1. Historically, at Jesus Christ's crucifixion
and burial, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus, and others, joined with
His professed disciples. By speaking of Jesus Christ, the bride does
good not only to her own soul, but to others (see on So 1:4; Mal 3:16; Mt 5:14-16). Compare the hypocritical use of similar
2. gone down—Jerusalem was on a hill
(answering to its moral elevation), and the gardens were at a
little distance in the valleys below.
beds of spices—(balsam) which He
Himself calls the "mountain of myrrh," &c. (So 4:6), and again (So 8:14), the resting-place of His body amidst
spices, and of His soul in paradise, and now in heaven, where He stands
as High Priest for ever. Nowhere else in the Song is there mention of
mountains of spices.
feed in … gardens—that is, in
the churches, though He may have withdrawn for a time from the
individual believer: she implies an invitation to the daughters of
Jerusalem to enter His spiritual Church, and become lilies, made white
by His blood. He is gathering some lilies now to plant on earth, others
to transplant into heaven (So 5:1; Ge 5:24; Mr 4:28, 29;
3. In speaking of Jesus Christ to others, she
regains her own assurance. Literally, "I am for my beloved
… for me." Reverse order from So 2:16. She now, after the season of
darkness, grounds her convictions on His love towards her, more than on
hers towards Him (De 33:3).
There, it was the young believer concluding that she was His,
from the sensible assurance that He was hers.
4. Tirzah—meaning "pleasant" (Heb 13:21); "well-pleasing" (Mt 5:14); the royal city of one of the old
Canaanite kings (Jos 12:24);
and after the revolt of Israel, the royal city of its kings, before
Omri founded Samaria (1Ki 16:8, 15). No ground for assigning a later date
than the time of Solomon to the Song, as Tirzah was even in his time
the capital of the north (Israel), as Jerusalem was of the south
Jerusalem—residence of the kings of
Judah, as Tirzah, of Israel (Ps 48:1,
&c.; 122:1-3; 125:1, 2).
Loveliness, security, unity, and loyalty; also the union of Israel and
Judah in the Church (Isa 11:13; Jer 3:18; Eze
37:16, 17, 22; compare Heb
12:22; Re 21:2, 12).
terrible—awe-inspiring. Not only armed
as a city on the defensive, but as an army on the offensive.
banners—(See on So
5:10; Ps 60:4); Jehovah-nissi (2Co 10:4).
5. (So 4:9; Ge 32:28; Ex
32:9-14; Ho 12:4). This is
the way "the army" (So 6:4)
"overcomes" not only enemies, but Jesus Christ Himself, with eyes fixed
on Him (Ps 25:15; Mt 11:12). Historically, So 6:3-5, represent the restoration of Jesus
Christ to His Church at the resurrection; His sending her forth as an
army, with new powers (Mr 16:15-18, 20); His rehearsing the same
instructions (see on So 6:6) as when with them
overcome—literally, "have taken me by
6. Not vain repetition of So 4:1, 2. The use of the same words shows His
love unchanged after her temporary unfaithfulness (Mal 3:6).
8. threescore—indefinite number, as in
So 3:7. Not queens, &c., of
Solomon, but witnesses of the espousals, rulers of the earth
contrasted with the saints, who, though many, are but "one" bride
(Isa 52:15; Lu 22:25, 26; Joh 17:21; 1Co
10:17). The one Bride is
contrasted with the many wives whom Eastern kings had in violation of
the marriage law (1Ki 11:1-3).
9. Hollow professors, like half wives, have no
part in the one bride.
only one of her mother—namely,
"Jerusalem above" (Ga 4:26). The
"little sister" (So 8:8) is not
inconsistent with her being "the only one"; for that sister is one with
herself (Joh 10:16).
choice—(Eph 1:4; 2Th 2:13). As she exalted Him above all others
5:10), so He now her.
daughters … blessed her—(Isa 8:18; 61:9; Eze 16:14; 2Th 1:10). So at her appearance after Pentecost
(Ac 4:13; 6:15; 24:25; 26:28).
10. The words expressing the admiration of the
daughters. Historically (Ac 5:24-39).
as the morning—As yet she is not come
to the fulness of her light (Pr 4:18).
moon—shining in the night, by light
borrowed from the sun; so the bride, in the darkness of this world,
reflects the light of the Sun of righteousness (2Co 3:18).
sun—Her light of justification is
perfect, for it is His (2Co 5:21; 1Jo 4:17). The moon has less light, and has only
one half illuminated; so the bride's sanctification is as yet
imperfect. Her future glory (Mt 13:43).
army—(So 6:4). The climax requires this to be applied
to the starry and angelic hosts, from which God is called Lord of
Sabaoth. Her final glory (Ge 15:5; Da 12:3; Re 12:1). The Church Patriarchal, "the morning";
Levitical, "the moon"; Evangelical, "the sun"; Triumphant, "the
bannered army" (Re 19:14).
11. The bride's words; for she everywhere is
the narrator, and often soliloquizes, which He never does. The first
garden (So 2:11-13) was that of spring, full of flowers and
grapes not yet ripe; the second, autumn, with spices (which are always
connected with the person of Jesus Christ), and nothing unripe (So 4:13, &c.). The third here, of
"nuts," from the previous autumn; the end of winter, and verge of
spring; the Church in the upper room (Ac 1:13, &c.), when one dispensation was
just closed, the other not yet begun; the hard shell of the old needing
to be broken, and its inner sweet kernel extracted [Origen] (Lu 24:27, 32); waiting for the Holy Ghost to usher in
spiritual spring. The walnut is meant, with a bitter outer husk,
a hard shell, and sweet kernel. So the Word is distasteful to the
careless; when awakened, the sinner finds the letter hard, until the
Holy Ghost reveals the sweet inner spirit.
fruits of the Valley—Maurer translates, "the blooming products of
the river," that is, the plants growing on the margin of the
river flowing through the garden. She goes to watch the first
sproutings of the various plants.
12. Sudden outpourings of the Spirit on
Pentecost (Ac 2:1-13),
while the Church was using the means (answering to "the garden," So 6:11;
Ammi-nadib—supposed to me one
proverbial for swift driving. Similarly (So 1:9). Rather, "my willing people" (Ps 110:3). A willing chariot bore a
"willing people"; or Nadib is the Prince, Jesus Christ (Ps 68:17). She is borne in a moment into
His presence (Eph 2:6).
13. Entreaty of the daughters of Jerusalem to
her, in her chariot-like flight from them (compare 2Ki 2:12; 2Sa
Shulamite—new name applied to her now
for the first time. Feminine of Solomon, Prince of Peace; His
bride, daughter of peace, accepting and proclaiming it (Isa 52:7; Joh 14:27; Ro 5:1; Eph 2:17). Historically, this name answers to the
time when, not without a divine design in it, the young Church met in
Solomon's porch (Ac 3:11; 5:12). The entreaty, "Return, O Shulamite,"
answers to the people's desire to keep Peter and John, after the lame
man was healed, when they were about to enter the temple. Their reply
attributing the glory not to themselves, but to Jesus Christ, answers
to the bride's reply here, "What will ye see" in me? "As it were,"
&c. She accepts the name Shulamite, as truly describing her. But
adds, that though "one" (So 6:9), she
is nevertheless "two." Her glories are her Lord's, beaming through her
5:31, 32). The two armies are
the family of Jesus Christ in heaven, and that on earth, joined and one
with Him; the one militant, the other triumphant. Or Jesus Christ and
His ministering angels are one army, the Church the other, both being
one (Joh 17:21, 22). Allusion is made to Mahanaim (meaning
two hosts), the scene of Jacob's victorious conflict by prayer
32:2, 9, 22-30). Though she
is peace, yet she has warfare here, between flesh and spirit within and
foes without; her strength, as Jacob's at Mahanaim, is Jesus Christ and
His host enlisted on her side by prayer; whence she obtains those
graces which raise the admiration of the daughters of Jerusalem.