Song of Solomon 6:1
Where is your beloved gone, O you fairest among women? where is your beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
VI.

(1-3) Whither is thy beloved gone . . . By a playful turn the poet heightens the description of the lover’s beauty by the impression supposed to be produced on the imaginary bystanders to whom the picture has been exhibited. They express a desire to share the pleasures of his company with the heroine, but she, under the figure before employed (Song of Solomon 4:12-16), declares that his affections are solely hers, and that, so far from being at their disposal, he is even now hastening to complete his and her happiness in their union. Difficulties crowd on the dramatic theory at this passage. Most of its advocates have recourse to some arbitrary insertion, such as, “here the lovers are re-united,” but they do not tell us how the distance from the harem at Jerusalem to the garden in the north was traversed, or the obstacles to the union surmounted. In the imagination of the poet all was easy and natural.

Song of Solomon 6:1-2. Whither is thy beloved gone — Namely, from thee: see chap. 5:6, 8. These are the words of the daughters of Jerusalem, last mentioned, whom the preceding full and pathetical description of the bridegroom’s excellence had inflamed with love to him. My beloved is gone into his garden — The spouse had hitherto been at a loss for her beloved, but, having diligently sought him, now at last she meets with a gracious answer from God, directing her where to find him. The garden may signify the church catholic, and the gardens, as it follows, as also the beds, the particular assemblies of the faithful, in which Christ affords his presence. To the beds of spices — In which the gifts and graces of God’s Spirit, fitly compared to spices, or aromatical flowers, appear and grow. To feed — To refresh and delight himself. To gather lilies — Which may denote either particular believers, whom Christ gathers to himself in his church, or the prayers and praises of his people in the public congregations.6:1 Those made acquainted with the excellences of Christ, and the comfort of an interest in him, desire to know where they may meet him. Those who would find Christ, must seek him early and diligently.The question put by the chorus, and the answer it receives from the bride, show that the loss and seeking are not to be taken too seriously. CHAPTER 6

So 6:1-13.

1. Historically, at Jesus Christ's crucifixion and burial, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus, and others, joined with His professed disciples. By speaking of Jesus Christ, the bride does good not only to her own soul, but to others (see on [675]So 1:4; [676]Mal 3:16; [677]Mt 5:14-16). Compare the hypocritical use of similar words (Mt 2:8).An inquiry after Christ, Song of Solomon 6:1. The church’s answer, Song of Solomon 5:2. The church confesseth her faith in Christ, Song of Solomon 6:3. Christ showeth the graces of his church, Song of Solomon 6:4, and the beauty of several parts, Song of Solomon 6:5-10. He acquaints her where he had been, and what he had been doing, Song of Solomon 6:11; and discovers his affection to her, Song of Solomon 6:12; with an invitation of her to return to him again, Song of Solomon 6:13.

These are the words of the daughters of Jerusalem, last mentioned, whom this full and pathetical description of the Bridegroom’s excellency had inflamed with love to him.

Whither is thy Beloved turned aside, to wit, from thee, as thy words imply, Song of Solomon 6:6,8; where dost thou use to look for him, and to find him, when thou hast lost him? O thou who art well acquainted with all the places both of his usual abode, and of his diversion, inform us who are ignorant of them. That we may seek him with thee; we ask not with any evil design, but only because we desire an interest in him.

Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women?.... The title is the same used by them, and by Christ before them, Sol 1:8; and here repeated, to assure her that they were serious in asking this question, and that it was in great respect to her they put it; and which, to the same sense, in other words, is expressed,

whither is thy beloved turned aside? which way did he take? on what hand did he turn, to the right or left, when he went from thy door? They ask no longer who or what he was, being satisfied with the church's description of him; by which they had gained some knowledge of him, and had their affections drawn out unto him; and were desirous of knowing more of him and of being better acquainted with him, and to enjoy his company and presence; though as yet they had but little faith in him, and therefore could not call him "their" beloved, only "her" beloved: and this question is put and repeated in this manner, to show that they were serious and in earnest; yea, were in haste, and impatient to know which way he went; say they,

that we may seek him with thee; it was not mere speculation or curiosity that led them to put the above questions; they were desirous to go into practice, to join with the church in the search of Christ, to seek him with her in the word and ordinances; upon which they were determined, could they get any hint from her whither he was gone, and where it was most likely to find him: for so the words may be rendered, "and we will seek him with thee" (p); this they had resolved on among themselves, and only wanted directions which way to steer their course, or a grant to go along with the church in quest of her beloved.

(p) Sept. "quaeremus", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Marckius, &c.

Where is thy beloved gone, {k} O thou fairest among women? where is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.

(k) Hearing of the excellency of Christ, the faithful desire to know how to find him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ch. Song of Solomon 6:1. These words are parallel to ch. Song of Solomon 5:9. In Song of Solomon 6:8 the Shulammite had adjured the daughters of Jerusalem, if they found her beloved, to tell him she was sick for love. They ask what is there special about her beloved that they should do so. She answers by describing him. Moved by this, the daughters of Jerusalem are eager to seek him, and now ask whither he is gone.

Whither is thy beloved turned aside?] R.V. Whither hath thy beloved turned him?Verse 1. - Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? Whither hath thy beloved turned him, that we may seek him with thee? The dialogue still continues, possibly because, as Delitzsch suggests, the effect of the dream which Shulamith narrates is not passed away in the morning. Under the influence of it she goes forth and meets the daughters of Jerusalem, who offer their assistance. But there is no necessity for this. The poetry merely demands that the idea of the dream should be still kept before the mind of the reader. The scene is still in the palace. The ladies playfully carry on the bride's cue, and help her to pour out her feelings. The bridegroom, they know, is near at hand, and is coming to delight himself in his bride; but the bride has not yet drawn him back completely to her side. This is evident from the fact that there is no distress in the language of the bride. She is not complaining and crying out in agony under a sense of desertion; she is waiting for the return of her beloved, and so she calmly sings of his love and his perfect truthfulness, even though absent from her. He is where his perfect beauty and fragrance might well be. 11 His head is precious fine gold,

     His locks hill upon hill,

     Black as the raven.

The word-connection פּז כּתם, occurring only here, serves as a designation of the very finest pure gold; for כּתם (hiding, then that which is hidden), from כתם, R. כת (vid., concerning the words appertaining to this root, under Psalm 87:6), is the name of fine gold, which was guarded as a jewel (cf. Proverbs 25:12), and פּז (with long ā), is pure gold freed from inferior metals, from פּזז, to set free, and generally violently to free (cf. zahav muphaz, 1 Kings 10:18, with zahav tahor, 2 Chronicles 9:17). The Targ. to the Hagiog. translate פז by אובריזא (e.g., Psalm 119:127), or אובריזין (e.g., Psalm 19:11), ὄβρυζον, i.e., gold which has stood the fire-proof (obrussa) of the cupel or the crucible. Grammatically regarded, the word-connection kethem paz is not genit., like kethem ophir, but appositional, like narrah bethulah, Deuteronomy 22:28, zevahim shelamim, Exodus 24:5, etc. The point of comparison is the imposing nobility of the fine form and noble carriage of his head. In the description of the locks of his hair the lxx render תלתלים by ἐλάται, Jerome by sicut elatae palmarum, like the young twigs, the young shoots of the palm. Ewald regards it as a harder parall. form of זלזלּים, Isaiah 18:5, vine-branches; and Hitzig compares the Thousand and One Nights, iii. 180, where the loose hair of a maiden is likened to twisted clusters of grapes. The possibility of this meaning is indisputable, although (Arab.) taltalat, a drinking-vessel made of the inner bark of palm-branches, is named, not from taltalah, as the name of the palm-branch, but from taltala, to shake down, viz., in the throat. The palm-branch, or the vine-branch, would be named from תּלתּל, pendulum esse, to hang loosely and with a wavering motion, the freq. of תּלה, pendere. The Syr. also think on תלה, for it translates "spread out," i.e., a waving downward; and the Venet., which translates by ἀπαιωρήματα. The point of comparison would be the freshness and flexibility of the abundant long hair of the head, in contrast to motionless close-lying smoothness. One may think of Jupiter, who, when he shakes his head, moves heaven and earth. But, as against this, we have the fact: (1) That the language has other names for palm-branches and vine-branches; the former are called in the Sol 7:9, sansinnim. (2) That תלתלים, immediately referred to the hair, but not in the sense of "hanging locks" (Bttch.), is still in use in the post-bibl. Heb. (vid., under Sol 5:2); the Targ. also, in translating דּגוּרין דּגורין, cumuli cumuli, thinks תלתלים equals תּלּין תּלּין, Menachoth 29b. A hill is called תל, (Arab.) tall, from טלל, prosternere, to throw along, as of earth thrown out, sand, or rubbish; and תּלתּל, after the form גּלגּל, in use probably only in the plur., is a hilly country which rises like steps, or presents an undulating appearance. Seen fro his neck upwards, his hair forms in undulating lines, hill upon hill. In colour, these locks of hair are black as a raven, which bears the Semitic name עורב from its blackness (ערב), but in India is called kârava from its croaking. The raven-blackness of the hair contrasts with the whiteness and redness of the countenance, which shines forth as from a dark ground, from a black border. The eyes are next described.

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