Douay-Rheims Bible + Challoner Notes
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Christ caresses his spouse: he invites her to him.

[1] I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys. [2] As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. [3] As the apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired: and his fruit was sweet to my palate. [4] He brought me into the cellar of wine, he set in order charity in me. [5] Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples: because I languish with love.

[1] "I am the flower of the field": Christ professes himself the flower of mankind, yea, the Lord of all creatures: and, ver. 2, declares the excellence of his spouse, the true church above all other societies, which are to be considered as thorns.

[6] His left hand is under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me. [7] I adjure you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and the harts of the, fields, that you stir not up, nor make the beloved to awake, till she please. [8] The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills. [9] My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart. Behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices. [10] Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come.

[8] "The voice of my beloved": that is, the preaching of the gospel surmounting difficulties figuratively here expressed by mountains and little hills.

[11] For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone. [12] The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land: [13] 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: [14] My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, shew me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely. [15] Catch us the little foxes that destroy the vines: for our vineyard hath flourished.

[15] "Catch us the little foxes": Christ commands his pastors to catch false teachers, by holding forth their fallacy and erroneous doctrine, which like foxes would bite and destroy the vines.

[16] My beloved to me, and I to him who feedeth among the lilies, [17] Till the day break, and the shadows retire. Return: be like, my beloved, to a roe, or to a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.

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