Understanding The Bible
STUDY REFERENCE
Clarence E. Mason's "OLD TESTAMENT POETIC BOOKS"
The Book Canticles, Song of Solomon, Song of Songs
CANTICLE NUMBER 9
4:8-5:1: "The Song of His Eager Proposal and Her Glad Acceptance"

Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
1969

CANTICLE 9

4:8-5:1: "The Song of His Eager Proposal and Her Glad Acceptance"
The Setting of the Song
Place:
Lebanon
Time: Before Marriage
Occasion: When he proposes

HISTORICAL SETTING SPIRITUAL APPLICATION
Solomon's Proposal (4:8)

His proposal of marriage, urging upon her to leave her home country and go with him.

"He fears for her safety in these wilds. Though fascinating to the outward eye, it sheltered the devouring lion and cruel leopard of that regions."

4:8
"Come from" = a word of invitation to separation.

"with me" = a word of fellowship.

"lion's dens ... leopards" = a word of danger (if we do  not separate ourselves).

"The region's very luxuriousness and beauty afford a covert for the enemy, so the fairest scenes of earth for an enemy far more subtle and cruel."

"Come with me" to:
A safe place "He that dwelleth in secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty" (Ps. 91:1).
A happy place "In His presence is fullness of joy" (Ps. 16:11).
An eternal place "dwell ... forever" (Ps. 23:6).

"Look from Amana": we look from faith's mountain peak and behold the glory ahead.

Solomon's love-making (4:9-16b)
"Thou hast ravished my heart" through the words ... "that the spices may flow out ... "
 
4:9 "Ravished my heart, my sister, my bride ... with one look from thine eyes." "Sister": a word indicating the purity of their love during courtship.

"one look" suggests the individuality of His love. We have "ravished His heart." Think of it! Gal. 2:20 (end); Eph. 5:25; 1:18, "His inheritance." So naturally, 1 John 4:19.

4:10-11
4:10a Refreshing love
4:10b Fragrance of love
4:11 Sweetness of kisses
So we have the exquisite joy of refreshing His heart. He enjoys the expression of our love (kisses) and the fragrance of our garments of spiritual graces (Phil. 4:18).
4:12 "a garden barred" Separation from all: for Himself alone!
4:13 "orchard" "orchard" - fruit as well as fragrance; an orchard must be cared for (cp. Jn. 15:1).
4:15 read "a fountain in the gardens" "A well of living (running) waters." Cp. John 4:10, 14 = Holy Spirit's refreshment flowing out to others (Jn. 7:37-39).
4:16a presents a problem as to who is speaking. I have suggested Solomon, but see spiritual application. Whether Solomon or the Shulamite is speaking, in either cast it would be the desire that others should enjoy some of the fragrance of character He enjoys.

If the Shulamite is speaking, she is saying: "If I am so beautiful, I want others to be blessed and refreshed."

This is accomplished by the Holy Spirit (wind of God -- wind being a symbol of His movement, Jn. 3:8).

4:16b "north wind" is required to give real taste to fruit. So the "north wind" of adversity as well as "south wind" of pleasant experiences are both necessary to give real "character" to our deeds.

If Solomon is the speaker, he portrays our Lord as desiring to product the fullest blessing in us, the fullest fragrance from us, and the best fruit through us to others, after He has partaken.

Are we willing for HIM to say: "Blow ... O north wind"? Are we willing to ask God to let the hard things come into our lives that we may grow and bless others? Rom. 5:3-5; Heb. 12:3-11. Fragrance is for others also; fruit is only for Him, except as He may pass it on to others.

4:16c The Shulamite responds.

There can be no doubt that she speaks this portion to him, her beloved.

She accepts his proposal and invites him into her heart, for it is his!

Do we invite the Lord Jesus to come into the garden of our heart and sup with us? He is hungry for loving companionship -- to be made to feel at home in His garden. Invite Him in! (See Eph. 3:17), where "that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith" really means "that Christ may make Himself at home in your hearts by faith."
5:1a Through the words "eat, O friends."
"I am come," he expresses his delight in his acceptance of her invitation. She accepts him and he accepts her. He comes ... and is satisfied
"If any man open ... I will come in and sup with him," Rev. 3:20. Oh, how readily He accepts and how deeply He is satisfied!
5:1b "Eat, O friends." He passes on some fruit to friends. "Him I will confess in the presence of the angels."

He wants others to appreciate us too (Eph. 2:7; 3:10; 1 Peter. 1:12; etc.).

5:1c To which the Shulamite replies
"Drink ... O beloved."

She finds delight in his delight.

He must first partake of the fruit. This is our privilege -- to delight Him!
To Summarize:

The garden is His alone
The fragrance is for others also
The fruit is for Him (Primarily)
The streams flow out in blessing to all
He seeks and delights in communion with one who loves Him
Shall we not cry:

"Oh heavenly Lover,
Come into the garden of my life!
If there be any fragrance, any fruit,
Any refreshment, it is Thine!
Come, sup with me"? ... And He will!


 

"Mason's Notes"


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