Matthew Henry's Commentary Song of Solomon Chapter 1
This book is a Divine allegory, which represents the love between Christ and his church of true believers, under figures
taken from the relation and affection that subsist between a bridegroom and his espoused bride; an emblem often employed in
Scripture, as describing the nearest, firmest, and most sure relation: see (Ps 45:1-17; Isa 54:5,6;
62:5; Jer 2:2; 3:1); also in Ezekiel, Hosea, and by our Lord himself, (Mt 9:15; 25:1):
see also (Re 21:2,9; Eph 5:27). There is no character in the church of Christ, and no situation
in which the believer is placed, but what may be traced in this book, as humble inquirers will find, on comparing it with
other Scriptures, by the assistance of God the Holy Spirit, in answer to their supplications. Much, however, of the language
has been misunderstood by expositors and translators. The difference between the customs and manners of Europe, and those
of the East, must especially be kept in view. The little acquaintance with eastern customs possessed by most of our early
expositors and translators, has in many cases prevented a correct rendering. Also, the changes in our own language, during
the last two or three centuries, affect the manner in which some expressions are viewed, and they must not be judged by modern
notions. But the great outlines, rightly interpreted, fully accord with the affections and experience of the sincere Christian.
he title. (1) The church confesses her deformity. (2-6) The church beseeches Christ to lead her to the resting-place of his
people. (7,8) Christ's commendation of the church, Her esteem for Him. (9-17)
This is "the Song of songs," excellent above any others, for it is wholly taken up with describing the excellences
of Christ, and the love between him and his redeemed people.
The church, or rather the believer, speaks here in the character of the spouse of the King, the Messiah. The kisses of his
mouth mean those assurances of pardon with which believers are favoured, filling them with peace and joy in believing, and
causing them to abound in hope by the power of the Holy Ghost. Gracious souls take most pleasure in loving Christ, and being
loved of him. Christ's love is more valuable and desirable than the best this world can give. The name of Christ is not now
like ointment sealed up, but like ointment poured forth; which denotes the freeness and fulness of the setting forth of his
grace by the gospel. Those whom he has redeemed and sanctified, are here the virgins that love Jesus Christ, and follow him
whithersoever he goes, (Re 14:4). They entreat him to draw them by the quickening influences
of his Spirit. The more clearly we discern Christ's glory, the more sensible shall we be that we are unable to follow him
suitably, and at the same time be more desirous of doing it. Observe the speedy answer given to this prayer. Those who wait
at Wisdom's gate, shall be led into truth and comfort. And being brought into this chamber, our griefs will vanish. We have
no joy but in Christ, and for this we are indebted to him. We will remember to give thanks for thy love; it shall make more
lasting impressions upon us than any thing in this world. Nor is any love acceptable to Christ but love in sincerity, (Eph 6:24). The daughters of Jerusalem may mean professors not yet established in the faith. The spouse
was black as the tents of the wandering Arabs, but comely as the magnificent curtains in the palaces of Solomon. The believer
is black, as being defiled and sinful by nature, but comely, as renewed by Divine grace to the holy image of God. He is still
deformed with remains of sin, but comely as accepted in Christ. He is often base and contemptible in the esteem of men, but
excellent in the sight of God. The blackness was owing to the hard usage that had been suffered. The children of the church,
her mother, but not of God, her Father, were angry with her. They had made her suffer hardships, which caused her to neglect
the care of her soul. Thus, under the emblem of a poor female, made the chosen partner of a prince, we are led to consider
the circumstances in which the love of Christ is accustomed to find its objects. They were wretched slaves of sin, in toil,
or in sorrow, weary and heavy laden, but how great the change when the love of Christ is manifested to their souls!
Verse 7,8: Observe the title given to Christ, O Thou whom my soul loveth. Those that do so,
may come to him boldly, and may humbly plead with him. Is it with God's people a noon-time of outward troubles, inward conflicts?
Christ has rest for them. Those whose souls love Jesus Christ, earnestly desire to share in the privileges of his flock. Turning
aside from Christ is what gracious souls dread more than anything else. God is ready to answer prayer. Follow the track, ask
for the good old way, observe the footsteps of the flock, look what has been the practice of godly people. Sit under the direction
of good ministers; beside the tents of the under shepherds. Bring thy charge with thee, they shall all be welcome. It will
be the earnest desire and prayer of the Christian, that God would so direct him in his worldly business, and so order his
situation and employment, that he may have his Lord and Saviour always before him.
9-17: The Bridegroom gives high praises of his spouse. In the sight of Christ believers are the excellent
of the earth, fitted to be instruments for promoting his glory. The spiritual gifts and graces which Christ bestows on every
true believer, are described by the ornaments then in use, ver. (10,11). The graces of the saints
are many, but there is dependence upon each other. He who is the Author, will be the Finisher of the good work. The grace
received from Christ's fulness, springs forth into lively exercises of faith, affection, and gratitude. Yet Christ, not his
gifts, is most precious to them. The word translated "camphire," signifies "atonement or propitiation."
Christ is dear to all believers, because he is the propitiation for their sins. No pretender must have his place in the soul.
They resolved to lodge him in their hearts all the night; during the continuance of the troubles of life. Christ takes delight
in the good work which his grace has wrought on the souls of believers. This should engage all who are made holy, to be very
thankful for that grace which has made those fair, who by nature were deformed. The spouse (the believer) has a humble, modest
eye, discovering simplicity and godly sincerity; eyes enlightened and guided by the Holy Spirit, that blessed Dove. The church
expresses her value for Christ. Thou art the great Original, but I am but a faint and imperfect copy. Many are fair to look
at, yet their temper renders them unpleasant: but Christ is fair, yet pleasant. The believer, ver. (16),
speaks with praise of those holy ordinances in which true believers have fellowship with Christ. Whether the believer is in
the courts of the Lord, or in retirement; whether following his daily labours, or confined on the bed of sickness, or even
in a dungeon, a sense of the Divine presence will turn the place into a paradise. Thus the soul, daily having fellowship with
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, enjoys a lively hope of an incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance above.
David Burnette's Life Application
A Biblical Marriage
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in
the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the Book of Song of Solomon with Chapter
1. In our text today we see the wedding day as this book is a wedding song honoring marriage. In making application
we see society trying to redefine marriage as being other than a man and woman with an attempt to redefine Biblical Marriage.
The Bible is clear that Marriage is ordained by our Lord between a man and a woman. How about you? Do you hold the Biblical
position on Marriage or the new World position that anything goes? Let us learn from our text today to remember that our Lord
has a pattern for Marriage and this plan is located in the Bible as God's Plan is one man and one woman.
Song of Solomon 1
song of songs, which is Solomon's.
kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.
3Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the
virgins love thee.
4Draw me, we will run after
thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than
wine: the upright love thee.
5I am black,
but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
6Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my
mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.
7Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy
flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?
8If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps
of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents.
have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots.
10Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.
11We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver.
12While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.
13A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto
me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.
beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.
15Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes.
16Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.
17The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.