My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yes, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.
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. 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.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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.
Who feeds among the lilies,
Shulamith farther proceeds, followed by the daughters of Jerusalem, to seek her friend lost through her own fault. She always says, not אישׁי, but דּודי and רעי; for love, although a passion common to mind and body, is in this Song of Songs viewed as much as possible apart from its basis in the animal nature. Also, that the description hovers between that of the clothed and the unclothed, gives to it an ideality favourable to the mystical interpretation. Nakedness is ערוה. But at the cross nakedness appears transported from the sphere of sense to that of the supersensuous.
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