Song of Solomon 6:5
Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me: your hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Overcome.—Marg., puffed up; Heb. hirîbunî, from the verb rahab, a word whose root-idea seems to be to show spirit against oppression or prejudice. (See Isaiah 3:5; Proverbs 6:3.) The Hiphil therefore = make me spirited, or bold. (Comp. Psalm 138:3.) The LXX. and Vulg., however, followed by many moderns, take it in the sense of scare or dazzle.

For the rest of the description, see Note, Song of Solomon 4:1, seqq.

Song of Solomon 6:5. Turn away thine eyes from me — It is a poetical expression, signifying how beautiful the church was in Christ’s eyes. Thy hair, &c. — This clause and the whole following verse are repeated from Song of Solomon 4:1-2. And this repetition is not vain, but confirms what was said before, that the church’s miscarriage had not alienated Christ’s affection from her. 6:4-10 All the real excellence and holiness on earth centre in the church. Christ goes forth subduing his enemies, while his followers gain victories over the world, the flesh, and the devil. He shows the tenderness of a Redeemer, the delight he takes in his redeemed people, and the workings of his own grace in them. True believers alone can possess the beauty of holiness. And when their real character is known, it will be commended. Both the church and believers, at their first conversion, look forth as the morning, their light being small, but increasing. As to their sanctification, they are fair as the moon, deriving all their light, grace, and holiness from Christ; and as to justification, clear as the sun, clothed with Christ, the Sun of righteousness, and fighting the good fight of faith, under the banners of Christ, against all spiritual enemies.Even for the king the gentle eyes of the bride have an awe-striking majesty. Such is the condescension of love. Now follows Sol 6:5-7 the longest of the repetitions which abound in the Song, marking the continuance of the king's affection as when first solemnly proclaimed Sol 4:1-6. The two descriptions belong, according to some (Christian) expositors, to the Church of different periods, e. g. to the primitive Church in the splendor of her first vocation, and to the Church under Constantine; other (Jewish) expositors apply them to "the congregation of Israel" under the first and second temples respectively.5. (So 4:9; Ge 32:28; Ex 32:9-14; Ho 12:4). This is the way "the army" (So 6:4) "overcomes" not only enemies, but Jesus Christ Himself, with eyes fixed on Him (Ps 25:15; Mt 11:12). Historically, So 6:3-5, represent the restoration of Jesus Christ to His Church at the resurrection; His sending her forth as an army, with new powers (Mr 16:15-18, 20); His rehearsing the same instructions (see on [680]So 6:6) as when with them (Lu 24:44).

overcome—literally, "have taken me by storm."

Turn away thine eyes from me, for I can scarce bear the lustre of them. It is a poetical and amatorious expression, signifying how beautiful the church was in Christ’s eyes, and how passionately he loved her.

Thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead: this clause, and the whole following verse, are repeated from Song of Solomon 4:1,2. And this repetition is not vain nor absurd, but very agreeable to the nature of a pastoral and song of love, as being an effect and testimony of vehement affection, and besides it confirms what was said before, and showeth that the church’s miscarriages, and Christ’s desertion of her upon it, had not made him change his opinion of her, or affection to her. Turn away thine eyes from me,.... Her eyes of faith and love; not through dislike of them, but as ravished with them; his passions were so struck by them, and his heart pierced with them, that he could stand it out no longer against her; see Sol 4:9. Some render the words, "turn about thine eyes over against me" (b); this being the first time of meeting, after her ungrateful treatment of him, she might be filled with shame and confusion for it, and therefore hung down her head, or looked on one side; wherefore he encourages her to look him full in the face, with a holy confidence; for such looks of faith are very agreeable to Christ; see Sol 2:14;

for they have overcome me; that is, her eyes, they had made a conquest of his heart; which does not imply weakness in Christ, but condescending grace, that he should suffer himself, as it were, to be overpowered by the faith and love of his people, who has conquered them and all their enemies. This clause is very differently rendered: by some, "they have strengthened me" (c); his desire towards his church, and the enjoyment of her company: by others, the reverse, "are stronger than me", or "have taken away my strength" (d); so that he was spiritless, and as one dead, or in an ecstasy: by others, "they have made me fly away" (e); that is, out of himself; so that he was not master of himself, could not bear the force and brightness of her eyes: by others, "they have lifted me up" (f); revived, cheered, and comforted him, through sympathy with her, in virtue of their near union: by others, "they have made me proud", or "prouder" (g); see Isaiah 3:5. Christ has a kind of pride as well as pleasure in his church; he is proud of the beauty he has put upon her, of the graces he has wrought in her; and especially of her faith, when in exercise; see Matthew 8:10; and by others, "they have made me fiercer" (h); not with anger and indignation, but with love; there is a force, a fierceness in love, as well as in wrath: "love is strong as death, and jealousy is cruel as the grave", Sol 8:6; it is so in the church, much more in Christ. All which shows the power of faith, to which mighty things are ascribed, Hebrews 11:1; and here the conquest of Christ himself;

thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead; from Mount Gilead; see Gill on Sol 4:1.

(b) , Sept. "ex adverso mei"; Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Marckius; so Montanus and Ainsworth. (c) "corroborant me", Marckius; so Kimchi, and Ben Melech. (d) "Fortiores fuerunt me", Pagninus; so Aben Ezra. (e) So the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions. (f) Mercerus, Ainsworth. (g) Tigurine version, Piscator; so Jarchi. (h) Montanus, Cocceius.

{c} Turn away thy eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead.

(c) This declares the exceeding love of Christ toward his Church.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15a His legs white marble columns,

       Set on bases of fine gold.

If the beauty of the living must be represented, not by colours, but in figurative language, this cannot otherwise be done than by the selection of minerals, plants, and things in general for the comparison, and the comparison must more or less come short, because dead soulless matter does not reach to a just and full representation of the living. Thus here, also, the description of the lower extremity, which reaches from the thighs and the legs down to the feet, of which last, in the words of an anatomist,

(Note: Hyrtl's Lehrbuch der Anat. des Menschen, sec. 155.)

it may be said that "they form the pedestal for the bony pillars of the legs." The comparison is thus in accordance with fact; the שׁוקים (from שוק equals Arab. saḳ, to drive: the movers forward), in the structure of the human frame, take in reality the place of "pillars," and the feet the place of "pedestals," as in the tabernacle the wooden pillars rested on small supports in which they were fastened, Exodus 26:18. But in point of fidelity to nature, the symbol is inferior to a rigid Egyptian figure. Not only is it without life; it is not even capable of expressing the curvilinear shape which belongs to the living. On the other hand, it loses itself in symbol; for although it is in conformity with nature that the legs are compared to pillars of white (according to Aquila and Theod., Parian) marble, - שׁשׁ equals שׁישׁ, 1 Chronicles 29:2 (material for the building of the temple), Talm. מרמרא, of the same verbal root as שׁוּשׁן, the name of the white lily, - the comparison of the feet to bases of fine gold is yet purely symbolical. Gold is a figure of that which is sublime and noble, and with white marble represents greatness combined with purity. He who is here praised is not a shepherd, but a king. The comparisons are thus so grand because the beauty of the beloved is in itself heightened by his kingly dignity.

(Note: Dillmann proposes the question, the answer to which he desiderates in Ewald, how the maiden could be so fluent in speaking of the new glories of the Solomonic era (plants and productions of art). Bttcher answers, that she had learned to know these whilst detained at court, and that the whole description has this ground-thought, that she possessed in her beloved all the splendour which the women of the harem value and enjoy. But already the first words of the description, "white and ruddy," exclude the sunburnt shepherd. To refer the gold, in the figurative description of the uncovered parts of the body, to this bronze colour is insipid.)

15b His aspect like Lebanon,

       Distinguised as the cedars.

By בּחוּר the Chald. thinks of "a young man" (from בּחר equals בּגר, to be matured, as at Psalm 89:20); but in that case we should have expected the word כּארז instead of כּארזים. Luther, with all other translators, rightly renders "chosen as the cedars." His look, i.e., his appearance as a whole, is awe-inspiring, majestic, like Lebanon, the king of mountains; he (the praised one) is chosen, i.e., presents a rare aspect, rising high above the common man, like the cedars, those kings among trees, which as special witnesses of creative omnipotence are called "cedars of God," Psalm 80:11 [10]. בּחוּר, electus, everywhere else an attribute of persons, does not here refer to the look, but to him whose the look is; and what it means in union with the cedars is seen from Jeremiah 22:7; cf. Isaiah 37:24. Here also it is seen (what besides is manifest), that the fairest of the children of men is a king. In conclusion, the description returns from elevation of rank to loveliness.

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