Spiritual Progress of the Soul
Comments on the Song of Solomon — Chapter Seven
The marks of royalty are upon the Bride! The Church, of which she is a type, is like her Lord. Is He heavenly; then she also is heavenly. Behold, what maner of love He has bestowed upon her, that she should be called, “O Prince’s daughter.” A consideration of what He has done for her, and what He has done for us, causes the heart to bow in adoration and worship.
Throughout the Song, the Bridegroom called the Bride, “My love,” “My dove,” for she was precious to Him, very precious.
Long ago He had advised her to “go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock,” now He, her Beloved, rejoices in her obedience, and exclaims, “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O Prince’s daughter!” The prophet states why her feet were so lovely, “How beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth salvation.” The Bride had been witnessing to those in the city, and that enhanced her greatly in the eyes of her Beloved.
Shoes suggest that the Bride possessed dignity and at the same time a peaceful disposition for the shoes speak of being shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Jesus’ first words to His disciples after His resurrection were, “Peace be unto you.”
“The joints of thy thighs… the work of the hands of a cunning workman.” The expression used in these verses may seem crude to some, but “to the pure all things are pure.” These statements are a description of the Church in feminine form. The thigh is that part of the leg in which lies the strength for walking and running. It is the symbol of steadfastness and stability in our spiritual walk. The hips, or loins, are supported by the girdle of truth. What a “jewel” truth is! We are exhorted to “stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth.” The navel and the belly would speak of the secret parts of the person, the vitals. Jeremiah quoted the saying of the Lord, “I will put My law in their inward parts.”
“A heap of wheat:” This too is an analogy. The wheat symbolizes food, and reminds us of the words of the Lord Jesus, “I am the bread of life.” Our Lord Jesus is the only sustenance upon which believers can feed and grow. Oh, that God’s people in this regard were like the Bride, that they would feed upon the bread of life in order that they be strengthened for their confession of Christ!
“Thy two breasts:” These represent faith and love, the expressions of these Christian graces in our lives. In her early growth, the Church exercised faith in God and in His word, and much love to all the people of God. These are as vital and necessary in the present as they were in the church at Ephesus. Although she was persecuted and ridiculed earlier in this Song by those of the city, she still retained her faith and love as much a part of herself as her breasts.
“Thy neck:” The Beloved sees her growing spiritually, and likens her neck to a tower of ivory. This speaks of wealth as well as strength for only kings could possess thrones of ivory and live in high towers.
“Thine eyes, like fishpools:” The fishpools give the thought of quietness and depth. The eyes of this Prince’s daughter had impressed her Beloved; He discerns in them a depth of perception.
“Thy hair like unto purple:” The idea of the hair being like purple may suggest that the early Christians yielded their glory to their heavenly King. They said with the Apostle Paul: “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.”
“Thy stature like a palm tree:” The palm tree is frequently used in Scripture as a symbol of uprightness and of fruitfulness. We read, “They are upright as the palm tree.” The stature of the Bride is likened to the palm tree because it grows straight up in spite of heat and storm and winds. The Church will still stand before the Lamb clothed with white robes, and palms (of victory) in her hands. But why is the Bride made so upright and flourishing? The Psalmist gives the answer, “To show that the Lord is upright, He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”
“Thy breasts are clusters of grapes:” Why should these parts of her anatomy be associated with grapes? Did they not suggest the inseparable graces, faith and love? Yes, but here the added idea is that of the operation of faith and love which is precious fruit. That is why Christians are spoken of as branches of the vine; they are the channels used by the Beloved to give “the new wine of the Kingdom” to others. The Church is His body, and it is through the members of His body now on earth, that He takes hold to save. When men open the door of their hearts to His knocking, He enters in to sup with them.
“His desire is toward me:” We do not know exactly when the Bride first received her Beloved, but shortly after she had made His acquaintance, she was taken by her King Lover into the chambers of fellowship and communion. He was not only to her a place of hiding and salvation, but He extended to her every possible blessing, He set her at His table in His banqueting house. She claimed Him personally so that she could say, “I am my Beloved’s and His desire is toward me.”
“Let us lodge in the villages:” The Bride sensed that she did not have to walk alone, that there was One closely associated with her, so she exclaimed: “Let us go forth!” “Let us lodge!” “Let us see!” It may be that she felt as Moses did when he prayed, “If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Eventually, he also said, “Let my Lord go among us.” Moses could not go without God; the Bride could not go without her Beloved; no Christian can face the world without the companionship of the Lord Jesus.
“My loves:” Such was her love for her Bridegroom, she mentions it in the plural. The Bride bore all manner of virtues, but none greater than her love. This was the spiritual fruit in which she excelled. The Spirit of God tells us what some of this wonderful fruit might be, “Every scribe … is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” This is what the Church, the Bride of Christ has been doing ever since Pentecost.