Behold, thou [art] fair, my beloved
These are the words of the church, giving back to Christ his commendation of her, and much in the same words, as more properly belonging to him than her; he calls her "my love", she calls him "my beloved": he says that she was "fair"; the same she says of him, with a like note of wonder, attention, and asseveration, he had prefixed to the commendation of her; suggesting, that his fairness and beauty were essential, original, and underived, but hers was all from him; and therefore he only ought to have the character: he, as man, is "fairer" than the children of men; as Mediator, is full of grace and truth, which makes him look lovely in the eyes of his people; and, as a divine Person, is the brightness of his Father's glory. To which she adds, yea, pleasant;
looks pleasantly, with a smiling countenance on his people, being the image of the invisible God; pleasant to behold, as the sun of righteousness, and Saviour of men; pleasant in all his offices and relations; the doctrines of his Gospel are pleasant words; his ways, his ordinances, are ways of pleasantness; and especially having his presence, and communion with him in them; and which may be designed in the next clause; also our bed [is] green;
the same with "his bed which is Solomon's"; his by gift and purchase; the church's, by having a right through him, and an admittance to all the privileges of it: where the word is preached, ordinances administered, souls are begotten and born again, there Christ and his church have fellowship with each other; said to be "green", in allusion to the strewing of beds with green herbs and leaves, and branches of trees F8; particularly the nuptial bed, called from thence "thalamus" F9: and it may denote the fruitfulness of the saints in grace and holiness, like green olive trees, in the house of God: or else numerous converts in the church, a large spiritual seed and offspring of Christ and the church, as were in the first times of the Gospel, and will be in the latter day: a green bed is an emblem of fruitfulness in the conjugal state; so the Targum and Jarchi interpret it.
F8 Vid. Alstorph. de Lectis Veterum, c. 1. p. 2. s. 9, 10. "Viridante toro consederat herbae", Virgil. Aeneid. 5. v. 388. "In medo torus est de mollibus ulvis impositus lecto", Ovid. Metamorph. 8. v. 685.
F9 Alstorph. ibid. c. 13. p. 73, 74.