From Song of Solomon 1-8
Q. If you were to woo your love, what expression from Song of Solomon would you use?
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 Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (So). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Passage and Comments
Song of Solomon consists of many love poems. Some believe it was dedicated to Solomon or written about him. Some understand it as an illustration of the love between Christ and his church. The language is very colourful and quite different to the romantic expressions we might see in the movies.
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your love is better than wine;
3 your anointing oils are fragrant;
your name is oil poured out;
therefore virgins love you.
4 Draw me after you; let us run.
The king has brought me into his chambers. (So 1:2–4)
The affection and desire between the man and the woman is strong.
5 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. (So 3:5)
This expression is repeated a few times. The bride teaches the other women patience. Their time will come.
4 Behold, you are beautiful, my love,
behold, you are beautiful!
Your eyes are doves
behind your veil.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
leaping down the slopes of Gilead.
2 Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes
that have come up from the washing,
all of which bear twins,
and not one among them has lost its young.
3 Your lips are like a scarlet thread,
and your mouth is lovely.
Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
behind your veil.
4 Your neck is like the tower of David,
built in rows of stone;
on it hang a thousand shields,
all of them shields of warriors.
5 Your two breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle,
that graze among the lilies. (So 4:1–5)
The groom describes his bride. Eyes, hair, teeth, lips, and cheeks. Neck like the tower of David. I don’t know if by todays standards a woman would take that as a compliment…
8 There are sixty queens and eighty concubines,
and virgins without number.
9 My dove, my perfect one, is the only one,
the only one of her mother,
pure to her who bore her.
The young women saw her and called her blessed;
the queens and concubines also, and they praised her.
10 “Who is this who looks down like the dawn,
beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun,
awesome as an army with banners?” (So 6:8–10)
Woman of all different roles praise the bride. They call her blessed.
Story of Jesus
It seems appropriate to quote Paul’s description of Christ and the church.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Eph 5:25–32)