A Dream of Love. The adjuration Song of Solomon 3:5 (cf. Song of Solomon 2:7) may have been added to adapt the passionate poem to the wedding week, in which there was much noisy revelling. For another song with similar motive cf. Song of Solomon 5:2 ff. The bride tells a dream which came to her, night after night, and was a reflection of the love that moved her spirit in its waking hours. It is the story of the oft-repeated and at last successful search for him who was the object of her love, till they were happy in her mother's home. The city may be any town or village; the broad ways are the open spaces in contrast to the narrow lanes. watchmen (cf. Psalms 127:1; Isaiah 21:11).
The Coming of the King. These verses are generally taken to describe the procession of the king with his attendants coming to the wedding. On the dramatic theory it is Solomon coming to the north where the Shulammite (see on Song of Solomon 6:13) is supposed to be; but on the view upon which this exposition is based, we regard it as the peasant king coming to claim his bride. The same form of address is applied to the Shulammite in Song of Solomon 6:10; Song of Solomon 8:5, and by LXX and Vulg. here. The pronoun may, however, be translated What and referred to the litter in Song of Solomon 3:7. It has been suggested that the king is not present or that he takes his seat on the palanquin later, but we should scarcely have all this splendour and protection (Song of Solomon 3:8) with the central personage missing. At the present time, bridegrooms in that region masquerade as kings, receiving the homage of their friends, but we do not look for a precise description in an imaginary picture of this kind. The speaker may be a watchman, or a chorus of male voices, representing spectators. The smoke is that of torches or incense or the dust raised by the cavalcade. Befitting the person and the occasion, the richest perfumes are used (Proverbs 7:17; Psalms 45:9). The companions of the bridegroom (Judges 14:11) are here a bodyguard fit for a king; they were mighty men (Genesis 10:9). The word for palanquin (Song of Solomon 3:9), which occurs only here, is probably a foreign word. The name Solomon is used as the name of the most splendid king, or is a later addition. paved with love (Song of Solomon 3:10) cannot be explained; a plausible conjecture is inlaid with ebony. the crown is not that of royalty but the bridegroom's crown, the use of which is said to have been abolished by the Romans.