Song of Solomon 8

Song of Solomon 8  •  10 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Verse 1 " O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised. I would lead thee and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate." These verses evidently take us back and not forward, as to the position and experience of the bride. We parted with her, at the close of chapter vii., amidst the ripening scenes of the latter-day glory, and in happy companionship with her beloved. They were together. The dark night of her sorrow was past, with all its painful experience; and the happy day of her glory had come with all its untold blessedness. But here we are led back to the very foundation of all the exercises through which she has passed in reaching this point; namely, the ardent desire of her heart for unhindered, unrestrained communion with Messiah, the King. She desires the full liberty of kindred affection. " O that thou were as brother! " This answers to the commencement of the book: " Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine."
Chapter 8, as has been said, stands by itself, and recapitulates the principles of the whole book. Looking at it in this light, we will do little more than point out what we believe to be the path of the Spirit in this concluding chapter of our beautiful Song of Solomon.
The deep desires of the spouse, as here expressed by the Spirit of prophecy, are at once and fully satisfied. She desires full possession of Christ, and to have the opportunity of causing Him to drink of the spiced vine of her pomegranates. Now she knows, that once He drank the bitter cup of God's wrath for her sins, and she longs to present to Him a cup of choice wine, which her gratitude and devotedness have mingled for Him alone. Like the returning prodigal, she is immediately embraced, and rests in the arms of her Beloved. The daughters of Jerusalem are again charged not to stir, or awake the loved one while she is enjoying His love. " His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love until he [she] please." She is next seen as " coining up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved." She is moving on-journeying towards the sunny hills of Canaan, in dependence on her Beloved; and under the shadow of His wings, Egypt and the wilderness are left behind.
The bridegroom now reminds the bride of the source of all her blessing, " I raised thee up under the apple tree." The " apple tree " is the emblem of Christ Himself. " As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons." Her divine life, and every blessing connected with it, she derives from Christ. " I raised thee up under the apple tree "-quickened, blest with all earthly blessings in a glorious land under Christ. It is never said that the Christian has life and blessing under Christ, but with Him. This important truth marks the difference between Jewish and christian blessing. Both, of course, derive their life and blessing from Him. But it is said of Christians, that they are quickened together with Christ-raised up together-and seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:5, 6.) Israel, as such, belongs to the earth; we, as Christians, belong to the " heavenly places." Before conversion, we belong to earth; after it, we belong to heaven. There our names are written, and there we are now seated in Christ.
The Bridegroom further reminds His spouse of her relation to the nation of Israel. " There thy mother brought thee forth; there she brought thee forth that bare thee." The remnant of the nation in whose heart grace works, becomes the bride of the great King. She represents, more especially, the remnant of Judah, who will be at Jerusalem before the remnant of Ephraim, or the ten tribes are gathered in; but, in principle, she represents the whole nation of Israel. And as Christ Him-self sprang from the tribe of Judah, the Spirit of God evidently sanctions the use of relative titles, and the expression of affections belonging to them.
A feeling of sadness and sorrow passes over the mind, when we think that those for whose faith and encouragement these relationships are owned, and these beautiful scenes described, are still in the depths and darkness of a terrible unbelief. The veil is still on the heart of Israel. But the way of love, so beautifully described in these Canticles, shall, ere long, become the truthful expression of their experience. But, meanwhile, the Christian has the benefit of this wondrous revelation of hearts and feelings; the Song of Solomon having a blessed, moral application to us.
The quickened remnant-bride of Messiah in his Solomon character-now desires to be as a seal upon his heart according to a love that passeth knowledge. " Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm; for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it; if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be condemned." Where shall we find love like this? Only in the heart of Jesus. What takes such a hold as death? What keeps it like the grave? What so unsparing as the vehement flame? There is nothing to compare with love. Were a man to offer the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be despised. Many waters cannot quench it; the floods cannot drown it. When love and death met in fearful conflict on the cross, love triumphed, and death was forever vanquished.
The " seal " on the " heart " and the " arm " may refer to the breastplate and shoulder pieces, as worn by the high priest. The names of the twelve tribes were engraven on precious stones, " like the engravings of a signet," and worn on the heart [type of affection] and on the shoulder [type of strength] of the high priest, before the Lord. So shall the happy spouse, ere long, be as a, seal on the loving heart and powerful arm of her blessed Lord, as her great High Priest, after the order of Melchisedec.
Verse 8. " We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day she shall be spoken for? If she be a wall,- we will build upon her a palace of silver; and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar." Ephraim, or the long-lost ten tribes, are referred to, we doubt not, by the " little sister." Their captivity had taken place before the birth of Christ; so that they know nothing of the exercise through which Judah, or the two tribes, have passed with reference to the birth, death, resurrection, and return of the Messiah. Nevertheless they conic into the enjoyment of the blessed results of His first coming in grace, and of His second coming in glory. And they are instructed, built up, and established in the doctrine of Christ, by their more highly favored sister Judah. " I am a wall," she says, " and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favor." She is strong in the Lord, richly furnished, and in full favor with the King. God's Israel, is restored! There are twelve tribes united, in the Israel of God; not ten and two divided.
"Oh pray-intensely pray,
Build up Jerusalem, and God will hear
Petitions He has prompted; God will hear,
And from her desolations cause to rise
A wall conspicuous—her growing strength,
Her shining palaces will teach the world,
That God is faithful, and His promise sure."
Verse II " Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver " " Baal-hamon " signifies-Lord of a multitude; and evidently refers to the multitude of nations-the whole earth, which now form the vast vineyard of the Lord of glory. " The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein." (Psa. 24) The millennium has come! The glory of the Lord fills the earth-all hearts rejoice-Jesus reigns. A suitable return is now made to Him by the keepers of the vineyard. Everything is now under the eye of Christ, and according to the principles of His government. But from the vineyard of the bride, she would have the whole of its fruits to go to King Solomon, save a portion for those who have the charge thereof. " My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand,. and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred." All shall share in the spoils of the fruitful, peaceful, joyful millennial earth. But Christ is Lord of all.
He now addresses, for the last time in these songs of love, His fair, and highly favored spouse. • " Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it." He invites her praise. She is to give the key note to the companions-to the whole earth. Then shall all peoples, tribes, and tongues, catch the flying joy, and roll the rapturous hosannas, " from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth." Creation is filled with joy and gladness, and its loud long anthems of praise and thanksgiving, greet the ear of its glorious King. " Cause ME to hear it."
Verse 14. " Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices." Our lovely song is ended. Its last note is rich and full. The loving spouse fervently desires her Lord's speedy return. She entreats that He may come without delay. The deep affections of her soul for Jesus are manifested by the intensity of her desire for His glorious appearing. Oh! that all our hearts might be united together, as the heart of one man, to join in the deep, earnest, fervent prayer of the spouse, that He may come quickly to our longing hearts-that He may come for the rapture of the church, the glory of Israel, and the blessing of the whole earth.
Having often been refreshed by quotations from " Metrical Meditations -on the sacred Book of Canticles," we add the closing lines of the poem, with grateful thanks to the author.
" One echoing response, and all is still!
One loving answer from the sacred harp
Of waiting Zion to that kind command-
"Make haste! Come quickly! O beloved
Lord Like the young roe that moveth rapidly,
That tarrieth not for man-like agile hart
That springs to sight as with a single bound,
On the spice mountains be Thy glory seen,
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