By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth
The day being not yet broke, the night of Jewish darkness still on the church, and the shadow of the ceremonial law as yet stretched upon her; and having some knowledge of Christ by types and prophecies, desires more, and seeks it in the use of means: though the words may be taken in a more large sense, and represent the state and condition of the church and of all true believers in any age, and at one time as well as another; who, when their beloved is absent, it is "night" with them; as Christ's presence makes day, his absence makes night; and it was now night with the Church, either of affliction, or of darkness and desertion, and indeed of both. The word is plural, "by nights" F9; one night after another, successively, she sought her beloved; which both expresses the continuance of her state, and her diligence and constancy in seeking Christ. The place where she sought him was "her bed"; not the same as in ( Song of Solomon 1:16 ) ( 3:7 ) ; which was both Christ's and hers, and where a different word is used; but this was purely her own: either a bed of affliction, when good men usually seek the Lord, ( Isaiah 26:16 ) ( Hosea 5:15 ) ; or rather of carnal ease and security, in which she continued, and rose not up from it to seek her beloved; which shows the cold, lukewarm, lazy frame she was in, and formal manner in which she sought him, and so succeeded not: however, he was stilt the person "whom [her] soul loved", cordially and sincerely, though not so fervently as she had done; true love, though it may be abated, cannot be lost; I sought him, but I found him not;
because she sought him not aright; not timely, nor fervently and diligently, nor in a proper place; not in her closet, by prayer, reading, and meditation, nor in public ordinances, she afterwards did; but on her bed.
F9 (twlylb) (en nuxin) , Sept. "per noctes", V. L. Junius & Tremeilius, Piscator; "in noctibus", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine versions, Marckius, Michaelis.