Notes: November 5, 2008 – Song of Solomon 1 & 2

Introduction to the Song of Solomon

  • The name: Variously called the Song of Solomon, the Song of Songs (vs 1), and Canticles, this book is unlike anything that Solomon’s father has recorded in the scriptures.
  • The canonicity: Although the book never mentions the name of God or even instruction in worship, and it is never quoted directly by NT writers, yet many believers have found profit for their souls by reading herein.
  • The benefit: Purely literal reading discovers a love song, the story of a woman’s love for a man. But the believer will quickly surmise the spiritual connection with the love which God’s people (Old and New) have for their Lord. Yet, the focus must not be upon the Bride, but upon the Bridegroom, not upon the people of God, but upon God Himself. The Bride ever wants to glorify the Bridegroom.
  • The form: One help to understanding the book is to see where the dialogs begin and end. Sometimes it is the Bride speaking; sometimes it is the Bridegroom. And at other times it is the chorus of Attendants speaking. Admittedly, the divisions are sometimes obscured by translation into a language without a grammatical gender distinction.
  • The date: Since Song 6:8 speaks of numerous queens and concubines, if the book is to be seen as autobiographical, then the writing must have occurred before the end of Solomon’s life when he had 700 wives and 300 concubines.
  • The message: Three times the observers are charged not to attempt to manipulate the Bridegrooms affections with unnatural stimulants (Song 2:7; 3:5; 8:4). This instruction is most interesting relative to all the various interpretations of the book.
  • The plot: Does the book relate the woman’s intense love for her shepherd lover, a love which forces her to reject the overtures of the king; or does the book relate the love of a shepherd who is, at the same time, the king? Obviously, both cannot be true.

Chapter 1

(vs 2-7) The Bride

  • I am black, but beautiful. I’ve been forced to work
  • I am in love with a shepherd. Where is my love?

(vs 8) The virgins

  • Go and look for him.

(vs 9-11) The Bridegroom

  • You remind me of Pharaoh’s jeweled chariot horses.

(vs 12-14) The Bride

  • In the palace are many sweet aromas; but none so fair as scent of my beloved

(vs 15) The Bridegroom

  • You have eyes like a dove

(vs 16-17) The Bride

  • Our love is not hindered by our meeting outdoors. (Who needs a palace to promote love?)

Chapter 2

(vs 1)  Who is the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valleys?

(vs 2) Bridegroom

  • You are a flower among thorns

(vs 3-13) Bride

  • You are like an apple tree
  • I am love-sick
  • Lo, my beloved is coming.
  • He invites me to run away with him.
  • All creation supports his request.

(vs 14-15) Bridegroom

  • You are hard to find

(vs 16-17) Bride

  • I am His, and He is mine.