J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 3.)
It is clear to me that this Book applies to the Jewish Remnant, or Bride - Christ's receiving it again, or, properly, to Himself, and its discovery of Him, and His excellency, in that latter day of universal blessing. His progressive revelation of Himself to it, and its fuller acquaintance with Him - and so it becomes instructive and clear. It is not, at once, His full assumption of it in His glory, but the making Himself known to it on the Remnant's search after, and growing apprehension and knowledge of Him, till the certainty of His full acceptance of them, as those whom He cares for. I should rather think it meant Ephraim than the Gentiles, but I am not the least satisfied as to this.
It is ever more evident to me that this Book is the restoration of the relationship of Israel with God. She had passed through fiery tribulations, and, set as guardian of fruit in the world, had not kept her own. Now, looking to Messiah and valuing His love, she is being brought back. Then, as the Psalms in sorrow, so this in delight, furnishes the right expressions of feeling as to her connection with Messiah. It begins with the sense of His moral perfections - Himself - and then His love.
- 7. Ch'ot-yah (veiled) as "one wandering about," not as a modest person. But it is better taken as "one veiled," or, even in the dialects, "languid" and "fainting"; but I rather prefer "veiled," i.e., an immodest woman.
- 8. lo (not) is, I think, somewhat emphatic here.
- 7. Here, chapter 3:5, and 8:4, is not, as in verse 2 and elsewhere, but ha-havah (the love). Were it ray-ah (love, or companion) it would be necessarily "she"; but the feminine of the verb depends on ahavah, and the question must be decided by the sense. I am disposed to think the English version right. The beloved One rests in His love. Note, in each case immediately after, there is a coming up from the mountains, hills, wilderness - the two first times, "the Beloved," the last, the Spouse leaning on Him, and then blessing.
296 - 8. Note, in each case, after the Spouse has had the Bridegroom rest in His love, she sees Him coming, or He is seen coming. Here, and in the following, He is seen gladly coming in power and liberty, with joy, and He invites her, because the time of renewal is come, and she feels she possesses her Beloved. In chapter 3:6, He comes in royal state and power, in Israel, as king Solomon in the day of his espousals. In chapter 8:5, she is seen coming up out of the desolation, where she had been, leaning on her Beloved. This is naturally at the close, and we see the results then to follow. This therefore closes with the Spouse's desire that He should come, and turns us back to chap. 2:8, where we first saw faith looking forward to it. So we return, too, to the vineyards, but Solomon, has the vineyard as Lord of the peoples; the Spouse her own before her.
- 5. See chapter 2:7.
- 6. He has Himself been there, returning with every fragrance of grace - and then Israelitish royalty - whence she is brought up leaning on Him (chap. 8:5), and this verse refers back to chap. 2:3.
- 2. Compare this with chapter 3. She meets the watchmen there, too, but there is no chastening, nor is there all the disclosure, and intercourse with others.
- 3. It is the deep and full sense of what the Beloved is, when not sensibly enjoyed, that brings the soul back unconsciously, perhaps after chastening, to communion with Him.
- 9. Note there is a change of person here; after "mouth," the Spouse says, "like," etc.
297 Canticles 8
- 4. See Canticles 2:7.
- 5. See note to Canticles 2:7. And it was under Christ, really, that Israel is born, and raised up or stirred up - not out of Egypt.
- 12. Compare Canticles 1:6 - there the state of Israel, before Christ; here, when they are under His care, and associated with Him.
There is evidently in the Song of Solomon, a mental furnishing of the closest affection to meet and form the mind of the Remnant, so that, in Spirit, the instructed ones may rest in His love, with the consciousness that He is yet to come, and must be rightly looked and waited for. This is more than either prophetic acquaintance with circumstances, or what is taught in the Psalms of God's ways or dealings, where they learn dependence and obedience - practical righteousness. It is not only that the excellency of the coming One is seen, but that there is a knowledge of His love. He is to be left to rest in it. This was something brought out in Mary and the alabaster box. Yet we see here, it is in mental consciousness, and learning His love in Spirit, for, as remarked in the notes, there is always His coming spoken of directly after saying He is not to be woke up. This gives profound interest to the Song of Solomon, and a new character to the Remnant too.
There is something in the Song of Solomon analogous to Revelation 22:17, for first we have the desire of the Spouse, then the assuring testimony of the Bridegroom, and then, Canticles 8, the personal desire of the Bride. For, note, the first three chapters, though there may be answers, are the Bride's expression of her thoughts or feelings. Canticles 6, 7 are the utterances of the Bridegroom. Canticles 8, again, is the desire of the Bride. "My beloved is mine" is on the Bride's part. "I am my beloved's," on the Bridegroom's; so "I am my beloved's, and his desire is towards me."