Song of Solomon 6:9
My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.
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(9) My dove . . . is but one.—“While the monarch’s loves are so many, one is mine, my dove, my perfect one: one, the delight of her mother, the darling of her who bore her.” It is impossible not to see in this a eulogy on monogamy, which, in practice, seems always to have been the rule among the Jews, the exceptions lying only with kings and the very rich. The eulogy is made more pronounced by putting an unconscious testimony to the superiority of monogamy into the mouths of the “queens and concubines,” who praise and bless this pattern of a perfect wife.

6:4-10 All the real excellence and holiness on earth centre in the church. Christ goes forth subduing his enemies, while his followers gain victories over the world, the flesh, and the devil. He shows the tenderness of a Redeemer, the delight he takes in his redeemed people, and the workings of his own grace in them. True believers alone can possess the beauty of holiness. And when their real character is known, it will be commended. Both the church and believers, at their first conversion, look forth as the morning, their light being small, but increasing. As to their sanctification, they are fair as the moon, deriving all their light, grace, and holiness from Christ; and as to justification, clear as the sun, clothed with Christ, the Sun of righteousness, and fighting the good fight of faith, under the banners of Christ, against all spiritual enemies.The king contrasts the bride with the other claimants for her royal estate or favor Sol 6:8. She not only outshines them all for him, but herself has received from them disinterested blessing and praise.

This passage is invaluable as a divine witness to the principle of monogamy under the Old Testament and in the luxurious age of Solomon.

9. Hollow professors, like half wives, have no part in the one bride.

only one of her mother—namely, "Jerusalem above" (Ga 4:26). The "little sister" (So 8:8) is not inconsistent with her being "the only one"; for that sister is one with herself (Joh 10:16).

choice—(Eph 1:4; 2Th 2:13). As she exalted Him above all others (So 5:10), so He now her.

daughters … blessed her—(Isa 8:18; 61:9; Eze 16:14; 2Th 1:10). So at her appearance after Pentecost (Ac 4:13; 6:15; 24:25; 26:28).

Is but one; the only beloved of my soul, my only spouse, in comparison of whom I despise all others.

She is the only one of her mother; of Jerusalem above, which is the mother of us all, Galatians 4:26. Or if this seem to confound the mother and daughter, the words may be thus rendered,

she is the only one of her mother, i.e. she is as dear and as precious to me as only children use to be to their parents, and especially to their mothers. So there is only a defect of the note of similitude, which is frequently understood, as hath been formerly noted and proved by undeniable instances.

Daughters, called virgins, Song of Solomon 6:8.

They praised her; as more beautiful and worthy than themselves, which was so evident that they were forced to confess it.

My dove, my undefiled, is but one,.... Of these titles, see Sol 2:14. Christ's church is called one, in distinction from the many before mentioned; and either designs her small number, in comparison of the nations of the world, and of false churches, like one to sixty or eighty, and even to an innumerable company; see Ecclesiastes 9:14, Luke 12:32; or else her unity in herself, being but one general assembly and church of the firstborn, made up of various particular congregated churches; and "one body", consisting of various members, united together in affection, and partakers of the same grace, blessings, and privileges; actuated by "one Spirit", the Spirit of God, Ephesians 4:4; and having but "one Head", Christ Jesus, Ephesians 4:15, and it may signify that the church is the spouse of Christ; that though other princes may have sixty queens, and eighty concubines, and virgins without number, to wait on them, Sol 6:8; Christ had but one, and was well pleased with her, and desired no other;

she is the only one of her mother; the Jerusalem above, the mother of us all: or the sense is, she was to Christ as a mother's only child, most tenderly beloved by him;

she is the choice one of her that bare her; esteemed and loved best of all her mother's children. The word may be rendered, "the pure" or "clean one" (l); so the church is, as clothed in "clean" linen, the righteousness of Christ; cleansed from sin in his blood; sprinkled with the clean water of the covenant, and of an unspotted conversation.

The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her: it may seem strange that concubines should praise a queen; but it was not unusual in the eastern countries; with the Persians, as the queen admitted of many concubines by the order of her lord the king, so the queen was had in great veneration, and even adored by the concubines (m): which may respect either the great esteem the church had, or should have, in the world, even from the great men of it, as she will have in the latter day, Isaiah 49:23; or which young converts have for her; who may more especially be meant by the "daughters" and "virgins", who, in Sol 6:1, call the church the "fairest among women": these blessed her, and pronounced her happy, and wished all happiness to her; they "praised her", spoke well of her, and commended her for her beauty; which was pleasing to Christ, and therefore observed by him.

(l) "munda", Montanus, Mercerus; "pura", Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Marckius, Michaelis. (m) Dinon in Persicis apud Athenaei Deipnosoph. l. 13. c. 1. p. 556.

My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.
9. but one] The one here is numerical in contrast to the 60 and 80: in the second clause of the verse one is qualitative, unica or unice delecta. As in ch. 2, he compares her to the women of the hareem, and intimates that she alone is worth them all.

the choice one] Heb. bârâh from bârar, ‘to separate,’ and hence ‘to purify.’ LXX, ἐκλεκτή. Here it is the former idea which predominates, the choice one, the darling of her mother, for the relation of mother and daughter is not one to which the idea of ‘purity’ is specially congruous. The only thing against this is that the adj. bar is not used in the O.T. in any sense but ‘pure’ or ‘clean’ (see Oxf. Lex.). But in 1 Chronicles 7:40 and elsewhere the verb is used in the sense of ‘to choose’ or ‘select.’ As the Song is late, but not so late as Chron. probably, it would not be unnatural that the later meaning should be found alongside the earlier in Song of Solomon 6:9-10 here.

The daughters saw her, and blessed her] Better, daughters, i.e. women, cp. Genesis 30:13 and Proverbs 31:29, saw her and called her happy. Cp. Proverbs 31:28, where the whole of this clause substantially occurs.

the queens and the concubines, and they praised her] Cp. ch. Song of Solomon 5:9, “O thou fairest among women.” On the hypothesis that the book is a mere collection of wedding songs, this statement that the women of Solomon’s hareem had seen and praised the Shulammite would be absurd. On our view, it would be quite natural, and unless the bride be brought in some such way as we suppose into connexion with Solomon’s court it is impossible to imagine how this verse could be true. Budde admits the difficulty, but gets over it in a very light-hearted fashion. He admits that a figure of speech which would permit the bridegroom who is called Solomon only because he is a bridegroom, to refer with scorn to the hareem of the actual Solomon, would be bold; but in a somewhat obscure sentence he says it hardly goes beyond what is possible in the circumstances as he supposes them to be. Few, we imagine, will be of that opinion.

Song of Solomon 6:98 There are sixty queens,

   And eighty concubines,

   And virgins without number.

9 One is my dove, my perfect one, -

   The only one of her mother,

   The choice one of her that bare her.

   The daughters saw her and called her blessed, -

   Queens and concubines, and they extolled her.

Even here, where, if anywhere, notice of the difference of gender was to be expected, המּה stands instead of the more accurate הנּה (e.g., Genesis 6:2). The number off the women of Solomon's court, 1 Kings 11:3, is far greater (700 wives and 300 concubines); and those who deny the Solomonic authorship of the Song regard the poet, in this particular, as more historical than the historian. On our part, holding as we do the Solomonic authorship of the book, we conclude from these low numbers that the Song celebrates a love-relation of Solomon's at the commencement of his reign: his luxury had not then reached the enormous height to which he, the same Solomon, looks back, and which he designates, Ecclesiastes 2:8, as vanitas vanitatum. At any rate, the number of 60 מלכות, i.e., legitimate wives of equal rank with himself, is yet high enough; for, according to 2 Chronicles 11:21, Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines. The 60 occurred before, at Sol 3:7. If it be a round number, as sometimes, although rarely, sexaginta is thus used (Hitzig), it may be reduced only to 51, but not further, especially here, where 80 stands along with it. פילגשׁ (פּלּגשׁ), Gr. πάλλαξ παλλακή (Lat. pellex), which in the form פּלּקתּא (פּלקתא) came back from the Greek to the Aramaic, is a word as yet unexplained. According to the formation, it may be compared to חרמשׁ, from חרם, to cut off; whence also the harem bears the (Arab.) name ḥaram, or the separated synaeconitis, to which access is denied. And ending in is (ש) is known to the Assyr., but only as an adverbial ending, which, as 'istinis equals לבדּו, alone, solus, shows is connected with the pron. su. These two nouns appear as thus requiring to be referred to quadrilitera, with the annexed שׁ; perhaps פלגשׁ, in the sense of to break into splinters, from פּלג, to divide (whence a brook, as dividing itself in its channels, has the name of פּלג), points to the polygamous relation as a breaking up of the marriage of one; so that a concubine has the name pillěgěsh, as a representant of polygamy in contrast to monogamy.

In the first line of Sol 6:9 אחת is subj. (one, who is my dove, my perfect one); in the second line, on the contrary, it is pred. (one, unica, is she of her mother). That Shulamith was her mother's only child does not, however, follow from this; אחת, unica, is equivalent to unice dilecta, as יחיד, Proverbs 4:3, is equivalent to unice dilectus (cf. Keil's Zechariah 14:7). The parall. בּרה has its nearest signification electa (lxx, Syr., Jerome), not pura (Venet.); the fundamental idea of cutting and separating divides itself into the ideas of choosing and purifying. The Aorists, Sol 6:9, are the only ones in this book; they denote that Shulamith's look had, on the part of the women, this immediate result, that they willingly assigned to her the good fortune of being preferred to them all, - that to her the prize was due. The words, as also at Proverbs 31:28, are an echo of Genesis 30:13, - the books of the Chokma delight in references to Genesis, the book of pre-Israelitish origin. Here, in Sol 6:8, Sol 6:9, the distinction between our typical and the allegorical interpretation is correctly seen. The latter is bound to explain what the 60 and the 80 mean, and how the wives, concubines, and "virgins" of the harem are to be distinguished from each other; but what till now has been attempted in this matter has, by reason of its very absurdity or folly, become an easy subject of wanton mockery. But the typical interpretation regards the 60 and the 80, and the unreckoned number, as what their names denote, - viz. favourites, concubines, and serving-maids. But to see an allegory of heavenly things in such a herd of women - a kind of thing which the Book of Genesis dates from the degradation of marriage in the line of Cain - is a profanation of that which is holy. The fact is, that by a violation of the law of God (Deuteronomy 17:17), Solomon brings a cloud over the typical representation, which is not at all to be thought of in connection with the Antitype. Solomon, as Jul Sturm rightly remarks, is not to be considered by himself, but only in his relation to Shulamith. In Christ, on the contrary, is no imperfection; sin remains in the congregation. In the Song, the bride is purer than the bridegroom; but in the fulfilling of the Song this relation is reversed: the bridegroom is purer than the bride.

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