Thou [art] beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah
“Again the Lord makes mention of the beauty of his bride! And this without one complaint of her past ingratitude and unkind behaviour toward him.” (Anon) ” He hath not dealt with us after our sins”…..Ps.103:10.
These are the words of Christ, who had been absent for some time, and till now silent; but notwithstanding her behaviour toward him, she was his love still, and as “beautiful” and as comely in his sight as ever: and for which he compares her here to Tirzah; There was a city in the land of Canaan, called Tirzah, formerly the seat of one of the ancient kings of Canaan, and, in later times, of Jeroboam and some of his successors; and which, no doubt, was a very pleasant and delightful place, as its name imports, either from its situation or buildings, ( Joshua 12:24 ). “Hence the Lord was looking upon his bride, the church, as the royal dwelling place of the King of kings” (Anon). This of course is exactly what we are, “ At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:20). The word (Tirzah) comes from a root which signifies to be “grateful [and] accepted”: and so one interprets the word here “acceptable”: and may denote the acceptableness of the church in Christ, with whom God is well pleased in him for his righteousness’s sake, in which she appears exceeding fair and lovely. And for the same reason is said to be
comely as Jerusalem;
the metropolis of Judea, and seat of the kings of it (in a much higher sense than Tirzah); This is the city whose name shall be “Jehovah-shammah”-the Lord is there (Ezek.48:35), and far the most famous of any of the cities of the east; it was a city well built and compact together, beautiful for situation, very rich in Solomon’s time, the place of divine worship, and was strongly fortified by nature and art: and hence the church of God often bears this name, both in the Old and New Testament, ( Isaiah 40:2 ) ( Hebrews 12:22 ) , being the city of the great King, built on Christ, the Rock; consisting of saints, fitly and closely united together; rich with the unsearchable riches of Christ; where the several parts of spiritual and evangelic worship are performed; possessed of many privileges, and well secured by the power and salvation of God. Thus are set forth the loveliness, security, unity and royalty of the church of Christ…yet nothing compared to the Jerusalem above. It is noteworthy that the penman of this beautiful book was none other than the one who built the magnificent temple where God promised to dwell-JK. In vision John sees the converse, the holy city , New Jerusalem, descending from God out of heaven prepared as a bride (Moody Stuart).
terrible as [an army] with banners;
to her enemies, though so lovely to Christ. This shows that not a single person is meant all along, who could not with propriety be compared to an army; but a collective body, as the church is: and that the church on earth is militant, and, like a well disciplined army, in good order, and provided with proper officers and suitable armour, and in a posture of defence, and ready to fight when attacked; and so “terrible” (actually dazzling) to her enemies, Satan and his principalities, wicked men and false teachers; who are terrified by their having such a General at the head of them as Christ, and being under the banner of love, and provided with such good weapons of warfare, as are mighty through God; by their close union to one another; and by the constancy, undauntedness, and invincibleness of their faith; and are awed by their pious conversation and good examples. Perhaps some respect may be had by Christ to the church’s courage and constancy in seeking after him; we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.