Song of Solomon 1:14 “My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.”
For understanding this verse we need to know about 2 important things in this verse, The Camphire and Engedi.
Camphire – The camphire is known as henna. The henna plant has a richly scented perfume henna comes from the Hebrew word Kopher which means to cover, make atonement, cleanse, forgive, to be merciful, pardon, reconcile and a price of life or ransom.
The camphire signifies our Lord Jesus Christ as He is pure like the white flowers. There is no match to the aroma of His life. His life, love, testimony attracts people even like us from a distance and brings us close. It is always the fact that He loved us and called us toward Him and not us who went first towards Him. We were always far but He attracted us. Unlike the Myrrh which is the fragrance used for the dead the camphire signifies the resurrection as it is worn fresh.
The steadfast love of our Lord never ceaseth His mercies never come to an end they are new every morning”. (Lam 3:22, 23)
It is of the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed because His compassion fail not they are new every morning great is thy faithfulness. Because of this ever blooming and fresh every day experience we can say as the next verse states The Lord is my portion saith my soul (Lam 3:24). By accepting Him we have been changed like Him. As the meaning of the word Henna states He paid the price, bought us as a ransom, covered our sins, forgave us, pardoned us, cleansed us, reconciled us and He is merciful to us. Now being His beloved we become the cluster of fragrance. He wants to make us known to everyone as His beloved.
Another interesting feature about the henna is that the bride of Middle East and India usually apply this spice as a paste before the wedding and it gives a red stain the night before the wedding, in some cultures like Israel it is followed as a ceremony before the wedding were only the closest friends and families are invited. There is a traditional thought in India which states that the more intense or darker the henna colouring is seen the more her husband will love her intensely. Similarly when we accept Him more and get stained by His precious blood and take Him more closer and closer, And develop a desire to have Him more, He loves us even more intensely. When we are drenched in His love, we feel His intense love even before the heavenly marriage. He now takes us not only to the King’s table but even to His bedchamber. We become His beloved when we accept Him and become like Him and do what He loves. When He is our only beloved He takes us as His beloved we become special. We get the red stain just exactly before the wedding night which stands for the acceptance of our reconciled soul to become His spouse. It is like an agreement or a bond done before marriage.
What is the speciality of calling our beloved as the camphire of Engedi?
Engedi – Is an Oasis in the west of the Dead Sea, Israel. It is a freshwater though surrounded by salty Dead Sea. It is an abundant spring in the desert. It is known for its fertility and beauty. It is considered as the best spring place to settle. The word Engedi means spring of the kid or fountain of the young goat. This region was allotted to Judah. The perfumes produced from Engedi were a part of royal estate.
The camphire of Engedi turns out to be special because it grows fertile with fragrance in a desert being the only freshwater there. Our Lord becomes our comforter, He gives us love, protection and makes us forget the wilderness or the Dead Sea. He makes us think about His fragrance alone unmindful of all the surrounding situations like the wilderness. He gave us hope in this hopeless and unimaginable situations.
As the perfumes produced in Engedi were a part of royal estate, He makes us special by promising royal priesthood, making us queens when we bond with Him. The oil of the henna flower when applied gives complexion and releases body ache. Similarly when we accept Him as our beloved He makes us beautiful and relieves all our pain, we do not have to worry about the wilderness as we are His beloved. He has given His dwelling place for us now.
The young kid goat signifies Israel. (Matthew 25:32, 33, Zechariah 10:3). Engedi is God’s Dwelling place. Though the house of Judah (Israelites) were the rightful owner to settle along with our Lord (Camphire). They lost it; they could only just enter and get strengthened by the springs in Engedi but could not become His beloved.
Zech 10:6 I will strengthen the House of Judah and I will save the house of Joseph will bring them again to place them, for I have mercy upon them.
We the church, the gentiles have become God’s beloved (Joseph most loved by the father) (Gen 48:22 Gen 49:24) (Psalms 80:1 we are led by Him). We are drawn towards Him. Though we were not the rightful person He redeemed us and made us His beloved and made us the camphire cluster, beloved enough to enter His secret chamber and experience Him.
I Chronicles 5:2 For Judah prevailed above his brethren and of Him came the chief ruler, but the birthright was Joseph’s.
The kid goats though also have the chance to enter His dwelling, not as the beloved but just to reside and enjoy the fertility of Engedi. They just got the opportunity of living in peace in Engedi free from predators. What a wonderful love, our camphire, our beloved showed us. He attracted us and made us His own. He then married us made us settle there with Him. He embraced us with His love. After this all of His is ours. That is when our eyes are like dove filled with tears of joy thinking about His love towards us.
He is now waiting ready to make us His spouse. Further His love gets more intimate and intense when we are His bride allowed to enter His bedchambers (Song of Solomon 1:16) and He adds us in His Garden. (Song of Solomon 4:12, 13 Garden enclosed is my spouse. We are now added to the King’s personal Garden. (Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, pleasant fruits, camphire with spikenard). He not only invited us to His banqueting house, but also made us to be with him forever as the cluster of camphire which the father likes to see in His garden brought by the son. The camphire is worn by woman when it is fresh. We being resurrected in Christ started wearing Him and being the fragrance we started to boast about our beloved.
Rom 6:5 If we have been planted together in likeness of death we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. As an ever blooming flower forever.
He took us through a journey of love making us experience Him, after attracting us He took us as the bride and finally into His chambers, that is why we could say “My beloved is unto me a cluster of camphire in His vineyard”
What an amazing love…. we will get to be with Him…
We just need to get attracted to the smell of the camphire, nothing else He asks of us everything is free made for us.
Are we attracted?
Bride do not get distracted and lose this wonderful settlement with Him……
Let us have the joy of saying “My beloved is mine and I am His, His banner over me is love”