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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Song of Solomon 1

 

 

Verse 1

song of songs, which is Solomon"s. Hebrew title Shir Hashshirim = Song of Songs. In the Septuagint it is Asma Asmaton, and in the Vulgate it is Canticum Canticorum, all with the same meaning. Figure of speech Polyptoton (App-6), meaning the most beautiful or excellent song. It belongs to the third division of the O.T. Canon (see App-1). The order of the five "Megilloth" (or Scrolls) is the order of the festivals on which they are read. The Song is read annually at the Feast of the Passover, as Ruth is read at Pentecost; Lamentations on 9th of Ab; Ecclesiastes at the Feast of Tabernacles; and Esther at the Feast of Purim. From the most ancient times it has formed part of the Hebrew Canonical Scriptures. It is a poem based on the true facts of a story which unfolds itself as it proceeds. Various interpretations have been given of it: the literal, the allegorical, and the typical. The allegorical embrace Jehovah and Israel (which was the view of the Jewish commentators); the Roman Catholic views it of the Virgin Mary; the Protestant commentators view it of "Christ and the Church"; the typical view regards it as a type of Solomon"s nuptials, or as that of Christ and the Gentiles. The allegorical view puts the coarse flatteries and language of a seducer into the lips of "Christ", which is inconsistent with His dignity and holiness (Compare Song of Solomon 6:4-10, Song of Solomon 6:13; Song of Solomon 7:9). It is the language of seduction put into the mouth of Him "Who spake as never man spake". The number of speakers forbids all the interpretations which depend on there being only two. There are seven in all, and they can be easily distinguished by the Structures: viz. (1) the Shulamite; (2) the daughters of Jerusalem; (3) Solomon: (4) the shepherd lover of the Shulamite; (5) the brothers of the Shulamite; (6) the companions of the shepherd; (7) the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The Shulamite speaks. She has been taken into Solomon"s tents, and soliloquizes about her beloved (verses: Song of Solomon 1:2, Song of Solomon 1:3); she implores him to come and rescue her (Song of Solomon 1:4); she repels the scorn of the court-ladies (Song of Solomon 1:6); and implores her beloved to tell her where she may find him (Song of Solomon 1:7); the court-ladies ironically reply (Song of Solomon 1:8); meanwhile the king comes in and commences by expressing his admiration (verses: Song of Solomon 1:9-11).


Verse 2

Let him kiss me = Oh for a kiss.

him: i.e. the Shulamite"s beloved, the shepherd, from whom she has been taken by Solomon.

thy love is = thy endearments [are]. Hebrew. dodim. Only here, verses: Song of Solomon 1:4, Song of Solomon 1:10, Song of Solomon 1:10, and Song of Solomon 7:12. A man is addressed.

wine. Hebrew. yayin. App-27.


Verse 3

Because of the savour = Sweet is the odour.

thy name = thou (emph.) Name put for the person. See note on Psalms 20:1.

virgins = damsels. Hebrew. "alamoth, not bethuloth (virgins).


Verse 4

Draw me, &c. = Draw me after thee, let us flee together!

run after = run to any one for refuge.

the king. This explains the circumstances described on p. 921.

chambers = inner apartments.

remember = praise.

the upright love thee = upright ones have loved thee.


Verse 5

black = swarthy (feminine)

daughters of Jerusalem: i.e. the ladies of Solomon"s court.

Kedar = dark. All Kedar"s tents were black.

as. Supply the Ellipsis (App-6), "[but comely] as the curtains of Solomon". Required by the Alternation: a| swarthy. a| as Kedar"s tents. b| comely. b| as Solomon"s curtains.


Verse 6

Look not upon me = Look not down on: i.e. regard me not. Compare 1 Chronicles 17:17. Psalms 106:44.

the sun hath looked. Figure of speech Prosopopoeia (App-6), to emphasize the cause of her swarthiness.

children = sons: i.e. her brothers are referred to as speaking as in Song of Solomon 2:15, and see note on p. 921 and Compare Song of Solomon 8:8.

have I not kept = I never kept. She says this to show the harsh treatment of her brothers.


Verse 7

Tell me, &c. Again soliloquizing. See Structure above.

soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.

feedest = shepherdest. This cannot refer to Solomon!

rest = lie down.

turneth aside = strayeth, or wandereth.

by = to, or among.


Verse 8

If thou, &c. Answer of the court-ladies: ironical.


Verse 9

I have, &c. Solomon now speaks to her.

my love = my friend, or one beloved. Hebrew. ra"yah. Feminine here, Song of Solomon 1:15; Song of Solomon 2:2, Song of Solomon 2:10, Song of Solomon 2:13; Song of Solomon 4:1, Song of Solomon 4:7; Song of Solomon 6:4.

a company of horses = my mare.

in Pharaoh"s chariots = in the chariot of Pharaoh.


Verse 11

borders = bead-rows.


Verse 12

While the king sitteth, &c. Solomon"s advances fail; for, to his flattery she opposes her unabated love for her shepherd lover, with whom she has an interview in Song of Solomon 1:12, Song of Solomon 2:7.

sitteth. Supply "was".

my spikenard: i.e. her shepherd lover.

sendeth = sent.


Verse 13

bundle = little bag.

my wellbeloved. Masculine, showing of, and to whom she is speaking.

he shall lie = it (i.e. the bag of myrrh) will lodge.


Verse 14

My beloved. Masculine. Same word as "well-beloved" in Song of Solomon 1:13.

camphire = henna, or cypress flowers.


Verse 15

my love. Here it is Feminine, showing that the shepherd lover is replying to his betrothed. See note on Song of Solomon 1:9.


Verse 16

my beloved. Here it is Masculine. The Shulamite speaks again.

bed = couch.

green = verdant.


Verse 17

beams of our house = our bower.

cedar = cedar arches.

rafters = retreat.

fir = cypress roof.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 1:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/song-of-solomon-1.html. 1909-1922.

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