Spiritual Progress of the Soul
Comments On The Song Of Solomon — Chapter Six
In this chapter, for the second time, the daughters of Jerusalem address the Bride as “Thou fairest among women.” These daughters of Jerusalem may represent the religious people who know about the Bride of Christ, but who have not received Him as their Beloved.
Let us try to discover who were the righteous and who were the wicked. The Lord Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Ye are they which justify themselves among men, but God knoweth your hearts.” He also spoke about certain who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others, telling them of a parable about two men who went up into the temple to pray, and indicating that only one of them was justified before God. Stephen asked the Jews, “Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted, and slain? And ye have been now the betrayers and murders of the Just One.” To whom was Stephen speaking on that occasion? To the high priest, the whole Jewish Counsel, and to false witnesses. Did they not know that he was witnessing to them about his Beloved Lord? They did; “They stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him.”
These Jews were not the heathen, the ungodly, or the openly wicked; they were part of the nation of Israel, the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They deemed themselves to be righteous, to be sure, and despised others, rejecting the Prince of Peace, saying, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” How can one think these daughters of Jerusalem wanted to seek the Beloved with an honest heart? With a desire to worship Him? The Lord knoweth them that trust in Him.
“My Beloved is gone down into His garden.” His garden was not a literal one of shrubbery and herbs. This garden was in Mary’s heart and He was there enjoying communion. This is indicated by her talk to one whom she supposed to be the gardener, Jesus, after He had arisen from the tomb. The spices mentioned were the sorrows He suffered at the hand of man, His rejection, the rebellion of the masses against Him, and the jeers of the ungodly.
As the Bridegroom feeds in the garden of the heart, He expects also to gather lilies. Nicodemus was one of the lilies our Beloved gathered. He calls His lilies out of the world, for He is, during this era, taking out a people for Himself. These are the lilies He came to gather. He says, “Gather My saints together unto Me.”
How many hymns and spiritual songs have been written embracing the grand thought, “Oh! I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved’s mine.” “I know He’s mine, this Friend so dear; He walks with me, He’s ever near. Ten Thousand charms around Him shine, but best of all, I know He’s mine!”
The name Tirzah means benevolent, well-pleasing. Because she has been faithful and true to her Beloved, she is an overcomer, and to Him she is beautiful. He sees more and more of Himself in her love, her devotion, her loyalty, and her worship. May we, too, grow into Christ’s image, and be renewed in the inward man day by day, until, on the Day of the Lord Jesus, we are fully like Him.
The hair of the Nazarite was the symbol of separation, and the meaning of Gilead is a hill of witness. The goats of Gilead with their long hair were not peculiar to one another, but to persons seeing them. To the Great Shepherd, His own are a very special prize, with a value like to that of the pearl of great price. The Beloved of the Bride had His own reasons for speaking of some of her features. The Bride’s beauty that had been marred had now been changed by the hearing of His voice. She had returned to feeding among His flocks, and that had resulted in her sanctification.
Since this Song is about the Bride, the true Church, the mention of queens, concubines, and virgins, may be taken as an allegory of spurious religious elements. The overall picture of this Song is futuristic. The heavenly Bride is seen growing from Pentecost; the false bride, Her imitator, since shortly after; they grow together like the wheat and the tares.
The Scriptures tell us that many thousands of Israel came out of Egypt, yet God viewed them as one people, calling the entire nation Israel, a peculiar treasure. “So, we, being many are one Body in Christ, and every one members one of another. For there is one Body, and one Spirit.” There was no Eve until Adam fell into the deep sleep; furthermore, there was no Church until after Christ died and rose again. As Eve was taken from Adam’s side, even so does the Church come from Christ, and is “bone of His bone, and flesh of His flesh.”
There are occasions when men persecute God’s children; yet, there are other times when they bless them and realize that it is through the children of God that they are being blessed. Laban said, “I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake.”
The picture of the Bride being “as fair as the moon” may be considered prophetically of the Church as she passed through “the dark ages.” In the life of Paul his conversion was the beginning of a new day, a new morning. Nevertheless, there were dark periods in his service. For example, “The Jews spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.” Eventually, he shone fair as the moon in the jail at Philipi. Others saw the light of the glory of Christ in the faces of Paul and Silas.
The garden mentioned here is different from others mentioned in this Song. In a garden little grows naturally of itself, all requires cultivation, so nothing is good in the heart but what is planted there by the heavenly Husbandman.
The whole theme of the Song of Solomon is that of spiritual growth among God’s people, the life and development of the Bride. The pomegranates may refer therefore to the priesthood of believers coming before the Lord in worship. The fruit and its colouring suggest crucifixion and the buds and blossoms new life to come. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).