Song of Solomon 3:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Who is this coming up from the wilderness like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense made from all the spices of the merchant?

New Living Translation
Who is this sweeping in from the wilderness like a cloud of smoke? Who is it, fragrant with myrrh and frankincense and every kind of spice?

English Standard Version
What is that coming up from the wilderness like columns of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the fragrant powders of a merchant?

New American Standard Bible
"What is this coming up from the wilderness Like columns of smoke, Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, With all scented powders of the merchant?

King James Bible
Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What is this coming up from the wilderness like columns of smoke, scented with myrrh and frankincense from every fragrant powder of the merchant?

International Standard Version
What is this coming up from the desert like columns of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense from all the fragrant powders of the merchant?

NET Bible
Who is this coming up from the desert like a column of smoke, like a fragrant billow of myrrh and frankincense, every kind of fragrant powder of the traveling merchants?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Who is this young woman coming up from the wilderness like clouds of smoke? She is perfumed with myrrh and incense made from the merchants' scented powders.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Who is she that rises out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense and with all the aromatic powders?

King James 2000 Bible
Who is this that comes out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the fragrant powders of the merchant?

American King James Version
Who is this that comes out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?

American Standard Version
Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness Like pillars of smoke, Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, With all powders of the merchant?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Who is she that goeth up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh, and frankincense, and of all the powders of the perfumer?

Darby Bible Translation
Who is this, [she] that cometh up from the wilderness Like pillars of smoke, Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, With all powders of the merchant? ...

English Revised Version
Who is this that cometh up out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?

Webster's Bible Translation
Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?

World English Bible
Who is this who comes up from the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all spices of the merchant?

Young's Literal Translation
Who is this coming up from the wilderness, Like palm-trees of smoke, Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, From every powder of the merchant?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:6-11 A wilderness is an emblem of the world; the believer comes out of it when he is delivered from the love of its sinful pleasures and pursuits, and refuses to comply with its customs and fashions, to seek happiness in communion with the Saviour. A poor soul shall come up, at last, under the conduct of the Comforter; like a cloud of incense ascending from the altar, or the smoke of the burnt-offerings. This signifies pious and devout affections, and the mounting of the soul heaven-ward. The believer is filled with the graces of God's Spirit; his devotions now are very lively. These graces and comforts are from the heavenly Canaan. He, who is the Peace of his people, the King of the heavenly Zion, has provided for the safe conveyance of his redeemed through the wilderness of this world. The bed, or palanquin, was contrived for rest and easy conveyance, but its beauty and magnificence showed the quality of its owner. The church is well guarded; more are with her than are against her: believers, when they repose in Christ, and with him, though they have their fears in the night, are yet safe. The chariot here denotes the covenant of redemption, the way of our salvation. This is that work of Christ, which makes him loved and admired in the eyes of believers. It is framed and contrived, both for the glory of Christ, and for the comfort of believers; it is well ordered in all things and sure. The blood of the covenant, that rich purple, is the cover of this chariot, by which believers are sheltered from the wind and storms of Divine wrath, and the troubles of this world; but the midst of it is that love of Christ which passes knowledge, this is for believers to repose upon. Christ, in his gospel, manifests himself. Take special notice of his crown. Applying this to Christ, it speaks the honour put upon him, and his power and dominion.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 6-ch. 5:1. - Part III. NUPTIAL REJOICINGS. Verse 6. - Who is this that cometh up out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the powders of the merchant? This may be taken as spoken by a single voice, one of the ladies or inhabitants of Jerusalem, or it may be regarded as the exclamation of the whole population going out to see the splendid sight - a gorgeous procession coming towards the city. "Who is this coming?" (עֹלָה, feminine); that is, "Who is this lady coming?" There could be no difficulty in discerning that it was a bridal procession which is seen. Curiosity always asks, "What bride is this?" "Who is she?" not, "Who is he?" A maiden from Galilee is being conducted to Jerusalem; the procession naturally passes through the valley of the Jordan (Ghor). There is splendour and majesty in the sight. It must be some one coming to the royal palace. The censers of frankincense are being swung to and fro and filling the air with fragrant smoke. Columns of dust and smoke from the burning incense rise up to heaven, and mark the line of progress before and after. "The spices of Arabia" were famous at all times. Hence the names of the perfumes are Arabic, as murr, levona, and the travelling spice merchant, or trader, was Arabic (cf. the Arabic elixir). We can scarcely miss the typical colouring in such a representation - the wilderness, typical of bondage and humiliation, sin and misery, out of which the bride is brought; the onward progress towards a glorious destination (see Isaiah 40:3; Hosea 1:16; Psalm 68:8). The Church must pass through the wilderness to her royal home, and the soul must be led out of the wilderness of sin and unbelief into everlasting union with her Lord.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness,.... This is said by the daughters of Jerusalem, adjured in Sol 3:5; who, upon the happy meeting of Christ and his church, saw a greater glory and beauty in her than they had seen before; and therefore put this question, not as ignorant of her, but as admiring at her. By the wilderness she is said to "come out" of is meant either a state of nature, as Theodoret; in which all the elect of God are before conversion, and out of which they are brought by efficacious grace; called a wilderness, because of the barrenness and unfruitfulness of persons in such a state; and because of the perplexed ways and tracks in it, which bewilder a man that he knows not which to take; and because of the want of spiritual provisions in it; and because of the danger men are exposed unto through holes and pits, and beasts of prey: in such a state God finds his people, convinces them of it, and brings them out of it; which is an instance of surprising and distinguishing grace: or else the world itself may be meant, the wilderness of the people, Ezekiel 20:35; so called because of the roughness of the way, the many tribulations the saints pass through in it; and because of the traps and snares that are in it, through evil men, the lusts of the flesh, and the temptations of Satan; because of the many evil beasts in it, ungodly men, false teachers, and Satan the roaring lion; and because of the plentiful table God furnishes here for his people, feeding them in the wilderness with Gospel doctrines and spiritual ordinances, Revelation 12:14; and because of the many windings and turnings of Providence in it, through all which they are led in a right way to the city of their habitation: now though they are in the world, they are not of it; they are called out of it, and quit as much as may be the company and conversation of the men of it; and through the grace of God are more and more weaned from it, and long after another and better world; all which may be intended by their coming out of this: or else this may design a state of sorrow and distress when under desertion, and without the presence of Christ; which had lately been the case of the church, who had been in a bewildered condition, and not knowing where her beloved was, ran about here and there in quest of him, like one in a wood, seeking him and calling after him; but now having sight of him, and some communion with him, is represented as coming out of that state. She is further described as being

like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense; her heart being inflamed with love to Christ, her affections moved upwards, heavenwards, and were set on things above; and which were sincere and upright, rose up in the form of palm trees, as the word (n) signifies, a very upright tree; and these moved steadily towards Christ, and could not be diverted from him by the winds of temptation, affliction, and persecution; and though there might be some degree of dulness and imperfection in them, hence called "pillars of smoke"; yet being perfumed with the sweet smelling myrrh of Christ's sacrifice, and the incense of his mediation, became acceptable to God. It is added,

with all powders of the merchant: odorous ones, such are the graces of the Spirit, which Christ the merchantman is full of; and makes his people, their affections and prayers, of a sweet smelling savour with. Ben Melech interprets it of garments perfumed with spices; see Psalm 45:8; Some render the words, "above" or "more excellent than all powders of the merchant" (o), druggist or apothecary (p); no such drug nor spice to be found in their shops, that smell so sweet as Christ, his grace and righteousness.

(n) "ut columnae ad formam palmae assurgntes", Buxtorf; "ut palmae", Mercerus, Cocceius; "instar palmarum", Tigurine version, Michaelis. (o) so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schmidt. (p) Sept. "pigmentarii", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; "pharmacopolae", Tigurine version; "seplasiarii", Mercerus, Cocceius; "aromatarii", Junius & Tremellius, Marckius.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

6. New scene (So 3:6-11). The friends of the Bridegroom see a cortege approach. His palanquin and guard.

cometh out—rather, "up from"; the wilderness was lower than Jerusalem [Maurer].

pillars of smoke—from the perfumes burned around Him and His bride. Image from Israel and the tabernacle (answering to "bed," So 3:7) marching through the desert with the pillar of smoke by day and fire by night (Ex 14:20), and the pillars of smoke ascending from the altars of incense and of atonement; so Jesus Christ's righteousness, atonement, and ever-living intercession. Balaam, the last representative of patriarchism, was required to curse the Jewish Church, just as it afterwards would not succumb to Christianity without a struggle (Nu 22:41), but he had to bless in language like that here (Nu 24:5, 6). Angels too joyfully ask the same question, when Jesus Christ with the tabernacle of His body (answering to "His bed," So 3:7; Joh 1:14, "dwelt," Greek "tabernacled," Joh 2:21) ascends into heaven (Ps 24:8-10); also when they see His glorious bride with Him (Ps 68:18; Re 7:13-17). Encouragement to her; amid the darkest trials (So 3:1), she is still on the road to glory (So 3:11) in a palanquin "paved with love" (So 3:10); she is now in soul spiritually "coming," exhaling the sweet graces, faith, love, joy, peace, prayer, and praise; (the fire is lighted within, the "smoke" is seen without, Ac 4:13); it is in the desert of trial (So 3:1-3) she gets them; she is the "merchant" buying from Jesus Christ without money or price (Isa 55:1; Re 3:18); just as myrrh and frankincense are got, not in Egypt, but in the Arabian sands and the mountains of Palestine. Hereafter she shall "come" (So 3:6, 11) in a glorified body, too (Php 3:21). Historically, Jesus Christ returning from the wilderness, full of the Holy Ghost (Lu 4:1, 14). The same, "Who is this," &c. (Isa 63:1, 5).

Song of Solomon 3:6 Additional Commentaries
Context
Solomon's Wedding Day
6"What is this coming up from the wilderness Like columns of smoke, Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, With all scented powders of the merchant? 7"Behold, it is the traveling couch of Solomon; Sixty mighty men around it, Of the mighty men of Israel.…
Cross References
Matthew 2:11
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Revelation 18:13
cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves.

Exodus 13:21
By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.

Exodus 30:34
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Take fragrant spices--gum resin, onycha and galbanum--and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts,

Song of Solomon 1:13
My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts.

Song of Solomon 3:7
Look! It is Solomon's carriage, escorted by sixty warriors, the noblest of Israel,

Song of Solomon 4:6
Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense.

Song of Solomon 4:14
nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices.

Song of Solomon 8:5
Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved? She Under the apple tree I roused you; there your mother conceived you, there she who was in labor gave you birth.

Joel 2:30
I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
Treasury of Scripture

Who is this that comes out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?

this

Songs 8:5 Who is this that comes up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved? …

Deuteronomy 8:2 And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God led you …

Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you …

Jeremiah 2:2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus said the LORD; …

Jeremiah 31:2 Thus said the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found …

Revelation 12:6,14 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God…

like

Exodus 13:21,22 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead …

Joel 2:29-31 And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days will …

Acts 2:18-21 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those …

Colossians 3:1,2 If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, …

perfumed

Songs 1:3,13 Because of the smell of your good ointments your name is as ointment …

Songs 4:12-14 A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain …

Songs 5:5,13 I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, …

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 Now thanks be to God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, …

Philippians 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus …

Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty …

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