The Song of Solomon

Introduction – The author is most likely Solomon and was written around 965 B.C. It is a series of highly regarded lyrical poems with an overt theme of love between a man and a woman. Theologians also see Jewish and Christian allegories – God’s love for Israel and Christ’s love for His Church. The Jews sang it in the spring at Passover. It is quite the literary gem as it celebrates the beauty and wonder of human love. I think it reflects God’s desire for married people to enjoy a proper relationship and be satisfied physically and emotionally. Finally, the story line may be giving us a glimpse into Christ’s first coming (as a shepherd) winning over His Bride (true believers), leaving His “love” behind temporarily (and in His absence “she” longs for Him), later returning and consummating the marriage of the Lamb of God and the Bride of Christ. With this background information, I believe we can glean more from it.

Song of Solomon 1 – This is seen through the eyes of a woman who has fallen in love with a shepherd. Whether this man was Solomon himself or some other guy we are not sure. If someone else, then Solomon may have represented the power and stature of this world, and the maiden chose her “true love” rather than “him.” If so, it could represent believers opting out of this world and all its allurements in favor of embracing and abiding in Christ. This woman describes herself as being “swarthy” or dark in skin complexion due to slaving in the sun for long hours. She is a “Cinderella type” who did not have the means to make herself “presentable” to this man though he was the love of her life. From this, we can clearly see the connection between Jesus loving sinners and His willingness to give all for His Church (Bride). She is enraptured by his physical appearance and longs to be with him.

My favorite verse is 4, “Draw me after you and let us run together.” This reflects the joy of just being together when we love someone. We do not need external entertainment to enjoy the moment. The excitement emanates from deep within us and we simply love being with the other person. Personally, running along a sandy beach near the ocean is not my idea of a good time. Running hand-in-hand with the love of my life on that same beach, however, appeals to all my senses.

Application for Today: God wants is to run with us on that beach. Because of what Jesus accomplished, we will enjoy each other’s company forever. Now I can understand myself enjoying HIS company forever, but when I think about HIM enjoying MY company…well, that just goes beyond my mind. When we live in this reality, our walk with Him automatically becomes stronger, and we find ourselves walking in the Spirit rather than the flesh. This means that our desires change from wanting to do wrong things to wanting to please Him. It is all about a love relationship between us and our Creator…our Abba Father…our Daddy.

Song of Solomon 2 – A beautiful exchange of love comments toward each other. Both viewed the other as a rare find. In verse 3, some people interpret it as referring to oral sex. The word “fruit,” however, never appears in the Bible as a euphemism for this. I believe the verse is most likely referring to simple kissing. I think it is too much of a stretch to perceive oral sex here. The man seems to satisfy the basic needs of a woman, namely protection, intimate friendship, and public identification as his beloved.

In verse 4, the word “banner” may mean “desire” or “intent” so the phrase may mean “his intent toward me was lovemaking.” This is speculation, however.

In verse 7, there is a hint that he will not hurry to have sex with the one he loves, but will wait until the right time. It is nice to see some restraint rather than seeing passions fly unchecked as if humans are unable to control basic instincts. The use of the gazelle and the hind (female deer) lends credibility to this thought because they are skittish, and anyone who wants to get close to them must wait patiently. One cannot approach them aggressively. Similarly a man cannot arouse a woman’s love in an insensitive, hurried manner.

In verse 15, “the little foxes” may refer to many things: 1) probably not literal foxes who were gradually ruining the vines, 2) most likely a metaphor that reflects the danger of little problems in the relationship adding up over time leading to the destruction of that relationship, 3) a reference to the other women in Solomon’s life, if he was the one she was in love with, 4) hostile forces that would harm their love.

In verse 17, “Bether” most likely refers to a cleft in mountain rocks.

Overall, I do not believe that these verses are saying that good sexual intercourse is the main part of a marriage relationship, but it is rather an automatic result of pure love, as long as the passion is restrained according to God’s law. Today, there is so much immoral sexual activity going on that Christians can easily forget that God created and endorsed intercourse, and that it is clean and healthy if contained within His rules. A former nurse guest speaker in my health classes once said that intercourse is like fire – when controlled by rules of safety it is a huge blessing to mankind, but if those rules are brushed aside, it becomes extremely destructive.

Song of Solomon 3 – The woman seems to have a dream where she cannot find her love. She finally finds him and brings him to a secure, private place, but consummation of the relationship is still premature though she longs for it. Then finally, the wedding day comes and there is much pomp and celebration. This could be a representation of fallen, lost human souls alive on earth with a void in their heart due to sin. They find Christ (or He finds them) and the born-again experience saves their soul. They become intimate with each other, but not completely because they must now live out the rest of their time on earth longing to be with Him face-to-face. They finally meet up with Him at death (The Wedding of all weddings)..

Song of Solomon 4 – The bridegroom is rejoicing over the beauty of his bride. In verse 7 it says “there is no blemish in you” which may be referring to the bride being Christ’s Church (Ephesians 5:27). Verses 12-15 seem to describe his deep appreciation for her virginity (faithfulness). This allows him to see her nakedness that no one else has ever seen. This is one aspect of a marriage consummation between two virgins. They can both say, “No one but you can see all of me.” This is what makes it so special. How can marital sexual intercourse be as special if one or both partners had multiple partners prior to a wedding?

Application for Today: Wait until marriage to have sex. One huge advantage to waiting until marriage to have sex is that sex can now be as special as it could be. God’s rules always protect us beyond the physical realm. When I taught sexual abstinence in public school high school health education class, I gave each student a list of 28 advantages for waiting until marriage (not just living together, but marriage). Only four were from the physical dimension. The others were from the emotional, social, and intellectual dimensions.  On a much grander scale, God has painted us a beautiful representation of the joy and intimacy between Him and His Bride, the Church. The fact that He can look at His Bride as having “no blemish” reflects how complete and effective Christ’s sacrifice was on the cross.

Song of Solomon 5 – The bride dreams again and her loved one comes but then goes.

Song of Solomon 6 – The bridegroom again describes her beauty of his only true love; other women just cannot rival her. I believe this is describing the great love that Jesus has for His Church, His bride.

Song of Solomon 7 – He once again describes the beauty of several physical body areas. She reaffirms her love for him. She rejoiced in her complete abandonment to her husband and in his complete satisfaction with her. Secure in her love, she felt free to initiate sex directly, rather than indirectly as earlier. I believe this represents the church’s pure longing to be intimate only with Jesus – there are no other people or things (idols) that the Bride of Christ desires. It also affirms the idea that God created physical sex for humans to experience to gain fulfillment, satisfaction, procreation, and love enhancement. Notice I said “enhancement.” This means that love needs to be established first, then sex follows after God has joined the two together. Anything short of this order, diminishes the experience and often robs or destroys, which is the work of God’s enemy according to John 10:10.

Song of Solomon 8 – Their love for each other increases within the marriage as time passes. I believe this describes how we will enjoy the eternal increase of Him and His government and relationship with us.

In a day and age where lust and self-gratification seem to be the ruling forces with sexual behavior, this Book is a breath of fresh air. All things were done according to God’s pathway. Thus, the love grew even purer over time. When people relate to each other on their own terms and disregard their Maker, love usually decreases over time. God’s ways are higher than our ways. It is tragic that so many people choose to not trust His Word – B.I.B.L.E. = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. Of course, the bigger picture entwined in this Book gives us insight as to the thoughts and longings of our Lord Himself. It is all quite remarkable when we perceive it.