Song of Solomon 3:10
He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the middle thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) Bottom.—Heb., rephidah = supports. Probably the back of the litter on which the occupant leaned.

The midst thereof . . .—Literally, its interior paved love from the daughters of Jerusalem. There are three possible renderings. (1) Its interior made bright by a lovely girl of, &c; and (2) its interior paved in a lovely way by, &c; (3) its interior tesselated as a mark of love by, &c. The last of these does the least violence to the text as it stands, but very possibly some words have dropped out between ratzuph, paved, and ahabah, love.

3:6-11 A wilderness is an emblem of the world; the believer comes out of it when he is delivered from the love of its sinful pleasures and pursuits, and refuses to comply with its customs and fashions, to seek happiness in communion with the Saviour. A poor soul shall come up, at last, under the conduct of the Comforter; like a cloud of incense ascending from the altar, or the smoke of the burnt-offerings. This signifies pious and devout affections, and the mounting of the soul heaven-ward. The believer is filled with the graces of God's Spirit; his devotions now are very lively. These graces and comforts are from the heavenly Canaan. He, who is the Peace of his people, the King of the heavenly Zion, has provided for the safe conveyance of his redeemed through the wilderness of this world. The bed, or palanquin, was contrived for rest and easy conveyance, but its beauty and magnificence showed the quality of its owner. The church is well guarded; more are with her than are against her: believers, when they repose in Christ, and with him, though they have their fears in the night, are yet safe. The chariot here denotes the covenant of redemption, the way of our salvation. This is that work of Christ, which makes him loved and admired in the eyes of believers. It is framed and contrived, both for the glory of Christ, and for the comfort of believers; it is well ordered in all things and sure. The blood of the covenant, that rich purple, is the cover of this chariot, by which believers are sheltered from the wind and storms of Divine wrath, and the troubles of this world; but the midst of it is that love of Christ which passes knowledge, this is for believers to repose upon. Christ, in his gospel, manifests himself. Take special notice of his crown. Applying this to Christ, it speaks the honour put upon him, and his power and dominion.A stately bed hath king Solomon made for himself of woods (or trees) of the Lebanon. The word rendered "bed" occurs nowhere else in Scripture, and is of doubtful etymology and meaning. It may denote here

(1) the bride's car or litter; or

(2) a more magnificent vehicle provided for her reception on her entrance into the city, and in which perhaps the king goes forth to meet her.

It has been made under Solomon's own directions of the costliest woods (ceda and pine) of the Lebanon; it is furnished with "pillars of silver" supporting a "baldachin" or "canopy of gold" (not "bottom" as in the King James Version), and with "a seat (not 'covering') of purple cushions," while "its interior is paved with (mosaic work, or tapestry of) love from (not 'for') the daughters of Jerusalem;" the meaning being that this part of the adornment is a gift of love, whereby the female chorus have testified their goodwill to the bride, and their desire to gratify the king.

10. pillars—supporting the canopy at the four corners; curtains at the side protect the person within from the sun. Pillars with silver sockets supported the veil that enclosed the holy of holies; emblem of Jesus Christ's strength (1Ki 7:21), Margin, "silver," emblem of His purity (Ps 12:6); so the saints hereafter (Re 3:12).

bottom—rather, "the back for resting or reclining on" (Vulgate and Septuagint) [Maurer]. So the floor and mercy seat, the resting-place of God (Ps 132:14) in the temple, was gold (1Ki 6:30).

covering—rather, "seat," as in Le 15:9. Hereafter the saints shall share His seat (Re 3:21).

purple—the veil of the holiest, partly purple, and the purple robe put on Jesus Christ, accord with English Version, "covering." "Purple" (including scarlet and crimson) is the emblem of royalty, and of His blood; typified by the passover lamb's blood, and the wine when the twelve sat or reclined at the Lord's table.

paved—translated, like mosaic pavement, with the various acts and promises of love of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Zep 3:17; 1Jo 4:8, 16), in contrast with the tables of stone in the "midst" of the ark, covered with writings of stern command (compare Joh 19:13); this is all grace and love to believers, who answer to "the daughters of Jerusalem" (Joh 1:17). The exterior silver and gold, cedar, purple, and guards, may deter, but when the bride enters within, she rests on a pavement of love.

The pillars thereof; whereby the chariot is either supported or adorned; which may signify either,

1. Ministers, who are called pillars, Galatians 2:9, and that of silver, because they are, or should be, pure and precious, like silver. Or,

2. The firmness and certainty of Christ’s word, both of his doctrines and promises, which also are pure as silver, Psalm 12:6. Although there is no necessity that either this or the following particulars should be distinctly applied to several things in or about the gospel; but this in the general may suffice, that as all these particulars are added to show the perfection and beauty of the chariot, so they do imply that Christ’s word is every way amiable, and perfect, and able to make the man of God perfect. The bottom; either,

1. The couch or seat, which was made of or covered with cloth of gold. Or,

2. The under and lower part, which was at least covered with pure gold. Whereby he may seem to understand the foundation of the word and promises, which is either God’s covenant, or Christ’s mediation, in whom all the promises are yea and amen.

The covering; either,

1. The curtains, whereby persons in the chariot are covered or hid from the sight of the people. Or rather,

2. The uppermost part of it, either in the outside or the inside of it. Some render the word, the seat or seats. Of purple; which represents Christ’s blood, which is our propitiatory or covering to shelter us from God’s wrath.

The midst; the inward parts, especially those between the upper and lower parts, which have been already mentioned.

Paved, covered and adorned,

with love; with beautiful and lovely ornaments, such as curious embroidery, enriched with gold and precious stones; love being here put for lovely objects, as fear is oft put for terrible things, as hath been oft noted. Whereby we may understand the love of Christ to the sons of men, or his lovely life, and death, and resurrection, &c.; which is the most amiable part and matter of the word or gospel.

For the daughters of Jerusalem; for their delight and comfort, who are all concerned and bear a part in this marriage. He made the pillars thereof of silver,.... The truths and doctrines of the Gospel are the "pillars" of it; which, like pillars, are solid and substantial, and continue firm and immovable, and are of great use to support the children of God under the several trials and exercises they are attended with; and, for their utility, value, and duration, are said to be of "silver", and are as carefully to be sought for and into as that is, and even to be preferred to it, being of more worth than "thousands of gold and silver"; the ministers of the Gospel are sometimes compared to pillars, and the church itself is said to be the pillar and ground of truth, Galatians 2:9;

the bottom thereof of gold; Christ, the golden bottom of the Gospel, the sum and substance of it, the principal subject in it to be insisted on; he is laid in it as the bottom, ground, and foundation of faith and hope, and of everlasting life and salvation; and for its richness, firmness, and duration, may be said to be of gold, as the street of the New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:21; or its "pavement" (b), as the word here signifies. The Septuagint render it, a "reclining" (c) place, to sit and rest, or lean upon; such is Christ;

the covering of it of purple; or the top of it; the word signifies a chariot itself: it may respect such doctrines of the Gospel which relate to redemption, pardon of sin, and justification through the blood of Christ; and all under the purple covering of the blood of Christ are secure from wrath to come, and go safe to heaven;

the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem; the carpet wrought with lovely figures or with love stories: the doctrines and ordinances of the Gospel are full of love, of God in Christ, in providing Christ as a Saviour, and sending him to be one; and of the love of Christ in assuming human nature, and suffering and dying in it for sinners, even for Jerusalem sinners; the Gospel sets forth the heart of Christ as "inflamed" (d), as the word here used signifies, with love to the daughters of Jerusalem, his dear children, which moved him to do all he did and suffered for them; and could his heart be looked into, the very images of these persons would be seen upon it: the ordinances of the Gospel are designed both to set forth, in the most striking manner, the love of Christ to his sons and daughters, for whose sake he became man and suffered death, and to draw forth their love to him; so the words may be rendered, "paved with love by the daughters of Jerusalem" (e), or "with the love of them" (f) how delightful must it be to ride in such a chariot, or sit under such a ministry, where there is nothing but love! moreover, the whole description of the "bride chamber", which some choose to render the word for "chariot" by, well agrees with the New Jerusalem state, as given in Revelation 21:1, where the church being as a bride prepared for her husband, will be introduced, the nuptial feast will be kept, and Christ will be seen by the daughters of Zion in all his regal glory, with the royal diadem on his head, as he is described in Sol 3:11.

(b) "pavimentum ejus", Vatablus, Grotius. (c) Sept. "reclinatorium ejus", Arabic interpreter. (d) "succcensum", Montanus, Marckius; "accensum, sive exustum", some in Vatablus, so Aben Ezra. (e) "a filiabus", Montanus, Cocceius; so Sept. "a puellis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (f) "Amore foeminarum", Tigurine version; "amore filiarum", Vatablus, Mercerus.

He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. the pillars thereof] The supports of the canopy or roof.

the bottom thereof] Rather, the back, that upon which one leans. Cp. LXX ἀνάκλιτον, Vulg. reclinatorium.

the covering of it] the seat of it.

purple] i.e. the seat of it is upholstered with purple, argâmân. This is the red purple, which is sometimes so dark as to be almost black. It is to be distinguished from the violet or cerulean purple which is těkhçleth. Both words are found in Assyrian inscriptions as argamannu and takiltu. Attempts to derive argâmân from a Heb. root are practically abandoned, and Benary’s suggestion that it is the Sanscrit râgaman = ‘red,’ an adj. derived from râga, ‘red colour,’ with the formative syllable mat or vat (cp. Addit. Ges. Thes. p. 90), is probable; more especially as the Aramaic form of the word, argěwân, can be explained by another adj. form of the same word, viz. râgavan, which is identical in meaning with râgaman.

the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem] This is a very difficult phrase to understand, and it has been very variously interpreted. The A.V. can hardly be right in rendering ‘love for the daughters of Jerusalem,’ for the preposition is min which cannot mean for. The R.V. has, more correctly, from the daughters of Jerusalem.

paved with love] Lit. paved as to love, the word being an adv. accus. The translation is grammatically correct. (Cp. Davidson, Synt. § 78, R. 2.) But what does ‘paved with love from the daughters of Jerusalem’ mean? Gesenius in his Thes. translates, “paved in a lovely manner by the daughters of Jerusalem,” but besides that the prep. min cannot be used for the causa efficiens with the passive, the word ‘love’ is not found elsewhere in such a sense. Del. translates, made up as a bed, from love on the part of the daughters of Jerusalem, and explains it to mean that they, from love to the king, have procured a costly tapestry which they have spread over the purple cushion. Oettli, following the LXX, takes love to mean, ‘a mark of love,’ and translates, “the middle of it adorned as a mosaic, a love-gift on the part of the daughters of Jerusalem.” Budde would change the order of the words, and reading hôbhânîm = ‘ebony’ for ahăbhâh = ‘love,’ would translate, “its seat is inlaid with ebony, its centre purple.” If the text is corrupt this may perhaps have been its original form. But of the text as it stands Delitzsch’s rendering seems to be the best, except that wrought as a mosaic would be better than made up as a bed.4 Scarcely had I passed from them,

   When I found him whom my soul loveth.

   I seized him, and did not let him go

   Until I brought him into the house of my mother,

   And into the chamber of her that gave me birth.

כּמעט equals paululum, here standing for a sentence: it was as a little that I passed, etc. Without שׁ, it would be paululum transii; with it, paululum fuit quod transii, without any other distinction than that in the latter case the paululum is more emphatic. Since Shulamith relates something experienced earlier, אחזתּי is not fitly rendered by teneo, but by tenui; and ארפּנּוּ dna ;iune לאו, not by et non dimittam eum, but, as the neg. of וארפנו, et dimisi eum, - not merely et non dimittebam eum, but et non dimisi eum. In Genesis 32:27 [26], we read the cogn. שׁלּח, which signifies, to let go ("let me go"), as הרפּה, to let loose, to let free. It is all the same whether we translate, with the subjective colouring, donec introduxerim, or, with the objective, donec introduxi; in either case the meaning is that she held him fast till she brought him, by gentle violence, into her mother's house. With בּית there is the more definite parallel חדר lellar, which properly signifies (vid., under Sol 1:4), recessus, penetrale; with אמּי, the seldom occurring (only, besides, at Hosea 2:7) הורה, part.f. Kal of הרה fo la, to conceive, be pregnant, which poetically, with the accus., may mean parturire or parere. In Jacob's blessing, Genesis 49:26, as the text lies before us, his parents are called הורי; just as in Arab. ummâni, properly "my two mothers," may be used for "my parents;" in the Lat. also, parentes means father and mother zeugmatically taken together.

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