Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs, by Witness Lee


In this book there are many seekings, many findings, and many satisfactions. At least four or five times the seeking one begins again to seek for the Lord. She finds what she is seeking, and she is satisfied. Each satisfaction enlarges her and creates further seeking. She becomes the palanquin and the crown, and in a sense is fully satisfied. Suppose you were to reach such a stage as to become the palanquin and crown to the Lord Jesus. I am sure that you would shout, “Hallelujah! This is the fullest satisfaction!” But there is still something further and better. We must go on from the crown to grow something for Him as a garden. Then the Lord will find something in us for His enjoyment and His satisfaction. It is not only a matter of being a boast to Him as a crown; we must grow something for the Lord Jesus to eat and enjoy. In other words, we must produce some materials for the building. We are God’s farm, and we are God’s building. We are the garden, and we are the city. The building of the city comes out of the garden.


When the seeking one becomes the city, she is also an army. We mentioned that the tenth figure is the last one, but there is also the eleventh. This is the army. “Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.” Why do I say that the tenth is the last, yet there is still the eleventh? It is because the tenth is the eleventh, and the eleventh is the tenth. When we become a city to the Lord, we are an army to the enemy. It is not just an armory as in the past (4:4). An armory is defensive, but the army is offensive. It is not just a matter of defending the kingdom, but also of fighting for the kingdom. She is so beautiful to the Lord, even as beautiful as Jerusalem. But to the enemy, she is as terrible as an army with banners. We all know that an army with banners means victory. She is not without banners. This means that she has won the victory already. No wonder she is so terrible to the enemy!


First, there was the armory for the defensive warfare. But now, the seeking one has become an army marching in triumphant victory. The Hebrew word “army” in this verse is in the plural, so some of the better versions say that she is the hosts, the troops. It is not just one troop, but the many troops with the banners. She has become such a marvelous fighting army as troops with the victory banners. We can never separate the building from the spiritual warfare. Wherever the building is, there is the battle. We all remember the account in Nehemiah: with one hand the people did the building work, and with the other hand they held the weapons for battle (Neh. 4:17). While they were building, they were fighting. Fighting always accompanies the building, and the building always brings in the victory in the battle. This is the consummation of the Christian life. This is the uttermost completion that the seeking one of the Lord can attain. She is now a city as an army.

In Ezekiel 37:2-10, we read the same thing. All the dry bones, after being inbreathed with life, came alive to be built into the habitation of God. And at the same time they were formed into an army. The building is always an army. Without an enemy, there is no need to build a city. In human history, the city came into existence because of the attacks of the enemies. The city is God’s dwelling place, but it is also the fighting army to the enemy.

(Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)