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Song of Songs 6:4 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Thou art fair, O my love, as Tirzah, Comely as Jerusalem, Terrible as an army with banners.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Thou [art] beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as [an army] with banners.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling, As lovely as Jerusalem, As awesome as an army with banners.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Thou [art] beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as [an army] with banners.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Thou art fair, my love, as Tirzah, Comely as Jerusalem, Terrible as troops with banners:
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [HE] Beautiful, art thou, my fair one, as Tirzah, comely, as Jerusalem,—majestic as bannered hosts!
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Fair [art] thou, my friend, as Tirzah, Comely as Jerusalem, Awe-inspiring as bannered hosts.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Thou art beautiful, O my love, sweet and comely as Jerusalem terrible as an army set in array.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Thou [art] beautifull, O my loue, as Tirzah, comely as Ierusalem, terrible as [an armie] with banners.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Thou art fair, my companion, as Pleasure, beautiful as Jerusalem, terrible as [armies] set in array.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Thou [art] beautiful, O my love, as Tirtzah, comely as Yerushalaim, terrible as [an army] with banners.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Thou x859
(0859) Complement
A primitive pronoun of the second person; thou and thee, or (plural) ye and you.
[art] beautiful, 3303
{3303} Prime
From H3302; beautiful (literally of figuratively).
O my love, 7474
{7474} Prime
Feminine of H7453; a female associate.
as Tirx תִּרצָה, 8656
{8656} Prime
From H7521; delightsomeness; Tirtsah, a place in Palestine; also an Israelitess.
comely 5000
{5000} Prime
From H4998 or H5116; suitable, or beautiful.
as Yrlaim יְרוּשָׁלִַם, 3389
{3389} Prime
A dual (in allusion to its two main hills (the true pointing, at least of the former reading, seems to be that of H3390)); probably from (the passive participle of) H3384 and H7999; founded peaceful; Jerushalaim or Jerushalem, the capital city of Palestine.
terrible 366
{0366} Prime
From an unused root (meaning to frighten); frightful.
as [an army] with banners. y1713
[1713] Standard
A primitive root; to flaunt, that is, raise a flag; figuratively to be conspicuous.
<8737> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 793
(1714) Complement
From H1713; a flag.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Song of Songs 6:4

_ _ Tirzah — meaning “pleasant” (Hebrews 13:21); “well-pleasing” (Matthew 5:14); the royal city of one of the old Canaanite kings (Joshua 12:24); and after the revolt of Israel, the royal city of its kings, before Omri founded Samaria (1 Kings 16:8, 1 Kings 16:15). No ground for assigning a later date than the time of Solomon to the Song, as Tirzah was even in his time the capital of the north (Israel), as Jerusalem was of the south (Judah).

_ _ Jerusalem — residence of the kings of Judah, as Tirzah, of Israel (Psalms 48:1, etc.; Psalms 122:1-3; Psalms 125:1, Psalms 125:2). Loveliness, security, unity, and loyalty; also the union of Israel and Judah in the Church (Isaiah 11:13; Jeremiah 3:18; Ezekiel 37:16, Ezekiel 37:17, Ezekiel 37:22; compare Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:12).

_ _ terrible — awe-inspiring. Not only armed as a city on the defensive, but as an army on the offensive.

_ _ banners — (See on Song of Songs 5:10; see on Psalms 60:4); Jehovah-nissi (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Song of Songs 6:4-10

_ _ Now we must suppose Christ graciously returned to his spouse, from whom he had withdrawn himself, returned to converse with her (for he speaks to her and makes her to hear joy and gladness), returned to favour her, having forgiven and forgotten all her unkindness, for he speaks very tenderly and respectfully to her.

_ _ I. He pronounces her truly amiable (Song of Songs 6:4): Thou art beautiful, O my love! as Tirzah, a city in the tribe of Manasseh, whose name signifies pleasant, or acceptable, the situation, no doubt, being very happy and the building fine and uniform. Thou art comely as Jerusalem, a city compact together (Psalms 122:3), and which Solomon had built and beautified, the joy of the whole earth; it was an honour to the world (whether they thought so or no) that there was such a city in it. It was the holy city, and that was the greatest beauty of it; and fitly is the church compared to it, for it was figured and typified by it. The gospel-church is the Jerusalem that is above (Galatians 4:26), the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22); in it God has his sanctuary, and is, in a special manner, present; thence he has the tribute of praise issuing; it is his rest for ever, and therefore it is comely as Jerusalem, and, being so, is terrible as an army with banners. Church-censures, duly administered, strike an awe upon men's consciences; the word (the weapons of her warfare) casts down imaginations (2 Corinthians 10:5), and even an unbeliever is convinced and judged by the solemnity of holy ordinances, 1 Corinthians 14:24, 1 Corinthians 14:25. The saints by faith overcome the world (1 John 5:4); nay, like Jacob, they have power with God and prevail, Genesis 32:28.

_ _ II. He owns himself in love with her, Song of Songs 6:5. Though, for a small moment, and in a little wrath, he had hid his face from her, yet now he gathers her with very surprising instances of everlasting lovingkindness, Isaiah 54:8. Turn thy eyes towards me (so some read it), “turn the eyes of faith and love towards me, for they have lifted me up; look unto me, and be comforted.” When we are calling to God to turn the eye of his favour towards us he is calling to us to turn the eye of our obedience towards him. We read it as a strange expression of love, “Turn away thy eyes from me, for I cannot bear the brightness of them; they have quite overcome me, and I am prevailed with to overlook all that is past;” as God said to Moses, when he interceded for Israel, “Let me alone, or I must yield,” Exodus 32:10. Christ is pleased to borrow these expressions of a passionate lover only to express the tenderness of a compassionate Redeemer, and the delight he takes in his redeemed and in the workings of his own grace in them.

_ _ III. He repeats, almost word for word, part of the description he had given of her beauty (Song of Songs 4:1-3), her hair, her teeth, her temples (Song of Songs 6:5-7), not because he could not have described it in other words, and by other similitudes, but to show that he had still the same esteem for her since her unkindness to him, and his withdrawings from her, that he had before. Lest she should think that, though he would not quite cast her off, yet he would think the worse of her while he knew her, he says the same of her now that he had done; for those to whom much is forgiven will love the more, and, consequently, will be the more loved, for Christ has said, I love those that love me. He is pleased with his people, notwithstanding their weaknesses, when they sincerely repent of them and return to their duty, and commends them as if they had already arrived at perfection.

_ _ IV. He prefers her before all competitors, and sees all the beauties and perfections of others meeting and centering in her (Song of Songs 6:8, Song of Songs 6:9): “There are, it may be, threescore queens, who, like Esther, have by their beauty attained to the royal state and dignity, and fourscore concubines, whom kings have preferred before their own queens, as more charming, and these attended by their maids of honour, virgins without number, who, when there is a ball at court, appear in great splendour, with beauty that dazzles the eyes of the spectators; but my dove, my undefiled, is but one, a holy one.” 1. She excels them all. Go through all the world, and view the societies of men that reckon themselves wise and happy, kingdoms, courts, senates, councils, or whatever incorporations you may think valuable, they are none of them to be compared with the church of Christ; their honours and beauties are nothing to hers. Who is like unto thee, O Israel! Deuteronomy 33:29; Deuteronomy 4:6, Deuteronomy 4:7. There are particular persons, as virgins without number, who are famed for their accomplishments, the beauties of their address, language, and performances, but the beauty of holiness is beyond all other beauty: “My dove, my undefiled, is one, has that one beauty that she is a dove, an undefiled dove, and mine, and that makes her excel the queens and virgins, though they were ever so many.” 2. She included them all. “Other kings have many queens, and concubines, and virgins, with whose conversation they entertain themselves, but my dove, my undefiled, is to me instead of all; in that one I have more than they have in all theirs.” Or, “Though there are many particular churches, some of greater dignity, others of less, some of longer, others of shorter, standing, and many particular believers, of different gifts and attainments, some more eminent, others less so, yet they all constitute but one catholic church, are all but parts of that whole, and that is my dove, my undefiled.” Christ is the centre of the church's unity; all the children of God that are scattered abroad are gathered by him (John 11:52), and meet in him (Ephesians 1:10), and are all his doves.

_ _ V. He shows how much she was esteemed, not by him only, but by all that had acquaintance with her and stood in relation to her. It would add to her praise to say, 1. That she was her mother's darling; she had that in her, from a child, which recommended her to the particular affection of her parents. As Solomon himself is said to have been tender and an only one in the sight of his mother (Proverbs 4:3), so was she the only one of her mother, as dear as if she had been an only one, and, if there were many more, yet she was the choice one of her that bore her, more excellent than all the societies of men this world ever produced. All the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, are nothing, in Christ's account, compared with the church, which is made up of the excellent ones of the earth, the precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, and more excellent than their neighbours. 2. That she was admired by all her acquaintance, not only the daughters, who were her juniors, but even the queens and the concubines, who might have reason to be jealous of her as a rival; they all blessed her, and wished well to her, praised her, and spoke well of her. The daughters of Jerusalem called her the fairest among women; all agreed to give her the pre-eminence for beauty, and every sheaf bowed to hers. Note, (1.) Those that have any correct sense of things cannot but be convinced in their consciences (whatever they say) that godly people are excellent people; many will give them their good word, and more their good-will. (2.) Jesus Christ takes notice what people think and speak of his church, and is well pleased with those that honour such as fear the Lord, and takes it ill of those that despise them, particularly when they are under a cloud, that offend any of his little ones.

_ _ VI. He produces the encomium that was given of her, and makes it his own (Song of Songs 6:10): Who is she that looks forth as the morning? This is applicable both to the church in the world and to grace in the heart.

_ _ 1. They are amiable as the light, the most beautiful of all visible things. Christians are, or should be, the lights of the world. The patriarchal church looked forth as the morning when the promise of the Messiah was first made known, and the day-spring from on high visited this dark world. The Jewish church was fair as the moon; the ceremonial law was an imperfect light; it shone by reflection; it was changing as the moon, did not make day, nor had the sun of righteousness yet risen. But the Christian church is clear as the sun, exhibits a great light to those that sat in darkness. Or we may apply it to the kingdom of grace, the gospel-kingdom. (1.) In its rise, it looks forth as the morning after a dark night; it is discovering (Job 38:12, Job 38:13), and very acceptable, looks forth pleasantly as a clear morning; but it is small in its beginnings, and scarcely perceptible at first. (2.) It is, at the best, in this world, but fair as the moon, which shines with a borrowed light, which has her changes and eclipses, and her spots too, and, when at the full, does but rule by night. But, (3.) When it is perfected in the kingdom of glory then it will be clear as the sun, the church clothed with the sun, with Christ the sun of righteousness, Revelation 12:1. Those that love God will then be as the sun when he goes forth in his strength (Judges 5:31; Matthew 13:43); they shall shine in inexpressible glory, and that which is perfect will then come; there shall be no darkness, no spots, Isaiah 30:26.

_ _ 2. The beauty of the church and of believers is not only amiable, but awful as an army with banners. The church, in this world, is as an army, as the camp of Israel in the wilderness; its state is militant; it is in the midst of enemies, and is engaged in a constant conflict with them. Believers are soldiers in this army. It has its banners; the gospel of Christ is an ensign (Isaiah 11:12), the love of Christ, Song of Songs 2:4. It is marshalled, and kept in order and under discipline. It is terrible to its enemies as Israel in the wilderness was, Exodus 15:14. When Balaam saw Israel encamped according to their tribes, by their standards, with colours displayed, he said, How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob! Numbers 24:5. When the church preserves her purity she secures her honour and victory; when she is fair as the moon, and clear as the sun, she is truly great and formidable.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Song of Songs 6:4

Thou — These are the words of Christ, who had now again manifested himself to his church. Tirzah — A very pleasant city, the royal seat of the kings of Israel. Jerusalem — Which was beautiful both for its situation, and for its goodly buildings. Terrible — To her enemies, whom God will certainly destroy.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Song of Songs 6:4

Thou [art] beautiful, O my love, as (b) Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as [an army] with banners.

(b) Which was a fair and strong city, (1 Kings 14:17).

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Song of Songs 6:10 Who [is] she [that] looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, [and] terrible as [an army] with banners?
Song of Songs 2:14 O my dove, [that art] in the clefts of the rock, in the secret [places] of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet [is] thy voice, and thy countenance [is] comely.
Song of Songs 4:7 Thou [art] all fair, my love; [there is] no spot in thee.
Song of Songs 5:2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: [it is] the voice of my beloved that knocketh, [saying], Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, [and] my locks with the drops of the night.
Ezekiel 16:13-14 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment [was of] fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. ... And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it [was] perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.
Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

as Tirzah:

1 Kings 14:17 And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: [and] when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died;
1 Kings 15:21 And it came to pass, when Baasha heard [thereof], that he left off building of Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah.
1 Kings 15:33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah began Baasha the son of Ahijah to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, twenty and four years.


Psalms 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, [is] mount Zion, [on] the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
Lamentations 2:15 All that pass by clap [their] hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, [saying, Is] this the city that [men] call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?
Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.


Song of Songs 6:10 Who [is] she [that] looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, [and] terrible as [an army] with banners?
Numbers 24:5-9 How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, [and] thy tabernacles, O Israel! ... He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed [is] he that blesseth thee, and cursed [is] he that curseth thee.
Psalms 144:4-8 Man is like to vanity: his days [are] as a shadow that passeth away. ... Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand [is] a right hand of falsehood.
Zechariah 12:3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Revelation 19:14-16 And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. ... And he hath on [his] vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Nu 24:5. 1K 14:17; 15:21, 33. Ps 48:2; 144:4. So 2:14; 4:7; 5:2; 6:10. Lm 2:15. Ezk 16:13. Zc 12:3. 2Co 10:4. Ep 5:27. Rv 19:14; 21:2.

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