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 Compare the hypocritical use of similar words (Matthew 2:8).
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. (Solomon 4:6), and again (Solomon 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 gardens--that is, in the churches, though He may have withdrawn for a time from the individual believer: she implies an invitation to the daughters of Jerusalem to enter His spiritual Church, and become lilies, made white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 (Solomon 5:1, Genesis 5:24, 4:28,29, Acts 7:60).
3. In speaking of Jesus Christ to others, she regains her own assurance. Literally, "I am for my beloved . . . for me." Reverse order from Solomon 2:16. She now, after the season of darkness, grounds her convictions on His love towards her, more than on hers towards Him (Deuteronomy 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" (Hebrews
13:21); "well-pleasing" (Matthew
5:14); the royal city of one of the old Canaanite kings (Joshua
12:24); and after the revolt of Israel, the royal city of its kings, before
Omri founded Samaria (1 Kings
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 (Judah).
Jerusalem--residence of the kings of Judah, as Tirzah, of Israel (Psalms 48:1, &c.; Psalms 122:1-3, 125:1,2). Loveliness, security, unity, and loyalty; also the union of Israel and Judah in the Church (Isaiah 11:13, Jeremiah 3:18, Ezekiel 37:16,17,22; compare Hebrews 12:22, Revelation 21:2,12).
terrible--awe-inspiring. Not only armed as a city on the defensive, but as an army on the offensive. (2 Corinthians 10:4).
12:4). This is the way "the army" (Solomon
6:4) "overcomes" not only enemies, but Jesus Christ Himself, with
eyes fixed on Him (Psalms
11:12). Historically. Solomon
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 (Mark
16:15-18,20); His rehearsing the same instructions (Luke
overcome--literally, "have taken me by storm."
8. threescore--indefinite number, as in Solomon 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 (Isaiah 52:15, Luke 22:25,26, John 17:21, 1 Corinthians 10:17). The one Bride is contrasted with the many wives whom Eastern kings had in violation of the marriage law (1 Kings 11:1-3).
9. Hollow professors, like half wives, have no part in the one bride.
only one of her mother--namely, "Jerusalem above" (Galatians 4:26). The "little sister" (Solomon 8:8) is not inconsistent with her being "the only one"; for that sister is one with herself (John 10:16).
choice--(Ephesians 1:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:13). As she exalted Him above all others (Solomon 5:10), so He now her.
daughters . . . blessed her--(Isaiah 8:18, 61:9, Ezekiel 16:14, 2 Thessalonians 1:10). So at her appearance after Pentecost (Acts 4:13, 6:15, 24:25, 26:28).
10. The words expressing the admiration of the daughters. Historically
as the morning--As yet she is not come to the fulness of her light (Proverbs 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 (2 Corinthians 3:18).
sun--Her light of justification is perfect, for it is His (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 John 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 (Matthew 13:43).
army--(Solomon 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 (Genesis 15:5, Daniel 12:3, Revelation 12:1). The Church Patriarchal, "the morning"; Levitical, "the moon"; Evangelical, "the sun"; Triumphant, "the bannered army" (Revelation 19:14).
11. The bride's words; for she everywhere is the narrator, and often
soliloquizes, which He never does. The first garden (Solomon
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 (Solomon
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 Acts
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] (Luke
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 (Acts
2:1-13), while the Church was using the means (answering to "the
Ammi-nadib--supposed to me one proverbial for swift driving. Similarly (Solomon 1:9). Rather, "my willing people" (Psalms 110:3). A willing chariot bore a "willing people"; or Nadib is the Prince, Jesus Christ (Psalms 68:17). She is borne in a moment into His presence (Ephesians 2:6).
13. Entreaty of the daughters of Jerusalem to her, in her chariot-like
flight from them (compare 2 Kings
2:12, 2 Samuel
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 (Isaiah 52:7, John 14:27, Romans 5:1, Ephesians 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 (Acts 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" (Solomon 6:9), she is nevertheless "two." Her glories are her Lord's, beaming through her (Ephesians 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 (John 17:21,22). Allusion is made to Mahanaim (meaning two hosts), the scene of Jacob's victorious conflict by prayer (Genesis 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.