He is altogether lovely.

When the spouse (in Song of Solomon) has gone thus far in the description of him (her husband Christ), she concludes all in this general assertion: “He is wholly desirable, — altogether to be desired or beloved.” (Concerning) the excellencies of my Beloved, in (the) way of allegory I can carry things no higher; I find nothing better or more desirable to shadow out and to present his loveliness and desirableness: but, alas! all this comes short of his
perfections, beauty, and comeliness; ‘he is all wholly to be desired, to be beloved;’ —
Lovely in his person, — in the glorious all-sufficiency of his Deity, gracious purity and holiness
of his humanity, authority and majesty, love and power.
Lovely in his birth and incarnation; when he was rich, for our sakes becoming poor, — taking
part of flesh and blood, because we partook of the same; being made of a woman, that for us he
might be made under the law, even for our sakes.
Lovely in the whole course of his life, and the more than angelical holiness and obedience
which, in the depth of poverty and persecution, he exercised therein; — doing good, receiving evil;blessing, and being cursed, reviled, reproached, all his days.
Lovely in his death; yea, therein most lovely to sinners; — never more glorious and desirable
than when he came broken, dead, from the cross. Then had he carried all our sins into a land of
forgetfulness; then had remade peace and reconciliation for us; then had he procured life and
immortality for us.
Lovely in his whole employment, in his great undertaking, — in his life, death, resurrection,
ascension; being a mediator between God and us, to recover the glory of God’s justice, and to saveour souls, — to bring us to an enjoyment of God, who were set at such an infinite distance from
him by sin.
Lovely in the glory and majesty wherewith he is crowned. Now he is set down at the right hand
of the Majesty on high; where, though he be terrible to his enemies, yet he is full of mercy, love,
and compassion, towards his beloved ones.
Lovely in all those supplies of grace and consolations, in all the dispensations of his Holy Spirit,
whereof his saints are made partakers.
Lovely in all the tender care, power, and wisdom, which he exercises in the protection,
safe-guarding, and delivery of his church and people, in the midst of all the oppositions and
persecutions whereunto they are exposed.
Lovely in all his ordinances, and the whole of that spiritually glorious worship which he has
appointed to his people, whereby they draw nigh and have communion with him and his Father.
Lovely and glorious in the vengeance he taketh, and will finally execute, upon the stubborn
enemies of himself and his people.
Lovely in the pardon he has purchased and does dispense, — in the reconciliation he has
established, — in the grace he communicates, — in the consolations he does administer, — in the
peace and joy he gives his saints, — in his assured preservation of them unto glory.
What shall I say? there is no end of his excellencies and desirableness; — “He is altogether
lovely. This is our beloved, and this is our friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”

John Owen in Communion with God

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Song of Solomon (authorship)

From Covenant Reformed News by CPRC February 2017

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Does Solomonic Authorship Befit the Song of Songs?

A reader writes, “I was reading the Song of Solomon and I wondered why the Spirit of God chose a man like Solomon, who flagrantly abused the marriage covenant, to write the book most interpret as exemplifying the one-flesh union between a man and his wife, and between Christ and His bride. Perhaps it is just another way of showing how the type always fails, unlike the antitype! I would be very interested in reading a good Reformed book on the Song of Solomon bringing out all it teaches of God’s covenant. I don’t know if there has been one.”
Sadly, many, even within the Reformed camp, have denied that the Song of Solomon, sometimes known as the Song of Songs or Canticles, is an Old Testament metaphorical song celebrating the marriage relation between Christ and His church. One author, a former classmate in college, called it “An Erotic Love Song.” A former professor in a Reformed seminary denied that it was canonical; that is, he denied that it had a place in Scripture because it could not have been inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Nevertheless, the questioner is right. It does exemplify the truth of marriage that husband and wife, as earthly pictures of Christ and His church, presuppose an underlying earthly figure. That underlying figure is the institution of marriage that dates from Paradise. And the underlying type is Solomon himself. David was a type of Christ as the warrior that destroys the enemies of the church to prepare the way for the kingdom of heaven. Solomon, in all the wealth and beauty of his kingdom, was a type of Christ who brings about, through His cross, the everlasting kingdom of righteousness.
Solomon married 700 wives and also possessed 300 concubines (I Kings 11:3). It was indeed a mockery of the institution of marriage. Solomon paid the price for this, for his foreign wives led him into idolatry.
I have no interest in justifying Solomon’s sin. But it must be remembered, nonetheless, that before the coming of Christ, who, by His death and resurrection, made possible the true heavenly marriage, the earthly picture in the old dispensation was only a picture and thus defective. And so God permitted polygamy and concubinage because the earthly picture was not very clear in its depiction of the reality. It was like a very bad photo of a royal figure taken with a cheap camera. The picture was fuzzy and blurred; the details could not be clearly seen. When God reminded David of the many things He had given him, one of those was his many wives (II Sam. 12:1-14). But those in Scripture who were married to more than one wife inevitably had family problems: Abraham, Jacob, Elkanah, David, Solomon and many of the kings in both Israel and Judah.
It ought also to be remembered that, although the historical books of the Old Testament do not mention Solomon’s confession of his sin, it is almost certain that Solomon’s book Ecclesiastes is his confession.
Finally, Solomon, though it was sinful, was carrying on a custom which monarchs in his day practised. Harems, sometimes huge, were common in palaces throughout the Middle East. Many wealthy men had harems.
Now to the question itself. The question seems to me to assume that no wicked man could be used by God in inspiring the Scriptures. But all the men whom God used in writing the Bible were sinners. Nevertheless, when they wrote, they were “holy men of God” (II Pet. 1:21). Their holiness was not a total and complete alteration of their entire nature from depravity to sinlessness. David, after all, committed his sins of adultery and murder after writing Psalm 23. It does mean that, in writing the Scriptures, they were kept by God from any possible error. And it means that all who participated in the writing of Scripture were God-fearing men, consecrated to the Lord and His cause. This was true of all of them, including Solomon.
David was a dreadful sinner, as well as his son Solomon. David sinned against the seventh commandment, as well as Solomon, and added the sin of murder to hide his adultery. Before his conversion, Paul committed the dreadful sin of persecuting Christ’s church.
I realize that the questioner meant a little more than the fact that God used sinful men to write the Scriptures: he meant to say that one who broke the marriage bond was used by God to write about that marriage bond. How can one who defiled marriage write about true marriage, especially the marriage of Christ and His church?
It seems to me that we ought to reframe the question in this way: Is not Solomon, the forgiven sinner, in the best possible position to be used by God to write a song on the beauty and wonder of the marriage between Christ and His church? He knew better than most how wicked he was (and we are), and how even saints corrupt an institution that is so sacred and holy. And so he looked at the true marriage of Christ and His bride the church, and saw in it the redemption of the marriage state among God’s people. That is, he saw what a marriage here on earth ought to be when it reflected the reality of the true marriage. So he sang a song about it by the inspiration of the Spirit of Christ. He did so as an expression of hope for the future, when the figure would disappear to make room for the reality.
One more point on the truth of inspiration. God, in His marvellous wisdom, did not pick men at random to write the Bible. From eternity, He conceived in His own mind the one sacred Scripture in which God in Christ is fully revealed. The Bible is a portrait of Christ. From eternity, God also chose those men whom He wanted to write the various parts of Scripture. As if that were not enough, God sovereignly determined all the preparation that each man needed to be able to write what He had determined for him to write. If one does not include in the doctrine of inspiration both predestination and divine providence, he is bound to go wrong. So Solomon, weak and sinful as any man, was chosen to write parts of Scripture (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon). Throughout his life and forty-year reign, God was preparing him for this work. Solomon seems to me the ideal man to write this beautiful song about marriage—here on earth but especially in heaven. It was a longing for the reality, and who can better write about the reality than one who knew how he had corrupted the figure? Prof. Hanko

 

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

http://www.cprf.co.uk/crnews.htm#.WK2Bq8LPue8

Song of Solomon (epilogue)

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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.”

References:

  • 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).

Song of Solomon 8:14

 

       Make haste, my beloved,

 

…. These are the words of the church, to Christ, calling him her “beloved”; a title often used in this Song, see Song of Solomon 1:13; and is continued to the last; for Christ was still the object of her love; and she had now a comfortable sense of her interest in him, and claimed it; and makes use of this title, not only to distinguish him from others, but to obtain her request the more easily, that he would “make haste,” and come; which may either be understood of his speedy coming in the flesh, and appearing on Mount Zion and in the temple, where the spicy and sweet smelling incense was offered; or of his spiritual presence, in his house and upon the mountains, and in all the assemblies of Zion, where the prayers and praises of the saints go up to God, as sweet odours, perfumed with the incense of Christ’s mediation: and it expresses the breathings of the New Testament church after the second coming of Christ, being the last petition of the church in this Song; and with which she closes it, as John does the Revelation, and with it the whole canon of Scripture in like manner, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” that is, come quickly: his coming may and will be hastened indeed, yet in his own time; but it shows her eager and earnest desire after it, being as it were impatient for it. The word, may be rendered, “flee away”; not that the church desired Christ to depart from her; she valued his presence at another rate; but she being weary of a sinful troublesome world, and breathing after everlasting rest in another (Phil.3: 20-21 ), desires him to remove from hence, and take her with him to heaven, where she might enjoy his presence without any disturbance; (compare Psalm 70)

and be thou like to a roe, or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices;

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where spices and aromatic plants grow, as on Lebanon: of Christ, compared to a roe or a young hart, See Gill on “So 2:9.” These creatures being remarkable for their swiftness in running upon mountains and other high places, see Habakkuk 3:19; the church desires that Christ would be as swift in his motion as those creatures, and come quickly and speedily, and take her with him to the “spicy mountains,” the heavenly state, and all the joys and glories of it; and there have everlasting and uninterrupted communion with Christ; be out of the reach of every troublesome enemy; be in the utmost safety and security; and in the possession of pleasures that will never end. This state may be expressed by “mountains of spices”: because of the height and sublimity of it (remember how many saints met with God on mountain tops!); and because of the permanency and everlasting duration of it; and because of its delightfulness and pleasantness; where will be fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11). And his response is, “Surely I come quickly.”

Song of Solomon 8:13

  Thou that dwellest in the gardens,

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…. These are the words of Christ to the church, describing her by her habitation, and may be rendered, “O thou, inhabitress of the gardens”; the word used being in the feminine gender, which determines the sense of it, as belonging to the church: but the Septuagint version renders it by a word in the masculine gender; and so Ambrose, who interprets the words as spoken by the church to Christ;  By the “gardens” are meant particular congregations, the dwelling places of the church, and where she has work to do by her ministers, to plant, water, prune, and dress the gardens; and of particular believers, whose business it is to attend on the ministry of the word, and other ordinances; and dwelling here may denote diligence and constant attendance here, and which is approved of by Christ, and well pleasing to him: and it is honourable, as well as profitable and delightful, to have a place in these gardens, and especially an abiding one; and indeed those, to whom Christ gives a place and a name here, are in no danger of being turned or driven out, as Adam was from Eden;

the companions hearken to thy voice;

 

masculine hence probably the angels,  the friends of Christ and his people, who hearken to the conversation of believers, in private and public; and especially to the Gospel, preached in the assembly of the saints, Psalm 103:20 , Ephesians 3:10; or rather the daughters of Jerusalem, who all along attend the bride in this Song, and are the virgins her companions, Psalm 45:14; and it is a title that belongs to all truly gracious souls, Psalm 122:8; who hearken to the voice of the church, to the Gospel, preached by her ministers; which is a joyful sound, and gives great delight and pleasure;

cause me to hear [it];

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      Let the church in its assemblies under Christ the head, the voice of authority be ever heard in his presence and let the voice of preaching be accompanied by the voice of prayer (Acts 6:4 ). “Resolve with the apostles to give thyself to prayer first, and the next to ministering the word; and then shall thy words be with profit, for he shall suffer none of them to fall to the ground.” (Moody Stuart)

Song of Solomon 8:12

      My vineyard, which [is] mine, [is] before me,….

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these appear to be the words of the bride, the church, expressing her care, watchfulness, and diligence in the vineyard (for which she is responsible), and her concern for the welfare of the several vines and plants in it; compare and contrast this with Song of Solomon 1:6; And certain it is that the next clause is spoken by her:

 

thou, O Solomon, [must have] a thousand;

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a thousand pieces or shekels of silver, as before: the church is willing Christ should have all he desires and demands, his whole due and full revenue of glory from his people (just like the crowns cast down before him); for he is meant, and not Solomon literally, as many Jewish writers acknowledge. And the church being now in his presence, and using familiarity with him, thus addresses him,

 

and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred;

 

by which may be meant an honourable maintenance for ministers and families, and much esteem and respect among the people to whom they minister; this is the double honour (twice the tithe) in 1 Timothy 5:17. Christ has the greatest share, as in reason he should, being the proprietor of the vineyard, and having the chief care and oversight of it, and gives it its increase: however, faithful ministers have their reward, which lies greatly in the conversion of sinners, and edification of saints; for that is their joy, and crown of rejoicing; and in eternal happiness they shall enjoy hereafter, 1 Thessalonians 2:19,I Cor.3:14,Heb. 6:10.

Moody Stuart rightly points out that the Song of Solomon was much in the mind of Isaiah who in the latter half of his prophecy refers or alludes to passages in it on almost every page! For example references to Sharon, flock, jewels, fruit, arise, dove, watchmen, tower, waters, honey, gold, cheeks, countenance, beautiful feet, breasts, vineyard (check out Is.26:9, 20, 33:17, 52:7, 61:10, 62:5, 66:11 and many more references).

Song of Solomon 8:11

     Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon,….images2q0jwel7 imagesmb2211wa

The little sister, or Gentile church, goes on to give an account of the success of the Gospel, the planting of churches, and the establishment of the interest of Christ in the Gentile world, together with the advantages that accrued to Christ from it; for not Solomon literally, but a greater than he, is here, Christ, the antitype of him, the Prince of peace; By the “vineyard” is meant the church, especially under the New Testament dispensation (Is*.5:1-7, 27:2-3); so called, because separated from the world by sovereign grace; planted with precious and fruitful plants, which Christ has a property in, by his Father’s gift and his own purchase; and therefore receives of the fruit of it; takes delight and pleasure to walk in it; and takes care to keep it in order, and to protect and preserve it: this is said to be at Baalhamon;  perhaps Baalgad Joshua 11:17; the word signifies “the master,” or “lord of a multitude”; the Gentile world, consisting of a multitude of nations; and in which were many churches, and consisting of many persons;

 

he let out the vineyard unto keepers;

Initially to the leaders (kings and priests) of Israel (Is*. 5, Matt.21:33-40, Luke 13:6-9) but they did not keep it, it brought forth wild, useless grapes, brought no profit to the owner (God), indeed the tenants mistreated and even killed the servants of the owner AND his son, so he took it away from them (the Jews) and gave it to the Gentiles (Matt.21:43)—JK, to his apostles, and to ministers of the Gospel in succeeding times; and who have their employment in it; some to plant, others to water; some to prune, to reprove and correct for bad principles and practices, and others to support and uphold weak believers; and others to defend truth, and preserve the church from innovation in doctrine and worship: the “letting” it out to these agrees with the parables in Matthew 20:1, Luke 19:13; where there seems to be an allusion to this passage. Christ is the proprietor of the vineyard, and the principal vinedresser; yet he makes use of his ministers to take the care of it, watch and keep it in order; for which purpose he lets, or “gives”, it to them, as the word is, for he makes them in some sense owners; and they have an interest in the churches, and their life and comfort, greatly lie in the fruitfulness and well being of them; the vines are called “ours,” Song of Solomon 2:15, Matt.21:33; All that God has given us in stewardship is to be traded with to profit withal(I Cor. 12:7).

 

everyone for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand [pieces] of silver;

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or shekels, amounting to about an hundred and fifty pounds; which shows the fruitfulness of the vineyard, that its produce should be worth so much; and the great usefulness of the Gospel ministry, in bringing souls to Christ; the fruit of his labour is as dear to him as pieces of silver, Luke 15:8. Christ’s ministers are his rent gatherers, and the collectors of his fruit, John 15:16; and though they have different talents and success, yet, being honest and faithful, the meanest are reckoned to bring in the same as others, or what make for Christ’s delight, pleasure, and glory; as will appear when the reckoning day comes, and an account will be given in, Matthew 25:19.

Song of Solomon 8:10

    I [am] a wall,

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…. The words of the little sister, or Gentile church, well walled (Eph.2:19); God was a wall of fire about her; salvation was appointed as walls and bulwarks to her; she was one of the two walls Christ was a cornerstone unto, and cemented together; and was a wall built up of lively stones, of true believers, built on Christ, the foundation; and established in the doctrine of grace; and constant and immovable in her love to Christ namely the Hebrew Church and the Gentile Church, two walls united by the Chief Cornerstone (MS).

and my breasts like towers;

…round, plump, and high; signifying that she was now marriageable; (Ezekiel 16:6-8 !) and the time of her being presented as a chaste virgin to Christ, and of her open espousals to him, was now come: of ministers of the word, of the Scriptures, and of the ordinances of the Gospel, as signified by breasts: ministers of the word, because set for the defence of the Gospel; the Scriptures, because an armoury from whence saints are supplied with armour, to repel Satan’s temptations, refute errors, and defend truth; and the ordinances of the Gospel, because they stand firm and immovable against all the efforts of men to subvert and abolish them; (she now nourishes many sons and daughters the milk of the word is dispensed-JK). “Already Israel’s elder sister Samaria had been received and now her younger sister Sodom is given to Jerusalem for a daughter and a sister. Samaria being converted and Sodom called the whole promise is fulfilled,”  Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters,” (Ezekiel 16:61).

then was I in his eyes as one that found favour;

From the time that the Gentile church became a wall, firmly built on Christ, and was formed into a church state, and had a settled ministry and Gospel ordinances, she became acceptable to Christ, and was admitted to near communion with him; and not only her person, but her services, met with a favourable acceptance from him; and these privileges and blessings were the fruit of his love, layout, and good will, he bore to her; which before was secret and hidden, but now her breasts being fashioned, her time was a time of love, of the open love of Christ to her, and of her espousals to him: and when, as the words may be rendered, she was “as one that found peace”; peace being made by the blood of Christ, and the partition wall broken down between Jew and Gentile, and they peaceably joined together in a Gospel church state; and when she enjoyed inward peace and tranquillity of mind, which is found in Christ, the word and ordinances; even all kind of prosperity, which peace, with the Hebrews, includes; every spiritual blessing, as reconciliation, justification, pardon, adoption, and eternal life, which are all the fruits and effects of divine favour, good will, grace, and love. “He builds us up, and then takes delight in the building. Psalm 35:27, Gen.39:3—He makes us prosper and takes pleasure in our prosperity. If we have found favour in his eyes, what more do we need? Oh for a blessed consciousness of having thus found favour! (Ps.106:4-5)” (Anon).

Song of Solomon 8:9

   If she [be] a wall,

Our anonymous commentator sees the wall as a work in progress and the door implying a readiness for that work (I Cor.16:9 and Phil.1:6). Thus the bride desired to build wisely. If a door presented itself she would enter in (II Cor.2:12, I Thess. 1:9).

…. Built upon a sure foundation; and firmly established in her faith on Christ, and love to him; and is constant therein, and stands as a wall against the attacks of enemies; and ready to be built upon (Jude 20, Col.2:7). This building up is a most important work (I Peter 2:5, Eph.2:19-22) (Anon).

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we will build upon her a palace of silver;

 

Though at first but as a side wall, yet should become a complete habitation, even a palace for Christ, the King of kings, and, being designed for so illustrious an inhabitant, should be a “silver” one, denoting its worth, value, (purity) and splendour; the builders of it are the church and her ministers; though Christ is the principal builder, (I Cor.3, Zechariah 6:12). Or, “a tower of silver”, signifying, that she should be well fortified, and be put into a posture of defence against her enemies: the Gentile church at first had but a very small appearance of a building, a foundation just laid, a side wall erected; but, in a short time, a noble structure, a stately tower, a silver palace, was built for God (as Jew and Gentile minister afforded every aid to her growth).

 

and if she [be] a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar;

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If the door of the Gospel was opened among the Gentiles, it should be succeeded to the building a holy temple to the Lord; which should be not only ornamented, but so well fenced, that it should not be in the power of their enemies to deface and demolish it: or if the door of their hearts was opened, to receive Christ, and his glorious train of grace,  and the door of it was set open to receive good men, and exclude bad men, this would be to their honour comfort and safety: or this phrase is expressive of the finishing of the building, the gate or door being set up; though it rather seems to intend the low and mean estate of the Gentile church at first, when there was but little appearance of a building, only a door set up; which afterwards grew up into a stately and magnificent palace, like that of Solomon’s, built of cedar boards of the wood of Lebanon; which may denote her fragrances, perpetuity, and incorruptibleness.

In a word, this Gentile church is to be owned, beautified, and ordered in all aspects for a glorious habitation of God through the Spirit-MS.

Song of Solomon 8:8

      We have a little sister,

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Our anonymous commentator believes this is the bride now unselfishly wanting to reach out to another who is not espoused to Christ and the “being spoken for” implies God’s timing in her salvation.

Gill and Moody Stuart both believe the little sister is the Gentile church, so called by the Jewish church; for as the church catholic, or universal, with respect to its parts, is called a mother, as often in this Song; so these parts, with respect to each other, as the Jewish and Gentile churches, may be called sisters; and the rather, as they belong to the same Father and family, are partakers of the same grace, and are of the same faith. The Gentile church is not only sister to the Jewish church, but to Christ, and therefore she says, not I, but we, have such a sister; of which relation, see Song of Solomon 4:9; also that she stood in this relation to Christ and to the Jewish church before the coming of Christ, and before the Gospel was preached to her, and she was called and separated from the world; as elect Gentiles are also called the sheep of Christ, and children of God, before that time, John 10:16. This church is described as a “little sister,” younger in age than the Jewish church; the same with the younger son and brother, in the parable of the prodigal; little in esteem among men, especially the Jews, Ephesians 2:11; As a further description of her, it is added,

and she hath no breasts:

is not arrived to years of ripeness, nor marriageable; see Ezekiel 16:7; the time of her open espousal to Christ was not yet come: at this time she had no ministers nor ordinances, from whence she could have the sincere milk of the word, or share it with others; and it was some time after the Gospel came among the Gentiles before they had a settled ministry;

 what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?

“what shall be done for her?” being moved with pity to her, in her forlorn and helpless condition, like a little infant, Ezekiel 16:4; and willing to do anything for her that lay in her power, though seeming at a loss to know what to do for her: the believing Jews were very (helpful) to the Gentiles, in carrying the Gospel among them at first; and in supplying them with ministers, and with money too, to carry on the interest of Christ among them. The Jewish church here is not forgetful of the chief and principal agent, Christ, and therefore says, what shall we do? She was willing to do what she could; but she knew all would be insignificant without Christ, his agency and blessing. The time has come when she should be wooed or treated with for marriage, by the ministers of the word, at the first preaching of the Gospel to her; and this question exercised the early church (Acts 15); after  receiving the Gospel of Christ, submitting to his ordinances, and professing his name, Acts 28:22. Now the old church might be concerned, that she might stand firm to her faith and the profession of it, notwithstanding the reproaches and persecutions of men.