Behold He cometh, leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart. Behold He standeth behind our wall; looking through the windows, looking through the lattices. Behold, my beloved speaketh to me, Arise, make haste, My love, my dove, my beautiful one; and come. For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone, The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning Is come, the voice of the turtle is heard in our land: the fig-tree hath put forth her green figs, the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise my love, my beautiful one; and come. My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, show Me thy face, let thy voice sound in My ear; for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely.
Verse 8. The. Feeling the protection of Christ, the Church preacheth boldly the truth against pagans and heretics. W. — She knows the voice of the shepherd, (Jo. viii. 47. and x. 2.) and keeps at a distance the wolves in sheep’s clothing, or pretended reformers, who would scatter the flock. — Hills. She sees him returning in the evening with the utmost speed of a stag, as the Heb. implies. C. ii. 9. and viii. 14.
Verse 9. Hart, (Prov. v. 18.) which is swifter that the dogs. Xenoph. Cuneg. — This animal is said to destroy serpents, as Christ did the power of the devil. Theod. — Wall. Under the old law, Christ was only seen in figure. He manifested himself in the new. Yet our sins separate him from us. Is. lix. 2. He is concealed in the sacred mysteries, (C.) and his humanity keeps from our sight the glory of his divinity, which alone can impart full content. S. Amb. S. Bern. — He shewed a glimpse of it at his transfiguration, and by his miracles. M.
Verse 10. Arise. He sings under the window, to v. 16. — My dove, is taken from the Sept. C. — Christ invites his spouse to approach, though he shews not himself as yet; and orders his pastors to root out heresies. v. 25. W. — She is ever faithful, and rejoices in him. 2 Cor. xi. 2. Matt. ix. 15. Eph. v. 26. C.
Verse 11. Winter. The rigour and darkness of the old law give place to that of light and love. Orig. — After persecution had ceased, pruning became more necessary. C. — The Israelites and the world were redeemed in spring, and the ceremonies of the law were abolished at the same season. M.
Verse 12. Pruning. Prot. “singing of birds.” H. — But the former version is better. Sept. Sym. &c. — Turtle. Which returns in spring. Is. viii. 9. C. — It denotes the preaching of the gospel, (S. Cyr. ador. 15.) or rather the sighs of a holy soul in exile.
Verse 14. Rock. Wild pigeons retire thither. Varro, iii. 7. Koilhn eiseptato petrhn. Il. 20. Ser. xlviii. 28. C. — Holy souls seek protection in the wounds of their Saviour. S. Greg. S. Bern. ser. lxi. — Wall. In the holy Scriptures, which defend the Church. She is brought to light for the edification of all. M.