Song of Solomon 5

Lover

1 I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride. I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk.

Friends

Eat, friends! Drink, yes, drink abundantly, beloved.

Beloved

2 I was asleep, but my heart was awake. It is the voice of my beloved who knocks: “Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled; for my head is filled with dew, and my hair with the dampness of the night.” 3 I have taken off my robe. Indeed, must I put it on? I have washed my feet. Indeed, must I soil them? 4 My beloved thrust his hand in through the latch opening. My heart pounded for him. 5 I rose up to open for my beloved. My hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the lock. 6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved left; and had gone away. My heart went out when he spoke. I looked for him, but I didn’t find him. I called him, but he didn’t answer. 7 The watchmen who go about the city found me. They beat me. They bruised me. The keepers of the walls took my cloak away from me. 8 I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, If you find my beloved, that you tell him that I am faint with love.

Friends

9 How is your beloved better than another beloved, you fairest amongst women? How is your beloved better than another beloved, that you do so adjure us?

Beloved

10 My beloved is white and ruddy. The best amongst ten thousand. 11 His head is like the purest gold. His hair is bushy, black as a raven. 12 His eyes are like doves beside the water brooks, washed with milk, mounted like jewels. 13 His cheeks are like a bed of spices with towers of perfumes. His lips are like lilies, dropping liquid myrrh. 14 His hands are like rings of gold set with beryl. His body is like ivory work overlaid with sapphires. 15 His legs are like pillars of marble set on sockets of fine gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. 16 His mouth is sweetness; yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verse 1

See how ready Christ is to accept the invitations of his people. What little good there is in us would be lost, if he did not preserve it to himself. He also invites his beloved people to eat and drink abundantly. The ordinances in which they honour him, are means of grace.

Verses 2-8

Churches and believers, by carelessness and security, provoke Christ to withdraw. We ought to notice our spiritual slumbers and distempers. Christ knocks to awaken us, knocks by his word and Spirit, knocks by afflictions and by our consciences; thus, Rev. 3:20. When we are unmindful of Christ, still he thinks of us. Christ’s love to us should engage ours to him, even in the most self-denying instances; and we only can be gainers by it. Careless souls put slights on Jesus Christ. Another could not be sent to open the door. Christ calls to us, but we have no mind, or pretend we have no strength, or we have no time, and think we may be excused. Making excuses is making light of Christ. Those put contempt upon Christ, who cannot find in their hearts to bear a cold blast, or to leave a warm bed for him. See the powerful influences of Divine grace. He put in his hand to unbolt the door, as one weary of waiting. This betokens a work of the Spirit upon the soul. The believer’s rising above self-indulgence, seeking by prayer for the consolations of Christ, and to remove every hinderance to communion with him; these actings of the soul are represented by the hands dropping sweet-smelling myrrh upon the handles of the locks. But the Beloved was gone! By absenting himself, Christ will teach his people to value his gracious visits more highly. Observe, the soul still calls Christ her Beloved. Every desertion is not despair. Lord, I believe, though I must say, Lord, help my unbelief. His words melted me, yet, wretch that I was, I made excuses. The smothering and stifling of convictions will be very bitter to think of, when God opens our eyes. The soul went in pursuit of him; not only prayed, but used means, sought him in the ways wherein he used to be found. The watchmen wounded me. Some refer it to those who misapply the word to awakened consciences. The charge to the daughters of Jerusalem, seems to mean the distressed believer’s desire of the prayers of the feeblest Christian. Awakened souls are more sensible of Christ’s withdrawings than of any other trouble.

Verses 9-16

Even those who have little acquaintance with Christ, cannot but see amiable beauty in others who bear his image. There are hopes of those who begin to inquire concerning Christ and his perfections. Christians, who are well acquainted with Christ themselves, should do all they can to make others know something of him. Divine glory makes him truly lovely in the eyes of all who are enlightened to discern spiritual things. He is white in the spotless innocence of his life, ruddy in the bleeding sufferings he went through at his death. This description of the person of the Beloved, would form, in the figurative language of those times, a portrait of beauty of person and of grace of manners; but the aptness of some of the allusions may not appear to us. He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all that believe. May his love constrain us to live to his glory.

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