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.
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.