1. thy feet—rather, "thy goings" (Ps 17:5). Evident allusion to Isa 52:7: "How beautiful … are the
feet of him … that publisheth peace" (Shulamite,
shoes—Sandals are richly jewelled in
the East (Lu 15:22; Eph 6:15). She is evidently "on the mountains,"
whither she was wafted (So 6:12),
above the daughters of Jerusalem, who therefore portray her
daughter—of God the Father, with whom
Jesus Christ is one (Mt 5:9),
"children of (the) God" (of peace), equivalent to Shulamite
(Ps 45:10-15; 2Co 6:18), as well as bride of Jesus Christ.
prince's—therefore princely herself,
freely giving the word of life to others, not sparing her "feet," as in
5:3; Ex 12:11. To act on the
offensive is defensive to ourselves.
joints—rather, "the rounding"; the
full graceful curve of the hips in the female figure; like the
rounding of a necklace (as the Hebrew for "jewels"
means). Compare with the English Version, Eph
4:13-16; Col 2:19. Or,
applying it to the girdle binding together the robes round the hips
cunning workman—(Ps 139:14-16; Eph 2:10, 22; 5:29, 30,
2. navel—rather, "girdle-clasp," called
from the part of the person underneath. The "shoes" (So 7:1) prove that dress is throughout
presupposed on all parts where it is usually worn. She is "a bride
adorned for her husband"; the "uncomely parts," being most adorned
12:23). The girdle-clasp was
adorned with red rubies resembling the "round goblet" (crater or
mixer) of spice-mixed wine (not "liquor," So 8:2; Isa
5:22). The wine of the "New
Testament in His blood" (Lu 22:20).
The spiritual exhilaration by it was mistaken for that caused by new
wine (Ac 2:13-17; Eph 5:18).
belly—that is, the vesture on
it. As in Ps 45:13, 14, gold and needlework compose the bride's
attire, so golden-colored "wheat" and white "lilies" here. The ripe
grain, in token of harvest joy, used to be decorated with lilies; so
the accumulated spiritual food (Joh 6:35; 12:24), free from chaff, not fenced with
thorns, but made attractive by lilies ("believers," So
2:2; Ac 2:46, 47; 5:13, 14,
in common partaking of it). Associated with the exhilarating wine cup
9:17), as here.
3. The daughters of Jerusalem describe her in
the same terms as Jesus Christ in So 4:5. The testimonies of heaven and earth
twins—faith and love.
4. tower of ivory—In So 4:4, Jesus Christ saith, "a tower of David
builded for an armory." Strength and conquest are the main thought in
His description; here, beauty and polished whiteness; contrast So 1:5.
fishpools—seen by Burckhardt, clear (Re 22:1), deep, quiet, and full (1Co 2:10, 15).
Heshbon—east of Jordan, residence of
the Amorite king, Sihon (Nu 21:25,
&c.), afterwards held by Gad.
Bath-rabbim—"daughter of a multitude";
a crowded thoroughfare. Her eyes (So 4:1) are called by Jesus Christ, "doves'
eyes," waiting on Him. But here, looked on by the daughters or
Jerusalem, they are compared to a placid lake. She is calm even amidst
the crowd (Pr 8:2; Joh 16:33).
tower of Lebanon—a border-fortress,
watching the hostile Damascus. Towards Jesus Christ her face was full
of holy shame (see on So 4:1; So
4:3); towards spiritual foes, like a watchtower (Hab
2:1; Mr 13:37; Ac 4:13),
elevated, so that she looks not up from earth to heaven, but down from
heaven to earth. If we retain "nose," discernment of spiritual
fragrance is meant.
5. upon thee—the headdress "upon"
Carmel—signifying a well-cultivated
35:2). In So 5:15 He is compared to majestic
Lebanon; she here, to fruitful Carmel. Her headdress, or crown
4:8; 1Pe 5:4). Also the souls
won by her (1Th 2:19, 20), a token of her fruitfulness.
purple—royalty (Re 1:6). As applied to hair, it expresses the
glossy splendor of black hair (literally, "pendulous hair") so much
admired in the East (So 4:1). While
the King compares her hair to the flowering hair of goats (the token of
her subjection), the daughters of Jerusalem compare it to
galleries—(so So 1:17, Margin; Re 21:3). But Maurer translates here, "flowing ringlets"; with
these, as with "thongs" (so Lee, from
the Arabic translates it) "the King is held" bound (So 6:5; Pr
6:25). Her purple crowns of
martyrdom especially captivated the King, appearing from His galleries
56). As Samson's strength was
in his locks (Jud 16:17).
Here first the daughters see the King themselves.
6. Nearer advance of the daughters to the
Church (Ac 2:47; 5:13, end). Love to her is the first token of
love to Him (1Jo 5:1,
delights—fascinating charms to them
and to the King (So 7:5; Isa 62:4, Hephzi-bah). Hereafter, too (Zep 3:17; Mal 3:12; Re 21:9).
7. palm tree—(Ps 92:12). The sure sign of water near
(Ex 15:27; Joh 7:38).
clusters—not of dates, as Moody Stuart thinks. The parallelism (So 7:8), "clusters of the vine," shows it is
here clusters of grapes. Vines were often trained (termed "wedded") on
8. The daughters are no longer content to
admire, but resolve to lay hold of her fruits, high though these be.
The palm stem is bare for a great height, and has its crown of
fruit-laden boughs at the summit. It is the symbol of triumphant joy
12:13); so hereafter (Re 7:9).
the vine—Jesus Christ (Ho 14:7, end; Joh 15:1).
nose—that is, breath; the Holy Ghost
breathed into her nostrils by Him, whose "mouth is most sweet"
apples—citrons, off the tree to which
He is likened (So 2:3).
9. roof of thy mouth—thy voice (Pr 15:23).
best wine—the new wine of the
gospel kingdom (Mr 14:25),
poured out at Pentecost (Ac 2:4, 13, 17).
for my beloved—(So 4:10). Here first the daughters call Him
theirs, and become one with the bride. The steps successively are
(So 1:5) where they misjudge her (So 3:11); So 5:8, where the possibility of their finding
Him, before she regained Him, is expressed; So 5:9 (So 6:1; 7:6, 9; Joh 4:42).
causing … asleep to speak—(Isa 35:6; Mr 5:19, 20; Ac 2:47; Eph 5:14). Jesus Christ's first miracle turned
water into "good wine kept until now" (Joh 2:10); just as the Gospel revives those
asleep and dying under the law (Pr 31:6; Ro 7:9, 10,
24, 25; 8:1).
10. Words of the daughters of Jerusalem and
the bride, now united into one (Ac 4:32). They are mentioned again distinctly
(So 8:4), as fresh converts were being
added from among enquirers, and these needed to be charged not to
grieve the Spirit.
his desire is toward me—strong
assurance. He so desires us, as to give us sense of His desire toward
us (Ps 139:17, 18; Lu 22:15; Ga 2:20; 1Jo
11. field—the country. "The tender grape
(Maurer translates, flowers) and vines"
occurred before (So 2:13). But
here she prepares for Him all kinds of fruit old and new; also, she
anticipates, in going forth to seek them, communion with Him in
"loves." "Early" implies immediate earnestness. "The villages" imply
distance from Jerusalem. At Stephen's death the disciples were
scattered from it through Judea and Samaria, preaching the word (Ac 8:4-25). Jesus Christ was with them,
confirming the word with miracles. They gathered the old fruits,
of which Jesus Christ had sown the seed (Joh 4:39-42), as well as new fruits.
lodge—forsaking home for Jesus
Christ's sake (Mt 19:29).
12. (Mr 1:35; Joh 9:4; Ga
6:10). Assurance fosters
diligence, not indolence.
13. mandrakes—Hebrew, dudaim,
from a root meaning "to love"; love apples, supposed to exhilarate the
spirits and excite love. Only here and Ge 30:14-16. Atropa mandragora of Linnæus; its leaves like lettuce, but
dark green, flowers purple, root forked, fruit of the size of an apple,
ruddy and sweet-smelling, gathered in wheat harvest, that is, in May
(Mariti, ii. 195).
gates—the entrance to the kiosk or
summer house. Love "lays up" the best of everything for the person
beloved (1Co 10:31; Php 3:8; 1Pe 4:11), thereby really, though unconsciously,
laying up for itself (1Ti 6:18, 19).