I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey…
This verse is the central stanza of the Song of Songs. It brings before us the wedding feast, the crisis of the dramatic interest of the poem. The bride is welcomed to her regal home; friends and courtiers are gathered together to celebrate the joyful union; and festivity and mirth signalize the realization of hope and the recompense of constancy. Under such a similitude inspired writers and Christian teachers have been wont to set forth the happy union between the Son of God and the humanity to which, in the person of the Church, he has joined himself in spiritual and mystical espousals.
I. THE PRESENCE OF THE DIVINE BRIDEGROOM' AND HOST. "I," says he, "have come into my garden." It is the presence, first visibly in the body, and since invisibly in the Spirit, of the Son of God, which is alike the salvation and the joy of man.
II. THE GREETING OF THE DIVINELY CHOSEN BRIDE. The language in which this greeting is conveyed is very striking: "My sister-spouse." It is the language of affection, and at the same time of esteem and honour. It speaks of congeniality of disposition as well as of union of heart. Christ loved the Church, as is evident from the fact of his giving himself for it and to it, and as is no less evident from his perpetual revelation of his incomparable kindness and forbearance. "All that I have," says he, "is thine."
III. THE PROVISION OF DIVINE BOUNTY. How often, in both Old and New Testament Scripture, are the blessings of a spiritual nature which Divine goodness has provided for mankind set forth under the similitude of a feast! Satisfaction for deep-seated needs, gratification of noblest appetite, are thus suggested. The peculiarity in this passage is the union of the two ideas of marriage and of feasting - a union which we find also in our Lord's parabolic discourses. We are reminded that the Divine Saviour who calls the Church his own, and who undertakes to make it worthy of himself, provides for its life and health, its nourishment and happiness, all that infinite wisdom itself can design and prepare.
IV. THE INVITATION OF DIVINE HOSPITALITY. "Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved!" Thus does the Lord of the feast ever, in the exercise of his benevolent disposition, address those whose welfare he desires to promote. This invitation on the part of the Lord Christ is
(1) sincere and cordial;
(2) considerate and kind;
(3) liberal and generous.
V. THE FELLOWSHIP OF DIVINE JOY. True happiness is to be found in the spiritual companionship of Christ, and in the intimacy of spiritual communion with him whom the soul loveth. The aspiration of the heart to which Christ draws near in his benignant hospitality has been thus well expressed: "Pour out, Lord, to me, and readily will I drink; then all thirst after earthly things shall be destroyed; and I shall seek to thirst only for the pleasures which are at thy right hand forevermore." The spiritual satisfaction and festivity enjoyed by the Church on earth are the earnest and the pledge of the purer and endless joy to be experienced hereafter by those who shall be called to "the marriage supper of the Lamb." - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.
WEB: I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride. I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk. Friends Eat, friends! Drink, yes, drink abundantly, beloved. Beloved