My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart
The church, upon the swift and speedy approach of Christ unto her, compares him to these creatures; which are well known for their swiftness F12 in running, and agility in leaping, as before observed: and, besides these things, Christ may be compared to them on other accounts; they are pleasant and lovely, choice and valuable; bear an antipathy to serpents, which they easily overcome; are very good for food, and very agreeable, and are long lived creatures F13; Christ is lovely and amiable in his person, and high in the esteem of his divine Father, angels and men; is choice and excellent in his nature, offices, and grace; bears an antipathy to the old serpent, the devil, whose works and powers he came to destroy, and has got an entire victory over them; and is very agreeable food to faith; his flesh is meat indeed, and the more so through his sufferings and death; as the flesh of those creatures is said to be the more tender and agreeable, by being hunted; and Christ, though dead, is alive, and lives for evermore; behold, he standeth behind our wall;
not the middle wall of the ceremonial law, behind which, Christ, under the Old Testament dispensation, stood, showing himself to believers; nor the wall of our humanity he partook of, when he came in the flesh, and under which his glorious deity was in some measure covered and hid; but rather the wall of our hearts, ( Jeremiah 4:19 ) ; the hardness, infidelity, and carnal reasonings of it, which are so many walls of separation between Christ and his people; behind which he stands, showing his resentment of them, and in order to demolish them, and get admittance: he is represented here, as nearer than when she first saw him, even at her very home; he looketh forth at the windows;
this is coming nearer still; for, by the manner of the expression, it seems that he was within doors, since he is said, not to look through the windows, but to look forth at them, meaning the ordinances; which are that to the church as windows to a house, the means of letting in light into the souls of men; and where Christ shows himself, in his glory and beauty, as kings and great personages look out at windows to show themselves to their people: though Christ may also be said to look in at, those windows, to observe the behaviour of his people in his house and ordinances, with what attention, affection, faith, and reverence, they wait upon him in them; showing himself through the lattice;
by which may be meant the same things, only a larger and clearer discovery of Christ in them, of which ordinances are the means; and yet, unless Christ shows himself through them, he cannot be seen in them: and a "behold" being prefixed to these gradual discoveries of himself, show them to be wonderful! a glance of him behind the wall is surprising; his looking in at the windows still more so; but his showing himself, in all his glories and excellencies, through the lattice, is enough to throw into the greatest rapture, to fill with joy unspeakable and full of glory! Some render the word "flourishing" F14, like a rose or lily, or like a vine, or jessamine; which grow up by a window or lattice, and, seen through them, took very pleasant and delightful. But the allusion is rather to the quick sighted roe, or young hart; which, as it is remarkable for its swiftness, referred to, ( Song of Solomon 2:8 ) , so for the sharpness of its sight; Pliny F15 says it is never dim sighted; it has its name "dorcas", in Greek, from its sight.
F12 "Cervi veloces", Virgil. Aeneid. 5. v. 253.
F13 Vid. Pausaniae Arcad. sive l. 8. p. 472. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 32. Aelian de Animal. l. 2. c. 9. Solin. Polyhistor. c. 31, Frantz. Animal, Sacr. par. 1. c. 15.
F14 (Uyum) "efflorescens", Piscator, Michaelis, so Ainsworth.
F15 Nat. Hist. l. 28. c. 11.