Understanding The Bible
The Book Canticles, Song of Solomon, Song of Songs
1:9-17 "Love's Admiration"


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


1:9-17: "Love's Admiration"
The Setting of the Song
Jerusalem (palace)
Time: After marriage, possibly awaiting the Wedding Feast Occasion: Mutual admiration, with Ladies-in waiting present, as was customary in those times (cp. chaperones).

The Bridegroom speaks (1:9-10)
Solomon speaks of her gracefulness (9) and beauty (10).
Scofield, "It is most comforting to see that all these tender thoughts of Christ are for His bride in her unperfected state. The varied exercises of her heart are part of that inner discipline suggested by Ephesians 5:25-27."
The Ladies-in-waiting promise the Bride a beautiful garment (1:11)
Catching the cue from Solomon they promise a token of esteem.
God uses others as His instruments in adorning our Christian character.
The Bride speaks (1:12-14)
She replies, thanking him for the sweet-smelling perfume he has given her, likening it to his love.

(Note: "he" of verse 13 should read "it, " referring to a custom of wearing a fragrant reminder of one's lover close to one's heart, as girls once wore a locket with a lover's picture within, hanging from a chain around their neck.)

12 Cp. verse 3 with Mary (Jn. 12:3) = cp. our love for Him. But that is just the unhindered flow of His love for us (1 Jn. 4:19). See note on l:2b-3. Is there a fragrance to our lives-given us by Him--which others notice?

13-14 He himself and her thoughts of him are far sweeter than the gifts (perfumes) He has provided. Is that true of us, or have we allowed His gifts to eclipse His person?

The Bridegroom replies (1:15)
He responds with adoration of her beauty, especially her gentle eyes, "the windows of her loving trustful soul."
"Oh, soul, dost thou hear His words of love for thee? And dost thou set thy gaze on Him?"
"Fix your eyes upon Jesus Look full in His wonderful face And the things of earth will grow strangely dim In the light of that glorious face!"
The Bride answers him (1:16-17)
She replies, in kind, expressing her delight that the cedars of her native country (Lebanon) provide the new surroundings of her new life in Jerusalem (1 Ki. 7:2-3). Their fragrance reminds her of the fragrance of their love in courtship days in Baal-Hamon, on the mountain side.
l6a Do we find our hearts singing?
"He's the One I love (repeat) Fairer is He than the lily to me He's the One I love!"

16b-17 Let each day's experience recall to your memory the fragrance of those days of first love and, recapturing them, keep you ever at the foot of the cross, singing:
"Jesus keep me near the cross, " etc.


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