus Christ,
the common foundation, joins them (Eph 2:11-22).
breasts … towers—alluding to the
silver palace, which the bridal virgins proposed to build on her (So 8:9). "Breasts" of consolation (Isa 66:11); faith and love (1Th 5:8); opposed to her previous state, "no
breasts" (So 8:8; 2Th 1:3). Thus Eze 16:46, 61 was fulfilled, both Samaria and the
Gentiles being joined to the Jewish gospel Church.
favour—rather, "peace." The Gentile
Church too is become the Shulamite (So 6:13), or peace-enjoying bride of
Solomon, that is, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace (Ro 5:1; Eph
2:14). Reject not those whom
God accepts (Nu 11:28; Lu 9:49; Ac 15:8, 9). Rather, superadd to such every aid and
11. The joint Church speaks of Jesus Christ's
vineyard. Transference of it from the Jews, who rendered not the
fruits, as is implied by the silence respecting any, to the Gentiles
Baal-hamon—equivalent to the owner
of a multitude; so Israel in Solomon's day (1Ki 4:20); so Isa 5:1, "a very fruitful hill" abounding
in privileges, as in numbers.
thousand pieces—namely, silverlings,
or shekels. The vineyard had a thousand vines probably; a vine at a
silverling (Isa 7:23),
referring to this passage.
12. "mine" by grant of the true Solomon. Not
merely "let out to keepers," as in the Jewish dispensation of
works, but "mine" by grace. This is "before me," that is,
in my power [Maurer]. But though
no longer under constraint of "keeping" the law as a mere letter and
covenant of works, love to Jesus Christ will constrain her the
more freely to render all to Solomon (Ro 8:2-4; 1Co
6:20; Ga 5:13; 1Pe 2:16),
after having paid what justice and His will require should be paid to
others (1Co 7:29-31; 9:14). "Before me" may also mean "I will
never lose sight of it" (contrast So 1:6) [Moody
Stuart]. She will not keep it for herself, though so freely
given to her, but for His use and glory (Lu 19:13; Ro 6:15;
14:7-9; 1Co 12:7). Or the
"two hundred" may mean a double tithe (two-tenths of the whole
paid back by Jesus Christ) as the reward of grace for our surrender of
all (the thousand) to Him (Ga 6:7; Heb 6:10); then she and "those that keep" are the
same [Adelaide Newton]. But Jesus Christ
pays back not merely two tithes, but His all for our all
13. Jesus Christ's address to her; now no
longer visibly present. Once she "had not kept" her vineyard (So 1:6); now she "dwells" in it, not as its
owner, but its superintendent under Jesus Christ, with vinedressers
("companions"), for example, Paul, &c. (Ac 15:25, 26), under her (So 8:11, 12); these ought to obey her when she
obeys Jesus Christ. Her voice in prayer and praise is to be heard
continually by Jesus Christ, if her voice before men is to be effective
2:14, end; Ac 6:4; 13:2,
14. (See on So 2:17). As
she began with longing for His first coming (So 1:2), so she ends with praying for His
second coming (Ps 130:6; Php 3:20, 21; Re 22:20). Moody
Stuart makes the roe upon spices to be the musk deer. As there
are four gardens, so four mountains, which form not mere images, as
Gilead, Carmel, &c., but part of the structure of the Song: (1)
Bether, or division (So 2:17),
God's justice dividing us from God. (2) Those "of leopards"
(So 4:8), sin, the world, and Satan. (3)
That "of myrrh and aloes" (So 4:6, 14), the sepulchre of Calvary. (4) Those
"of spices," here answering to "the hill of frankincense" (So 4:6), where His soul was for the
three days of His death, and heaven, where He is a High Priest now,
offering incense for us on the fragrant mountain of His own finished
work (Heb 4:14, 7:25; Re 8:3, 4); thus He surmounts the other three
mountains, God's justice, our sin, death. The mountain of spices is as
much greater than our sins, as heaven is higher than earth (Ps 103:11). The abrupt, unsatisfied close
with the yearning prayer for His visible coming shows that the
marriage is future, and that to wait eagerly for it is our true
attitude (1Co 1:7; 1Th 1:10; Tit 2:13; 2Pe 3:12).