OF THE BOOK OF
beloved spake, and said unto me,
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
having made so near an approach to his church, as to come to her very wall, nay, to look in at the windows, and shew himself to her through the lattice, calls aloud to her to arise from her sleep, and come away with him; which she distinctly heard and understood, and therefore relates the very words he said to her, which she might be capable of; for if she could say it was the voice of her beloved, when he was a great way of, at a distance from her, upon the hills and mountains; she must needs know and understand distinctly what he said now, when he was so near her. These then are the words of the church, giving an account of what her beloved said to her, when he made her this kind and indulgent visit; in which may be considered,
I. The preface to the following discourse; “my beloved spake, and said unto me.”
II. The exhortation which he presses a compliance to; rise up, and come way.”
III. Some affectionate titles which he gives her: “my love, my fair one.”
I. The preface which she makes to this discourse of Christ to her, of which she gives an account in this and the following verses, is, “my beloved spake, and said unto me:” in which may be considered, 1. The person speaking, “my beloved;” which title has been frequently met with and explained, particularly in chapter 1:13. 2. The mode of expression in this preface, which in the Hebrew text is thus, “my beloved answered, and said unto me;” which mode of speaking is frequently made use of by Christ in the New Testament; and perhaps is an Hebraism in all those places where it is there used; but here it seems to be expressive of an answer to a secret petition of hers. There is undoubtedly such a thing as mental, as well as vocal prayer, in which the desires of the soul are put up to God; and that under the influences of the Spirit, who maketh intercession for the saints, With groanings which cannot be uttered: and such mental petitions and desires are heard, regarded, and answered by Christ Jesus, who is privy to the secret motions of our souls Godward, and understands full well the language of a sigh and groan; which shews him to be the omniscient God; gives a manifest proof of his deity; as well as evidences his tender regard to his people, and his readiness to help them under all their distresses. 3. The notice which she takes of it. As Christ is not always much, but opens his mouth, and returns suitable answer, gives proper directions and instructions, and speaks peace and consolation to his people; so they are not always deaf, but have ears to hear, they listen to what he says; and as they can distinguish his voice from another's, so they regard it above all others: what he speaks unto them, is received with much pleasure and delight; his words are not harsh and austere, but full of love, grace, pity, and compassion. Now it may be observed from hence, that there is such a thing, as souls being satisfied when Christ speaks to them, and that it is not n delusion: the church knew that it was her beloved that spake, and not another; and that he spake to her in particular, “my beloved spake, and said unto me:” and so every believer may, in some measure, know when Christ speaks unto him, and that it is not a delusion; as when it makes us love Christ more, and quickens us to our duty; or when it discovers Christ's love to us, and our interest an him; when it excites our faith, our hope, and joy, has a tendency to promote holiness of heart and life, puts us upon glorifying Christ, and makes us more active and vigorous in his service; all which seem to be the effect of Christ's speaking to the church here. But,
II. What Christ says unto her is by way of exhortation which consists of two parts, 1st, To rise up. 2dly, To come away.
1st, He exhorts her to rise up, and that in the most tender and affectionate manner, as will be observed hereafter; which supposes, either, that she was asleep upon a bed of carnal security, indulging herself in ease and sloth; or else, that she was cast down in her soul under a sense of sin, and for want of his presence, sitting in darkness, without the light of his countenance, bemoaning her sorrowful and disconsolate condition: as also, that walking in the path of faith, and running in the ways of Christ's commandments, better became her, than sitting still and being indolent; and likewise, that to lift up the head, and to be of a cheerful spirit, better suited with the spouse of Christ, than a sad and dejected countenance; who had no need to sit in the dust, and clothe herself with sackcloth and ashes, when she is the king's daughter, nay, the queen herself, whose clothing is the gold of Ophir: so that neither an indolent and unactive, nor a sorrowful and dejected spirit, become the people of God and spouse of Christ.
2dly, He exhorts her also to come away; from whence? why, from off her sluggish bed, or from out of her prison of darkness and unbelief, or from the company and conversation of wicked and ungodly men; and, in short, from every thing that might bring a dishonor to him, or be prejudicial to herself; which shews the great regard that Christ had for her. But whether would he have her come? why, to himself, where she might have peace and comfort, enjoy sweet communion with him, be out of the reach of enemies, and free from danger by them; he would have her quit her former companions, her former ease and pleasures, and go with him, where she should enjoy ease, pleasure and conversation, superior to these; he would have her be up and about her duty, following him, the lamb, whithersoever he went: in giving which advice, he sought her own good and comfort, as well as his own glory. The Jewish writers understand it as God's call to the people of Israel to come out of Egypt.
III. The loving and affectionate titles which he gives her, are, 1. “My love,” which has been already explained in chapter 1:9. 2. “My fair one;” in what sense the church is fair and comely, has been shewn in chapter 1:5, the church is Christ's fair one; not upon the account of her works of righteousness, as the Targum explains it; but upon the account of the imputation of Christ's righteousness, the pardon of her sins thro” his blood, and the sanctification of his Spirit. The Septuagint add a third character, “my dove;” but this is not in the Hebrew text. Now he uses these titles, (1.) To shew her his ardent love and tender affections to her; that though she was in a carnal and secure frame, and negligent in her duty, yet she was his love and fair one still. (2.) To remove all discouragements from her that might arise from the consideration of her present state and condition. (3.) To prevail upon her arise and go with him; and indeed an exhortation, expressed in such moving language, delivered in such an affectionate manner, one would think, could not fail of succeeding, especially when pressed with a claim of interest in her, my love, and my fair one; as also when designed for her own good, for so the words may be read, “rise up for thyself, and come away for thyself;” it will turn to thy advantage, if thou dost do so; if not, it will be detrimental to thee. What other arguments he makes use of to enforce this upon her, will be seen in the following verses.
 hg[ respondit, Montanus, Vatablus. Marckius, Michaelis,
 Targum, R. Sol. Jarchi. and R. Aben Ezra in loc.
 dl yklw dl ymwq surge tibi & abi tibi, Montanus, Cocceius, Ainsworth, Vatablus, Marckius.