William Kelly Major Works Commentary
The song of songs, which is Solomon's.Song of Solomon Chapter 1 to 2:2
Let us then look briefly into the details of Canticles.
Song of Solomon 1:1-17; Son 2:1-2.
"The Song of songs which [is] Solomon's.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth;
For thy love [is] better than wine.
Thine ointments have sweet fragrance;
Thy name (is) ointment poured forth:
Therefore do the virgins love thee.
Draw me: we will run after thee
(The king hath brought me into his chamber);
We will be glad and rejoice in thee;
We will make mention of thy love more than of wine.
Upright ones love thee.
I [am] black but comely, O daughter of Jerusalem,
As the tents of Kedar,
As the curtains of Solomon.
Look not upon me, because I [am] black,
Because the sun hath looked upon (scorched) me.
My mother's sons were angry with me;
They made me keeper of the vineyards: mine own vineyard have I not kept.
Tell me, thou whom my soul loveth,
Where thou feedest [thy flock], where thou makest [it] to rest at noon;
For why should I be as one veiled (wandering) beside the flocks of thy companions?
If thou know not, thou fairest among women,
Go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock,
And feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents.
I have compared thee, my love (friend),
To a steed in Pharaoh's chariots.
Thy cheeks (are) comely with plaits,
Thy neck with jewel chains.
We will make thee plaits of gold
With studs of silver.
While the king is at his table
My spikenard sendeth forth its fragrance.
My beloved [is] unto me a bundle of myrrh
That lieth between my breasts.
My beloved [is] unto me a cluster of henna-flowers
In the vineyards of Engedi.
Behold, thou [art] fair, my love;
Behold, thou [art] fair:
Thine eyes [are as] doves'.
Behold, thou [art] fair, my beloved, yea pleasant:
Also our couch [is] green.
The beams of our houses [are] cedars,
Our rafters firs.
I [am] a crocus of the Sharon,
A lily of the valley.
As a lily among thorns,
So is my love among the daughters" (vers. 1-17, 2: 1, 2).
Thus the bride expectant acknowledges the preciousness to her of Messiah's love, and delights to speak of the fragrance of His grace, His name, not only to herself, but to all that kept clear of idolatrous corruptions (the virgins). On this last danger and preservation from it, the early verses of Rev. 14 may be compared, to profit those that weigh both. It is certain that the future godly remnant of Jews, when the church is no longer here, will be tried by this evil again bursting forth, not merely among the nations, but in Jerusalem and the temple itself (compare Isaiah 57:4-9; Daniel 11:36-39, Daniel 12:11; Matthew 12:43-45, Matthew 24:15; 2 Thess. 2). Therefore the bride associates the faithful with herself in this purity of affection, but cleaves to her own special intimacy with the king, while confessing her love too. Then she rehearses the effect of fiery trial on herself (for indeed Jerusalem had suffered long and severely); so that His grace elsewhere declares she had received of His hand double for all her sins. Jealousy and anger had been where it might have been least expected. Yet she who should have been a blessing to the nations around in fruit to God had failed even in her own responsibility. The less would she now trust herself but with Messiah's flock and those He gave to tend them (vers. 1-7), as indeed others testify (vers. 8).
Thereupon Messiah declares His pleasure in her, as grace delights to tell her (vers. 9-11); and she rejoins in confessing the effect on her heart; to which He answers briefly in ver. 15, and she replies in verses 16, 17 and 2: 1; which all form the general view of their attitude respectively. Testimonies of mutual affection close this portion.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.
Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.
Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.
I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.
Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?
If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents.
I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots.
Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.
We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver.
While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.
A bundle of myrrh is my wellbeloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.
My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.
Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes.
Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.
The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.