The bride relates to the chorus a visit which the beloved had paid her some time previously in her native home. He on a fair spring morning solicits her company. The bride, immersed in rustic toils, refuses for the present, but confessing her love, bids him return at the cool of day. It is a spring-time of affection which is here described, still earlier than that of the former chapter, a day of pure first-love, in which, on either side, all royal state and circumstance is forgotten or concealed. Hence, perhaps, the annual recitation of the Song of Songs by the synagogue with each return of spring, at the Feast of Passover, and special interpretations of this passage by Hebrew doctors, as referring to the paschal call of Israel out of Egypt, and by Christian fathers, as foreshadowing the evangelic mysteries of Easter - Resurrection and Regeneration. The whole scene has also been thought to represent the communion of a newly-awakened soul with Christ, lie gradually revealing Himself to her, and bidding her come forth into fuller communion.
Song of Songs 2:8
Voice - Better, "sound." Not a voice, but the sound of approaching footsteps is meant (compare "noise," Isaiah 13:4).
Song of Songs 2:9
Like a roe - Gazelle (compare Proverbs 5:19 note). The points of comparison here are beauty of form, grace, and speed of movement. In II Samuel 2:18; I Chronicles 12:8, princes are compared to "gazelles."
Wall - The clay-built wall of the house or vineyard of the bride' s family, different from the strong wall of a city or fortress Song of Songs 5:7; Song of Songs 8:9-10.
Looketh forth at the windows - The meaning evidently is, that he is looking in at, or through, the window from the outside. Compare Song of Songs 5:4 note.
Shewing himself - Or, peering. Some, taking the marginal rendering, imagine that the radiant face of the beloved is thus compared to some beautiful flower entangled in the lattice-work which protects the opening of the window, from where he gazes down upon the bride.
Song of Songs 2:10-13
Arise, my friend, my beautiful one, and come away - The stanza begins and ends with this refrain, in which the bride reports the invitation of the beloved that she should come forth with him into the open champaign, now a scene of verdure and beauty, and at a time of mirth and mutual affection. The season indicated by six signs Song of Songs 2:11-13 is that of spring after the cessation of the latter rain in the first or paschal month Joel 2:23, i. e., Nisan or Abib, corresponding to the latter part of March and early part of April. Cyril interpreted Song of Songs 2:11-12 of our Lord' s Resurrection in the spring.
Song of Songs 2:12
The time of the singing ... - i. e., The song of pairing birds. This is better than the rendering of the ancient versions, "the pruning time is come."
Song of Songs 2:13
The vines ... - The vines in blossom give forth fragrance. The fragrance of the vine blossom ("semadar" ), which precedes the appearance of "the tender grape," is very sweet but transient.
Song of Songs 2:14
The secret places of the stairs - A hidden nook approached by a zig-zag path. The beloved urges the bride to come forth from her rock-girt home.
Song of Songs 2:15
The bride answers by singing what appears to be a fragment of a vine-dresser' s ballad, insinuating the vineyard duties imposed on her by her brethren Song of Songs 1:6, which prevent her from joining him. The destructive propensities of foxes or jackals in general are referred to, no grapes existing at the season indicated. Allegorical interpretations make these foxes symbolize "false teachers" (compare Ezekiel 13:4).
Song of Songs 2:16
Feedeth among the lilies - Pursues his occupation as a shepherd among congenial scenes and objects of gentleness and beauty.
Song of Songs 2:17
Until the day break - Or, rather, until the day breathe, i. e., until the fresh evening breeze spring up in what is called Genesis 3:8 "the cool" or breathing time of the day.
And the shadows flee - i. e., Lengthen out, and finally lose their outlines with the sinking and departure of the sun (compare Jeremiah 6:4). As the visit of the beloved is most naturally conceived of as taking place in the early morning, and the bride is evidently dismissing him until a later time of day, it seems almost certain that this interpretation is the correct one which makes that time to be evening after sunset. The phrase recurs in Song of Songs 4:6.
Mountains of Bether - If a definite locality, identical with Bithron, a hilly district on the east side of the Jordan valley II Samuel 2:29, not far from Mahanaim (Song of Songs 6:13 margin). If used in a symbolic sense, mountains of "separation," dividing for a time the beloved from the bride. This interpretation seems to be the better, though the local reference need not be abandoned.
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