Song of Songs
1-2 Sought but Not Found 3-5 Sought and Found 6 Who Is Coming up from the Wilderness? 7-8 The Couch and the Mighty Man of Solomon 9-10 Solomon’s Sedan Chair 11 The Coronation on the Day of the Wedding
Sought but Not Found

1“On my bed night after night I sought him
Whom my soul loves;
I sought him but did not find him.
2‘I must arise now and go about the city;
In the streets and in the squares
I must seek him whom my soul loves.’
I sought him but did not find him.

We have seen that this book is primarily about the relationship between a man and a woman and that we can learn lessons from this for our own relationship in marriage and also about the relationship between a believer and the Lord Jesus. In both relationships it is about a connection that is characterized by love. The meaning is that we learn to know a love that is not bought or enforced, but the love of Someone, Who Himself is love. For God is love.

We are only able to love if we have received this love (1Jn 4:1919We love, because He first loved us.). If there is no relationship with God and with the Lord Jesus, it is impossible to love. In this love story we find clues to our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus and the disturbing elements that prevent us from enjoying His love.

In the history of love we have ended up in a situation where the relationship between the bride and the groom is at a distance. It is not the groom’s fault, but the bride’s fault. Her love is no longer so fervent. Maybe verse 11“On my bed night after night I sought him
Whom my soul loves;
I sought him but did not find him.
gives a clue why. The bride has withdrawn and sought her rest. She lies on her bed, on her own bed, “my bed”, which speaks of complacency.

The life of a believer can sometimes produce disappointments. There may be problems for which a solution has been sought but has not been found. Disappointed in the Lord, then one withdraws, just as the bride has also withdrawn. Although there may even be a certain indifference, it does not leave the Lord Jesus indifferent. He wants to fill our lives with His presence and give rest.

The groom’s attempts to reawaken the bride’s love do not seem to have been in vain, although she sent him away in the previous verse (Song 2:1717“Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away,
Turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle
Or a young stag on the mountains of Bether.”
). In the night she feels the lack of him. She starts looking for him. To get back into someone’s life, the Lord Jesus uses situations in which someone is alone.

I once spoke to a group of young people about the gospel. Their reactions were different than when you speak to someone alone. They acknowledge that, when they lie alone on their bed in the evening, they no longer have such a big mouth. You think about your life. It can be the beginning of a search for the meaning of life. God can speak to someone “while they slumber in their beds” (Job 33:14-1514“Indeed God speaks once,
Or twice, [yet] no one notices it.
15“In a dream, a vision of the night,
When sound sleep falls on men,
While they slumber in their beds,
).

Then the bride comes to the decision to get up. That is where every true conversion begins. We see this with the youngest son in the parable that the Lord Jesus tells us. When he is with the pigs, he comes to himself and says, “I will get up and go to my father.” Then he gets up and comes to his father (Lk 15:18,2018I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight;20So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion [for him], and ran and embraced him and kissed him.).

In the same way, as believers, we sometimes have to make a decision to deal vigorously with something in our lives that has distanced us from the Lord. So here the bride stands up and moves across the city, through the streets and over the squares, in search of the one she loves dearly. But she doesn’t find him in the city.

She has searched and not found him. It is there twice: at the end of verse 11“On my bed night after night I sought him
Whom my soul loves;
I sought him but did not find him.
, when she searched for him on her bed, and at the end of verse 22‘I must arise now and go about the city;
In the streets and in the squares
I must seek him whom my soul loves.’
I sought him but did not find him.
, after she searched for him in the city. Did not the Lord Jesus say, “Seek, and you will find” and “he who seeks finds” (Mt 7:7-87“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.8For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.)? Yes, but He adds that there must be knocking, and then it will be opened. In doing so, he points out that we have to seek with perseverance. We should not give up if we do not find Him directly.

It is good that we seek a restoration of the relationship with the Lord Jesus when we miss that relationship with Him. However, our search will be in vain if we search in the wrong places. We won’t find Him if we take our ease. Nor do we find Him in the world, of which the city is a picture. The city speaks of a society of people. Cities are formed to establish a society without God. Cain is the first city builder (Gen 4:17b17Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son.). When there has come a distance between us and the Lord Jesus, when there is dissatisfaction, we no longer know where to find Him.

There is a certain Demas in the Bible. He is first a devout believer. Paul mentions him as one of his coworkers (Col 4:1414Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings, and [also] Demas.; Phlm 1:2424[as do] Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers.). Then there seems to have come a moment when a separation has arisen between Demas and the Lord Jesus. His love for the Lord has cooled. Demas leaves Paul’s company and leaves for the city. Paul must write with sorrow about him: “Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica” (2Tim 4:10a10for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens [has gone] to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.).

It does not say that Demas is no longer a Christian and that he has openly said goodbye to the Lord. Perhaps he has chosen an honorable profession, but it has captured him completely. He travelled to Thessalonika. There is a sound church there. However, that is not his interest. There he seeks the world and not the brothers and sisters.

The world is particularly attractive to young believers. John warns them especially when he says: “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1Jn 2:1515Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.). The world does not only consist of all sorts of debauchery, of lusts and desires. It is the world as it was made by the fall of Adam into sin, where people that live without taking God into account tell us what to do. This also includes the hardworking people who make careers or discoveries that improve the quality of life. They are highly regarded. But if God has no place in it, it is ‘the world’.


Sought and Found

3“The watchmen
who make the rounds in the city found me,
[And I said], ‘Have you seen him whom my soul loves?’
4“Scarcely had I left them
When I found him whom my soul loves;
I held on to him and would not let him go
Until I had brought him to my mother’s house,
And into the room of her who conceived me.”
5“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the gazelles or by the hinds of the field,
That you will not arouse or awaken [my] love
Until she pleases.”

It is night when the bride leaves her bed and enters the city (verses 1-21“On my bed night after night I sought him
Whom my soul loves;
I sought him but did not find him.
2‘I must arise now and go about the city;
In the streets and in the squares
I must seek him whom my soul loves.’
I sought him but did not find him.
), looking for the groom. She doesn’t find him, but others, the watchmen of the city, find her (verse 33“The watchmen
who make the rounds in the city found me,
[And I said], ‘Have you seen him whom my soul loves?’
). She addresses them without any introduction. She doesn’t mention a name, but asks the watchmen of the city if they ‘have seen him she whom her soul loves’.

After the bride has searched for her groom in the wrong way and in the wrong place, she is now also looking for him with the wrong people. How can people who guard the city and have no connection with the groom answer her question? How can those who do not know him tell her where he is? We do not read that the watchmen answer.

We can apply this to believers with mental problems who go to unbelieving counsellors – psychologists and psychiatrists – and ask them for a solution. But how can they offer a solution? After all, these people have no living relationship with the Lord Jesus. They do not believe in Him. If that relationship is not there, the whole quest is in vain. And the emptiness grows.

The watchmen can also represent religious leaders, people who are the so-called spiritual caretakers of ‘their’ church, but they cannot help either. The general lesson we can learn here is: “Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation” (Psa 146:33Do not trust in princes,
In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
).

In Mark 5, we read about “a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse” (Mk 5:25-2625A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years,26and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse—). The many doctors she has visited in the hope of healing have only increased her suffering, while she has invested her entire property to pay for that help. Instead of recovery there has been a worsening of her condition. Finally, she goes to the Lord Jesus. She says, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well” (Mk 5:2828For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.”). This means that it comes down to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is able to fill the void in our hearts.

It seems that the bride in verse 44“Scarcely had I left them
When I found him whom my soul loves;
I held on to him and would not let him go
Until I had brought him to my mother’s house,
And into the room of her who conceived me.”
has come out of town and there she finds her beloved. He can be found outside the city, in the field where he pastures the flock between the lilies, as she said before (Song 2:1616“My beloved is mine, and I am his;
He pastures [his flock] among the lilies.
). She forgot that, so she searched in the wrong places and with the wrong people. Now that she is freed from what is wrong, she walks into his arms. She has found him.

So the Lord Jesus is not to be found in all kinds of man-made systems or with leading spiritual leaders, but in the place of rejection. Think of the cross of Calvary, which stood “outside the gate” of Jerusalem (Heb 13:12-1312Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.13So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.). There the Lord is found. Whosoever is not prepared to find and follow him there, in the place of rejection, will never find him.

There must be an effort to find Him there. But if one searches with longing and perseverance, in the faith that He will let Himself be found - then He will be found. He promised it, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Mt 7:7-87“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.8For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.; Jer 29:12-1312Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.13You will seek Me and find [Me] when you search for Me with all your heart.; Isa 45:1919“I have not spoken in secret,
In some dark land;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
‘Seek Me in a waste place’;
I, the LORD, speak righteousness,
Declaring things that are upright.
).

The bride left the city and all the people behind. We can view this as escaping the hectic life in the city with all its noise, being absorbed in all kinds of activities, without a moment of rest. The necessary, and desired peace is found outside the city in the presence of the Lord. We all need those times of rest with the Lord.

Many people allow life to be driven by social media and do not have one moment of rest because they think they should always be available. There should be an immediate response when a message comes in. Social media determines life. Imagining that I will miss something, I have to be constantly informed. In this way, peace is increasingly taken away from us.

Do we still have time to be alone with the Word of God and with the Lord Jesus? Only then will we find Him, not in the city, but outside the city. Then we get the strength to go back into the city to be a witness.

When she has found him, she holds him firmly fast (Mt 28:99And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.; Pro 3:1818She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast.
). She doesn’t want to lose him again. She is now very careful about that. Together with him, she goes to her mother’s house. She goes back, so to speak, to the beginning of her existence, where her life began and she had her upbringing. If we have departed from the Lord, we must go back to the beginning of our lives with Him. We must remember our first encounters with Him, our first love for Him (Rev 2:4-5a4But I have [this] against you, that you have left your first love.5Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.).

The bride returns with her groom not only to her mother’s house, but to the room of her, “who conceived” her. That is all the way back to the beginning, to the moment of the birth of the new life. It is what Israel always had to do, after the people had been liberated from Egypt. Each year they had to celebrate the Passover as a reminder of their liberation from Egypt.

So we can do this every Sunday, when we proclaim the Lord’s death, remembering what He has done for us. But we must also think about it every day, not forgetting that we are redeemed and how it happened, and thank the Lord for redeeming us from our sins and eternal judgment.

Are we (still) grateful? Do we remember when and where our first real meeting with the Lord Jesus took place? Do we remember the joy and peace it gave us, that the heavy burden of our sins was taken away from us and that we have been born again and become children of God? When something drastic happens in the world, people are sometimes asked later where they were or what were they doing at that moment. They often remember that too. The conversion of idols to God is the most profound conscious experience in the life of a person. Here the Lord Jesus with His love and authority enters his life and changes it completely. He gains a totally different perspective.

In verse 55“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the gazelles or by the hinds of the field,
That you will not arouse or awaken [my] love
Until she pleases.”
she addresses herself with the same words to the same persons as in Song of Songs 2 (Song 2:77“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the gazelles or by the hinds of the field,
That you do not arouse or awaken [my] love
Until she pleases.”
). It therefore sounds like a refrain. Yet it is not the same. Here, in Song of Songs 3, she speaks these words after the lost connection with the groom has been restored. So there is talk of restoring of fellowship. Now that she has found him again and brought him into the room of her mother’s house, she hangs, as it were, the sign DO NOT DISTURB on the door. She lets it be known that she does not want to let in any elements that could disturb her regained fellowship with him again.

Fellowship with the Lord Jesus is not a matter of speed. It takes time to grow in it, even when the relationship is restored. Growing in faith should not be stimulated artificially. Thus, the use of loud, psychedelic music in a service ensures that the Beloved disappears. This is also the case with soft music that responds to the emotions. Fellowship with the Lord Jesus requires rest and peace, not incitement. The Spirit of God is present and works in “a gentle blowing”, not in “a great and strong wind”, “an earthquake” or “a fire” (1Kgs 19:11-1311So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; [but] the LORD [was] not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, [but] the LORD [was] not in the earthquake.12After the earthquake a fire, [but] the LORD [was] not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.13When Elijah heard [it], he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice [came] to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”). Love needs time to grow, even when a cooled love is awakened again.


Who Is Coming up from the Wilderness?

6“Who is this coming up from the wilderness
Like columns of smoke,
Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
With all scented powders of the merchant?

The answer to the question “who is this coming up from the wilderness” is simple. She is none other than the bride. Yet the question suggests that she is not immediately recognized. That has to do with her stay in the wilderness. The wilderness has changed her. She has become, as it were, a different person. In the spiritual application, the wilderness represents the world, seen as the area God uses to test our faith. Through tests of faith, God wants to change us and make us more and more conform to the image of His Son.

In the prophetic application we can think here of the faithful remnant that is kept by God in the wilderness in the time of great tribulation (Rev 12:13-1713And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male [child].14But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she *was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.15And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.16But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.17So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.; cf. Hos 2:14-2314“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Bring her into the wilderness
And speak kindly to her.
15“Then I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the valley of Achor as a door of hope.
And she will sing there as in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
16“It will come about in that day,” declares the LORD,
“That you will call Me Ishi
And will no longer call Me Baali.
17“For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth,
So that they will be mentioned by their names no more.
18“In that day I will also make a covenant for them
With the beasts of the field,
The birds of the sky
And the creeping things of the ground.
And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land,
And will make them lie down in safety.
19“I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice,
In lovingkindness and in compassion,
20And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.
Then you will know the LORD.
21“It will come about in that day that I will respond,” declares the LORD.
“I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth,
22And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil,
And they will respond to Jezreel.
23“I will sow her for Myself in the land.
I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion,
And I will say to those who were not My people,
‘You are My people!’
And they will say, ‘[You are] my God!’”
). This time will bring about a change in the remnant that will make it a people with whom the Lord Jesus can live.

The believers individually and God’s people as a whole are compared here to “columns of smoke”. We see the ‘columns of smoke’ in Israel rising from the altar of burnt offering to God, as a soothing aroma to Him. Believers who have been tried by God and to whom He has been able to do His work are also pleasing to Him. He recognizes in their lives, what is always perfectly present in the Lord Jesus: His own image.

Further we see that the bride is “perfumed with myrrh and frankincense”. That reminds us of the journey of the people of God through the wilderness, where the people are led by the cloud of God’s glory. This cloud has covered them and also the tabernacle. God wants to make His glory visible through all the exercises through which a believer passes. That is what our stay in the wilderness is for.

The “myrrh and incense” by which she is perfumed, means that she comes in the fragrance of Christ (cf. 2Cor 2:15-1615For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;16to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?). ‘Myrrh’ symbolizes the suffering of the Lord Jesus, while ‘incense’ symbolizes His glories. Everything that is pleasing to God, He has found in His Son. He wants to work the same in His own, so that through their lives He is increasingly reminded of that of his Son. In the trials of our faith we experience the suffering of Christ, while we may also look forward to the glory that awaits us.

To the myrrh and incense are added “all scented powders of the merchant”, a mixture of aroma’s with which the bride is also surrounded. It looks at the many excellencies that are present in the Lord Jesus and have been expressed. Every word and every act is of great beauty and excellence. At the same time they flow together into a beautiful whole. Everything is in harmony with each other. There is no odor that dominates and destroys the other odors.

Paul presents these ‘scented powders’ to the believers in Colossae so that they will spread them around them. These fragrances are the properties of Christ, which we as believers can exhibit and thus let others smell. He writes to them: “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things [put on] love, which is the perfect bond of unity” (Col 3:12-1412So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.14Beyond all these things [put on] love, which is the perfect bond of unity.). These are some of the many excellencies of the new life that we as believers possess. That new life is Christ Himself. Often the exercises in the wilderness are needed to let others smell the excellent scent of Him.

The ‘scented powders’ are available from “the merchant”. This means that they are not available for free, but must be ‘bought’. A price has to be paid for it. That price is the giving up one’s own self and to put obedience and devotion in its place.

Certainly, every believer possesses these ‘scented powders’ through the new life. But putting them into practice is something else. They must, as Paul says, to be put on. That means we have to be busy by reading and studying the Word of God. Then we see how they were expressed in the life of the Lord Jesus. The result is that they are also noticed in our lives.


The Couch and the Mighty Man of Solomon

7“Behold, it is the [traveling] couch of Solomon;
Sixty mighty men around it,
Of the mighty men of Israel.
8“All of them are wielders of the sword,
Expert in war;
Each man has his sword at his side,
[Guarding] against the terrors of the night.

In verse 77“Behold, it is the [traveling] couch of Solomon;
Sixty mighty men around it,
Of the mighty men of Israel.
is the answer to the question, “who she is who comes from the wilderness” (verse 66“Who is this coming up from the wilderness
Like columns of smoke,
Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
With all scented powders of the merchant?
). The answer is not ‘the bride’, but “the [traveling] couch of Solomon”. Here we see the rest of Solomon. This is a very different rest from the one in verse 11“On my bed night after night I sought him
Whom my soul loves;
I sought him but did not find him.
. There it is the laziness. Here it is the rest or peace of Solomon, who has become part of the bride. Solomon is the king of peace. This scene shows that the bride has found peace in the groom.

Thus, as New Testament believers, our conscience may come to rest in the presence of God on the basis of the work of the true Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus. Through faith in Him we have peace with God (Rom 5:11Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,). In that rest we may know that in the Beloved we are pleasing to God (Eph 1:66to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.). A similar image as the bride in Solomon’s couch can be seen in the two stone tablets in the ark (Deu 10:1-51“At that time the LORD said to me, ‘Cut out for yourself two tablets of stone like the former ones, and come up to Me on the mountain, and make an ark of wood for yourself.2I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you shattered, and you shall put them in the ark.’3So I made an ark of acacia wood and cut out two tablets of stone like the former ones, and went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hand.4He wrote on the tablets, like the former writing, the Ten Commandments which the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me.5Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark which I had made; and there they are, as the LORD commanded me.”). This second pair of stone tablets also represent the believers, and the ark represents Christ.

The couch of Solomon in which he transports his bride, represents the rest resulting from his victory. In that rest, the bride is united with him. He carries her on in that state of rest. He also ensures that this rest is protected for her sake. It is not just sixty soldiers, but “sixty mighty men” who have been carefully chosen from the “the mighty men of Israel”. It is a corps of excellent men. They have proven that they can wage war. With David there are thirty mighty men (2Sam 23:8-238These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains, he was [called] Adino the Eznite, because of eight hundred slain [by him] at one time;9and after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there to battle and the men of Israel had withdrawn.10He arose and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to the sword, and the LORD brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to strip [the slain].11Now after him was Shammah the son of Agee a Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered into a troop where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the people fled from the Philistines.12But he took his stand in the midst of the plot, defended it and struck the Philistines; and the LORD brought about a great victory.13Then three of the thirty chief men went down and came to David in the harvest time to the cave of Adullam, while the troop of the Philistines was camping in the valley of Rephaim.14David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem.15David had a craving and said, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!”16So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took [it] and brought [it] to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the LORD;17and he said, “Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this. [Shall I drink] the blood of the men who went in [jeopardy] of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did.18Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the thirty. And he swung his spear against three hundred and killed [them], and had a name as well as the three.19He was most honored of the thirty, therefore he became their commander; however, he did not attain to the three.20Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds, killed the two [sons of] Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day.21He killed an Egyptian, an impressive man. Now the Egyptian [had] a spear in his hand, but he went down to him with a club and snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear.22These [things] Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and had a name as well as the three mighty men.23He was honored among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. And David appointed him over his guard.), but Solomon has sixty.

Christ, the true Solomon, knows all the dangers through which His bride, His own, must pass. He leads her further in that rest. We have found rest for our hearts and conscience by going to Him with our sins (Mt 11:2828“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.). He also wants to lead us through life in that rest, on our journey to Him. For this He tells us to take His yoke upon us. Then we find rest for our souls in our daily activities (Mt 11:2929Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.).

The rest acquired and obtained by Christ is attacked by the powers of the darkness and must be defended (cf. Isa 27:33“I, the LORD, am its keeper;
I water it every moment.
So that no one will damage it,
I guard it night and day.
). He places the responsibility for the defense in the hands of His own, providing them with the right weapons to effectively eliminate the enemy. We see this in the image of the sixty mighty men.

The sixty mighty men all know how to handle the sword and have it within reach (verse 88“All of them are wielders of the sword,
Expert in war;
Each man has his sword at his side,
[Guarding] against the terrors of the night.
). In these mighty men we can see a picture of believers who, in the practice of life, protect and preserve the truths of faith. Every believer is called upon to be such a mighty man. It is our responsibility to protect what God has given us in His Word. We are all being called upon to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 1:33Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.).

For this, every believer is given “the whole armor of God” at his disposal, which he must “put on” and “take up” (Eph 6:11-1811Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.14Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil [one].17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,). This also includes “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph 6:17b17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.; Heb 4:1212For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.). This can, for example, drive away a wrong doctrine about the peace that the Lord Jesus offers – for example, that this peace can be preserved by keeping the law. It is about knowing God’s Word, by which we become adept at using it as a weapon of defense.

The sword is used here, to defend us, “against the terrors of the nights”. The night is dangerous. It represents the spiritual darkness in which we live. But “the night is almost gone, and the day is near” (Rom 13:1212The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.). The day begins when the Lord Jesus returns to earth. At the same time, we also see that darkness is increasing. There is increasing deception and Satan is doing his utmost to keep us from following the Lord.

Only by holding on to the Word of God, holding that sword firmly in the hand or within reach at the hip, will we keep our spiritual rest and peace. The Lord Jesus gives the example when satan tempts Him in the wilderness (Mt 4:1-111Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.2And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.3And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”4But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”5Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,6and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU’;
and
‘ON [their] HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’”
7Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”8Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;9and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”10Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”11Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and [began] to minister to Him.
). He then uses the Word of God as a weapon and defeats satan, so that he finally departs. If we deviate from the Word, we lose our peace. Therefore it is important that we read and study God’s Word.


Solomon’s Sedan Chair

9“King Solomon has made for himself a sedan chair
From the timber of Lebanon.
10“He made its posts of silver,
Its back of gold
[And] its seat of purple fabric,
[With] its interior lovingly fitted out
By the daughters of Jerusalem.

The bride’s attention is now on the groom. He has made a sedan chair for himself, but uses it for the transportation and protection of his bride. Everything that is said about the sedan chair speaks of the person who made it. The bride in the sedan chair is constantly reminded of him during the journey through the night. It is also a demonstration against the enemy and that nothing can stop him. He is the mighty, invincible prince of peace.

The sedan chair speaks of the Lord Jesus Who is carried around by the believers and in Whom at the same time the believers know themselves safe and protected. Who He means to His own, is seen in the materials. Not everything is seen by the people, because what is inside is seen only by God.

The first thing that is mentioned and seen of the sedan chair, is the durable wood of the Lebanon. That wood is strong, it is durable and unbreakable. Wood grows out of the earth and it is often in Scripture accepted as a picture of the humanity of the Lord Jesus. He is “the fruit of the earth” (Isa 4:22In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth [will be] the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel.; 53:2a2For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no [stately] form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
; cf. Lk 23:3131For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”). Thus have men seen Him, and so do the believers know him.

The Lord Jesus knows the dangers of life on earth from His own experience, for He was as Man on earth. He is therefore perfectly capable of protecting us from the terrors of the nights (verse 88“All of them are wielders of the sword,
Expert in war;
Each man has his sword at his side,
[Guarding] against the terrors of the night.
). The same goes for the religious remnants during the horrors of great tribulation. He protects his own: “for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”” (Heb 13:5b-65[Make sure that] your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”6so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”). This could be the language of the believer, whenever he lives.

Solomon made the posts of the sedan chair out of silver (verse 1010“He made its posts of silver,
Its back of gold
[And] its seat of purple fabric,
[With] its interior lovingly fitted out
By the daughters of Jerusalem.
). Silver is a picture of the price of redemption (Exo 30:14-1514Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to the LORD.15The rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel, when you give the contribution to the LORD to make atonement for yourselves.; cf. 1Pet 1:18-1918knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,19but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, [the blood] of Christ.). Then we remember what the Lord Jesus did for us on the cross. That is the basis on which we are brought into this rest and through which He leads us further.

The back – or floor, as it also can be translated – is made of gold. Back or floor looks at something that supports you, at carrying capacity. Gold represents the glory of God. We see this in the Lord Jesus who carries and supports us. We see His glory in everything He does for us during our journey through the night with all its terrors. When we see Him in God’s glory, those terrors do not affect us.

The seat of the sedan chair is purple fabric. Kings go dressed in red purple. Red purple speaks of royal dignity. The faithful remnant shares in the dignity of her Bridegroom, the Messiah. When He appears in royal dignity, they appear with Him. The believers of today also have that dignity. They are now a kingdom of priests and will reign in the kingdom of peace with Christ as kings (Rev 1:66and He has made us [to be] a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him [be] the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.; 5:1010“You have made them [to be] a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”; 20:66Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.).

Finally, it is mentioned that “its interior” was “lovingly fitted out by the daughters of Jerusalem”. In the interior we see the atmosphere the bride finds herself in, with which she is surrounded. That atmosphere is love. The daughters of Jerusalem have taken care of this.

This speaks of believers who love the Lord Jesus so much, who live so much for Him, that this love surrounds their whole lives. Whatever they do, they do it out of love for the Lord Jesus. When you come into contact with them, you simply cannot escape experiencing that atmosphere, you, as it were, are submersed in it. If there is that atmosphere of love around us, it means that we show what we are in Christ. As a result, we accept, complement and help each other in this.

The daughters of Jerusalem, who also love the groom, have decorated the interior of the sedan chair with their love. That is what he really rests on. The Lord Jesus is carried around by the love of all His own. In the light of love, the other materials acquire their true meaning. God forgets nothing done out of love for Him, and His own (Heb 6:1010For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.).


The Coronation on the Day of the Wedding

11“Go forth, O daughters of Zion,
And gaze on King Solomon with the crown
With which his mother has crowned him
On the day of his wedding,
And on the day of his gladness of heart.”

The daughters of Zion have lovingly clad the interior of Solomon’s sedan chair. Now those who have created this atmosphere of love are called upon to go forth to see “King Solomon with the crown”. Those who are led by love to keep company with the Lord Jesus and His own, will see His glory as the crowned King. For this they have to go “forth”. It is the call that also sounds today in a Christianity that has fallen asleep: “Behold, the bridegroom! Come out, to meet [him]!” (Mt 25:6b6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet [him].’; cf. Eph 5:1414For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.”).

Love goes beyond being busy for Him. Martha serves the Lord out of love, and the Lord appreciates that too. But if it is only serving, the work becomes more important than the Person for Whom the work is done. There must come a moment when we “go forth”, go out of our activities to meet Him, to see Him and admire Him in His glory.

The crown that Solomon wears is put on his head by “his mother”. ‘His mother’ is a picture of Israel. It shows what the faithful remnant will do with the Messiah when He comes to them after the time of great tribulation. They will recognize Him as their King and thus offer Him the crown. This shows their connection with Him. He is their King and Lord to Whom they bow down in adoration: “Then the King will desire your beauty, because He is your Lord, bow down to Him” (Psa 45:1111Then the King will desire your beauty.
Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him.
).

At the same time He is their Bridegroom. He is crowned “on the day of His wedding”. The wedding refers to the union of the Lord Jesus as the Messiah with the remnant, or better, with the city of Jerusalem as His bride. The wedding reveals our love between the Bridegroom and the bride. There is not only a relationship of authority but also a relationship of love. His love goes out to His earthly bride. Then there is no longer the aspect of “being busy” for Him in the foreground, but being there for Him. We see that in the last line of the verse. It is about “His gladness of heart”.

When the Lord Jesus has established His earthly bride in His kingdom and she shares in His rest, His heart is full of joy. His joy for Israel will be because of the redemption that He brought about through which He is now in their midst as their King (Zep 3:14-17a14Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion!
Shout [in triumph], O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all [your] heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15The LORD has taken away [His] judgments against you,
He has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
You will fear disaster no more.
16In that day it will be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not be afraid, O Zion;
Do not let your hands fall limp.
17“The LORD your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
), as we read: “He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy” (Zep 3:17b17“The LORD your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
).

The same goes for our relationship with the Lord Jesus. On earth, His kingship is despicably rejected by men, which is expressed by crowning Him with a crown of thorns (Mt 27:2929And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”). But we recognize that He is rightly crowned with glory and honor by God (Heb 2:99But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, [namely,] Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.). Our recognition of His crowning can be seen as the coronation we perform. We bow down deeply before Him and place our whole lives under His authority.

We give Him His crown and honor Him as our Lord when we dedicate our lives in every sphere to Him. That is as a father, as a mother, as a child, in society and as a member of God’s church with the task He has given. ‘The day of His coronation’, the day we crown Him, is for us every day we live with our hearts directed to Him. Then we will not be primarily concerned with what we can do for Him, but with ‘the joy of His heart’.

Let us fix “our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross” (Heb 12:2a2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.). While He performed His work on earth through the terrible suffering on the cross He looked beyond that work to the joy. That joy consists of seeing the great crowd of redeemed whom He has bought for God through His work (Rev 5:99And they *sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood [men] from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.). Among them is His heavenly bride, the believers of the church.

He “gave Himself up for her” to possess her (Eph 5:2525Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,). He will rejoice in her forever. He has had her in His mind in completing His work. She is the “pearl of great value”, for which He has given up all things to possess (Mt 13:45-4645“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls,46and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.). She already belongs to Him now, but is still on her way to Him. When she is with him, the desires of his heart will be perfectly fulfilled.

Are we looking forward to His coming, especially because of the joy it means for Him?


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