INTRODUCTION TO SONG OF SOLOMON 7
In this chapter Christ gives a fresh commendation of the beauty of his
church, in a different order and method than before; beginning with her
“feet”, and so rising upwards to the “hair” of her head, and the roof
of her mouth; The Bride surveyed from foot to head. She has reached the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. What a change from the beggar who “from the sole of the foot even unto the head, were a mass of wounds, bruises and putrefying sores” (Is. 1:6).
Then the church asserts her interest in him, and his desire towards her; and invites him to go with her into the fields, villages, and vineyards, and offers various reasons, by which she urges him to comply with her invitation.
How beautiful are thy feet with shoes
The word “feet” is better translated “footsteps” (Ps.37:23).
It is no unusual thing to describe the comeliness of women by their feet, and the ornaments of them; particular care was taken of, and provision made for, the shoes of queens and princesses in the eastern countries; Moody Stuart believes this refers to the beautiful feet of the messengers of the gospel (Is.72:7), and compares her readiness to witness with her previous reluctance even to get her feet dirty. He also rightly believes our feet shot are part of our military apparel and a deterrent to Satan. Finally he recalls how the naked, barefoot slave (of sin) was given by his father shoes for his feet (Luke 15). That this is said of the church, is plain from the appellation of her,
O Prince’s daughter!
the same with the King’s daughter, ( Psalms 45:13 ) ; the daughter of the King of kings; for, being espoused to Christ, his Father is her Father, and his God her God: besides, she is born of him who is the Prince of the kings of the earth, ( II Cor.6:18, Luke 8: 48, 1 John 2:28 ); we inherit all things. She is both a Prince’s wife and a Prince’s daughter. It may be rendered, “O noble”, or “princely daughter” ! being of a free princely spirit, in opposition to a servile one, ( Psalms 51:12 ) ; of a bountiful and liberal spirit, as in, ( Isaiah 32:5-8 ) ; in distributing temporal things to the necessities of the poor; and in communicating spiritual things to the comfort and edification of others. Some take these to be the words of the daughters of Jerusalem, wondering at the church’s beauty, on turning herself to them as they desired: but they are rather the words of Christ; who, observing the church speak so meanly of herself, in order to encourage her, gives a high commendation of her in this and some following verses, and begins with her “feet”; not her ministers, who are “shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace”, ( Ephesians 6:15 ) , and who appear beautiful in the eyes of those who have any knowledge of the good things they publish and proclaim; for they are set in the highest place in the church: but here the lowest and meanest members of the church are meant; whose outward walk, the feet are the instruments of, may be said to be “beautiful with shoes”, when they are ready to every good work; when their conversation is ordered aright, is agreeably to the word of God, and as becomes the Gospel of Christ; and which, like shoes, is a fence against the briers and thorns, the reproaches and calumnies, of the world; and when there is such a lustre upon it that it cannot but be seen and observed by spectators, by which they are excited to glorify God, it is so beautiful in the eyes of Christ, that to such he shows the salvation of God;
the joints of thy thighs [are] like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman;
Fearfully and wonderfully made is the human body and likewise the body of Christ, the church (Eph.4:13-16, Col.2:19). Here reference is made to
a skilful artificer, a goldsmith or jeweller (like Bezaleel with the tabernacle in Ex.31:1-5): the allusion seems to be to some ornaments about the knees or legs, wore by women in those times; see ( Isaiah 3:18 ) ; and this may serve to set off the lustre and beauty of the church’s conversation. And since it seems not so decent to describe the parts themselves mentioned, the words may rather design the “femoralia”, or garments, with which they were covered; and may signify the garments of salvation and robe of Christ’s righteousness, whereby the church’s members are covered, so that their nakedness is not seen; but with them are as richly adorned bridegroom and bride with their ornaments and which are not the bungling work of a creature, but of one that is God as well as man, and therefore called the righteousness of God. It seems best by these “joints”, or “turnings of the thighs”, by which they move more orderly and regularly (the hip joint is first moved while walking), to understand the principles of the walk and conversation of saints, as one observes; for principles denominate actions, good and bad; and the principles of grace, by which believers move in their Christian walk, are as valuable and as precious as jewels, such as faith and love, and a regard to the glory of God; and which are curiously wrought by the finger of God, by his Holy Spirit, who “works [in them] both to will and to do of his good pleasure”, ( Philippians 2:13 ).