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


Following the eyes, the Lord appraises her nose: “Thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus” (7:4). The Lord has never mentioned anything about her nose until now. Her nose is like the tower of Lebanon. We know that a tower is something elevated, and Lebanon means ascension. Therefore, her nose is elevated by the Lord’s ascension. The function of a nose is to smell. There are many things which we cannot see, touch, or hear, but we can smell them. The one who works with the Lord cannot be cheated. He does not care for what you say; he cares for how you smell. He does not care for things according to the outward appearance; he cares for the inward scent. You may tell him that everything is fine, but immediately he senses something wrong, something not genuine, and something not in harmony with the Lord. Perhaps he could not say exactly what is wrong, but he knows that something is indeed wrong, because he has a nose as a tower. This is the safeguard of the Lord’s work. It is really difficult to cheat one who has reached such an attainment. You may tell the truth or you may tell him a lie. It makes no difference; it is still the same. It is not a matter of outward appearance, but a matter of smell. For the safeguard of the Lord’s work, we need such a nose as the tower of Lebanon.


Then the Lord comes again to her hair: “Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the flowing locks of thine head like purple; the king is held captive in their tresses” (7:5). This time the Lord does not use the word “hair.” The King James Version has a wrong translation here. It is not the natural hair, but the locks. A lock is a bundle of hair which has been dealt with, plaited, and bound together. As we have already seen, this signifies her submission. Her will is fully dealt with, fully bound, and fully submitted to the Lord. With the locks are the beautiful tresses. It is the beauty of the tresses which captures the Lord. The king is held captive in her tresses. The Lord has become a captive to her submission. Her submission is so high, with the color of purple, that it brings in the Lord’s kingship and authority.

In today’s Christianity, you simply cannot see the Lord’s headship, kingship, and authority. But, if we mean business with the Lord, we will have the color of purple in our submission to the Lord. The Lord’s kingship is revealed in this way. It is the beauty of her submission that captures the Lord! Darby’s translation uses the word “fetter.” The beauty of her submission “fetters” the king. The king was put in fetters by her submission. This is the real qualification for working with the Lord. If our natural life has not been subdued, if our hair has never been dealt with to be plaited and bound, then we are not qualified to touch the Lord’s work. Spontaneously there will be some amount of rebellion to the Lord. But with this one there is the submission to the uttermost, and the beauty of her submission holds the Lord as a captive. Marvelous!


The Lord goes on to mention something about her breasts: “This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes” (7:7). In chapter four, her breasts were likened to roes which were feeding. This meant that her faith and love were working to take something in for her own nourishment. But now her breasts have become clusters of grapes, not for her nourishment, but for others. She is so full of life she does not care much for her own needs. She mainly cares for others’ needs. Eventually she has a stature which is likened to a palm tree. This is the same as that which is mentioned in Ephesians 4:13. She has the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. She not only has all the other aspects, but she has also a full stature.

Now she is fully qualified to take care of the work of the Lord. In chapter four, it was the Lord who said to her, “Come with me.” But now it is she who initiates the move with the Lord: “Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves” (7:11-12). She initiates the work and the Lord follows. The field is the world in a general way, the villages are the local churches, and all the gardens are the different saints.

The problem is that we are all for our own places. We may all be for Jerusalem, but Judah is for Judah, and Benjamin is still for Benjamin. But let us go to the field and lodge in the villages and look at all the gardens. We should not be short-sighted, but have a broadened vision. We should be for all the churches in all the world. Hallelujah for Frankfurt, Germany! Hallelujah for Auckland, New Zealand! Hallelujah for Tokyo, Japan! Hallelujah for Sao Paulo, Brazil! Let us go to the field and lodge in all the villages and visit all the gardens.

(Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs, Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)