Song of Solomon 1
-This book is in the genre of wisdom. It is a wedding song honoring marriage through the purity and sacredness of love. It should be interpreted on two levels. First, there is a literal love relationship between a man (King Solomon) and the Shulammite bride (perhaps from Shunem, a farming [vineyards primarily] community about 60 miles north of Jerusalem). Very open, sensual, and poetic language is used in their dialogue to reflect their intense love and devotion for one another. Solomon more than likely wrote this piece early in his reign as king or young in life when the purity and sanctity of marriage was his priority before worldly prosperity, foreign women, and idolatry tainted him (he turned from much of his righteousness in later years, 1 Kings 11). The second, and deeper, spiritual dimension of this work inspired by the Holy Spirit reflects the love of God for His people. This can include both His people Israel at the time and the Church (including all the nations, Gentiles as well as believing Jews) of the New Covenant initiated by the work of Christ Jesus. This intense language shows Christ’s rich and immensely deep love for us, His people, as well as how we should love Him. *Application* Consider the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman for one lifetime. The intimacy that this relationship, designed by God, should entail is so divine in so many ways (spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc.). Reflect for a while on God’s intimacy with us, His children, in the same exact way. He desires our all, which includes the most cherished feelings and desires for Him. We love Him with our all because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
-Chapter one begins with the young Shulammite speaking on their wedding day (Song of Solomon 1:2-7). The kiss is emphasized, along with the intoxicating effects of love, which is stronger and better than wine. The oil is represented (biblical symbol of the Holy Spirit) as a pleasing fragrance with a purified name. In verse four we see the drawing of the lover into a relationship that they will pursue together as the king has brought his beloved into his very own chambers. This is a cause of great rejoicing and gladness with exaltation to the lover and the love he freely gives. Verses five through seven reflect the background and upbringing of this common laborer more than likely, who was accustomed to being outside in the elements. Solomon appreciated her skin tone and the fact that she was working on someone else’s vineyard (possibly the king’s own vineyard). *Application* Draw near to the Heavenly One who loves you as your spiritual depth increases. He has loved you with an everlasting love from the foundation of the world. Love your husband or wife in the same way and appreciate all their great qualities with affection.
-Solomon now speaks (Song of Solomon 1:8-10). Much of the language is lost on our current culture, but we should get the sense for how much he loved her beauty and radiance even as a common laborer. The king picked her out as a special prize with great worth and appeal. The chorus chimes with praise in verse eleven, before the bride picks back up with her adoration (Song of Solomon 1:12-14). The beloved is esteemed as an oasis in the desert (research Engedi, location and agriculture) as a stark contrastive statement. Now Solomon comes back with words describing beauty of eyes in comparison with the nature of doves (Song of Solomon 1:15). The remaining two verses of the chapter find the bride speaking of her husband’s looks, strength, and benefits (Song of Solomon 1:16-17). *Application* We are mistaken if we do not process and meditate on the spiritual benefits of this passage. God is our beauty, our strength, our all sufficient source, and Heavenly Head as husband. When is the last time you personally lavished praise unto the LORD your God in this caliber?
Verse to Memorize: Song of Solomon 1:4