Chapter 8


I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
that ye stir not up, nor awake my love until he please.

words are either the words of Christ or of his church; who, having the presence and company of, and enjoying communion with each other, forbid all interruption, as has been observed on chapter 2:7, where the same words are used, as they are also in chapter 3:5, but with this difference: 1. The phrase, “by the roes and by the hinds of the field,” which is used in the two former texts, is here omitted; not because there is less vehemency and earnestness in this charge than in the former: for, 2. There is also a difference in the form of expostulation, which seems rather to express her earnestness the more; for the words maybe rendered thus, “Why will ye stir up, and why will ye awake;?”[1] etc., which seems to imply as if she was apprehensive that they were about to do it; and that there was no danger of it; as also that it was an unreasonable thing in them to do it; and what would be every way as prejudicial to them as it would be to her; and therefore they ought to be careful, as well as herself, not to disturb him, nor provoke him to depart: the allusions is to virgins, that sung songs at marriages; one in the evening, lulling to sleep; and another in the morning, awaked and stirring up from it:[2] the church would not have her beloved awaked by them in such a manner.


[1] wrr[t hmw wry[t hm Quid excitaretis, nut quid expergefaceretis? Junius, Brightman: Quid expergefacitis, & quid excitatis? Cocceius. Quid excitabitis, & quid expergesacietis? Mercerus: Cur suscitabitis, cur evigilare tacietis? Montanus, Schmidt.

[2] Vid. Theocrit. Idyll. 13.