Rise Up My Love, ‘The Drama of Salvation History and the Song of Songs’, by C. E. Hocking, 424 pages. Precious Seed Publications, P.O. Box 8, Neath, West Glamorgan SA11 1QB. Price, incl. p. and p. £7.95 paperback, £9.95 hardback.
This book represents much more than just a commentary on this often overlooked book of the Old Testament, We have the gathering together of the author’s thoughts in intimate association with the Hebrew bible, and also with the conditions and surroundings of the land in which the Song was written. This gives the contents a freshness and appeal beyond the exposition of the text and truth of the book. The author is convinced that among all the interpretations and applications offered, we have a picture of the relationship between the Lord and Israel. Looked at from this standpoint, we are able to use the bible as its own interpreter in approaching the book. It is heartening to note how consistently this approach is held to, and this affirms very clearly the dividing line between the relationship enjoyed between the Lord and the nation of Israel, and that between Christ and His church. This can only be helpful in the light of confusion in much prophetic thought.
The book is divided into five main sections. These cover the setting and significance, some major motifs of the Song dealing with the imagery of the fauna and flora and the cycle of seasons. Then the interpretation, structure and keys of the Song are clearly outlined, preparing the way for the next section, the progress through the poems of the song. The method used is most helpful, with a translation by Baknrs, alternating with the exposition of each poem in detail. Finally the conclusion reviews the development of the ‘Salvation History’ of the nation as this is worked out in the contents of the Song. This proves a worthy climax to a delightful study.
The book ends with three appendices which highlight the love themes of the poems and give a refreshing exposition of the bride’s estimate of the beauty of her Beloved in chapter 5. There are 70 pages of indices which cover Hebrew words and phrases, subjects and scripture references. There is also a short bibliography.
We would commend this book as a worthy tribute to the intensive study of Old Testament literature by one whom the Lord has greatly used to bring the delights of bible study to His people. The commentary will take its place among the foremost works on this Old Testament treasure. The 12 pages of photographs in colour of scenes from the land add to the excellent presentation of the book.