My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feeds among the lilies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He feedeth.—Heb., he that is feeding his flock—the pastor.Song of Solomon 2:16. My beloved is mine — These are the words of the bride, who, having come to him upon his gracious invitation, now maketh her boast of him. He feedeth among the lilies — Abideth and refresheth himself among his faithful people, who are compared to lilies, Song of Solomon 2:2.
I am his—by creation (Ps 100:3), by redemption (Joh 17:10; Ro 14:8; 1Co 6:19).
feedeth—as a "roe," or gazelle (So 2:17); instinct is sure to lead him back to his feeding ground, where the lilies abound. So Jesus Christ, though now withdrawn, the bride feels sure will return to His favorite resting-place (So 7:10; Ps 132:14). So hereafter (Re 21:3). Ps 45:1, title, terms his lovely bride's "lilies" [Hengstenberg] pure and white, though among thorns (So 2:2).My Beloved is mine, and I am his: these are the words of the bride, who having come to him upon his gracious invitation, now maketh her boast of him, and of that intimate union and communion which was between them.
He feedeth among the lilies; either,
1. He feedeth his flock in sweet and lovely pastures, where there is not only herbage to feed them, but lilies to delight them. Or rather,
2. He feedeth himself, i.e. he abideth and refresheth himself amongst his faithful people, which are compared to lilies, above, Song of Solomon 2:2, and Hosea 14:5, as Christ also is here, Song of Solomon 2:1.
he feedeth among the lilies; which is either an apostrophe to him, "O thou that feedest", &c. thou only art my beloved; or is descriptive of him to others, inquiring who he was, and where to be seen: the answer is, he is the person that is yonder, feeding among the lilies; either recreating and delighting himself in his gardens, the churches, where his saints are, comparable to lilies; See Gill on Sol 2:1, and See Gill on Sol 2:2; or feeding his sheep in fields where lilies grow: and it may be observed, it is not said, he feedeth on, or feeds his flock with lilies, but among them; for it is remarked (y), that sheep will not eat them: or the sense may be, Christ feeds himself, and feeds his people, and feeds among them, as if he was crowned with lilies, and anointed with the oil of them; as was the custom of the ancients at festivals (z), thought to be here alluded to by some who read the words, "that feeds"; that is, sups in or with lilies, being anointed and crowned with them. The lily is a summer flower (a); the winter was now past, Sol 2:11.My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)16. This verse is addressed by the bride to her companions within the house, or is spoken in a loving rapture to herself. Some however think that it is sung to the lover.
he feedeth among the lilies] Rather, as in R.V., He feedeth his flock among the lilies. It may also be rendered, the shepherd among the lilies, the shepherd standing in apposition to the ‘him’ involved in ‘his.’Verse 16. - My beloved is mine, and I am his; he feedeth (his flock) among the lilies. These are the words of the bride. The latter clause is repeated in Song of Solomon 6:2, with the addition, "in the gardens," and it is evident that Solomon is lovingly regarded as a shepherd, because Shulamith delights to think of him as fully sympathizing with her simple country life. She idealizes. The words may be taken as either the response given at the time by the maiden to the invitation of her lover to come forth into the vineyards, or as the breathing of love as she lies in the arms of Solomon. Lilies are the emblem of purity, lofty elevation above that which is common. Moreover, the lily stalk is the symbol of the life of regeneration among the mystical mediaevalists. Mary the Virgin, the Rosa mystica, in ancient paintings is represented with a lily in her hand at the Annunciation. The people of God were called by the Jewish priests "a people of lilies." So Mary was the lily of lilies in the lily community; the sanctissima in the communio sanctorum. There may be an allusion to the lily forms around Solomon in his palace - the daughters of Jerusalem; in that ease the words must be taken as spoken, not in remembrance of the first love, but in present joy in Solomon's embrace. Some would render the words as simply praise of Solomon himself, "who, wherever he abides, spreads radiancy and loveliness about him," or "in whose footsteps roses and lilies ever bloom." At least, they are expressive of entire self-surrender and delight. She herself is a lily, and the beloved one feeds upon her beauty, purity, and perfection.
10a My beloved answered and said to me,
Arise, my love, my fair one, and go forth!
the words show that this first scene is not immediately dramatic, but only mediately; for Shulamith speaks in monologue, though in a dramatic manner narrating an event which occurred between the commencement of their love-relation and her home-bringing.
(Note: Grtz misinterprets this in order by the supplement of similar ones to make the whole poem a chain of narrative which Shulamith declaims to the daughters of Jerusalem. Thereby it certainly ceases to be dramatic, but so much more tedious does it become by these interposed expressions, "I said," "he said," "the sons of my mother said.")
She does not relate it as a dream, and thus it is not one. Solomon again once more passes, perhaps on a hunting expedition into the northern mountains after the winter with its rains, which made them inaccessible, is over; and after long waiting, Shulamith at length again sees him, and he invites her to enjoy with him the spring season. ענה signifies, like ἀποκρίνεσθαι, not always to answer to the words of another, but also to speak on the occasion of a person appearing before one; it is different from ענה, the same in sound, which signifies to sing, properly to sing through the nose, and has the root-meaning of replying (of the same root as ענן, clouds, as that which meets us when we look up toward the heavens); but taking speech in hand in consequence of an impression received is equivalent to an answer. With קוּמי he calls upon her to raise herself from her stupor, and with ולכי־לך, French va-t-en, to follow him.
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