Friday, June 12, 2009

Old Testament survey (22): Song of Solomon

I charged you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please. (Song of Solomon 2:7)

I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved. (Song of Solomon 5:1)

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. 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. (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)


[1] Song of Solomon, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee, with free downloads Notes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3)

The Song of Solomon is a parabolic poem. The interpretation, not the inspiration, causes the difficulty. There are some who actually feel it should not be in the Bible; however, it is in the canon of Scripture. The Song of Solomon is the great neglected book of the Bible. The reader who is going through the Word of God for the first time is puzzled when he comes to it. The carnal Christian will misunderstand and misinterpret it. Actually this little book has been greatly abused by people who have not understood it. When Peter was puzzled by some of Paul’s epistles, he wrote, “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Pet. 3:16). I think this is also true of the Song of Solomon. (Read the complete article)
[2] Song of Solomon, from (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese - Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)
The poetry takes the form of a dialogue between a husband (the king) and his wife (the Shulamite). We can divide the book into three sections: the courtship (1:1 - 3:5); the wedding (3:6 - 5:1); and the maturing marriage (5:2 - 8:14).

The song begins before the wedding, as the bride-to-be longs to be with her betrothed, and she looks forward to his intimate caresses. However, she advises letting love develop naturally, in its own time. The king praises the Shulamite’s beauty, overcoming her feelings of insecurity about her appearance. The Shulamite has a dream in which she loses Solomon and searches throughout the city for him. With the help of the city guards, she finds her beloved and clings to him, taking him to a safe place. Upon waking, she repeats her injunction not to force love.

On the wedding night, the husband again praises the beauty of his wife, and in highly symbolic language, the wife invites her spouse to partake of all she has to offer. They make love, and God blesses their union.

As the marriage matures, the husband and wife go through a difficult time, symbolized in another dream. In this second dream, the Shulamite rebuffs her husband, and he leaves. Overcome with guilt, she searches the city for him; but this time, instead of helping her, the guards beat her—symbolic of her pained conscience. Things end happily as the lovers reunite and are reconciled.

As the song ends, both the husband and wife are confident and secure in their love, they sing of the lasting nature of true love, and they yearn to be in each other’s presence. (Read the complete article)
[3] Song of Solomon, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
Nowhere in Scripture does the unspiritual mind tread upon ground so mysterious and incomprehensible as in this book, while the saintliest men and women of the ages have found it a source of pure and exquisite delight. That the love of the divine Bridegroom should follow all the analogies of the marriage relation seems evil only to minds so ascetic that marital desire itself seems to them unholy.

The interpretation is twofold: Primarily, the book is the expression of pure marital love as ordained of God in creation, and the vindication of that love as against both asceticism and lust--the two profanations of the holiness of marriage. The secondary and larger interpretation is of Christ, the Son and His heavenly bride, the Church (2 Corinthians 11:1-4 refs).

In this sense the book has six divisions:

1. The bride seen in restful communion with the Bridegroom, Song of Solomon 1:1-2:7.
2. A lapse and restoration, Song of Solomon 2:3-3:5.
3. Joy of fellowship, Song of Solomon 3:6-5:1.
4. Separation of interest--the bride satisfied, the Bridegroom toiling for others, Song of Solomon 5:2-5.
5. The bride seeking and witnessing, Song of Solomon 5:6-6:3.
6. Unbroken communion, Song of Solomon 6:4-8:14.
Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Materials by David Malick
[2] The Song of Songs, by Donald E. Curtis

[3] Studies in Song of Songs, by Jeff Miller
[4] The Poetical Books, by J. Hampton Keathley, III

[5] A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue (review by Todd Keppelman, Probe Ministries)

This article is an examination of Wendy Shalit’s book A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue. The book was written in 1999 and addressed to her “parents, and anyone who has ever been ashamed of anything.” A Return to Modesty is an examination of public and personal attitudes toward the problems faced by young women at the end of the twentieth century, and the beginning of the twenty-first.

Shalit’s starting point is the change from a healthy modesty toward sexual experience to a sheer embarrassment at the lack of experience. Her book is not a call to a prudish, Victorian sexuality, but a reminder of the value inherent in female modesty and the rewards for those who wait until marriage to become sexually active. Arguing against a culture which systematically attempts to rid us of our romantic hopes and natural embarrassments, Shalit offers young women an open invitation to cultivate one of the most feminine of all virtues, and to do so without shame or regret.

A Return to Modesty is divided into three parts: the first concerns our present view of sexual modesty and the problems with this view. The second section surveys the intellectual battles which led to our present situation. And the third is a look at women who are saying “no” to contemporary values and returning to an earlier conception of modesty. (Read the complete article)

Sermons on Song of Solomon (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Sermons by David Legge
[2] Song of Solomon. Prep, by George Francis Ganey, III

[3] A Love Rekindled, by Malcolm Macleod

[4] Modesty, by Bill Sytsma

[5] Amazing Prayer 5 - Knowing His Beyond-Knowing Love, by Richard DeRuiter

[6] His Banner Is Love, by Steven Richards

For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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