From Song of Solomon 1-8
According to the most common interpretation, the Song of Solomon is a collection of love poems between a man and a woman, celebrating the sexual relationship God intended for marriage. God established marriage, including the physical union of a husband and wife (Gen. 2:18–25), and Israelite wisdom literature treasures this aspect of marriage as the appropriate expression of human sexuality (Prov. 5:15–20). The Song of Solomon has also been understood as an illustration of the mutual love of Christ and his church. It is possible that Solomon (tenth century B.C.) is the author (1:1). However, this verse could mean that the Song was dedicated to Solomon or was written about him, and therefore many scholars regard the book as anonymous.
The woman yearns for the embrace of love. She desired to give at last the full treasure of her love in answer to the love of her man who earnestly sought for her affection. Ancient writers see in these words the longing of the Jewish Church for a closer union with God, for the fulfilment of the promise given through the prophets. The promise fulfilled in God’s great love in sending his son Jesus.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
The passage continues the theme of mutual desire and appreciation for one another. They woman rejoices in the appearance of her lover.
16 Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful.
Our couch is green; 17 the beams of our house are cedar; our rafters are pine.
2 I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. (Song 1.16-2.1)
They comment on the green ‘couch’ (grass) they lie on and cedar and pine ‘house’ (forest) around them.
They lay down together in the forest describing their attraction for one another.
The women describes herself as a ‘rose of Sharon’, a lily. The man goes further with this description, comparing her beauty to others.
2 As a lily among brambles, so is my love among the young women. (Song 2.2)
He believes she is more beautiful than all the young women around her. She is his love.
If your in love with someone, they tend to look more attractive than anyone else.
She responds, describing how she views him among the other young men.
3 As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. (Song 2.3a)
Presumably they are alone in the forest, lying down together and appreciating one another’s beauty. One thing leads to another.
3b With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
5 Sustain me with raisins; refresh me with apples, for I am sick with love.
6 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me! (Song 2.3b-6)
We are left to our imagination what is happening.
He is over her, creating a shadow, his banner over her.
She tastes his ‘sweet fruit’. They are having a ‘banquet’.
She grows weak with what is happening and needs sustaining. She is sick with love. Love consumes her.
His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me.
7 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. (Song 2.7)
The woman implores her fellow sisters of Jerusalem. She gives an oath, swearing by the gazelles or the does of the field (the nature around them).
She tells them ‘not to stir up or awaken love until it pleases’. In the embrace of her lover, she warns them not to awaken love artificially (e.g. wine or aphrodisiacs).
Love will awaken on its own when it is ready.
That is, don’t try to speed it up. Wait for the right one and the right feelings. Then they will enjoy the same passion as she does.
The gospel itself doesn’t say much about romantic love between a man and a woman. However it does allude to the long wait before God’s love manifested itself in Jesus and the Spirit.
19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.”
26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” (Jn 4:19–26 )
There was a long wait for the coming ‘hour’ of Jesus and the Spirit. In Israel’s history, many tried to speed up the coming of the kingdom.
In God’s own timing he awakened his love and sent Jesus.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2016. All Rights Reserved.