Song of Solomon Chapter 8: The Great Multitude Renew Their Love for the Lord, The Bride’s Concern for Her Sister

Jan 15th, 2010 | By | Category: Song of Solomon, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Song of Solomon Chapter 8: The Great Multitude Renew Their Love for the Lord, The Bride’s Concern for Her Sister

Song 8:1 O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.

Song 8:2 I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother’s house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.

Song 8:3 His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.

Song 8:4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.

Song 8:5 Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.

Ostensibly the Bride seems to be speaking, but since the Church is already glorified and the Song of Solomon has been sequential for the last few chapters, the Great Company would be speaking here for several reasons. One reason is that a new chapter is properly indicated in Song 8:1 with a change of cadence. Another reason is that the glorified Church beyond the veil would not utter the words in verse 4. Chapter 8 is a sequel to the story in the Song of Solomon, in which the Bride class is now complete and attention is being focused on the Great Company class. At this point in time, the Great Company will have renewed zeal that will be just as fervent and at just as high a level as that of the true Church—but belatedly. They will get the equal portion of the Spirit and the oil and be enthusiastic. They would have made their calling and election sure if they had awakened to this fact in sufficient time.

Verse 5, which is a commentary by the Holy Spirit, is the key to identifying the speaker of the first four verses as the Great Company. The words in the King James “brought thee forth” do not convey the thought that unlocks the Scripture, but the Revised Standard does: “Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? Under the apple tree I awakened you. There your mother was in travail with you, there she who bore you was in travail.” The word “travail” alerts us because the Sarah Covenant does not travail. The Hebrew word chabal, which is translated “brought thee forth,” is used many times in the Bible but seldom in the sense of “travail.” Nevertheless, one of its meanings, besides “brought thee forth,” is “travail” because the root word basically means destroy, consume, hurt, harm, trouble, pain—all very negative. Therefore, the Hebrew word in this context is emphasizing the pain and struggle associated with childbirth. In addition to the Sarah Covenant, which is the “mother of us all” (Gal. 4:26), there is the Rachel Covenant. Sarah brought forth only Isaac, and the Great Company is not identified with Isaac. Also, no pain is associated with the Sarah Covenant.

Rachel, however, died in connection with the birth of Benjamin, who pictures the Great Company class in this setting. Earlier Rachel brought forth Joseph, who represents The Christ, Head and body. Therefore, it can be said of Rachel as well that she is the “mother of us all.”

Verse 4, as used elsewhere in Song of Solomon, should read, “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake love, until it please.” “Love” is a condition, not an individual. Previously the word was used exclusively for the true Church. Now here, at the end of the book, the same expression is repeated after the Church is complete. For this additional reason, the Great Company class is speaking.

Now we will consider verse 1 with the Great Company in mind. “O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.” (The verse can also end with “they would not despise me.”) A “brother” is mentioned. Certainly Christ is the brother of the true Church, but he is also the brother of the Great Company class, who are yearning for recognition by the Master.

The door was abruptly shut in Matthew 25:12 when Jesus said to the Great Company, “I know you not.” In other words, up to the time of the closing of the door, they had not measured up to the level in which Christ recognized them as really being of the Bride class. Even though we are all born as babies in Christ in the Sarah Covenant, that does not mean we are acceptable as part of the Bride, for we must grow up into Christ, into manhood, to a mature standard. After the Bride is complete, the Great Company class, being disassociated, will long for some recognition. Those in Babylon who survive its fall will begin to question their relationship to God. When they see the destruction of what they thought was the Church of God, they will be in great confusion momentarily. They will say, “We have given our life and have been laboring and thinking that this is the Church of Christ, but now it is destroyed. What is our position?”

This period will be one of reevaluation for the Great Company, who will realize they failed to make the Bride class. “The harvest is past, … and we are not saved,” they will say (Jer. 8:20).

Several Scriptures indicate this poignancy of expression and feeling in regard to where they stand in their relationship to the Lord. Knowing they have missed out on the high calling, they will long for comfort and assurance from Jesus that they are still in the brotherhood. The “mother,” then, in the expression “sucked the breasts of my mother” is Rachel, the mother of The Christ as well as of the Benjamin class.

The implication in “when I should find thee without” is that the little sister has a feeling of alienation. She is yearning to find Jesus. If such be the case, she would embrace him without embarrassment with the confidence that she really is in the brotherhood, even though not of the Bride.

“I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother’s house, where you would instruct me” (verse 2). (Several translations have “where you” instead of “who would.”) Now the little sister is amenable to instruction. She is longing to know how to become pleasing to the Lord.

“I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.” The Great Company class, the little sister, does truly love the Lord. Although confused and experiencing a measure of doubt, she is longing for a closer communion and walk with God and with Christ. She has pent-up feelings of affection for Christ, “spiced wine” within her being. She would like to express her love to him in a more personalized sense (like kissing her brother) and to unburden her feelings to the Master without embarrassment.

Then “his left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.” Verse 4 next shows the Great Company will get that for which she longs: “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake love, until it please” (corrected translation). Up until now, the situation was tentative. “O that you were my brother so that I could kiss you and reveal to you my innermost affection.” She begins to feel the love and relationship that the Bride class formerly enjoyed. With the Holy Spirit coming down (pictured as Elijah’s mantle or the oil) will come knowledge, understanding, and increased faith and zeal (2 Kings 2:13,14; Matt. 25:8-10). The Great Company will get these benefits and get them strongly, as also shown in Habakkuk 3:18. “Yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

“Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?” (verse 5). The Pastor applied this verse to the Church coming out of the wilderness in 1799, the end of the 1,260 years, but the year 1799 does not fit smoothly into the Song of Solomon at this point.

However, the scapegoat going into and returning from the wilderness would fit with regard to the Great Company. The flesh must be destroyed so that the spirit will be saved. After that experience, the Great Company will lean on the arm of her Beloved in a secondary sense, realizing that whatever she receives is from the Lord. Even if on a lower level than the Bride class, the association with Jesus will be blessed.

Verse 5 continues, “I raised thee up under the apple tree.” The thought is, “I awoke thee.” The little sister is awakened under the apple tree by Jesus. Earlier she was lethargic. The Bride class got up out of bed of her own volition to search for the Master, but the little sister made excuses when the Master was at the door and then arose too late. Finding that Jesus had gone, she went out to search for him.

In summary, all of the above details combined seem to apply to the Great Company, not to the Church. As will be seen in verse 6, when love is rekindled in the Great Company, it becomes a consuming spirit. They will become as zealous as the Little Flock. Once this revival takes place, nothing can drown it out—just as with the Church. The implication is that there will be coals of fire and overwhelming experiences, but the Great Company will survive and lean upon the arm of their Beloved in the wilderness experience.

Q: Who are the “daughters of Jerusalem” in the context of verse 4, which is a different situation than earlier in the Song of Solomon when the same words were used? “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake love, until it please.” Are the daughters of Jerusalem natural Israel, which was the definition back in Chapter 5?

A: Yes. The Great Company class will be very close to Israel in their hour of need in the future. In at least one Reprint article, the Pastor gave this interpretation, which was probably based on Song 5:8.

Chapter 8 started with a feminine group wishing they could embrace Jesus as a brother. The true Church will be in union with Christ as his Bride at this time, whereas the class speaking, the Great Company, will still be down here in the flesh. This secondary group will get the Holy Spirit with fervency. The foolish virgins get the oil; Elisha gets a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.

Song 8:6 Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.

In harmony with the context, the Great Company are speaking. They are manifesting a spirit of affection for Jesus just like the true Church—but too late to be of the Bride.

In what sense is jealousy as “cruel as the grave”? In what sense are the coals thereof “coals of fire”? Based on context, the word “jealousy” can be considered in either a favorable or an unfavorable sense. Here the jealousy is favorable; it is pure, wholesome, and fervent. Another instance of proper jealousy is Exodus 20:5, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God.” The Heavenly Father will always keep His relationship separate and distinct. “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another [not even to Christ]” (Isa. 42:8). As Emperor of the universe, Jehovah is the sole God. He is jealous of that role and will not allow it to be tampered with. “For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God” (Deut. 4:24).

With regard to marriage, a husband should be jealous if anyone makes advances to his wife, and vice versa. On a higher level, the Apostle Paul said, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:2). Examples of wrong jealousy are Cain’s attitude toward Abel, coveting a neighbor’s wife, and Joseph’s brethren selling him into slavery. A synonym for that kind of jealousy is envy.

“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick [sad]” (Prov. 13:12). In this setting of Song 8, the Great Company are aware that they missed out on the high calling. Now they aspire to be a true sister to Christ, which is a lower hope, but they still want a spiritual resurrection—and they want to be with the Lord under circumstances where they can manifest their appropriate affection for him. Originally the Great Company had the same aspirations as the Little Flock, but subsequently, after they realize they lost out on the marriage, the knowledge will come, “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9).

After realizing they missed out on the marriage, the Great Company will want to be associated with Christ and show their affection for him. When the feet members are taken, if the consecrated left behind have this desire, they will make the Great Company. Even if they meet a martyr’s death, they will be faithful. The last members of the Great Company class will receive a violent and sudden change of nature through the instrumentality of the fallen angels.

Though the Great Company be overwhelmed with the most vehement flame, they will not compromise. Their attitude will be similar to that of the Reformers of the past, who were ready to endure whatever the Lord’s providence deemed necessary for their development. Too late the Great Company’s love and zeal will be just like the love and zeal of the Little Flock.

Comment: A Reprint article says that proper jealousy is not jealousy of another but jealousy for another—for his interests and his welfare.

Q: In the expression “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm,” the heart is inward, and the arm is outward. Are the Great Company asking for inward and outward assurances of the Master’s love for them?

A: Yes. There are so many Scriptures, but they are fragmented. The foolish virgins will have a feeling of woe and disappointment initially, but joy will come later. “Although … there shall be no herd in the stalls [etc.]: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Hab. 3:17,18). Even though all around will appear negative for the moment, yet the Great Company will receive a spirit of power. This feeling of power will carry them through to being faithful unto death. It is essential to keep in tune with God’s Word and to understand what is happening in the world. That is why the consecrated are told to forsake not “the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is,” but to exhort “one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25). When times are hard, the principle of assembling together with those of like precious faith should be followed as much as possible.

Song 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

Leeser ends the verse, “If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned.” When Simon the sorcerer wanted to buy the Holy Spirit with money, the Apostle Peter gave him a strong tongue-lashing for even suggesting such a thing. The principle is the same here: true love cannot be bought with money or goods.

Some translations insert a personality at the end of the verse (“men would utterly despise it,” for example); that, too, would be a proper thought. Those who have an appreciation of right and wrong, or standards of good and evil, would despise the attempt to buy love. Therefore, “contemned” means “despised.”

“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it” can be explained as follows. In a very hot fire with molten metal, water actually increases the intensity of the fire. Hence persecution makes love get more fervent.

Q: Who is speaking in verse 7?

A: This is a commentary by the Holy Spirit. It is a statement of fact as to the veracity of the thought expressed by the Great Company in the preceding verse. The Holy Spirit interrupts frequently toward the end of the book, and these interruptions will be effective when the Song of Solomon is sung.

Comment: The Great Company do not really understand the love that exists between Christ and his Bride. They lose the prize because of worldliness, yet if a person should give the sum total of all his worldly possessions for love, he could still be rejected.

Reply: There are different perspectives, each of which has its own value. With gray matters in the mind or experience of an individual, the consecrated one is more apt, according to the fallen flesh, to drift into worldliness. When conditions are no longer gray but black and white, the questions will be: Are you going to recant or not? What is your final decision? Those who get life in any form will make the right choice. Some have to be forced into the predicament where they will not allow their souls to be overwhelmed and cave in to the situation. Such black and white situations will manifest whether one really loves the Lord. It is in the gray areas where people are wobbly in their decisions. Mistakes are made when the lines are not definitive.

When conditions occur that jeopardize the life of the Great Company, they will make the right choice—just like the faithful Christian martyrs of the past. Incidentally, many martyrs are forced into a situation; they do not act voluntarily for the love of Christ. Even worldly people will die for what they consider to be a principle. For example, some extremist Muslims die for a cause. However, true love is dying for the naked principles of God’s truth without injuring others. A Christian should be willing to stand up for a true principle and die for it. True faith is great intelligence as regards loving God’s Word and the principles set forth therein.

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?

The “little sister” is the Great Company, and the pronoun “we” would be particularly the Bride but also the Bridegroom. While the Bride is talking more actively here, she is turning to Jesus and looking for his direction: “What shall we do for our [little] sister?” “In the day when she shall be spoken for” implies that a time will come at the end of the age for the cutting off of the Great Company (as well as the Little Flock earlier).

Comment: The lack of breasts shows not only the lack of development of the Great Company but also the idea that she cannot be the mother of thousands, as Rebekah will be. She does not have the ability to feed the world of mankind as the Bride does.

Reply: The Great Company will have some development but not to the extent of the Bride. The word “little” is important in “little sister.” The Great Company will far outnumber the Church, but collectively, she is little in comparison and in development.

Comment: This is the third inspection period: Song 6:11, 7:12, and now 8:8. The Little Flock will be watching and inspecting what is happening with the remaining consecrated still in the flesh.

Reply: Yes, and the inspections will take place after the wedding. When the excitement of the wedding wears off a little, the Bride class will get moved as to what will happen to her companions still in the flesh.

During the Gog and Magog invasion, a “flood” of fallen angels will materialize and come down here on the earth. Many will concentrate on natural Israel. Because the Great Company class must expire when the due time comes, they will not be protected like the Holy Remnant.

Therefore, when the fallen angels cascade down, their first thought will be to destroy the Great Company class—and they will be successful. After the Great Company are off the scene, the fallen angels will turn their attention to natural Israel, but a buffer will be set up to protect the Holy Remnant. Sequence: (1) the Great Company class are undeveloped, (2) they become developed, and (3) their flesh must be destroyed so that their spirit will be saved.

Song 8:9 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.

The Bride has just said, “We have a little sister who hath no breasts.” Now comes the statement “If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace [turrets, or towers] of silver.” In other words, the little sister will develop beyond the wall condition. Although the Great Company lack breasts, they will develop into turrets of silver (silver being a symbol of a secondary class).

Q: Is the wall a wall of faith?

A: Yes, even though she has not developed up to the standard of a fit mother, a secondary class of silver will be developed upon the basis that is there. The sons of Levi will be purged as gold (Little Flock) and as silver (Great Company) (Mal. 3:3).

“If she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.” “Cedar” signifies the Great Company will get everlasting life, security, a home, and service in the future. They will be servants on a high level. “Boards” suggest not only housing but also a firming or shoring up.

She will be buttressed as an enclosure and obtain an inheritance. But why should the Great Company be a “door”?

The Great Company should be a wall of faith, keeping the world out and the faithful in. With regard to the door, if those of the Great Company have an outstanding weakness, they must overcome it. The flesh must be destroyed so that the spirit will be saved. If the Great Company exhibit repentance and overcome the weakness, they will be enclosed with boards of cedar. If the breach, the opening, is repaired, they will get salvation, everlasting life. The door is a breach through which people can go in and out. Some of the Great Company class have insufficient development (the “wall”); others have a weakness that must be repaired (the “door”). Hence two “divisions” of Great Company are indicated in this verse.

In verse 9, The Christ (the Bridegroom and the Bride) in glory are speaking among themselves concerning the condition and the welfare of the Great Company class still down here in the flesh. The setting is at the very end of the Gospel Age. “If she be a wall” means “if she be undeveloped,” turrets (or towers) of silver will be built upon that wall. “If she be a door, we will surround her with boards of cedar.” In the great Time of Trouble, the Great Company class will be the target of the enemy. Under such trying circumstances, they will need special care or protection. The “door” means they are liable to intrusions that would interrupt their spiritual development. Therefore, Jesus and the Bride will grant the Great Company class a measure of protection as new creatures. The enclosure would be like a stockade that figuratively surrounds and protects from onslaughts which might harm them as new creatures.

A preservative, “cedar” implies life, for if the Great Company are damaged as new creatures, their eternal welfare will be jeopardized. They must be brought up to a certain minimum state in order to even get spirit life, for once they attain their spiritual reward, their trials are over. Hence they must be developed up to that standard while still in the flesh.

The “wall” signifies the Great Company need development. The wall, or foundation, is there, but it must be built upon. The “door” indicates the Great Company need protection from intrusions that would hinder their development as new creatures. The scapegoat will be taken out into the wilderness for the destruction of the flesh and the preservation of the new creature.

Song 8:10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.

The little sister is speaking, and now she is a “wall”—she has developed sufficiently to be of the Great Company. Her breasts are like towers. She has attained maturity.

Comment: The “door” of verse 9 is a level of vulnerability that she has now reinforced. When the Great Company develop and find favor in the sight of God, Jesus, and the Church, it will be time for their departure from the earthly scene. As new creatures, they will have developed strength of character and stability within themselves.

Song 8:11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.

Baal-hamon means “lord of a multitude.” In Old Testament usage, “Baal” often began the name of a place where Baal worship was practiced, for example, Baal-zephon (Exod. 14:2). However, here “Baal” has a favorable connotation. Originally “Baal” was good, but in time, when the worship of Jehovah went astray, the name was corrupted and became associated with false worship.

Solomon portrays the risen Christ. In his vineyard at Baal-hamon, he is looking for fruit. The vineyard is down here on earth, for the setting beginning with verse 8 continues to be the visitation of Jesus and the Bride to inspect the consecrated who are left behind, that is, the Great Company. Therefore, the “multitude” of Baal-hamon is the Great Company.

Verse 11 is a commentary by the Holy Spirit about the vineyard. What is the implication? Solomon let out the vineyard to keepers, who took care of it so that it would bring forth fruit. The principle of the vineyard in the Gospels is as follows. We each have a vineyard—and hence a responsibility to develop fruit according to the Master’s pleasing. In order to develop this fruit, we must be a branch of the true vine, which is Christ. Only in union with Christ can we bring forth the type of fruit that is pleasing to him and the Father. However, the setting of verse 11 is down here at the end of the age, and the owner of the vineyard expects each of the keepers, or custodians, to bring him a thousand pieces of silver for the fruit from the vines. Down through the Gospel Age, the keepers of the vineyard were the consecrated, who were joined to Christ, and each was expected to bring forth fruit. But verse 11, at the very end of the age, is speaking of the Great Company class after the Church is complete; it is telling what the Lord of the multitude expects from each of the Great Company class.

Song 8:12 My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.

With the wording of the King James (and other translations), it is difficult to understand the contrast between the 1,000 pieces of silver and the 200. Solomon expects a thousand pieces of silver (shekels) from each of the keepers. (Since vines are being kept, the fruitage has to be converted into money.) The 1,000 pieces of silver are what Solomon receives from each keeper of the vineyard, and the 200 pieces of silver are what each of the keepers receives. To be more specific, verse 12 is telling what is expected of the Great Company class at the end of the age.

In other words, Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon. He let out the vineyard to keepers, and each one is required to give him a thousand pieces of silver.

“My vineyard, which is mine, is before me.” To whom do the pronouns “my,” “mine,” and “me” refer? Solomon (Jesus) is speaking. Then in the same verse, the speaker changes so that the remainder of the verse is a commentary by the Holy Spirit: “Thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.”

The number 100 symbolizes perfection—in this case, perfect human nature, which the world of mankind will receive. The 200 pieces of silver represent the higher reward that each of the Great Company will receive, that is, spirit nature. After the Church is complete beyond the veil, the Great Company will realize they lost out on the high calling. They will then desperately crave the spirit nature, not wanting to die in vain. The double benefit (the 200 pieces of silver) is related to the tithing system. The Levites, who received a tithe for their services, picture two classes, each in a different age: (1) a class in the flesh in the Gospel Age who are devoted to the Lord and have no inheritance in the land, and (2) a class who minister in the next age. Of course the tithe is 10 percent, so the 200 pieces of silver (or 20 percent) inform the Great Company that they will receive a higher reward than an earthly tithe, or an earthly nature down here; that is, they will receive a spirit nature but not the divine nature (the 1,000 pieces of silver). True, the 1,000 pieces will be given to Solomon, but with the Church being Solomon’s Bride, the income goes to both. Therefore, “my vineyard” refers to the vineyard of Jesus and, inferentially, his Bride.

In time, the Great Company class will be as zealous and as appreciative of the truth as the Bride—but too late to be of the Little Flock. After they realize they have lost out on the high calling and they renew their consecration, they will praise Christ with even more beautiful language than the Little Flock. The dreadful conditions prevailing at that time will be conducive to this sentiment. So well will the Great Company describe the Master that those listening will say, “Tell us more about this One. We want to know who he is.”

Review: All down the Gospel Age, the requirement of each of the keepers of the vineyard has been 1,000 pieces of silver. However, verses 11 and 12 are discussing the Great Company at the end of the Gospel Age. The lesson is that the same will be expected of them as was expected of the Little Flock, for when any of the consecrated get their change, they must have been so tried and proven that they will never sin in the future. Complete dedication is expected of all the consecrated. The Little Flock do this spontaneously of their own volition and zeal, whereas the Great Company need to be prodded. The Great Company will get 200 pieces of silver as a reward, and the Bride, the Queen, gets 1,000 pieces of silver, the same divine nature that Jesus has. (An earthly illustration is that a husband and wife who are in agreement have their money in the same joint account.) Therefore, in verse 11, the dispensational “keepers” are the Great Company, whereas down through the age, they were all of the consecrated, for all have a responsibility to develop fruit. Stated succinctly, the 1,000 pieces of silver picture complete consecration, and the 200 pieces of silver represent the spiritual reward that the Great Company will get for faithfully rendering the 1,000 pieces to Solomon. By implication, the saved world of mankind will get 100 pieces of silver (everlasting life here on earth) as a reward.

An alternate view would be that the Great Company are speaking in all of verse 12. In this interpretation, which is not the preferred one, the Great Company, who each have a vineyard, realize the requirements of verse 11. If they are faithful keepers of the fruit and they render proper service, they will each receive 200 pieces of silver. The underlying principle is that all who receive life on any plane—Little Flock, Great Company, world of mankind, etc.—must give 100 percent devotion to God and to Christ.

Comment: The Song of Solomon seems to be laying a stronger and stronger premise for a strengthening of the Great Company who remain behind when the Church is complete.

Reply: Yes, that fact becomes more and more manifest. The Song of Solomon is dispensational in character.

The thought of a garden or vineyard has two aspects: (1) The vineyard is in the heart down here in the present life. Hopefully, the seed of truth enters a good and honest heart so that it will bring forth the proper fruitage: 30-fold, 60-fold, or 100-fold (all of which picture divine nature).

The problem is for us to maintain a good and honest heart. (2) The garden beyond the veil is a finished garden, which has already brought forth the fruit. Jesus enters this garden. REVIEW OF CHAPTER 8 THUS FAR: In the consideration of the Song of Solomon, it becomes more and more apparent that most of Chapter 8 is a description of the Great Company class, and earlier portions of the book support this conclusion. In fact, the Song of Solomon is unique in showing the existence of the Great Company and in furnishing so much detail. A number of types give clues about the Great Company, but it is only one clue here and one clue there.

What is so different about the Song of Solomon is that the heart, soul, and character of this class are presented—their line of thinking, their emotions, and their actions. Even the type of Elijah and Elisha furnishes only a little information about the Great Company’s activity after the Elijah class is off the scene.

The beginning of Chapter 8 shows the Great Company class realizing they did not make their calling and election sure, for they aspire to be a sister to Christ. “O that thou wert as my brother [not Bridegroom],” they say to Jesus. Although they miss out as the Bride, they want Jesus’ affection, for all of the consecrated have staked their lives on heavenly hopes. Just because the Great Company lose out on the chief calling does not mean they lack emotions or do not appreciate Jesus’ sacrifice and what he has done for them personally. Thus they will want their eternal abode to be with the household of Christ.

This desire to be a sister of Christ, which is a lower level than being of the Bride, takes place down here in the flesh. None of the consecrated know until they die and are awakened from death whether they made the Little Flock or the Great Company, and of course the Second Death class do not awaken at all. Other Scriptures also show the realization by the Great Company that they missed out on the high calling.

Next the Great Company implore Jesus from the standpoint that they have the same mother as the Little Flock, that is, the Sarah Covenant. Sarah had only one child, Isaac, but prophetically speaking, “more are the children of the desolate” than the children of the other seed (Isa. 54:1). Thus Sarah will have other seed after the development of the Isaac class. In fact, the Sarah Covenant will bring forth the whole universe. The yet unpopulated realms will be populated by The Christ class. “Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD” (Isa. 54:1).

Prophetically speaking, the Great Company will then have the same desires for fellowship with Jesus that the Little Flock had earlier. They will long to be with him and hear him speak. After all, if the multitudes were enthralled to hear Jesus speak, how wonderful it would be to continue to hear him speak in future ages! There would be an unfolding of his character and a depth of understanding of his merits beyond our current understanding through Scripture.

Through the Scriptures, we now see only “through a glass, darkly”—1 Cor. 13:12. The Great Company will appeal to Jesus from the standpoint that they were nurtured from the Old and New Testaments under the Sarah Covenant. Whereas much earlier in the Song of Solomon, the Church was seen to come out of the wilderness in 1799, the beginning of the time of the end, verse 5 tells that the Great Company come out of their “wilderness”—the wilderness into which the scapegoat is sent “for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 5:5). While at this time at the end of the age, the Great Company will experience grief, bitterness, and frustration upon finding the door closed, there will be a gradual building up of joy with the realization that all is not lost and that, compared with mankind, they will have a favored inheritance in the heavenly realm with the privilege of, say, seeing God and hearing Him sing. When the Great Company realize that they  must die in order to obtain their inheritance, they will be almost as good overcomers in meeting death as the Little Flock was earlier. The sentiments of the Great Company will be,

“Waters cannot drown our love.” They will get the Holy Spirit as Elisha and the foolish virgins did. After the Little Flock is complete, the Great Company can be considered a calling, a legitimate hope and aspiration.

In verse 8, the interjection is made, “We have a little sister.” “We” implies communication between Jesus and the Church as they come down to earth’s atmosphere to observe the Great Company class. Song 7:11,12 describes an earlier inspection period as lodging in the villages and going early to the vineyards (particularly the Great Company and the Holy Remnant of Israel). The glorified Christ will be concerned with the development of these vineyards, for the Great Company will be ministers of the Kingdom in a lesser sense underneath the Ancient Worthies. Song 8:11,12 mentions Solomon’s vineyard called Baal-hamon (he had other vineyards as well). Baal-hamon, which means “lord of a multitude,” is possibly a play on words referring to the fruitage of the Great Company class under the tutelage, unbeknownst, of Satan himself as the “lord.” This conclusion is based on 1 Corinthians 5:5, which says that this class will be taken out into the wilderness for the flesh to be destroyed by the Adversary so that the spirit will be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. The “vineyard” under this “lord” is the particular development site of the Great Company at the end of the age. A fully consecrated life (“one thousand pieces of silver”) is what Solomon expects, but the reward for their labors and dedication is 200 pieces of silver. The Great Company has a work to do after the Church is gone, and as a reward for helping the Holy Remnant, they will get 200 pieces (that is, two 100 pieces) of silver. The angels ascending and descending Jacob’s ladder portray the Great Company assisting in the communication between the Ancient Worthies and the Church in the Kingdom. During that time, the Great Company will be rewarded with two natures: a spirit nature plus the ability to materialize. They will have no executive authority whatever but be as messengers communicating to the Ancient Worthies the precepts given to them by the Church.

As for the Ancient Worthies, their reward at first will be perfect human life. They will be raised perfect physically and mentally but not in character development, for they will have lessons to learn under the New Covenant. Nevertheless, their faithfulness and loyalty to God will have been established. Their perfect human nature will embrace tremendous powers, but at the end of the Kingdom, when the rest of the saved world of mankind are also perfect, the distinction between the two classes will not be apparent. Therefore, at the end of the Kingdom, the Ancient Worthies will be given a spirit resurrection, namely, the “heavenly city” to which Abraham aspired (Heb. 11:16).

Song 8:13 Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it.

The Great Company are addressing Jesus, the One who “dwellest in the gardens [plural].”

Beyond the veil, the Church can be considered collectively as one garden or, like here, as 144,000 individual gardens. Similarly, each consecrated heart is a garden, hopefully containing the soil of a good and honest heart. For the Little Flock, the garden that is cultivated down here will be transferred to a higher level above.

The “companions” are the glorified Church. The word “companions” is proper for the Church, for innermost thoughts can be exchanged between two true companions. The Church in glory will be not only a Bride but also “companions” of Jesus, implying a communication they longed for in the present life. In times of real trial and trouble, one is not interested in chronology and controversial doctrines but in character development and obtaining the approval of Jesus. The learning time is now, but when one is being burned at the stake, the thoughts are of salvation and the desire is to be with Jesus.

“Cause me to hear it,” spoken by the Great Company, expresses their personal yearning and desire to have the companionship of Jesus. The principle is like wanting to be a servant in a household just to observe the lord of that house out of admiration. Their sentiments will be, “How nice to be with Jesus even in a secondary capacity!” David had the proper spirit: “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psa. 84:10).

Song Chapter 8 reveals the emotions and feelings of the Great Company class when they realize, from current events, they have not made their calling and election sure. A voice from heaven will inform them that the Bride “hath made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7).

Song 1:5 describes the true Church as “black, but comely”—on the sidelines, as it were. The prospective Bride asks, “What can I do to have a closer walk with Jesus?” The advice is given to follow the footsteps of the flock. As a minority, she longs for closer communication with the Master. She is a misfit laboring in the vineyard and feeling neglected. After the Little Flock is off the scene at the end of the age, the Great Company class will have a similar experience, desiring a closer walk with Jesus and the spirit nature. Such is their entreaty in verse 13. The Great Company will want reassurance. Similarly at present, when we are at a low point, we want some kind of providence or reassurance that we are still the Lord’s.

Comment: An emphasis on the word “me” helps to show the longing and the plea of the Great Company at this time: “The companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it.”

The Song of Solomon, more than any other book in the Bible, gives an insight into meaningful values.

Song 8:14 Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.

This verse reverts back to the present life. The prospective Bride is speaking to Jesus, her “beloved”—similar to the way she spoke to him in Song 2:16,17. The Apostle John expresses the same principle in Revelation 22:20, “Even so, come [quickly], Lord Jesus.” In other words, this addendum, or closing verse of the Song of Solomon, applies to the true Church while they are down here.

Comment: Verse 14 is like a summary in looking back at the whole book. The Church are saying in effect, “The plan is unfolding, and we can see it, but we are still in the flesh. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!”

(1988 and 1994 Studies)

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