Come with me from Lebanon, [my] spouse, with me from Lebanon,
&c.] This is a new title given the church, my "spouse"; here first mentioned, because the day of espousals was over, ( Song of Solomon 3:11 ) ; and having on the wedding garment, in which she was so fair and spotless, as before described, she looked somewhat like a bride, and the spouse of Christ; and is chiefly used by Christ, to prevail upon her to go with him, which relation, duty, and affection, obliged her to do. The invitation is to come with him from Lebanon, which is repeated, to show earnestness and vehemency; not Lebanon, literally taken, a mountain to the north of the land of Canaan, famous for odoriferous trees, and where to be was delightful; but figuratively, the temple, made of the wood of Lebanon, and Jerusalem, in which it was, which in Christ's time was a den of thieves, and from whence Christ called out his people; or this being a pleasant mountain, may signify those carnal sensual pleasures, from which Christ calls his people off. Some render the words, "thou shalt come with me" F21, being influenced by the powerful grace of Christ, and drawn by his love; and what he invites and exhorts unto, he gives grace to enable to perform; look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the
lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards;
Amana is thought by some to be the mountain which divided Cilicia from Syria, taken notice of by several writers F23; but it seems too distant from Lebanon; perhaps it is the same with Abana, from whence was a river of that name, ( 2 Kings 5:12 ) ; where, in the "Keri" or margin, it is read Amana; so the Targum here explains it of the people that dwelt by the river Amana, which washed the country of Damascus: Jarchi takes it to be the same with Hor, a mountain on the northern border of Israel; and indeed, wherever mention is made of this mountain, the Targum has it, Taurus Umanus; and, according to Ptolemy F24, Amanus was a part of Mount Taurus, with which it is joined by Josephus F25; and with that and Lebanon, and Carmel, by Aelianus F26, Shenir and Hermon were one and the same mountain, called by different names; Hermon might be the common name to the whole; and that part of it which belonged to the Sidonians was called by them Sirion; and that which the Amorites possessed Shenir, ( Deuteronomy 3:9 ) ; Now all these mountains might be called "dens of lions", and "mountains of leopards"; both because inhabited by such beasts of prey; hence we read of the lions of Syria F1, and of leopards F2 in those parts; in the land of Moab, and in the tribe of Gad, were places called Bethnimrah, and the waters of Nimrim, which seem to have their names from leopards that formerly haunted those places, ( Numbers 32:36 ) ( Isaiah 15:6 ) ; or because inhabited by cruel, savage, and tyrannical persons; particularly Amana, in Cilicia or Syria, as appears from Strabo F3, Lucan F4, and Cicero F5; and Shenir and Hermon were formerly, as Jarchi observes, the dens of those lions, Og king of Bashan, and Sihon king of the Amorites: unless rather these were the names of some places near Lebanon; for Adrichomius F6 says,
``the mountain of the leopards, which was round and high, was two miles from Tripoli northward, three from Arce southward, and one from Lebanon.''Now these words may be considered as a call of Christ to his people, to come out from among wicked men, comparable to such creatures; and he makes use of two arguments to enforce it: the one is taken from the nature of such men, and the danger of being with them; who are like to lions, for their cruel and persecuting temper; and to leopards, for their being full of the spots of sin; and for their craftiness and malice, exercised towards those who are quiet in the land; and for their swiftness and readiness to do mischief; wherefore it must be both uncomfortable and unsafe to be with such persons: the other argument is taken from their enjoyment of Christ's company and presence, which must be preferable to theirs, for pleasure, profit, and safety, and therefore most eligible. Besides, Christ chose not to go without his church; she was so fair, as before described, and so amiable and lovely in his sight, as follows.
F21 (yawbt) "venies", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Junius & Tremellius.
F23 Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 22. Mela de Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 12. Solin. Polyhistor. c. 51.
F24 Geograph. l. 5. c. 8.
F25 Antiqu. l. 5. c. 6. s. 1.
F26 De Animal. l. 5. c. 56.
F1 Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 6. c. 3, Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 16.
F2 Vid. Ignatii Epist. ad Roman. p. 58. Brocard. in Cocceii Lexic. p. 123.
F3 Geograph. l. 14. p. 465. & l. 16. p. 517.
F4 Pharsalia, l. 3. v. 244. "vencre feroces, et cultor", Amana.
F5 Ad Attic. l. 5. Ep. 20.
F6 Theatrum Terrae Sanctae, p. 186.