Song of Solomon 8:9
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
If she is a wall, we will build towers of silver on her. If she is a door, we will enclose her with panels of cedar.

New Living Translation
If she is a virgin, like a wall, we will protect her with a silver tower. But if she is promiscuous, like a swinging door, we will block her door with a cedar bar.

English Standard Version
If she is a wall, we will build on her a battlement of silver, but if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

New American Standard Bible
"If she is a wall, We will build on her a battlement of silver; But if she is a door, We will barricade her with planks of cedar."

King James Bible
If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If she is a wall, we will build a silver parapet on it. If she is a door, we will enclose it with cedar planks. W

International Standard Version
If she's a wall, on her we will build a battlement of silver. If she's a door, we will enclose her with planks of cedar.

NET Bible
If she is a wall, we will build on her a battlement of silver; but if she is a door, we will barricade her with boards of cedar.

New Heart English Bible
If she is a wall, we will build on her a turret of silver. If she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
If she is a wall, we will build a silver barrier around her. If she is a door, we will barricade her with cedar boards.

JPS Tanakh 1917
If she be a wall, We will build upon her a turret of silver; And if she be a door, We will enclose her with boards of cedar.

New American Standard 1977
“If she is a wall,
            We shall build on her a battlement of silver;
            But if she is a door,
            We shall barricade her with planks of cedar.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
If she is a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver; and if she is a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.

King James 2000 Bible
If she is a wall, we will build upon her towers of silver: and if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

American King James Version
If she be a wall, we will build on her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

American Standard Version
If she be a wall, We will build upon her a turret of silver: And if she be a door, We will inclose her with boards of cedar.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If she be a wall: let us build upon it bulwarks of silver: if she be a door, let us join it together with boards or cedar.

Darby Bible Translation
If she be a wall, We will build upon her a turret of silver; And if she be a door, We will enclose her with boards of cedar.

English Revised Version
If she be a wall, we will build upon her a turret of silver: and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

Webster's Bible Translation
If she is a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she is a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.

World English Bible
If she is a wall, we will build on her a turret of silver. if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar. Beloved

Young's Literal Translation
If she is a wall, we build by her a palace of silver. And if she is a door, We fashion by her board-work of cedar.
Study Bible
The Friends
8"We have a little sister, And she has no breasts; What shall we do for our sister On the day when she is spoken for? 9"If she is a wall, We will build on her a battlement of silver; But if she is a door, We will barricade her with planks of cedar." 10"I was a wall, and my breasts were like towers; Then I became in his eyes as one who finds peace.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 22:8
"When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, so that you will not bring bloodguilt on your house if anyone falls from it.

1 Kings 6:15
Then he built the walls of the house on the inside with boards of cedar; from the floor of the house to the ceiling he overlaid the walls on the inside with wood, and he overlaid the floor of the house with boards of cypress.
Treasury of Scripture

If she be a wall, we will build on her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

a wall

Songs 2:9 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he stands behind …

Revelation 21:12-19 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates …

we will

Isaiah 58:12 And they that shall be of you shall build the old waste places: you …

Isaiah 60:17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and …

Isaiah 61:4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former …

Zechariah 6:12-15 And speak to him, saying, Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, …

Matthew 16:18 And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will …

Acts 15:16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of …

1 Corinthians 3:10-12 According to the grace of God which is given to me, as a wise master …

Ephesians 2:20-22 And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus …

a door

Acts 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they …

(9) If she be a wall.--The wall and door are emblems of chastity and its opposite. The palace of silver some commentators explain by reference to the custom (among the Druses) of wearing an ornament like a horn on the head. But this is unlikely. The metaphors of the wall and door are naturally expanded. If the maiden grows up virtuous and inaccessible to seduction we will build upon her a palace of silver, i.e., we will so provide for her in marriage that from her may spring an illustrious house; but if otherwise, we will enclose her with boards of cedar, i.e., the strongest precautions shall be taken to guard her honour. This passage is one of the strongest arguments for the theory that chaste wedded love is the theme of this book, the poet going on in Song of Solomon 8:10 to put into the heroine's mouth a protestation of purity; and by which virtuous disposition, even more than by her beauty, she had won her husband's love: "I have grown up to virtuous womanhood, and I have found favour in his eyes."

Verse 9. - If she be a wall, we will build upon her a turret of silver: and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar. The interpretation which Delitzsch suggests of these words is that the "wall" represents firmness of character, and the "door" weakness and insecurity. If she firmly and successfully withstands all immoral approaches, then we will bestow high honour upon her, as a tribute to her maidenly virtue and constancy. The turret or castle of silver would mean rewarding her with increase. Silver is the emblem of holiness, gold of nobility. The meaning may, however, merely be, "We will endow her with plenty." The boards of cedar are supposed to be special protections, as cedar is noted for its hardness and durability. But is not the meaning much simpler and more natural? It would be rather a far fetched use of the figure of a door that it should suggest seduction, and would be rather unsuitable in the lips of the bridegroom when speaking of the little sister of his own bride. May not the meaning be no more than this? - She may become one of the most substantial parts of the building, like a wall; in that ease all that she can be she shall be; we will put the highest honour upon her. She may be a door, that is, though not so great and substantial as the wall, still in the very front of the building and before the eyes of all. In that case we will beautify her with costly and fragrant adornment. The gate shall be enclosed in cedar wood. "The wall and the door," says Zockler, "are mostly understood of the steadfast and faithful keeping of the Word of God and of its zealous proclamation to the Gentiles (1 Corinthians 16:9, etc.); but some also explain them of the valiant in faith and the weak in faith, or of the learned and simple, or of faithful Christians and such as are recreant and easily accessible to the arts of seduction. And then, according to these various interpretations, the 'silver bulwarks' are now the miracles of the first witnesses of Jesus, now the distinguished teachers of the Church, now pious Christian rulers, now the testimonies of Holy Scripture by which faith is strengthened. And, again, by the 'cedar boards' are sometimes understood the ten commandments or the Law, sometimes Christian teachers, sometimes the examples of the saints, sometimes the salutary discipline of the cross and sufferings for Christ's sake," etc. All such attempts at detailed interpretation fail to give satisfaction. Their effect is to repel many from the study of the book altogether, just as the follies and. extravagances of the interpreters of prophecy have greatly hindered the study of the prophetic Scriptures. The wall and the door need not be taken as opposed to one another, as they are not in our conceptions of a city. They fulfil different functions. The wall is for defence; the door is for admission. In the one case we think of strength, and in the other case of beauty. The application of the symbols is very easy if the general meaning alone is regarded. There is a variety of capacity and function in the Church of Christ. There are differences in the forms of Christianity among different nations. But the Lord will receive and bless all. Some are not fitted to be built upon as strong wails, but they may still be beautiful examples of Christian graces in the eyes of the world, through whom many gladly enter into the truth and into the fellowship of Christ. If she be a wall,.... Built upon a sure foundation; and firmly established in her faith on Christ, and love to him; and is constant therein, and stands as a wall against the attacks of enemies (b);

we will build upon her a palace of silver; though at first but as a side wall, yet should become a complete habitation, even a palace for Christ, the King of kings, and, being designed for so illustrious an inhabitant, should be a "silver" one, denoting its worth, value, and splendour; the builders of it are the church and her ministers; though Christ is the principal builder, Zechariah 6:12. Or, "a tower of silver" (c), signifying, that she should be well fortified, and be put into a posture of defence against her enemies: the Gentile church at first had but a very small appearance of a building, a foundation just laid, a side wall erected; but, in a short time, a noble structure, a stately tower, a silver palace, were built for God;

and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar; if the door of the Gospel was opened among the Gentiles, it should be succeeded to the building a holy temple to the Lord; which should be not only ornamented, but so well fenced, that it should not be in the power of their enemies to deface and demolish it: or if the door of their hearts was opened, to receive Christ, and his glorious train of grace, they should be adorned and beautified with a larger measure of them; or if being come into a church state, and the door of it was set open to receive good men, and exclude bad men, this would be to their honour comfort and safety: or this phrase is expressive of the finishing of the building, the gate or door being set up; though it rather seems to intend the low and mean estate of the Gentile church at first, when there was but little appearance of a building, only a door set up; which afterwards grew up into a stately and magnificent palace, like that of Solomon's, built of cedar boards of the wood of Lebanon; which may denote her fragrancy, perpetuity, and incorruptibleness.

(b) So Ajax is called the wall of the Grecians, Homer. Iliad. 6. v. 5. & 7. v. 211. (c) "propugnaculum argenteum", Tigurine version; "arcem argenteam", Mercerus; "castellum argenti", Michaelis. 9. wall … door—the very terms employed as to the Gentile question (Ac 14:27; Eph 2:14). If she be a wall in Zion, founded on Jesus Christ (1Co 3:11), we will not "withstand God" (Ac 11:17; 15:8-11). But if so, we must not "build" (Ac 15:14-17) on her "wood, hay, stubble" (1Co 3:12), that is, Jewish rites, etc., but "a palace of silver," that is, all the highest privileges of church communion (Ga 2:11-18; Eph 2:11-22). Image from the splendid turrets "built" on the "walls" of Jerusalem, and flanking the "door," or gateway. The Gentile Church is the "door," the type of catholic accessibleness (1Co 16:9); but it must be not a mere thoroughfare but furnished with a wooden framework, so as not merely to admit, but also to safely enclose: cedar is fragrant, beautiful, and enduring.8:8-12 The church pleads for the Gentiles, who then had not the word of God, nor the means of grace. Those who are brought to Christ themselves, should contrive what they may do to help others to him. Babes in Christ are always seen among Christians, and the welfare of their weak brethren is an object of continual prayer with the stronger believers. If the beginning of this work were likened to a wall built upon Him the precious Foundation and Corner-stone, then the Gentile church would become as a palace for the great King, built of solid silver. If the first preaching of the gospel were as the making a door through the wall of partition, that door should be lasting, as cased with boards of durable cedar. She shall be carefully and effectually protected, enclosed so as to receive no damage. The church is full of care for those yet uncalled. Christ says, I will do all that is necessary to be done for them. See with what satisfaction we should look back upon the times and seasons, when we were in his eyes as those that find favour. Our hearts are our vineyards, which we must keep with all diligence. To Christ, and to his praise, all our fruits must be dedicated. All that work for Christ, work for themselves, and shall be unspeakable gainers by it.
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