Here it is the voice of the Bridegroom to His earthly bride, and so a wholly different strain from the rehearsal of experience just before. He lets her know fully what she was in His eyes, her beauty, and this in detail (vers. 1-8). Then in vers 7-15 he tells her that she was all fair and no spot in her, though from the haunts of danger and death. With this, though of course in another style of grace suited to the case, we may compare what Jehovah compelled the heathen prophet to declare of Israel in Num. 23, 24. Here it is the expression, not of separation to Himself and justification and goodly power and glory, but of tender affection and all read in this light.
"Behold, thou [art] fair, my love; behold, thou [art] fair;
Thine eyes [are] doves behind thy veil;
Thy hair [is] as a flock of goats
That appears on the side of mount Gilead.
Thy teeth [are] like a flock of shorn [ewes]
Which go up from the washing,
Which have all borne twins,
And none bereaved among them.
Thy lips [are] like a thread of scarlet,
And thy speech comely.
As a piece of a pomegranate [are] thy temples
Behind thy veil.
Thy neck [is] like the tower of David
Built for an armoury:
A thousand bucklers hang thereon,
All shields of mighty men.
Thy two breasts [are] like two fawns, twins of a gazelle,
Which feed among the lilies.
Until the day dawn (or, be cool) and the shadows flee away,
I will get me to the mountain of myrrh,
And to the hill of frankincense.
Thou [art] all fair, my love and [there is] no spot in thee.
With me from Lebanon, spouse, with me from Lebanon;
Look from the top of Amana, from the top of Senir and Hermon,
From the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.
Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister spouse;
Thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes,
With one chain of thy neck.
How fair is thy love, my sister spouse!
How much better is thy love than wine,
And the fragrance of thine ointment than all spices!
Thy lips, spouse, drop honeycomb;
Honey and milk [are] under thy tongue;
And the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.
A garden shut up is my sister spouse,
A spring shut up, a fountain sealed.
Thy shoots [are] an orchard of pomegranates with precious fruits
Henna with spikenard plants; spikenard and saffron;
Calamus and cinnamon with all trees of frankincense;
Myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:
A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters
Which stream from Lebanon.
Awake, north wind, and come, south;
Blow upon my garden [that] the spices thereof may flow forth.
Let my beloved come into his garden
And eat his [or, its] precious fruits" (vers. 1-16).
It is the expression of Christ's love which by the Spirit forms divine affections in the saints. We may see it in all the Gospels, but especially in that of John, and nowhere there so strikingly as in John 13-17. This "Song" is the divine word, which the Spirit (as He has used the principle for all who have pondered these communications to profit) will afresh apply in a still more exact and instinctive way to the godly remnant that is to succeed us in the dealings of God's grace. The love which so feels and speaks to its object, whatever this may be, has transforming power on all that have faith in Him, and enables those who are so loved to witness in their measure a good confession of Him. The right faith is that we worship; and none ought to know and feel this so deeply as the Christian and the church; to whom the love of Christ is now revealed in a form and power altogether exceptional; as indeed we need it to suffer unflinchingly with Him, while we wait for His coming.