1:4 — We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will remember your love more than wine.
To make both our marriages and our churches work as God wants them to, we must get involved with others of like mind who delight in us and our successes. No one grows in perpetual solitude.
4a The girl’s stimulated condition makes her impatient for privacy. The “king” brought her to his chambers. Is this a regal union and 1:5–8 an imagined pastoral fantasy? Or is the boy a shepherd whom the girl pretends a king? The reader cannot know for certain. Whether in fact or in fantasy, the girl is whisked away to the private royal suite.
4b The strophe concludes with other voices expressing their admiration for the king. In English the second personal pronoun has no gender, but in Hebrew it is clear that the praise is directed to the king. Terminology akin to worship occurs here in the Song: “Let us rejoice! Let us exalt! Let us remember!” The king, whoever he may be, inspires veneration by his peers.
1:4 / Let the king bring me: The Hb. is most naturally translated by simple past narration (“the king brought me”), although the niv translation as a wish is possible and makes a nice inclusion with v. 2a (older editions of the niv read: “The king has brought me”).
The king: The use of royal language is taken by some to indicate that the male lover (or, alternatively, a rival to the central man) is to be identified with Solomon. It is more likely that “king” is an image used to express the woman’s esteem for her lover (compare the English “Prince Charming”).
4. (1) The cry of ancient Israel for Messiah, for example, Simeon, Anna, &c. (2) The cry of an awakened soul for the drawing of the Spirit, after it has got a glimpse of Christ’s loveliness and its own helplessness.
Draw me—The Father draws (Jn 6:44). The Son draws (Je 31:3; Ho 11:4; Jn 12:32). “Draw” here, and “Tell” (So 1:7), reverently qualify the word “kiss” (So 1:2).
me, we—No believer desires to go to heaven alone. We are converted as individuals; we follow Christ as joined in a communion of saints (Jn 1:41, 45). Individuality and community meet in the bride.
run—Her earnestness kindles as she prays (Is 40:31; Ps 119:32, 60).
after thee—not before (Jn 10:4).
king … brought me into—(Ps 45:14, 15; Jn 10:16). He is the anointed Priest (So 1:3); King (So 1:4).
chambers—Her prayer is answered even beyond her desires. Not only is she permitted to run after Him, but is brought into the inmost pavilion, where Eastern kings admitted none but the most intimate friends (Es 4:11; 5:2; Ps 27:5). The erection of the temple of Solomon was the first bringing of the bride into permanent, instead of migratory, chambers of the King. Christ’s body on earth was the next (Jn 2:21), whereby believers are brought within the veil (Eph 2:6; Heb 10:19, 20). Entrance into the closet for prayer is the first step. The earnest of the future bringing into heaven (Jn 14:3). His chambers are the bride’s also (Is 26:20). There are various chambers, plural (Jn 14:2).
be glad and rejoice—inward and outward rejoicing.
in thee—(Is 61:10; Php 4:1, 4). Not in our spiritual frames (Ps 30:6, 7).
remember—rather, “commemorate with praises” (Is 63:7). The mere remembrance of spiritual joys is better than the present enjoyment of carnal ones (Ps 4:6, 7).
upright—rather, “uprightly,” “sincerely” (Ps 58:1; Ro 12:9); so Nathanael (Jn 1:47); Peter (Jn 21:17); or “deservedly” [Maurer].
Ver. 4.—Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will make mention of thy love more than of wine: rightly do they love thee. This is best taken as all spoken by the bride. It is the language of the purest affection and adoring admiration. “I drew them,” God says (Hos. 11:4), “with cords of a man, with bands of love.” “The Lord appeared of old unto me,” says Jeremiah (31:3), “saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” In the same sense the Greek word ἐλκυεῖν is used by our Lord himself of the Father drawing to the Son, and of the Son, up lifted on the cross, “drawing” all men unto him (cf. John 6:44; 12:32). If the spiritual meaning of the whole poem is admitted, such language is quite natural. The king’s chambers are the king’s own rooms in the palace, i.e. his sleeping-rooms and sitting-rooms—the penetralia regis. We may take the preterite as equivalent to the present; i.e. “The king is bringing me into closest fellowship with himself, not merely as a member of his household, but as his chosen bride.” The concluding words have caused much discussion. The meaning, however, is the same whether we say, “The upright love thee,” or “Thou art rightly loved.” The intention is to set forth the object of love as perfect. The plural, מֵישָׁרִים, is used to signify the abstract of the word, thought, or act; i.e. “righteous,” for “rightly” (cf. Ps. 58:2; 75:3); but the best critics think it could not be the abstract for the concrete plural, as in the Vulgate, Recti diligunt te. The same use of the word is seen in ch. 7:9, “The best wine that goeth down smoothly for my beloved” (cf. Prov 23:31). Before going further in the song, it is well to observe how chaste, pure, and delicate is the language of love; and yet, as Delitzsch has pointed out, there is a mystical, cloudy brightness. We seem to be in the region of the ideal. It is not a mere love-song, though it may have been the commemoration of an actual past. The Eastern form of the words may be less suited to our taste than it would be to those who first embraced Christianity, and to the nineteenth century than to the first; but the loving rapture of the Church in fellowship with the Saviour is certainly seeking a more vivid expression in song, and there are many of the most simple-minded and devoted Christians whose joy in Christ pours itself out freely in strains not much less fervid and almost as sensuous as anything to be found in Solomon’s Song. Some are beginning to remonstrate against this freedom of devotional language, but the instinct of the Church seems to justify it as the demand of the heart under the influence of the Word of God itself. Perhaps there is a state of religious feeling coming into the experience of Christians which will remove the veil from such a book as the Song of Songs, and we shall yet find that its language is needful and is not extravagant.
4 The line “The king brings me to his chamber” seems odd as usually translated: “The king has brought me into his chamber.” Two-character dramatic interpretations (see Introduction) may take this to be Solomon with his young bride, and three-character dramatic interpretations see it as Solomon having abducted the shepherdess and holding her there as a captive while he attempts to seduce her. Neither is satisfying. Both interpretations begin with the woman already in the man’s bedroom. Short of forcing interpretations and peculiar readings at every turn, it is impossible to make sense of the Song if she is in his chamber at the very outset of the story. (See Form/Structure/Setting.)
1:4 The complexity of the interchanges in this book are illustrated in this verse. The headings help sort out the speakers. The king: This is Solomon; yet aside from the title (v. 1), he is not identified by name as a protagonist until 3:7, 9, 11 (his name in v. 5 is part of a descriptive phrase). chambers: This means the bridal chamber. The verse ends with the thoughts of the young woman as she gazes at her lover: Rightly do they love you employs the verb for love found in v. 3, indicating romantic feelings.
1:4 let us run. This is better understood as spoken by the Shulammite, rather than the daughters of Jerusalem, in the sense of “let us hurry.” The king has brought me. This is better understood as the desire of her heart—”Let the king bring me into his chambers”—rather than a statement of fact. We will extol your love. The daughters of Jerusalem affirmed the Shulammite’s praise in v. 2.
1:4a The king is probably a term of endearment, indicating the woman’s high regard for her lover rather than referring to his actual position. (However, many who follow the Shepherd Hypothesis read this as referring to Solomon; see Introduction: Alternative Interpretations.)
1:4b This is the first speech of the “others,” who function like a chorus. They join the shepherdess in her praise for the shepherd (you is masculine) by picking up her words from v. 2. They probably refers back to the “virgins” of v. 3, who are presumably the same as the “daughters of Jerusalem” (v. 5).
1:4 Longing for intimacy prefigures the longing for intimacy with the love of Christ (1 John 4:7–21).
1:4 Draw me after you The word mashakh can mean “to seize” or “carry off” (Psa 28:3). The woman longs for her lover to come for her, wishing he would take her away.
the king This line can be seen as a fulfillment of the woman’s wish from the beginning of the verse. Though the designation “king” may indicate literal royalty, it may be a term of endearment for the lover.
Let us be joyful and let us rejoice in you The second half of Song 1:4 is a summarizing refrain or chorus. It emphasizes that the man’s love (dod) is better than wine (20), and that the young women are correct to love (ahev) him (1:3). While the identity of the singers is uncertain, they are likely the “daughters of Jerusalem” from 1:5.
1:4 The king has brought me. This is the first of five occurrences of the word “king” (1:4, 12; 3:9, 11; 7:5). Here in v. 4 there are two possibilities: either the king is Solomon, who has tried unsuccessfully to win the girl’s affections, or he is her lover, whom she romantically fantasizes as her king. The latter interpretation is to be preferred (see Introduction: Characteristics and Themes). The paragraph ends, as it began, with the girl referring to her absent lover in the third person (vv. 2–4 note).
We will exult and rejoice in you. The “daughters of Jerusalem” (v. 5) agree with the girl that the love of her lover is better than wine (v. 2).
1:4 The reader cannot take for granted the identity of the “king.” Some commentators suggest the epithet referred to Solomon, while others propose that the royal title “king” reflected wedding festival language, in which the bridegroom was accorded the status of “king.” The “king” could have been an unidentified third party, although this option seems unlikely. An allegorical reading correlates the “king” with God, or Jesus. In a literal reading, the Song is a celebration of the tenderness of marriage which is, after all, a serious biblical concern (e.g., Eph 5:21–33).
 Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (So 1:4). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.
 Schwab, G. M. (2008). Song of Songs. In T. Longman III, Garland David E. (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Proverbs–Isaiah (Revised Edition) (Vol. 6, pp. 380–381). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 416). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (So 1:4). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 937). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.
 Cabal, T., Brand, C. O., Clendenen, E. R., Copan, P., Moreland, J. P., & Powell, D. (2007). The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (p. 981). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.