Song of Solomon 5:4
My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) By the holei.e., through (Heb. min), as in Song of Solomon 2:9. The hole is the aperture made in the door above the lock for the insertion of the hand with the key. The ancient lock was probably like the one in use in Palestine now. It consists of a hollow bolt or bar, which passes through a staple fixed to the door and into the door-post. In the staple are a number of movable pins, which drop into corresponding holes in the bolt when it is pushed home, and the door is then locked. To unlock it, the key is slid into the hollow bolt, and the movable pins pushed back by other pins in it, corresponding in size and form, which fill up the holes, and so enable the bolt to be withdrawn. It is said that, in lieu of a proper key, the arm can be inserted into the hollow bolt and the pins be pushed up by the hand, if provided with some soft material, as lard or wax, to fill up the holes, and keep the pins from falling back again till the bolt is withdrawn. This offers one explanation of Song of Solomon 5:5. Coming to the door and having no key, the lover is supposed to make use of some myrrh, brought as a present, in trying to open the door, and, not succeeding, to go away. The sweet smelling (Marg., passing, or running about) is the myrrh that drops from the tree naturally, before any incision is made in the bark, and is considered specially fine. Others explain Song of Solomon 5:5 by comparison with the heathen custom alluded to in Lucretius iv. 1173:—

“At lacrimans exclusus amator limina sæpe

Floribus et sertis operit posteisque superbos

Unguet amaricino, et foribus miser oscula figit.”

(Comp. Tibullus, 1:2-14.) Perhaps Proverbs 7:17 makes the comparison allowable, but the first explanation is preferable.

Song of Solomon 5:4-5. By the hole — He assayed to open the door. When his word would not prevail, his Spirit, which is called the finger of God, (Luke 11:20,) wrought inwardly upon my conscience. My bowels were moved — With compassion for him and his sufferings, and with affection to him. I rose — I went forth to receive him. My hands dropped with myrrh — With oil or ointment made of myrrh, which dropped from the bridegroom’s hand upon the door in great abundance, when he put it into the hole of the door — And consequently upon her hands and fingers when she touched the door to open it. By which she signifies, that Christ, though he withdrew himself from her, yet left a sweet savour behind him. Upon the handles of the lock — Hebrew, with myrrh passing, or flowing, upon the handles of the lock, which place the bridegroom had touched when he attempted to open it.

5:2-8 Churches and believers, by carelessness and security, provoke Christ to withdraw. We ought to notice our spiritual slumbers and distempers. Christ knocks to awaken us, knocks by his word and Spirit, knocks by afflictions and by our consciences; thus, Re 3:20. When we are unmindful of Christ, still he thinks of us. Christ's love to us should engage ours to him, even in the most self-denying instances; and we only can be gainers by it. Careless souls put slights on Jesus Christ. Another could not be sent to open the door. Christ calls to us, but we have no mind, or pretend we have no strength, or we have no time, and think we may be excused. Making excuses is making light of Christ. Those put contempt upon Christ, who cannot find in their hearts to bear a cold blast, or to leave a warm bed for him. See the powerful influences of Divine grace. He put in his hand to unbolt the door, as one weary of waiting. This betokens a work of the Spirit upon the soul. The believer's rising above self-indulgence, seeking by prayer for the consolations of Christ, and to remove every hinderance to communion with him; these actings of the soul are represented by the hands dropping sweet-smelling myrrh upon the handles of the locks. But the Beloved was gone! By absenting himself, Christ will teach his people to value his gracious visits more highly. Observe, the soul still calls Christ her Beloved. Every desertion is not despair. Lord, I believe, though I must say, Lord, help my unbelief. His words melted me, yet, wretch that I was, I made excuses. The smothering and stifling of convictions will be very bitter to think of, when God opens our eyes. The soul went in pursuit of him; not only prayed, but used means, sought him in the ways wherein he used to be found. The watchmen wounded me. Some refer it to those who misapply the word to awakened consciences. The charge to the daughters of Jerusalem, seems to mean the distressed believer's desire of the prayers of the feeblest Christian. Awakened souls are more sensible of Christ's withdrawings than of any other trouble.Put in his hand - Through (literally "from") the hole (of the lock), in order to raise the pins by which the bolt was fastened. The Oriental lock is a hollow piece of wood attached to the doorpost, into which a sliding-bolt is made to run. As soon as the bolt has been driven home a number of pins drop into holes prepared in it for their reception. To raise these pins, and so enable the bolt to be withdrawn, is to unfasten the lock. This is commonly done by means of the key (literally "opener"), but may often be accomplished by the fingers if dipped in paste or some other adhesive substance. For such a purpose the beloved inserts his fingers here anointed with the costly unguent, which will presently distil on those of the bride when she rises to open to him. 4. A key in the East is usually a piece of wood with pegs in it corresponding to small holes in a wooden bolt within, and is put through a hole in the door, and thus draws the bolt. So Jesus Christ "puts forth His hand (namely, His Spirit, Eze 3:14), by (Hebrew, 'from,' so in So 2:9) the hole"; in "chastening" (Ps 38:2; Re 3:14-22, singularly similar to this passage), and other unexpected ways letting Himself in (Lu 22:61, 62).

bowels … moved for him—It is His which are first troubled for us, and which cause ours to be troubled for Him (Jer 31:20; Ho 11:8).

My Beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door; he assayed to open the door. When his word would not prevail, his Spirit, which is called the finger of God, Luke 11:20, compared with Matthew 12:28, wrought inwardly upon my conscience, and affected mine heart. My bowels were moved for him, with compassion for him and his sufferings, and with affection to him; for both these ways is this phrase off used, as Job 37:1 Philippians 2:1,2, &c.

My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door,.... To remove the bolt or bar which kept him from entering in. By the "door" is meant the door of her heart, which was in a great measure shut against Christ, through the prevalence of corruption; and the "hole" in it shows that it was not entirely shut up, there was a little love broke out from her to him; a little light broke in from him upon her; but her heart was much narrowed and straitened, her grace low in exercise, yet there were some faith, some love, &c. wherefore Christ takes the advantage of the little hole or crevice there was, and "put in his hand"; which is to be understood of powerful and efficacious grace, and the exertion of it on her; which is as necessary to awake a drowsy saint, and reclaim a backsliding professor, and to quicken to the exercise of grace, and performance of duty, as to the conversion of a sinner, Acts 11:22; and this is a proof of the greatness of Christ's love to his church; that notwithstanding her rude carriage to him, he does not utterly forsake her, but left something behind that wrought upon her; as well as of his mighty power, in that what calls, knocks, raps, good words, and melting language, could not do, his hand did at once;

and my bowels were moved for him; the passions of her soul; her grief and sorrow for sin, in using him in so ill a manner; her shame for being guilty of such ingratitude; her fear lest he should utterly depart from her; her love, which had been chill and cold, now began to kindle and appear in flames; her heart, and the desires of it, were in motion towards him; and a hearty concern appeared that he should be used so unfriendly by her; that his company and communion with him should be slighted, who had so greatly loved her, and endured so much for her; other effects follow.

My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. by the hole of the door] Lit. from the hole, i.e. the hole usually to be found in doors. This was not an opening through which the hand was inserted to unbolt the door, but one through which women could look out upon and speak with men, without being unduly exposed to observation themselves. Through this the Shulammite’s lover puts his hand, either to beckon to her, or as an expression of his longing to be near her.

my bowels were moved for him] R.V. my heart was moved for him. The heart (lçbh) was for the Hebrew the seat of the intellect. The viscera or internal organs (mç‘îm) were regarded as the seat of the affections, and were named where we should say ‘the heart.’ Cp. Psalm 40:8, “Thy law is within my mç‘îm,” i.e. within my heart. Budde proposes to add the third clause of Song of Solomon 5:6 to this verse, because he thinks it out of place there. He would read

“My love sent forth his hand, And his right hand from the hole.

And my heart was moved for him, My soul went forth when he spake.”

Verse 4. - My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my heart was moved for him. The door hole is a part of the door pierced through at the upper part of the lock, or door bolt (מִן־הַחור), that is, by the opening from without to within, or through the opening, as if, i.e., to open the door by pressing back the lock or bolt from within. There was some obstacle. He tailed to open it. It had not been left so that he could easily obtain admittance. The metaphor is very apt and beautiful. How much he loved her! How he tried to come to her! As applied to the Saviour, what infinite suggestiveness! He would be with us, and not only knocks at the door, but is impatient to enter; tries the lock, and too often finds it in vain; he is repelled, he is resisted, he is coldly excluded. My heart was moved for him. מֵעַי, "my inner being" (cf. Isaiah 63:15, where the same word is used of God). It is often employed to express sympathy and affection, especially with tender regret. The later authorities, as the older translations, have "to him" (עָלָיו), i.e. over him, or on account of him, in the thought of his wounded heart. Song of Solomon 5:44 My beloved stretched his hand through the opening,

   And my heart was moved for him.

חוּר,

(Note: Cf. the Arab. ghawr (ghôr), as a sinking of the earth, and khawr (khôr), as a breaking through, and, as it were, a piercing. The mouth of a river is also called khôr, because there the sea breaks into the riv.)

from the verb חוּר, in the sense of to break through (R. חר, whence also חרז, Sol 1:10, and חרם, Arab. kharam, part. broken through, e.g., of a lattice-window), signifies foramen, a hole, also caverna (whence the name of the Troglodytes, חרי, and the Haurn, חורן), here the loophole in the door above (like khawkht, the little door for the admission of individuals in the street or house-door). It does not properly mean a window, but a part of the door pierced through at the upper part of the lock of the door (the door-bolt). מן־החור is understood from the standpoint of one who is within; "by the opening from without to within," thus "through the opening;" stretching his hand through the door-opening as if to open the door, if possible, by the pressing back of the lock from within, he shows how greatly he longed after Shulamith. And she was again very deeply moved when she perceived this longing, which she had so coldly responded to: the interior of her body, with the organs which, after the bibl. idea, are the seat of the tenderest emotions, or rather, in which they reflect themselves, both such as are agreeable and such as are sorrowful, groaned within her, - an expression of deep sympathy so common, that "the sounding of the bowels," Isaiah 63:15, an expression used, and that anthropopathically of God Himself, is a direct designation of sympathy or inner participation. The phrase here wavers between עליו and עלי (thus, e.g., Nissel, 1662). Both forms are admissible. It is true we say elsewhere only naphshi 'ālai, ruhi 'ālai, libbi 'ālai, for the Ego distinguishes itself from its substance (cf. System d. bibl. Psychologie, p. 151f.); meai 'alai, instead of bi (בּקרבּ), would, however, be also explained from this, that the bowels are meant, not anatomically, but as psychical organs. But the old translators (lxx, Targ., Syr., Jerome, Venet.) rendered עליו, which rests on later MS authority (vid., Norzi, and de Rossi), and is also more appropriate: her bowels are stirred, viz., over him, i.e., on account of him (Alkabez: בעבורו). As she will now open to him, she is inwardly more ashamed, as he has come so full of love and longing to make her glad.

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