9th Song: 7:1-9
The Glowing Beauty of The Bride

VoiceNarrative
The companions7:1 How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.
7:2 Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.
7:3 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.
7:4 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.
7:5 Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.
Groom7:6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!
7:7 This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.
7:8 I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples; 7:9 And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine
Bride7:9 For my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.

The setting for this song, as with the eighth song, is within the garden. The marriage of the Lamb has taken place, Yahweh’s enemies have been destroyed, a victory has been wrought, a dance has been performed, and now is the time for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb to commence (Rev 19:7-17).The companions have witnessed the bride’s beauty and joy as she dances before them (6:13).They burst into words of praise, extolling her beauty from her feet upwards.The groom then appears and he also extols her beauty in bursts of joyful commendation.

In the previous song, the bride was requested to perform the “dance of Mahanaim” (6:13) and this song expresses the praise of the companions and the king as they witness the bride’s beautiful victory dance. Her movements are beautifully coordinated. She is made up of many members working in harmony as the multitudinous body of Christ. Her beauty is described as she expresses, in dance, the joy she is experiencing. Miriam and the women of Israel danced joyfully when they were baptised into Moses, and delivered from the wrath of Pharaoh (Exod 15). In doing so, they praised the Divine Name and Goodness “in the dance”, singing “praises unto Him with the timbrel and harp” (Psa 149:3).

The description of the bride’s dance is perfectly chaste, and is designed to bring before the eye the lithe and beautiful movements of the dancer: the skill of her sandaled feet “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Eph 6:15); the active, graceful bending of her body; the beauty of her form and deportment; the elegant synchronising of feet, arms, body and head, in harmonious movement. The bride is pictured as rejoicing in the Lord (see Phil 4:4), and the companions praise her for her elegance and skill (7:1-5). The king observes her dance and extends similar words of praise for her splendour.

In the previous song, we were introduced to the “chariots of Ammi-nadib”, the people of the prince (6:12). In this song, the bride is introduced as the prince’s daughter — Nadib-bath (7:1).

As stated earlier, the description of parts of the bride’s anatomy are given to indicate character. “Navel” (Ezek 16:4) suggests nourishment and “breasts” imply a nurturing character. A “goblet full of wine” points to fruitfulness. The companions of the bride continue to commend the bride for her beauty by describing her in this way: “thy body, a heap of wheat fenced about with lilies” (Roth; YLT). Lilies are associated with God’s glory and beauty (Matt 6:28-29) but they were also used to fire the ovens for bread making. The lilies grew among the wheat fields and were harvested together with the wheat. At harvest time they were then dried out, and their fibrous stems used as fuel for the ovens to make bread. They were part of the grass of the field “which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven” (Matt 6:30).

“The pools of Heshbon” speak of Israel’s renewed faith when, just before entering the land, they crossed the river Arnon, took Heshbon with a remarkable victory and there they sang the Song of the Well (Num 21:16-30). Bath-rabbim means “many daughters”, which the multitudinous bride, the prince’s daughter (Nadib-bath), has now become.

This song is the only one which refers to the palm tree twice. The Hebrew word tamar means “to be erect”. It is the tallest and most upright of the trees found in the Middle East, representing “the righteous [who] flourish as the palm tree” (Psa 92:12; see Rev 7:9). The palm, with its central trunk, stands erect, having all its foliage and fruit at its crown; the part of the tree nearest to heaven. The palm continues to fruit even when reaching old age. It is the palm tree that is associated with all nations, due to the fact that there were 70 palm trees at Elim, with 70 representing the number of the nations. The Gentile city of Jericho was known as “the city of palm trees” (Deut 34:3). The palm was used to build booths during the Feast of Tabernacles, the final ingathering (Lev 23:40). They are also found as significant architectural features in the Temple of the Future Age (cp Ezek 40 and 41).

The last verse of the song (7:9) can be attributed to the bride. This is because the words, “my beloved,” are in the singular masculine gender and therefore are suited to the words of the bride addressing her groom (refer Rotherham for details). She says that it is the upright character of the groom that brought about the resurrection causing “the lips of those that are asleep to speak”. The word “sweetly”means “upright”. Its cognate word is found in Psalm 92:15, where it is recorded that “Yahweh is upright”.

So this song comes to a wonderful finale. The beauty of character of the joyous bride, attested to by all who see her, including the groom, reflects the qualities of all those who are the recipients of our Lord’s grace and mercy. When he descends from heaven, those who are asleep and those who are alive at his coming will forever be with our Lord. All this is only made possible because of the upright character of the groom.

(to be continued)