The bride says: The watchmen took away my veil from me. What's the spiritual meaning of this?
Song of Solomon 5:7
ESV - 7 The watchmen found me as they went about in the city; they beat me, they bruised me, they took away my veil, those watchmen of the walls.
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The veil was--as it still is in the Middle East and even in our American wedding ceremonies--a symbol of this woman's modesty, chastity and virtue. For the watchmen to take it away from her was an unthinkable disgrace, and an indication that they doubted that her motives for being out in the middle of the night were above reproach. As you suggest in your question, there is great spiritual significance connected to the veil, many-layered and many-faceted. Here is what Matthew Henry's Commentary says about this passage: "Churches and believers, by carelessness and security, provoke Christ to withdraw. We ought to notice our spiritual slumbers and distempers. Christ knocks to awaken us, knocks by his word and Spirit, knocks by afflictions and by our consciences; thus, Rev 3:20. When we are unmindful of Christ, still he thinks of us. Christ's love to us should engage ours to him, even in the most self-denying instances; and we only can be gainers by it. Careless souls put slights on Jesus Christ. Another could not be sent to open the door. Christ calls to us, but we have no mind, or pretend we have no strength, or we have no time, and think we may be excused. Making excuses is making light of Christ. Those put contempt upon Christ, who cannot find in their hearts to bear a cold blast, or to leave a warm bed for him. See the powerful influences of Divine grace. He put in his hand to unbolt the door, as one weary of waiting. This betokens a work of the Spirit upon the soul. The believer's rising above self-indulgence, seeking by prayer for the consolations of Christ, and to remove every hinderance to communion with him; these actings of the soul are represented by the hands dropping sweet-smelling myrrh upon the handles of the locks. But the Beloved was gone! By absenting himself, Christ will teach his people to value his gracious visits more highly. Observe, the soul still calls Christ her Beloved. Every desertion is not despair. Lord, I believe, though I must say, Lord, help my unbelief. His words melted me, yet, wretch that I was, I made excuses. The smothering and stifling of convictions will be very bitter to think of, when God opens our eyes. The soul went in pursuit of him; not only prayed, but used means, sought him in the ways wherein he used to be found. The watchmen wounded me. Some refer it to those who misapply the word to awakened consciences." Here are the main points as I see them: 1) The woman missed her opportunity to respond to her lover's bidding, then tried to cover herself quickly and somewhat incompletely (hence the veil) in order to be presentable to go out in public. As believers, we at times try to cover our disobedience or lack of depth with inadequate coverings or by putting up some kind of religious or fake front. 2) The watchmen could see that she was hastily dressed. This and the fact that she was out in the middle of the night instead of where she was supposed to be raised questions about her integrity. She may have been searching for her lover at this point, but it was after the fact. This applies to us in that we need to respond to God when He calls and on His terms, not after the fact, not out of guilt, and not on our own terms. It will be easy for others to see our duplicity, and we will not be well-received by others.
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