1 I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.

3 I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?

4 My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.

5 I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.

6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

7 The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.

8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.

9 What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?

10 My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.

11 His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.

12 His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.

13 His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

14 His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.

15 His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.

16 His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Song of Songs
Book: Song of Songs
Chapter: 5

Christ's answer. (1) The disappointments of the Church from
her own folly. (2-8) The excellences of Christ. (9-16)

1 See how ready Christ is to accept the invitations of his
people. What little good there is in us would be lost, if he did
not preserve it to himself. He also invites his beloved people
to eat and Drink abundantly. The ordinances in which they honour
him, are Means of Grace.

2-8 Churches and believers, By carelessness and security,
provoke Christ to withdraw. We ought to notice our spiritual
slumbers and distempers. Christ knocks to awaken us, knocks By
his Word and Spirit, knocks By Afflictions and By our
consciences; thus, Re 3:20. When we are unmindful of Christ,
still he thinks of us. Christ's Love to us should engage ours to
him, even in the most self-denying instances; and we only can be
gainers By it. Careless souls Put slights On Jesus Christ.
Another could not be sent to open the door. Christ calls to us,
but we have No mind, or pretend we have No strength, or we have
No time, and think we may be excused. Making excuses is making
Light of Christ. Those Put contempt upon Christ, who cannot find
in their hearts to Bear a cold blast, or to leave a warm Bed for
him. See the powerful influences of Divine Grace. He Put in his
Hand to unbolt the door, as one weary of waiting. This betokens
a work of the Spirit upon the soul. The believer's rising above
self-indulgence, seeking By Prayer for the consolations of
Christ, and to remove every hinderance to Communion with him;
these actings of the soul are represented By the hands dropping
sweet-smelling Myrrh upon the handles of the locks. But the
Beloved was gone! By absenting himself, Christ will teach his
people to value his gracious visits more highly. Observe, the
soul still calls Christ her Beloved. Every desertion is not
despair. Lord, I believe, though I must say, Lord, help my
unbelief. His words melted me, yet, wretch that I was, I made
excuses. The smothering and stifling of convictions will be very
Bitter to think of, when God opens our eyes. The soul went in
pursuit of him; not only prayed, but used means, sought him in
the ways wherein he used to be found. The watchmen wounded me.
Some refer it to those who misapply the Word to awakened
consciences. The charge to the daughters of Jerusalem, seems to
mean the distressed believer's desire of the prayers of the
feeblest Christian. Awakened souls are more sensible of Christ's
withdrawings than of any other trouble.

9-16 Even those who have little acquaintance with Christ,
cannot but see amiable beauty in others who Bear his image.
There are hopes of those who begin to inquire concerning Christ
and his perfections. Christians, who are Well acquainted with
Christ themselves, should do all they can to make others know
something of him. Divine Glory makes him truly lovely in the
eyes of all who are enlightened to discern spiritual things. He
is White in the spotless innocence of his Life, ruddy in the
bleeding sufferings he went through at his Death. This
description of the person of the Beloved, would form, in the
figurative language of those times, a portrait of beauty of
person and of Grace of manners; but the aptness of some of the
allusions may not appear to us. He shall come to be glorified in
his saints, and to be admired in all that believe. May his Love
constrain us to live to his Glory.
1   I sleep,   but my heart  is  alert.
    The voice  of my David      knocks:
2     "Open to me, sister,
       Mate, innocent dove.
       For my head is filled with dew,
       My locks, with the night's lashes."
3                  I stripped from my gown.
    Where are you? I'll put it back on.
                   I washed my feet.
    Where are you? I'll soil them.

4   My David  sent his hand from the hole 
             and my inside heated to him.

5   Then I rose,   to open  for  my David
               And my hands dripped myrrh
    And, over my fingers, the myrrh flows
             Upon the handles of the Lock

6   Then I opened 
      for my David
    And my David sneaked, 
      flowed away
    My breath got out 
      in his voice
    I asked for him
      but could not find him
    I called for him, 
      and got no answer

7   I was found by the Guards
      Circling the City
        They hit me, and wounded me
      Tore off my veil
    Those "guardians of walls"

8   I made you swear, Daughters of Unity
                      Daughters of Jerusalem
    If you find that David of mine,
                      What will you tell him?
    That I'm sick of love?
                      That I'm  love - sick ?
9   "Isn't your David like all other Davids,
     Most beautiful of women?
     Isn't your David like all those others,
     That we've been thus adjured?"
10  My David is White  and Red.
           Greater than Myriads
11  His Head
      A Speck of fine Gold
         His  Locks
         They Black
              Like a Raven
12  His eyes
      Like doves on water channels
         In Milk
           Seated fitly
13  His cheeks are like garden beds
    Growing mediterranean spices
    His lips are roses
    Dripping Moorish Hebrew

14  His hands
      Rods of Gold
        Full-filled with Beryl

    Inside him
        Polished Ivory
            Overlaid with Sapphires
15  His thighs
    His calves
    His shins
    His legs
      Pillars of Marble
          on sockets 
            of fine Gold

    He looks like Lebanon
    An Excellent Young Man
    Chosen, like the Cedar Trees
 16 His mouth is sweetness
    And he, my pet, is all grace
                       all charm
                       all delight
                       all desire
    He's my Friend
         my Neighbor
         my Match

    That's my Comrade
           my Peer
    He's My "Evil"
    He's My "Calamity"
         My "Catastrophe"
    That's My David
    That's My Uncle
    That's My Mate
    Daughters of Jerusalem

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