Song of Solomon 2:8
The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.
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(8) The voice of my beloved.—So here there is no need of the clumsy device of supposing the heroine in a dream. This most exquisite morsel of the whole poem falls quite naturally into its place if we regard it as a sweet recollection of the poet’s, put into the mouth of the object of his affections. “The voice” (Heb., kôl), used to arrest attention = Hark! (Comp. Psalms 29) The quick sense of love discerns his approach a long way off. (Compare—

“Before he mounts the hill, I know

He cometh quickly.”—Tennyson’s Fatima.)

Song of Solomon 2:8. The voice of my beloved — Christ’s voice, the word of grace revealed outwardly in the gospel, and inwardly by the Spirit of God. Behold, he cometh leaping — She saith, leaping and skipping, to denote that Christ came readily and swiftly, with great desire and pleasure; and adds, upon the mountains and hills, to signify Christ’s resolution to come in spite of all difficulties.

2:8-13 The church pleases herself with thoughts of further communion with Christ. None besides can speak to the heart. She sees him come. This may be applied to the prospect the Old Testament saints had of Christ's coming in the flesh. He comes as pleased with his own undertaking. He comes speedily. Even when Christ seems to forsake, it is but for a moment; he will soon return with everlasting loving-kindness. The saints of old saw him, appearing through the sacrifices and ceremonial institutions. We see him through a glass darkly, as he manifests himself through the lattices. Christ invites the new convert to arise from sloth and despondency, and to leave sin and worldly vanities, for union and communion with him. The winter may mean years passed in ignorance and sin, unfruitful and miserable, or storms and tempests that accompanied his conviction of guilt and danger. Even the unripe fruits of holiness are pleasant unto Him whose grace has produced them. All these encouraging tokens and evidences of Divine favour, are motives to the soul to follow Christ more fully. Arise then, and come away from the world and the flesh, come into fellowship with Christ. This blessed change is owing wholly to the approaches and influences of the Sun of righteousness.The bride relates to the chorus a visit which the beloved had paid her some time previously in her native home. He on a fair spring morning solicits her company. The bride, immersed in rustic toils, refuses for the present, but confessing her love, bids him return at the cool of day. It is a spring-time of affection which is here described, still earlier than that of the former chapter, a day of pure first-love, in which, on either side, all royal state and circumstance is forgotten or concealed. Hence, perhaps, the annual recitation of the Song of Songs by the synagogue with each return of spring, at the Feast of Passover, and special interpretations of this passage by Hebrew doctors, as referring to the paschal call of Israel out of Egypt, and by Christian fathers, as foreshadowing the evangelic mysteries of Easter - Resurrection and Regeneration. The whole scene has also been thought to represent the communion of a newly-awakened soul with Christ, lie gradually revealing Himself to her, and bidding her come forth into fuller communion.

Songs 2:8

Voice - Better, "sound." Not a voice, but the sound of approaching footsteps is meant (compare "noise," Isaiah 13:4).

8. voice—an exclamation of joyful surprise, evidently after a long silence. The restlessness of sin and fickleness in her had disturbed His rest with her, which she had professed not to wish disturbed "till He should please." He left her, but in sovereign grace unexpectedly heralds His return. She awakes, and at once recognizes His voice (1Sa 3:9, 10; Joh 10:4); her sleep is not so sinfully deep as in So 5:2.

leaping—bounding, as the roe does, over the roughest obstacles (2Sa 2:18; 1Ch 12:8); as the father of the prodigal "had compassion and ran" (Lu 15:20).

upon the hills—as the sunbeams glancing from hill to hill. So Margin, title of Jesus Christ (Ps 22:1), "Hind of the morning" (type of His resurrection). Historically, the coming of the kingdom of heaven (the gospel dispensation), announced by John Baptist, is meant; it primarily is the garden or vineyard; the bride is called so in a secondary sense. "The voice" of Jesus Christ is indirect, through "the friend of the bridegroom" (Joh 3:29), John the Baptist. Personally, He is silent during John's ministration, who awoke the long slumbering Church with the cry. "Every hill shall be made low," in the spirit of Elias, on the "rent mountains" (1Ki 19:11; compare Isa 52:7). Jesus Christ is implied as coming with intense desire (Lu 22:15; Heb 10:7), disregarding the mountain hindrances raised by man's sin.

The voice of my Beloved! methinks I hear his voice. The spouse being now refreshed and revived with Christ’s presence, awakes out of sleep, and breaks forth into this joyful exclamation. Christ’s voice is nothing else but the word of grace revealed outwardly in the gospel, or the evangelical passages of the Old Testament, and inwardly to the heart of the spouse by the Spirit of God.

Behold, he cometh; either,

1. He is coming, or will shortly come, into the world; which Solomon and the rest of the Old Testament prophets and saints did earnestly desire and confidently expect. Or,

2. He is coming to me for my support and comfort.

Leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills; he saith leaping and skipping, to note that Christ came readily and swiftly, with great desire and pleasure; and he adds,

upon the mountains and hills, either with respect to Mount Zion or Jerusalem, in and from which Christ first discovered himself; or to signify Christ’s fixed resolution to come, in spite of all discouragements and difficulties which stood in his way; or to show that his coming was manifest and visible to the eye of her faith. Or in this phrase he may have a respect to the roes and harts here following.

The voice of my beloved!.... So says the church, who well knew Christ her beloved's voice; which is known by all believers in him, and is distinguished by them from the voice of others; by the majesty and authority of it; by the power and efficacy of it; by its directing them to himself, and by the pleasure it gives them: and she speaks of it as being very delightful to her; it being the voice of him whom she loved, and a voice of love, grace, and mercy, of peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation; and, being observed before, what follows shows that Christ is heard before he is seen; he is first heard of in the Gospel, before he is seen, by an eye of faith: and such would have others observe the voice of Christ as well as they, for here the church speaks to the daughters of Jerusalem; and it seems by this, that, by some means or another, Christ had been disturbed, and had departed from the church for a while, and was now upon the return to her, which made his voice the more joyful to her;

behold, he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills; this may be, understood, either of Christ's first coming in the flesh, much prophesied of, long expected, and was very welcome: this was attended with many difficulties, comparable to mountains and hills; that he the Son of God should become man; that he should obey, suffer, and die for men, fulfil the law, satisfy justice, atone for sin, and save from all enemies; but those which seemed insuperable were easily surmounted by Christ: or of his spiritual coming; sometimes he withdraws himself, and then returns again, and faith, spying him at a distance, rejoices at his nearer approach; for impediments in his way, occasioned by the unbelief, carnality, lukewarmness, backslidings, and ingratitude of his people, are removed and got over by him, nothing being able to separate from his love; and his coming, either way, is with all readiness, swiftness, speed, and haste. And a "behold" is prefixed to this, as a note of admiration and attention; and is so, whether applied to the one or other. Christ's incarnation was matter of wonder, "behold, a virgin", &c. Isaiah 7:14; and so his manifestation of himself to his people, and not to others, is marvellous, "Lord, how is it", &c. John 14:22; and both comings are visible, glorious, and delightful. Ambrose (g) has these remarkable words, by way of paraphrase, on this passage,

"Let us see him leaping; he leaped out of heaven into the virgin, out of the womb into the manger, out of the manger into Jordan, out of Jordan to the cross, from the cross into the tomb, out of the grave into heaven.''

The allusion is to the leaping of a roe, or a young hart, as in Sol 2:9, which is remarkable for its leaping, even one just yeaned (h); so a young hart is described, by the poet (i), as leaping to its dam the leap of one of these creatures is very extraordinary (k).

(g) Enarrat. in Psal. cxviii. octon. 7. p. 917. (h) Vid. Dionys. Perieg. v. 843, 844. (i) , &c. Theocrit. Idyll. 8. prope finem. (k) "The hart is said to leap sixty feet at a leap", Bochart. Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 3. c. 17. col. 882.

{d} The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

(d) This is spoken of Christ who took on our nature to come to help his Church.

8. The voice of my beloved] This is the literal rendering of the Hebrew, but the word qôl, ‘sound’ or ‘voice,’ is often used with a following genitive as an interjection, and then ‘Hark!’ is the best equivalent. (See Ges. Gramm. § 146 b.) Thus in Genesis 4:10, “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground,” should be, “Hark! thy brother’s blood crieth,” &c. Cp. Isaiah 40:3. So here, Hark! my beloved, behold he cometh leaping over the mountains, &c.; i.e. it is not his voice, but the sound of his feet that she hears in imagination. (Cp. Oettli.) The mountains might be those round about Jerusalem, but more probably they are the Northern hills amidst which they now are.

Chap. Song of Solomon 2:8-17. The Beloved comes

The scene is evidently changed from Jerusalem to some royal residence in the country. The lover, like the Shulammite herself, belongs to the northern hills; and as he appears here, it is more natural to suppose that the scene has been transferred thither than that he has come to Jerusalem. Moreover the later references to Lebanon imply this change of scene, and it is most suitable to suppose that the change takes place here. The indirect way in which this is hinted is entirely congruous with the kind of poems we have taken these to be. The Shulammite starts up in uncontrollable agitation, imagining she hears her lover’s footsteps as he hastens to her over the hills, and she addresses her companions, the court ladies, tracing his approach until he reaches the lattices in the wall, Song of Solomon 2:8-9. Her lover speaks to her through these, and she, hearing him, repeats what he says, Song of Solomon 2:10-14. In reply to his desire to see her and hear her voice, as she cannot make herself visible, she sings a little vineyard song, Song of Solomon 2:15. In Song of Solomon 2:16 she gives herself up to a loving rapture, and then, Song of Solomon 2:17, fearing for her lover’s safety she exhorts him to depart till the evening. Some think the bride speaks here of some past scene when her lover came to meet her, over which she is now brooding. That is possible, but the view expressed above seems preferable. In any case these verses are among the most beautiful in the book, and take their place among the perfect love verses of the world. A modern parallel may be found in Tennyson’s lines,

“And all my heart went out to meet him

Coming, ere he came.”

Verse 8-ch. 3:5. - Part II. SONG OF SHULAMITH IN THE EMBRACE OF SOLOMON. Recollections of the wooing time in the north. Verse 8. - The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. There can be little doubt as to the meaning of this song. The bride is going back in thought to the scenes of her home life, and the sweet days of first love. "The house stands alone among the rocks and deep in the mountain range; around are the vineyards which the family have planted, and the hill pastures on which they feed their flocks. She longingly looks out for her distant lover." The expression, "The voice of my beloved!" must not be taken to mean that she hears the sound of his feet or voice, but simply as an interjection, like "hark!" (see Genesis 4:10, where the voice of the blood crying merely means, "Hark how thy brother's blood cries;" that is, "Believe that it does so cry"). So here, "I seem to hear the voice of my beloved; hark, he is coming!" It is a great delight to the soul to go back in thought over the memories of its first experience of the Saviour's presence. The Church is edified by the records of grace in the histories of Divine dealings. Song of Solomon 2:88 Hark, my beloved! lo, there he comes!

   Springs over the mountains,

   Bounds over the hills.

The word קול, in the expression דּודי קול, is to be understood of the call of the approaching lover (Bttch.), or only of the sound of his footsteps (Hitz.); it is an interjectional clause (sound of my beloved!), in which kōl becomes an interjection almost the same as our "horch" "hear!". Vid., under Genesis 4:10. זה after הנּה sharpens it, as the demonst. ce in ecce equals en ce. בּא is though of as partic., as is evident from the accenting of the fem. בּאה, e.g., Jeremiah 10:22. דּלּג is the usual word for springing; the parallel קפץ (קפּץ), Aram. קפץ, קפז, signifies properly contrahere (cogn. קמץ, whence Kametz, the drawing together of the mouth, more accurately, of the muscles of the lips), particularly to draw the body together, to prepare it for a spring. In the same manner, at the present day, both in the city and in the Beduin Arab. kamaz, for which also famaz, is used of the springing of a gazelle, which consists in a tossing up of the legs stretched out perpendicularly. 'Antar says similarly, as Shulamith here of the swift-footed schêbûb (D. M. Zeitung, xxii. 362); wahu jegmiz gamazât el-gazâl, it leaps away with the springing of a gazelle.

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