INTRODUCTION TO SONG OF SOLOMON 4 Gill
In this chapter is contained a large commendation of the church’s beauty by Christ; first, more particularly, by an enumeration of several parts, as her eyes, hair, teeth, lips, temples, neck, and breasts, Son 4:1; and more generally, Son 4:7; And having observed where he himself was determined to go, he invites her to go with him; which he enforces, partly from the danger she was exposed unto where she was Son 4:6; and partly from the comeliness of her person and graces in his esteem; with which he was ravished, and therefore was extremely desirous of her company, Son 4:9; And then enters into some new descriptions of her; as a garden and orchard, as a spring and fountain, Son 4:12; all which she makes to be owing to him, Son 4:15; And the chapter is closed with an order from Christ to the winds to blow on his garden, and cause the spices of it to flow out; and with an invitation of the church to Christ, to come into his garden, and relax there, Son 4:16.
There is also the peculiar phrase, “my sister, my spouse”, Gill explains this way:
Son 4:9 Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.
Son 4:10 How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!
Son 4:12 A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.
Son 5:1 I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.
Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse,…. Here another new title is given to the church, “my sister”, with the repetition of the former, my “spouse”: for one and the same person, with the Hebrews, might be sister and spouse; see 1Co 9:5. And this may be used in a love strain, and so not improper in a love poem, as this was (g); see Son 8:8; likewise the church may be called Christ’s sister, because of his incarnation, in virtue of which he is not ashamed to call his people his brethren, and so his sisters, Heb 2:11; and on account of their adoption; in which respect, he that is Christ’s Father is theirs; and which is evidenced in regeneration; when they, through grace, do the will of his Father, and so are his brother, and sister, and mother, Mat 12:50. And, upon the whole, it is used to express the great affection of Christ for the church, and his high esteem of her; and which appears by his saying, “thou hast ravished my heart”; which is but one word in the Hebrew text, and nowhere else used, and is variously rendered: the Vulgate Latin version is, “thou hast wounded my heart” (h): with one of love’s darts, Son 2:5; “thou hast drawn my heart unto thee”, so some Jewish writers (i); which is surprising, since no love nor loveliness are in her of herself; this shows how free and unmerited the love of Christ is; according to the use of the word with the Talmudists (k), the sense is, “thou hast coupled mine heart with thine”; the heart of Christ and his church are so closely knit and joined together in love, that they are but one heart, and can never be separated: others, “thou hast seized my heart”; or, “claimed it for thyself” (l); thou art master over it; it is no more mine, but thine The Septuagint version is, “thou hast unhearted us”; Father, Son, and Spirit; particularly the second Person: or thou hast stolen away my heart; I have no heart left in me; which, as it is the case through fear, is sometimes through love: this sense is approved by Aben Ezra. Some render it just the reverse, “thou hast heartened me” (m); put heart into me, animated me, made me of good cheer; so the word is used in the Syriac version of Mat 9:2. The sense may be, that such was the love of Christ to his church, and so much was he charmed by her, that the thought of his having her company in heaven to all eternity animated him to endure all sufferings he did for her sake, Heb 12:2; The Targum is,
“thy love is fixed upon the table of my heart;”
where the church herself was fixed, Son 8:6;