Understanding The Bible
The Book Canticles, Song of Solomon, Song of Songs
8-17: "A Song of a Happy Visit and a Promised Return"


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Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible


2:8-17: "A Song of a Happy Visit and a Promised Return"
The Setting of the Song
Time: During the courtship days
Occasion: A visit Solomon made to her vineyard home. (Note that the Shulamite speaks the whole song, telling what she thought and what he said.)

The Shulamite recalls a visit:
she describes his approach
She recalls this visit and describes his call to her as he came over the hill toward the vineyard surrounding her house. She drops everything at the sound of his voice and eagerly watches him as he comes through the gate, glancing at the fence and the vines on his way up to the house, where he peers through her vine-covered window, seeking to see her face in the shadow within the house. He speaks the words which follow:
2:8 His voice, it is music to hear it: for He is so precious to me!" Do we look forward as eagerly to opportunities for communion with Him? "My sheep hear my voice, " He said. Do we?
She tells what he said to her (2:10-15) He asked her to come outside to walk with him. (2:10-13) "Come on out! It's a beautiful spring day!" (Note: read "turtle dove, " v. 12) 2:10-13
"Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." Now it is a call to come away from all that would drown the soft tones of His voice--come away for communion. One day it will be a call to meet Him in the air (1 Thes. 4:16).
He longed to talk with her (2:14) "Oh, come out where I can really see you. I've longed so for you!" 2:14
"Draw near in full assurance of faith, " As Scofield has said:

"There is a beautiful order here. First, we have what the Bride is as seen in Christ, 'My dove.' In herself most faulty; in Him 'blameless and harmless' (Phil. 2:15), the very character of the dove. Then, the Bride's place of safety, 'in the clefts of the rock'--hidden, so to speak, in the wounds of Christ. Thirdly, her privilege. 'Stairs' speaks of access. It is not 'secret places, ' as in the AV, but 'the secret of the stairs'--the way and privilege of access to His presence (Eph. 2:18; Col. 3:1; Heb. 10:19-22). Fourthly, the order of approach: she is to come near before she speaks, 'Let me see thy countenance, ' then, 'Let me hear thy voice.'"

He called attention to needed repairs to the fence (2:15) As they walk through the vineyard, he calls attention to the damage to the vines which little foxes have caused. He evidently has noted a small hole in the wall while coming up to the gate, through which the foxes wriggled and would then gnaw at the base of vines, often killing them. He suggest they repair it together! 2:15
"Little foxes"--the so-called "little" sins which creep through our defense ("unguarded gaps") and gnaw at the roots of our vine of testimony before others, making us unfruitful for God. He does not condemn us for them; He lovingly calls our attention to them and, wondrous condescending love, He offers to help us keep them out! "Take us the little foxes."
As he strode away after their walk, she watched him and said these words. (2:16"l7)As she stands, watching him go off alone, she soliloquizes, happy in their mutual love (16), but, saddened by the necessary separation, she longs for his return (17). So she comforts herself in the assurance of his love and the promise of his return from Jerusalem. (Read, "He feedeth his flock among the lilies.") 2:16-17
While He is gone, the world is for us necessarily in darkness and a place of shadows and tears. But when He comes again, bounding over the mountains of Bether (which means "separation"), mountains of time and space which separate us from Him, the day will break and sighing will flee away!

"Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (chorus)


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