Understanding The Bible
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Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
NOTE: In the interval between Canticle 7 and Canticle 8 they are carried into a private apartment of the palace.
4:1-7 "The Bridegroom's Solo of Delight"
The Setting of the Song
Place: A private apartment in the palace (Jerusalem)
Time: After the marriage
Occasion: She is brought into his presence by attendants, who retire. (The Wedding Night?).
|HISTORICAL SETTING||SPIRITUAL APPLICATION|
Her joy is too deep for expression: she is
silent in his love.
He expresses his admiration of her. She is "all fair" (7), completely beautiful as witnessed by the enumeration of seven particulars. Seven is the number of perfection or completeness: her eyes, hair, teeth, lips, temples, neck, and bosom.
The minutes of the inspection manifests the boundless interest and delight he has in her.
One glaring imperfection, such as teeth or hair, would spoil the whole effect of perfection and beauty of the other details.
Such passages as Isaiah 43:1-2 and 41:10 cause
one's heart to expand with joy as He speaks, but we would not
interrupt Him for the world! Our soul cries "Speak on, Lord!
So, "when we see Him, we shall be like Him" -- gloriously beautiful! "All this is typical of the way in which the Lord Jesus Christ sees us, for He sees us as we shall be when He has completed His work of grace in us (see Eph. 5:25-27)."
But why wait till the wedding day? Why not let Him delight in us by yielding to Him now? These characteristics of Christ's beauty of character may now be wrought in us by the Holy Spirit! Observe:
Dove eyes - "within thy locks" = "behind thy
veil." The dove was ceremonially clean; the only fowl used in
sacrifice to God; pictures godly humility, chastity, and
Eye - is used for spiritual light and discernment. The dove has wonderful power of distant vision; so we fix our eye on the Man in glory.
Hair - as flock of goats -- profusion of each and unity of all. Long hair -- covering and glory of woman; also may picture Nazarite (Lk. 22:18). That is, we are to join our Lord in His Nazarite vow of separation, and keep away from the harlot, Delilah = the world (Jas. 4:4).
Teeth - cleanness, whiteness (washed in the fountain), regularity, evenness (all irregularity removed). We may eat the bread of life; we are no longer babes but full grown (have teeth).
Lips - thread of scarlet; lips once leprous (Isa. 1:6; 6:5) are now restored by blood of Christ. We are to be constantly speaking of His cross (1 Cor. 2:2; Gal. 6:14).
Temples - piece of pomegranate, bright red mingled with white, like a blush resulting from modesty at his inspection (1 Peter 3:4). Oh, what a change from our previous state (Isa. 1:21, 5-6).
Neck - like tower of David adorned with trophies of victory (Isa. 52:1-2).
Breasts - emblems of (1) woman's development, affection drawn out to Him; (2) nourishment fro others (Isa. 60:4, cp. 66:10-13).
NOTE: As to the intimacy of this description, we are helped to properly evaluate the matter by a quotation from Neil's Palestine Explored: "The Easterns still, as in ancient times, use the greatest plainness of speech throughout the Holy Land. At first, a Western sense of delicacy is greatly shocked. Things, the very mention of which decency forbids amongst us, are there freely spoken of before women and children by people of the highest class, and of the greatest respectability and refinement ... Seeing that the Bible claims to be an Eastern book, written in the East, and first and for long ages addressed to Easterns only, it could not possibly be genuine if these very matters, which have given rise to such blasphemous statements by unbelievers, were absent from its pages."
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