Song of Solomon
The Bridegroom is Angry and then Praises the Bride, The Beloved
SS 4:1Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold, you are fair! You have dove’s eyes behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats, Going down from Mount Gilead.
She is fair or beautiful and she is my love and her eyes are doves’ eyes, which is exactly what he said to her in 1:15. What we can know is that these birds are white in coloration with striking eyes that typically have a bright orange pupil and black iris. Again, keep in mind that this is poetry and so he is not saying that his Shulamite has orange eyes. Instead, her eyes are a striking feature just as doves’ eyes. When the goats descend the mountain, the shape formed by the herd changes, resembling her dark hair as she moves and as the wind blows.
SS 4:2 Your teeth are like a flock of shorn sheep, Which have come up from the washing, Every one of which bears twins, And none is [a]barren among them.
Further, Solomon/Bridegroom commends Shulamite’s teeth, and keeping in mind the lack of quality dental care in the ancient world, this would naturally be a stand-out mark of beauty. Indeed, her teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; in other words, her teeth are white and even. Also, every one of her teeth bear twins, and none is barren among them, meaning she has no missing or broken teeth.
SS 4:3 Your lips are like a strand of scarlet, And your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil, Are like a piece of pomegranate.
The Hebrew rendering here is verse ³ “Your lips are lovely As Rahab’s scarlet ribbon.” Speaking mercy, speaking grace! The words of your mouth Are refreshing as an oasis. What pleasure you bring to Me! I see your blushing cheeks Opened like the halves of a pomegranate Showing through your veil of tender meekness. How passionate your personality!
This “scarlet ribbon” in the text is an obvious comparison to the scarlet ribbon Rahab placed at her dwelling to show the place where mercy would spare her life. The color scarlet points us to the blood of mercy, Christ’s sacrifice. See Joshua 2.
Pomegranate is taken from a word that means, “exalted”—the temple pillars were adorned with pomegranates.
SS 4:4 Your neck is like the tower of David, Built for an armory, On which hang a thousand [b]bucklers, All shields of mighty men.
Solomon/Bridegroom next describes her neck as being like the tower of David built for an armory, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men. The imagery of a tower pictures both strength as well as beauty and suggests her neck is long and slender. We find a similar description in 7:4 of strength and beauty (“your neck is as a tower of ivory”). Probably the phrase built for an armory pictures a stone or brick reinforcement, which likely refers to jewels Shulamite wears for her wedding, for instance, a necklace of stones. Solomon describes her neck with reference to a defensive tower covered with the soldiers’ shields with their different colors and designs blending together like jewelry.
SS 4:5 Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle, Which feed among the lilies.
The comparison here is two young gazelles identical in appearance standing near one another feeding and well-nourished on the lilies. These are not only beautiful and graceful animals, but they are young and full of life. By comparison, her breasts reflect the same youthful beauty and immaturity.
Breasts also refers to El Shaddai, the many breasted One. In Genesis 17:1, YHVH said to Abram: “I am El Shaddai. … however, indicates that Shaddai might be related to the word for breasts (shadaim), … as it is written: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female spirits. Gen. 1:26-27.
Within each of us are X /female or XY chromosones/ male. But a female spirit and a male spirit is what makes us male and female. Gen. 1:27
SCENE VI – Solomon Returns in Anger
Son 3:6 -4:5
King Solomon is angry and comes to her once again with his flatteries, appeals to her vanity and pride with his standard line – goats and sheep, but his grand show is for the Daughters of Jerusalem those impressed with such superficial flamboyance. (v. 10) Pillars of smoke are an indication of anger. (Joel 2:30; Psa. 74:1) Perhaps he heard of her encounter with the Shepherd. As far as she’s concerned, the Daughters of Jerusalem can have him. (v.11) But she changes her mind when He starts to praise her.
(3:6) Who is this that comes out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?
(3:7) Behold his bed, which is Solomon’s; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel.
(3:8) They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man has his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night.
(3:9) King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon.
(3:10) He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof, being paved with love for the daughters of Jerusalem.
(3:11) Go forth, Oh, you daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown where his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.
(4:1) Behold, you are fair, my love; behold, you ar fair; you have doves’ eyes within your locks: your hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.
(4:2) Your teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; where everyone bears twins, and none is barren among them.
(4:3) Your lips are like a thread of scarlet, and your speech is comely: your temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.
(4:4) Your neck is like the tower of David built for an armory, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.
(4:5) Your two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.
SS 4:6 Until the day breaks, And the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh, And to the hill of frankincense.
Literally, “the Mountain of myrrh”–the emblem of suffering love. To become the bride, she must experience Calvary, as did her Lord. We must be His co-crucified partner that will embrace the fellowship of His sufferings. See Galatians 2:20, Philippians 3:10.
In reality, our old man (soulish/self realm) died with Him. He died as us not for us.
SS:7 You are all fair, my love, And there is no spot in you.
We as the Bride are to be without spot or wrinkle.
Eph. 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
SS 4:8 Come with me from Lebanon, my 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.
SS 4:9 You have ravished my heart, My sister, my spouse; You have ravished my heart With one look of your eyes, With one link of your necklace.
Sister refers to equal. Genesis 3 refers to the woman as a helpmate, one comparable in every way. Gen. 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”
We are joint heirs with Him.
Rom. 8:17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
NLT: “And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. (everything He is)
SS 4:10 How fair is your love, My sister, my spouse! How much better than wine is your love, And the [c]scent of your perfumes Than all spices!
Love better than wine mentioned in SS 1:2
SS4:11Your lips, O my spouse, Drip as the honeycomb; Honey and milk are under your tongue; And the fragrance of your garments Is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
Your loving words Are like honey to Me, drenched with worship. As your tongue releases milk and honey, I find the Promised Land flowing within you. Passion Trans.
SS 4:12 A garden [d]enclosed, Is my sister, my spouse, A spring shut up, A fountain sealed.
A TIME FOR BEING SHUT AWAY
“A garden enclosed is My sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphor, with spikenard, spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices.” Song of Solomon 4:12‑14.
Her first testimony had been, “My beloved is mine.” The Lord accepted this and allowed the Bride to have all of the things she had desired. At the same time, He began to draw her to Himself by causing her to notice His interest in her.
The Lord will always use us to minister to and meet the needs of others. However, our times of communion with Him are more important to Him than anything that we could do for Him. He is to have the first place in our lives.
My doing comes out of my being. I know who I am/be, therefore I do.
This “Garden enclosed” was (is) designed to bring forth the very best from the potential that the Lord had seen to be within her (us). Although it was situated in a very beautiful setting, it represented a realm of intense “personal dealings,” so she hesitated in entering. The Lord knew she would attempt to leave before He could accomplish within her, all that He desired. He therefore built a high wall around the Garden, making it completely “enclosed” so she would not be able to leave. The Lord is able to keep us where He has placed us.
This high wall also hindered all, except the Lord, from entering. It separated her from the fellowship of her friends, and from those who would attempt to occupy her time or divert her to a lesser realm of spiritual life experience. Also, during this set-apart time, her gifts failed to operate, and her “ministry” is cut off. She is now separated from all of the people and things she had been accustomed to, and dependent upon. She has become as a “Garden enclosed,” separated unto the Lord, Himself.
SS 4:13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates, With pleasant fruits, Fragrant henna with spikenard,
SS 4:14 Spikenard and saffron, Calamus and cinnamon, With all trees of frankincense, Myrrh and aloes (sandalwood), With all the chief spices—
The nine plants (Song of Solomon 4:13‑14) that are mentioned as being in this garden are types of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit. These represent the “quality” of life that is beginning to develop and become manifest within her, during this time of separation. The Garden in “bloom” speaks of the spiritual maturity now unfolding within her, a beautiful display of righteousness, peace, and joy, as she grows in spiritual understanding and wisdom. During this time of being set apart, there was often a desire within her for expression, or ministry: “If I could just get out and share this.” But the Lord had made her a “Garden enclosed.”
Through being shut in by the Lord – for a season, she became much more sensitive in her ability to recognize His presence, and she was able to respond more promptly to His desire for her fellowship. We were created for His pleasure (Revelation 4:11). There are times when the Lord desires to be personally alone with us, that He might sup with us, and then we with Him (Revelation 3:20). This will lead us into the experience of the “fellowship of His sufferings” (Philippians 3:10) in which He shares His burdens with us.
There are many “levels” of separation from the world. There are those who are primarily called to a ministry of intercession. Being an intercessor requires much more from us than our times of prayer. It involves our becoming identified with the problem, or need, in order to pray it through. Some teach that intercession is born of the Spirit and operates through inner travail. It means getting alone and wrestling with a burden until it is brought to birth through the agony of birth pains. I teach that coming to the knowledge that this has already been birthed is necessary is the new season of intercession. A ministry of intercession produces far greater results than most may realize. There are those that are called to this hidden ministry of intercession who are not known to man, but known only to the Lord, and have become as a “Garden enclosed” to Him.
There are others who are shut in with the Lord in “hidden” ministries, who have a part in bringing to birth those who desire to go beyond their present spiritual experience. Some of these had a vital part in the forming of my spiritual life. During times when I was going through some very intense struggles, through prayer, and words of wisdom, others ministering to me, communing with the Lord God, He was able to accomplish something special within me. Without them, I could not be where I am today. There is much responsibility and reward in a hidden ministry of this type. This is communion with the Lord. Private devotion before public ministry.
There are those whom the Lord leads into this “Garden enclosed” to remain there for a season. Some of the Lord’s choicest saints have been separated from all spiritual activity, and are enclosed within this Garden, that the Lord might come to them, as He desires, to enjoy times of fellowship and communion with them.
This would be Most Holy Place experience, Throne Room experience, then we go out from that to the Outer Court and to the world.
The extravagance that our Lord expressed in His creation is evident to us, which we all enjoy as we witness the manifold and multi‑colored flowers of spring, and then the rich brilliance of color in the departing leaves of fall. So also, the Lord can afford the luxury of being extravagant in setting aside “whom He will” for His purpose and glory. Thus, within this “Garden enclosed” are those who are so completely given to Him that they are known to Him alone.
There are still others whom the Lord draws into this Garden to stay for only a limited time. He leads these back out again to become a witness of all they received while there alone with Him, whom they intensely love. These reluctantly leave His presence to minister to those without, who desire more of the Lord, but are not yet ready to be drawn into this Garden experience. As they pick “fruit” from the lives of those who have been within, they also will be stirred to come within this Garden, enclosed.
As the Lord entered the Garden of old to walk with Adam (Genesis 3:8), He comes into this Garden enclosed to commune with His Bride. Here, as she basks in the warmth of this presence, she prayed that the wind (The Holy Spirit) would come and blow upon her Garden. She desired this new inward beauty that is developing within her, to become as a beautiful fragrance that will flow out from her being and fulfill His need for intimate communion.
Everyone should experience this “garden enclosed”, communion intimacy with the Lord. In the Greek this is Spiritual Intimacy – Koinonia -meaning community, communion (common union), joint participation, sharing and intimacy
Hebrew source of plants:
Literally, “the Mountain of myrrh”–the emblem of suffering love. To become the bride, she must experience Calvary, as did her Lord. We must realize we are co-crucified with Christ. In that we will embrace the fellowship of His sufferings. See Galatians 2:20, Philippians 3:10.
Pomegranate is taken from a word that means, “exalted”—the temple pillars were adorned with pomegranates. . Henna comes from a root word for “ransom price” or redemption. The fruit of mercy is seen in His maturing bride. . The Hebrew root word for spikenard is “light.” She is walking in the light as He is in the Light. . Saffron is the crocus, the lover’s perfume, costly and fragrant. . Calamus is taken from a marsh plant known as “sweet flag,” that produces fragrant oil. The Hebrew word for this spice means “purchased” or “redeemed.” . Cinnamon emits a fragrance that is representative of an odor of holiness to the Lord. This was used in the sacred anointing oil of the priests and tabernacle. . This is the incense that would be burned on the golden altar in the Holy Place. . Known as “tears from a tree,” myrrh was a resin-spice formed by cutting a tree. It is an obvious picture of the suffering love of Christ dripping down from Calvary’s tree. . Aloes are considered by many as the healing balm. The presence of the Lord within her is now released as healing balm to those she touches. Jesus’ robes smelled of aloes (Ps. 45:8). One of the names used by some for aloes is the “Eagle Wood.” Like eagles, we fly above our wounds, free from the past as we walk in intimacy with Him. . The scene of a garden and the breath of God point us back to the Paradise of Eden. Now this paradise is found in His bride. This is the reason why the reference of Adam is given, to help the reader connect with the mystery of this scene.
SS 4:15 A fountain of gardens, A well of living waters, And streams from Lebanon.
SS 4:16 Awake, O north wind, And come, O south! Blow upon my garden, That its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden, And eat its pleasant fruits.
Awake, O north wind; and come, you south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out.” Song of Solomon 4:16a.
This “wind” is a type of the Holy Spirit. When Nicodemus came to Jesus, the Lord dealt with him about entering the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus asked if this was comparable to re‑entering the “womb.” Jesus responded by likening it to the “wind.” He said, “The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell from where it comes, and to where it goes.” Then He added, “So is every one that is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8.
The north wind represents chastening, or correction; the south wind speaks of edification and blessing. This two‑fold working of the wind brings, first, correction to our spiritual walk, either through or along with teaching; and then, secondly, blessing and edification. The desire of the Lord is to bring us through as painlessly as possible.
When the Bride prayed, “Awake, O north wind,” she was giving the Holy Spirit permission to bring about these needed changes within her life, that she might be in alignment with His desire for communion with her, and for her involvement with Him in the outworking of His purposes. Whatever the cost might be, she desired to flow in harmony with Him. The Lord’s chastening hand upon our lives is truly a great blessing when we understand the purpose for it, and feel His love as it is applied.
“For whom the Lord loves, He chastens/teaches.” Hebrews 12:6.
As the Holy Spirit worked within her in answer to her prayer giving Him permission to chasten/correct her, she noticed the changes that were beginning to take place within her. Now she understood that the purpose of the “north wind” was to change her, that she might become a Bride who could truly please the Lord. This caused worship and thanksgiving to rise up within her and flow out to Him. Now, she was able to ask with confidence, and respond to His correcting hand as it was applied to her life experience.
“… and come, you south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my Beloved come into His garden and eat His pleasant fruits.” Song of Solomon 4:16.
As she felt the warmth and comfort of the south wind, she was able to enter a place of rest in His presence, knowing that He would do what was right in her behalf, and that her response was pleasing to Him.
There is a “lifting” quality to the presence of the Lord. As we respond to His presence, we will begin to flow with it, as being lifted by the wind. As we continue to wait in His presence, we will be quickened by the Holy Spirit and empowered to move with Him, as He leads.
This is the “wheel within the wheel” in Ezekiel 1:16-17. As this takes place, it will be confirmed to us through a further unfolding and understanding of His Word, which will cause us to more deeply love and trust Him. It is important to understand that all spiritual experiences must agree with the written Word of God.
As these north and south winds each had their effect upon her, and accomplished their purposes within her; she cried out,
“Let my beloved come into His garden and eat His pleasant fruits.” Song of Solomon 4:16b.
“If any man hear My voice, and open the door (the point of transition from His omnipresence into His manifest Presence), I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20b.
Discussion questions C-4
1. Is 4:8 to be construed literally or poetically?
- Does Shulamite’s purity matter to Solomon? Why?
- What is suggested by the abundance and variety of flora and fragrances in Shulamite’s garden?
- What is suggested by there being a fountain in the garden?
- In 4:16, Shulamite appears to not only be willing, but inviting and responsive to Solomon. Why are we sometimes unresponsive to the Lord?