Manual Commentary on the Song of Songs

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Both the royal and nuptial crown, or chaplet. The Hebrew for "spouse" Sgs is a crowned one Eze Rev The crown is given at once upon conversion, in title, but in sensible possession afterwards 2Ti While --It is the presence of the Sun of Righteousness that draws out the believer's odors of grace. It was the sight of Him at table that caused the two women to bring forth their ointments for Him Luk , 38 Jhn 2Cr Historically fulfilled Mat ; spiritually Rev ; and in church worship Mat ; and at the Lord's Supper especially, for here public communion with Him at table amidst His friends is spoken of, as Sgs refers to private communion 1Cr , 21 ; typically Exd ; the future perfect fulfilment Luk Rev The allegory supposes the King to have stopped in His movements and to be seated with His friends on the divan.

What grace that a table should be prepared for us, while still militant Psa ! The spikenard is a lowly herb, the emblem of humility. She rejoices that He is well pleased with her graces, His own work Phl Even a little myrrh was costly; much more a bundle Col The night is the whole present dispensation till the everlasting day dawns Rom Also, literally, "night" Psa , , the night of affliction Psa Women deck their persons with them. The loveliness of Jesus Christ. The prominent features of her beauty Mat , gentleness, innocence, and constant love, emblem of the Holy Ghost, who changes us to His own likeness Gen , 11 Mat The opposite kind of eyes Psa Mat 2Pe Reply of the Bride.

She presumes to call Him beloved, because He called her so first. Thou callest me "fair"; if I am so, it is not in myself; it is all from Thee Psa ; but Thou art fair in Thyself Psa The scene is a kiosk, or summer house. Historically, the literal resting of the Babe of Beth-lehem and his parents on the green grass provided for cattle Luk , In this verse there is an incidental allusion, in Sgs , to the offering Luk So the "cedar and fir" ceiling refers to the temple 1Ki ; type of the heavenly temple Rev Perfect oneness of Him and the bride Jhn There is the shelter of a princely roof from the sun Psa , without the confinement of walls, and amidst rural beauties.

The carved ceiling represents the wondrous excellencies of His divine nature.

Bible Commentary - Song of Solomon 1:1

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Remove Square Brackets. Help Video Tutorials 1. This is something missing in too many commentaries. I have already mentioned this volume in the post on Ecclesiastes. There are a number of other helpful commentaries on the Song of Songs. Those looking for a good commentary taking an allegorical approach might consider the older works by George Burrowes and James Durham. The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries is to proclaim the holiness of God in all its fullness to as many people as possible.

Your gift enables our worldwide outreach. Donate Now. Fix that problem! There is probably the same reason for both of these. The man and woman are now married. They are husband and wife. Before this chapter, the man did not consider it proper to stare at her lower body. But when they became married, he had the right to do so.

These facts are important for young men and women today. And they should not just undress together.


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They should ask themselves what is right to do. It is not right to do these things just because of your emotions. And it is not right to do them just because you love someone. This man and woman would not do these things until after their marriage. They were always very careful to behave in a proper manner. It is clear that this is not a description of sex. That fact shows that it may be a description of her dance People would often lift their clothes as they danced 2 Samuel Everything that he sees is beautiful.

Her feet and legs seem perfect.

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He would not guess that she had to work outside Wine and wheat were among the most important and valuable agricultural products in Israel. But now he improves his description. And when she removed the collar, the skin of her neck was white. It was white although her other skin was dark because of the sun Heshbon is in high hills above a valley.

It was at one time a royal city. There are pools in the valley near the steep path that goes into the city. On previous occasions, the description of her hair is like a group of goats ; That seems to be a description of its length and its quality. But now he considers her to be like a queen. So he selects royal words to describe her head and her hair. Purple was the royal colour. The man compares her head to a crown.

Or, he says, it is like the mountain called Carmel. Carmel is the richest place in its entire region. People can see it across much of Israel. Its soil is the best quality. And people produce much wine and oil there. He completes this last description of his wife. She is very beautiful. She pleases him completely. Next, he speaks about his desires for his wife. Of course, she was not really as tall as a tree! And near the top, it carries its fruits. The fruits grow in huge groups.

And the man wants his wife to have many, good results from her life. He wants her to have children. And of course, he wants her breasts to provide plentiful milk for them. The person who climbs it must be brave! This man will be like the person who harvests fruit. He will achieve the best things that his relationship with his wife can bring.

He knows that they will have problems and difficulties. But such matters do not frighten him. He considers his wife to be so wonderful that these problems seem unimportant to him. This is the final form of the phrase that she used at and This time, she shows a mature attitude. She has made a decision to give her life to her husband.

And she is very pleased that he wants her. That is the right attitude for a wife. It is the right attitude for a husband, too. A husband should give himself completely to his wife Ephesians The woman requests that she may go with her husband into the country. They need to examine the plants. This is a word picture that she used before, in Then, she was explaining how she understood about the right time for marriage.

This time, she seems to speak about the right time to express love to her husband. The right time matters very much to a married couple who want to have children. The Bible says not to have sex during the period in the month when the woman bleeds Leviticus And it is wise for a woman to improve her health before she tries to have a baby. If she is too weak, the baby may not be strong enough. Women would sometimes use the plants called mandrakes when they wanted a baby Genesis The woman adds that she has many precious things for her husband.

These gifts are things that are both old and new. She has saved them especially. And they are all for him. Love is not just about the relationship between a bride and her bridegroom. It is much more wonderful even than that. In this chapter, the poet mentions some new subjects, like love between brothers and sisters. And the poet shows how love continues after marriage and even to death. It seems that he wants to emphasise the greatness and the power of love. When this chapter begins, the man and woman are already married. Some people think that they may already have children.

Certainly, the woman is thinking about how children behave. She imagines herself as a little girl.

Song of Songs

She wishes that she knew her husband then! Her love for him is so wonderful. So she wishes that she had always known that love. For a long time before their marriage, this man and woman loved each other. But they had to be very careful about their behaviour. They were anxious only to do those things that were proper. In their society, a young woman would not kiss a young man whom she liked.

But a little girl can kiss her young brother. Nobody thinks that such an act is wrong. So this woman imagines that the man was her brother. Then she could have always shown love to him, even in public. Such a little girl can show love to her brother in many different ways. She can stay with him, and she can lead him about. She can take him into her home. She can make a special drink for him. That drink is wine. Elsewhere in the Song, those things are all word pictures for love.

So, the girl is showing love to her brother. She is showing it by her desire to look after him well. She wants him to be content and happy.

Top 5 Commentaries on The Song of Songs

So she works hard for him, and she gives him precious things. All of these things are expressions of love. And this is real love. We must not imagine that sex is the only way to express love. And we must not imagine that we can only have real love for our husbands and wives. Sex is only for husbands and their wives. But love for brothers and sisters can be real love. Love for friends can be real love. Love for children and parents can be real love. The Bible tells us that Christians should love each other, too.

We express such love when we use our lives to help other people see verse 7. The woman repeats her words from If she were still a little girl, she could show love for her brother. But at that time, she could not show love to the man who would become her husband. Even when she became a young woman, she could not express love to him until the right time. There is a proper time for love. And she knew that she had to wait for that time. As she waited, she had to be careful about her behaviour with him. She could only marry him when the right time arrived.

And only then did she have the opportunity to express her love to him completely. As she walked, she leaned on him. She walked close to him. And she depended on his strength. At its start, the passage mentions an apple tree. In , the woman used an apple tree as a word picture for the man. She described how she loved to sit in its shade and to eat its fruit.

Here, she links the tree with the idea of birth. The poet is showing a relationship between love and birth. He is making his poem much more serious. And he achieves this very suddenly.

Diligence (Song of Songs 1:7-8)

This makes the effect even more impressive. Its purpose is often to show that someone owns something. The mark is permanent. It will last for their whole lives. It is so powerful that they must never end it. Love is as strong as death. This husband and wife will love each other for as long as they both live. When one of them dies, the married relationship will end. But the love will not end. The other one might remarry. Death is powerful. It overcomes a person completely.

But love is also powerful. Love also overcomes a person completely. When Jesus became alive again after his death, he overcame the power of death Romans Love is like fire. This is so for the same reason that love is like death. Fire too overcomes people completely. The Bible sometimes compares death to a terrible animal that eats people alive! Fire is like that too; nobody can control it.

And love is like that, but of course in an opposite manner. It is powerful, but real love is always good. It always benefits people. It always helps people. It always is kind to people. Read 1 Corinthians chapter Plentiful water can put out a fire. But nothing can put out love. Nothing can destroy real love. Love is not something that a person can buy. It is a gift. One person gives it, without price, to another person.

Or God gives it, without price, to us. Love does cost something. It costs the person who gives it. That is so, because the person gives his or her life to another person. When a person marries, that person does not still have complete freedom. That person cannot still do whatever he or she wants to do. If a husband and wife genuinely love each other, that will affect their whole lives. It cost the life of his son, Jesus. He gave his life for us, because he loved us. And now he wants us to invite him into our lives. He wants to have the relationship with us that only his love could provide.

We cannot earn that relationship and we cannot pay for it. But we can receive it, because he offers it to us as a free gift. They forced her to work hard But that is not a proper way for brothers to behave towards their younger sisters. A young woman deserves proper honour. People should respect her. So, the people discuss the proper way to look after a girl. They try to work out how they should prepare other girls to marry well. She is not old enough to marry yet. But if her family want her to marry a good husband, they should start to prepare now. If people want a door to be stronger, they put boards round it.

So, the answer is clear. The family must look after the girl well. Then she will become stronger. But the family do not just want her to be stronger. They also want her to be more beautiful. And they want her to have a more pleasant character. If people use silver instead of stone, a wall would be very beautiful and pleasant.

If people use the best wood, their door would be very beautiful and pleasant. So the family must train the girl well. And then she will become a graceful and pleasant young woman. The young woman seems pleased with the answer that the people have given. This is not how the man described her breasts earlier He compared her breasts to small animals. But now she refers to something that everyone considered large. So it is possible that this verse shows that she has a baby.

Not everybody agrees about that. But clearly, she is saying that her breasts are strong. And that they will make her family strong. When she does have a baby, that baby will have a good supply of milk. And, as a wall defends a city, so this woman will defend her family well. The result of this is that she has made her husband content. He is content, and he is safe. She defends her family well — they are like a peaceful city! It was not usual for women to own their own land in ancient Israel.

So we cannot really say how she began to own this land. We could guess that her father gave her the property to help her to find a husband. But that is just a guess. Before her marriage, she neglected it. She did not want to neglect it. But her brothers forced her to work hard for them. She is not working there herself. But she has employed workmen. She gives him these rich profits because she wants to give a generous gift to her husband.

She loves him, and this gift shows her love. The gift in verse 12 is very precious. He genuinely loves her. He loves to hear her voice. He respects her, and he gives her honour. He asks her to end the Song. Other people are present verse 13 , but the woman does not speak to them. Instead, she speaks only to her husband. She wants to show her love to him alone. She invites him to join her. And she does too. The right time is now. And the right place is the mountains, where beautiful smells fill the air.

It is hard and white.


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People use ivory to make beautiful things. Women used this plant when they wanted to have babies. People use it to make an envelope, or something similar, safe. But this word is also the female form of the name, Solomon. It is possible to see through it. Various writings and sermons by C. Spurgeon, J. Wesley, G. Whitefield, H. Bonar and other important writers. Visit our website: www. For Solomon. Your love is better than wine. That is why the young women love you. Let the king bring me into his room. We are very happy for you. We will say that your love is better than wine.

How right the women are to love you! I am dark like the tents of Kedar.

About the man

The sunshine has made me dark. My brothers were angry with me. Tell me where you feed your sheep. Tell me where you rest your sheep at midday. Perhaps you do not know where to go. Follow the tracks of the sheep.

So is your neck with its precious stones. We will use silver to make you pretty. This lies all night between my breasts. These flowers are from Engedi. It is where people make wine. How beautiful! Our bed will be green. We can use it in our house. We can use other types of wood for our ceiling. This tree is among the trees of the forest. This is what you are like among young men. I sit in your shade with great pleasure. Your apples taste good. They are sweet. It is where he has special meals. Everyone can see how much he loves me.

I feel much better with his apples! I am weak with love. And he touches me softly with his right hand. Do not think about love until the right time. My lover! Here he comes! He is jumping across the mountains. He is jumping over the hills. He is like an animal that can run fast. Look at him, as he stands next to the wall.

He looks in through the window. He looks through the wooden bars. Come then, woman whom I love. Come with me. It is as if you are hiding in secret places in the cliffs. Let me see your face. Let me hear your voice. And until the shadows go away. He is the man that my heart loves. I looked for him, but I did not find him!

I will go round the city. So I looked for him but I could not find him. I found the man that I love. I held him, and I would not let him go. It was the room where I was born. And men are coming with clouds of smoke. They have a wonderful smell. Sixty 60 soldiers guard it. They are the best soldiers in Israel. People have trained them to fight. Their swords are at their sides. They are ready for any danger during the night. The wood came from Lebanon. And it has a gold base. A purple cloth covers the seat.

The women in Jerusalem made the beautiful inside of the carriage. They made it with grace. Look at the crown that his mother put on him. This is the crown for his wedding. And he is so happy because of his wedding. Oh, you are beautiful! Your hair is like a group of goats. They are coming down from the mountain called Gilead. None of the young sheep is alone. They are so lovely when you speak. This building stands above the castle that David built.

Your neck is round and smooth. I will go there until the day begins. I will go there until the shadows disappear. How perfect you are! Come with me from Lebanon. I want to love you, my bride. Your love is so much better than wine! They are like honey, my bride. Honey and milk are under your tongue. Your clothes have the smell of Lebanon. This is a garden that someone has locked.

You are like a place where there is fresh water. It is a private place.