Moody Stuart at the end of his commentary quotes the names of hundreds of commentators who have written on this exquisite book with comments on their stance and usefulness. Here is what he says about John Gill (1724) upon whom I have leaned heavily for all of these posts, ” This exposition of the Song of Solomon is a vast treasure of varied learning, sound doctrine, and spiritual experience.”
- George Burrows (Philadelphia 1853),”Taking, therefore , this song as an allegory, for illustrating the mutual love of Christ and the church we cannot understand it fully without viewing that love as exercised in the case of individual believers. Jesus loves the church by loving every single member of the church; and manifests his love to the church, by a special manifestation made to every member of the church.” He divided the song into three:
- 1:1-2:7. The longing soul grows in the experience and enjoyment of the love of Christ.
- 2:8-7:9. Christ exhibits his motives for weaning the soul from this world and setting its affections on him in glory.
- 7:10-8:14. The effect of these on the heart of the saint.
“The book is evidently and unquestionably a detail of the presence, absence, the longing, the intercourse of two parties in the bond either of betrothal or marriage. Which? Perhaps it does not matter because the relation between Christ and his church is sometimes represented as a marriage, and at other times as a betrothal for the marriage of the great day.”
- John Gill’s Commentary on the whole Bible (on-line).
- Anonymous commentary on Song of Songs. Nisbet 1860.
- Song of Songs. Rev. A Moody Stuart. Nisbet 1860.
Having studied this little “gem” of the Jewish “writings” or poetry books I am also convinced that the essence of it, is covenant fellowship and friendship, namely that of Christ and the church, typified by Solomon and his bride. “For better or worse, for richer or poorer” the unconditional, undying love of the Bridegroom shines upon his beloved who at times is cold, languid and careless. The agrarian rural imagery enriches the poetry, emphasising the fruitfulness of this relationship which is the very reason it was entered into! (Gen.1:28, John 15:16, Rom.7:4).