The Courtship: The Awakening of the Jews in the Tribulation
Song of Solomon 1:1 – 3:5
Song of Solomon 1:1 – 3:5
The Courtship. this section portrays the Lord’s work in the hearts of the Jews to awaken them to His claims of love. As we know from other places, when the Tribulation begins, the Jews will be back in their land again, although their reasons for being there will not necessarily be in faith. The Tribulation will serve to distinguish those who have real faith from those who are apostates. The Lord will begin a work in the hearts of the remnant to wake them up to seek the Lord. This work corresponds to the Feast of Trumpets in Leviticus 23. It is pictured in the Song of Solomon as a courtship, in which the affections of the bride are drawn out for the bridegroom.
- Part 1: The Assurance of Love (1:1 – 2:7)
- Title (v.1)
- Bride & Virgins: Humility and Desire to Seek the Lord (vv.2-7)
- Bridegroom: His Delight in the Bride (vv.8-10)
- Virgins: Offers to Make Jewelry (v.11)
- Bride: Communion Leads to Greater Anticipation (vv.12-14)
- Bridegroom: He Acknowledges Her Beauty (v.15)
- Bride: Admires Her Lord and Appreciates Her Relationship (vv.16-2:1)
- Bridegroom: Preference for Israel Over Nations (Her Beauty) (v.2)
- Bride: Her Thoughts as She Compares Him to Others (His Love) (vv.3-7)
- Part 2: The Awakening of Love (2:8-17)
- Part 3: The Loneliness of Love
Part 1: The Assurance of Love (1:1 – 2:7)
Song. 1:2 – 2:7. In this first section we see the relationship build as the couple assures one another of their love. Naturally speaking, this is prophetically, This will be done through the Word of God and action of the Holy Ghost on the Lord’s part and prayer and unfeigned obedience on the Jews’ part. as a practical application, the Lord needs to wake us up too. He does it through the work of the Spirit and by His Word. The immediate results are humility and an appetite for communion with the Lord. This is pictured by the bride and bridegroom telling their love for each other.
¶ The song of songs, which is Solomon’s. v.1 The writer of this book was King Solomon (v.1). He had a thousand wives and concubines, but this book describes a relationship that Solomon likely never had, because he disobeyed the Lord in multiplying wives. But the ultimate author of the book is God, for the words Solomon wrote were inspired by the Spirit of God. It says of Solomon, “he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five” (1 Kings 4:32), but this one is “the song of songs” (Song. 1:1). It describes in poetic form the work that God is seeking to do, and will accomplish, in drawing His earthly people to Himself.
Bride & Virgins: Humility and Desire to Seek the Lord (vv.2-7)
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; For thy love is better than wine. 3 Thine ointments savour sweetly; Thy name is an ointment poured forth: Therefore do the virgins love thee. vv.2-4 The woman expresses her humility and desire for her beloved’s love. The awakened Jews will likewise express these sentiments. This is the fruit Jehovah has been looking for. On a practical note, The first step in communion with the Lord is humility and a desire for his love. Wine speaks of earthly joy; an enjoyment of Christ’s love is better than all earthly joys.
4 Draw me, we will run after thee! — The king hath brought me into his chambers — We will be glad and rejoice in thee, We will remember thy love more than wine. They love thee uprightly. v.4 “Draw me, we will run” – following the Lord will have an effect on our companions. In a similar way, the stirring up of the Jewish remnant will have a positive effect on some of the nations.
5 I am black, but comely, daughters of Jerusalem, As the tents of Kedar, As the curtains of Solomon. 6 Look not upon me, because I am black; Because the sun hath looked upon me. vv.5-6a black, but comely. She has been in the fields and has gotten a tan (a bad thing in those days) but know she is still good looking to her beloved. The Jews acknowledge they have experienced much affliction through their self-will, but are still the object of Jehovah’s desires. We have to admit that we have scars from our expeditions in the world, in service to sin. But we are still lovely in his sight through the work of Calvary.
6b My mother’s children were angry with me: They made me keeper of the vineyards; Mine own vineyard have I not kept. v.6b The woman recognizes her relationship with her family hasn’t been the greatest. She has been spending time in others’ affairs rather than her own. The Jews own that they have been keeping the vineyards of the Nations (corrupt associations, idolatry) instead of focusing on her devotion to God. We need to own that we have had divided affections, and thus we had not properly paid attention to the things of the Lord.
7 Tell me, thou whom my soul loveth, Where thou feedest thy flock, Where thou makest it to rest at noon; For why should I be as one veiled Beside the flocks of thy companions? v.7 she begs him to reveal his location, so she can come to be with him. She teases him, saying “you don’t want me to wind up with one of your buddies.
Bridegroom: His Delight in the Bride (vv.8-10)
8 If thou know not, thou fairest among women, Go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, And feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ booths. vv.8-10 The man reveals his location, but at the same time chides her a bit for her ignorance of his mind and ways. Communion with the Lord will gradually be restored to the Jews in the first 3.5 years of the tribulation through their reading of the scriptures.
9 I compare thee, my love, To a steed in Pharaoh’s chariots. 10 Thy cheeks are comely with bead-rows, Thy neck with ornamental chains. vv.9-10 The man expresses his delight in the woman. in a similar way the Lord loves us despite our failures, and assures us of our place in his sight.
Virgins: Offers to Make Jewelry (v.11)
11 We will make thee bead-rows of gold With studs of silver. v.11 The woman’s unmarried friends offer to make her jewelry for the upcoming wedding. this is a picture of The God fearing nations who will pledge their support to the faithful remnant of Jews. for us, We need friends like these, to help us, and share with us the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Bride: Communion Leads to Greater Anticipation (vv.12-14)
12 While the king is at his table, My spikenard sendeth forth its fragrance. v.12 The king is at his table, a picture of cummunion. her perfume is wafting before him like an intoxicating influence.
13 A bundle of myrrh is my beloved unto me; He shall pass the night between my breasts. 14 My beloved is unto me a cluster of henna-flowers In the vineyards of Engedi. vv.13-14 The woman anticipates marital union with the King. Prophetically, The awakened Jews look forward to their union with the Messiah. In a similar application, To stir our hearts, the Spirit has put before us the coming Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Bridegroom: He Acknowledges Her Beauty (v.15)
15 Behold, thou art fair, my love; Behold, thou art fair: thine eyes are doves. v.15 The man acknowledges the woman’s beauty. prophetically, Jehovah views his chosen people through the efficacy of the work of Calvary. This is how the Lord views us… without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.
Bride: Admires Her Lord and Appreciates Her Relationship (vv.16-2:1)
16 Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant; Also our bed is green. 17 The beams of our houses are cedars, Our rafters are cypresses.
1 I am a narcissus of Sharon, A lily of the valleys.
She acknowledges three things:
- The qualities of her beloved – The Jews view the qualities of the Messiah through the prophetic scriptures. Likewise, As believers the food for our souls is meditating on the beauties of Christ
- The security of her position – we enjoy that was are “in Christ”, a perfect standing before God in Christ.
- her place of love and favor in his sight. – we realize that his love is upon us, that we are beautiful in his sight.
Bridegroom: Preference for Israel Over Nations (Her Beauty) (v.2)
2 As the lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters. v.2 he takes it a step further… not just a lily of the valley, but by contrast to all others, a lily among thorns. The Lord declares his preference for his chosen people over the Nations. Our hearts are warmed as we think that he chose us in christ… before the foundation of the world.
Bride: Her Thoughts as She Compares Him to Others (His Love) (vv.3-7)
3 As the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, So is my beloved among the sons: In his shadow have I rapture and sit down; And his fruit is sweet to my taste. v.3 The woman’s turn to compare her beloved among the sons (his qualities and love for her). Prophetically, The Jews express their preference for Jehovah compared to previous masters. the JEws have served idols in the past… but the Lord is nothing like those masters.
4 He hath brought me to the house of wine, And his banner over me is love. v.4 She states what her beloved has done for her. She acknowledges that the over-arching theme of his motions toward her was “love”.
5 Sustain ye me with raisin-cakes, Refresh me with apples; For I am sick of love. 6 His left hand is under my head, And his right hand doth embrace me. vv.5-6 They reflect on Jehovah’s love for them in the past. They look forward to his physical presence with them, as we long for communion with Christ.
7 I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles, or by the hinds of the field, That ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.
Part 2: The Awakening of Love (2:8-17)
Awakening of Affections. Through the courtship process they grow to the point where they desire intimacy with one another more and more. Their hearts skip a beat each time they see one another. They reassure themselves that the wedding day is not far off. The bride grows more confident in her relationship to the bridegroom. This is a picture of the Jews growing in the knowledge of Jehovah and desiring more and more to see his face.
Bride: Her Thoughts as She Sees Him Approaching (vv.8-9)
8 The voice of my beloved! Behold, he cometh Leaping upon the mountains, Skipping upon the hills. 9 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young hart. Behold, he standeth behind our wall, He looketh in through the windows, Glancing through the lattice. vv.8-9 The woman’s thoughts as she sees her beloved approaching. The Jews’ thoughts as they anticipate the Appearing of the Lord. Our hearts skip a beat and with catch a glimpse of our Lord in the scriptures.
Bridegroom: Invitation to Partake of the Pleasant Fruits (vv.10-15)
10 My beloved spake and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. v.10 He invites her to partake of the joys of married love. He calls her to arise and come away with him. The Lord invites the Jews to take the position of his earthly bride with the benefits of that relationship. The Lord offers fellowship with himself to us with all the blessings that result.
11 For behold, the winter is past, The rain is over, it is gone: 12 The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing is come, And the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land; 13 The fig-tree melloweth her winter figs, And the vines in bloom give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away! vv.11-13 He remarks that the signs of spring (youthful vitality) are heard in the land. The awakening of the Jews. The Lord notices signs of divine life in the remnant. He rejoices to see the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
14 My dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the covert of the precipice, Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; For sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. v.14 He states his desire for intimacy. He remarks on the need to expunge the things that rob the joys of marriage. this is a picture of the Lord’s desire for spiritual intimacy with His people.
15 Take us the foxes, The little foxes, that spoil the vineyards; For our vineyards are in bloom. v.15 The Lord reminds the Jews to get rid of anything that is coming between them and Lord. He desires spiritual intimacy with us, as well. We need to get rid of anything in our lives that might rob us of communion with Christ.
Bride: She Is Conscious of the Relationship (vv.16-17)
16 My beloved is mine, and I am his; He feedeth his flock among the lilies, 17 Until the day dawn, and the shadows flee away. Turn, my beloved: be thou like a gazelle or a young hart, Upon the mountains of Bether. vv.16-17 She is conscious of her relationship to her beloved (they belong to each other) and she knows they only need to be apart a little longer. The Jews have peace in their souls resting on the foundation Stone. They know the time of trouble (tribulation) is coming to an end. We may not understand a great deal of truth, but we know we belong to Jesus, and he belongs to us.
Part 3: The Loneliness of Love
Bride: Israel’s Waking up to Seek the Lord (vv.1-5)
1 On my bed, in the nights, I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. v.1 She awakes, alone in the dark, seeking her beloved. She is at the point where she can’t live without him. In a similar way, the Jews eventually recognize that they need the Lord to fill and satisfy their hearts. They seek him, but do not immediately find him. For us, at some point in our life we need to come to the realization that we cannot make ourselves happy. We cannot live without him.
2 I will rise now, and go about the city; In the streets and in the broadways Will I seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. 3 The watchmen that go about the city found me: — Have ye seen him whom my soul loveth? 4 — Scarcely had I passed from them, When I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, Until I had brought him into my mother’s house, And into the chamber of her that conceived me. vv.2-4 She risks a dangerous expedition in the streets to find him. She finds him whom her soul loves. The Jews risk great persecution in the streets (prophetic earth) in their quest for Jehovah. We will follow the Lord in spite of persecution.
5 I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles, or by the hinds of the field, That ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please. v.5 The Jews publicly confess the Lord to the Nations. We happily confess the Lord to our neighbors and coworkers. we do not hide our sense of incompletion apart from him.