Gen Ex Lev Num Deut Josh Judg Ruth 1 Sam 2 Sam 1 Ki 2 Ki 1 Chron 2 Chron Ezra Neh Tob Jdt Esth Job Ps Prov Eccles Song Wis Sir Isa Jer Lam Bar Ezek Dan Hos Joel Amos Obad Jon Mic Nah Hab Zeph Hag Zech Mal 1 Mac 2 Mac
LET my beloved come into his garden, and eat the fruit of his apple trees. I am come into my garden, O my sister, my spouse, I have gathered my myrrh, with my aromatical spices: I have eaten the honeycomb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends, and drink, and be inebriated, my dearly beloved.

Ver. 1.  Apple-trees.  The spouse, submitting to God's will, is content to suffer.  W.


--- She addresses her beloved, and as he had praised her, under the similitude of a delightful garden, she invites him into it.  C.


--- I, &c.  Christ again approves of her patience, and invites the saints to congratulate with her.  W.


--- He always hears his Church.  Matt. xxviii. 20.  Mark xi. 24.  C.


--- The saints had prayed for Christ's coming; and, accordingly, (Is. lviii. 9.) he takes flesh of the most pure virgin.  S. Athan. Synop.


--- Comb.  Sept. "bread."


--- Milk.  Chal. "white wine."  But (C.) mile and wine may be taken together.  Clem. Pæd. i. 6.


--- The chaste delights of retired and penitent souls are thus described: (C.) Dulciores sunt lacrymæ orantium quam gaudia theatrorum.  S. Aug. Ps. cxxviii.  "The tears of penitents are the wine of angels, because in them is the odour of life."  S. Bern. ser. 30.


--- Inebriated.  Not so as to lose reason.  Gen. xliii. 34.  C.


--- Prot. marg. "be drunk with loves."  H.  Prov. v. 19. and vii. 18.  This wine of love, is the blessed Eucharist, which maketh virgins to spring forth, (Zac. ix. 17.) and is a foretaste of heaven.  Ps. xxxv. 9.  It makes us forget the old man, (C.) and raise the mind to God.  S. Cyp. ep. 63.


--- To this feast Christ invites his disciples.  Matt. xxvi. and 1 Cor. xi.  M.


--- Myrrh.  Implies that they must be mortified.  H.

2 I sleep, and my heart watcheth; the voice of my beloved knocking: Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is full of dew, and my locks of the drops of the nights.

Ver. 2.  Knocking.  The spouse had retired to rest, as her beloved delayed longer than usual.  But love is ever on the watch.  C.


--- She wished to meditate, but is called upon to assist others, and excited by Christ's own example.  W.


--- Dew.  Having been out in the evening, preceding this fourth night.  This denotes imperfect Christians, who remain, indeed, attached to the head, but are a disgrace to it, by their scandalous lives.  S. Aug. tr. 37 in Jo.  S. Greg.  C.


--- Such was the state of many in the days of Luther, who accordingly joined the first reformers.  See Philips's Life of Card. Pole. p. 364.  H.


--- Nights.  Anacreon (ode 1.) has something similar.  Christ knocks by his inspirations and chastisements, and he is better heard in the night of tribulation.  Apoc. iii. 20.  C.


--- Heretics began to blaspheme Christ, after the Church had only enjoyed a short peace, (M.) after the ten persecutions.

3 I have put off my garment, how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them?

Ver. 3.  Garment.  By this is designated the tunic, which was undermost.  H.


--- Feet.  People in that climate had their feet bare in the house, and even on journies only wore sandals: so that frequent washing was requisite.  Gen. xviii. 4. and 1 Tim. v. 10.  These excuses were vain, and Christ would not regard them.  Matt. xxv. 1.  Lu. xii. 35.  Theod.  C.


--- The care of souls brings on many external occupations, which contemplative men would decline.  S. Greg.  M.

4 My beloved put his hand through the key hole, and my bowels were moved at his touch.

Ver. 4.  Touch.  Of me, (Cassiod.) or rather of the door or window.  I was grieved that I had made him wait so long.  C.


--- Heb. "were moved for him."  Prot. marg. "or (as some read) in me."  Pagnin prefers this; Sept. and Mont. the former explanation of halaiv.  H.


--- Grace moves us to begin and prosecute good works.  S. Greg. Nyssen.  Theod.


--- Christ gives it more abundantly, to make the champions of the Church contend with adversity.  M.

5 I arose up to open to my beloved: my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers were full of the choicest myrrh.

Ver. 5.  Arose.  The Church employs herself in active life, still retaining a desire to return to contemplation.  v. 8.  W.

6 I opened the bolt of my door to my beloved: but he had turned aside, and was gone. My soul melted when he spoke: I sought him, and found him not: I called, and he did not answer me. 7 The keepers that go about the city found me: they struck me: and wounded me: the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. 8 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that you tell him that I languish with love.

Ver. 8.  Love.  She seems  insensible to the insults received.  C.


--- The Church prays to the saints on earth, and in heaven.  M.

9 What manner of one is thy beloved of the beloved, O thou most beautiful among women? what manner of one is thy beloved of the beloved, that thou hast so adjured us? 10 My beloved is white and ruddy, chosen out of thousands.

Ver. 10.  Ruddy.  Or shining.  Et color in niveo corpore purpureus.  The divine and human nature, or the conception and sufferings of Christ are thus described.  C.


--- The spouse gives this admirable description of her beloved.  H.

11 His head is as the finest gold: his locks as branches of palm trees, black as a raven.

Ver. 11.  Gold.  God is the head of Christ, (1 Cor. xi. 3.) and is most pure.  N.


--- The guards of Solomon were powdered with gold dust.  Jos. Ant.


--- Branches.  Elatæ, or fruits of the male palm-tree.  Theod.  Plin. xiii. 4.

12 His eyes as doves upon brooks of waters, which are washed with milk, and sit beside the plentiful streams. 13 His cheeks are as beds of aromatical spices set by the perfumers. His lips are as lilies dropping choice myrrb.

Ver. 13.  Set by.  Prot. "as sweet flowers."


--- Choice.  Lit. "the first."  v. 5.  H.


--- The modesty and words of Christ excited admiration.  1 Pet. ii. 21.  Jo. vii. 46.  C.


--- He exhorted sinners to repent, and rebuked the obstinate.  M.

14 His hands are turned and as of gold, full of hyacinths. His belly as of ivory, set with sapphires.

Ver. 14.  Hyacinths.  Or purple veins.  C.


--- Prot. "hands are as gold rings set with the beryl."  Heb. "full of Tharsis," (H.) or precious stones, (M.) from that country, (Ex. xxviii.) with which his rings were ornamented.  C.


--- Sapphires.  His belt or garment is thus ornamented.  Sanchez.


--- The works of Christ proceeded from his infinite charity for mankind, whose salvation he greatly desired, (Mar. vii. 37. and 1 Cor. xv. 22. and 1 Tim. ii. 4.) so that none can  perish but by their own fault.  C.

15 His legs as pillars of marble, that are set upon bases of gold. His form as of Libanus, excellent as the cedars.

16 His throat most sweet, and he is all lovely: such is my beloved, and he is my friend, O ye daughters of Jerusalem.

Ver. 16.  Lovely.  Heb. and Sept. "desires."  M.


--- The beauty of Christ is chiefly interior; and all must aim at this perfection, who would be his spouses.  Ps. xliv. 3.  C.

17 Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou most beautiful among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside, and we will seek him with thee?

Ver. 17.  Seek.  The fervent resolve to seek Christ, wherever he may be.  W.


--- His praises excite many to love him.  M.

Mt Mk Lk Jn Acts Rom 1 Cor 2 Cor Gal Eph Phil Col 1 Thess 2 Thess 1 Tim 2 Tim Tit Philem Heb Jas 1 Pet 2 Pet 1 Jn 2 Jn 3 Jn Jude Rev


Holy Spirit