Song of Solomon 8:14
Make haste, my beloved, and be you like to a roe or to a young hart on the mountains of spices.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Make haste, my beloved.Song of Solomon 8:14 recalls the answer made at last to the sighs. It repeats the metaphor of Song of Solomon 2:17, where we see that the Authorised Version, make haste, is more correct than the margin. Thus the poem ends with two short verses that compress into them all that has been over and over again related under different figures: the wooing and the wedding of two happy souls.

Song of Solomon 8:14. Make haste, my beloved — Seeing we must part for a time, make haste, O my beloved bridegroom, and speedily finish the work which thou hast to do in the world, that so thou mayest take me to thyself, that I may live in thine everlasting embraces. 8:13,14 These verses close the conference between Christ and his church. He first addresses her as dwelling in the gardens, the assemblies and ordinances of his saints. He exhorts her to be constant and frequent in prayers, supplications, and praises, in which he delights. She replies, craving his speedy return to take her to be wholly with Him. The heavens, those high mountains of sweet spices, must contain Christ, till the times come, when every eye shall see him, in all the glory of the better world. True believers as they are looking for, so they are hastening to the coming of that day of the Lord. Let every Christian endeavour to perform the duties of his station, that men may see his good works, and glorify his heavenly Father. Continuing earnest in prayer for what we want, our thanksgivings will abound, and our joy will be full; our souls will be enriched, and our labours prospered. We shall be enabled to look forward to death and judgment without fear. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.The poem having opened with the song of a chorus in praise of the king Sol 1:2-4, concludes with a versicle recited by the bride, repeating the last words of her former strain Sol 2:17, with one significant change. She no longer thinks of the possibility of separation. The "Mountains of Bether" (division) of Sol 2:17, are now "Mountains of Besamim" (spices). His haunts and hers are henceforth the same (compare Sol 4:6).14. (See on [685]So 2:17). As she began with longing for His first coming (So 1:2), so she ends with praying for His second coming (Ps 130:6; Php 3:20, 21; Re 22:20). Moody Stuart makes the roe upon spices to be the musk deer. As there are four gardens, so four mountains, which form not mere images, as Gilead, Carmel, &c., but part of the structure of the Song: (1) Bether, or division (So 2:17), God's justice dividing us from God. (2) Those "of leopards" (So 4:8), sin, the world, and Satan. (3) That "of myrrh and aloes" (So 4:6, 14), the sepulchre of Calvary. (4) Those "of spices," here answering to "the hill of frankincense" (So 4:6), where His soul was for the three days of His death, and heaven, where He is a High Priest now, offering incense for us on the fragrant mountain of His own finished work (Heb 4:14, 7:25; Re 8:3, 4); thus He surmounts the other three mountains, God's justice, our sin, death. The mountain of spices is as much greater than our sins, as heaven is higher than earth (Ps 103:11). The abrupt, unsatisfied close with the yearning prayer for His visible coming shows that the marriage is future, and that to wait eagerly for it is our true attitude (1Co 1:7; 1Th 1:10; Tit 2:13; 2Pe 3:12). Seeing we must part for a time, make haste, O my beloved Bridegroom, and speedily finish the work which thou hast to do in the world, that so thou mayst take me to thyself, that I may live in thine everlasting embraces. The words of this verse are borrowed from Song of Solomon 2:17. where they are explained. Make haste, my beloved,.... These are the words of the church, to Christ, calling him her "beloved"; a title often used in this Song, see Sol 1:13; and is continued to the last; for Christ was still the object of her love; and she had now a comfortable sense of her interest in him, and claimed it; and makes use of this title, not only to distinguish him from others, but to obtain her request the more easily, that he would "make haste", and come; which may either be understood of his speedy coming in the flesh, and appearing on Mount Zion and in the temple, where the spicy and sweet smelling incense was offered; or of his spiritual presence, in his house and upon the mountains, and in all the assemblies of Zion, where the prayers and praises of the saints go up to God, as sweet odours, perfumed with the incense of Christ's mediation: or the petition may respect the first spread of the Gospel throughout the Gentile world; which, being like a box of ointment opened, would diffuse the savour of the knowledge of Christ everywhere: or rather it expresses the breathings of the New Testament church after the second coming of Christ, being the last petition of the church in this Song; and with which she closes it, as John does the Revelation, and with it the whole canon of Scripture in like manner, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus", that is, come quickly: and when the church says "make haste", she does not desire Christ to come before the appointed time, nor will he; his coming may and will be hastened indeed, yet in his own time; but it shows her eager and earnest desire after it, being as it were impatient for it. The word, may be rendered, "flee away" (m); not that the church desired Christ to depart from her; she valued his presence at another rate; but she being weary of a sinful troublesome world, and breathing after everlasting rest in another, desires him to remove from hence, and take her with him to heaven, where she might enjoy his presence without any disturbance;

and be thou like to a roe, or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices; where spices and aromatic plants grow, as on Lebanon: of Christ, compared to a roe or a young hart; see Gill on Sol 2:9. These creatures being remarkable for their swiftness (n) in running upon mountains and other high places, see Habakkuk 3:19; the church desires that Christ would be as swift in his motion as those creatures, and come quickly and speedily, and take her with him to the "spicy mountains", the heavenly state, and all the joys and glories of it; and there have everlasting and uninterrupted communion with Christ; be out of the reach of every troublesome enemy; be in the utmost safety and security; and in the possession of pleasures that will never end. This state may be expressed by "mountains of spices": because of the height and sublimity of it; and because of the permanency and everlasting duration of it; and because of its delightfulness and pleasantness; where will be fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore.

(m) Sept. "fuge", V. L, Pagninus, Montanus, & alii. (n) "Veloces cervos", Virgil. Aeneid. l. 5. Vid. Plauti Poenulum, Acts 3. Sc. 1. v. 26, 27.

{k} Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of spices.

(k) The Church desires Christ that if he depart from them, yet he would haste to help them in their troubles.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. She sings this verse in answer to this demand.

Make haste] This should be flee. Oettli thinks this implies that as the bridegroom thought her voice lovely, and asked her to exhibit it to his friends, so she also desired him to shew his elastic gait. But probably the object of the verse is to end the poem with a repetition of the bride’s answer in Song of Solomon 2:17, when he formerly asked her to let him hear her voice. When he calls upon her to let his companions hear her voice, she sings the request she had formerly made to him in similar circumstances.Verse 14. - Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices. This is a snatch of the old love songs which the bride used to sing when love was fresh and young. She sings it now at the request of her bridegroom himself, and in the delighted ears of her companions. She goes forth from among, them leaning on her beloved, to rejoice in the beautiful scenery and rural pleasures with him whose presence heightens every joy, the life of her life, the soul of her soul, "all her salvation, all her desire." The bridegroom and the bride are seen disappearing together over the flowery hills; and the music of the Song of Songs dies away in the sweet fragrance of that closing scene; the vision of love has, gazelle-like, leapt from point to point, and vanishes away at last among the mountains of spices. It is well to notice that what were before "mountains of Berber," that is, of "separation," are now "mountains of Besamin" - balsam mountains. There is no more word of separation. Henceforth the only note is one of peaceful enjoyment. "My beloved is mine, and I am his." Our home and haunt is the same. The concluding words, we cannot doubt, are intended to open a perfect future to the eye. Yet the poet, with consummate art, connects that future with the past and the present by the voice of the bride heard singing the love song with which she first expressed her love, now lifted up into anticipation of the everlasting hills of fragrant and joyful life.



The locality of this scene is Shulamith's parental home. It is she herself who speaks in these words:

8 We have a sister, a little one,

   And she has no breasts:

   What shall we do with our sister

   In the day when she will be sued for?

Between Sol 8:8 and Sol 8:7 is a blank. The figure of the wanderers is followed by the figure of the visitors. But who speaks here? The interchange of the scene permits that Shulamith conclude the one scene and begin the other, as in the first Act; or also that at the same time with the change of scene there is an interchange of persons, as e.g., in the third Act. But if Shulamith speaks, all her words are not by any means included in what is said from Sol 8:8 to Sol 8:10. Since, without doubt, she also speaks in Sol 8:11 f., this whole second figure consists of Shulamith's words, as does also the second of the second Acts; Sol 3:1-5. But there Shulamith's address presents itself as the narrative of an experience, and the narrative dramatically framed in itself is thoroughly penetrated by the I of the speaker; but here, as e.g., Ewald, Heiligst., and Bttch. explain, she would begin with a dialogue with her brothers referable to herself, one that had formerly taken place-that little sister, Ewald remarks under Sol 8:10, stands here now grown up she took notice of that severe word formerly spoken by her brothers, and can now joyfully before all exclaim, taking up the same flowery language, that she is a wall, etc. But that a monologue should begin with a dialogue without any introduction, is an impossibility; in this case the poet ought to have left the expression, "of old my mother's sons said," to be supplemented by the reader or hearer. It is true, at Sol 3:2; Sol 5:3, we have a former address introduced without any formal indication of the fact; but it is the address of the narrator herself. With Sol 8:8 there will thus begin a colloquy arising out of present circumstances. That in this conversation Sol 8:8 appertains to the brothers, is evident. This harsh entweder oder (aut ... aut) is not appropriate as coming from Shulamith's mouth; it is her brothers alone, as Hoelemann rightly remarks, who utter these words, as might have been expected from them in view of Sol 1:6. But does Sol 8:8 belong also to them? There may be two of them, says Hitzig, and the one may in Sol 8:9 reply to the question of the other in Sol 8:8; Shulamith, who has heard their conversation, suddenly interposes with Sol 8:10. But the transition from the first to the second scene is more easily explained if Shulamith proposes the question of Sol 8:8 for consideration. This is not set aside by Hitzig's questions: "Has she to determine in regard to her sister? and has she now for the first time come to do nothing in haste?" For (1) the dramatic figures of the Song follow each other chronologically, but not without blanks; and the poet does not at all require us to regard Sol 8:8 as Shulamith's first words after her entrance into her parental home; (2) but it is altogether seeming for Shulamith, who has now become independent, and who has been raised so high, to throw out this question of loving care for her sister. Besides, from the fact that with Sol 8:8 there commences the representation of a present occurrence, it is proved that the sister here spoken of is not Shulamith herself. If it were Shulamith herself, the words of Sol 8:8, Sol 8:9 would look back to what had previously taken place, which, as we have shown, is impossible. Or does Sol 6:9 require that we should think of Shulamith as having no sister? Certainly not, for so understood, these words would be purposeless. The "only one," then, does not mean the only one numerically, but, as at Proverbs 4:3, it is emphatic (Hitzig); she is called by Solomon the "only one" of her mother in this sense, that she had not one her equal.

Thus it is Shulamith who here speaks, and she is not the "sister" referred to. The words, "we have a sister ... ," spoken in the family circle, whether regarded as uttered by Shulamith or not, have something strange in them, for one member of a family does not need thus to speak to another. We expect: With regard to our sister, who is as yet little and not of full age, the question arises, What will be done when she has grown to maturity to guard her innocence? Thus the expression would have stood, but the poet separates it into little symmetrical sentences; for poetry present facts in a different style from prose. Hoelem. has on this remarked that the words are not to be translated: we have a little sister, which the order of the words וגו אחות ק would presuppose, Genesis 40:20; cf. 2 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 12:2 f.; Isaiah 26:1; Isaiah 33:21. "Little" is not immediately connected with "sister," but follows it as an apposition; and this appositional description lays the ground for the question: We may be now without concern; but when she is grown up and will be courted, what then? "Little" refers to age, as at 2 Kings 5:2; cf. Genesis 44:20. The description of the child in the words, "she has no breasts," has neither in itself nor particularly for Oriental feeling anything indecent in it (cf. mammae sororiarunt, Ezekiel 16:7). The ל following מה־נּעשׂה is here not thus purely the dat. commodi, as e.g., Isaiah 64:3 (to act for some one), but indiff. dat. (what shall we do for her?); but מה is, according to the connection, as at Genesis 27:37; 1 Samuel 10:2; Isaiah 5:4, equivalent to: What conducing to her advantage? Instead of בּיּום, the form בּיום lay syntactically nearer (cf. Exodus 6:28); the art. in בּיּום is, as at Ecclesiastes 12:3, understood demonst.: that day when she will be spoken for, i.e., will attract the attention of a suitor. בּ after דּבּר may have manifold significations (vid., under Psalm 87:3); thus the general signification of "concerning," 1 Samuel 19:3, is modified in the sense of courting a wife, 1 Samuel 25:39. The brothers now take speech in hand, and answer Shulamith's question as to what will have to be done for the future safety of their little sister when the time comes that she shall be sought for:

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