An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon


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They are one in their desires because their desires are God-given. Yet we see that the young man occupies a place of leadership; she does not initiate a kiss but asks that he might kiss her.

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She asks that he draw her. For your love is better than wine : To the maiden, the love of her beloved is more refreshing and intoxicating than wine. She is deeply, passionately infatuated with her man. This is no passing encounter: this is total dedication and permanent obligation. Charles Spurgeon, the great preacher of Victorian England, followed the custom of his age and understood the Song of Solomon primarily as a poetic description of the love relationship between Jesus Christ and His people. In his sermon titled Better than Wine , he drew forth two main points:.

Your name is ointment poured forth : This expresses the respect and esteem the maiden had for the character and reputation of her beloved.

Beza's Eight Principles for the True Exposition of the Song of Solomon.

The name represented much more than just the title by which her beloved was addressed; it represented his character and reputation. His name was like ointment poured forth and flowed from the fragrance of his good ointments. This is the reason the girls around the palace loved him — not just because he was handsome… but because his inner person was so attractive. This couple is obviously physically attracted to each other; yet their relationship goes far deeper. They learned to value and care for each other as persons. This shows us that a wise woman chooses a man whom others see to be a man of character.

There is something not-quite-right if she thinks she can see what an amazing guy he is, but no one else can see it. The seriousness of her estimation of him — going far deeper than just a physical or sexual attraction — shows us the character of their passionate love. Reading this collection of love poems, one might easily think that this is primarily a book about falling in love.

Instead, it is much more accurately seen as a book about building love. Therefore the virgins love you : The maiden understood that others could see the good character qualities in her beloved, without necessarily being romantically attracted to him. This made her love him all the more. Draw me away : This was the logical desire of a woman so taken with loving desire towards her beloved. She wanted to be with him , and to be one with him. We will run after you : The idea is that the Daughters of Jerusalem — this on-looking chorus, who observe and celebrate the love between the maiden and the young man — they want to see what will happen as this wonderful love builds and takes its course.

It is a good thing , and from their respectful distance they want to be part of it. The king : This is another line that seems to reinforce the point that this is Solomon, inviting the young maiden into the private rooms of his palace. We will be glad and rejoice in you : The Daughters of Jerusalem rightly saw this passionate love as something to celebrate. It was good — not simply fun or exciting and should be recognized as such. We will remember your love more than wine : Another phrase remarking on the beauty and goodness of their love.

Rightly do they love you. Do not look upon me, because I am dark, Because the sun has tanned me. I am dark : Hearing the words of the Daughters of Jerusalem in the previous lines, the maiden considers that their high estimation of her beloved is appropriate Rightly do they love you. The maiden was happy that the character of her beloved was good and could be seen as so. This well-deserved rightly respect others had for the young man showed that the maiden made a wise choice.

Marriage-eligible women today should have the same perspective, considering that the Apostle Paul summarized the responsibility of a wife towards her husband in Ephesians with one word: respect. Though it is common — in the words of a modern film — for women to select a man for who he almost is , or to choose him for the man she can make him to be , this is unwise. Do I respect him enough to submit to him the way the Bible says a wife should submit?

The Song Of Songs

I am dark, but lovely : The self-doubt the maiden had regarding her own appearance should not be overstated. She did feel, in some ways, unattractive and unworthy Do not look upon me, because I am dark. Yet at the same time she could say she is lovely. We do not want our natural life to be exposed at all. Thus, before being sufficiently dealt with by the Holy Spirit, immature believers will tend to hide from others. They do not wish to be known as they really are. Because the sun has tanned me : Perhaps it is best to say that she saw herself as fundamentally lovely , yet marred by her prolonged exposure in the sun, transforming her more fair skin into darker, deeply tanned skin.

Their tents were made of the skins of black goats. In that day as in most of history , fair skin was considered more attractive than tanned skin, because it showed that one was of a financial or social status high enough to where they did not have to perform outdoor work; they lived a higher life than that of simple farmers.

The manner in which primarily allegorical interpreters deal with the line, because the sun has tanned me , demonstrates the weakness of the primarily allegorical approach. Trapp discusses how some think that the sun represents the Sun of Righteousness, Jesus Christ, and how in His brilliance the church sees its own nothingness. Or, he says that the sun might represent original sin. The maiden seems to make — or at least almost makes — the mistake of thinking that her hardships have disfigured her and make her less qualified to be truly loved.

No doubt genuineness and humility were refreshing changes to the king. But my own vineyard I have not kept : She worked hard in this unjust labor, while neglecting her own appearance. In this she well represents the thinking of many women who consider themselves not attractive enough to be truly and passionately loved. She should not believe the lie that her hardships have made her less attractive to a good man.

There is an old story about a thief who broke into a department store and stole nothing; but he switched the price tags. If people bought or sold at those prices, you would think they were crazy. Yet all the time people value precious attributes and characteristics in other people very cheaply especially when it comes to love and romance , and they assign high value to attributes and characteristics that are actually worth little. Tell me, O you whom I love, Where you feed your flock, Where you make it rest at noon. For why should I be as one who veils herself By the flocks of your companions?

Tell me, O you whom I love, where you feed your flock : Here the beloved is pictured as a shepherd, which was presumably a symbolic representation, perhaps touching on the idea common in the ancient world that the king was like a shepherd to his people. Yet the picture is clear: she wanted to know where her beloved was, because she simply wanted to be with him.

This picture of a shepherd is one reason why some think that the Song of Solomon is actually a drama with a distinction between Solomon the king and the beloved who is also a simple shepherd. On balance, it seems best to regard this simply as a poetic description of Solomon the king, who was also the beloved. For why should I be as one who veils herself : Here the maiden proclaims her modesty, because in that culture a veiled woman was a woman of low sexual morals.

Genesis tells us that when Tamar, the widow of the sons of Judah wanted to entrap her father-in-law Judah by posing as a prostitute, she covered herself with a veil and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place. This was making herself available as a prostitute.


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If she were going to see the king, she wanted it to be at the proper time and place — say, for example, when he was free in the middle of the day. Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, Your neck with chains of gold. If you do not know, O fairest among women, follow in the footsteps of the flock : Poetically, the beloved tells the maiden where she can find him — just follow the flocks. He welcomes her presence and companionship and is happy to have her with him.

This then would have the sense that the maiden was as alluring and exciting as a filly among stallions. It was the most beautiful and graceful horse in the kingdom. The meaning of the comparison is obvious; other women may be fine, but Shulamith was the only one Solomon prized. Yet it seems that by the middle of the second millennium before Christ — well before the time of Solomon — the custom was established that only two stallions pulled the chariot of Pharaoh according to Carr and others.

Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with chains of gold : The beloved praised the beauty of the maiden in general as in Song of Solomon Here, more specifically, he praised the way that she made herself beautiful, with ornaments on her cheeks and chains of gold on her neck. We will make you ornaments of gold : The on-looking daughters of Jerusalem wanted to bless the maiden also. When they saw how the king cared for her, they wanted to be kind and good to her also. This is one reason why it is important to a woman that her man treat her well and treat her well in public. She instinctively understands that others will treat her better if they see that her man values her and treats her well.

Ornaments of gold with studs of silver : This shows how greatly they responded to the example set by the beloved. His treatment of the maiden made them want to be somewhat extravagant in honoring the maiden.

Rather, they are similes that express her sweet feelings toward her lover. While the king is at his table, My spikenard sends forth its fragrance.

A Brief Exposition of the Song of Solomon

A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, That lies all night between my breasts. My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blooms In the vineyards of En Gedi. While the king is at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance : The maiden was aware of her attractive powers, and how her attractiveness could draw her beloved the king to herself. This is clearly a woman who is aware of her sexual attractiveness but uses it in a godly and responsible manner; not for casual flirtation or questionable liaisons.

A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me : The maiden understood her ability to attract her beloved; and she also understood his ability to attract her. This dynamic of mutual romantic and sexual attraction is wonderful in the context of a concern for character and corresponding commitment; it is a dangerous dynamic outside this context.

That lies all night between my breasts : The idea is that the presence and scent of her beloved stayed with her, even when the maiden was alone. The thought of her lover is like a fragrance that stays with her and sustains her, even when he is not there. This speaks to the sense of security that his love gives to her. Between my breasts : This reference to the female breast — made by the maiden herself — makes some readers and commentators of the Song of Solomon uncomfortable. There is a reflexive instinct to believe that God must have had something else in mind; something more spiritual.

Christian interpreters have been equally ingenious. Gregory of Nyssa found in them the outer and the inner man, united in one sentient being.

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Song of Songs 2

In the vineyards of En Gedi : The place known as En Gedi is a famous oasis in the Judean wilderness, lush with water and life in an otherwise barren place. A cluster of henna blooms in the vineyards of En Gedi would be alive, beautiful, healthy, and full of good scents. It is God's revelation about marriage and romance.

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He intends, therefore, that His people study the book, comprehending its insights and applying His instructions. Though the Song is relatively small, its contents have the potential to profoundly impact anyone who studies it - especially married couples and those hoping to be married. What would you like to know about this product?


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    An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon
    An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon
    An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon
    An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon
    An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon
    An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon
    An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon
    An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon
    An EXPOSITION Of the First Chapter of the Song of Solomon

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