The Third Meeting
Comments for Study 3
Song of Solomon 3:6-5:1
Memory Verse: 3:6
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I. King Solomon (3:6-11)
* See the wood engraving by Quarles, Francis (1592-1644). The quote is from 3:4. A woman is shown embracing her beloved after finding him outside of the city gates. This was published in the book "Emblemes", now in public domain.
* The wood engraving next to it is by Luiken, Jan (1649-1712) titled "Niet zonder hoop" in English "Not Without Hope". The quote is from 3:3. A woman sitting in a forest gazes upwards at a white bird, perhaps a dove, perched on a tree branch. This was published in the book "Vonken der liefde Jezus" now in public domain.
>1. What does the bride see coming to her? (6)
* Song of Songs 3:6 "Who is this coming up from the desert like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense made from all the spices of the merchant?"
* This verse begins a new moment in the relationship.
* "Who... desert" -The view is from the prospective of the beloved.
* "desert" -The landscape is not completely void of vegetation. Rather, it is uncultivated seasonal grassland, good for grazing after the winter rains in Israel. Yet, not good enough for plating seeds. Much of the land around Jerusalem was like this in Solomon's day.
* "column of smoke, perfumed..." -The smoke is not the grassland ablaze in uncontrollable fire. Rather, the metaphore is that her lover is a welcome pleasant arrival.
* Excitement expressed by physical scene.
>Who is it and who is with him? (7-8)
* Song of Songs 3:7-8 "Look! It is Solomon's carriage, escorted by sixty warriors, the noblest of Israel, all of them wearing the sword, all experienced in battle, each with his sword at his side, prepared for the terrors of the night."
* "It is Solomon's carriage" -Another reference to Solomon. Solomon has a special carriage made for his wedding.
* "carriage" -"Mitta" in the original Hebrew is translated by the NIV "carriage." Some other translates are "royal litter", "portable couch", and "sedan chair". The KJV translates it "bed". "Carriage" is the translation of several general Hebrew and Greek terms referring to utensils, baggage, supplies, or anything which can be carried. The term has nothing to do with transportation vehicles, as a more modern use of carriage would imply. Compare various translations of Judges 18:21; 1 Samuel 17:22; Isaiah 10:28; 46:1; Acts 21:15. A good understanding in this passage is that this is a richly adorned royal conveyance, a palanquin.
* "escorted by sixty warriors, the noblest of Israel" -They could be identified as the king's friends and escorts.
* "prepared for the terrors of night" -The immediate understanding is they fight bandids, theifs, and attaching warriors. However, since the maiden had spend the night in self doubt and comdenation, she sees the king's arrival with an army ready to avenge as rescue from her self-pity, self-condemnation, and low self-esteme.
* The king is coming in splendor for his bride. He approaches through fields made green from the spring rains. The desert is abloom with color (6). The king's aroma is myrrh and incense. The bride's heart rejoices and giggles with affection, "Look!"
The king is not alone. Sixty noble warriors are with him (7). Their dress is exceptional, ready to battle; strong, sturdy, and handsome. Their swords strapped by their side, they are skilled in battle (8.). No night terror can remain when the king glides in with his warriors. Doubt, worry, and self-pity flee. The night is passed. The king has arrived.
The king rides in grandeur on a rickshaw, an ornate carriage made for a special occasion. Two silver poles rest on the shoulders of warriors. Silver posts support a purple canopy. The base is gold. The interior is lovingly inlaid by the delicate hands of pure maidens (10).
The king wears a crown made by his mother (11). She approves of his marriage to the Beloved. The king is coming for his bride. His heart rejoices.
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left." (Matthew 25:31-33)
"For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. Immediately after the distress of those days "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." (Matthew 24:27-31)
>How is this similar to Jesus second coming? (Joel 2:11; Matthew 16:27, 24:27-31, 25:31-33, Matthew 26:63-64; Revelation 19:11-16)
* Joel 2:11 "The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?"
* The apostle John (and other apostles) describes a similar scene when Jesus comes again with his angles and saints following. Joel is most likely describing the same thing that they foretold.
* Revelation 19:11-16 "I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."
* Matthew 16:27 "For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done."
* Matthew 24:27-31 "For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. Immediately after the distress of those days "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other."
* Matthew 25:31-33 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
* Matthew 26:63-64 "But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."
* The exchange in Matthew 26:63-64 is also in Mark 13:26, 14:62; Luke 9:26, 21:27. Mark 14:61-62 "But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" "I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."
* Zechariah 9:14-15 "Then the LORD will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign LORD will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storms of the south, and the LORD Almighty will shield them. They will destroy and overcome with slingstones. They will drink and roar as with wine; they will be full like a bowl used for sprinkling the corners of the altar."
* Acts 1:11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."
* See a paining of Jesus Coming in Glory with his army following him to the right.
>2. What was Solomon in when he came for his bride? (9-10)
* Song of Songs 3:9-10 "King Solomon made for himself the carriage; he made it of wood from Lebanon. Its posts he made of silver, its base of gold. Its seat was upholstered with purple, its interior lovingly inlaid by the daughters of Jerusalem."
* "King Solomon" -Another clear reference to Solomon.
* "made for himself the carriage" -The ricksaw (carriage) was made for this special occasion.
* "its post he made of silver" -The ricksaw (carriage) was carried on men's shoulders. The horizontal posts were on the warriors shoulders. Vertical posts rose from the horizontal posts. The vertical posts supported a canopy. The construction is similar to the ark of the covenant which also had poles carried on the shoulders of the Levits (priest). Solomon's chariot was carried by perhaps all 60 warriors.
* "interior lovingly inlaid by the daughters of Jerusalem" -The place where the king occupied was covered and panneled with soft cushions made of the finest cloth.
* "seat was upholstered with purple" -Purple is not a natural color. Making was very complicated for most of human history. Thus it was very expensive in ancient centuries. Only kings and the very rich could afford purple cloth.
* The carriage is reminiscent of the ark of the covenant. (Exodus 25:10-22, 35:12)
>What did his bride want all Jerusalem to see? (11)
* Song of Songs 3:11 "Come out, you daughters of Zion, and look at King Solomon wearing the crown, the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, the day his heart rejoiced."
* "Come out, you daughters of Zion" -Words of the maiden.
* "Zion" -The name of the mountain most of ancient Jerusalem was built on.
* "crown" -A wedding wreath. The king is prepared to marry the maiden.
* "his mother crowned him" -The king's mother approves the marriage to the maiden. Since the Song is about King Solomon, Bathsheba approved of her son marrying the daughter of Pharoah.
* The queen mother approved of the bethrothment.
II. Lover (4:1-15)
* See a picture of pomagrante cut in half to the right.
>3. How does the king describe his brides face? (1-3)
* Song of Songs 4:1-3 "How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone. Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate."
* "how beautiful... how beautiful!" -Repetition emphasizes truth.
* "my darling" -He fondly and dearly possesses her.
* "eyes... hair... teeth... lips... temples" -He compliments and praises all the features of her face. She was self-conscience of her face. He assures her of her facial beauty.
* "doves" -Doves in the Bible represent purity and holiness.
* "flock of goats descending" -The goats of Canaan were usually black. However, Jacob bread sheep and goats that were black, white, and stripped. The goats in this passage are in unison movement. They flow with a vibrant elegance.
* "sheep...shorn... washing" -Sheep that have just had their coat removed are washed. Their skin is thus revealed, still wet from the cleaning like her teeth. Brushed teeth smell good too. Teeth are revealed when we smile. When the Lover reveals her teeth in sweet happiness they shine joy.
* "scarlet ribbon" -Bright red soft and decrative such as on a present.
* "behind your veil" -The veil could have been a fine net. However, since this is her temples the vale could have been her hair.
* "pomegranate" -Pometranates when ripe are a bright red chambered, many-seeded, globose fruit, having a tough, usually red rind and pink interior, and surmounted by a crown of calyx lobes, the edible portion consisting of pleasantly acid flesh developed from the outer seed coat.
* "temples... the halves of a pomegranate" -The pomegranat is cut in two revealing its pink interior and many seeds. Her temples were blushed.
>And her torso? (4-5)
* Song of Songs 4:4-5 "Your neck is like the tower of David, built with elegance; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors. Your two breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies."
* "tower of David" -When David obtained Jerusalem from the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5:6-10) he built it up into a citadel. Though a tower is not mentioned all walled fortresses at that time had lookout towers. 2 Samuel 8:7 state that David took the gold shields that belonged to the officers of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem.
* "hang a thousand shields" -The shields would have reflected the sunlight. The Beloved had wore a bright shiney neckless.
* "neck" -Her neck was erect supporting a fine head in elegance.
* "breasts... two fawns" -A fawn is a young tender deer in its first year and is light yellowish-brown. They are elegance in form and a firm softness to touch.
* "twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies" -The picture is not only her breasts, but the chest they are on. The chest is depicted as a field of lilies.
* The king is a gentleman; passionate, erotic, and romantic. He sincerely and gleefully compliments his beloved woman. He affectionately addresses her as his darling (1). He leaves no room for doubt in the way he sees her beauty.
The eyes are the window to the soul (Matt 6:22). The maiden's eyes were where he started his praise. They were pure, bright, and clear as a dove.
A woman's long hair is her glory and her crown (1 Cor. 11:15). The maiden's hair moved and bounced around like a flock of goats on the move. Her hair flowed as it exemplified the fun and fancy life of his maiden.
Teeth are revealed when a person's heart is happy and joyful. The duchess' teeth showed white as sheep freshly washed as she bashfully smiled at her lover (2).
A strong and sure neck supports a confident head. The neck that is like a tower portrays elegance. The neck of the countess of Egypt supported a bright neckless such as a thousand shields of warriors on the tower of David (4).
The king's acclaim of his darling started at her head and moved down. Now for the first time, he speaks of her breasts. A fawn is a young dear; soft, firm, and pleasant to the touch and in his eyes. His beloved's breasts were like twin fawns that browse on a field of lilies. The chest of his love was perfect (5).
Metaphors of the lovers' intimacy view a full night's delight (6). The lover's dominance and passion for his beloved is fragrance. There is confident beauty in his "I will".
The king is a perfect example of a man when he leaves no doubt in his queen's mind that she is the perfection of womanhood. A man is best when he sees the beauty of his wife and praises her.
>4. Where was the king going and what did he want of his bride? (6-8)
* Song of Songs 4:6-8 "Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense. All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you. Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon. Descend from the crest of Amana, from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon, from the lions' dens and the mountain haunts of the leopards."
* See a picture of Mount Herman Israel to the right.
* "until the day breaks" -All night long.
* "mountain of myrrh... from Lebanon" -Mount Herman is a twin peak mountain in northern Israel. It seperates Lebanon from Israel.
* "the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense" -The metaphor is of lovers' intimacy.
* "haunts" -The image is of fear, dread, and danger of death.
* "the crest of Amana, from the top of Senir" -Other nations name for Mount Herman.
* The king had ensured his Beloved, the young mademoiselle that she is beautiful in his eyes (1-7). He had come calling her at her antechamber the early morning prior asking to spend a wonderful spring day together. She refused to leave her sanctuary of self-pity. She did not answer her master. (chapter 3)
The couple worked through the problem individually and then as a couple. All was resolved. The love affair blossomed like a cherry tree in the spring.
Once again the master, the lover came calling his bride to spend not only a day together as before but now bonded for the rest of their lives (8). She had been distant. She had removed herself from her lord. To him, it was like she was on a high mountain. The young lady was as far as the mountains of Lebanon.
Mount Hermon separating Lebanon from Israel is called Senir (or Sanir) by the Sidonians (Phoenicians). Hermon means "devoted mountain". Senir means "breastplate" because of its rounded snow-covered twin peaks.
The king commanded her to remove herself from the lions' dens and the haunts of the leopards. The king called her down from her solitude. The bride was ordered to flee her haunts and enjoy life with her Lover.
An important part of healing is when stuck in a mental self-loathing thought and image of ourselves we need to see and be reminded of all the good things too. We need to accept the love of a friend and a spouse.
When a loved one shuts themselves down and retreats into a mountain of thoughts we can help them see the positive and show them out love and acceptance.
* See the wood engravings titled "Frontispiece" by Hugo, Herman (1588-1629). This frontispiece features three figures: a demon at the base and two cherubs with ribbon and Latin inscription, VENI SPONSA DE LIBANO CORONABERIS ("Come, O' my bride from Lebanon, you shall be crowned") SED MILERENTIS ("but those on whom [God] has mercy"), which is a likely combination of the Latin Vulgate of Song of Songs 4:8 and Romans 9:16. The engraver's name, Melchior Kusell, is located in the lower right. This was published in the book "Him lische Nachtigall" now in public domain. Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>When she looked to him what happened? (9)
* Song of Songs 4:9 "You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace."
* "stolen my heart" -Heart is often equated to the soul in the Bible. Her allure toward him is akin to stealing. Once something is stolen it is in one's possession. The Lover owned his heart.
* "stolen my heart... stolen my heart" -As done with "beautiful" in verse one so "stolen heart" is here; it is repeated to ephesize the truth of the matter.
* "my sister" -For lovres to address each other as "brother" and "sister" was common in the love poetry of the ancient Near East.
* "with one glance of your eyes" -The charm of the Lover was from the first her eyes.
* "with one jewel of your necklace" -The Lover's eyes were not only the precious ornate valuable feature on her face.
>What was the one thing he wanted more than any other? (10)
* Song of Songs 4:10 "How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!"
* "my bride" -They are formally engaged to be married.
* "your love" -The Hebrew word "dod" is a noun, often translated into English as "love" and "lover". The meaning is a lover and is related to lust and sexual intimacy when refering to a man and an woman.
* "than wine" -Wine affect many sensual pleasures and affects a person's demeanor into a pleasant mode when drunk in moderation.
* "fragrance" -The image is that of emanate from her soul.
* "perfume" -He soul is depicted as an expensive and rare perfume. Perfumes are made of aromatic spices and gums blended in cosmetic oil.
* The Lover; the king and bridegroom continues his poetic assessment and praise of his Beloved; the madonna and bride. The Beloved has stolen his heart with one glance of her eyes (9). Merely one precious enchanting element of her elegance is enough for affection's spark to ignite. The king's being is transposed by the jewel of the princess' eyes.
The Beloved searches for expressions that mark his possession of his Lover. She is HIS sister and HIS bride (10) She belongs to no other. Likewise, the young lady owns his heart (10). His heart belongs solely to her. A person's heart is their soul; their identity. He owns her alone and she owns him alone. The two have become one, bound in a new spiritually interlaced thread.
The maiden's love is more pleasing than wine (10). She affects all his senses; his body and conscience. The radiance of her soul is a fragrant perfume more so than a spice. Spice is an imported luxury as she is to his life. Spices are fragrances in holy anointing oil and for the fragrant incense.
The Egyptian baroness' red lips drip with the sweetness of the honeycomb. The bride's tongue tantalizes like milk and honey (11).
The king's peeress is a garden locked up (12). His bride is a spring enclosed. She is a sealed fountain. Her delights are protected and safe. She is for him alone. Her southing and refreshing sensual and sexual delights are experienced only by the bridegroom.
When anyone finds a treasure, a pot of gold, a precious jewel, a lot of cash, or an invaluable piece of art they do not give it away. A spouse and a betrothed are more valuable than these whether known or yet to be discovered. When a suitable helpmate is had they are to be made exclusive. Only a fool would share with another.
"She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her." (Proverbs 3:15)
>How is this true of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ?
* The love between the tri-une God consists of first and foremost intimate love.
* "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)
* "I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name-the name you gave me-so that they may be one as we are one."(Jonn 17:11)
* "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." (Matthew 19:4-6)
* "Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth." (Malachi 2:15)
>5. How did the king describe his brides lips? (11)
* Song of Songs 4:11 "Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like that of Lebanon."
* "lips drop sweetness" -The Lover is referring of her physical lips as well as the words that come from them.
* "milk and honey are under your tongue" -The promised land has been descrbed as the land of milk and honey meaning place the contains pleasures the sustain in abunance. Here, the tongue creates words of love and passion. He is delighted with what she says. Also, implied of the physical use of the tonge when kissing.
* "fragnance of your garments" -The imagery is that her soul is presented as an outward garment that is very pleasant and sensual.
* "Lebanon" -Often referred to in the Song as a pleasing, exotic, and erotic location.
>How can our lips be pleasing to our Lord? (Psalm 8:1-2, 34:1-3, 51:15; Ephesians 5:19-20; Hebrews 13:15)
* Psalm 8:1-2 "O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger."
* Psalm 34:1-3 "I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together."
* Psalm 51:15 "O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise."
* Ephesians 5:19-20 "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
* Hebrews 13:15 "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name."
>6. What does the king compare his bride to in verses 11 and 15?
* Song of Songs 4:12 "You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain."
* Song of Songs 4:15 "You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon."
* "garden" -A place of sensual delights.
* "locked up... enclosed... sealed" -Protected and secure. Garden's are valuable specially cared for personal oasis and refuges. Gardens always had walls in the ancient Near East. Some say this is metaphor for her virginity. More prominate is that it is metaphor that she and her pleasure are his precious possession. He protects her and keeps her for himself. She can trust him and his loving intentions.
* "flowing" -Fresh, clear, pure, not stagnant, every pleasing, and satisfying like water from the melting snowfields of the Lebannon mountains.
* "flowing down" -The Lover often sees her elevated to a higher position than himself. Her grandure flows down to him.
>What fine things does he say are in her? (13-14)
* Song of Songs 4:13-14 "Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices."
* "pomegranate" -Pometranates when ripe are a bright red chambered, many-seeded, globose fruit, having a tough, usually red rind and pink interior, and surmounted by a crown of calyx lobes, the edible portion consisting of pleasantly acid flesh developed from the outer seed coat.
* "henna" -Henna is an Asian shrub or small tree, Lawsonia inermis, of the loosestrife family, having elliptic leaves and fragrant flowers.
* "nard" -Nard is an aromatic Himalayan plant, believed to be the spikenard. It is the source of an ointment used by the ancients.
* "saffron" -Saffron is a plant having showy purple flowers. From it is made an orange-colored condiment consisting of its dried stigmas, used to color and flavor foods also called vegetable gold.
* "calamus" -Calamus is any of various tropical Asian palms of the genus Calamus. Some are a source of rattan, its tough stems used in wickerword. It has an aromatic root.
* "cinnamon" -Cinnamon is the aromatic inner bark of any of several East Indian trees belonging to the genus Cinnamonum, of the laurel family, especially the bark of C. zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon). Cinnamon is still a very common spice. It was also a used in medicine as a cordial and carminative.
* "myrrh" -Myrrh is an aromatic resinous exudation from certain plants of the genus Myrrhis, a small spiny tree. It has been and still is used for incense and perfume for the living and dead. Mryyh in Israel was known as the gift for a prophet.
* "aloes" -Aloes are any chiefly African shrub belonging to the genus Aloe, of the lily family, certain species of which yield a fiber.
>How are our prayers like this? (Ephesians 6:18; Revelation 5:8, 8:3-4)
* Ephesians 6:18 "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."
* Revelation 5:8 "And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."
* Revelation 8:3-4 "Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand."
* The Bible uses the metaphor of perfumes, oils, and spices to explain how God loves our conversation and requests to him. He it intimate and loving.
III. Exchange Between Beloved, Lover, and Friends (4:16-5:1)
* See the wood engravings titled "The Poesie" in English "The Poem" by Hawkins, Henry (1571?-1646). An octagonal garden surrounded by a fence that has six triangles on the inside. Above the garden, a cloud is blowing wind onto the garden and a Latin inscription reads VENI AUSTER ET PERFLA HORTUM MEUM, translated "Come, o south wind and blow through my garden". The garden represents the residence of the saints and the wind the Holy Spirit. This was published in the book "Partheneia sacra; or, The mysterious and delicious garden of the sacred parthens" symolically set forth and enriched with pious devises and emblemes for the entertainement of devoted souls. It is now in public domain. Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>7. What did the bride want to happen? (16)
* Song of Songs 4:16 "(Beloved) Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad. Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits."
* "Awake" -Arise with new life.
* "north wind" -Lebannon was to the north north-west of Israel. Damascus was to the north north-east of Israel. Winds from the north sent cool air and rain. Winds in Israel usually come from the west, hense the Meditirranaen Sea and from the east desert. The highlands in the middle usually keep the winds seperate.
* "south wind"-Egypt was the the south south-west of Israel. Edom was to the south -south-east of Israel. Winds from the south sent draw hot clear sunny skies. Winds in Israel usually come from the west, hense the Meditirranaen Sea and from the east desert. The highlands in the middle usually keep the winds seperate.
* "north wind... south wind" -When the cool damp northern wind meets the dry hot wind rain falls on Israel's gardens.
* "Blow on my garden" -Shower her with love and life.
* "that its fragrance may spread abroad" -That her essence may be transmitted everywhere.
* "come into his garden" -The Beloved invites her Lover to come and enjoy what is his. She is his garden. She wants him to enjoy all she has to offer. The imagery is intimate sexual pleasures.
* "taste its choice fruits" -She accepts his previous claims that she is his and his alone for enjoyment.
* She is saying may the fragrance of my charms be wafted about to draw my lover to her so that they may enjoy love's intimacies.
* She happily obeys his commands. She will continually flow forth the pleasure he desires and commands.
* The Beloved commands the north wind and the south wind to blow on her garden (16). She is a garden; full of exotic plants, urbs, spices, and fruit. Her body and soul are the essence of her garden.
Sweet and pleasing smells are the natural product of her garden. She desires that her aroma may emanate from her to her lover. She wants the fragrance of her charms to be wafted about to draw her Lover to her.
The maiden wants the king to taste her choice fruit. She is his and his alone. She yields herself to him. She fully submits to her lover.
When a woman wants her man she must let him know. Her submission is his excitement. When a man wants her woman he must go to her. His dominance is her excitement.
>Can we do likewise? (John 15:16-17; Galatians 5:22-26; Colossians 1:6b, 10)
* John 15:16-17 "... You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other."
* Galatians 5:22-26 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."
* Colossians 1:6b, 10 "All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth... And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God"
* Romans 7:4-6 "So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code."
* Luke 3:8-9 "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
>How? (John 15:1-8)
* John 15:1-8 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."
* Jesus uses a similar metaphor to explain how he desires to enjoy the fruit of his followers. Their fruit is the same metaphor used in the Song. For Jesus our fruit is the Spirit alive in us propagating emotion and actions of the Holy Spirit.
>8. How did the bridegroom show his joy?
* Song of Songs 5:1 "(Lover) I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk.
(Friends) Eat, O friends, and drink; drink your fill, O lovers."
* "I have come into my garden" -He did not go into the garden until she wanted, asked for it, and allowed it.
* "my garden, my sister, my bride"
* "gathered... eaten... drunk" -Taken into his body and soul.
* The king and the maiden have had their great times, good times, hard times, breakups, and reunions. They have declared their love. They have practiced love. They have shown respect and submission. They have made their commitment to each other. They have proven their commitment. They maintain affection and kindness. They compliment and praise each other.
The king and the maiden have had an erotic passion since the beginning. They have intentionally kept the passion alive. They embrace their God-given sexuality. They keep it solely for their union. They ensure and display to each other that they desire and lust for their lover.
The Lover fanned into flame his Beloved's desire with sincere compliments and praises (4:1-15). The Beloved spread abroad her alluring charisma till it surrounded and brought her Lover to a boil (4:16).
The king claimed she was his garden of feminine delights. He came into his garden, his sister, his bride (1). The Lover enjoys his Beloved's delights. He gathered his myrrh. He enjoyed his honey. He sipped his wine. He drank his milk. She is his honey and milk. She is his promised land. The friends celebrated their passion.
"Haven't you read," Jesus replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." (Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9)