|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:1-7 If each of these comparisons has a meaning applicable to the graces of the church, or of the faithful Christian, they are not clearly known; and great mistakes are made by fanciful guesses. The mountain of myrrh appears to mean the mountain Moriah, on which the temple was built, where the incense was burned, and the people worshipped the Lord. This was his residence till the shadows of the law given to Moses were dispersed by the breaking of the gospel day, and the rising of the Sun of righteousness. And though, in respect of his human nature, Christ is absent from his church on earth, and will continue to be so till the heavenly day break, yet he is spiritually present in his ordinances, and with his people. How fair and comely are believers, when justified in Christ's righteousness, and adorned with spiritual graces! when their thoughts, words, and deeds, though imperfect, are pure, manifesting a heart nourished by the gospel!
Verse 6. - Until the day be cool, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. If this be the language of the bride, which most modern interpreters think, the meaning is to check the ardour of her lover, in the modesty of her fresh and maidenly feeling - Let me retire from such praises. They are too ardent for me. It is only a moment's interruption, which is followed by still more loving words from the bridegroom. We must naturally connect the words with Song of Solomon 2:17, where the bride certainly speaks. Louis de Leon thinks that the meaning is general, "shady and fragrant places." Anton (1773) suggests that she is desiring to escape and be free. It cannot be included as a description of the neighbourhood of the royal palace. She might, however, mean merely - Let me walk alone in the lovely gardens of the palace until the shades of night shall hide my blushes. It is unlikely that the words are in the mouth of Solomon; for then it would be impossible to explain their use by Shulamith previously. She is not referring to Lebanon and its neighbourhoed, and there can be no idea of looking back to a lover from whom she is torn. The interpretation which connects it with maidenly feeling is certainly the most in harmony with what has preceded. Perhaps the typical meaning is underlying the words - Let me find a place of devout meditation to feed my thoughts on the sweetness of this Divine love into which I have entered.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Until the day break, and the shadows flee away,.... Until the day of grace breaks on every elect sinner, and the shadows of darkness, ignorance, and unbelief, are in a great measure fled and gone; or until the everlasting day breaks, and there will be no more night, nor any darkness of affliction, nor any more desertion, doubts, and fears; see Sol 2:17. They are the words of Christ, declaring whither he would go till that time came, as follows:
I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense: the allusion may be to the mountains and hills where these odoriferous plants grew. It is said of Pompey the great, that when he passed over Lebanon (later mentioned, Sol 4:8) and by Damascus, he went through sweet smelling groves and woods of frankincense and balsam (s); and Lebanon is thought, by some (t), to have its name from the frankincense that grew upon it; though rather from the whiteness of the snow continually on it. By this "mountain" and "hill" may be meant the church of Christ, gathered together in Gospel order, so called for its visibility and immovableness, Isaiah 2:2; and for the trees of righteousness which are planted and flourish there, the saints; and for the fragrancy of their graces; and for the sweet smelling odour of their sacrifices of prayer and praise; and because of the delight and pleasure Christ takes in his people, and they in him here; where they have mutual communion, so that it is to them both a mountain of myrrh and a hill of frankincense: particularly, here Christ delights to be, and here he resolves to dwell until his second coming.
(s) Florus de Gest. Roman. l. 3. c. 5. (t) Vid. Gabr. Sionita de Orient. Urb. c. 6. p. 14.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. Historically, the hill of frankincense is Calvary, where, "through the eternal Spirit He offered Himself"; the mountain of myrrh is His embalmment (Joh 19:39) till the resurrection "daybreak." The third Canticle occupies the one cloudless day of His presence on earth, beginning from the night (So 2:17) and ending with the night of His departure (So 4:6). His promise is almost exactly in the words of her prayer (So 2:17), (the same Holy Ghost breathing in Jesus Christ and His praying people), with the difference that she then looked for His visible coming. He now tells her that when He shall have gone from sight, He still is to be met with spiritually in prayer (Ps 68:16; Mt 28:20), until the everlasting day break, when we shall see face to face (1Co 13:10, 12).
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