O that thou [wert] as my brother
Or, "who will give thee as a brother to me?" F17 an usual form of wishing, ( Deuteronomy 5:29 ) ( Job 23:2 ) ( Psalms 14:7 ) . The church here not only requests that Christ would be like a brother to her, but appear to be really one, and to act the part of one towards her; with whom she might as freely converse as brother and sister may. Several Jewish F18 writers own, that the King Messiah is intended here; and in such a relation Christ does stand to his church and people, by virtue of his incarnation, ( Hebrews 2:11 Hebrews 2:14 Hebrews 2:17 ) ; hence many of the ancients take this to be a wish of the Jewish church, for the coming of Christ in the flesh; and also through their adoption, he and they having one Father, ( John 20:17 ) ; and by being of a like nature, disposition, and practice, ( Matthew 12:50 ) ( Romans 8:29 ) ; as well as on the score of love and friendship, ( Proverbs 18:24 ) ; and this relation Christ fills up, by the intimacy and familiarity he uses them with; by his compassion on them, and sympathy with them, in all their afflictions; by the help, aid, and relief, he gives them; by his condescension to their weaknesses, and by his great love and affection for them. As a further description of him as a brother, it is added, that sucked the breasts of my mother;
which may denote the truth and reality of Christ's incarnation, being a sucking infant: and the near relation of Christ to his people, being a brother by the mother's side, reckoned the nearest, and their affection to each other the strongest: by her "mother" may be meant Jerusalem above, the mother of us all; and, by her "breasts", the ordinances, of which Christ, as man, partook when on earth, and now may be said to suck, as formed in the hearts of his people; [when] I should find thee without;
or, "in the street" F19; in public ordinances, where Christ is to be found; or outside of Judea, in the Gentile world, where, after his coming in the flesh, his Gospel was preached, the ordinances administered, and he was there to be found; or in the most public place and manner, where she should not be ashamed to own him, his truths and ordinances, before men; I would kiss thee;
not only with a kiss of approbation, ( Proverbs 24:16 ) ; but of love and affection, of faith and confidence, of homage and subjection, of worship and adoration; see ( Psalms 2:12 ) ; this is an usage with relations and friends, brothers and sisters, at meeting; hence Heunischius refers this to the time when the saints shall meet Christ in the clouds, who will be admitted to the nearest embraces of him, with unspeakable pleasure, and enjoy him to all eternity; yea, I should not be despised;
for taking such freedom with Christ, her brother. Or, "they would not despise me" F20; neither men nor angels, for such an action, and still less God, the Father, Son, and Spirit; which she might conclude from the relation between them, it being no more unseemly than for a sister to use such freedom with an own brother, even in the street; and from the reception she had reason to believe she should meet with from Christ: who would not turn away his face from her, when she offered to kiss him, which would occasion shame and blushing. The whole expresses her boldness in professing Christ, without fear or shame, in the most public manner.
F17 (Knty ym) "quis det te?" Pagninus, Montanus, Marckius.
F18 Targum in loc. Zohar in Gen. fol. 104. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 73. 3. Caphtor Uperah, fol. 5. 2.
F19 (Uwxb) "in platen", Montanus, Brightman, Marckius; "in publico", Cocceius, Michaelis.
F20 (yl yzby al) "non contemnent, vel contemnerent me", Montanus, Brightman, Marckius.