Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Until the day break.—See Note, Song of Solomon 2:17. Until the day breathe = when evening is come. Commentators have tried to identify the mountain of myrrh and hill of frankincense, but these only carry on the thought of Song of Solomon 4:5 under another figure. We have come to another break in the poem, the end of another day, and, as before, though the metaphor is changed, the curtain falls on the complete union of the bridegroom with his bride.Song of Solomon 4:6. Until the day break, &c. — These words are uttered by the bride, (chap. 2:17,) and here returned by the bridegroom as an answer to that request. And this place may be understood of the day of glory, when all shadows and ordinances shall cease; I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, &c. — To my church upon earth, which was typified by the mountain of Moriah and the temple upon it. This, in prophetic writings, is called a mountain, and may well be called a mountain of myrrh and frankincense, both for the acceptable services which were there offered to God, and for the precious gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, which are of a sweet-smelling savour to God and men. Thus Christ directs believers where they may find him, namely, in his church and ordinances.Nehemiah 3:25-27; Micah 4:8. For the custom of hanging shields and other weapons in and upon buildings suited for the purpose, see Ezekiel 27:10-11. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away: these words are uttered by the bride, Song of Solomon 2:17, and here returned by the Bridegroom, as an answer to that request. And this place may be understood either,
1. Of the day of the gospel, when all legal shadows shall vanish; or,
2. Of the day of glory, or of the general resurrection, when all manner of shadows and ordinances shall cease; till which time either the spouse feeds among lilies, as was now said, Song of Solomon 2:5, or the Bridegroom gets him to the mountains, &c., as it follows. For the words are by most joined with the foregoing, and by some with the following clause.
To the mountain of myrrh, and to the kill of frankincense; either,
1. To the temple at Jerusalem, which is oft and fitly expressed by the name of a mountain or hill, because it was built upon a mountain, and which may be called a mountain of myrrh and frankincense, because of the abundance of myrrh and frankincense which was there used and offered; in which place the church was to feed, and Christ would continue his presence, until the dawning of the gospel day. Or,
2. To my church upon earth, which was typified by the mountain of Moriah, and the temple upon it, and which in prophetical writings is called a mountain, as Isaiah 2:2,3 Mic 4:1,2, and elsewhere; and which may well be called
a mountain of myrrh and frankincense, both for the acceptable services which are there offered to God, and for the precious gifts, and graces, and comforts of the Holy Spirit, which are of a sweet-smelling savour to God and men, and which there, and there only, are poured forth. Thus Christ directs his bride, to wit, particular believers, where they may find and enjoy him, namely, in his church and ordinances.
I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense: the allusion may be to the mountains and hills where these odoriferous plants grew. It is said of Pompey the great, that when he passed over Lebanon (later mentioned, Sol 4:8) and by Damascus, he went through sweet smelling groves and woods of frankincense and balsam (s); and Lebanon is thought, by some (t), to have its name from the frankincense that grew upon it; though rather from the whiteness of the snow continually on it. By this "mountain" and "hill" may be meant the church of Christ, gathered together in Gospel order, so called for its visibility and immovableness, Isaiah 2:2; and for the trees of righteousness which are planted and flourish there, the saints; and for the fragrancy of their graces; and for the sweet smelling odour of their sacrifices of prayer and praise; and because of the delight and pleasure Christ takes in his people, and they in him here; where they have mutual communion, so that it is to them both a mountain of myrrh and a hill of frankincense: particularly, here Christ delights to be, and here he resolves to dwell until his second coming.Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. Until the day break] As in Song of Solomon 3:7 we must translate, Until the day cool and the shadows have fled, i.e. until the evening. This verse, by its transition to action on the part of one of the chief speakers, a thing that does not occur in the bridal wasf, shews that we have not here a regular wasf. Budde and Bickell would consequently omit it.
to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense] This is taken by Oettli to mean, ‘I will get me into a garden of spices in hilly ground.’ He supposes that Solomon, thinking he has triumphed, says he will go away to a garden where he has planted exotic plants, and will return in the evening. This seems much preferable to the interpretations which find in these words allegorical references to the person of the bride. Cheyne would read Hermon for ‘myrrh’ (Heb. mor) and Lebanon for ‘frankincense’ (Heb. lebhônâh). But no one could say that he was going on one afternoon to both Lebanon and Hermon, which is the highest peak of Anti-Libanus. The emendation would be feasible only if the whole complex of mountains were included in the name Lebanon.Verse 6. - Until the day be cool, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. If this be the language of the bride, which most modern interpreters think, the meaning is to check the ardour of her lover, in the modesty of her fresh and maidenly feeling - Let me retire from such praises. They are too ardent for me. It is only a moment's interruption, which is followed by still more loving words from the bridegroom. We must naturally connect the words with Song of Solomon 2:17, where the bride certainly speaks. Louis de Leon thinks that the meaning is general, "shady and fragrant places." Anton (1773) suggests that she is desiring to escape and be free. It cannot be included as a description of the neighbourhood of the royal palace. She might, however, mean merely - Let me walk alone in the lovely gardens of the palace until the shades of night shall hide my blushes. It is unlikely that the words are in the mouth of Solomon; for then it would be impossible to explain their use by Shulamith previously. She is not referring to Lebanon and its neighbourhoed, and there can be no idea of looking back to a lover from whom she is torn. The interpretation which connects it with maidenly feeling is certainly the most in harmony with what has preceded. Perhaps the typical meaning is underlying the words - Let me find a place of devout meditation to feed my thoughts on the sweetness of this Divine love into which I have entered.
11 Come out, yet daughters of Zion, and see
King Solomon with the crown
With which his mother crowned him
On the day of his espousal,
And on the day of the gladness of his heart.
The women of the court, as distinguished from the Galilean maiden, are called "daughters of Jerusalem;" here, generally, the women of Zion or Jerusalem (Lamentations 5:11) are called "daughters of Zion." Instead of צאנה (since the verb Lamed Aleph is treated after the manner of verbs Lamed He, cf. Jeremiah 50:20; Ezekiel 23:49), צאינה, and that defect. צאנה,
(Note: Without the Jod after Aleph in the older ed. Thus also in J and H with the note לית וחסר [ equals nonnisi h. l. et defective] agreeing with the MS Masora Parna. Thus also Kimchi, Michlol 108b.)
is used for the sake of assonance with וּראינה;
(Note: The Resh has in H Chatef-Pathach, with Metheg preceding. This, according to Ben-Asher's rule, is correct (cf. Psalm 28:9. וּר). In the punctuation of the Aleph with Tsere or Segol the Codd. vary, according to the different views of the punctuation. J has Segol; D H, Tsere, which latter also Kimchi, Michlol 109a.)
elsewhere also, as we have shown at Isaiah 22:13, an unusual form is used for the sake of the sound. It is seen from the Sota (ix. 14) that the old custom for the bridegroom to wear a "crown" was abolished in consequence of the awful war with Vespasian. Rightly Epstein, against Grtz, shows from Job 31:36; Isaiah 28:1; Psalm 103:4, that men also crowned themselves. בּעטרה (with the crown) is, according to the best authorities, without the art., and does not require it, since it is determined by the relat. clause following. חתנה is the marriage (the word also used in the post-bibl. Heb., and interchanging with חפּה, properly νυμφών, Matthew 9:15), from the verb חתן, which, proceeding from the root-idea of cutting into (Arab. khatn, to circumcise; R. חת .R ;, whence חתך, חתם, חתר), denotes the pressing into, or going into, another family; חתן is he who enters into such a relation of affinity, and חטן the father of her who is taken away, who also on his part is related to the husband.
(Note: L. Geiger (Ursprung der Sprache, 1869, p. 88) erroneously finds in R. חת (חתם, etc.) the meaning of binding. The (Arab.) noun Khatan means first a married man, and then any relation on the side of the wife (Lane); the fundamental idea must be the same as that of Khatn, circumcidere (cf. Exodus 4:25), viz., that of penetrating, which חתת, percellere, and נחת, descendere (cf. e.g., ferrum descendit haud alte in corpus, in Livy, and Proverbs 17:1), also exhibit.)
Here also the seduction fable is shattered. The marriage with Shulamith takes place with the joyful consent of the queen-mother. In order to set aside this fatal circumstance, the "crown" is referred back to the time when Solomon was married to Pharaoh's daughter. Cogitandus est Salomo, says Heiligst., qui cum Sulamitha pompa sollemni Hierosolyma redit, eadem corona nuptiali ornatus, qua quum filiam regis Aegyptiorum uxorem duxeret ornatus erat. But was he then so poor or niggardly as to require to bring forth this old crown? and so basely regardless of his legitimate wife, of equal rank with himself, as to wound her by placing this crown on his head in honour of a rival? No; at the time when this youthful love-history occurred, Pharaoh's daughter was not yet married. The mention of his mother points us to the commencement of his reign. His head is not adorned with a crown which had already been worn, but with a fresh garland which his mother wreathed around the head of her youthful son. The men have already welcomed the procession from afar; but the king in his wedding attire has special attractions for the women - they are here called upon to observe the moment when the happy pair welcome one another.
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