1 Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.

2 My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.

3 I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.

4 Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.

5 Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead.

6 Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them.

7 As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks.

8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.

9 My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.

10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?

11 I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished and the pomegranates budded.

12 Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.

13 Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Song of Songs
Book: Song of Songs
Chapter: 6

Overview:
Inquiry where Christ must be sought. (1) Where Christ may be
found. (2,3) Christ's commendations of the Church. (4-10) The
work of Grace in the believer. (11-13)

1 Those made acquainted with the excellences of Christ, and the
comfort of an interest in him, desire to know where they may
meet him. Those who would find Christ, must seek him early and
diligently.

2,3 Christ's Church is a garden, enclosed, and separated from
the world; he takes care of it, delights in it, and visits it.
Those who would find Christ, must attend him in his ordinances,
the Word, sacraments, and Prayer. When Christ comes to his
Church, it is to Entertain his friends. And to take believers to
himself: he picks the lilies one By one; and at the great Day he
will send forth his angels to gather all his lilies, that he may
be for ever admired in them. The Death of a believer is not more
than the owner of a garden plucking a favourite flower; and He
will preserve it from withering, yea, cause it to flourish for
ever, with increasing beauty. If our own hearts can Witness for
us that we are Christ's, question not his being ours, for the
Covenant never breaks On his side. It is the comfort of the
Church, that he feeds among the lilies, that he takes delight in
his people.

4-10 All the real excellence and Holiness On Earth centre in
the Church. Christ goes forth subduing his enemies, while his
followers gain victories over the world, the Flesh, and the
Devil. He shows the tenderness of a Redeemer, the delight he
takes in his redeemed people, and the workings of his own Grace
in them. True believers alone can possess the beauty of
Holiness. And when their real character is known, it will be
commended. Both the Church and believers, at their first
Conversion, look forth as the morning, their Light being small,
but increasing. As to their Sanctification, they are fair as the
Moon, deriving all their Light, Grace, and Holiness from Christ;
and as to Justification, clear as the Sun, clothed with Christ,
the Sun of Righteousness, and fighting the good fight of Faith,
under the banners of Christ, against all spiritual enemies.

11-13 In retirement and in meditation the Christian character
is formed and perfected. But not in the retirement of the idle,
the self-indulgent, or the trifler. When the Christian is
released from the discharge of his duties in Life, the world has
No attractions for him. His Prayer is, that all things belonging
to the Spirit may live and grow within him, and around him. Such
are the interesting cares and employments of him whom the world
wrongly deems unhappy, and lost to his true interests. In
Humility and self-abasement, the humble Christian would turn
away from the sight of all; but the Lord delights to honour him.
Chiefly, however, may the reference be to the ministering angels
who shall be sent for the soul of the Christian. Their approach
may startle, but the departing soul shall find the Lord its
strength and its portion for ever. The Church is called the
Shulamite: the Word signifies Perfection and peace; not in
herself, but in Christ, in whom she is complete, through his
Righteousness; and has peace, which he made for her through his
Blood, and gives unto her By his Spirit.

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