Verses 4:1-5 show the outward appearance of the maiden, whereas verses 7 through 15 show the maiden’s inward relationship with the King.
These are the words of the King. All Bible expositors agree that this part refers to ascension.
Verse 7 says, "Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee." After the maiden has seen the cross and resurrection in a deeper and fuller way, the King says to her, "Thou art all fair...there is no spot in thee." Formerly, the King only said that she was fair; now he says that she is all fair. All her spots have been removed by the cross; she lost them one by one through her dealings. What is left in her is just the Lord’s heavenly and holy life, which is fully on the new ground of resurrection. Therefore, we see that she is all fair.
Verse 8 says, "Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards." In the second section, the King asked two things of her: (1) that she would rise up, and (2) that she would go with Him. After she was dealt with by the Lord, she rose up. But she has not yet learned to follow the Lord in His move and work. Once the Lord makes a demand, He will never lower His standard. Sometimes we can delay His timing, and sometimes His time may not be yet, but He never changes His calling. When we have passed through His dealings, and when His time comes, He will again say, "Come with me." Now the Lord calls her to ascension. Many people think that this is a call to leave Lebanon. Personally, I believe that this is a poetic expression, and although it says to come "from" Lebanon, there is no reason she should leave Lebanon. On the contrary, in the following verses, part of the new experiences of the maiden relate to the smell of Lebanon and the streams of Lebanon. The Lebanon that is referred to here is a high mountain; it is the place where cedar is produced. Hence, it signifies the nobleness of the cedar wood. In the Bible, a high mountain often signifies a separation from the earth and a heavenly place. Hence, this call is a call for ascension. More accurately stated, this call is a call to the believers to stand on the ground of ascension and to look down from such ground. Hence, this is a vision of ascension.
A believer’s stand should be on the mountain. Although many people have failed, the place the Lord has assigned for them is still the heavenly mountaintop. On the mountaintop heaven is near. Indeed, heaven is all around. On the mountaintop the earth is far away and detached. The three mountaintops indicate that even in the heavenly place, there are still different peaks. There is more than one peak, and there is much ground for movement; one is not bound.
"Amana" means truth. We can look down from this peak. We can dwell on the peak of all the real things in Christ.
"Shenir" means a soft armor, which signifies the armor given to us by the Holy Spirit. The thought in this verse is totally related to warfare. We often need to consider the things down below with a full view of the heavenly warfare.
"Hermon" means destruction, which refers to Christ’s victory on the cross. He is the Son of God manifested to destroy all the works of the devil (1 John 3:8b). We can prevail in all warfare to deal with all the worldly affairs from the peak of victory.
There are many peaks of victory, and the ground of ascension is broad; there is room for movement and growth. However, Ephesians shows us that the heavenly places (chapters one and two) are the very places where the enemy dwells (chapter six). Walking on the mountaintop and looking down from there inevitably bring us into an encounter with the lions’ dens and the leopards’ mountains. The earth is the place where the lions roam, and the world is where the leopards devour. Yet the lions’ dens are in the heavenly places, and the leopards’ mountains are also in the heavenly places. Before we know ascension in an experiential way, all that we encounter on earth is the enemy’s work. After we know ascension, we will dwell in the very places where the enemy dwells. We must not only be aware of the enemy’s work, but we must engage the enemy face to face. The emphasis regarding lions in the Bible is on their roaring. Hence, their work is primarily that of posing threats. The emphasis regarding leopards in the Bible is on their fierceness. Hence, their work is primarily that of devouring.
The Lord has called the maiden to the ground of ascension. Yet He has never said that everything will be rosy. He shows her that even in a life on the peak, lions and leopards are closer to her than ever before. Those who do not understand Ephesians 1 and 2 do not understand the spiritual warfare in chapter six, but those who know ascension realize the reality and nearness of the enemy. Nevertheless, the Lord is still beckoning us to look down from this place. Our mountaintop is still the truth, our mountaintop is still the armor, and our mountaintop is still victory and destruction. Heavenly things can be clearly discerned only in heavenly places, while earthly things can be discerned clearly only with a heavenly view. Heaven is the only place to oversee everything. We often do not look from heaven. Rather, we explain many things with an earthly view. The result is nothing but foolishness. Even the smallest thing on earth must be seen from the heavenly position. Otherwise, we will not be clear even about the smallest thing. Yet looking from heaven is looking from the place of the lions’ dens and the leopards’ mountains. In exercising our observation, we cannot forget the enemy. If we look from heaven, we will not fail to see the relationship between everything and the lions’ dens and the leopards’ mountains. Those who have a mountaintop view are able to capture the enemy’s view concerning everything. Hence, those who observe from the "promised ground" of God’s peak will also see things from the view of the enemy’s interest.
Spiritual warfare is first a matter of position, and second a matter of view. Without position, we cannot identify the enemy himself, and without the heavenly view, we cannot identify the deceptions of the enemy. Without these two things, there can be no warfare, and we cannot fight.
This is an unprecedented call! It is a great and fearful call! Naturally speaking, it is extremely difficult for a weak maiden to climb up the mountain and go to the high ground. How much more forboding it is to be beside the lions’ dens and the leopards’ mountains! But the maiden has heard the call. How should she answer?
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 2) Vol. 23: The Song of Songs & Hymns, Chapter 6, by Watchman Nee)