I have compared thee, O my love
The church having taken the direction of Christ, had now found him, and was with him; and when for her encouragement and comfort he greets her as his love, an appellation very usual among lovers; and in the chastest sense between husband and wife; the church was Christ's love, being both the object and subject of it; to whom he had showed love, and whose love was shed abroad in her heart; or "my friend" F20, another name used among lovers; there is a mutual friendship between Christ and his people; they are Christ's friends, and he is theirs, ( Song of Solomon 5:1 Song of Solomon 5:16 ) . The Septuagint render it "my neighbour", whom Christ loves as himself; and they dwell near each other; he dwells in them, and they in him, ( John 6:56 ) ; and here are compared by him to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots;
or "I have likened thee", or reckoned thee like F21; formed such an image of thee in my mind, with regard to some peculiar excellencies in her which agreed therewith: or to "my mare" F23, as some translate the word, which ran in one of his chariots, called Pharaoh's chariot; because perhaps it was made a present of to him by Pharaoh king of Egypt, his father in law, for which he had a particular regard, as Alexander for his Bucephalus; nor is such a comparison of a woman a disagreeable one, since, as Marckius observes, many women have had their names from the horse, because of some celebrated excellency in them F24; and Theocritus F25 compares Queen Helena to a Thessalian horse in a chariot; and it is thought he took the hint from this song, as admiring it; so, by others F26, persons are compared to mares for their beautiful form. Christ's church and people be compared to "the horse" for their strength, majesty, and comeliness; they are strong in Christ, and in his grace, and of an undaunted courage in bearing hardships, reproaches, and persecutions for his sake, and in fighting the Lord's battles; and are stately and majestic, especially a company of them in Gospel order, ( Song of Solomon 6:4 ) ; and are very comely and beautiful in their trappings, clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and the graces of his Spirit; and to a "company" of them, a collection of goodly ones, as Egyptian ones, reckoned the best; and those in Pharaoh's chariot best of all; choice, costly, well fed, and well taken care of; and not wild and loose, but coupled and joined together in a chariot, all drawing one way. Christ's church and people are a choice and select company, distinguished from others by the grace of God; cost a great price, the blood of Christ; are well fed with the finest of the wheat; and are under the care both of angels and Gospel ministers; and look very beautiful as under the yoke of Christ, and joined together in Gospel bonds, being of the same faith and judgment; drawing one way, striving together for the faith of the Gospel, and endeavouring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.
F20 (ytyer) "amica mea", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Mercerus, Michaelis.
F21 (Kytymd) "similem te judico", Tigurine version.
F23 (ytool) (th ippw mou) , Sept. "equae meae", Pagninus, Montanus, Gussetius, p. 551. so Aben Ezra, Syriac and Arabic versions; "equabus", Piscator.
F24 As Hippo, Hippe, Hippia, Hippodomia, Hippothoe, Hipponoe, Mercippe, Alcippe, Archippe.
F25 Idyll. 18. v. 29.
F26 (ippov egw kalh) , Theognis Sententiae, v. 257. (h d'ippou-eido) (aristh) , Phocylides. So by Plato in Hippias Major, p. 1250. & Horat. Carmin. l. 3. Ode 11. v. 9.