Song of Solomon 3:11
Go forth, O you daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown with which his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.
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Song of Solomon 3:11. Go forth — The church bids particular believers go forth to see this sight. Behold, King Solomon — The Messiah, of whom Solomon was an illustrious type. With the crown — Which being applied to Solomon, may design that garland or crown which was usually worn in nuptial solemnities: but being applied to Christ, it denotes the honour that was given him, which, though principally done by his Father, yet is here ascribed to his mother, namely, the universal church, which, in respect to his humanity, may be called his mother, because he was born in and of her, and one of her members. In the day of his espousals — When the church is married to him, which is done when the covenant is confirmed between them, or when persons are converted to Christ, and more completely when they are received by Christ into his immediate fellowship in the kingdom of glory. And in the day of the gladness of his heart — When he rejoiceth over his bride. 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.Daughters of Zion - So called here to distinguish them from the bride's companions, who are always addressed by her as "daughters of Jerusalem."

His mother - Bathsheba 1 Kings 1:11. This is the last mention of her in sacred history.

11. Go forth—(Mt 25:6).

daughters of Zion—spirits of saints, and angels (Isa 61:10; Zec 9:9).

crown—nuptial (Eze 16:8-12), (the Hebrews wore costly crowns or chaplets at weddings), and kingly (Ps 2:6; Re 19:12). The crown of thorns was once His nuptial chaplet, His blood the wedding wine cup (Joh 19:5). "His mother," that so crowned Him, is the human race, for He is "the Son of man," not merely the son of Mary. The same mother reconciled to Him (Mt 12:50), as the Church, travails in birth for souls, which she presents to Him as a crown (Php 4:1; Re 4:10). Not being ashamed to call the children brethren (Heb 2:11-14), He calls their mother His mother (Ps 22:9; Ro 8:29; Re 12:1, 2).

behold—(2Th 1:10).

day of his espousals—chiefly the final marriage, when the number of the elect is complete (Re 6:11).

gladness—(Ps 45:15; Isa 62:5; Re 19:7). Moody Stuart observes as to this Canticle (So 3:6-5:1), the center of the Book, these characteristics: (1) The bridegroom takes the chief part, whereas elsewhere the bride is the chief speaker. (2) Elsewhere He is either "King" or "Solomon"; here He is twice called "King Solomon." The bride is six times here called the "spouse"; never so before or after; also "sister" four times, and, except in the first verse of the next Canticle [So 5:2], nowhere else. (3) He and she are never separate; no absence, no complaint, which abound elsewhere, are in this Canticle.

Go forth; the bride, to wit, the church, bids particular believers go forth to see this sight; whereby is implied that Christians must go out of the world, to wit, in affection, and out of themselves, by denying themselves, and putting off the old man, their corrupt nature, if they desire to see and enjoy Christ.

Daughters of Zion; the same with daughters of Jerusalem; for Zion and Jerusalem are ofttimes promiscuously used in Scripture.

Behold king Solomon; looking in and through him upon the Messias, who is the King of peace, and of whom Solomon was an illustrious type.

The crown wherewith his mother crowned him; which being applied to Solomon, may design either,

1. The crown royal, wherewith his mother, Bathsheba, is said to have crowned him, because Solomon was crowned by David’s order upon her suggestion, and by virtue of his promise confirmed by an oath to her, 1 Kings 1:16, &c. Or,

2. That garland or crown which was usually worn in nuptial solemnities, as may be gathered from Ezekiel 16:12, and is expressly affirmed by divers ancient writers. But being applied to Christ, it notes that honour and glory which was given to him, which though principally done by his Father, yet is here ascribed to his mother, i.e. to the universal church, or congregation of believers, which in respect of his humanity may be called his mother, partly because he was born in and of her, and one of her members, and therefore was subject to her institutions, whence she is represented as a woman in travail, bringing forth a man child, to wit, Christ, Revelation 12:1-5; and partly because in a spiritual sense she is said to conceive and bring forth Christ in particular believers, Galatians 4:19. And this mother may be said to crown Christ, both because it is the great design and business of the church to advance Christ’s honour in the world, and because she brings forth believers, whom Christ esteems as his crown and glory, as God calls them, Isaiah 62:3. In the day of his espousals; when the church is betrothed or married to him, Jeremiah 2:2 Hosea 2:19 2 Corinthians 11:2; which is done when the covenant is made or confirmed between them, or when faithful persons are converted and united to Christ, and more completely when they are received by Christ into his more full and immediate fellowship in the kingdom of glory.

In the day of the gladness of his heart; when he rejoineth over his bride, as the phrase is used, Isaiah 62:5. So this is the same thing expressed in other words. The conversion and salvation of sinners is the joy of Christ, as appears from Isaiah 53:11 Luke 15:32, and many other places of Scripture. Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion,.... The same with the daughters of Jerusalem; the reason of the variation is, because Christ, here so gloriously described, is King of Zion, and they his subjects; these the church observing, being intent on looking at the bed and chariot she had described, calls them from those objects to look at a more glorious one; to whom Solomon in all his glory, on his coronation or marriage day, to which the allusion is, was not equal; wherefore she invites them to "go forth" and look at him, as people are forward to go out of their houses to see a crowned king pass along the streets, especially on his coronation day; and men never see any glory and excellency in Christ, until they go out of themselves, and look off of every other object to him alone;

and behold King Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals; alluding to a custom with the Jews (g) and other nations (h), to put nuptial crowns on the heads Of married persons, both men and women, on the marriage day: Christ is undoubtedly here meant by Solomon, who is King of Zion, King of saints; See Gill on Sol 3:7; by whose mother is meant either the church, the Jerusalem above, the mother of us all, of Christ mystical; or else every believer, who is not only his brother and sister, but his mother, Matthew 12:50; and this may refer to the time when Christ is first made known unto and held by a sensible sinner, in the glory of his person, and the fulness of his grace, as sitting and riding in the chariot of the everlasting Gospel; when such honour him, and crown him by venturing on him, and believing in him; for every act of faith on Christ is putting the crown upon his head; and every submission to his ordinances is an acknowledging him King of saints; and every ascription of salvation to him and his grace by any, is casting their crowns at his and setting one on his head; and such a time is the time of his open espousals to them, when such consent to be his for ever, and give up their whole selves to him; there was a secret espousal of all the elect to Christ, upon the Father's grant of them to him in eternity; and there is an open espousal of them to him personally, at their conversion under the ministry of the word, when they are espoused as chaste virgins to Christ; at which time there is a large breaking forth of Christ's love to them, and of theirs to him: hence it is called "the love of their espousals"; see 2 Corinthians 11:2; and here

the day of the gladness of his heart; when Christ gladly and cheerfully receives such souls into his embraces, and rejoices over them as the bridegroom over the bride: now the church would have the daughters of "Jerusalem behold", look at this glorious person with an eye of faith and love, with attention and admiration; see Zechariah 9:9; there being such astonishing, incomparable, and transcendent excellencies in him, which require such looks as these;

(g) Misnah Sotah, c. 9. s. 14. (h) Vid. Paschalium de Coronis. l. 2. c. 16. p. 126. & Barthii Animadv. ad Claudian de Raptu Proserp. l. 2. v. 148. "Magnisque coronis conjugium fit", Claudian. Laus Serenae, v. 189, 190. Bion. Idyl. 1. prope finem.

Go forth, O ye {h} daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the {i} crown with which his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.

(h) All you that are of the number of the faithful.

(i) Christ became man, was crowned by the love of God with the glorious crown of his divinity.

11. the day of his espousals] Either this day, or another, so that the meaning may be either that he was to be married on this day, or that he had been married formerly, and now was wearing the crown his mother then gave him. The latter is the more probable. Budde maintains that this verse proves that Solomon here means only the bridegroom, since an actual king was not crowned on his wedding-day, nor by his mother. But he gives no evidence for his opinion, and at king Solomon’s wedding the queen-mother may have played an important part. She may quite well have put a wedding crown on his head, for it is the custom at Jewish weddings now that the bridegroom should be crowned.Verse 11. - Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold King Solomon, with the crown wherewith his mother hath crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart. This seems to be an appeal to a larger company of those who will rejoice in the bride and her happiness. The daughters of Zion are perhaps intended to represent the people generally as distinguished from the ladies of the court, i.e. let all the people rejoice in their king and in his royal bride. The mention of the royal mother seems to point to the beginning of Solomon's reign as the time referred to. The crown, or chaplet, with which the proud mother adorned her son, was the fresh wreath round a young king's head, a wedding coronet, no doubt made of gold and silver. It was not the crown placed on the head of Pharaoh's daughter, which would not be so spoken cf. According to the Talmud, the custom remained even to later times. There can be no doubt of Bathsheba's special delight in Solomon (see 1 Kings 1:11; 1 Kings 2:13). We must not, of course, push too far the typical interpretation of such language, which may be taken as the poetical form rather than the spiritual substance. And yet there may be an allusion, in the joy and pride of Bathsheba in her son's gladness, and the consummation of his nuptial bliss, to the Incarnation and the crowning glory of a Divine humanity, which is at once the essential fact of redemption, and the bright expectation which, on the head of the Saviour, lights up eternity to the faith of his people.

The closing words of the monologue are addressed to the daughters of Jerusalem.

5 I adjure you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem,

   By the gazelles or the hinds of the field,

   That ye awake not and disturb not love

   Till she pleases.

We are thus obliged apparently to think of the daughters of Jerusalem as being present during the relation of the dream. But since Shulamith in the following Act is for the first time represented as brought from her home to Jerusalem, it is more probable that she represented her experience to herself in secret, without any auditors, and feasting on the visions of the dream, which brought her beloved so near, that she had him by herself alone and exclusively, that she fell into such a love-ecstasy as Sol 2:7; and pointing to the distant Jerusalem, deprecates all disturbance of this ecstasy, which in itself is like a slumber pervaded by pleasant dreams. In two monologues dramatically constructed, the poet has presented to us a view of the thoughts and feelings by which the inner life of the maiden was moved in the near prospect of becoming a bride and being married. Whoever reads the Song in the sense in which it is incorporated with the canon, and that, too, in the historical sense fulfilled in the N.T., will not be able to read the two scenes from Shulamith's experience without finding therein a mirror of the intercourse of the soul with God in Christ, and cherishing thoughts such, e.g., as are expressed in the ancient hymn:

Quando tandem venies, meus amor?

Propera de Libano, dulcis amor!

Clamat, amat sponsula: Veni, Jesu,

Dulcis veni Jesu!

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