Who [is] this that cometh up from the wilderness?
…. Which words are (perhaps) spoken by the daughters of Jerusalem, at which they express their surprise, and describe her by her ascent “from the wilderness”; that is, of the world, out of which she was chosen and called; and from a state of nature, out of which she was brought; and was rising up in a state of grace to a state of glory; It may be the bridegroom speaking reminding her from whence she came (see 1:9, Hosea 13:5, Ezekiel 16:5, Jer. 2:2). He knows when we are nearing the end of our pilgrimage and our wilderness wanderings are nearly over. There may be even a kind of holy boasting here as if the Lord draws attention to his bride whom he has protected and is now triumphantly bringing up from the wilderness to convey her to his father’s house.
leaning upon her beloved);
faith in Christ, whom her soul loved, and who loved her, is signified hereby; see Isaiah 50:10; which is the grace by which believers lean on the person of Christ, for acceptance with God; on his righteousness, for justification; on his fulness, for the supply of their wants (casting all the weight of our concerns upon him-JK); and trust in his blood for pardon and cleansing, The word is only used in this place, and is differently rendered: by some, “casting herself” on him; as sensible sinners do at first conversion, when they venture their souls on Christ, commit the care and keeping of them to him, and trust their whole salvation with him: by others, “joining, associating”; cleaving to him, keeping company with him; by others, “rejoicing” or “delighting” herself in him; in the view of his personal glory, transcendent excellencies, inexhaustible fulness, and searchable riches: the Septuagint version is, “strengthened,” or “strengthening herself on her beloved”; deriving all her strength from him, to exercise grace, perform duty, withstand temptation, and persevere to the end, conscious of her own weakness (II Cor.12:9); faith, in every sense of the word, is intended;
I raised thee up under the apple tree;
Christ is the apple tree and she sat under the shadow of it, Song of Solomon 2:3; that is, under the ordinances of the Gospel; there we were conceived and born again. The Resurrection and Life causes the prodigal to arise and go to his father, to make Paul exclaim that he wanted to know the power of Christ’s resurrection, and also raised us up together with him. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection.”
there thy mother brought thee forth, there she brought thee forth [that] bare thee;
which may be said either concealing the Old Testament church, who conceived hope of the coming of Christ, waited for it, and was often like a woman in pain until he was brought forth, which at length was done, to the joy of those that looked for him; or of the New Testament church, hoping, looking, waiting for the second coming of Christ, in the exercise of faith and prayer, and is like a woman in travail, and will be until he makes his appearance; and both may be meant, the one by the former, the other by the latter phrase, and may be the reason of the repetition of it. It may be applied to the apostles of Christ, who travailed in birth, until Christ was brought forth into the Gentile world, through the preaching of the Gospel; and so to all Gospel ministers, who are in like case until Christ be formed in the souls of men; which is no other than the new birth, and is attended with pain like that of a woman in travail; and every regenerate person may be said, in this sense, to be Christ’s mother, as well as his brother and sister, Matthew 12:50; and each of the above things are usually done under and by the means of the word and ordinances; which may be signified by the apple tree, or, however, the shadow of it.