Bible Study: SONG OF SONGS 2:8-13

8 The voice of my beloved!
Behold, he comes
Leaping upon the mountains,
Skipping upon the hills.

My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Behold, he stands behind our wall;
He is looking through the windows,
Gazing through the lattice.

10 My beloved spoke, and said to me:
“Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away.

11 For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.

12 The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come

13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
And the vines with the tender grapes
Give a good smell.
Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away!”
NKJV

The verses above are about a love story between King Solomon and his beloved. In this book of poetry, like the apocalyptic books, one finds imagery and symbolism offering many possible interpretations.

Dr. John Walvoord: Scholars differ widely on the structure of the Song, its unity or lack of it, the nature of its metaphors and the nature of the love extolled by the Song. In short, almost every verse has been the subject of lively debate by the Song’s interpreters. Probably no other book of the Bible has such a variegated tapestry of interpretation.

Symbolic interpretations of the verses vary greatly between religious Jews who see the bride groom as the awaited Messiah, and some Christians who find the prolepsis of “the winter” characterized by the falling away of the broader church and the persecution of the true Church.

Moreover, these Christians view the rapture as the catching up of the bride by the Groom, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and the millennial reign of Messiah on earth as specific prophecy set forth throughout the New Testament.

8The voice of my beloved!
Behold, he comes
Leaping upon the mountains,
Skipping upon the hills.

The observance of the ancient Jewish wedding gives us a beautiful depiction of the union between a man and his bride, pointing to the future marriage between Christ and His Church.

All who have trusted in the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus as Savior, and His glorious resurrection from the dead, have this special relationship with our Lord, for the Church has been chosen to be His bride (2 Corinthians 11:2) “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him.”

For the time being, we are separated from our heavenly Bridegroom, but a day has been appointed when the Lord Jesus shall descend from heaven and call out for His church.

Who will know the voice of Jesus Christ? Not the unbeliever, but only the believing Church will know His voice, in the same way a lamb knows only its shepherd’s voice.

“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:4-5

My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Behold, he stands behind our wall … He is looking through the windows,
Gazing through the lattice.”

The bridegroom is coming for His church, the bride, swiftly, with the speed of a gazelle. The Groom wonders – is the bride preparing herself – is the bride prepared to be with the Groom?

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 1 Cor 1:13:12

This phrase, through the windows and lattice, intimates that like the law under the Old Testament, the Church does indeed see Christ, but not clearly.

“For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.” Hebrews 10:1

As the last Gentile comes to faith (Luke 21:24), the Father tells His Son to go get His bride, the church…

There is heightened anticipation of the union of the groom and his bride as in the ancient Jewish (Galilean) wedding when the groom was separated from his bride for one full year, until the father of the groom tells his son the time has come to go get his bride.

10 My beloved spoke, and said to me:
“Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away.”

This is the time of the catching up (Greek, harpazo), or rapture of believers. His voice is what activates our spirits to rise and follow Him. In Revelation 4:1 Jesus calls John to the throne room, depicting the rapture.  Come up here!

The trumpet sounds ending the Church Age…

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

2 Thessalonians 4:16 teaches that at the voice of Jesus, even the dead bodies of believers will be quickened and rise from the grave.

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”

Then in 2 Thess. 4:17, in the blink of an eye, the Church of Christ, having shed its sin nature, soars to its Creator.

“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

11 “For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone”

Between the time the Church is caught up to Christ, and His triumphant return to rule and reign on earth for 1000 years, there will be a time of testing for those who dwell on the earth.

 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matthew 24:21

Upon His second Advent, Satan is bound …

“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:1-2

12 The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come

Spring, a time of new beginnings with King Jesus Christ. With the church in the New Jerusalem, this is the time when Jesus appears to a remnant of the Jewish people on earth in Jerusalem and brings them to salvation by belief in Himself.

“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10

The earth is depicted as a beautiful farmland. There will be perfect peace because the King of peace will reign. This is the time of the 1000-year sabbath when the earth is restored …

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:19-21

A time when the bridegroom returns to earth with His church to rule and reign for 1000 years as Satan is bound:

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while” Revelation 20:1-3.

13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
And the vines with the tender grapes
Give a good smell.
Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away!”

The timing for all these events points to spring, the same time of year that King David defeated the Jebusites and established Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.” 2 Samuel 11:1

And the same time of year as Israel’s rebirth on May 14, 1948.

“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” Matthew 24: 32-35

The “fig tree” symbolizes the rebirth of the physical house of Israel. The fig tree generation is still on earth and witnessed Israel’s rebirth on May 14, 1948.

Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away!” is a beautiful reminder of the future day when Jesus comes for His church, and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-9) is fulfilled.

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.

And Jacob’s blessing is fulfilled:

“Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” Zechariah 8:23

Author’s note: Special thanks to our late friend and brother in Christ, Richard, for contributing and editing this study.

References: Bible Commentary John Walvoord, Roy Zook; Matthew Henry’s commentary; Bible Study (.org)