Song of Solomon 4:8
Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.
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(8) Come with me.—Better, to me. LXX., hither; so Vulg. and Luther, reading athî, imperative of athah, instead of ittî = with me, or more properly, as regards me. The reading involved only a difference of vowel points, and is to be preferred. We have here another reminiscence of the obstacles which had attended the union of the pair under another figure. The course of true love, which never yet, in East or West, ran smooth, is beset here by tremendous difficulties, symbolised by the rocks and snows of the range of Lebanon, which shut in the poet’s northern home, and the wild beasts that haunted these regions. Like Tennyson’s shepherd, he believes that “love is of the valleys,” and calls to her to come down to him from her inaccessible heights. The word Shûr translated in English Version look, has properly in the LXX. its primitive meaning, come. To suppose a literal journey, as some do, to these peaks of the mountain chain one after another, is absurd. They are named as emblems of height and difficulty. Shenîr (Senir, 1Chronicles 5:23) is one of the peaks of Hermon. Amana has been conjectured to be a name for the district of Anti-Libanus in which the Abana (Barada) has its source, but nothing is certain about it. The appellative spouse first occurs in this verse. In Hebrew it is khallah, and is translated in the Authorised Version either “daughter-in-law,” or “bride,” or “spouse,” according as the relationship, now made complete by marriage, is regarded from the point of view of the parents of the bridegroom or of himself (e.g., daughter-in-law, Genesis 11:31; Genesis 38:11; Leviticus 20:22; Micah 7:6, &c; bride, Isaiah 49:18; Isaiah 61:10; Isaiah 62:5, &c.). Its use does not by itself prove that the pair were united in wedlock, because in the next verse the word sister is joined to spouse, and it may, therefore, be only a stronger term of endearment, and in any case, when put into the lover’s mouth while describing the difficulties in the way of union, it is proleptic; but its presence strongly confirms the impression produced by the whole poem, that it describes over and over again the courtship and marriage of the same couple. For lion see Genesis 49:9. The leopard was formerly very common in Palestine, as the name Bethnimrah, i.e., house of leopards (Numbers 32:36) shows. (Comp. Jeremiah 5:6, Hosea 13:7.) Nor is it rare now. “In the forest of Gilead it is still so numerous as to be a pest to the herdsmen” (Tristram, Nat. Hist. of Bibl., p. 113).

The LXX. translate amana by πίστις, and this has been turned into an argument for the allegorical treatment of the book. But it is a very common error of the LXX. to translate proper names. (Comp. Song of Solomon 6:4.)

Song of Solomon 4:8. Come with me — Unto the mountain of myrrh, mentioned Song of Solomon 4:6. From Lebanon, my spouse — This is the first time that Christ gives her this name, which he does both to oblige and encourage her to go with him. Look from the top of Amana — To the place to which I invite thee to go, which from those high mountains thou mayest easily behold. From the mountains of the leopards — From these or other mountains, which are inhabited by lions and leopards. This seems to be added as an argument to move the spouse to go with him, because the places where now she was were not only barren, but also dangerous.4:8-15 Observe the gracious call Christ gives to the church. It is, 1. A precept; so this is Christ's call to his church to come off from the world. These hills seem pleasant, but there are in them lions' dens; they are mountains of the leopards. 2. As a promise; many shall be brought as members of the church, from every point. The church shall be delivered from her persecutors in due time, though now she dwells among lions, Ps 57:4. Christ's heart is upon his church; his treasure is therein; and he delights in the affection she has for him; its working in the heart, and its works in the life. The odours wherewith the spouse is perfumed, are as the gifts and graces of the Spirit. Love and obedience to God are more pleasing to Christ than sacrifice or incense. Christ having put upon his spouse the white raiment of his own righteousness, and the righteousness of saints, and perfumed it with holy joy and comfort, he is well pleased with it. And Christ walks in his garden unseen. A hedge of protection is made around, which all the powers of darkness cannot break through. The souls of believers are as gardens enclosed, where is a well of living water, Joh 4:14; 7:38, the influences of the Holy Spirit. The world knows not these wells of salvation, nor can any opposer corrupt this fountain. Saints in the church, and graces in the saints, are fitly compared to fruits and spices. They are planted, and do not grow of themselves. They are precious; they are the blessings of this earth. They will be kept to good purpose when flowers are withered. Grace, when ended in glory, will last for ever. Christ is the source which makes these gardens fruitful; even a well of living waters.The order and collocation of words in the Hebrew is grand and significant. With me from Lebanon, O bride, with me from Lebanon thou shalt come, shalt look around (or wander forth) from the height (literally "head") of Amana, from the height of Shenir and Hermon, from dens of lions, from mountain-haunts of leopards. It is evidently a solemn invitation from the king in the sense of Psalm 45:10-11. Four peaks in the same mountain-system are here named as a poetical periphrasis for northern Palestine, the region in which is situated the native home of the bride.

(1) Amana (or Abana, 2 Kings 5:12), that part of the Anti-libanus which overlooks Damascus.

(2) Shenir or Senir, another peak of the same range (according to Deuteronomy 3:9, the Amorite name for Hermon, but spoken of here and in 1 Chronicles 5:23 as distinct from it).

(3) Hermon, the celebrated mountain which forms the culminating point of the Anti-libanus, on the northeastern border of the holy land.

(4) Lebanon, properly the western range overlooking the Mediterranean, but here used as a common designation for the whole mountain system.

Leopards are still not unfrequently seen there, but the lion has long since disappeared.

8. Invitation to her to leave the border mountains (the highest worldly elevation) between the hostile lands north of Palestine and the Promised Land (Ps 45:10; Php 3:13).

Amana—south of Anti-Libanus; the river Abana, or Amana, was near Damascus (2Ki 5:12).

Shenir—The whole mountain was called Hermon; the part held by the Sidonians was called Sirion; the part held by the Amorites, Shenir (De 3:9). Infested by the devouring lion and the stealthy and swift leopard (Ps 76:4; Eph 6:11; 1Pe 5:8). Contrasted with the mountain of myrrh, &c. (So 4:6; Isa 2:2); the good land (Isa 35:9).

with me—twice repeated emphatically. The presence of Jesus Christ makes up for the absence of all besides (Lu 18:29, 30; 2Co 6:10). Moses was permitted to see Canaan from Pisgah; Peter, James, and John had a foretaste of glory on the mount of transfiguration.

Come with me unto the mountains of myrrh, &c., mentioned Song of Solomon 4:6,

from Lebanon, a known mountain in the north of Canaan, which is sometimes mentioned as a pleasant and glorious place, as Song of Solomon 5:15 Isaiah 35:2 Hosea 14:6, &c., in regard of its goodly cedars; and sometimes as a barren wilderness, as Isaiah 29:17, and seat of wild beasts, as 2 Kings 14:9, &c. Which latter sense seems more agreeable, both to the opposition which is here tacitly made between this mountain and the mountain of myrrh, and to the quality of the other mountains here joined with Lebanon, and to the last clause of the verse. My spouse; this is the first time that Christ gives her this name, which he now doth, both to encourage and oblige her to go with him. Look to the place to which I invite thee to go, which from those high mountains thou mayst easily behold, the sight of which will certainly inflame thee with desire to go thither. He alludes to Moses’s beholding the Promised Land from Mount Pisgah.

Amana; not that Amana which divided Syria from Cilicia, which was too remote from these parts, but another of that name, not far from Lebanon.

Shenir and

Hermon may be the names of two tops of the same mountain, as Horeb and Sinai seem to have been. Or, Shenir or (the copulative and being put disjunctively for or, as it is in many places, which have been observed before)

Hermon, for this mountain is called both Shenir and Hermon, Deu 3:9, and the latter name, Hermon, may be added to the former, as being better known to the Israelites.

From the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards; from these or other such-like mountains, which are inhabited by lions and leopards; which seems to be added as an argument to move the spouse to go with him, because the places where now she was were not only barren, but also dangerous, as being the habitations of tyrants and persecutors, and wild or savage people, who are oft described by the names of wild beasts, whose natures they have, and whose practices they imitate. Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon,.... This is a new title given the church, my "spouse"; here first mentioned, because the day of espousals was over, Sol 3:11; and having on the wedding garment, in which she was so fair and spotless, as before described, she looked somewhat like a bride, and the spouse of Christ; and is chiefly used by Christ, to prevail upon her to go with him, which relation, duty, and affection, obliged her to do. The invitation is to come with him from Lebanon, which is repeated, to show earnestness and vehemency; not Lebanon, literally taken, a mountain to the north of the land of Canaan, famous for odoriferous trees, and where to be was delightful; but figuratively, the temple, made of the wood of Lebanon, and Jerusalem, in which it was, which in Christ's time was a den of thieves, and from whence Christ called out his people; or this being a pleasant mountain, may signify those carnal sensual pleasures, from which Christ calls his people off. Some render the words, "thou shalt come with me", &c. (u), being influenced by the powerful grace of Christ, and drawn by his love; and what he invites and exhorts unto, he gives grace to enable to perform;

look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards; Amana is thought by some to be the mountain which divided Cilicia from Syria, taken notice of by several writers (w); but it seems too distant from Lebanon; perhaps it is the same with Abana, from whence was a river of that name, 2 Kings 5:12; where, in the "Keri" or margin, it is read Amana; so the Targum here explains it of the people that dwelt by the river Amana, which washed the country of Damascus: Jarchi takes it to be the same with Hor, a mountain on the northern border of Israel; and indeed, wherever mention is made of this mountain, the Targum has it, Taurus Umanus; and, according to Ptolemy (x), Amanus was a part of Mount Taurus, with which it is joined by Josephus (y); and with that and Lebanon, and Carmel, by Aelianus (z), Shenir and Hermon were one and the same mountain, called by different names; Hermon might be the common name to the whole; and that part of it which belonged to the Sidonians was called by them Sirion; and that which the Amorites possessed Shenir, Deuteronomy 3:9; Now all these mountains might be called "dens of lions", and "mountains of leopards"; both because inhabited by such beasts of prey; hence we read of the lions of Syria (a), and of leopards (b) in those parts; in the land of Moab, and in the tribe of Gad, were places called Bethnimrah, and the waters of Nimrim, which seem to have their names from leopards that formerly haunted those places, Numbers 32:36; or because inhabited by cruel, savage, and tyrannical persons; particularly Amana, in Cilicia or Syria, as appears from Strabo (c), Lucan (d), and Cicero (e); and Shenir and Hermon were formerly, as Jarchi observes, the dens of those lions, Og king of Bashan, and Sihon king of the Amorites: unless rather these were the names of some places near Lebanon; for Adrichomius (f) says,

"the mountain of the leopards, which was round and high, was two miles from Tripoli northward, three from Arce southward, and one from Lebanon.''

Now these words may be considered as a call of Christ to his people, to come out from among wicked men, comparable to such creatures; and he makes use of two arguments to enforce it: the one is taken from the nature of such men, and the danger of being with them; who are like to lions, for their cruel and persecuting temper; and to leopards, for their being full of the spots of sin; and for their craftiness and malice, exercised towards those who are quiet in the land; and for their swiftness and readiness to do mischief; wherefore it must be both uncomfortable and unsafe to be with such persons: the other argument is taken from their enjoyment of Christ's company and presence, which must be preferable to theirs, for pleasure, profit, and safety, and therefore most eligible. Besides, Christ chose not to go without his church; she was so fair, as before described, and so amiable and lovely in his sight, as follows.

(u) "venies", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Junius & Tremellius. (w) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 22. Mela de Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 12. Solin. Polyhistor. c. 51. (x) Geograph. l. 5. c. 8. (y) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 6. s. 1.((z) De Animal. l. 5. c. 56. (a) Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 6. c. 3, Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 16. (b) Vid. Ignatii Epist. ad Roman. p. 58. Brocard. in Cocceii Lexic. p. 123. (c) Geograph. l. 14. p. 465. & l. 16. p. 517. (d) Pharsalia, l. 3. v. 244. "vencre feroces, et cultor", Amana. (e) Ad Attic. l. 5. Ephesians 20. (f) Theatrum Terrae Sanctae, p. 186.

{d} Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.

(d) Christ promises his Church to call his faithful from all the corners of the world.

8. The order of the words in the Heb. is specially, emphatic, With me from Lebanon, O bride, with me from Lebanon do thou come. Evidently a contrast between the speaker and some other is here intended. Come with me, do not remain with him. This strongly supports the view that Solomon is endeavouring to win the maiden’s love which has been given to another. Budde, finding the verse quite unintelligible on his hypothesis, excises it, but violence of that kind is not necessary. The Shulammite is at this point in some royal residence in the Lebanon, and her lover calls upon her to leave Solomon and come with him to her home. The reference to lions and leopards may be intended to indicate also her hostile surroundings in other respects. Cp. the Mo‘allaqa of Antar, Song of Solomon 5:6, where the loved one among a hostile tribe is said to be “dwelling among the roaring ones,” i.e. the lions. Lions formerly inhabited Bashan at least, cp. Deuteronomy 33:22. Tristram, Nat. Hist. p. 116, says they lingered in Palestine till the time of the Crusades, and they are mentioned as living about Samaria by historians of the 12th century. Leopards are and always have been common in Palestine. They are a pest to herdsmen in Gilead even now. (Tristram, p. 113.)

look from the top of Amana] The verb shûr has generally in Heb. the meaning ‘to look round’; but in common with other verbs of looking in a direction, it also means ‘to go in a direction’ (Isaiah 57:9). Occurring as it does in this passage in parallelism with ‘come,’ it most probably has the latter meaning. Cp. R.V. marg. We should therefore translate depart from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, &c. In this way too the lions’ dens and the mountains of the leopards gain a significance which they have not if the word be translated look. He warns her to flee from Lebanon as being full of dangers. Ămânâ is generally held to be the district in which the river Ămânâh (2 Kings 5:12, Qěrç for the Kěthîbh, Ăbânâh) rises. This is either the Barada which flows from Anti-Libanus, or the other river of Damascus, which flows from the slopes of Hermon. Others, as Budde, think of the Amanus of the ancients, i.e. the spur of the Taurus lying to the north of the Orontes. The former is much the more probable.

Shenir] or Senir. Hermon is the highest peak of the Anti-Lebanon range. It is called Sion in Deuteronomy 4:48. By the Amorites it was called Sěnîr, and by the Sidonians Siryôn (Deuteronomy 3:9). It has three peaks, and the names Hermon and Sěnîr, distinguished in 1 Chronicles 5:23, Song of Solomon 4:8, may refer to two of the peaks. Cp. the Hermons of Psalm 42:6 (Oxf. Lex. p. 356).

Chap. Song of Solomon 4:8–Chap. Song of Solomon 5:1. A true Lover’s Pleading

With Song of Solomon 4:8 a new song, representing another scene, begins. In it the peasant lover of the Shulammite comes to beseech her to flee from the mountain region where she is detained, the home of wild beasts and the scene of other dangers. In Song of Solomon 4:9-15 he breaks forth into a passionate lyric, expressive of his love for her, and in Song of Solomon 4:16 she replies, yielding to his love and his entreaties. Ch. Song of Solomon 5:1 contains his reply.Verse 8. - Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Senir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards. This seems to be simply the bridegroom rejoicing over the bride, the meaning being, "Give thyself up to me" - thou art mine; look away from the past, and delight thyself in the future. Delitzsch, however, thinks that the bridegroom seeks the bride to go with him up the steep heights of Lebanon, and to descend with him from thence; for while ascending the mountain one has no view before him, but when descending he has the whole panorama of the surrounding region lying at his feet. It is stretching poetical language too far to take it so literally and topically; there is no necessity to think of either the lover or his beloved as actually on the mountains, the idea is simply that of the mountainous region - Turn thy back upon it, look away from it. This is clearly seen from the fact that the names connected with Lebanon - Amana, Senir, Hermon - could have no reference to the bride's being in them. as they represent Anti-Libanus, separated from Lebanon by the Coelo-Syrian valley, stretching from the Banias northwards to the plain of Hamath (see 2 Kings 5:12, where Amana is Abana, overlooking Damascus, now the Basadia). Shenir, or Senir, and Hermon are neighbouring peaks or mountains, or possibly different names for the same (see Deuteronomy 3:9). In 1 Chronicles 5:23 they are mentioned as districts. Hermon is the chief mountain of the range of Anti-Libanus on the northeast border of Palestine (Psalm 89:12). The wild beasts abounded in that district, especially lions and panthers. They were found in the clefts and defiles of the rocks. Lions, however, have now altogether disappeared. In the name Amana some think there is an allusion to truth (amen) (see Hosea 2:22); but that would be too obscure. The general intention of the passage is simple and plain - Leave the rough places, and come to my palace. The words "with me" (אִתִּי) are taken by the LXX. and Vulgate as though written אֲתִי, the imperative of אָתָה, "to come," as a word of invitation, δεῦρο. The use of the verb תָּבואִי, "thou shalt come," i.e. thou hast come and be content, renders it improbable that such should be the reading, whereas the preposition with the pronoun is quite in place. The spiritual meaning is not far to seek. The life that we live without Christ is at best a life among the wild, untamed impulses of nature, and in the rough and dangerous places of the world. He invites us to go with him to the place which he has prepared for us. And so the Church will leave its crude thoughts and undeveloped life, and seek, in the love of Christ and in the gifts of his Spirit, a truer reflection of his nature and will (see Ephesians 4:14-16). The Apocalypse is based upon the same idea, the advancement of the kingdom of Christ from the place of lions and panthers to the new Jerusalem, with its perfection of beauty and its eternal peace. 2 Thy teeth are like a flock of shorn sheep

   Which comes up from the washing

   All bearing twins,

   And a bereaved one is not among them.

The verb קצב is, as the Arab. shows, in the sense of tondere oves, the synon. of גּזז. With shorn (not to be shorn) sheep, the teeth in regard to their smoothness, and with washed sheep in regard to their whiteness, are compared - as a rule the sheep of Palestine are white; in respect of their full number, in which in pairs they correspond to one another, the one above to the one below, like twin births in which there is no break. The parallel passage, Sol 6:6, omits the point of comparison of the smoothness. That some days after the shearing the sheep were bathed, is evident from Columella 7:4. Regarding the incorrect exchange of mas. with fem. forms, vid., under Sol 2:7. The part. Hiph. מתאימות (cf. διδυματόκος, Theocr. i. 25) refers to the mothers, none of which has lost a twin of the pair she had borne. In "which come up from the washing," there is perhaps thought of, at the same time with the whiteness, the saliva dentium. The moisture of the saliva, which heightens the glance of the teeth, is frequently mentioned in the love-songs of Mutenebbi, Hariri, and Deschami. And that the saliva of a clean and sound man is not offensive, is seen from this, that the Lord healed a blind man by means of His spittle.

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