Understanding The Bible
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Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
2:1-7: "A Song of Perfect Love (His Love) Which Casts Out
(Our) Fear (1 Jn. 4:18)
The Setting of the Song
Place: Banquet room of the King's house (2:4)
Time: After the marriage
Occasion: Either a little later on the same evening as Canticle 3 (1:12 esp.), or some similar occasion soon after. (Ladies-in-waiting also present as before.)
|HISTORICAL SETTING||SPIRITUAL APPLICATION|
The timid Bride speaks
The Shulamite felt out of place in the court. She felt that she was more suited to the simple life of her Lebanon home, as symbolized by the flowers (crocus of Sharon) hidden in sheltered places among the rocks of the valley; nevertheless it was a sweet, fragrant life (as the lily, or narcissus of the valleys). Contrary to the common interpretation these words were not spoken by the Bridegroom, but by the Bride (see 2:2, note).
|"He's the Lily of the Valley, "etc. The fact that it is the Bride, and not the Bridegroom speaking in this verse, need not disturb our hymnology. He is all this and more! But the particular emphasis is the Bride's feeling of hesitancy to take the place His grace has given her. So many of God's dear people think it is presumptuous to enjoy assurance of salvation. Do we draw back somewhat unbelievingly from the full glory of the position He has given us "in the heavenlies" with Him (Eph. 1:3)? Let us do it no more! Hear His voice in verse 2.|
Solomon responds to her
The Bridegroom compliments the Bride by saying, "No, you are not out of place. It is true that you are different, but it is just that you are prettier, like a flower among thorns."
So marvelous is His grace that He makes us "fit
to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light"
(Col. 1:12). "Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me." The thorns
picture those still under a curse. God has made us different
from them. He has made us "stand out." We are in the world, but
not of it.
The Bride says to the Bridegroom
She compliments him, but how far short of his figure of speech hers falls.
2:3a So our praise and adoration fall short of
His.. .but He says: "It is well that it was in thine heart, "
even if we cannot express it in words. We can and should try!
The apple (or citron) tree provided:
shade or refreshment (rest in Him);
fragrance (Christ's personal charm);
fruit (we feed on Him--satisfied).
The Bride addresses her attendants
"flagons" = raisin cakes (dainties)
"sick of love" = love-sick or deeply in love
Eating in the customary lounging position, she reclines in his arms and, before she realizes it, drifts off to sleep.
She feels that she cannot contain her joy in His love and her love for Him. (She is "love-sick.")
His "fingers" made the stars. His right hand is the hand of power. Oh, how strong must be His arms! "Underneath are the everlasting arms!" How safe! How soft!
Solomon instructs the attendants
Tenderly putting her head on a cushion, he slips away, saying softly: "Do not awaken her till she please!" (The pronoun is feminine.)
|No voice but His should call us from this blest fellowship, even for service.|
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