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Song of Solomon 1:3

Song of Solomon 1:3

Because of the savour of thy good ointments
It was usual for lovers to anoint themselves, their hair, garments to commend themselves to each other; and it was common to commend each other's ointments, and the grateful smell of them F17 none being like them, or so agreeable as theirs: by these ointments may be meant the grace of Christ, the fulness of it, the oil of gladness with which he is anointed above his fellows, and without measure; and which so greatly recommends him to his church and people, ( Psalms 45:7 ) ( John 1:14 ) ; thy name [is as] ointment poured forth;
which emits the greater odour for its being poured forth out of the box. The very names of lovers are dear to one another, sweeter than nectar itself F18; the very mention of them gives an inexpressible pleasure. This may respect not merely the fame of Christ spread abroad in the world through the ministry of the word; nor the Gospel only, which is his name, ( Acts 9:15 ) ; and is like a box of ointment broke open, which diffuses the savour of his knowledge everywhere; but some precious name of his, as Immanuel, God with us; Jesus, a Saviour; but more particularly his name Messiah, which signifies anointed, the anointed Prophet, Priest, and King of his church; therefore do the virgins love thee:
for the preciousness of his person, the fulness of grace in him, and the truths of his Gospel: and which love shows itself in a desire of his presence, and communion with him; in a regard to his word and worship, to his truths and ordinances; and to his people, to conversation and communion with them. By these virgins are meant either congregational churches that strictly adhere to Christ, and to his pure worship; or particular believers, for their inviolate attachment to him; for the singleness and sincerity of their love to him; for their uncorruptness in the doctrine of faith; for the truth and spirituality of their worship; for the purity of their lives and conversations; for their beauty and comeliness through Christ; for their colourful and costly attire, being clothed with his righteousness; and for their modest behaviour, having the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.


FOOTNOTES:

F17 "Nam omuium unguentum odos prae tua nautea est", Plauti Curculio, Act. 1. Sc. 2. v. 5.
F18 "Nomen nectari dulcius beato", Martial. l. 9. Epigr. 9.