The Song of Solomon
The maiden invites her lover to the fields and villages, promising to give him her love among the blossoming vineyards. She wishes that he were her brother so that people would not comment about their open displays of affection. The man says that, while King Solomon may have many vineyards, he is happy with his one vineyard, the maiden.
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However, it is undeniable that the song celebrates not only human love but also the sensuous and mystical quality of erotic desire. Bible: The Old Testament. Character List God Moses David. Themes Motifs Symbols Key Facts. Important Quotations Explained. The Song of Solomon Summary The Song of Solomon is a series of lyrical poems organized as a lengthy dialogue between a young woman and her lover.
Previous Psalms Next Proverbs. The next section reports a royal wedding procession. Solomon is mentioned by name, and the daughters of Jerusalem are invited to come out and see the spectacle. The man describes his beloved: Her hair is like a flock of goats, her teeth like shorn ewes, and so on from face to breasts. Place-names feature heavily: her neck is like the Tower of David, her smell like the scent of Lebanon.
He hastens to summon his beloved, saying that he is ravished by even a single glance. The section becomes a "garden poem", in which he describes her as a "locked garden" usually taken to mean that she is chaste. The woman invites the man to enter the garden and taste the fruits.
Introduction to the Song of Songs in the Bible
The man accepts the invitation, and a third party tells them to eat, drink, "and be drunk with love". The woman tells the daughters of Jerusalem of another dream. She was in her chamber when her lover knocked. She was slow to open, and when she did, he was gone. She searched through the streets again, but this time she failed to find him and the watchmen, who had helped her before, now beat her.
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She asks the daughters of Jerusalem to help her find him, and describes his physical good looks. Eventually, she admits her lover is in his garden, safe from harm, and committed to her as she is to him. The man describes his beloved; the woman describes a rendezvous they have shared. The last part is unclear and possibly corrupted.
The people praise the beauty of the woman.
2. Song of Solomon inspired worship.
The images are the same as those used elsewhere in the poem, but with an unusually dense use of place-names, e. The man states his intention to enjoy the fruits of the woman's garden. The woman invites him to a tryst in the fields. She once more warns the daughters of Jerusalem against waking love until it is ready. The woman compares love to death and sheol : love is as relentless and jealous as these two, and cannot be quenched by any force.
She summons her lover, using the language used before: he should come "like a gazelle or a young stag upon the mountain of spices". The Song offers no clue to its author or to the date, place, or circumstances of its composition. Debate continues on the unity or disunity of the Song. Those who see it as an anthology or collection point to the abrupt shifts of scene, speaker, subject matter and mood, and the lack of obvious structure or narrative. Those who hold it to be a single poem point out that it has no internal signs of composite origins, and view the repetitions and similarities among its parts as evidence of unity.
Some claim to find a conscious artistic design underlying it, but there is no agreement among them on what this might be. The question therefore remains unresolved. The setting in which the poem arose is also debated. The Song was accepted into the Jewish canon of scripture in the 2nd century CE, after a period of controversy in the 1st century. One brother rolled a king-sized bed onto the stage as a prop.
Many of these sermons were little more than a baptized version of sex-ed. The Song of Songs certainly is about marriage. However, since marriage is a window into the relationship between Christ and the church, the Song of Songs is about the gospel, too.
Song of Songs
The Song of Songs is an explicit but tasteful love song designed to point singles to patience, spouses to each other, and everyone to Christ. It is not an allegory nor is it a sex manual. It is the poetic description of a romance between a husband and a wife. Most people have a grotesquely distorted view of sex. The path to this view has been paved by the likes of Sigmund Freud [ii] who boiled sex down to the physical action of releasing sexual tension, and Esther Perel [iii] who, quite recently, argued in defense of infidelity.
We should be grateful for a book like the Song of Songs that explores in poetic detail the one-flesh union of Genesis But the Song of Songs is also a precious remedy for those with a distorted view of the church.
THE SONG OF SONGS
Readers love the depictions of intimacy found throughout the poem. The wife of the book enjoys being with her husband. As erotic as the language of Song of Songs may be, it is never unhitched from commitment. In other words, the sexual activity described is always experienced in the context of a marriage covenant.
This banner is a military standard, the flag that united an army. The careful reader cannot help but see the larger point. Their marriage is marked and blessed by intimacy and commitment—and these two are not to be severed.