[It was] but a little that I passed from them
Either a small moment of time, as the Targum and Aben Ezra; or a little distance of place, that is, from the watchmen or ministers, from whom she passed; not through disrespect to them, much less contempt of them; nor because she received no benefit at all from them; but her going on shows she did not rest in means, but looked beyond them, and went on further in the exercise of her faith, and hope of finding her beloved: and meeting with him a little after she had passed from the ministers suggests that Christ is not far from his ministers and ordinances; for it follows, but I found him whom my soul loveth;
which she expresses with the utmost exultation and pleasure, which meeting with him must give her, after such long and fruitless searches, and so many disappointments; see ( John 1:41 ) ; and for Christ to show himself, without which there is no finding him, is a proof of the greatness of his love, and of the freeness and sovereignty of it; and that means, though to be used, are not to be depended on; nor should we be discouraged when they fail, since Christ can make himself known without them, as he did here to the church; who says, I held him, and would not let him go;
which on the part of the church is expressive of her faith in him, signified by laying hold on him, his person, righteousness, grace, and strength, ( Proverbs 3:18 ) ; and of her strong affection to him, grasping and embracing him in her arms of faith and love; and of her fear and jealousy lest he should depart from her again; and of her steady resolution to hold him, whatever was the consequence of it: and, on his part, it intimates a seeming offer to be gone; and a gracious allowance to lay hold on him; and his wonderful condescension to be held by her; and the delight and pleasure he took in the exercise of her faith upon him; for it was not against but with his will he was held by her; and this she determined to do, and not let go her hold, until,
says she, I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chambers of her
that conceived me;
the allusion is to the tents and apartments women had in former times, distinct from their husbands, ( Genesis 24:67 ) ( 31:33 ) ; and all this may be understood either of the visible church, and the ordinances of it, the mother of all true believers, where they are born again, brought up and nourished; and where Christ may be said to be brought, when his name is professed, his Gospel is embraced, and his ordinances are submitted to; and here the church is desirous of introducing Christ, that she with others might magnify him, and praise him for all the instances of his grace and goodness, and have communion with him: or else the heart, and the inmost recesses of it, may be meant; where the incorruptible seed of divine grace is cast; where the new creature; conceived, born, and brought up, until it becomes a perfect man; and where Christ is desired to be, and to dwell by faith, and saints may have uninterrupted communion with him: unless the heavenly mansions are intended, the house of the Jerusalem above, the mother of us all; where saints long to be with Christ, enjoy him, and never lose his presence more; till then the church resolves to hold him fast in the arms of faith, hope, and love, and not let him go.