Verse 14. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework. The day comes when the celestial marriage shall be openly celebrated, and these words describe the nuptial procession wherein the queen is brought to her royal Husband attended by her handmaidens. In the latter-day glory, and in the consummation of all things, the glory of the bride, the Lamb's wife, shall be seen by all the universe with admiration. While she was within doors, and her saints hidden ones, the church was glorious; what will be her splendour when she shall appear in the likeness of her Lord in the day of his manifestation? The finest embroidery is but a faint image of the perfection of the church when sanctified by the Spirit. This verse tells us of the ultimate rest of the church -- the King's own bosom; of the way she comes to it, she is brought by the power of sovereign grace; of the time when this is done -- in the future, she shall be, it does not yet appear; of the state in which she shall come -- clad in richest array, and attended by brightest spirits. The virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. Those who love and serve the church for her Lord's sake shall share in her bliss "in that day." In one sense they are a part of the church, but for the sake of the imagery they are represented as maids of honour; and, though the figure may seem incongruous, they are represented as brought to the King with the same loving familiarity as the bride, because the true servants of the church are of the church, and partake in all her happiness. Note that those who are admitted to everlasting communion with Christ, are pure in heart -- virgins, pure in company -- her companions, pure in walk -- that follow her. Let none hope to be brought into heaven at last who are not purified now.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 14. The virgins, her companions that follow her, shall be brought unto thee. The highest and most excellent Christian cannot say, I have no need of thee: the queen will not be without any of her true companions. As it is in the body natural, so it is in the church of Christ, or body mystical; all the members being fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body to the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:16 Col 2:19. William Troughton.
Verse 14. The virgins her companions that follow her. These are members of the church, but the figure of a bridal train is employed to sustain the allegory. What bright train the Royal Bride will have as she goes forth to meet the Bridegroom! King's daughters will be there, for every crowned head on earth shall one day bow at the foot of the cross. The daughter of Tyre shall be there -- Tyre, the ancient emporium of the nations -- to show that the merchandise of the world shall be holiness from the Lord. The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Jews and Gentiles will be there -- representatives from all peoples, and tongues, and nations. They are virgins. They keep themselves unspotted from the world. They are weaned from its idols; they dread its contaminations. Their first care is to preserve the whiteness of their souls by daily washing in the blood of the Lamb ... They follow the royal Bride. They keep by her side in storm and sunshine. They follow her in the regeneration. They follow her in the search after her Beloved. Song of Solomon 3:2-3 . They follow her to the green pastures and the still waters. They follow her without the camp bearing his reproach. Like Ruth, they leave father and mother to follow her. Ru 1:16. Like Caleb, they follow the Lord fully. When a crisis comes, and the question, "Who is on the Lord's side?" involves heavy issues, and hollow hearted professors fly away like swallows before the storm, they follow her. When persecution comes, and Christ's faithful witnesses have to prophesy clothed in sackcloth, and perhaps to pass through a baptism of blood to the crown, they follow her: like Peden, when -- the bloodhounds of persecution in full chase after him, and the lone moor his home -- he thought of Richard Cameron gone to glory, and sighed "Oh, to be with Richie!" Duncan Macgregor, M.A., in "The Shepherd of Israel; or, Illustrations of the Inner Life," 1869.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 13-15. See Psalms on "Psalms 45:13" for further information.
- The presentation of the church to Christ.
- When souls are first brought to him -- "I have espoused you as," etc.
- When they come before him at death.
- When the perfected church is presented to him -- "That he might present it," etc.
- The manner of presentation --
- "In raiment," etc., such as he himself wrought out.
- With all her followers.
- Their purity -- "virgins."
- their fellowship -- "companions."
- Their succession -- "that follow thee," from one age to another until they are complete. G.R.