Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.CHAPTER 8
The last chapter of the Song is a review of the whole. There is unquestionably a recapitulation of the entire book. The bride’s desires are once more given to be loved and caressed by Him. For the last time we have the charge to the daughters of Jerusalem and once more the coming is announced. “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness leaning upon her Beloved?” She returns with Him. The Beloved is mentioned seven times in the book. There is the voice of the Beloved (Song of Solomon 2:8); the call of the Beloved (Song of Solomon 2:10); claiming the Beloved (Song of Solomon 2:16); opening the Beloved (Song of Solomon 5:5); praising the Beloved (Song of Solomon 5:9-16); leaning on the Beloved (Song of Solomon 8:5) and longing for the Beloved (Song of Solomon 8:14).
Here again the apple tree is found (Song of Solomon 2:3). It is Christ. There the Lord awoke her and manifested Himself to her. From Christ alone she derives her life. Thus only can Israel give birth to this remnant, which, at Jerusalem, shall become the earthly bride of the great King, which desires to be, and shall be, as a seal upon His heart, according to the power of a love that is strong as death, that spares nothing and yields nothing. The little sister of verse 8 has been interpreted as meaning Ephraim, the ten tribes, who will then also come into remembrance and blessing. Solomon’s vineyards at Baal-hamon (master of multitudes) points clearly to the converted nations in the millennium and then His own vineyard. Israel is mentioned in Song of Solomon 8:12.
The Song of Songs ends with a prayer, “Haste my Beloved, and be Thou like a gazelle or a young hart upon the mountain of spices.” Thus the remnant of Israel will plead in the future, that He may come and be manifested in His glory; but the bride of Christ, the Church, prays “Even so, Come Lord Jesus.”
In conclusion, we mention the attempt made by some, to trace in this Song of Songs the entire history of the Church. We give the divisions made for those who desire to examine this interpretation. John the Baptist’s Ministry is claimed to be covered by chapters 2:8--3:5. The Ministry of the Lord Jesus on earth is traced in chapters 3:6--5:1. From the agony in Gethsemane to the conversion of Samaria is thought to be in chapters 5:2--8:5. Then chapter 8:5-14 is said to be a picture of the times when the Gentiles were first called to the revelation and the coming of the Lord.
We think the safest interpretation is that which holds closely to the Jewish meaning, as we have done in these brief annotations.