|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:9-17 The Bridegroom gives high praises of his spouse. In the sight of Christ believers are the excellent of the earth, fitted to be instruments for promoting his glory. The spiritual gifts and graces which Christ bestows on every true believer, are described by the ornaments then in use, ver. 10,11. The graces of the saints are many, but there is dependence upon each other. He who is the Author, will be the Finisher of the good work. The grace received from Christ's fulness, springs forth into lively exercises of faith, affection, and gratitude. Yet Christ, not his gifts, is most precious to them. The word translated camphire, signifies atonement or propitiation. Christ is dear to all believers, because he is the propitiation for their sins. No pretender must have his place in the soul. They resolved to lodge him in their hearts all the night; during the continuance of the troubles of life. Christ takes delight in the good work which his grace has wrought on the souls of believers. This should engage all who are made holy, to be very thankful for that grace which has made those fair, who by nature were deformed. The spouse (the believer) has a humble, modest eye, discovering simplicity and godly sincerity; eyes enlightened and guided by the Holy Spirit, that blessed Dove. The church expresses her value for Christ. Thou art the great Original, but I am but a faint and imperfect copy. Many are fair to look at, yet their temper renders them unpleasant: but Christ is fair, yet pleasant. The believer, ver. 16, speaks with praise of those holy ordinances in which true believers have fellowship with Christ. Whether the believer is in the courts of the Lord, or in retirement; whether following his daily labours, or confined on the bed of sickness, or even in a dungeon, a sense of the Divine presence will turn the place into a paradise. Thus the soul, daily having fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, enjoys a lively hope of an incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance above.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
A bundle of myrrh is my well beloved unto me,.... These are the words of the church continued; expressing her great delight in Christ, and her strong love and affection for him, and therefore calls him "my well beloved"; which is expressive both of the greatness of Christ's love to her, and of the strength of her affection to him, as well as of her faith of interest in him; hence she says, he was as "a bundle of myrrh" to her. Some think (n) sweet marjoram is meant, or an herb of a sweet smell, very much like it, called "marum"; but myrrh is commonly understood; and not twigs or branches of it but sprigs, or the flowers of it, bound up as a nosegay, and carried in the bosom; or better, liquid myrrh, or "stacte", as the Septuagint render it, put in a bag (o) or bottle, as the word is rendered, Job 14:7; the allusion being to persons that carry smelling bottles in their bosoms, for refreshment or for pleasure. Now what these were to such, that, and much more, is Christ to his church; like sweet smelling myrrh, exceeding delightful and reviving, and make him very acceptable; his very garments smell of myrrh: and "a bundle" of this, or a bag of it, denotes the abundance of the odours of divine grace in Christ, who is full of it, which he communicates in great plenty: and now Christ is all this, not to any and everyone; but to his church and people, to whom alone he is precious, "my beloved is unto me"; which expresses not only the strength of her affection to Christ, and the value she had for him, and the delight she had in him; but the particular application of him to her own soul by faith;
he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts; "it" or "he"; the bundle of myrrh, or Christ, which comes to the same sense: by her "breasts" are meant her heart, where Christ dwells by faith, which is the best room the church has, and where she desires Christ might lodge; so Alshech explains it of being in her heart: and the time in which she would have him continue here is "all night"; meaning the night of affliction, temptation, &c. or rather the whole time of this life, until the everlasting day breaks; and so it is a desire of Christ's presence with her, and of her having communion with him, as long as she lived in the world; and between her breasts, and in her bosom she desires he might be for an ornament to her, like sweet flowers, and for her delight and pleasure, refreshment and comfort; and that he might be always in her sight, and never be forgotten by her.
(n) Vid. Fortunat. Schace. Eleochrism. Sacr. I. 1, c. 51. p. 256, 257. (o) "folliculus", Cocceius; "sacculum", Marckius; "fasciculus, vel sacculus", Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. bundle of myrrh—abundant preciousness (Greek), (1Pe 2:7). Even a little myrrh was costly; much more a bundle (Col 2:9). Burrowes takes it of a scent-box filled with liquid myrrh; the liquid obtained by incision gave the tree its chief value.
he—rather, "it"; it is the myrrh that lies in the bosom, as the cluster of camphire is in the vineyards (So 1:14).
all night—an undivided heart (Eph 3:17; contrast Jer 4:14; Eze 16:15, 30). Yet on account of the everlasting covenant, God restores the adulteress (Eze 16:60, 62; Ho 2:2, &c.). The night is the whole present dispensation till the everlasting day dawns (Ro 13:12). Also, literally, "night" (Ps 119:147, 148), the night of affliction (Ps 42:8).
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