Understanding The Bible
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Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
THE VARIOUS SONGS (CANTICLES) WHICH COMPOSE THE SONG
(Note: The division points and the setting of the various canticles are, of course, not arbitrary but suggestive. Imagination must be combined with what few facts are given to supply the background. But I have tried to let my imagination be restricted and colored ONLY by the known facts; that is, I have tried with the help of the Spirit to read between the lines, and offer this background for your help. However, it is not enough simply to disagree; you must have a better solution before you can rightfully reject this one!)
(Observe: If LESS than a complete verse is involved, the first and last words of the portion are indicated with ... in between.)
THE TITLE. 1:1: "THE Song of Songs, which is Solomon's" (1 Kings 4:32)
1:2-6: "A Song of Longing to Be Brought into the Bridegroom's Presence"
The Setting of the Song
Place: Jerusalem (palace).
Time: Before marriage
Occasion: The Bride recalls a conversation that she had with her ladies-in-waiting while she was waiting to be carried into Solomon's presence, just before (or during) the lengthy wedding ceremonial which accompanied Eastern weddings, especially those of important personages.
|HISTORICAL SETTING||SPIRITUAL APPLICATION|
The Bride speaks (l:2a)
'Let him kiss me. . .mouth"
|Eagerness for His presence! First, we knew the kiss of forgiveness Lk. 15:20) and the kiss of reconciliation (Gen. 45:15). Now, the kiss of fellowship. It is not presumptuous so to speak. "Perfect love casteth out fear. " "Let HIM"--the ONLY one worth mentioning.|
The Ladies-in-waiting compliment the Bride
"for thy love is better than wine ... therefore do the virgins love thee'
|We cannot break an alabaster box of love for Him without becoming fragrant ourselves, so that others will note it.|
The Bride commands
"Draw me" How eager!
|Do we eagerly await "The Marriage Supper"?|
The Ladies-in-waiting respond
"We will run after thee"
|Are others led to want to be there in heaven with us?|
The Bride thinks out loud
"The king hath.. .chambers"
|We are already "in the heavenlies" (Eph. 1:3), simply waiting for the door to be opened that we may be ushered into His presence Jas. 5:8-9).|
The Ladies-in-waiting reply
"We will be glad.. .love thee"
|Do others love and respect us? Are they made glad through us?|
The embarrassed Bride apologizes for her dark
"I am black (swarthy, sunburned) ... my own vineyard ... not kept" (i.e., "I have not been able to groom myself and take care of my appearance")
|The spiritually-minded are so intent on the heavenly Bridegroom that they are oblivious of themselves. For one to call attention to them simply embarrasses them by reminding of imperfections.|
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