1. thy feet -- rather, |thy goings| (Ps 17:5). Evident allusion to Isa 52:7: |How beautiful ... are the feet of him ... that publisheth peace| (Shulamite, So 6:13).
shoes -- Sandals are richly jewelled in the East (Lu 15:22; Eph 6:15). She is evidently |on the mountains,| whither she was wafted (So 6:12), above the daughters of Jerusalem, who therefore portray her feet first.
daughter -- of God the Father, with whom Jesus Christ is one (Mt 5:9), |children of (the) God| (of peace), equivalent to Shulamite (Ps 45:10-15; 2Co 6:18), as well as bride of Jesus Christ.
prince's -- therefore princely herself, freely giving the word of life to others, not sparing her |feet,| as in So 5:3; Ex 12:11. To act on the offensive is defensive to ourselves.
joints -- rather, |the rounding|; the full graceful curve of the hips in the female figure; like the rounding of a necklace (as the Hebrew for |jewels| means). Compare with the English Version, Eph 4:13-16; Col 2:19. Or, applying it to the girdle binding together the robes round the hips (Eph 6:14).
cunning workman -- (Ps 139:14-16; Eph 2:10, 22; 5:29, 30, 32).
2. navel -- rather, |girdle-clasp,| called from the part of the person underneath. The |shoes| (So 7:1) prove that dress is throughout presupposed on all parts where it is usually worn. She is |a bride adorned for her husband|; the |uncomely parts,| being most adorned (1Co 12:23). The girdle-clasp was adorned with red rubies resembling the |round goblet| (crater or mixer) of spice-mixed wine (not |liquor,| So 8:2; Isa 5:22). The wine of the |New Testament in His blood| (Lu 22:20). The spiritual exhilaration by it was mistaken for that caused by new wine (Ac 2:13-17; Eph 5:18).
belly -- that is, the vesture on it. As in Ps 45:13, 14, gold and needlework compose the bride's attire, so golden-colored |wheat| and white |lilies| here. The ripe grain, in token of harvest joy, used to be decorated with lilies; so the accumulated spiritual food (Joh 6:35; 12:24), free from chaff, not fenced with thorns, but made attractive by lilies (|believers,| So 2:2; Ac 2:46, 47; 5:13, 14, in common partaking of it). Associated with the exhilarating wine cup (Zec 9:17), as here.
3. The daughters of Jerusalem describe her in the same terms as Jesus Christ in So 4:5. The testimonies of heaven and earth coincide.
twins -- faith and love.
4. tower of ivory -- In So 4:4, Jesus Christ saith, |a tower of David builded for an armory.| Strength and conquest are the main thought in His description; here, beauty and polished whiteness; contrast So 1:5.
fishpools -- seen by Burckhardt, clear (Re 22:1), deep, quiet, and full (1Co 2:10, 15).
Heshbon -- east of Jordan, residence of the Amorite king, Sihon (Nu 21:25, &c.), afterwards held by Gad.
Bath-rabbim -- |daughter of a multitude|; a crowded thoroughfare. Her eyes (So 4:1) are called by Jesus Christ, |doves' eyes,| waiting on Him. But here, looked on by the daughters or Jerusalem, they are compared to a placid lake. She is calm even amidst the crowd (Pr 8:2; Joh 16:33).
nose -- or, face.
tower of Lebanon -- a border-fortress, watching the hostile Damascus. Towards Jesus Christ her face was full of holy shame (see on So 4:1; So 4:3); towards spiritual foes, like a watchtower (Hab 2:1; Mr 13:37; Ac 4:13), elevated, so that she looks not up from earth to heaven, but down from heaven to earth. If we retain |nose,| discernment of spiritual fragrance is meant.
5. upon thee -- the headdress |upon| her.
Carmel -- signifying a well-cultivated field (Isa 35:2). In So 5:15 He is compared to majestic Lebanon; she here, to fruitful Carmel. Her headdress, or crown (2Ti 4:8; 1Pe 5:4). Also the souls won by her (1Th 2:19, 20), a token of her fruitfulness.
purple -- royalty (Re 1:6). As applied to hair, it expresses the glossy splendor of black hair (literally, |pendulous hair|) so much admired in the East (So 4:1). While the King compares her hair to the flowering hair of goats (the token of her subjection), the daughters of Jerusalem compare it to royal purple.
galleries -- (so So 1:17, Margin; Re 21:3). But Maurer translates here, |flowing ringlets|; with these, as with |thongs| (so Lee, from the Arabic translates it) |the King is held| bound (So 6:5; Pr 6:25). Her purple crowns of martyrdom especially captivated the King, appearing from His galleries (Ac 7:55, 56). As Samson's strength was in his locks (Jud 16:17). Here first the daughters see the King themselves.
6. Nearer advance of the daughters to the Church (Ac 2:47; 5:13, end). Love to her is the first token of love to Him (1Jo 5:1, end).
delights -- fascinating charms to them and to the King (So 7:5; Isa 62:4, Hephzi-bah). Hereafter, too (Zep 3:17; Mal 3:12; Re 21:9).
7. palm tree -- (Ps 92:12). The sure sign of water near (Ex 15:27; Joh 7:38).
clusters -- not of dates, as Moody Stuart thinks. The parallelism (So 7:8), |clusters of the vine,| shows it is here clusters of grapes. Vines were often trained (termed |wedded|) on other trees.
8. The daughters are no longer content to admire, but resolve to lay hold of her fruits, high though these be. The palm stem is bare for a great height, and has its crown of fruit-laden boughs at the summit. It is the symbol of triumphant joy (Joh 12:13); so hereafter (Re 7:9).
breasts -- (Isa 66:11).
the vine -- Jesus Christ (Ho 14:7, end; Joh 15:1).
nose -- that is, breath; the Holy Ghost breathed into her nostrils by Him, whose |mouth is most sweet| (So 5:16).
apples -- citrons, off the tree to which He is likened (So 2:3).
9. roof of thy mouth -- thy voice (Pr 15:23).
best wine -- the new wine of the gospel kingdom (Mr 14:25), poured out at Pentecost (Ac 2:4, 13, 17).
for my beloved -- (So 4:10). Here first the daughters call Him theirs, and become one with the bride. The steps successively are (So 1:5) where they misjudge her (So 3:11); So 5:8, where the possibility of their finding Him, before she regained Him, is expressed; So 5:9 (So 6:1; 7:6, 9; Joh 4:42).
causing ... asleep to speak -- (Isa 35:6; Mr 5:19, 20; Ac 2:47; Eph 5:14). Jesus Christ's first miracle turned water into |good wine kept until now| (Joh 2:10); just as the Gospel revives those asleep and dying under the law (Pr 31:6; Ro 7:9, 10, 24, 25; 8:1).
10. Words of the daughters of Jerusalem and the bride, now united into one (Ac 4:32). They are mentioned again distinctly (So 8:4), as fresh converts were being added from among enquirers, and these needed to be charged not to grieve the Spirit.
his desire is toward me -- strong assurance. He so desires us, as to give us sense of His desire toward us (Ps 139:17, 18; Lu 22:15; Ga 2:20; 1Jo 4:16).
11. field -- the country. |The tender grape (Maurer translates, flowers) and vines| occurred before (So 2:13). But here she prepares for Him all kinds of fruit old and new; also, she anticipates, in going forth to seek them, communion with Him in |loves.| |Early| implies immediate earnestness. |The villages| imply distance from Jerusalem. At Stephen's death the disciples were scattered from it through Judea and Samaria, preaching the word (Ac 8:4-25). Jesus Christ was with them, confirming the word with miracles. They gathered the old fruits, of which Jesus Christ had sown the seed (Joh 4:39-42), as well as new fruits.
lodge -- forsaking home for Jesus Christ's sake (Mt 19:29).
12. (Mr 1:35; Joh 9:4; Ga 6:10). Assurance fosters diligence, not indolence.
13. mandrakes -- Hebrew, dudaim, from a root meaning |to love|; love apples, supposed to exhilarate the spirits and excite love. Only here and Ge 30:14-16. Atropa mandragora of Linnæus; its leaves like lettuce, but dark green, flowers purple, root forked, fruit of the size of an apple, ruddy and sweet-smelling, gathered in wheat harvest, that is, in May (Mariti, ii.195).
gates -- the entrance to the kiosk or summer house. Love |lays up| the best of everything for the person beloved (1Co 10:31; Php 3:8; 1Pe 4:11), thereby really, though unconsciously, laying up for itself (1Ti 6:18, 19).