Understanding The Bible
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Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
CANTICLE NUMBER 13
8:5-14: "The Song of a Triumphal Homecoming"
The Setting of the Song
Time: After marriage
Occasion: A kind of "second honeymoon" visit to the Bride's former home.
|HISTORICAL SETTING||SPIRITUAL APPLICATION|
8:5a The amazed Brothers speak.
("Who is this ... beloved?")
Amazed inquiry of startled brothers (and perhaps neighbors) at the unexpected arrival of a royal palanquin in this out-of-the-way place, with the Shulamite reclining in Solomon's arms.
|Christ will return with His Bride like a "thief in the night," catching an amazed world unprepared.|
8:5b-6 The Bridegroom speaks.
("I raised thee up ... vehement flame")
As they come up toward the house, Solomon points out an apple (citron) tree, where he once found her asleep and "wakened" her (the meaning of "raised thee up").
It was also on this spot that the original (perhaps smaller) home of the bride's family stood, in which she had been born.
|Do you remember the places where some intimate experience with Christ took place, and especially the place you were born again? Do you know where you were born again? If no, weren't you there when it happened? We should at least have some tangible remembrance of when we first publicly confessed Christ as Savior.|
|8:6 Seeing some rather attractive young stalwart shepherds in the group toward which they are approaching, Solomon fears momentarily that a former lover might arouse her attention, so he reminds here of the violent jealousy of his ardent love (Ex, 20:3, 5).||"For I the Lord am a jealous God." "The Spirit ... yearneth for us even unto jealous envy" (RV margin), Jas. 4:5. "Do you think the Scripture speaketh (these things) in vain?"|
|8:7 "All the substance" : the Bride tells Solomon that he need have no fears, for she loves him for himself, not for his riches and position. She loved him before she knew who he was.||Nothing can quench His love! How about us? Do we love Him for Himself as well as His gifts?|
8:8-10 The Shulamite twits her brothers.
The Shulamite's brothers had not been kind to her (1:6). Here she repeats a conversation they had and concerning her when she was much younger. They had despaired of ever marrying her off to any husband (vv. 8-9). She good-naturedly reminds them of how wrong their estimate of her was. She has done very well. She has the great King Solomon for a husband (v. 10)!
|By the grace of God we may amaze our family and friends and turn out to be really worth something! How often have I seen the Lord take a "nobody" and make a "somebody" out of him!|
8:11 The Shulamite reminds Solomon of the terms
of the contract for her family's vineyard.
She takes care of the business concerning the vineyard. She reviews the terms of agreement under which her family had taken over this vineyard in Solomon's Lebanon estate (11).
|Our Lord must receive the fruit of His vineyard. He demands an accounting (2 Cor. 5:10).|
8:12 She asks Solomon to give her brothers
one-fifth of the products of the vineyard.
She says, in effect, that just because she is now his wife, this is no reason that he should not receive his usual "thousand" pieces of silver (8:12a); but she asks Solomon to provide generously for her brothers by refunding 200 pieces of silver (1/5) -- a generous share indeed (8:12b). (By this she shows her brothers she has forgiven them.)
|He graciously rewards faithful service.|
8:13a Her brothers respectfully accept these
("Thou ... thy voice")
|So we speak of Christ with such a note of personal possession and authority that the unsaved and / or unspiritual "harken" to our voice?|
8:13b Solomon, unconcerned over a few pieces of
silver, teases her for her seriousness.
("cause me to hear it (thy voice)").
Solomon, desiring to live over again their happy courtship days and get away from the crowd, dismisses the matter with a nod, or wave of the hand, and smilingly plays on the awed words of the thoroughly impressed brothers, saying: "Let me also hear your voice" (without this crowd around)!
|Our Lord longs to hear our voice in prayer and praise.|
8:14 The Shulamite lovingly responds.
(Make haste ... ")
The Bride likewise dismisses business with a wave of the hand, and replies with a favorite saying from the days of her courtship (2:17). And so they walk off together into the woods, hand in hand, to live over again the happy days of the past.
|Enoch one day kept on walking with God and "wan not, for God took him." So may it be with us one day! (1 Thes. 4:16-17; cp. Gen. 5:24 and Heb. 11:5).|
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