The Book of
GETTING READY FOR THE WEDDING
1. I have already mentioned that from 6:2 till the end of the Song of Solomon, there is “unbroken communion” between the Shulamite and the shepherd.
2. The Scofield Study Bible states that in a note above 6:4.
3. Up until Song of Solomon 7:9, the shepherd is speaking, and he has been exuberant in his praise for his beautiful Shulamite.
4. Now in 7:10, the Shulamite speaks.
I. THE SHULAMITE’S FIDELITY (7:10).
1. Now it is the Shulamite’s turn to speak. She says, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me” (7:10).
2. The Shulamite has already declared her love for her beloved shepherd (7:10; cf. 2:16; 6:3).
3. The Shulamite represents the church declaring its love for our Good Shepherd.
My Jesus, I love Thee, I
know Thou art mine;
I love Thee because Thou has first loved
4. The Shulamite invited her beloved to an excursion into the country. She calls out, “Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field…” (7:11).
5. Earlier, the Shulamite dreamed that she ventured out into the streets alone and ran into trouble. The night watchmen smote her and treated her as if she were an immoral woman of the streets (5:7).
6. But her terrible nightmare was over. Now she could travel safely with her beloved shepherd – “into the field” and “the villages” and “vineyards” (7:11, 12).
7. “Let us go forth into the field” (7:11). Our Lord has told us that the “field” is “the world” (Matt. 13:38). It is our responsibility to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).
8. And our great shepherd has promised us, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:20).
9. The Shulamite says, “Come,” and we are reminded of Revelation 22:20, which says, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
10. The Shulamite was eagerly awaiting her wedding to her beloved shepherd, as the church awaits the marriage supper of the Lamb.
11. “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7).
12. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come” (Rev. 22:17).
13. “Let us get up early to the vineyards…” (7:12). Our Lord has commanded us, “Go work to day in my vineyard” (Matt. 21:28).
14. The beautiful fields, gardens, and vineyards described so vividly by the Shulamite also remind us of how beautiful heaven will be when we are united with our Good Shepherd.
15. Note the repetition in verses 11 and 12, “Come, my beloved, let us go forth…let us lodge…Let us get up early…let us see if the vine flourish…” The Shulamite wanted unbroken communion with her beloved shepherd.
16. “We are asked sometimes for proofs of our religion. There is one proof which we defy anyone to contradict, and this is the intense joy which the love of Christ gives to us” (CH Spurgeon, The Most Holy Place).
II. THE SHULAMITE’S PROMISE (7:12b).
1. “There will I discover the sincerity and fervency of my affections to thee, and maintain communion with thee in thy holy ordinances” (Matthew Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible).
2. Strong says the word “loves” may mean “love tokens” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible).
3. The mandrake plant had food and medicinal value (7:13). According to superstition it had power to induce conception and was used in love potions (cf. Genesis 30:14-17).
4. Merrill F. Unger says the fragrant mandrakes symbolize “the joys and delights of God-ordained conjugal felicity” (Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament).
5. In anticipation of their wedding day, the Shulamite had been laying up all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old. Union with Christ is essential for fruit bearing.
6. “He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).
7. “A church of God, if well cultivated, is rich in multiform displays of the fruit of the Spirit of God. Some of these fruits are new, and oh, how full of savor they are. Our new converts, thank God for them, what a freshness and power there is about their love!…Then there are the old fruits, the experience of believers who are ripening for heaven, the well-developed confidence which has been tried in a thousand battles, and the faith which has braved a lifetime of difficulties. These old fruits – the deep love of the matron to Christ, the firm assurance of the veteran believer – there is a mellowness about them which the Lord delights in” (Spurgeon, The Most Holy Place).
III. THE SHULAMITE’S YEARNINGS (8:1, 2)
1. “Would that she could care for Him, and claim His whole attention, as a sister might care for a brother” – Hudson Taylor (Union and Communion).
2. The Shulamite waited patiently for the day when she and her beloved would be united in marriage. She cries out, “O that thou wert my brother…” (8:1), meaning they could at least live in the same house and spend precious time together.
3. Back in those days betrothed couples could not spend much time together. Strict social conventions kept a bride and her prospective groom apart.
4. Arthur G. Clarke said, “An Eastern betrothal allows much less freedom of social intercourse than a Western engagement. She had desired in her heart to express her affection more freely than custom warranted both in giving and receiving (cf. 1:2)” (The Song of Songs).
5. The Shulamite would not kiss her fiancé until the wedding, but it would not be improper for her to hug or kiss her brother (8:1, 2). She could joyfully embrace him without restraint or shame.
6. Our Lord is not ashamed to call us brethren (Heb. 2:11). But oftentimes believers are ashamed to publicly declare their love for Jesus.
7. The Shulamite said to her beloved shepherd, “I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised” (8:1). Worldlings despise those who love the Lord Jesus Christ, because the world despises Christ.
8. Our Lord said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18).
9. Even Christians can be guilty of castigating other believers who zealously love the Lord. The disciples were indignant when Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, poured her very precious ointment on our Lord’s head (Matt. 26:7, 8).
10. The Shulamite was not ashamed of her shepherd. “I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised” (8:1b).
“O that old
rugged cross, so despised by the world,
11. The Shulamite would lead her beloved into her mother’s house and there her mother would instruct her in the ways of married life (8:2).
12. Matthew Poole says the Shulamite brought the shepherd to her mother’s house “to show her extraordinary respect and affection to him,” and to learn how to behave herself towards her new husband (A Commentary on the Holy Bible).
13. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy: “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God…” (I Tim. 3:15).
14. A drink of spiced wine from the juice of a pomegranate was a refreshing and delicious treat she would serve her special guest for this momentous visit.
1. Lord willing, we will finish our series next week.
2. The shepherd and the Shulamite are preparing for their wedding and are eager to consummate their marriage (cf. 8:3, 4).