1 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.

2 As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

3 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

5 Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.

6 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.

7 I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

8 The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

9 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.

10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

13 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

14 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.

15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.

17 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Song of Songs
Book: Song of Songs
Chapter: 2

The mutual Love of Christ and his Church. (1-7) The Hope and
Calling of the Church. (8-13) Christ's care of the Church, Her
Faith and Hope. (14-17)

1-7 Believers are beautiful, as clothed in the Righteousness of
Christ; and fragrant, as adorned with the graces of his Spirit;
and they thrive under the refreshing beams of the Sun of
Righteousness. The Lily is a very noble plant in the East; it
grows to a considerable height, but has a weak stem. The Church
is weak in herself, yet is strong in Him that supports her. The
wicked, the daughters of this world, who have No Love to Christ,
are as thorns, worthless and useless, noxious and hurtful.
Corruptions are thorns in the Flesh; but the Lily now among
thorns, shall be transplanted into that Paradise where there is
No Brier or Thorn. The world is a Barren tree to the soul; but
Christ is a fruitful one. And when Poor souls are parched with
convictions of Sin, with the terrors of the Law, or the troubles
of this world, weary and heavy laden, they may find Rest in
Christ. It is not enough to pass By this Shadow, but we must sit
down under it. Believers have tasted that the Lord Jesus is
gracious; his fruits are all the precious privileges of the new
Covenant, purchased By his Blood, and communicated By his
Spirit; promises are sweet to a believer, and precepts also.
Pardons are sweet, and peace of Conscience sweet. If our mouths
are out of taste for the pleasures of Sin, Divine consolations
will be sweet to us. Christ brings the soul to seek and to find
comforts through his ordinances, which are as a banqueting-House
where his saints Feast with him. The Love of Christ, manifested
By his Death, and By his Word, is the Banner he displays, and
believers resort to it. How much better is it with the soul when
sick from Love to Christ, than when surfeited with the Love of
this world! And though Christ seemed to have withdrawn, yet he
was even then a very present help. All his saints are in his
Hand, which tenderly holds their aching heads. Finding Christ
thus nigh to her, the soul is in great care that her Communion
with him is not interrupted. We easily grieve the Spirit By
wrong tempers. Let those who have comfort, fear sinning it away.

8-13 The Church pleases herself with thoughts of further
Communion with Christ. None besides can speak to the Heart. She
sees him come. This may be applied to the prospect the Old
Testament saints had of Christ's coming in the Flesh. He comes
as pleased with his own undertaking. He comes speedily. Even
when Christ seems to forsake, it is but for a moment; he will
soon return with Everlasting loving-kindness. The saints of old
saw him, appearing through the sacrifices and ceremonial
institutions. We see him through a Glass darkly, as he manifests
himself through the lattices. Christ invites the new convert to
arise from sloth and despondency, and to leave Sin and worldly
vanities, for union and Communion with him. The winter may mean
years passed in ignorance and Sin, unfruitful and miserable, or
storms and tempests that accompanied his conviction of guilt and
danger. Even the unripe fruits of Holiness are pleasant unto Him
whose Grace has produced them. All these encouraging tokens and
evidences of Divine favour, are motives to the soul to follow
Christ more fully. Arise then, and come away from the world and
the Flesh, come into Fellowship with Christ. This blessed change
is owing wholly to the approaches and influences of the Sun of

14-17 The Church is Christ's Dove; she returns to him, as her
Noah. Christ is the Rock, in whom alone she can think herself
safe, and find herself easy, as a Dove in the hole of a Rock,
when struck at By the birds of prey. Christ calls her to come
boldly to the Throne of Grace, having a great High Priest there,
to tell what her request is. Speak freely, fear not a slight or
a repulse. The voice of Prayer is sweet and acceptable to God;
those who are sanctified have the best comeliness. The first
risings of sinful thoughts and desires, the beginnings of
trifling pursuits which waste the time, trifling visits, small
departures from Truth, whatever would admit some conformity to
the world; all these, and many more, are little foxes which must
be removed. This is a charge to believers to mortify their
sinful appetites and passions, which are as little foxes, that
destroy their graces and comforts, and crush good beginnings.
Whatever we find a hinderance to us in that which is good, we
must Put away. He feedeth among the lilies; this shows Christ's
gracious presence among believers. He is kind to all his people.
It becomes them to believe this, when under desertion and
absence, and So to Ward off temptations. The shadows of the
Jewish Dispensation were dispelled By the dawning of the Gospel
Day. And a Day of comfort will come after a night of desertion.
Come over the mountains of Bether, "the mountains that divide,"
looking forward to that Day of Light and Love. Christ will come
over every separating mountain to take us home to himself.

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