Song of Solomon 6
Benson Commentary
Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.
Song of Solomon 6:1-2. Whither is thy beloved gone — Namely, from thee: see chap. 5:6, 8. These are the words of the daughters of Jerusalem, last mentioned, whom the preceding full and pathetical description of the bridegroom’s excellence had inflamed with love to him. My beloved is gone into his garden — The spouse had hitherto been at a loss for her beloved, but, having diligently sought him, now at last she meets with a gracious answer from God, directing her where to find him. The garden may signify the church catholic, and the gardens, as it follows, as also the beds, the particular assemblies of the faithful, in which Christ affords his presence. To the beds of spices — In which the gifts and graces of God’s Spirit, fitly compared to spices, or aromatical flowers, appear and grow. To feed — To refresh and delight himself. To gather lilies — Which may denote either particular believers, whom Christ gathers to himself in his church, or the prayers and praises of his people in the public congregations.

My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.
I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.
Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.
Song of Solomon 6:4. Thou art beautiful — These are the words of Christ, who had now again manifested himself to his church; as Tirzah — A very pleasant city, the royal seat of the kings of Israel; comely as Jerusalem — Which was beautiful, both for its situation and for its goodly buildings; terrible as an army, &c. — To her enemies, whom God will certainly destroy.

Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead.
Song of Solomon 6:5. Turn away thine eyes from me — It is a poetical expression, signifying how beautiful the church was in Christ’s eyes. Thy hair, &c. — This clause and the whole following verse are repeated from Song of Solomon 4:1-2. And this repetition is not vain, but confirms what was said before, that the church’s miscarriage had not alienated Christ’s affection from her.

Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them.
As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks.
There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.
Song of Solomon 6:8-9. There are threescore queens — A certain number for an uncertain. The sense seems to be this: there are many beautiful queens and concubines in the world, in the courts of princes, but none of them is to be compared with my spouse. My undefiled is but one — The only beloved of my soul, my only spouse. The only one of her mother — She is as dear and as precious to me as only children use to be to their parents, and especially to their mothers. The daughters saw her — Called virgins, Song of Solomon 6:8. They praised her — As more beautiful and worthy than themselves.

My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.
Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?
Song of Solomon 6:10. Who is she, &c. — These are the words of the queens and concubines. Who — What manner of person is this, how excellent and glorious! that looketh forth as the morning — As the morning light, which, coming after the darkness, is very pleasant and amiable. Fair as the moon — Namely, when it is full, and walketh in brightness, Job 31:26. Clear as the sun — Without any such spots or dark specks as are in the moon. Thus the church is said to be without spot, or wrinkle, or blemish, (Ephesians 5:27,) which she is by God’s gracious acceptance of her, as such, in Christ, and through his merits and Spirit; and terrible, &c. — See above, Song of Solomon 6:4.

I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded.
Song of Solomon 6:11. I went down — When I went away from thee. These are the words of the bridegroom; to see the fruits of the valley — Which, being low, and well watered, is very fruitful. To see, &c. — What beginnings or appearances there were of good fruits or works among believers.

Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.
Song of Solomon 6:12. Or ever I was aware — I was surprised with a vehement desire of my spouse, which is to be understood figuratively, and so as to agree with the majesty and omniscience of Christ. My soul made me, &c. — Eager in my desire, and swift in my motion toward the church. Amminadib is supposed to be some eminent charioteer then well known, and famous for his speed in driving chariots.

Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.
Song of Solomon 6:13. Return — Christ recalls his spouse, who, as when Christ was gone, she pursued after him, so now, when Christ was coming to her, she was ready to wander from him. Return — This word is repeated four times, to signify both Christ’s passionate love to her, and her backwardness. O Shulamite — This title signifies the wife of Solomon, thus called after her husband’s name; see Isaiah 4:1; and as Christ is called by the name of Solomon, (Song of Solomon 3:7,) so the church is fitly described by the title of Solomon’s wife. That we may look upon thee — That I and my companions may contemplate thy beauty. What will you see — But what do you, my friends, expect to discover in her? Christ proposes the question, that they might take special notice of this as a very remarkable thing in her. The company — Whereby he intimates, that this one spouse was made up of the whole multitude of believers; of two armies — Confederate together, and so this may signify the union of Jews and Gentiles, and the safety and strength of the church, which is compared to a numerous host, distributed into two armies.

Benson Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

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