“There are threescore queens, and foursquare concubines, and virgins without number.”
By request we shall endeavor to suggest a few thoughts upon the above text, and first of all shall call attention tot he fact that this Scripture, like all other does not stand alone, hence not independent, but has its immediate connection, as well as other bearings, throughout the Scriptures. The testimony of Jesus is an unbroken chain. By this we mean that the entire Old Testament in its testimony of his coming and the glory that should follow is as a chain, one link linking into another, and as each link of a chain fills its place, and is a part of a chain, so every part of Scripture has its bearing upon another, and is not complete without each and every part. The text above quoted would therefore be without meaning should it be considered alone.
This song called Solomon's is a dialogue, and its language highly figurative, declaring divine things. Because of this its spiritual import is hid from the wise and prudent; they therefore not seeing its beauty and perfection have said it never should have been compiled as a part of the Bible. But as in the days of Jesus, some men strain at gnats and swallow camels. Those to whom the Spirit and the bride have said, Come, are seeking to find the hiding-place, as it were, and the dwelling-place of this altogether lovely One. They long for his gracious presence, which dispels the gloom of the soul, and fills the being with wonder, praise and adoration. Such desire is expressed in the first verse of this sixth chapter of Solomon's Song. Those seeking, asked “the fairest among women” whither her beloved had turned aside, that they might seek him with her. Herein are most strikingly presented Christ and his bride, and in all that we shall write it is our desire to keep him and the church before the eyes of the living.
In answer to the question in the first verse, the bride said, “My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.” This garden of the Lord is inclosed, these sweet spices grow and send forth their fragrance, and the lilies flourish in beauty and purity to the praise of their Husbandman. He only of all men has access to this fragrant and beautiful garden. He accepts the sweet savor of his spices and rejoices in the perfection of his lilies. He feeds there, and there only; no perfumes nor lilies outside of his garden are acceptable to him. There he feeds among the lilies of his grace. The bride said, “I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine.” How graciously true that the church is Christ's and Christ is hers. The union is vital – eternal. Amen. The Bridegroom describes his bride as being beautiful, and addresses her as his “love.” She is as comely as Jerusalem and without spot or blemish before her husband. After these affectionate expressions of each other and preceding other wonderful declarations are the words of the text: “There are threescore queens, and foursquare concubines, and virgins without number.” The queens, concubines and virgins suggest the thought of numerous women of all classes, but not one of them had the slightest attraction for the Bridegroom. All these women, doubtless, represent all false churches throughout the whole world. The church of God is set forth in figure of a woman, not only in the Song of Solomon, but in many other places in the Scriptures, and other churches are represented by women. Mark the singular number with reference to the church of God, the bride, the Lamb's wife, and the plural as regards the churches of the world. They are without number, while the true church is but one. A speckled bird (just one) against which all other birds are arrayed, yet its salvation is sure, because the Lord is with it to keep it, and in that he is for it he is against all other birds or women (false churches). In verse nine the Bridegroom speaks in contrast and says, “My dove, my undefiled, is but one.” Queens, concubines and virgins are without number, but his dove, his undefiled, is but one. Here is set forth the doctrine of unity – one woman, or church, many members, but one body, his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all. There are many branches, so to speak, but after all there is but one church, and its Builder hath established it upon a rock, and said the powers of darkness, or hell, shall not prevail against it. It is undefiled through the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, complete in him. “She is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her.” Her children rise up and call her blessed. She provides well for her house, and her virtue hath gotten her the name of names: “The Lord our righteousness.” She shall be called by my name, saith the Lord.
Now, after writing the above to the praise and glory of God, it is good to remember that all who have faith in the blood of the Lamb of God compose this beautiful and undefiled woman, the church of the firstborn, and though “black” in their own sight, in the righteousness of their heavenly Husband all are as fair as the moon, as clear as the sun, more beautiful and more precious to him than all things else, either in earth or heaven.
“Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God;
He, whose word cannot be broken,
Formed thee for his own abode.”
Elder H.C. Ker
Signs of the Times
Vol. 89, No. 16 – August 15, 1921