With all due respect to Dr. Masters, he's not the sine qua non of biblical interpretation. Moreover, as my post indicates in its exegesis, I haven't jettisoned the common Puritan exegesis of this passage. I implemented it.Originally posted by Jie-Huli
That is a possible interpretation, but I believe there are good reasons as well to believe the "Rose of Sharon" and the "Lily of the Valley" are indeed Christ.
As Dr. Masters has written in the book I mentioned above, "The rose of Sharon is the very best. It is delicate, picturing Christ coming in human flesh, and although it lives on the driest soil it possesses unparalleled splendour, picturing Christ, the perfect Man, living in a barren, sin-sick world . . . The lily of the valleys depicts the purity of Christ in His 'valley', which is His time of humiliation on the earth."
And John Gill wrote, "Christ may be said to be the lily of the valleys because of His wonderful humility and condescension in assuming our nature, suffering in our stead, and in His humbling Himself to the death of the cross for us. His whole life was one continuing sequence of humility. Christ on earth did not appear as the lofty cedar, but as the lowly lily, and though He is the high and lofty One in His divine nature, yet He condescends to dwell with such who are of a humble and contrite spirit".
I do not believe that all the old Puritan writers were just rushing to conclusions when they wrote that this was Christ speaking.
As to our interpretation of the entire book, Dr. Masters has written a number of arguments as to the central message of the book being the love of Christ and His Church (rather than a human courtship). I will not write them all out here, but I will share one which I think is an interesting one to ponder:
The original Hebrew name of the book is actually the "Song of Songs" (as it is translated in the Authorised Version), meaning the greatest and most beautiful song every composed. Which relationship is most worthy of such a title: the love of Christ and His Church, or human love?