Song of Solomon 6
1: Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee. 2: My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. 3: I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies. 4: Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners. 5: Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead. 6: Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them. 7: As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks. 8: There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. 9: My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. 10: Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? 11: I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded. 12: Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib. 13: Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.
Song of Solomon 7
1: How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman. 2: Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies. 3: Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins. 4: Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus. 5: Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries. 6: How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights! 7: This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes. 8: I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples; 9: And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. 10: I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. 11: Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. 12: Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves. 13: The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.
Song of Solomon 8
1: O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised. 2: I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate. 3: His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me. 4: I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please. 5: Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee. 6: Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. 7: Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned. 8: We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? 9: If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar. 10: I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour. 11: Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver. 12: My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred. 13: Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it. 14: Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.
Today we are reading the last three chapters of the Song of Solomon. Chapter 6 continues the previous passage where the daughter was in conversation with the female attendants of Solomon. They say to her v1 Where is he then we can help you find him? It’s impossible to tell whether this is in genuine support or in mockery. I tend to thing that they are impressed with her and want to help her, but in the next two verses she evades a direct answer perhaps because she is not 100% sure of their motives. It would not be unheard of for a powerful king to murder a suitor to obtain his betrothed. She says he has gone into his garden, to his beds of spices. To feed in the gardens and gather lilies. I belong to him and he belongs to me and he feeds among the lilies. Of course he has no garden the garden of this book is herself. Then Solomon comes to talk with her from 6v4 - 8v4 But first from v4-10 Solomon comes to her with flattery. He tells her that she is beautiful. Like an army with banners. He says don’t look at me because your eyes have smitten me. Your hair is like a flock of goats from Gilead. He describes her teeth as a flock that has just been washed. Her head is like a pomegranate. He says there are 60 queens and 80 slaves wives and an endless number of virgins available to him but she is special because she is untouched and an only daughter of her widowed mother. Everyone praises you who is up early looking out into the dawning of the day. You are as beautiful as the moon, clear as the sun and terrible as an army with banners. It seems her look can shrivel the pride of a man. In v11-12 she answers him saying I was dreaming thinking of my business and musing after my affairs and I didn’t know you were near me you surprised me. Solomon replies v13 come back to me so that I can look at you. She answers what would you see in me? He replies from v13 – 7v9 you are like a dance of two companies of soldiers. You look so beautiful with your shoes on. And then he resumes his flatteries. This flattery of a young woman who has promised herself to another is tantamount to steeling another mans partner yet officially she is not betrothed at this time. He tells her all about the beauty of her body. She answers v10 – 8v4 saying I belong to my beloved and his desire is toward me. She speaks as if he can hear her saying come and fetch me away let us go to the fields where we first met. Let’s lodge in the villages. Let us go to the vineyards there I will give you my love again. She says I have lots of fruit for you to take in my family orchards. If you were my brother then I would know where to find you. I would then be able to kiss you. I would bring you to my mother’s house who would teach me how to be a good wife. I would give you mulled wine. And you would embrace me. She tells the attendants do not entice me to fall for the King. From v5 to the end we have the last section. The daughter is sent home by the king accompanied by her shepherd boy and she is seen by her brother’s companions. They say who is this coming leaning on her beloved? The Shulamite and her shepherd boy revisit the place where they first met. It was under the apple tree. (Probably an apricot) This was the place where she was born. She says set a seal of ownership on your heart like a slaves mark of ownership on the arm. Because she says, my love is as strong as death. Jealousy is cruel like the grave and a burning furnace. My heart burns and cannot be quenched. And if a man sold everything he had to buy my love it would be contemptibly small amount. One of the brothers now speaks about his little sister. He says v8-9 she is so little (before puberty) and they say what shall we do for her in the day when he is called for marriage? He says if she were a wall we would build for her a silver place. If she were a door we would board her up. Then she answers, I am a wall! And my body is like a tower and Solomon has many vineyards wives perhaps a thousand but I am not his. Then her beloved speaks saying, tell everyone your story. She says come quickly, and listen to me, and take me as your own. Don’t range far and wide anymore come to me. And so this beautiful and fascinating love story comes to an end. It is credited to Solomon but may be more of a story about him or even a story told to him for him to learn from.
- How does the young woman feel about the apparent loss of her loved one?
- Can she be enticed to be with the King?
- What is the end of the love story?