The church's love to Christ, 1-4. She confesses her deformity, 5, 6, and prays to be directed to his flock, 7. Christ directs her to the shepherds' tents, 8; and showing his love to her, 9, 10, gives her gracious promises, 11. The church and Christ congratulate one another, 12-17.
1 [The song of songs, which is Solomon's.]
2 [Lady:] Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine.
3 Because of the savor of your good ointments, your name is as ointment poured forth; therefore, the virgins love you.
4 Draw me. We will run after you. The king has brought me into his chambers. [Others:] We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will remember your love more than wine. The upright love you.
5 [Lady:] I am black, but beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
6 Do not look upon me because I am black, because the sun has looked upon me. My mother's children were angry with me. They made me the keeper of the vineyards, but I have not kept my own vineyard.
7 Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, where you feed, where you make your flock to rest at noon. For why should I be as one who turns aside by the flocks of your companions?
8 [Gentleman:] If you do not know, O fairest among women, go forth by the footsteps of the flock and feed your kids beside the shepherds' tents.
9 I have compared you, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots.
10 Your cheeks are beautiful with rows of jewels, your neck with chains of gold.
11 [Others:] We will make for you borders of gold with studs of silver.
12 [Lady:] While the king sits at his table, my spikenard sends forth its smell.
13 A bundle of myrrh is my well beloved to me. He shall lie all night between my breasts.
14 My beloved is to me as a cluster of camphor in the vineyards of En-gedi.
15 [Gentleman:] Behold, you are fair, my love. Behold, you are fair. You have doves' eyes.
16 [Lady:] Behold, you are fair, my beloved, even pleasant. Also our bed is green.
17 [Gentleman:] The beams of our house are cedar and our rafters of fir.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Song of Solomon, Chapter 1[➚]
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
In this chapter, after the general title of the book (Song of Solomon 1:1), the church expresses her strong desires and most ardent wishes for some fresh discoveries of the love of Christ to her and for communion with him, having tasted of his love, smelt a sweet savour in his grace, and enjoyed fellowship with him in his house (Song of Solomon 1:2-4). She observes her blackness and uncomeliness in herself, the trials and afflictions she met with from others, and her carelessness and negligence of her own affairs (Song of Solomon 1:5-6); and entreats her beloved to direct her where she might meet with him, feeding his flocks, and giving them rest, to which he returns a kind and gracious answer, gives her proper instructions where to find him (Song of Solomon 1:7,8), and commends her beauty, sets forth her amiableness and loveliness, by various metaphors, and makes promises of more grace and good things to her (Song of Solomon 1:9-11). And then she declares what a value she had for Christ, her beloved, and how precious he was to her, like a bundle of myrrh and a cluster of camphire (Song of Solomon 1:12-14). Christ again praises her beauty, and particularly takes notice of her eyes and her modest look (Song of Solomon 1:15); and she returns the encomium back to him and expresses her pleasure and satisfaction in the house he had built for her and the furniture of it (Song of Solomon 1:16-17).