|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:1-4 The church wishes for the constant intimacy and freedom with the Lord Jesus that a sister has with a brother. That they might be as his brethren, which they are, when by grace they are made partakers of a Divine nature. Christ is become as our Brother; wherever we find him, let us be ready to own our relation to him, and affection for him, and not fear being despised for it. Is there in us an ardent wish to serve Christ more and better? What then have we laid up in store, to show our affection to the Beloved of our souls? What fruit unto holiness? The church charges all her children that they never provoke Christ to withdraw. We should reason with ourselves, when tempted to do what would grieve the Spirit.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I would lead thee, and bring, thee into mother's house,.... The general assembly and church of the firstborn is mother to the church visible, to particular churches and believers, where they are born, educated, and brought up; for which they have a great affection, as persons usually have for the place of their nativity and education. And here the church desires to have Christ with her; either to consummate the marriage between them, Genesis 24:67; or to have the knowledge of him spread among her relations, those of her mother's house, who belonged to the election of grace; or to enjoy his presence there, with great delight and pleasure: the act of "leading" thither shows great familiarity with him, great love and respect for him, a hearty welcome to her mother's house; and was treating him becoming his majesty, great personages being led, Isaiah 60:11; all which is done by prayer, in the exercise of faith: and the act of "bringing" denotes on her part the strength of faith in prayer; and on his part great condescension; see Sol 3:4. Her end in all was, as follows,
who would instruct me; meaning her mother; the allusion may be to a grave and prudent woman, who, taking her newly married daughter apart, teaches her how to behave towards her husband, that she may have his affections, and live happily with him: the house of God is a school of instruction, where souls are taught the ways of Christ, the doctrines of the Gospel, and the duties of religion; nor are the greatest believers above instruction, and the means of it. Some render the words, "thou shalt", or "thou wouldest teach me" (u); meaning Christ, who teaches as none else can; he teaches by his Spirit, who leads into all truth; by the Scriptures, which are profitable for instruction; by his ministers, called pastors and teachers; and by his ordinances administered in his house; where the church desired the presence of Christ; and might expect instruction from him, being in the way of her duty; and to hear such marriage precepts, as in Psalm 45:10. In return, the church promises Christ,
I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine, of the juice of my pomegranate; or, "wine of my pomegranate" (w); of which mention is made in Jewish writings (x) and by other authors (y): there was a city in the tribe of Dan, called "Gathrimmon", Joshua 21:24; the winepress of the pomegranate, or where they made pomegranate wine. Spiced wine was much used by the ancients, and in the eastern countries: so Phoenician wine, or wine of Byblis, is said to be odoriferous (z); so the wine of Lebanon, Hosea 14:7; the Babylonians had a wine they called nectar (a): spiced wine was thought less inebriating (b), and therefore the ancients sometimes put into their wine myrrh and calamus, and other spices (c); sometimes it was a mixture of old wine, water, and balsam; and of wine, honey, and pepper (d). Now these sorts of wine being accounted the best and most agreeable, the church proposes to treat Christ with them; by which may be meant the various graces of the Spirit, and the exercise of them in believers; which give Christ pleasure and delight, and are preferred by him to the best wine; see Sol 4:10. With the Hebrew writers, pomegranates are said to be a symbol of concord (e): the pomegranate was a tree of Venus (f).
(u) "docebis me", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, & alii; "doceres me", Brightman, Michaelis. (w) "de vino dulci mali granati mei", Montanus. (x) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 143. 2. Maimon. Hilch. Maacolot Asurot, c. 7. s. 7. (y) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 14. c. 16. (z) Theocrit. Idyll. 14. v. 15, 16. (a) Athenaei Deipnosophist. l. 1. c. 95. p. 32. (b) Ibid. l. 11. c. 3. p. 464. (c) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 14. c. 13, 16. Plauti Persa, Acts 1. Sc. 3. v. 7, 8. (d) Munster. Dictionar. Chaldaic. p. 22, 27. (e) Apud Chartar. de Imag. Deorum, p. 139. (f) Athenaeus, ut supra (Deipnosophist.), l. 3. c. 8. p. 84.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. Her desire to bring Him into her home circle (Joh 1:41).
who would instruct me—rather, "thou wouldest instruct me," namely, how I might best please thee (Isa 11:2, 3; 50:4; Lu 12:12; Joh 14:26; 16:13).
spiced wine—seasoned with aromatic perfumes. Jesus Christ ought to have our choicest gifts. Spices are never introduced in the song in His absence; therefore the time of His return from "the mountain of spices" (So 8:14) is contemplated. The cup of betrothal was given by Him at the last supper; the cup or marriage shall be presented by her at His return (Mt 26:29). Till then the believer often cannot feel towards, or speak of, Him as he would wish.
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