Song of Songs
1-4 Instruction and Embracing 5 Coming up from the Wilderness 6-7 Love Is Strong as Death 8-10 The Bride and Her Sister 11-12 Two Vineyards 13-14 Hurry
Instruction and Embracing

1“Oh that you were like a brother to me
Who nursed at my mother’s breasts.
[If] I found you outdoors, I would kiss you;
No one would despise me, either.
2“I would lead you [and] bring you
Into the house of my mother, who used to instruct me;
I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my pomegranates.
3“Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”
4“I want you to swear, O daughters of Jerusalem,
Do not arouse or awaken [my] love
Until she pleases.”

Here a new chapter begins, but verses 1-41“Oh that you were like a brother to me
Who nursed at my mother’s breasts.
[If] I found you outdoors, I would kiss you;
No one would despise me, either.
2“I would lead you [and] bring you
Into the house of my mother, who used to instruct me;
I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my pomegranates.
3“Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”
4“I want you to swear, O daughters of Jerusalem,
Do not arouse or awaken [my] love
Until she pleases.”
still belong to the previous section. We see this in the chorus of verse 44“I want you to swear, O daughters of Jerusalem,
Do not arouse or awaken [my] love
Until she pleases.”
that closes the part (cf. 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.”
; 3:55“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.”
). After the beautiful climax at the end of the previous chapter, we see that the situation of final and undisturbed happiness has not yet arrived. It is not yet the time of the kingdom of peace. This is evident from the last verse of the chapter, in which the bride expresses her longing for the groom’s imminent arrival.

Love has experienced great growth. But there has been no wedding yet. They cannot yet openly appear as men and women. The bride longs for that time. Thus, the remnant in the great tribulation will feel just before the coming of the Lord Jesus. They will long for Him.

It seems that the bride does not dare to openly express her relationship with the groom. Therefore, she sighs, as it were, that the groom would be her brother, fed by the same mother. From a prophetic point of view this also is the case. The remnant of Jerusalem is the daughter of Israel (Eze 23:2-42“Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother;3and they played the harlot in Egypt. They played the harlot in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and there their virgin bosom was handled.4Their names were Oholah the elder and Oholibah her sister. And they became Mine, and they bore sons and daughters. And [as for] their names, Samaria is Oholah and Jerusalem is Oholibah.). The Lord Jesus was also born of Israel according to the flesh (Rom 9:4-54who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the [temple] service and the promises,5whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.).

We also hear that the groom calls the bride “my sister” several times (Song 4:9,10,129“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!12“A garden locked is my sister, [my] bride,
A rock garden locked, a spring sealed up.
; 5:1,21“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.”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.’
). Then he is her brother. She seems to have forgotten that. In any case, she is looking for him again, not so much as her groom, but as her brother. We can also see a proof of Jerusalem’s love for the Messiah. The city loves Him, here not so much because He is her King, but because of Who He Himself is in His family relationship with her. That is why she wants to have Him close by to give Him her love. This selfless love does not give rise to contempt.

Our selfless love for the Lord Jesus is often not understood by those surrounding us. Sometimes we are also ashamed to show in no uncertain terms that we love Him. Yet others will not despise us if we show our relationship with Him in our lives by revealing His own features. When His love, His peace and His joy are visible in our lives, it is not despised. We may not talk about our love for Him, but in our lives, it becomes visible that He is our life.

In her attachment to the groom the bride wants to take him to the house where her mission is to be instructed by him (verse 22“I would lead you [and] bring you
Into the house of my mother, who used to instruct me;
I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my pomegranates.
). She wants her thinking to be corrected. This is also an important wish for us. We also need to receive the instruction of God’s Word again and again because we are easily influenced in our thinking by the world, or to have our thinking corrected when we still think in a worldly way.

“The house of my mother” recalls the roots of her existence. The new Israel, the faithful remnant, is based on the old promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. She wants to learn more about that. The connection that Jerusalem, the remnant, will have with the Messiah is based on the connection that God has had with Israel in the past. The faithful remnant of the future must be connected with Israel from the past as the people of God.

God will fulfill the promises He made to the old Israel, with the new Israel. He will do so on the basis of the work of the Messiah – the promised Posterity – on the cross. It is also important for us to know who our mother is. Our mother is the heavenly Jerusalem and the mountain of Zion, the mountain of grace (Gal 4:22-2822For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman.23But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.24This is allegorically speaking, for these [women] are two covenants: one [proceeding] from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar.25Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.26But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.27For it is written, “Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear; Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor; For more numerous are the children of the desolate Than of the one who has a husband.”28And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.; Heb 12:2222But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,).

We are connected with our heavenly Bridegroom only by grace, and not by works of the law or by any of our own works. If we know this, we will also desire to be instructed by Him about our connection with Him and about the grace that underlies it. Grace gives that instruction (Tit 2:11-1211For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,). Grace gives us the necessary instruction to live as believers.

This instruction is a continuous learning process. This enables new people to honor God in their new walk in life. In this instruction it first becomes clear that the past has been dealt with. The instruction relates to the past, the present and the future.

An attitude of longing for instruction from Him is a joy for Him, which is expressed in the spiced wine. The spiced wine represents the joy that is aroused by the glories that can be found with Him. Those glories the believer offers the Lord Jesus. The juice of pomegranates that the believer offers the Lord Jesus speaks of the fruit that is pleasing to Him. It is a fruit that produces new fruit over and over again. It represents a life in which one fruit after another is produced for Him.

The result of the instruction, is that the believer desires to be so close to Him again that he experiences His support and embrace (verse 33“Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”
; cf. Song 2:66“Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”
). Left is the side of the heart. His left hand raises her head, reminding her that He loves her. Right is the side of strength, honor, protection. The protection feels like an embrace, in love.

For the third time the chorus of verse 44“I want you to swear, O daughters of Jerusalem,
Do not arouse or awaken [my] love
Until she pleases.”
sounds. Love should not be forced to express itself prematurely. We should not constrain young believers to make expressions of love they are not ready for. The Lord goes with them in His own way and will ensure that their love for Him will grow.

Love should be found among us all, and for that we must encourage one another (Heb 10:2424and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,). We can encourage each other to love. We may not demand anything from anyone that is not (yet) there or for which it is not time. In dependence on the Lord, we must learn to know the time for this.


Coming up from the Wilderness

5“Who is this coming up from the wilderness
Leaning on her beloved?”
“Beneath the apple tree I awakened you;
There your mother was in labor with you,
There she was in labor [and] gave you birth.

Here the last part of the book begins. Here we find again the question of; who the bride is (cf. Song 3:66“Who is this coming up from the wilderness
Like columns of smoke,
Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
With all scented powders of the merchant?
). She leans on her beloved as she comes up from the wilderness. For us, this means that the best way to go through the wilderness of the world is to lean on the Lord Jesus. We are all too inclined to rely on other means and not on Him. He helps us through the wilderness of this life and appears with us at the end of the wilderness journey. This is also a picture of the remnant, that leaning on Him, comes out of great tribulation. He picks up His bride Himself.

The bride comes out of the wilderness again, now not on a traveling coach as in Song of Songs 3 (Song 3:6-76“Who is this coming up from the wilderness
Like columns of smoke,
Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
With all scented powders of the merchant?7“Behold, it is the [traveling] couch of Solomon;
Sixty mighty men around it,
Of the mighty men of Israel.
), but leaning upon her beloved. That refers to an unrestricted relationship. The wilderness is mentioned here for the last time in this book. It is no longer about her, but about the groom, the beloved on whom she leans. It is trusting love. We see here that he is her strength and she his beloved.

The experiences of the wilderness are behind her. She has learned to lean fully on him. It also means that he was with her in the wilderness. She is not only in his company, but is dependent on him, she leans on him. The wilderness journey is over. With her is weakness, with him is strength. Leaning is relying on the strength of someone else. We must learn to lean fully on the Lord Jesus. The wilderness experiences in our lives are over when we have learned to lean only on Him.

In the wilderness we are tested. We learn to know our weakness and to be dependent on Him. He also comes from the wilderness. This also applies to the faithful remnant that comes from the great tribulation. They have called on the LORD, and He has delivered them out of their tribulation. They come out, leaning upon Him. They will acknowledge that He leads them out of the wilderness, for they themselves have no strength to free themselves from it.

We need support because we do not have strength of our own to go further. If we are aware of this, we will see that we do not rely on our own strength, but on Christ. Just as the bride leans on her beloved, so we rely on Him. You lean against something, of which you expect it to remain standing, you trust it to give firmness and not collapse. Christ never disappoints, He is the unshakable rock.

Israel has relied on Egypt. The LORD says that it is “the staff of this crushed reed”. Whoever leans on that, will not get the expected support, but pain (Isa 36:66Behold, you rely on the staff of this crushed reed, [even] on Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him.). That’s what happens with us when we trust in human wisdom and lean on it. Then we collapse and hurt ourselves, because that staff breaks. All reliance on people, not only disappoints, but causes suffering.

Israel have also relied on the law (Rom 2:1717But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God,). They have relied on works of their own righteousness in order to gain the favor of God. But it led them to reject the Lord Jesus. The big change comes when they will see and confess that. That will be the work of the Spirit in their hearts. When they come out of the great tribulation, they will no longer rely on the law, but on Christ.

During His life on earth He Himself has been the great Example of trusting God. He has a word for those who fear the Lord, for He has done it perfectly. To them He says that if they go through darkness and have no light – which prophetically is seen in the great tribulation – they must then trust in the name of the LORD and rely on their God (Isa 50:1010Who is among you that fears the LORD,
That obeys the voice of His servant,
That walks in darkness and has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.
).

Then the groom speaks to the bride. He points out to her where the change began that she underwent in the wilderness. He tells her he has brought her back to life under the apple tree. The bride compares the groom again with an apple tree (Song 2:33“Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
So is my beloved among the young men.
In his shade I took great delight and sat down,
And his fruit was sweet to my taste.
). In the picture the bride, that is the remnant, Jerusalem, owes her life to Him. He has awakened that new life in her.

This has happened because of the pain, the contractions, of the great tribulation that has come upon her mother, Israel. In this way she entered the new life (Mt 24:88But all these things are [merely] the beginning of birth pangs.; Jer 30:6-76‘Ask now, and see
If a male can give birth.
Why do I see every man
[With] his hands on his loins, as a woman in childbirth?
And [why] have all faces turned pale?
7‘Alas! for that day is great,
There is none like it;
And it is the time of Jacob’s distress,
But he will be saved from it.
; Isa 66:7-97“Before she travailed, she brought forth;
Before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy.
8“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?
Can a land be born in one day?
Can a nation be brought forth all at once?
As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.
9“Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD.
“Or shall I who gives delivery shut [the womb]?” says your God.
). She is born again, as it were. The dead Israel has come to new life.

He awakened her “under the apple tree” and made her His property. There she was born. Everything she has, she has from Him. All experiences are now behind her, but they have not been forgotten. We will continue to be reminded to see Who He has been for us and what we have been and what we have become through Him. We will see this when we are revealed before the judgment seat of Christ.


Love Is Strong as Death

6“Put me like a seal over your heart,
Like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
The [very] flame of the LORD.
7“Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor will rivers overflow it;
If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly despised.”

The bride is deeply impressed by what the groom has done for her by giving her new life. She reacts to this by her desire to be attached to him like a seal (cf. Jer 22:2424“As I live,” declares the LORD, “even though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet [ring] on My right hand, yet I would pull you off;; Hag 2:2323‘On that day,’ declares the LORD of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will make you like a signet [ring], for I have chosen you,’” declares the LORD of hosts.). We will also express this desire when we are impressed by all that the Lord Jesus has done in His love for us on the cross of Calvary. Then we will want to experience His love deeper and richer.

We will say to Him that we want to be “like a seal over Your heart”. We know that we are firmly connected to Him. The Holy Spirit is the seal, for we are sealed with Him. This is how we know His ownership of our lives (2Cor 1:21-2221Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God,22who also sealed us and gave [us] the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.; Eph 1:1313In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,). Through the Spirit we are connected with Christ. This is a connection that cannot be broken. The Spirit is His seal, which says that we are His property forever. This certainty can never change.

But we also want to experience that. We want to feel His heart beating for us. The heart speaks of the feelings of love. We also want to feel as firm as a seal, His strong arm carrying us. His arm speaks of strength and protection (Deu 33:2727“The eternal God is a dwelling place,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
And He drove out the enemy from before you,
And said, ‘Destroy!’
; Isa 40:10-1110Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might,
With His arm ruling for Him.
Behold, His reward is with Him
And His recompense before Him.
11Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry [them] in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing [ewes].
).

In the Old Testament there is no constant certainty of knowing a fixed relationship between the people and God. We may have that certainty, but we often lack the experience of it. The desire here is that love is experienced. He loves us and stands by us with His power. It begins with His heart, which is called first. Then His arm follows inseparably attached to His heart. His arm is always controlled by His heart.

Then follows an impressive description of the love of the groom. It is not clear who pronounces this description, the bride or the Spirit. It is clear that the bride and the Spirit correspond perfectly in this description.

Love is said to be “strong as death. Love and death are compared here. It is not about showing who is stronger, because that is not a question: love is stronger than death. It is a comparison of what love is capable of and what death is capable of. Then there are similarities. Just as death overcomes every power and continues over all people, so does love.

Death, the grave, is unstoppable, it can be stopped by nothing. Unstoppable, insatiable, he swallows people (Pro 30:15-1615The leech has two daughters, “Give,” “Give.”
There are three things that will not be satisfied,
Four that will not say, “Enough”:
16Sheol, and the barren womb,
Earth that is never satisfied with water,
And fire that never says, “Enough.”
). No one can escape his grip. The same goes for the passion of love. Love always goes on, it always flows on; love knows no boundaries, it knows no beginning and no end. Love can be rejected, but then she goes new ways. She is unstoppable in her passion. Love goes to everyone and it goes to the end (Jn 13:11Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.). We all have to do with this love. That love has given itself for us (Jn 15:1313Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.).

The expressions of love are compared with “flashes of fire”, with “the [very] flame of the LORD”. It is an all-consuming love. Any other love disappears within it. This love sets us on fire. God seeks people who are on fire for Him, just as He Himself is on fire. This means that He judges everything that is not in accordance with His love. With this fiery zeal for the honor of His God, the Lord has cleansed the temple (Jn 2:15-1715And He made a scourge of cords, and drove [them] all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables;16and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”17His disciples remembered that it was written, “ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME.”).

But through the jealousy of His love, the dimly burning wick, which is almost extinguished, can also become a flame again (Isa 42:2-32“He will not cry out or raise [His voice],
Nor make His voice heard in the street.
3“A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.
). He can do that with us if we don’t ‘flame’ for Him, and our testimony is only dimly burning. His love cannot change by death. He has proven that. Love is sealed by His victory over death. It is an invincible love, for the greatest power is overcome by His love. Nothing can separate us from that love (Rom 8:35-3935Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.). With us, time and distance can cool love, but not with Him.

Another picture of love is the comparison with many waters that cannot extinguish or wash away the fire of love. The waters can be applied to the waters of God’s judgment that have gone over the Lord Jesus (Psa 42:77Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
; 69:1b-21For the choir director; according to Shoshannim. [A Psalm] of David.
Save me, O God,
For the waters have threatened my life.
2I have sunk in deep mire, and there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters, and a flood overflows me.
). These waters have not been able to take away that love. The love of the Lord Jesus has endured the judgment and has gloriously emerged from it.

The love of the Lord Jesus cannot be bought off either. Satan has tried it by offering Him “all the riches of his house”, that is the world and his glory (Lk 4:5-75And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.6And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.7Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.”). But the Lord has utterly despised him. He has just sold everything to possess that, “pearl of great value”, that is the church (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.)!

Instead of enriching Himself at her expense, He acquired her at the expense of His own riches, yes, at the expense of Himself as property, because He loved her (2Cor 8:99For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.). The Lord Jesus did not die for an ‘ideal’, but out of love for His bride. We can say with deep gratitude: “And the [life] which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Gal 2:20b20I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the [life] which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.).


The Bride and Her Sister

8“We have a little sister,
And she has no breasts;
What shall we do for our sister
On the day when she is spoken for?
9“If she is a wall,
We will build on her a battlement of silver;
But if she is a door,
We will barricade her with planks of cedar.”
10“I was a wall, and my breasts were like towers;
Then I became in his eyes as one who finds peace.

In this book we hear for the first time about a sister of the bride. She talks about “we”, meaning herself and the groom who is also her brother. Her little sister was not yet an adult. She has “no breasts” yet, which means that she cannot pass on food herself. She is prophetically a picture of the ten tribes that are still in the scattering. Her question is what she and the groom will be able to do for her. She also wants to connect her with the groom.

This speaks figuratively of the desire to familiarize other believers who do not know many of the truths of the connection between the Lord Jesus and the church with these truths. With such believers there is no spiritual maturity yet. We may talk about this with the Lord and ask Him what we can do.

Many are like that little sister, they have new life, but nothing to pass on. They are still too busy with themselves. It may be a newly converted person or someone who has fallen back into his old life and wants to return to the Lord. Or perhaps to someone who has not yet grown in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus through a wrong, one-sided preaching. It is desirable to help others in those situations to regain a better view of the Lord Jesus. This is a work that requires a lot of patience.

The question is how the little sister is doing or, prophetically, how the ten tribes are doing (verse 99“If she is a wall,
We will build on her a battlement of silver;
But if she is a door,
We will barricade her with planks of cedar.”
). The answer comes from the groom. A wall speaks of separation between the sacred and the unholy (Eze 42:2020He measured it on the four sides; it had a wall all around, the length five hundred and the width five hundred, to divide between the holy and the profane.). The wall ensures that we are closed to what is wrong and that the good is preserved. The question regarding the ten tribes is really; who among them is separated for God, and is dedicated to Him.

If this is so with this sister, she can be told what her delivery means, which is represented by the battlement of silver. This must be made known to her by instruction. It must be made clear to her what the silver of salvation means (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.). She has the position, but not the practice that should follow from it.

A battlement is a defensive wall. The best defense against any enemy attack is to stand on the foundation of salvation. The justification by God’s grace, by the redemption which is in Christ Jesus through His blood (Rom 3:24-2524being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;25whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. [This was] to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;), gives the full assurance of salvation. That salvation must be worn like a helmet (Eph 6:17a17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.). This protects our thoughts from the devil’s whisperings that would entice us.

If this sister is a door, there must be a bolt. If there is no bolt, she is open to wrong teachings. When they get entrance, it leads her away from the truth. Therefore, care must be taken to her. The planks of cedar must be fitted. Cedar wood is the covering of the temple, God’s dwelling place in the Old Testament (1Kgs 6:9-109So he built the house and finished it; and he covered the house with beams and planks of cedar.10He also built the stories against the whole house, each five cubits high; and they were fastened to the house with timbers of cedar.).

A believer who is open to wrong doctrine must be made aware that he belongs to God’s dwelling place, the church, that he is a member of the church. Through teaching about the church, the meaning of belonging to the church of God and the distinction between good and evil must be clarified.

The bride knows for herself that she is a wall, that she is completely separated for the groom. That her “breasts were like towers” means that she has spiritually grown up. She is able to pass on food. She did so with a view to the spiritual vigilance, of which the towers speak. What we hold as truths, the teaching of the truth of God’s Word, makes us watchful for the enemy. His aim is to distort and remove the spiritual truths.

Whoever is spiritually mature and vigilant will find peace in the eyes of the Lord Jesus. It is a peace that is the result of complete surrender to Him. If a city is besieged by an enemy and surrenders, this results in peace and rest for the city and also service instead of destruction (cf. Deu 20:1-111“When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots [and] people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you.2When you are approaching the battle, the priest shall come near and speak to the people.3He shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them,4for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’5The officers also shall speak to the people, saying, ‘Who is the man that has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him depart and return to his house, otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would dedicate it.6Who is the man that has planted a vineyard and has not begun to use its fruit? Let him depart and return to his house, otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would begin to use its fruit.7And who is the man that is engaged to a woman and has not married her? Let him depart and return to his house, otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would marry her.’8Then the officers shall speak further to the people and say, ‘Who is the man that is afraid and fainthearted? Let him depart and return to his house, so that he might not make his brothers’ hearts melt like his heart.’9When the officers have finished speaking to the people, they shall appoint commanders of armies at the head of the people.10“When you approach a city to fight against it, you shall offer it terms of peace.11If it agrees to make peace with you and opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall become your forced labor and shall serve you.).

He wants us to surrender to Him in this way, to transfer ourselves, as it were, to Him. Then we find true peace. As long as we resist Him, we have no peace (Job 9:4b4“Wise in heart and mighty in strength,
Who has defied Him without harm?
). We have peace when we have the desire to pass on spiritual food to our fellow believers and to make them aware of the dangers that exist.

Prophetically, it is about the peace of Jerusalem. For that peace we may pray (Psa 122:6-76Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
7“May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces.”
). That is not a peace that is being forced upon the peoples, not even the peace that Israel itself is forcing. That peace is unattainable. It is about the peace that Jerusalem or the remnant will find when it is in the arms of the Messiah after the great tribulation. He will then make a covenant of peace with Jerusalem. That peace will last for a thousand years (Eze 37:2626I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever.).


Two Vineyards

11“Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
He entrusted the vineyard to caretakers.
Each one was to bring a thousand [shekels] of silver for its fruit.
12“My very own vineyard is at my disposal;
The thousand [shekels] are for you, Solomon,
And two hundred are for those who take care of its fruit.”

The name “Solomon”, with which verse 1111“Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
He entrusted the vineyard to caretakers.
Each one was to bring a thousand [shekels] of silver for its fruit.
begins, appears seven times in this book (Song 1:1,51The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.5“I am black but lovely,
O daughters of Jerusalem,
Like the tents of Kedar,
Like the curtains of Solomon.
; 3:7,9,117“Behold, it is the [traveling] couch of Solomon;
Sixty mighty men around it,
Of the mighty men of Israel.
9“King Solomon has made for himself a sedan chair
From the timber of Lebanon.
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.”
; 8:11,1211“Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
He entrusted the vineyard to caretakers.
Each one was to bring a thousand [shekels] of silver for its fruit.
12“My very own vineyard is at my disposal;
The thousand [shekels] are for you, Solomon,
And two hundred are for those who take care of its fruit.”
). His name means ‘peace’. If there is peace (verse 1010“I was a wall, and my breasts were like towers;
Then I became in his eyes as one who finds peace.
), it is possible to work from that peace. We have the task to work in the vineyard. That is, we live with the peace of God in our hearts and are a joy for God in everything we do. A vineyard speaks of work and of joy. We may serve the Lord with joy (Psa 100:2a2Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
).

The vineyard of Solomon was in Baal-hamon, which means ‘lord of a multitude’. It points to the reign of Christ as the Prince of Peace over many peoples and it recalls the promise to Abraham, that in him “all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Gen 12:3b3And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
). In the last syllable of the name ‘Abraham’ the Hebrew word for ‘multitude’ can be heard. His name means ‘father of a multitude’.

Christ has not only Israel as a vineyard, but also all nations. He entrusted the vineyard of the nations “to caretakers”. These are the kings who rule over these nations. They will bring the proceeds of their fruit to the Messiah in Jerusalem in the kingdom of peace (Psa 72:1,10-111[A Psalm] of Solomon.
Give the king Your judgments, O God,
And Your righteousness to the king’s son.
10Let the kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring presents;
The kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts.
11And let all kings bow down before him,
All nations serve him.
; cf. Isa 60:3,6-93“Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
6“A multitude of camels will cover you,
The young camels of Midian and Ephah;
All those from Sheba will come;
They will bring gold and frankincense,
And will bear good news of the praises of the LORD.
7“All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered together to you,
The rams of Nebaioth will minister to you;
They will go up with acceptance on My altar,
And I shall glorify My glorious house.
8“Who are these who fly like a cloud
And like the doves to their lattices?
9“Surely the coastlands will wait for Me;
And the ships of Tarshish [will come] first,
To bring your sons from afar,
Their silver and their gold with them,
For the name of the LORD your God,
And for the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you.
). The thousand silver pieces as revenue represent an enormous value (cf. Isa 7:2323And it will come about in that day, that every place where there used to be a thousand vines, [valued] at a thousand [shekels] of silver, will become briars and thorns.). This capital is brought up as an estimate year on year, during the whole time of the kingdom of peace.

Our heavenly Solomon also has a vineyard now, the responsibility of which He has entrusted to us. It costs something to work in His vineyard. There is certainly a reward for the work, but here it is about what it costs us. We must take care of the vineyard and the fruit is for the Lord Jesus.

In verse 1212“My very own vineyard is at my disposal;
The thousand [shekels] are for you, Solomon,
And two hundred are for those who take care of its fruit.”
the bride talks about her own vineyard again. She spoke about this earlier. But then she was not faithful in taking care of it. As a result, she could not give fruit to the groom (Song 1:1616“How handsome you are, my beloved, [and] so pleasant!
Indeed, our couch is luxuriant!
). Now her vineyard is in order. She guards and cares for it, so she is also able to offer the proceeds to Solomon. What she has done is by his strength, but she offers the result herself.

The yield is also more than that of the vineyard of Solomon in verse 1111“Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
He entrusted the vineyard to caretakers.
Each one was to bring a thousand [shekels] of silver for its fruit.
. She has a thousand plus two hundred silver pieces, that is two hundred more than the vineyard of the nations has gained. It shows that in the kingdom of peace the small vineyard of God’s people will have a greater return than the nations together.

She also lets others share in the proceeds. The two hundred are a double tenth. They are “for those who take care of its fruit”. The caretakers of the fruit are a picture of those who care for the church, the elders or overseers. Those “who govern well” should be “considered worthy of double honor” (1Tim 5:1717The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.).

In a general sense, it is God’s thought that we give both to God and to our neighbor. When we have received blessings, it is to give them back to the Lord and to share them with others. This applies both spiritually and physically (Deu 26:1-4,12-131“Then it shall be, when you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, and you possess it and live in it,2that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground which you bring in from your land that the LORD your God gives you, and you shall put [it] in a basket and go to the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name.3You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him, ‘I declare this day to the LORD my God that I have entered the land which the LORD swore to our fathers to give us.’4Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the LORD your God.12“When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.13You shall say before the LORD your God, ‘I have removed the sacred [portion] from [my] house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments.; Heb 13:15-1615Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.16And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.).


Hurry

13“O you who sit in the gardens,
[My] companions are listening for your voice—
Let me hear it!”
14“Hurry, my beloved,
And be like a gazelle or a young stag
On the mountains of spices.”

Here Solomon speaks for the last time in this book (verse 1313“O you who sit in the gardens,
[My] companions are listening for your voice—
Let me hear it!”
). The bride was in the wilderness, but now she is in “the gardens”, which are places of enjoyment. These are all the places where fruit is produced for the groom. There she lives, there she has found peace and rest, there she enjoys everything there is to find, because everything speaks of him.

She speaks about everything she finds there to others who are also present, the “companions”. They hear her voice and heed it. She has something to tell about that is worth listening to. The groom doesn’t forbid her. But he would also like to hear the bride’s own voice, which means that she not only speaks about him to others, but that she speaks to him, that she addresses him. She may address others to give them her own blessings, which will be the case in the realm of peace, but the most important thing for him is that her love continues to go first and foremost to him.

This is how the Lord Jesus desires to hear our voice. Work for Him is important, speaking about Him to others is a command. He also then hears our voice. But He so desires to hear our voice when we speak to Him. We may also apply this to our meetings or other opportunities when we speak of Him.

We may speak about Him, but let us also speak to Him. He wants to hear our voice, the voice of the brothers loud in thanksgiving and prayers, and the brothers and sisters together in singing and saying “Amen” and in thanking in their hearts. Do we let Him hear our voice in thanksgiving when we have spoken about Him with others? He longs for it.

The whole Word of God is full of His glory. If we have seen little of that yet, it is because we have read little of God’s Word. That can change. We are given a new opportunity to get to know more of Him by redefining God’s Word as the central place in our lives.

We can also apply this to our prayer life. Do we speak to Him? Does He hear our voice? He longs for it. There are people who always talk, who produce a stream of words, without it making any difference to them whether others listen or not. That is not the way the believer speaks to the Lord. The believer speaks while He listens. He speaks to Him from fellowship with Him, from the fullness of the heart. In eternity we will do this in a perfect way.

The bride is speaking at the beginning of the book and she also speaks, in verse 1414“Hurry, my beloved,
And be like a gazelle or a young stag
On the mountains of spices.”
, the last words of this book. These are words that bear witness to the deep longing in her heart for the coming of her beloved. The association of bride and groom is not yet a fact. If he comes, it will be with the elegance of a gazelle and the joy of a stag. The mountains will be full of the fragrance of spices.

It is as if we are hearing the last words of the New Testament, where “the Spirit and the bride say, “Come” (Rev 22:17a17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.). The Lord Jesus replies: “Yes, I am coming quickly”, to which the bridal church responds with the words: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev 22:2020He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.). It is the spontaneous expression of longing for Himself, for His Person.

The mountains of difficulties are no obstacle for Him to come. When He comes, all difficulties will be overcome by Him, through which those mountains will be covered with spices. Over all the difficulties He overcomes, there will be the sweet fragrance of His excellence.

This applies to Jerusalem when He comes to her, and it applies to the church when He comes to her. It already applies to our personal faith life when He comes into our lives and overcomes the difficulties. His victory for us is not in the fact that He takes away the difficulties, but in the fact that He carries us through the difficulties to His goal: close fellowship with Him.

Is there any of the readers who are not yet looking forward to the Lord Jesus with longing, but would like to be there when He comes? The invitation to such a person still sounds: “And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (Rev 22:17b17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.).