The Bride of the Messiah
The Bride of the Messiah is discussed in several places in scripture. Matthew 22:1-14 talks about the wedding between the Messiah and His Bride and also discusses the presence of several "guests". Who are these "guests"? Psalm 45:10-17 speaks to the bride of the Messiah and it talks about her "virgin companions" in Ps 45:14. Who are these "virgin companions"?
The answer to these puzzling questions in found in the Book of the Song of Solomon, which describes the bride in an allegorical way. The entire book is devoted to describing our relationship with Him. All believers are betrothed to Him when they believe, but Song of Solomon explains why some people who are betrothed to Him will not marry Him or might become something other than a "wife".
One important key is in Song of Solomon 8:8 which says
"We have a young sister and her breasts are not yet grown. What shall we do for her on the day she is spoken for?"
When we follow Y'shua (Jesus), He betroths himself to a baby believer. But that baby believer must grow up and reach a marriageable age. He won't marry a baby. The scriptures are telling us here, symbolically, that maturity is an element in becoming a wife. We see this process discussed in Y'Chezke'el/Ezekiel 16 where it says...
"On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. 5 No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised.
6 " 'Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, "Live!" 7 I made you grow like a plant of the field. You grew up and developed and became the most beautiful of jewels. Your breasts were formed and your hair grew, you who were naked and bare.
8 " 'Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign L-RD, and you became mine. " (Ezek/Yech 16:5-8)
SofS 6:8 talks about 4 classes of believers. It talks about:
"Sixty queens there may be,
and eighty concubines,
and virgins beyond number;
9 but my dove, my perfect one, is unique,
the only daughter of her mother,
the favorite of the one who bore her.
The maidens saw her and called her blessed;
the queens and concubines praised her." (SofS 6:8-9)
It should be easy to figure out who the "virgins" are. I see the "virgins" as those who are just barely saved from their sins, cleansed from their sins, but little or nothing more than that. As for the concubines; I see them as believers who want a relationship with God on their own terms (a concubine is someone you basically use).
|I've always been impressed that the "dove" or "perfect one" is the one in SofS that has the burning relationship with the Messiah. The one who "prays without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17) naturally, because everything s/he does, whether it's mow the grass, go to work, feed the kids, it's all an interruption to prayer. Everything I must "do" in life should be considered an interruption to prayer.|
But who are they "queens"? I think this may be related to obedience. Here's why. Y'shua said those who are faithful in small things will be put in charge of big things. So those that are close to G-d on earth will be close to G-d in Heaven. And those that are obedient on earth will help execute the rules others are to obey when the time for us to reign with Him comes.
The numbers associated with the "queens" and "concubines" also seem to lend credence to this interpretation. These numbers have symbolic meaning. You have to think about the creative forces to get this one. 80 is connected in Hebrew tradition (and supported by scripture) to the Hebrew letter Pey which is connected to a mouth, the most revealed part of something, or the beginning part of something. This fits the "concubines", because that's the beginning part of having a relationship with God, but not the end of it. You need to move beyond having relationship with God on your terms and move into a relationship on His terms, with a full commitment to His ways. So you might start as a concubine, but to be a bride, we must grow up and move on to accepting the relationship on His terms.
60 is connected in Hebrew tradition to support, protection and repentance/obedience. The role of a government is to protect it's citizens, so that connection makes sense. And if reigning is a reward based on obedience, the other part of the symbolism behind 60 makes sense too! WOW!
It's possible that someone could be in more than one category. You can have people who are obedient, but not walking closely with God, like Enoch did. Or sometimes you find people who are close to God but stumble with sin a lot. David was very personal, and some of his sins were a direct result of the fact that he was so personable. Like committing adultery and refusing to discipline his kids, such as Absalom. He sinned by wanting to be closer to them and putting the closeness of his relationship with his kids and Bathsheba above God's word. But it's more common to find obedience without closeness than closeness without obedience. Closeness helps you obey, but obedience may not draw you into closeness anywhere near as much. Being close to God should always be our #1 yardstick of where our spiritual walk is, but it's not for most of us. So there may be Queens who are not the bride and members of the bride who are not queens.
The scriptures lists 3 kings that were at an extreme at something.
But only David died in a manner that glorified God. I see Solomon and Josiah in the "queen" category and David in the "bride".
One of the best ways to find out what category you're in is ask yourself - what would I rather do? Read the Scriptures or pray? The bride would rather pray. She reads because it helps her figure out what to pray. She probably prays while she's reading. She reads very prayerfully, so she hears more than those who just read and read.
Now notice the bride is called God's "dove". What does this mean? Well, a dove is used as a symbol for God's most favored person in SofS 5:2, SofS 6:9, and Psalms 74:19. In the gospels, we're told the Holy Spirit descended on Y'shua in the form of a dove. I think maybe this represents how Y'shua was "the favorite" or the "anointed" or most special to God among all. Some have suggested that the dove is a symbol of the Spirit, but I think that may be a case of mistaking the context the dove was used in for what it represented - in this case - God's Special One.
In the Torah, God commanded Israel to sacrifice doves. Why? Romans 12:1 says "to offer your bodies as living sacrifices". I think this represents in the spiritual realm how we're suppose to sacrifice our most special desires to Him, since the dove is something used as a symbol of what is most special. We are to give those over to Him. The entire Torah is a spiritual blueprint of how the heavenly kingdom works.
The dove sacrifice could be either a "turtle dove" or a "sons of a dove". The "sons" would represent our desires in an immature state - conceived, but not yet fulfilled. God wants us to sacrifice our desires to Him BEFORE they become very mature. Else, if we pursue our desires and fail to find happiness in them, we are filled with regret and we repent out of utilitarian motives, rather than in submission to Him, which is the way He'd prefer us to repent. But we are to sacrifice those desires no matter how far along they are and whether we've figured out through experience why those desires are incomplete without Him or whether we just accept that as blind faith. The "sons" could also represent the things that come out of those desires.
There's a fifth class discussed in other verses. Such as the "maidens". Song of Solomon 6:9 says, "my dove, my perfect one, is unique, the only daughter of her mother, the favorite of the one who bore her. The maidens saw her and called her blessed; the queens and concubines praised her." Who are the "maidens"? Well, they are those who first off, have great respect for who God is. (See SofS 1:3). But maybe she's the pre-marritable bride, since it says in Isaiah 62:5 "As a young man marries a maiden" but then I read Song of Solomon 2:2 "Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens" and have to wonder if that's the case or not.
But yes, G-d is speaking volumes in these verses. When SofS describes the "beauty" of the "dove", it's describing the characteristics the bride will have through symbolism. For example, SofS 8:10 says,
"I am a wall and my breasts are like towers, thus I have become like one bringing contemptment..."
The "wall" here is a symbol that she is a divisive person. "Breasts are like towers" means that she is a mature person - or at least, had the opportunity to mature. Yet she is not acting in accordance with her maturity, since she is a "wall" that separates two things. So because she knows better it says "I have become line one bringing contemptment".
SofS 8:9 is an action plan for what to do to cause a baby to grow up so she will reach the age of marriage. But to understand it, you must first understand the basics. Like the Creative Forces, etc. For example, it says,
"If she is a wall, we will build towers of silver on her"
Now a wall does nothing but divide two things, but a tower can contain something. Thus this refers to moving her into becoming a "Beyit" - a strong one at that, made of a precious metal. The concept of a "tower" is used in the next verse to indicate maturity, so this speaks to us of finishing something (as a strong tower) that was started (as only a wall).
G-d can definitely say sooooooooo much in a few words.