Today’s passage: Song of Solomon 1:1-2:7
- The other title used for this book, “The Song of Songs” is taken from the first verse. This was perhaps Solomon’s intended title. Or, he was simply proclaiming that this was the best of songs (Similar language to “the king of kings”).
- The content of this book has been interpreted as an allegory for the love of God for Israel or Christ and the Church. While God did call Israel a bride and the Church is called the bride of Christ, this book doesn’t necessarily have to be speaking to these larger themes. This book can simply be a biblical expression of love and romance between a husband and wife (The young shepherd and the Shulammite woman).
- In a kingdom where the king (Solomon) had abandoned God’s purposes for marriage (Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines – 1 Kings 11:3), this song celebrates the love of one man and one woman.
- This understanding of the content will encourage the reader toward faithfulness in the covenant relationship of marriage and seeing marriage and sexuality as gifts from God to be enjoyed within that marriage covenant (Hebrews 13:4).
- In verse 4, the “banner” of love that is flown over the couple is a sign to the public they are betrothed to each other. In verse 7, the woman acknowledges that her romantic desire for the man must wait (The descriptions in these verses were expressions of what she desired once they could be together).
Questions to consider:
- If the man in this song is a shepherd (And not King Solomon) then what is the Shulammite woman saying about her man in verses 4 and 12? What does she think of the man she is to marry? What is his worth in her eyes?
- How does the woman describe her own appearance (Verses 5-6)? How does the man reply in verse 2 of chapter 2? In what way does this sound like a common occurrence for a husband and wife? And, how can this encourage husbands to have eyes only for their bride?
- How does true love between a man and woman result in waiting to consummate their relationship physically until the marriage day? How can abstinence prior to marriage build trust and respect so that intimacy in marriage can be all the more enjoyed?