Song of Songs
1 The Groom in His Garden 2 I Was Asleep but My Heart Was Awake 3 Too Much Effort 4-6 The Bolt Removed 7-9 Searching for the Groom 10-11 White and Red – Head and Hair 12-13 Eyes, Cheeks and Lips 14-16 Hands, Abdomen, Legs, Appearance, Mouth
The Groom in His Garden

1“I have come into my garden, my sister, [my] bride;
I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk.
Eat, friends;
Drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers.”

Here we see that the groom has accepted the invitation of the bride she is offering at the end of the previous chapter (Song 4:16b16“Awake, O north [wind],
And come, [wind of] the south;
Make my garden breathe out [fragrance],
Let its spices be wafted abroad.
May my beloved come into his garden
And eat its choice fruits!”
). He has come into his garden. In the same way the Lord Jesus gladly accepts our invitation to be openly present in our lives. He is always present in our lives, but we don’t always take into account His presence.

He desires that our life should be for Him as a garden full of fruit for Him. This is only so if we make our whole life available to Him. It is not only about being His property, but also about being aware of it. Otherwise, to our dismay, we will discover that He is not there, although we believe He is, as it is presented in the following verses.

But here He says: “I have come into My garden. Our garden is His garden. Our life is His. It belongs to Him. Therefore, all that is in that garden is also His. We see that in the repeated “My” in this verse. He enjoys every fruit in His garden i.e. every fruit in our life that is for Him. This pleasure is great because it is enjoyed in the relationship of kinship and love.

This is evident from the way in which the groom addresses his beloved. He calls her again “my sister”, underlining his relationship with her, and “my bride”, underlining his love for her. He has previously called her so (Song 4:9-109“You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, [my] bride;
You have made my heart beat faster with a single [glance] of your eyes,
With a single strand of your necklace.
10“How beautiful is your love, my sister, [my] bride!
How much better is your love than wine,
And the fragrance of your oils
Than all [kinds] of spices!
). There it is about who she is for his heart. Here it is about what he receives from her, from her garden, which he enjoys.

In this way the Lord Jesus also speaks to us with whom He has connected Himself, both by becoming like us, yet without sin, and by declaring His love to us. In that relationship He is present in our lives to enjoy every fruit that is worked by Himself in our lives through His Spirit.

It may be that weeds have to be weeded in our garden first, which limits or even prevents the growth of fruits for the Lord. For example, we must change our reading, listening and viewing behavior if this has a wrong influence on our thinking or takes up so much time that we do not get to bear fruit. Then we can invite the Lord Jesus into our garden, but perhaps He finds nothing or, even worse, He finds weeds or sinful habits there. When the weeds are removed, there is room for fruit for Him. Then He comes to take that fruit. He comes only when there are fruits and spices that satisfy Him.

The first fruit He has gathered is myrrh, “My myrrh”. Myrrh speaks of His suffering. When He comes to us, can we tell Him anything about His deep suffering for us? Together with the myrrh He also gathered His “balsam”, or, as it also can be rendered, “spices”. We literally see these spices at His burial (Lk 23:5656Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.; 24:11But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.; Jn 19:4040So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.). His burial is, so to speak, surrounded by the fragrant scent of His completed work.

The Lord Jesus also finds food and drink in His garden. He eats there “My honeycomb and My honey”. Honey speaks of the natural relationships between the believers among each other. When our natural relationships are good, it is produced through Him and gives Him joy. He rejoices when a man loves his wife and when children are obedient to their parents.

We can apply this further to all forms of authority that regulate the mutual relationships. Authority is no longer popular in our time, as practice shows. We see it in families, in society and in the church. If the God-given relationships of authority are exercised properly, it is a joy for the Lord Jesus. It is about authority exercised in love. A husband can show that by being there for his wife and not by claiming authority over her. It is about serving as the Lord served as Jesus.

Finally, the Lord Jesus speaks – in picture – about drinking “My wine and My milk”. Wine is a picture of joy (Jdg 9:1313But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my new wine, which cheers God and men, and go to wave over the trees?’; Psa 104:15a15And wine which makes man’s heart glad,
So that he may make [his] face glisten with oil,
And food which sustains man’s heart.
). He rejoices in the fellowship He has with us (1Jn 1:3b-43what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.4These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.). Milk is a picture of the Word of God (1Pet 2:22like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,). Fellowship that gives joy comes only from being occupied with God’s Word. This makes us white and clean as milk.

The Lord Jesus finds His full joy in what He can gather from our lives and eat and drink. These are all blessings He Himself has given us. Those blessings return to Him when we appreciate them. This is evident from our gratitude to Him for this.

And not only He, enjoys that fruit. He also invites others. There is not only the bride, but there are also the invitees to the wedding. In the future he will prepare a meal with rich food not only for the remnant of his people, but also for the nations (Isa 25:66The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain;
A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow,
[And] refined, aged wine.
). The ‘friends’ are those who have a relationship with Him, but do not yet know the intimacy that the bride or devotee has. Prophetically, they are the other cities of Israel. They too will share in the joy of the kingdom of peace.

We may also apply this verse to the church when it meets on Sunday around Himself. Then He comes into His garden to enjoy what she has for Him. He doesn’t come to tell something, but to receive something. We may bring Him what He Himself has worked through His Spirit and His Word within us, in what He has shown us of His Person in the preceding days.

It is primarily about remembering Him, not ourselves. The first thing He gathers is His myrrh. We may tell Him our grateful feelings about His suffering and death and let Him gather them. We often come to meetings to receive food from Him, but here we give Him food. “As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see [it and] be satisfied” (Isa 53:11a11As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see [it and] be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.

Here a point in the book is reached where there is a complete fulfillment of desires, both with the bride and with the groom. The book could end here. But that’s not how it is, because that’s not how life is.

I Was Asleep but My Heart Was Awake

2“I was asleep but my heart was awake.
A voice! My beloved was knocking:
‘Open to me, my sister, my darling,
My dove, my perfect one!
For my head is drenched with dew,
My locks with the damp of the night.’

A new part of the book begins with this verse. The previous part ended with the groom who came into the garden of the bride and rejoices at everything there is in her garden. Now follows a part in which we see how the bride refuses the groom again, but later seeks for him and finds him again.

The bride has fallen asleep. She forgot the groom and doesn’t seem to need his company. In the life of the believer, it may be that at some moment he is full of the Lord Jesus, but that he also has moments or periods when he is not fully focused on Him and his love is diminished. This change of love and its absence will also characterize the remnant.

When we are asleep, we need the call to awaken from sleep (Eph 5:1414For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.”). The bride’s heart is awake, but still she sleeps. She sleeps relative to the groom, but she is awake to her surroundings. Her attention is no longer focused on him, but on everything else.

That is a situation that the groom does not want. He wants the undivided attention of his bride. He begins to work for that. He lets the bride hear that he is coming. She hears and knows it is he. She calls him “my beloved”. Then she hears him knocking and asking to let him in. He addresses her with names that indicate what she means to him. In the same way the Lord tries to win our often cold or indifferent hearts by telling us what we mean to Him.

He calls her “my sister,” which indicated that there is a family relationship. For us it is there through the new life, the Divine nature, which has been given to us (2Pet 1:44For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of [the] divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.; Jn 20:1717Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”). He also calls her “my darling” or “my friend”, which indicates confidentiality, the sharing of secrets. The Lord Jesus calls us “friends” because He has made known to us everything He has heard from His Father. He introduced us into God’s thoughts (Jn 15:14-1514You are My friends if you do what I command you.15No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.).

He then calls her “my dove”. A dove is the picture of simplicity and affection towards him. For us, we must have an eye only for the Lord Jesus, which is worked through the presence of the Holy Spirit, Who is compared to a dove (Mt 10:1616“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.; 3:1616After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove [and] lighting on Him,).

Finally, he calls her “my perfect one”. By this he means that she has reached the stage of maturity. Spiritually, it means that a believer knows his position in Christ. He knows that through the one sacrifice of Christ he is “perfect for all time” (Heb 10:1414For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.). Then he will also behave spiritually mature (Phil 3:15a15Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;). The fact that Christ addresses a ‘sleeping’ believer with these names shows how lovingly He wants to awaken such a believer to live for Him again.

But the groom is not finished talking to her yet. He points not only to what she means to him, but also to what he does and has done for her. He spent the night outside, without a place to sleep. There he thought of her, with thoughts of blessing for her.

It may be that the Lord Jesus stands outside our lives and we are inside our safe, easy environment. There has come a separation that is unbearable for Him. He has none on the earth but His bride, the believers. If she no longer shows any interest in Him, He will do everything to reawaken her love for Him.

To this end He shows what He endures for her. He wanders, as it were, lonely through the night. When He comes to her, He tells her what is on His head and His locks of hair as a result of His search for her. His search is not about her location, because He knows where she is. His search concerns her heart, for it is no longer directed at Him.

If we no longer give Him the only place in our lives, He presents Himself to us in His suffering at night. We can then think of the fears that overwhelmed Him in Gethsémané. There His head is “drenched with dew” and His hair “with the damp of the night”. We know what He wrestled with in Gethsémané, how His sweat fell on the earth “like drops of blood” (Lk 22:4444And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.).

His “head … drenched with dew” reminds us that He always planned to start a new life with His bride. Dew announces a new day of refreshment. He thought about this in Gethsémané. His “locks [drenched] with the damp of the night” recalls His devotion – of which the locks speak – to her, to which the tears of suffering in the night are pointing (Heb 5:77In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.). That has kept Him busy in the garden.

Will this impressive approach work for His sleeping beloved? What does it do for us, who may also have fallen asleep?

Too Much Effort

3“I have taken off my dress,
How can I put it on [again]?
I have washed my feet,
How can I dirty them [again]?

The bride’s reaction after all the groom has said to her in verse 22“I was asleep but my heart was awake.
A voice! My beloved was knocking:
‘Open to me, my sister, my darling,
My dove, my perfect one!
For my head is drenched with dew,
My locks with the damp of the night.’
, is dismissive, shocking. She doesn’t want to change her cozy place for the cold of the night. The groom’s warm love leaves her untouched. She is mentally lazy and satisfied with her rest. Making an effort for the groom is too tiring. She is like the wise virgins who, like the foolish virgins, have fallen asleep waiting for the bridegroom (Mt 25:55Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and [began] to sleep.) or as the disciples who are unable to watch with the Lord (Lk 22:4545When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow,).

Her excuse that she can’t accept His invitation, is that she has “taken off” her “dress’. Clothing speaks of our behavior, of what is visible to others. Spiritually seen, her behavior speaks of a believer who is ashamed to stand up for the Lord Jesus and to testify openly of Him. There is nothing to see of the “garments of salvation” with which He has clothed her (Isa 61:1010I will rejoice greatly in the LORD,
My soul will exult in my God;
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation,
He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Another excuse she gives is that she has “washed” her “feet”. This means spiritually speaking that a believer has cleansed himself from the pollution of the world and as a consequence also prefers to stay away from it. That is an attitude of isolation. This purity, which in itself is good, becomes an enemy.

This results in self-satisfaction with everything we have received in Christ. Then we’ll find it enough and challenges won’t be there anymore. The willingness to face up to the fact that we need to change is the price of progress. Self-satisfaction results in the refusal to be motivated to a higher calling. Imagine what would happen if we allowed the Lord Jesus back into our life and gave Him authority over it again. That would mean that we would be deprived of the pleasure of our present rest. We should not think about rest like that. What we should think of, then, is the sorrow of leaving the Lord outside in the cold of the night.

Do we still want to go out and identify ourselves with Him in His rejection? Do we still want to be with Him? Yes, on Sundays of course. But during the week? He manages everything so that we search for Him again, to be with Him, and especially in daily life.

Paul says that we would have to leave the world if we do not want to have contact with all kinds of sinners and do not want to come into contact with the filth of the world (1Cor 5:1010I [did] not at all [mean] with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.). But we are always dealing with sinners. The world pollutes us even though we don’t want it to happen. We can’t do anything about colleagues swearing or telling dirty jokes. At school we sometimes have to look at wrong things or read books containing sex and coarse language. All this defiles us.

But the Lord Jesus wants to cleanse us. The water of life, the Word of God, cleanses us as we read it. After our contact with the world we have to go home and read the Word of God. Then our thoughts are cleansed and we are filled again with the Lord Jesus and the things that speak of Him.

We might think: ‘If we stay at home, nothing can happen to us.’ But this does not improve the sinful flesh. We can retreat into a monastery, but we take our own flesh with us. The images in our hearts defile us. Everything that defiles us comes from our own heart, that is what it is all about. The Lord Jesus wants to speak to our hearts.

In what way have we ‘locked’ our lives so that He cannot come to us? Is the bolt perhaps our conviction that everything is well with us? We can be sure that we are in the right place and that we are doing things in the right way. In the church of Laodicéa we see how this bolt works. They think they are doing great, but do not realize that they are blind and that the Lord Jesus is outside. The Lord then goes to work to remove that bolt. We see that in the next verse.

The Bolt Removed

4“My beloved extended his hand through the opening,
And my feelings were aroused for him.
5“I arose to open to my beloved;
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
And my fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the bolt.
6“I opened to my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away [and] had gone!
My heart went out [to him] as he spoke.
I searched for him but I did not find him;
I called him but he did not answer me.

In the previous verses we have seen that the bride has fallen asleep and is no longer paying attention to the groom. When the groom comes to her and wakes her, she brings several excuses to stay in her cozy bedroom. The groom addresses her lovingly, saying what he has done for her. But the bride remains: she doesn’t want to get out of her easy position and follow the groom outside. She has locked her room for him with her apologies. We have seen the application this has for us in our relationship with the Lord Jesus.

In the verses we now have before us, we see that the groom, although he has been declined, continues to approach his bride. The bride sees her beloved extending his hand through the opening of the door (verse 44“My beloved extended his hand through the opening,
And my feelings were aroused for him.
). She has locked the door against him. But he finds an opening in the room in which she has locked herself. Through that opening he shows his hand. That touches her. It is the hand of her beloved, the hand that is busy on her behalf. That hand wants to remove the bolt, so that the bride can come to him.

This reminds us of the hands of the Lord Jesus which He shows to His own when they are afraid together (Lk 24:3939See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”; Zec 13:66And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will say, ‘[Those] with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’
). It is the hand that was pierced for them. It is exactly as it says in a song, ‘I shall know Him … by the hands pierced for me.’ The Lord Jesus also knows how to find an opening in our lives to show us His pierced hand. If we see that hand, His hand, which was nailed to the cross for us, for me, it cannot leave us unmoved. It will make us restless, just like the bride.

Seeing the groom’s hand leads the bride to stand up (verse 55“I arose to open to my beloved;
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
And my fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the bolt.
). She wants to open the door for him. She takes the handle of the bolt. There appears to be myrrh on it. That myrrh has left his hand on it and it is now on her own hands and fingers. She comes into personal contact with it. It is myrrh in abundance, her hands “drips with myrrh”. It is also “liquid myrrh”, there is movement in it. She is – in picture – reminded of his suffering, of which the myrrh speaks.

This is also what we need when our love for the Lord Jesus is weakened. We need the remembrance of His suffering, not superficially, but the deep experience of it. Once again, I have to thoroughly understand what He has suffered for me personally. The myrrh must drip, as it were, from my hands and fingers. This will lead me to commit myself once again entirely to Him and to give Him all my love.

We see in Peter that he denies the Lord as soon as he gets into trouble. This is because he fell asleep in Gethsémané. Then the Lord shows him His love by looking at Him – while He suffers. Thus, He pours, as it were, the myrrh over His hands. Through this personal encounter with the Lord in His suffering, Peter repents.

Then the bride gets up to open. When she opens the door to let him in, it turns out that he is no longer there. He is gone! Where is he? He has withdrawn. Why? He wants her to experience what her refusal to open up to him means. That is how it can be in our lives. When we finally come to open the door for Him and allow Him back into our lives, He suddenly cannot be found. Then we must learn that He also does this out of love for us, to teach us even more to realize Who He is. However, He does not disappear forever, but He leaves to persuade us to seek him.

The bride has suddenly come to life. She is suddenly full of action to look for Him. How did that come about? She says it: “My heart went out [to him] as he spoke.” His voice, his words, have worked that out in her. That’s how it goes with us. The words of the Lord Jesus “are spirit and are life” (Jn 6:6363It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.). He speaks living and life-giving words. Peter recognizes this and therefore wants to go to none other than the Lord, for He has “words of eternal life” (Jn 6:67-6967So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?”68Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.69We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”).

The bride goes out searching for him, but doesn’t find him. She calls, but he doesn’t answer. By leaving he tests her longing, whether or not she really wants to search for him. We also sometimes wonder why the Lord does not answer when we seek Him in prayer. One of the lessons He wants us to learn is that we ourselves cannot set the conditions for contact with Him. Sometimes God hides Himself from us, that is the feeling we have at least (cf. Lam 3:8,448Even when I cry out and call for help,
He shuts out my prayer.
44You have covered Yourself with a cloud
So that no prayer can pass through.
), because we have hidden ourselves so often from Him. Sometimes God does not answer our calls, because so often we have not answered His appeals to us.

It is His love that acts this way, for He wants to encourage devotion and enhance love. Therefore, the Lord also lets us go through exercises to see if we miss Him and seek Him. He then tries us to see if it really matters to us whether we want to have fellowship with Him. It is also possible that we only call to Him because we are in a difficulty. We want to be freed from that situation and God only wishes to solve that problem. After that we can continue with our own life, in which He should not interfere too dramatically.

If we really want to live a life in fellowship with Him, we should not be disappointed if He does not respond directly or in a way other than we imagine. Then we will continue to trust that He has the best for us and we will persevere in our search for Him. We see that here in the bride. She continues her search. This brings her into circumstances that make her testify beautifully of who the groom is to her, as the following verses show. The Lord Jesus also wants to achieve this with us through situations in which we, according to our feelings, have lost Him.

Searching for the Groom

7“The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
They struck me [and] wounded me;
The guardsmen of the walls took away my shawl from me.
8“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
If you find my beloved,
As to what you will tell him:
For I am lovesick.”
9“What kind of beloved is your beloved,
O most beautiful among women?
What kind of beloved is your beloved,
That thus you adjure us?”

The bride continues searching in the city (verse 77“The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
They struck me [and] wounded me;
The guardsmen of the walls took away my shawl from me.
). There the guards do their rounds. So, it is still night. She doesn’t search for them, but they find her and act roughly with her. We have met the guards before (Song 3:1-31“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.3“The watchmen
who make the rounds in the city found me,
[And I said], ‘Have you seen him whom my soul loves?’
). There they were not as hard in their actions as here. Now they wound the bride. When distance has come between the Lord and us, we are sometimes forced through painful experiences. The Lord allows this to happen to bring us back to Him.

Striking and wounding, which literally happens to the bride here, can also happen on a figurative level, for example with heavy reproach. Accusatory words can cut hard. They wound the soul, they hurt within. That happens when we are in a place where we do not belong. If the bride had immediately risen and had opened for the groom, this would not have happened, then she would have been spared this suffering and shame.

The guards also take her veil away. The veil is a picture of complete devotion to the groom. The veil means: I am only for Him. But that is not true. It is her profession, but not her practice. Therefore, the veil must be removed. If there is hypocrisy in our lives, the Lord must denounce it and take it away.

For example, we say that we only come together in the Name of the Lord Jesus. But it is hypocrisy if we still give our own interpretation to the meetings. Or we have our own established habits from which the meeting is not allowed to deviate. Then the Spirit of God cannot work and the veil must be removed. In this case, the veil is not a sign of voluntary devotion and surrender, but a kind of overt surrender. This appearance of surrender, gives a facade of devotion, but in reality blocks the Lord’s, and the Spirit’s access to our lives, and must be taken away.

If the Lord sometimes uses strict methods for this, let us not blame the other who is used by the Lord for it. The ‘guards’ who find us can be all kinds of people. Even though they are people who, like the guards, have no idea what they are doing to us, it is still important to see the Lord’s hand in them. He is busy bringing us back to a living connection with Him.

We see the effect on the bride. She is not confused, but accepts the treatment she gets. She knows it is her own fault. That is where the return begins. She has arrived at a low point and is starting to make her way up.

We also see it with Samson. His long hair – the outward sign of his devotion to and separation for God – was cut off and taken away (Jdg 16:17-1917So he told her all [that was] in his heart and said to her, “A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I will become weak and be like any [other] man.”18When Delilah saw that he had told her all [that was] in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up once more, for he has told me all [that is] in his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands.19She made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair. Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him.). His eyes are put out and he grinds flour in the Philistine prison (Jdg 16:2121Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison.). Deeper he could not sink. But then we read that the hair of his head began to grow again (Jdg 16:2222However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off.). If we have become sincere and honest, that is a new beginning. Our first dedication was good at first, but gradually it became a cover, only a symbol of submission, not the real thing. When you see that, the time has come for a new dedication. That is what the Lord wants to produce with you and I.

From a prophetic point of view, this will happen in the end-time to the remnant from the antichrist and his followers. They will punish the remnant, the bride, because she does not join them in following the antichrist. They are a means in God’s hand for this, without realizing it themselves.

After this humiliating lesson, the bride will not resign herself. She continues to search. She did not ask the guards for help. She has no relation with them at all. They found her and occupied themselves with her unasked for. This is different with “the daughters of Jerusalem” (verse 88“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
If you find my beloved,
As to what you will tell him:
For I am lovesick.”
). She turns to them and asks if they want to tell the groom that she is lovesick when they find him. In doing so, she indicates how much she desires his presence. She had said that once before (Song 2:55“Sustain me with raisin cakes,
Refresh me with apples,
Because I am lovesick.
), but in that case she was in the arms of the groom. Here she says it while absent from him, and he has had to leave her by due to her own fault.

She is not ashamed of her weakness and asks for help in her search from those who do not have that intimate relationship with the groom (cf. Song 6:11“Where has your beloved gone,
O most beautiful among women?
Where has your beloved turned,
That we may seek him with you?”
). Recognition of weakness does not take away anything from our beauty, but commands respect. If we have any self-knowledge, we are aware that we are only very weak in the laying hold of our privileges. We owe nothing to ourselves, but everything to the Lord.

The daughters of Jerusalem see a special beauty in the bride (verse 99“What kind of beloved is your beloved,
O most beautiful among women?
What kind of beloved is your beloved,
That thus you adjure us?”
). They talk to her with “o most beautiful among the women”. We would say: she doesn’t look like that. After all, the guards had roughly handled her and injured her. The fact that the daughters of Jerusalem address her in this way is because she is occupied with the bridegroom. That is the thing that is noted.

If we are full of the Lord Jesus, all the things in our lives that would otherwise stand out will disappear into the background. We can all think of things we have done for which we are ashamed. But when we have truly confessed them and we are full of the Lord Jesus, the testimony of Him shines through everything. Instead of contempt, the question then arises as to what is special about Him of Whom our heart is so full, thus shading every other love.

Her answer comes in the following verses. In it the bride gives a description of the groom. She says wonderful things about him. This goes beyond just saying what she has received from Him. She speaks of Himself, as He is. Her description of Him is the spiritual fruit of the trial she went through as a result of leaving Him.

White and Red – Head and Hair

10“My beloved is dazzling and ruddy,
Outstanding among ten thousand.
11“His head is [like] gold, pure gold;
His locks are [like] clusters of dates
[And] black as a raven.

The daughters of Jerusalem asked the bride twice in verse 99“What kind of beloved is your beloved,
O most beautiful among women?
What kind of beloved is your beloved,
That thus you adjure us?”
: “What kind of beloved is your beloved?” They ask this question because they see how full the bride is of her groom. In verse 1010“My beloved is dazzling and ruddy,
Outstanding among ten thousand.
, she begins an impressive description of him of whom her heart is so full. She doesn’t have to search for words.

It is remarkable that every time the bride speaks about the groom, she does so to others. She testifies of who he is for her to her surroundings. When the groom speaks about the bride, he does so to her. He always assures her of the value she has for him and lets her know how much he rejoices in her. We may do the same with regard to Him of Whom our heart is full, realizing that His heart is full of us.

She starts by telling who her groom is. He is “My beloved” and He is “white [better than dazzling] and ruddy”. We can apply this directly to the Lord Jesus, our ‘Beloved’. First and foremost, He is white. This speaks of His absolute purity. He is the pure One and the holy One. The Lord Jesus was born of a sinful woman, Mary, but was not conceived by a sinful man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, He is also “that holy One” (Lk 1:3535The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.).

He is absolutely without sin. He never committed one sin, neither in deeds nor in words (1Pet 2:2222who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;). And not only that but He did not know sin (2Cor 5:2121He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.). It is so true, that in Him there is no sin (1Jn 3:55You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.). No one could convict Him of sin (Jn 8:4646Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me?). The devil had nothing in Him, that is to say, no single lead (Jn 14:3030I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me;). The bride, and every human being, stands out in contrast to this. The bride has also acknowledged this. She has said of herself that she is dark (Song 1:5-65“I am black but lovely,
O daughters of Jerusalem,
Like the tents of Kedar,
Like the curtains of Solomon.6“Do not stare at me because I am swarthy,
For the sun has burned me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me;
They made me caretaker of the vineyards,
[But] I have not taken care of my own vineyard.
). Only someone who can repeat it after her with true sincerity can have a relationship with Him.

The next symbol is that he is red. Red is the color of blood. The Lord Jesus poured out His blood to possess His bride. Only through His blood can the darkness of sin be washed away. This makes someone pure in the eyes of the holy God. The Lord Jesus is perfectly pure in His life and has never had anything to do with sin. The only time He has had to do with it is on the cross. There He was made sin by God for everyone who believes in Him. This is also the complete settlement of sin. The sins of the faithful sinner have been judged and forgiven forever and disposed of.

After this general, introductory description, the bride exclaims in delight that he stands out above everyone. If we are so full of our Lord, this should also be our cry. He is “fairer than the sons of men” (Psa 45:2a2You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
). No one can be compared to Him. He is the Firstborn among many brethren (Rom 8:2929For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined [to become] conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;). He is the Captain who leads many sons to glory (Heb 2:1010For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.). He is the true David who has defeated his ten thousands (1Sam 18:77The women sang as they played, and said,
“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.”

He is not only elevated as a banner above Israel, but also above all nations (Isa 5:2626He will also lift up a standard to the distant nation,
And will whistle for it from the ends of the earth;
And behold, it will come with speed swiftly.
; 11:10,1210Then in that day
The nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
Who will stand as a signal for the peoples;
And His resting place will be glorious.12And He will lift up a standard for the nations
And assemble the banished ones of Israel,
And will gather the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.
). His banner is the cross. There the victory has been achieved and the full result will soon be visible. We can already see that result in faith and praise Him for it.

From verse 1010“My beloved is dazzling and ruddy,
Outstanding among ten thousand.
onwards the bride mentions ten characteristics of the groom. She describes him from head to toe. The description begins with his head. That’s fine gold. It is clear that this is visual language. We can apply this again directly to the Lord Jesus. The head is a picture of wisdom and insight, and gold of Divine glory. His wisdom and understanding are Divine. So, He is busy with His bride, but also with His creation. His headship also speaks of dominion. He is Head above all (1Cor 11:33But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.; Col 1:15-1715He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.16For by Him all things were created, [both] in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.17He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.).

His thinking is always focused on God and full of doing His will. Further on in this chapter the gold is also mentioned in connection with His hands and His feet (verses 14-1514“His hands are rods of gold
Set with beryl;
His abdomen is carved ivory
Inlaid with sapphires.
15“His legs are pillars of alabaster
Set on pedestals of pure gold;
His appearance is like Lebanon
Choice as the cedars.
). It points out that the execution of God’s thoughts in His works and His way is always godly and perfect.

His curly hairlocks speak of His devotion and submission as Man to His God (cf. 1Cor 11:1515but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering.). It is a feature of His being a Nazarite (Num 6:55‘All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall pass over his head. He shall be holy until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD; he shall let the locks of hair on his head grow long.). For a man, having long hair is a disgrace (1Cor 11:1414Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him,). His ‘shame’ is that He submits Himself completely to God and gives up His position as Head of Creation.

They are black locks, not grey. It points out that the power of life is in Him and He is in the power of His life. The Hebrew word for ‘black’ is related to the word for ‘youth’. The raven is an unclean bird (Lev 11:13,1513‘These, moreover, you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard,15every raven in its kind,). Thus, is the Lord Jesus treated by the religious leaders of His people. But God gives the raven his food when his young call for help from God (Job 38:4141“Who prepares for the raven its nourishment
When its young cry to God
And wander about without food?
). In this way the Lord Jesus has always expected and received everything from His God. This has given him the strength to go his way to the glory of God.

Eyes, Cheeks and Lips

12“His eyes are like doves
Beside streams of water,
Bathed in milk,
[And] reposed in [their] setting.
13“His cheeks are like a bed of balsam,
Banks of sweet-scented herbs;
His lips are lilies
Dripping with liquid myrrh.

The bride continues her description of the groom with “his eyes” (verse 1212“His eyes are like doves
Beside streams of water,
Bathed in milk,
[And] reposed in [their] setting.
). To see someone’s eyes one has to be close to the person. The eyes are sometimes called ‘the mirror of the soul’. If you look someone deep in the eyes, you can read a lot of what is going on in him, whether someone is happy or sad.

The bride compares his eyes to “doves” (cf. Song 1:1515“How beautiful you are, my darling,
How beautiful you are! Your eyes are [like] doves.”
; 4:11“How beautiful you are, my darling,
How beautiful you are!
Your eyes are [like] doves behind your veil;
Your hair is like a flock of goats
That have descended from Mount Gilead.
). That means that his eyes are characterized by what characterizes doves. Doves have a “clear” or “single” (Darby translation) eye (Mt 6:2222“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.). A single eye is an eye that focuses on only one object. With the Lord Jesus we see this in perfection. His gaze was always straight ahead (Pro 4:2525Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
). Several times we read of Him that He raised His eyes to heaven (Jn 17:11Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You,; 11:4141So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.).

His eyes were always on the Father. He always had, so to speak, ‘eye contact’ with His Father. He never contemplated anything wrong and never made a wrong observation. Eve did, so sin came into the world. The Lord Jesus has always been guided by His Father – by everything He said. This is indicated by “beside streams of water”. He lived by the Word of God (Mt 4:44But 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.’”). That Word was a refreshment for Him (Psa 110:77He will drink from the brook by the wayside;
Therefore He will lift up [His] head.

With that refreshment He also revives or restores others who are affected by sin. This is how He looked at Peter, after Peter has denied Him three times. This reminded Peter of the word the Lord had spoken to him. That broke his heart, and the way to recovery had begun (Lk 22:61-6261The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.”62And he went out and wept bitterly.).

Still the bride is not finished with the description of the groom’s eyes. She sees his eyes “Bathed in milk, [And] reposed in [their] setting”. The white of the eye, the bride compares with milk. Milk is associated with the thought of abundance, purity, cleanness and healthy food. Israel is a land that flows over with milk and honey. Milk is also a picture of the healthy food of God’s Word (1Pet 2:22like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,).

The description “reposed in [their] setting” radiates tranquility. This gives a picture of the full fellowship of the Lord with His Father. His eyes do not wander, nor go back and forth nervously. His eyes are always on His Father. From the fellowship with the Father His eyes also go to His disciples (Lk 6:2020And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He [began] to say, “Blessed [are] you [who are] poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.) and to the crowds (Jn 6:55Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, *said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?”; Mt 14:1414When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.).

It is good to know the eyes of the Lord Jesus and to read what is in them for us. They are the eyes of doves, which also reminds us of the Holy Spirit, who descended upon Him in the form of a dove. The Spirit gives His eyes a shine reminiscent of streams of water and a look reminiscent of the purity of milk. His eyes are for His own a source of sympathy.

After the eyes, the gaze is focused on His cheeks. Then we remember that He gave His cheeks to those who plucked out His beard (Isa 50:66I gave My back to those who strike [Me],
And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;
I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
). For those who know Him, those cheeks are “like a bed of balsam, Banks of sweet-scented herbs”. His reaction to the reprobate treatment inflicted upon Him is a response of rest, like a bed. He has suffered silently. And what a lovely fragrance ascended out of that rest up to God, like the fragrance of balsam. He who was once despised as the defenseless One is therefore admired by God and His own.

The “banks” (of a river) speak of not being distracted, going one direction. The Lord Jesus did not let himself be distracted from the way he had to go. He went all the way till His work was completed. Herbs, like spices, give a pleasant scent. His watchfulness, his constant attention to the Father, has been for the Father a wonderful fragrance, a great joy for His heart.

Here the bride tells us that she has seen that in him. Have we seen this in the Lord Jesus? We have to look at Him, that is, we read the Word and think about Him. As we think about His life on earth, we will get to know more and more of His Person and start to admire Him more and more. We will bear witness of this to others.

The bride compares the lips of the groom with “lilies dripping with liquid myrrh”. We read of the Lord Jesus about His lips, “grace is poured upon Your lips” (Psa 45:22You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
). The lily is a picture of tenderness in a region of thorns (Song 2:1-21“I am the rose of Sharon,
The lily of the valleys.”
2“Like a lily among the thorns,
So is my darling among the maidens.”
). The Lord Jesus spoke words of life and encouragement among a people compared to “thistles and thorns” (Eze 2:66And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house.).

In an unruly, pain causing world, He speaks words of grace. These words are not in the newspaper, but in God’s Word and in the hearts of those who have accepted His words. They have experienced, like the bride, that His words are not cheap words. They are imbued with the suffering that He wanted to undergo in order to be able to speak those words. This is what the “liquid myrrh” speaks of. There is testified of Him: “Never has a man spoken as this man speaks” (Jn 7:4646The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.”). “And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips” (Lk 4:22a22And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”).

He can sympathize with our weaknesses because He suffered the same on earth as we did, yet without sin (Heb 4:1515For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as [we are, yet] without sin.). We never knock on the door in vain if we want to tell Him our problems. When we come to Him with our need, He is open to us and we may experience His understanding of us. Then he says: “Take courage” (Mt 9:2,222And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.”22But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.; 14:2727But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”; Mk 10:4949And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him [here].” So they *called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.”; Jn 16:3333These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”; Acts 23:1111But on the night [immediately] following, the Lord stood at his side and said, “Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.”). This is such a word of grace with which He comforts us with the comfort He knows from His own experience.

Hands, Abdomen, Legs, Appearance, Mouth

14“His hands are rods of gold
Set with beryl;
His abdomen is carved ivory
Inlaid with sapphires.
15“His legs are pillars of alabaster
Set on pedestals of pure gold;
His appearance is like Lebanon
Choice as the cedars.
16“His mouth is [full of] sweetness.
And he is wholly desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem.”

The bride continues with the hands of the groom. As we think of the Lord Jesus, His hands would point to His works. The universe is the work of his hands (Psa 19:11For the choir director. A Psalm of David.
The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
; Isa 45:1212“It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it.
I stretched out the heavens with My hands
And I ordained all their host.
; 66:1-21Thus says the LORD,
“Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool.
Where then is a house you could build for Me?
And where is a place that I may rest?
2“For My hand made all these things,
Thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD.
“But to this one I will look,
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.
). The “rods of gold” remind us that everything He does carries His Divine attribute. Just as a rod is without end, so are His works without end. This all-powerful Creator is our Bridegroom. He has connected us to Himself through His love.

His hands were nailed to the cross (Psa 22:16c16For dogs have surrounded me;
A band of evildoers has encompassed me;
They pierced my hands and my feet.
). They are precious to anyone who is touched by them (Mt 8:3,153Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.15He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she got up and waited on Him.; 14:3131Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”). He has engraved the believers in His palms (Isa 49:1616“Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms [of My hands];
Your walls are continually before Me.
). What is engraved is impossible to remove. No one can remove a child of God out of His hand (Jn 10:2828and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.).

It is added that they are “set with beryl”. Beryl is a precious stone. Precious stones have a meaning. A possible meaning can be derived from the place they have on the breastplate of the high priest. The beryl or topaz is the first stone of the fourth row of precious stones (Exo 28:2020and the fourth row a beryl and an onyx and a jasper; they shall be set in gold filigree.; 39:1313and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They were set in gold filigree [settings] when they were mounted.). We can draw a parallel with the fourth Gospel, the Gospel to John. In that Gospel the glory of the Lord Jesus is presented as the Son of God.

We can also connect the beryl with the governmental ways of God. The stone is also mentioned in connection with God’s ‘wheels within a wheel’ which Ezekiel sees (Eze 1:1616The appearance of the wheels and their workmanship [was] like sparkling beryl, and all four of them had the same form, their appearance and workmanship [being] as if one wheel were within another.; 10:99Then I looked, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub; and the appearance of the wheels [was] like the gleam of a Tarshish stone.). The ‘wheels within a wheel’ symbolizes God’s government in the world. He makes it clear that God leads everything to the goal He has set and that no one can change anything about it.

All “the works of his hands”, all his actions in and with the world, “are truth and justice” (Psa 111:77The works of His hands are truth and justice;
All His precepts are sure.
). What applies to the world also applies to the life of His own. God’s plan with the world, and with our lives, is that in those plans, the Lord Jesus will be visible and glorified. It is a great privilege to see that.

“His abdomen” speaks of His inner being. He is inwardly committed to us. His interior is compared to “carved ivory”. Ivory is mentioned in connection with the kingship of Solomon, the king of peace (1Kgs 10:2222For the king had at sea the ships of Tarshish with the ships of Hiram; once every three years the ships of Tarshish came bringing gold and silver, ivory and apes and peacocks.; 2Chr 9:2121For the king had ships which went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; once every three years the ships of Tarshish came bringing gold and silver, ivory and apes and peacocks.). Solomon has made “a great throne of ivory” (1Kgs 10:1818Moreover, the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with refined gold.; 2Chr 9:1717Moreover, the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with pure gold.). We can therefore connect ivory with the kingship of the Lord Jesus that He exercises in peace. His government excels in justice.

His government is not hard or insensitive, but full of sympathy for His subjects. He excels in this too. This is emphasized by the “sapphires” with which the ivory is covered. Sapphire is a precious stone which, like the beryl mentioned above, appears on the breastplate of the high priest. This stone is the second stone in the second row of the breastplate (Exo 28:1818and the second row a turquoise, a sapphire and a diamond;; 39:1111and the second row, a turquoise, a sapphire and a diamond;). We can link this to the second Gospel, the Gospel of Mark. This Gospel is that of the Servant, who serves men full of compassion, and does everything in obedience to His sender.

We also see the sapphire, again like the beryl, in connection with the governmental ways of God. He is connected with the throne of God. Ezekiel reminds us of this (Eze 1:2626Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, [was] a figure with the appearance of a man.; 10:11Then I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim something like a sapphire stone, in appearance resembling a throne, appeared above them.). The reign of God is exercised by the Lord Jesus as the Son of man. God has given Him the power to do so. It is a great encouragement to know that He who rules is our beloved Savior, who has given His life for us.

Then “his legs” are described. They look like “pillars of alabaster” (verse 1515“His legs are pillars of alabaster
Set on pedestals of pure gold;
His appearance is like Lebanon
Choice as the cedars.
). Pillars support a building and indicate stability, like the two pillars of the temple, Jachin and Boaz (1Kgs 7:2121Thus he set up the pillars at the porch of the nave; and he set up the right pillar and named it Jachin, and he set up the left pillar and named it Boaz.). Alabaster is hard. It makes clear how rigid and immovable everything is with the Lord Jesus. The universe rests on Him and is therefore certain. There is nothing in the world and nothing in the church that is capable of shaking Him.

The pillars are “set on pedestals of pure gold”. This indicates that God’s glory is the foundation of His immovable dominion. The pedestals are reminiscent of His feet, of His way through the world. He went His way in God’s power, without hesitation, without returning, without slowing down.

Everywhere, He has left the traces of His glory. His walk on earth was perfectly Divine. God “does not take pleasure in the legs of a man” (Psa 147:1010He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man.
). But how different were His legs. He is perfectly stable, unshakeable in all the problems and all the needs that may arise over His own. By looking at Him in this way we are encouraged to persevere in our way on the earth.

The bride has described her groom from head to toe. She then takes a step back, as it were, and looks at his whole “appearance”. It looks “like Lebanon” and “the cedars” thereon (Psa 92:1212The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree,
He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
; Isa 60:1313“The glory of Lebanon will come to you,
The juniper, the box tree and the cypress together,
To beautify the place of My sanctuary;
And I shall make the place of My feet glorious.
). The view is overwhelming because of the immovability and beauty.

Just as cedars transcend all trees, so for us the Lord Jesus transcends all people. He is the glorified Man in heaven. This is a place the Father would give to Him, and Him alone, and not to anyone else. We see this when we see Him in His full glory, as far as it is perceptible to us. He is the only One Who has truly and fully earned; to be “crowned with glory and honor” (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.).

And suddenly another thing is described of Him: “His mouth is [full of] sweetness” (verse 1616“His mouth is [full of] sweetness.
And he is wholly desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem.”
). With the mouth, or even better, the palate, food is tasted. Everything that the Lord Jesus has tasted in His life on earth is sweetness. He has fed Himself with everything the Father said to Him. It was His food to do the will of His Father (Jn 4:3434Jesus *said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.). He has tasted perfectly “that the Lord is merciful” (1Pet 2:33if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.).

Yes, everything about the Lord Jesus is “wholly desirable”. For those who love Him, there is nothing to discover in Him that is not desirable. It is not possible to describe His glory in full extent (cf. Jn 21:2525And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they *were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself *would not contain the books that *would be written.). Everything about Him is overwhelming.

The “daughters of Jerusalem” have asked the bride what is so special about her groom (verse 99“What kind of beloved is your beloved,
O most beautiful among women?
What kind of beloved is your beloved,
That thus you adjure us?”
). She has given an impressive description of him. This confession is the result of the loving contact of the groom with his bride. The Lord Jesus is also working in our lives to persuade us to see much of Him and to bear witness to that. In everything we learn about Him in glory and beauty, we may also say: This is my Beloved and this is my Friend. We experience Him close to us when we are engaged with Him in that way.

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