Bible Commentaries
Song of Solomon 3

Coke's Commentary on the Holy BibleCoke's Commentary

Verse 2

Song of Solomon 3:2. I will rise now, &c.— I will rise now, and go about the city. In the streets and in the broad-ways will I seek him, &c. It might be rendered, in the passages and open avenues, or squares. New Translation.

Verse 5

Song of Solomon 3:5. I charge you, &c.— Here ends the second eclogue. This day's eclogue contains the hope and calling of the church; Christ's care of her; the profession of her love, her faith and hope, together with her sight, and victory in temptation. The leaping upon the mountains, like a roe or young hart, expresses the readiness wherewith Christ comes to do the will of God, joyfully surmounting all difficulties and discouragements; gradually revealing himself, chap. Son 2:8-9 and thus addressing himself to the church; "Awake, thou who art most dear unto me, and leave these dark representations of me; for now the time is past wherein ignorance, error, and wickedness overflowed the world as floods do the earth in the winter season. Those cloudy and uncomfortable days are over, wherein thou couldst see and enjoy but little of me, Song of Solomon 2:10-11. All tokens of a new world appear, and invite thee to come and partake of those joys which the nearer approaches of the Son of righteousness produce; who makes all manner of blessings spring up in such abundance, that it causes the heavenly host to sing for joy; and therefore cannot but fill all believers with thankful hymns to him; Son 2:12 and for this especially, that their dead hopes are revived, and they receive the earnest and beginnings of that future bills, the expectation of which is our greatest comfort in this life, and the consummation of it our highest happiness in the next; and therefore I say again, Awake, &c." The church expresses her satisfaction in this invitation, and her strong desire for further and nearer communications with her lovely and beloved heavenly Bridegroom; and gives a caution to her companions, the ministers and preachers of the word, to use their earliest diligence to discover and confute the sophistry of deceivers, who craftily insinuate their false doctrines into weak and unwary souls, and thereby too often reduce those who are newly converted, or but infirm in the faith. The church then declares the mutual love between her and her Saviour; professing that she will have nothing to do with those seducing spirits, but adhere to him alone whose dwelling is not among the subtle and crafty, but with simple and candid souls, Song of Solomon 2:16.—"Only let him be pleased to vouchsafe his gracious presence with me, and to enlighten me more and more, till I have a full knowledge of his will, and the light thereof scatter all the shadows of the law. Let my beloved also make haste to succour and relieve me in all difficulties and distresses, and shew the same readiness for my preservation and increase in the divine life, which he did for my first salvation, Song of Solomon 3:7. For in the night of doubt and persecution I sought him; I sought him in holy books and among holy men, chap. Song of Solomon 3:1-2. But he was distant from me, and I could gain no intelligence of him. At length some of the ministers and instructors of his people gave such satisfaction to my inquiries, Son 3:3 that my soul was soon blessed with his divine presence and the full communication of his love: in which I rejoiced, and in which I will rest with delight, Song of Solomon 3:4-5."

Verse 6

Song of Solomon 3:6. Who is this that cometh, &c.— This is the beginning of the third day's eclogue.

Verse 10

Song of Solomon 3:10. The bottom thereof of gold The inside thereof of gold; the covering of it of purple; the middle thereof is wrought in needle-work by her whom he loveth best among the daughters of Jerusalem. Houbigant.

Verse 11

Song of Solomon 3:11. With the crown, &c.— The original word עטרה atarah, is derived from the root, עטר atar, which signifies to encompass or surround; and is the same as is used to express a royal crown. 2 Samuel 12:30. 1 Chronicles 20:8.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, We have here,

1. The church seeking her Lord. By night on my bed; either this refers to the Mosaic dispensation, when, comparatively, darkness covered the earth; or to the condition of too many believers in every age, who, through neglect of watchfulness, know some dark seasons when they lament after an absent Christ; or this signifies the dull and sluggish frame into which she had fallen through sloth and worldly ease, which had provoked the Saviour to withdraw; yet, whatever declensions had grown upon her, the could still say, I sought him whom my soul loveth; her love was grown comparatively cold, and with too much lukewarmness she continued to seek him: I sought him, but I found him not, as the punishment of her unfaithfulness, or because she used so little importunity in the pursuit, her prayers negligent, her attention in the ordinances distracted, and her ears dull of hearing.

2. Perceiving her deadness and distance from him, in the power of divine grace she resolves more earnestly to seek his face. I will rise now from the bed of sloth, and without delay go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth; discouraged by no difficulties, and persevering notwithstanding repeated disappointments, diligent in the use of every appointed means, and in some of his holy ordinances hoping at last to meet him: I sought him, but I found him not; that melancholy strain is repeated, and paints the anguish of her disappointment: we must not, however, give over, if we do not meet in the way of duty with all the comfort that we expected, but patiently wait, and be found still in God's way. Therefore,

3. She applies to the watchmen of the city, whom she met, for information; the ministers of the word, whose office and business it is to direct poor wandering souls to Jesus; they found me bewildered in my search, and as they appeared solicitous and able to direct my steps, I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? no other description was necessary, the object of her longing regards was known to them. Note; (1.) They who are under soul distress, are bound to apply to the ministers of Christ, whose advice he will bless to their relief. (2.) A soul that knows the value of the Lord Jesus will never rest, seeking till it finds him.

4. This was the blessed case of the distressed church. It was but a little that I passed from them: observing, probably, the directions they had given, though their answer is not mentioned; or when means and ministers all failed, Christ came to answer all her importunate desires; I found him whom my soul loveth: none ever were at last disappointed, who in patient perseverance sought his face; and the more difficulties we have encountered and conquered, the sweeter will the divine comfort be at last, when all the desires of our hearts shall be granted, and our souls filled with his love.

5. Having found him, she resolved now to keep him, and never more to part from him. I held him in the arms of faith and love, and would not let him go: he seemed reluctant to stay, yet meant only to excite her importunity, and exercise her graces; until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me: which may signify either that the soul who finds the Lord Jesus will make open profession of him in the visible church, which may be regarded as our common mother; or that she was determined to hold fast on Christ during all the trials of her militant state on earth, till he should bring her to that Jerusalem which is above, which is the mother of us all.

6. She gives a solemn charge not to disturb her Lord. Those who have felt the pains of absence will be more peculiarly jealous, lest they should again provoke the Saviour to depart from them. I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please, neither speak nor move so as to offend him; but, watchfully observant of whatever would disturb or displease him, keep your hearts with all diligence. Note; They who would keep Christ when they have found him, must be careful how they walk, and solicitous to please him well in all things.

7. The daughters of Jerusalem, on beholding this happy meeting of Christ and his church, break forth into an inquiry full of admiration. Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness; either the wilderness of corruption, in which the souls even of all the faithful once lay, unable to extricate themselves from the mazes of error and sin, till Christ arose to lead them in paths of everlasting peace; or the wilderness of desertion and affliction, such as was the case of the church just before, when Jesus was absent from her, and she lamented after him; but now having found him, what a change appears! no more weeping, mourning, afflicted, she lifts up her head with joy, and marches boldly on, like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense; as the smoke from the altar ascended in curling volumes, so do her burning affections rise up to God, and the lively exercise of her graces, through the nearness of Jesus, gives a favour of a sweet smell, acceptable and well-pleasing to God through Jesus Christ; with all the powders of the merchant; the Redeemer is the merchant, who from afar hath brought the sweet perfume; the graces we exercise, the services we offer, come not from ourselves, but him; to him therefore for ever be the praise.

2nd, The church desires to turn the eyes of the daughters of Jerusalem from admiring her, to an object far more worthy of their regard, even to Solomon, the type of the divine Messiah, the chief of ten thousand. Three things she points out to them as worthy their highest admiration.
1. His bed. Behold, his bed, his church, or the hearts of his faithful people, in which he takes up his rest for ever, which is Solomon's the prince of peace; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel; the ministers of the sanctuary, men strong in faith, and mighty in word and deed, who watch that nothing may disturb the peace of the church, or hurt her members. They all hold swords, being expert in war, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; and know how to wield it in such a manner as to vanquish the powers of darkness: every man hath his sword upon his thigh; ready armed for every exigence, having the scriptures stored up in their memory, and able to apply them on every emergence, according to the circumstances of the case, because of fear in the night; when, in seasons of temptation or persecution, God's people are distressed and alarmed, they are prepared to stand by them and to encourage and comfort them.

2. His chariot. King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon; which may signify the human nature of Christ; or the ministration of the gospel, in which he appears in the riches of his grace, admired of all that believe, riding prosperously in triumphant majesty, attended by the acclamations of his faithful subjects; and his enemies, death, hell, and sin, bound as vanquished at his chariot-wheels. The wood of Lebanon denotes the perpetuity of the gospel word, and its fragrance the great and precious promises therein contained; the pillars of silver, the floor of gold, the covering of purple, may represent its purity, excellence, and stability; the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem; God therein appears to be all love and mercy to poor and perishing sinners, and he is pleased to take up the yielding faithful soul to sit with him, to behold and partake of his glory.

3. The royal diadem on his head. Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, converted souls, who are called out of themselves to Christ, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals; either the day when ascending to the skies Jesus was crowned king of glory, and all power in heaven and earth given unto him; or the day when the soul of the sinner, called by the Divine word and Spirit into the fellowship of the gospel, yields to be saved by grace, and beholds Jesus, the heavenly bridegroom, with open arms ready to receive her, owns how worthy he is, who hath borne the cross, to wear the crown, and with delight embraces the gospel-covenant, in which the Saviour betrothes us to himself in mercy and loving-kindness; and this time is a time of love, and gladness of his heart; then Jesus beholds in us the travail of his soul, and we can say, My spirit rejoiceth in God my Saviour.

Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 3". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.