SONG OF SOLOMON 2
Shir Hashirim 2 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)
1 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily [shoshan] of the valleys.
Sharon on the Mediterranean coast - a plain historically renowned for beauty and fertility prior to Ottoman deforestation. Modern sprawling Israeli settlements spread across the plain nevertheless...
It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice
Even with joy and singing:
The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it,
The excellency of Carmel and Sharon,
They shall see the glory of Yahweh,
And the excellency of our Elohim. (Isa 35: 2)
2 As the lily [shoshan] among thorns, so is my love among the daughters [banot].
The true bride of Christ stands out from all her surroundings with the unmistakable distinction of a lily among thorns-a sobering and impressive lesson on the responsibilities of our exalted position.
The lily-harmless beauty and purity; the thorns-poisonous and vicious. We do not claim this distinction, we set it before us as an inspiration. We strive to approach it as the ultimate ideal. We compare ourselves with it, endeavouring to remove the thorny characteristics, and cultivate the lily like ones.
"Be not afraid, though briars and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid" (Ezek. 2:6).*
The Lord loves his bride who has patiently yearned for his return from a far country.
"Light is sown for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart ... Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness" (Psa. 97:11; 112:4).
"Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all" (Prov 31: 29)
The heart cannot conceive the joy that awaits her for -
"as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Cor 2:9)
He brings with him her reward so she rejoices ...
"Hallelu Yah - I am immortal"
"with a loud voice,
"The Lamb that hath been put to death,
The power, riches, wisdom, strength,
And honour, glory, blessing too,
Is worthy to receive." (Rev 5: 12 - Eureka)
3 As the apple tree [tapuach] among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved [dodi] among the sons [banim]. I sat down under his shadow [Betzilloh (in his shade, shadow)] with great delight [chimmadti (I desire)], and his fruit [p'ri] was sweet to my taste.
The picture is one of the discovery, by a hungry and weary traveller, of a familiar, friendly, fruit-bearing tree in the heart of a wild and fruitless forest.
There is a beautiful parallel here-the Bride as the solitary, gentle, defenceless lily among all the rough aggressive thorns; the Bridegroom as the single life-giving tree throughout all the dark, unfriendly forest.*
See Ps 45
In this, the Messiah is likened to an apple tree, and his brethren, the Sons of Deity, to "the trees of the wood."
"To him that overcomes, saith the Spirit, I will give to eat from the wood of life."
A man's victory over the world is not complete so long as he is engaged in the conflict of life. In this state of existence, then, a man does not eat from the wood of the life promised; he is, therefore, in no sense immortal. The promise of life is, that we shall have it when the victory is won. "I will give to him to eat," points us to the future. We must first appear before the throne by resurrection, to learn whether we are accounted worthy of the life; and then, if the verdict be in our favour, we shall be permitted to eat; otherwise, not.
"I will give to eat." Mastication, deglutition, and assimilation, constitute the whole process of eating, which is the conversion of food into blood, which is the life. But the life of the saints in the Millennial Aion is not blood; for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;" for it is corruptible, and the kingdom of God is indestructible, and not to be left to a succession; hence, "corruption cannot inherit incorruption."
Their life in that Aion is holy spirit. When this is poured out upon their bodies, posterior to their resurrection, it assimilates to itself, "in the twinkling of an eye," all the particles of their flesh and bones; and they become transformed into incorruptible, deathless, and glorious bodies, according to Paul's testimony, who says,
"the Lord Jesus Anointed, shall change the nature of the body of our humiliation, that it may become of like form with the body of his glory, by the inworking of what enables him also to subdue all things to himself" (Phil. 3:21), that is, of the Spirit.
This in-working, by which the nature of the resurrected body is changed, so that it becomes a spirit-body, or spirit, is the giving to eat of the wood of life. When the victor has thus eaten he becomes an element of the wood, whose leaf shall never fade, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
'For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone' v 11.
4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
5 Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.
6 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.
7 I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.
8 The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.
9 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.
This has been very fittingly explained as follows: "What is the wall, but our mortality which separates us from him, and what is the lattice but our faith through which we catch a shadowy glimpse of his perfection?"*
10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
The wording is so personal and real, with the extreme simplicity of perfect intimacy and understanding. Those whose hearts are united in love do not speak in formal or complicated language. The simplest of terms have limitless meaning.*
The term used by the Ecclesia for Christ is the same throughout-"Beloved," except at the climax in chapter 5, where the much fuller term "Friend" is added.
But the terms used by Christ for the Ecclesia show a steady development, and this is one of the factors by which the narrative can be traced. His first address to her is 1:8-
"O thou fairest among women!"
This appears to stand apart as a general introduction comprehending the whole. Then in ch. 1 and in the beginning of ch 2 it is "My love"-more correctly as in the margin, "fellow" or "companion."
Later in ch. 2 it is "My love, my fair one." There are none in ch. 3.
In ch. 4 it is first: "Thou art fair, my love." Then: "Thou art all fair, there is no spot in thee."
Then 6 times: "My spouse," or even more comprehensively, "My sister, my spouse."
There is one occurrence in each of chs. 5 and 6 of a combination of earlier titles.
Then twice at the end of ch. 6 the proper name "Shulamite" is introduced, indicating that she now permanently bears the new Name, the name of the Beloved, Solomon, the Prince of Peace.
The last title, ch. 7, is "Prince's daughter." Here the aspect of royalty, majesty and rulership appears.
Bro Growcott - Song of songs
11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
àThe Palestine winter was a long rain of tears over a cold and barren earth. But the dark period had a glorious purpose that was revealed with the advent of spring.*
And he shall be as the light of the morning,
when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds;
as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. (2Sam 23:4)
12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
The solitary lily among thorns suddenly finds herself surrounded by a vast host of glorious companions, the thorns having all been swept away. And the air will ring with a tremendous symphony of praise.
"There is a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance"
The time for weeping and mourning will have ended; the time for laughter and dancing will have come.
"Awake and sing, ye that, dwell in the dust"-"Break forth into joy, sing together: the Lord hath comforted His people."
"They that carried us away captive required of us a song, and they that wasted us required of us mirth. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?"
While all the evils and miseries of sin lay like a poisonous fog over the whole earth; how can we laugh except in self-centered indifference to sorrow and pain?*
"The voice of the turtledove is heard in our land"
That is our signal for rejoicing and song-the signal so anxiously awaited through the darkness of the night. The turtledove was the poor man's offering-the humble symbol of harmlessness, love and peace.*
13 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
This is his specifically appointed token for intensified watchfulness and care-
"Behold the fig tree and all the trees . . . When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand" (Luke 21:29-30).
This symbol melts into a more immediate and sobering one-
14 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.
"Stair" here means "rocky ascent" or "steep place." Our Dove has ascended from us and is at present hidden high in the recesses of the everlasting Rock, but the signs are that his voice will soon be heard.*
15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
In the general picture of approaching spring, the vines are mentioned with their early budding grapes. The thought arises, what of the ever-present dangers that may unnoticed steal away the fruit, and mar the joyful scene with the shameful barrenness of careless neglect?
"Friend, wherefore art thou here without a wedding garment?"
What has happened to the oil in your lamp at the very moment that it should be burning with its brightest glow?
Little foxes are such attractive little creatures, but appearances are deceitful and natural impressions are misleading; little foxes are sly and destructive. Little foxes soon become big foxes, their playfulness leaves them and they become cunning and cruel and very hard to catch and destroy.*
16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.
17 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.
For "Bether," the margin gives "division" or "separation." This final verse is the patient waiting of the saints during the time of separation from their Lord, founded upon the vision of verses 10 to 13, and the patient confidence of v. 16, "My beloved is mine, and I am his."
"I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love till he please" (Song 3:5).
This is a balancing companion-thought to the injunction to "give Him no rest till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth." We must cultivate both patience and eagerness, longing and resignation, contentment and desire, an inner haven of quiet joy that transcends but does not ignore the sorrow of the world.
Bro Growcott - Song of Solomon