A LITTLE SISTER
Song 8:8 We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? 9 If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar. 10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.
One of the most important things for a correct study of the Song of Solomon is to properly identify who is speaking. And there is no way to understand these present verses without looking back up to the first two verses of this chapter. For in those verses we find that the Bride has taken her Beloved to her mother’s house. Therefore, as usually happens when grown children get together at Mom’s, the conversation will eventually turn to remembering things about one another that occurred in their youth. And so it does here.
Her brothers start speaking of her when she was but a little girl. And this is what we are reading in our first two verses of our above listed text. (Song 8:8,9). Brothers always seem to think it fun to aggravate their sisters, especially if the sisters are younger. And these brothers seem to be no different.
They are saying that they felt it to be their duty to make sure, when she came to be fully developed as an adult woman, to see that she did not bring shame on the family. For they say that in the day when she shall be spoken for, if she is a chaste virgin, discreet and solid as “a wall,” they shall enhance her with a dowry. But if she turns out to be bold and flirtatious, as “a door,” turning one way and then another on its hinges, they planned to board her up, restraining her from shameful actions.
And as far as we can ascertain, she was the only female among these brothers. Consider the following verses: Song 1:6 Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept. Song 6:9 My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters (the ‘daughters of Jerusalem), saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.
In this first verse (Song 1:6), we find her darkened by the sun as her brother’s had begun to already ‘inclose her’ by forcing her to work as a laborer in their vineyards. The stress of the Harlot church upon newly regenerated souls proves to be a severe affliction, although a most profitable one for the regenerate’s spiritual maturity. For it begins to reveal early on to the elect believer that not all religionists are true children of the Lord! Matthew 10:36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. Matthew 12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
We realize that the verse states, “my mother’s children,” but when you add that next verse (Song 6:9), it becomes clear that it was referring to her brothers. For that verse states that “she” is the only one of her mother. Therefore, we can clearly see that she was not an only child, but an only daughter. And being so, she pictures that there is just one true church! There is but one true female Bride! Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Another obstacle in the study of this book, (as it may be in the entirety of the Old Testament), is the need to be converted from our thinking under the influences of our Western culture, and consider things from the viewpoint of the Eastern mindset. For with them, brothers had great say, if not almost equal to the parents in the same authority, regarding the female siblings. Consider these verses: Genesis 24:29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well. 50 Then Laban and Bethuel (her father), answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. 55 And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.
Judges 21:21 And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. 22 And it shall be, when their fathers or their brethren come unto us to complain, that we will say unto them, Be favourable unto them for our sakes: because we reserved not to each man his wife in the war: for ye did not give unto them at this time, that ye should be guilty.
Now we come to that glorious verse (8:10), when the Bride stands up in the face of these brothers and gives her unwavering testimony that she is now, and therefore always was “a wall!” It’s not that she was never estranged in her awareness from the acquaintance of Solomon. And she was properly described by the brothers in verse eight of out text as having “no breasts,” that is, she was once an immature, undeveloped girl. (See also Ezekiel 16:7). And she did come up out of the wilderness, blackened by the afflictions of her former life. Therefore she does represent the sinner in need of salvation. But she was known of God by sovereign electing love!
If the plant bears wheat, it went into the ground, being planted as wheat. And if the final product is a tare, it went into the ground as a tare. Mark 4:28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. The preexistence of a sheep is a lamb! Not a goat, nor a dog or sow! Of course none can know this before hand, except the Lord God who elected them from before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
And just who do we read was standing behind that wall? Song 2:9 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice. For the Eternal Son of God in his pre-Incarnate existence was depicted as of a Lamb slain from the foundation! Revelation 13:8 …in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Therefore he stood as a surety to redeem all that his Father chose in him from before the world began! And he reports to the Father that none of them was lost! John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
And he reports to us that every single soul that the Father gave him shall come to him, without fail! John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
The Son, standing behind those walls – those unwavering believers – clearly understood that those whom he would redeem were those whom the Father had chosen. For his redemption encompasses the entirety of the Father’s election! John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. 10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
A careful reading of Ephesians 1:4, 7, and 13 will reveal that those whom the Father chose, the Son redeemed, and the Spirit sealed! Therefore from her brothers viewpoint she could have bee a flirtatious “door.” But now that she had matured, separating herself from their inclosing of her, thus refusing her of her liberty to develop her own vineyard, she finds herself free from their religious bondage; thriving in the development of her vineyard in the fruitful hill of Solomon’s vineyard. (See Isaiah 5:1 and Song 8:11,12).
And it was “God’s will” for her to be separated from the fornications which her brothers feared. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
For God’s election provides an effectual holiness! 2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: For as the Ephesians 1:4 verse, listed above, states, God’s sovereign election is that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Therefore she can use the very language by which the Lord uses to identify himself! She uses the term, “I am,” which the Lord God used to instruct Moses of who he was. Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And the Lord God Incarnate instructs of himself by this same term. John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
Now we must take note of the repeated subject matter of this chapter. For in verse one of this Song we read of “the breasts of my mother.” Then in our text we read of “no breasts.” And then in verse ten of our text we read, my breasts like towers: And it was in that ancient mind-set, which provided the proper attitude to the female anatomy for the Spirit to use for the revelation of the spiritual work of God, concerning the giving and sustaining of spiritual life. For this work of God in the giving and sustaining of spiritual birth confounds and confuses the most elite religionists! John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Consider our Lord’s proper rendering regarding this intimate matter. Luke 11:27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
In Song 7:3 Solomon had said, Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins. And in his answer to the woman of the company, the Lord Jesus interprets that the ‘two breasts’ of the spiritual realm are hearing and keeping the word of God. For it is that which gives and sustains spiritual life! Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
For the spiritual church is said to be the mother of us all! (Gal. 4:26). And the life of faith is only propagated as one both lives and declares that living word, by the Spirit! For the effectual, life-giving gospel is only transmitted from faith to faith. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
For we are cautioned against those who, like parrots, only repeat words that they are not living! Matthew 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Hearing of the word, but not doing it is the greatest way to instill self-deception within one’s soul. Matthew 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Pastor Gene Breed
March 12, 2017