Come, my beloved
The word come is often used by Christ, and here by the church, in imitation of him; see ( Song of Solomon 2:10 Song of Solomon 2:13 ) ( 4:8 ) . This call is the call of the church upon Christ, to make good his promise, ( Song of Solomon 7:8 ) ; and is an earnest desire after the presence of Christ, and the manifestations of his love; which desire is increased the more it is enjoyed; and it shows the sense she had of her own insufficiency for the work she was going about: she knew that visiting the several congregations of the saints would be to little purpose, unless Christ was with her, and therefore she urges him to it; not that he was backward and unwilling to go with her, but he chooses to seem so, to make his people the more earnest for his presence, and to prize it the more when they have it; and it is pleasing to him to hear them ask for it. The endearing character, "my beloved", is used by the church, not only to express her affection for Christ, and faith of interest in him, but as an argument to engage him to go along with her. Her requests follow; let us go forth into the field;
from the city, where she had been in quest of Christ, and had now found him, ( Song of Solomon 5:7 ) ; into the country, for recreation and pleasure: the allusion may be to such who keep their country houses, to which they retire from the city, and take their walks in the fields, to see how the fruits grow, and enjoy the country air. The church is for going abroad into the fields; but then she would have Christ with her; walking in the fields yields no pleasure unless Christ is there; there is no recreation without him: the phrase expresses her desire of his presence everywhere, at home and abroad, in the city and the fields; and of her being with him alone, that she might tell him all her mind, and impart her love to him, which she could better do alone than in company it may also signify her desire to have the Gospel spread in the world, in the barren parts of it, which looked like uncultivated fields, the Gentile world; and so, in one of the Jewish Midrashes F3, these "fields", and the "villages" in the next clause, are interpreted of the nations of the world; let us lodge in the villages;
which, though places of mean entertainment for food and lodging, yet, Christ being with her, were more eligible to her than the greatest affluence of good things without him; and, being places of retirement from the noise and hurry of the city, she chose them, that she might be free of the cares of life, and enjoy communion with Christ, which she would have continued; and therefore was desirous of "lodging", at least all night, as in ( Song of Solomon 1:13 ) . Some F4 render the words, "by", "in", or "among [the] Cyprus trees"; see ( Song of Solomon 1:14 ) ( 4:13 ) ; by which may be meant the saints, comparable to such trees for their excellency, fragrancy, and fruitfulness; and an invitation to lodge by or with these could not be unwelcome to Christ, they being the excellent in the earth, in whom is all his delight.
F3 Shir Hashirim Rabba in loc.
F4 Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Brightman, Michaelis.