6 ¶ When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Verse 8 is the passage we want to examine. Adam and Eve heard the sound (or the voice) of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day so they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord. It is somewhat difficult to ascertain what the he phrase “cool of the day” really implies. The Hebrew word for cool is ruwach. It is translated as cool only once. It is translated as spirit 232 times. It is also translated as wind 92 times and breath 27 times. The Hebrew word for day is yowm. It is translated “day” 2008 times. That word is beyond dispute. The translators seem to have arrived at the translation “cool of the day” by interpreting breeze or wind of the day as cool since the wind or a breeze is usually cool. Any attempt to interpret these passages as strictly a physical phenomenon however, is going to miss it. As with all Scripture, there is a mystical conveyance here of spiritual truth. We can better understand the phrase, “cool of the day” as a certain realm or relationship with the Lord. It’s significant that the verse reads, “They hid themselves from the presence of the Lord.” The cool of the day is related to the presence of the Lord. It’s a realm we can move into and abide in. Elijah made this proclamation in 1st Kings 18:15: “As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.” Elijah stood before the Lord. He stood in the Lord’s presence. Now, many, many Christians have felt the Lord’s presence at times. But this “cool of the day” realm speaks of a perpetual abiding. The Song of Solomon sheds a bit more light on this realm although the term for “cool” is different.
1 ¶ “How beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves behind your veil; Your hair is like a flock of goats That have descended from Mount Gilead.
2 “Your teeth are like a flock of newly shorn ewes Which have come up from their washing, All of which bear twins, And not one among them has lost her young.
3 “Your lips are like a scarlet thread, And your mouth is lovely. Your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate Behind your veil.
4 “Your neck is like the tower of David, Built with rows of stones On which are hung a thousand shields, All the round shields of the mighty men.
5 “Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle Which feed among the lilies.
6 “Until the cool of the day When the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh And to the hill of frankincense.
In these passages the bridegroom is enthralled with his bride. Mystically, this passage, as well as the whole book of the Song of Solomon, is a reference to Christ and His bride. The bridegroom admires his bride’s beauty and then proceeds to describe it. But notice verse 6. He speaks of her great beauty but then says, “Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away I will go my way…” This realm of the Lord’s presence has yet to be attained. The shadows fleeing away denote a realm where everything is clear and open, devoid of the darkness of the old, Adamic nature. It’s akin to what Paul said in 1st Cor. 13: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” The bridegroom, who mystically is Christ, then says, “I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense.” What does this mean? What is this mountain of myrrh and hill of frankincense that He is going to until the cool of the day? Again, we have mystical truths being revealed to us. The Lord is showing us the way into the cool of the day. Let’s read some passages from the book of Esther to better understand this mountain of myrrh and hill of frankincense.
The book of Esther begins with the King being displeased with Vashti, his queen. As a result, she is rejected, and a search begins for a new queen.
1 ¶ After these things when the anger of King Ahasuerus had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed against her.
2 Then the king’s attendants, who served him, said, “Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king.
3 “Let the king appoint overseers in all the provinces of his kingdom that they may gather every beautiful young virgin to the citadel of Susa, to the harem, into the custody of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let their cosmetics be given them.
4 “Then let the young lady who pleases the king be queen in place of Vashti.” And the matter pleased the king, and he did accordingly.
We now see how Esther comes into the picture.
5 Now there was at the citadel in Susa a Jew whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite,
6 who had been taken into exile from Jerusalem with the captives who had been exiled with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had exiled.
7 He was bringing up Hadassah, that is Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had no father or mother. Now the young lady was beautiful of form and face, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.
8 So it came about when the command and decree of the king were heard and many young ladies were gathered to the citadel of Susa into the custody of Hegai, that Esther was taken to the king’s palace into the custody of Hegai, who was in charge of the women.
9 Now the young lady pleased him and found favor with him. So he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and food, gave her seven choice maids from the king’s palace and transferred her and her maids to the best place in the harem.
Next comes the reference we are looking for.
12 Now when the turn of each young lady came to go in to King Ahasuerus, after the end of her twelve months under the regulations for the women—for the days of their beautification were completed as follows: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and the cosmetics for women—
Myrrh was used for cleansing and purifying in Biblical times. There were six months of cleansing and purifying for Esther and then six months of beautification with spices and cosmetics. Six months of tearing down and six months of building up.
Here is the revelation being conveyed in the Song of Solomon. Until the cool of the day, when the shadows flee away, the Lord is found on the mountain of myrrh and hill of frankincense. His presence is manifested in our lives through His dealings, in the work of the cross crucifying the Adamic nature. It’s interesting that myrrh was used in ancient Egypt as an embalming fluid. Thus myrrh and frankincense become symbolic of burial and resurrection. The psalmist says in Psalm 149:4: “For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.”
Let’s return to the Song of Solomon.
7 “You are altogether beautiful, my darling, And there is no blemish in you.
8 ¶ “Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, May you come with me from Lebanon. Journey down from the summit of Amana, From the summit of Senir and Hermon, From the dens of lions, From the mountains of leopards.
9 “You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride; You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes, With a single strand of your necklace.
10 “How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, And the fragrance of your oils Than all kinds of spices!
11 “Your lips, my bride, drip honey; Honey and milk are under your tongue, And the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
12 “A garden locked is my sister, my bride, A rock garden locked, a spring sealed up.
13 “Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates With choice fruits, henna with nard plants,
14 Nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, With all the trees of frankincense, Myrrh and aloes, along with all the finest spices.
15 ¶ “You are a garden spring, A well of fresh water, And streams flowing from Lebanon.”
16 “Awake, O north wind, And come, wind of the south; Make my garden breathe out fragrance, Let its spices be wafted abroad. May my beloved come into his garden And eat its choice fruits!”
These verses are an expression of the cool of the day. The bridegroom tells his bride, “You are altogether beautiful, my darling, And there is no blemish in you.” There is no blemish because of the work done by the bridegroom on the mountain of myrrh and hill of frankincense. Notice how the bridegroom woos her, “Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, May you come with me from Lebanon. Journey down from the summit of Amana, From the summit of Senir and Hermon, From the dens of lions, From the mountains of leopards.” He calls her to journey down from various summits, from the dens of lions and from the mountains of leopards. It’s time for her to leave the realms of preparation and for her beauty to be revealed! It’s expressed in Isa. 4 this way:
3 It will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem.
4 When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning,
5 then the LORD will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy.
6 There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.
Verse 9 from our text in Song of Solomon states: “You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride; You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes, With a single strand of your necklace.” This is the Lord speaking. “You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes.” This conveys an intimacy with the Lord beyond what we have known. It’s a relationship with Him born in the cool of the day. The days of our preparation have seemed endless. But the cool of the day does come; indeed, it’s upon us now for those who have endured the days of myrrh and frankincense. There came the time when Esther’s days of preparation were ended.
We continue in Esther:
13 the young lady would go in to the king in this way: anything that she desired was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace.
14 In the evening she would go in and in the morning she would return to the second harem, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not again go in to the king unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.
15 Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai who had taken her as his daughter, came to go in to the king, she did not request anything except what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the women, advised. And Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her.
16 So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus to his royal palace in the tenth month which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
It happened for Esther. It is happening for Zion, of whom Esther is a type. Read verse 17 again carefully. It’s time to walk with God in the cool of the day.