Song of Solomon 6 Commentary

 

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SONG OF SOLOMON 6
COMMENTARY NOTES

SONG OF SOLOMON
Union and Communion
The Courtship
(Falling in Love)
Song 1:2-3:5
The Wedding
(United in Love)
Song 3:6-5:1
The Maturing Marriage
(Struggling and Growing in Love)
Song 5:2-8:14
Fostering
of Love
Fulfillment
of Love
Frustration
of Love
Faithfulness
of Love
Falling
in Love
United
in Love
Divided
in Love
Devoted
in Love
Cultivating
Love
Acclaiming
Love
Courtship
Before the
Marriage
Procession for and Consummation of the Marriage The Honeymoon
is Over!
Song 5:2-6:13
The Marriage Deepens
Love Matures
Song 7:1-8:14
Chief Speaker:
The Bride
("Darling")
Chief Speaker:
The Groom
("Beloved")
Chief Speaker:
Both
Chief Speaker:
"Duet"

Theme - The joy and intimacy of love within a committed marriage covenant.

Song of Solomon foreshadows Christ, the Bridegroom's relationship with His Bride, the Church.
(Eph 5:32-note, Rev 19:7-8-note)
Date - Circa 950-965BC
Time Period estimated at about 1 year
Before Solomon plunged into gross immorality and idolatry
(Compare only 140 women in Song 6:8-note with 1Ki 11:1-4, 5-7, 8, 9-10)
Adapted from Charles Swindoll's book chart

SELECT RESOURCES
Song of Solomon 6
See also main resource page for Song of Solomon

Adam Clarke

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges 

Century Bible Commentary

Thomas Constable - well done 

Gene Getz short videos (3-12 minutes)

Net Bible Notes synchronized with Thomas Constable's notes 

Ellicott's Commentary - 

David Guzik 

H A Ironside

Keil and Delitzsch - not always literal 

Lange - Comments by verse at top of page literal. Doctrinal section at bottom is allegorical. 

Reformation Study Bible Notes

Rob Salvato Sermon Notes

Third Millennium - relatively detailed comments

Song of Solomon 6

Bob Utley - brief but insightful comments on Hebrew words and phrases

Steve Zeisler - sermon notes

Daughters of Jerusalem...
Song 6:1 "Where has your beloved gone, O most beautiful among women? Where has your beloved turned, That we may seek him with you?"

Shulamite (young woman)...

Song 6:2 "My beloved has gone down to his garden, To the beds of balsam, To pasture his flock in the gardens And gather lilies.

Song 6:3 "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies."

Daughters of Jerusalem...
Song 6:1 "Where has your beloved gone, O most beautiful among women? Where has your beloved turned, That we may seek him with you?"

NET - Where has your beloved gone, O most beautiful among women? Where has your beloved turned? Tell us, that we may seek him with you.

NLT - Where has your lover gone, O woman of rare beauty? Which way did he turn so we can help you find him?

Most beautiful among women - same description in Song 1:8, Song 5:9.

Seek him - The girl’s spirited praise of her lover seems to have convinced the daughters of Jerusalem that he is worth looking for (cf. Song 5:9). But whether they want to find him for their friend’s sake or for their own is not clear. (Reformation Study Bible)

Beautiful (03303) (yapheh) is an adjective meaning lovely, beautiful, describing beauty of women (Ge 12:11, 14, 2Sa 13:1, Esther 2:7). Good looking or handsome men (2Sa 14:25). Jerusalem was described as "beautiful in elevation." Lxx translates yapheh with the Greek adjective kalos (word study) which means good; beautiful, applied by the Greeks to everything so distinguished in form, excellence, goodness, usefulness, as to be pleasing; hence (according to the context) equivalent to "beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable"; a. beautiful to look at, shapely, magnificent.

Shulammite (young woman)...
Song 6:2 "My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of balsam, To pasture his flock in the gardens And gather lilies.

  • NET - My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the flowerbeds of balsam spices, to graze in the gardens, and to gather lilies.
  • NLT - My lover has gone down to his garden, to his spice beds, to browse in the gardens and gather the lilies.

A PICTURE OF MARITAL
RECONCILIATION

Song 6:2-13

My beloved - A key phrase in the Song of Solomon found 24x in 23v - Song 1:13, 14, 16; 2:3, 8, 9, 10, 16, 17; 4:16; 5:2, 4, 5, 6 (twice), Song 5:8, 10, 16; 6:2, 3; 7:9, 11, 13; 8:14. (There are only 2 other uses in the OT - Isaiah 5:1, Jeremiah 11:15).

Beloved (01730) (dod) means beloved, loved one. 32 of 53 OT uses of dod are found in the Song of Solomon. Dod conveys three thoughts (1) the name or address given by one lover to another (Song 5:4, 6:3, 7:9); (2) Love, where it speaks of the adulteress (Pr 7:18) and in a positive sense of the love between Solomon and the Shulammite (Song 1:2, 4:10). Love is used symbolically of Jerusalem reaching the "age for love" (Ezek 16:8). Dod speaks of the adultery of Jerusalem in Ezek 23:17. (3) Dod in some contexts means "uncle" (Lev 10:4, 1Sa 10:14-16, Esther 2:15).The Lxx uses agapao to translate dod in Song 1:4. In most of the other uses in the Song of Solomon, the Greek noun adelphidos is used (Song 2:3, et al) and is a term of endearment meaning beloved one. It can also mean kinsman.

His garden - In Ecclesiastes we read Solomon's record "I made gardens and parks for myself, and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees." (Eccl 2:5) His wife knew he loved gardens and suggested that this is where he had retreated.

Carr interprets this differently - This may, of course, be a literal garden, but on the analogy of Song 4:10–5:1, it is more likely a reference to the physical person of the beloved. The Song of Solomon - Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries)

NET Note on garden - The term גַּן (gan, “garden”) is used six other times in the Song. In five cases, it is used figuratively (Hypocatastasis) to describe her body or the sexual love of the couple (Song 4:12, 15, Song 4:16a, Song 4:16b; Song 5:1). There is only one usage in which it might refer to a real garden (Song 8:13). Thus, this usage of “garden” might be figurative or literal: (1) He went to a real garden for repose. Solomon did, in fact, own a great many gardens (Eccl 2:4–7; 1Chr 27:27). (2) The “garden” is a figurative description referring either to: (a) the young woman, (b) their sexual love, or (c) Solomon’s harem. (NET Note Song 6)

Ronald Allen on garden...flock - his is a change of language from 4:12–16. On their wedding night, the bride presented herself to Solomon as his garden. But he has another “garden” to tend as well, and it is one in which he also takes great pleasure. This is the “garden” of his work, his responsibility as the king of Israel. The flock is the people; the lilies represent the produce of the land. This realization leads to the strong affirmation in the next verse that the husband and wife belong to each other. (Nelson Study Bible)

NET Note on beds of balsam - The phrase כַּעֲרוּגַת הַבֹּשֶׂם (ka’arugat havvosem, “flower-beds of balsam”) is used elsewhere in the Song only in Song 5:13 where it is a simile comparing his cheeks to a flower-bed of balsam yielding perfumed spices. The term הַבֹּשֶׂם (“balsam-spice”) by itself appears five times in the Song, each time as a figure for sexual love (Song 4:10, 14, 16; 5:1; 8:14). Thus, the two options are: (1) the term refers to a real flower-bed of balsam to which Solomon had gone or (2) this term is a figure for sexual love. (NET Note Song 6)

NET Note on pasture - The verb לִרְעוֹת (lir’ot, “to browse”; so NAB, NIV) is from the root רָעָה (ra’ah, “to feed, graze”) which is used seven times in the Song (Song 1:7, 8a, 8b; Song 2:16; 4:5; 6:2, 3). All its uses appear to be either literal or figurative descriptions of sheep grazing. The verb is used twice in reference to sheep “grazing” in a pasture (Song 1:7, 8). The participle is used once to designate “shepherds” (Song 1:8), once in reference to two fawns which “which graze among the lilies” as a figurative description of her breasts (Song 4:5), and twice as a figurative description of Solomon as “the one who grazes among the lilies” which is probably also a comparison of Solomon to a grazing sheep (Song 2:16; 6:3). Therefore, it is likely that the usage of the term לִרְעוֹת (“to graze”) in Song 6:2 is also a figurative comparison of Solomon to a sheep grazing among garden flowers. Thus, there are two options: (1) nuance the term לִרְעוֹת as “to browse” (NAB, NIV) and take this as a literal action of Solomon walking through a real garden or (2) nuance the term לִרְעוֹת as “to graze” (NLT) and take this as a figure in which Solomon is pictured as a gazelle grazing on the flowers in a garden. (NET Note Song 6)

NET Note on interpretation of lilies - The term שׁוֹשַׁנָּה (shoshannah, “lily”) or שׁוֹשַׁנִים (shoshanim, “lilies”) appears eight times in the Song (Song 2:1, 2, 16; 4:5; 5:13; 6:2, 3; 7:2). Of these five are unequivocally used figuratively as descriptions of a woman or women (Song 2:1, 2), the color and softness of her breasts (Song 4:5), the attractiveness of his lips (Song 5:13), and her waist (Song 7:2). The closest parallel to Song 6:2 is the description “the one who grazes among the lilies” (Song 2:16; 6:3) which is a figurative expression comparing his romancing of his Beloved with a sheep feeding on lilies. However, this still leaves a question as to what the lilies represent in Song 2:16; 6:2, 3. The phrase “to gather lilies” itself appears only here in the Song. However, the synonymous phrase “to gather myrrh and balsam spice” is used in Song 5:1 as a figure (euphemistic Hypocatastasis) for sexual consummation by the man of the woman. There are three basic options as to how “lilies” may be taken: (1) The lilies are real flowers; he has gone to a real garden in which to repose and she is picking real lilies. (2) The term “lilies” is a figure for the young woman; he is romancing her just as he had in Song 2:16 and Song 5:1. He is kissing her mouth just as a sheep would graze among lilies. (3) The term “lilies” is a figure expression referring to other women, such as his harem (e.g., Song 6:8–9). Two factors support the “harem” interpretation: (1) Solomon had recently departed from her, and she was desperate to find him after she refused him. (2) His harem is mentioned explicitly in Song 6:8–9. However, several other factors support the Beloved interpretation: (1) She expresses her confidence in Song 6:3 that he is devoted to her. (2) The immediately following use of “lilies” in Song 6:3 appears to refer to her, as in Song 2:16 and Song 5:1. (3) He praises her in Song 6:4–7, suggesting that he was romancing her in Song 6:2–3. (4) Although his harem is mentioned in Song 6:8–10, all these women acknowledge that he is disinterested in them and only loves her. (5) Her exultation “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; the one who grazes among the lilies” (Song 6:3) is a statement of assurance in their relationship and this would seem quite strange if he was cavorting with his harem while she said this. (NET Note Song 6)

Shulammite (young woman)...
Song 6:3 "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine, he who pastures his flock among the lilies."

  • NET - I am my lover's and my lover is mine; he grazes among the lilies.
  • NLT - I am my lover's, and my lover is mine. He browses among the lilies. Young Man

The idea of her affirmation could be expressed "I belong to my beloved, and my lover belongs to me.” Or it could also be expressed, “I am devoted to my beloved, and my lover is devoted to me.”

I am my beloved's... - Her declaration is an inversion of Song 2:16. (cp Song 7:10) While this may be of no significance, the NET Note proposes that "it might signal a shift in her view of their relationship: Originally, she focused on her possession of him, now she focused on his possession of her." (NET Note Song 6)

Guzik adds that "In Song 2:16 the maiden said: My beloved is mine, and I am his. Here she says, I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine. Some people note that in the first the emphasis is on what belongs to her; in the second the emphasis is on whom she belongs to. Perhaps she found it was a more wonderful thing for her to belong to him than for her to “have” him." (Song of Solomon 6 Commentary)

While it is not clear what transpired between Song 6:2 and Song 6:3, it is clear that (1) she found her rejected husband and (2) they were reconciled. So between verses 2 and 3 they worked out their differences. She repeats what she had said some time in the past (possibly years earlier) in Song 2:16 "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine."

Glickman - “The ability of a couple to succeed in their marriage is equal to the ability of that couple to forgive and accept forgiveness.… When this willingness on the part of both becomes a habit, then the bubble of romance that began their relationship will become a diamond that will last forever.” Solomon's Song of Love - Let a Song of Songs Inspire Your Own Romantic Story).

Henry Morris on my beloved is mine - The bride quickly found her husband, and testifies concerning their union in Song of Solomon 6:2,3. Then Solomon again speaks about her own beauties in Song of Solomon 6:4-7:9. (Defender's Study Bible Note)

My beloved is mine - In the preceding section her beloved had gone away from her door after being rejected which resulted in her becoming "lovesick". She was surely a bit insecure in their relationship, but here her words voice a renewed sense of security in their relationship. She does not say "my beloved might be mine" but that he "is mine."

POSB - What a beautiful picture Scripture paints for us in verse three! No longer is the Shulamite estranged from her beloved. No longer is she fearful of the consequences of rejecting him. No longer is she plagued by guilt and shame because of what she had done. She had reconciled with her husband and was again secure in their love. Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible- Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon)

Allen on he who pastures his flock - With these words the bride comes to terms with the reality that, as much as she and the king are in love, he still has other responsibilities and so does she. His work as king makes him the shepherd of his people, yet his love for her does not necessarily diminish because of his devotion to his work.

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The Beauty of Belonging - The words of King Solomon’s bride, “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine” (Song 6:3), beautifully portray the security of a husband and wife who know they belong to each other. In a good marriage, this sense of belonging extends to the whole family. Parents speak of their children with love and pride. The children speak affectionately of their mother, their father, their brother, their sister.

This sense of belonging is available to all who acknowledge God as their Father. But many people don’t recognize God as their Maker and Owner. They see themselves as orphans in a mindless universe, accidents of nature who have no purpose, meaning, or hope. Believers, however, can rejoice with the psalmist, “We are His people and the sheep of His pasture” (100:3).

I still love the words I memorized when I was a boy. Question: “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” Answer: “That I, with body and soul both in life and in death, belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.”

We are His forever! We are His and He belongs to us! How appropriate to say, “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing” (Ps. 100:1-2). -- Herbert VanderLugt

Thank You, God, that You're our Father,
Shepherd, Guardian, Guide, and Stay;
How we praise You for the blessings
You bestow on us each day! —Sper

Belonging to God brings boundless blessings.

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Song of Solomon 6:1-3 - TODAY IN THE WORD - Dr. Henry Brandt has written that mature love “enjoys being together more than being with anyone else, although others are not excluded from their lives. They discover that each can even have a good time doing something together which neither would enjoy doing alone.” What Brandt is really saying, in essence, is that someone who is in love enjoys showing interest in what interests the one he or she loves.

Although the groom has departed as a result of her delay, the bride is able to find him because she knows his interests. He is “browsing among the lilies.” The question in verse 1 is asked by the daughters of Jerusalem. They serve a function in this poem similar to the chorus in a Greek drama. Their statements move the story along and prompt revealing statements from the main characters.

Some Bible scholars interpret the bride’s statement symbolically. The image of the garden was used earlier to refer to the bride herself. It is also possible to take the bride’s words

literally. After finding his bride unwilling to receive him, Solomon has gone down to his favorite garden. Knowing what he loves is the key to finding him. Showing an interest in what interests him provides a kind of common ground that will enable them to re-establish intimacy with one another.

Three important facts lay the groundwork for this couple’s restored relationship. First, she knows her husband well enough to know where to look. Solo-mon, in turn, knew his bride well enough not to try to force intimacy until she was ready. Second, both continue to be committed to the relationship. Third, as soon as both are ready, they take time together to restore their relationship.

This principle is true in the marriage relationship. One way to keep the romance alive is often to know what interests the one you love.

Think of someone you love. How quickly can you come up with a “top ten” list of the things that interest that person? If ten things seem like too many, try making a list of the top three or four. You might also want to rank them in order of importance.

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Today in the Word (Song 6:3) - In the 1940s, psychologist Abraham Maslow developed an explanation of the basic needs of the human life. It is depicted as a pyramid, with the most basic needs like food, air, and shelter at the base. The third level of the scale, just above biological and safety needs, is “Belongingness and Love.” Maslow recognized that humans have a deep desire to belong.

The woman and man in this love poem express a strong sense of love and belonging to one another. Our passage today is framed as a question and an answer. Notice the beginning question, posed by the woman’s friends in verse 1: “Where has your beloved gone?” The answer, is given in verse 2, “My beloved has gone down to his garden.” Friends and the people around us can influence the direction of our heart. Job’s friends cast doubt upon his relationship with God and tried to analyze the reasons for his suffering without showing compassion for his plight or demonstrating much knowledge of God’s character. Here the woman’s friends ask about the whereabouts of her beloved, but then offer to help her find him.

The woman’s answer reflects her complete sense of faith in the object of her affection. Our verse for today expresses a sense of belonging that is possible only in a committed relationship: “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (v. 3). They belong to one another with full faith and trust.

Historically, commentators have drawn comparisons between the love between these two people and God’s love for His people. In a very real sense, we gain a sense of belonging as children of God. We know that He is ours and we are His. We can rest in that assurance. We belong as beloved children of the King.

Apply the Word - Do you understand that you belong to God? In a world that seeks acceptance and love, we have a message to offer. God loves us deeply and desires that we find acceptance in His love. If you have not received the love of God through trusting in His Son Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin, do so today to be in relationship with the God who loves you.

Solomon (young man)...
Song 6:4 "You are as beautiful as Tirzah (note), my darling, as lovely as Jerusalem (picture), as awesome as an army with banners.
Song 6:5 "Turn (imperative = command) your eyes away from me, for they have confused ("captivate" HCSB, conveys sense of excited) me; Your hair is like a flock of goats that have descended from Gilead (note).
Song 6:6 "Your teeth are like a flock of ewes Which have come up from their washing, All of which bear twins, And not one among them has lost her young.
Song 6:7 "Your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate behind your veil.

Solomon (young man)...
Song 6:4 "You are as beautiful as Tirzah (note), my darling, as lovely as Jerusalem (picture), as awesome as an army with banners.

  • NET - My darling, you are as beautiful as Tirzah, as lovely as Jerusalem, as awe-inspiring as bannered armies!
  • NLT - You are beautiful, my darling, like the lovely city of Tirzah. Yes, as beautiful as Jerusalem, as majestic as an army with billowing banners.

SOLOMON PRAISES
HER BEAUTY

Song 6:4-7

Daniel Akin - This woman has done her part to reconcile with her husband after a marital spat one night. I would say she went the extra mile and then some. Now it is the man’s turn to respond and do his part. He does not let his wife down. As a man of God whose poetic description in 5:10-16 points us to the vision of Christ in Revelation 1:13-16(!), he wants to love his wife well. He wants to provide for her and care for her as our Lord does His bride (Eph 5:29).Solomon knows the way to her heart is through her ears, and so once more he speaks to her with words of love and affection (cf. Song 4:1-7). He, too, is growing in knowledge and understanding of his lady. (Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs -Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary)

Guzik - There is not a hint of bitterness or unforgiveness on the part of the beloved. There had been a disruption of their relationship (shown in Song of Solomon 5:2–8) that was largely her fault. Yet the offended party in this relationship was quick to forgive and restore relationship. (Ibid)

As awesome as an army with banners (Song 6:4, 10) - This phrase "brackets" this section in which Solomon expresses his awe at her beauty = it opens and closes with this inclusio (see note)

You are as beautiful (Hebrew = yapheh; Lxx = kalos = intrinsically good, inherently good in quality but with the idea of good which is also profitable) - Used by the women (Song 6:1) and Solomon (song 1:15, 4:1) How often do you (sincerely) tell your wife that she is beautiful in your eyes?

Darling (7474)(ra'yah) refers to a female companion. Used only in Song where it is found 9x - Song 1:9, 15; 2:2, 10, 13; 4:1, 7; 5:2; 6:4. Lxx translates with plesion = one near by (neighbor).

Song 6:4-10 This section consists of praise designed to reconcile. Although on the wedding night one glance of Shulammite's eyes aroused Solomon (Song 4:9), here Solomon asked that she turn her eyes from him because they captivated (lit "aroused") him. He did not want to express his love physically until they reunited emotionally, which the praise was designed to achieve. He avoided the most erotic of lovemaking praise. He emphasized instead that Shulammite was God's gift for whom his love was unchanged from the wedding night. His comparison of her to the beauty of Israel (Song 6:4,10) implies she was as wonderful a gift to him as the land was to God's people (Song 4:11). Solomon's comparison of Shulammite to Tirzah and Jerusalem (Song 6:4), Israel's most prominent cities in the south and the north, appears to be in chiastic balance with the description of her as beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun, since both lyrics end with the phrase: As awesome as an army with banners. "An army with banners" may also be translated "bannered hosts" (i.e., "of heaven," which would be "stars," or "of armies," depending on the context). So Solomon compared Shulammite to the cities and military of Israel, which were like the moon, the sun, and the stars—perhaps recalling the imagery of Israel as the sun, moon, and stars in Joseph's dream (Ge 37:9). (Holman Christian Study Bible)

NET Note on Solomon's praise - His praise includes his own personal statements (6:4–9a) as well as his report of the praise given to her by the maidens, queens, and concubines (6:9b–10). His praise indicates that he had forgiven any ingratitude on her part. (NET Note Song 6)

Tirzah (08656 - תִּרְצָה) (tirtsah) is derived from ratsah which means to be pleased. In light of this, it is possible Solomon could have been using a play on words, expressing in his use of Tirzah to his wife that he was well-pleased with her. See dictionary articles on Tirzah

Tirzah - This city six miles northeast of Shechem in central Palestine is in a setting of great natural beauty. It was the capital of the breakaway northern kingdom for approximately fifty years following Solomon’s death. It continued to be a place of political intrigue until it was destroyed in the seventh century b.c. (1Ki 14:17; 15:21; 16:8–18; 2Ki 15:14–16). The positive reference to Tirzah here, particularly in parallel with Jerusalem, supports the traditional view that the Song originated in the time of Solomon, before hostility between the northern and southern tribes led to the division into two separate kingdoms. (Reformation Study Bible)

Carr on Tirzah - The site is one of great natural beauty with extensive gardens and groves encouraged by its abundant water supply (one of the best in Israel). The site also had great strategic importance until its destruction in the ninth century. The mention of Tirzah in this connection may give some indication of the date of the Song. It seems unlikely that a southern (Judean) king would use this site as a simile for beauty, especially since the first fifty years after the division of the Solomonic kingdom were marked by mutual hostility between the fragments of the united monarchy. A Solomonic date for this part of the Song is most likely.....The parallel between the two cities—one the capital, the other a northern ‘garden city’—is in keeping with the royal/rural elements in this unit. Ibid)

NET Note on Tirzah...Jerusalem - He compares her beauty to two of the most beautiful and important cities in the Israelite United Kingdom, namely, Jerusalem and Tirzah. The beauty of Jerusalem was legendary; it is twice called “the perfection of beauty” (Ps 50:2; Lam 2:15). Tirzah was beautiful as well – in fact, the name means “pleasure, beauty.” So beautiful was Tirzah that it would be chosen by Jeroboam as the original capital of the northern kingdom (1Ki 15:33; 16:8, 15, 23). (NET Note Song 6)

Jerusalem was the center of the Jewish world and the urban center of all affairs. Solomon was saying that his queen was beautiful and stately in her current role in the city. The Jews adored the beauty and grandeur of their beloved capital, Jerusalem. David had praised it in the Ps 48;2 "Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion (Jerusalem) in the far north, The city of the great King." and in Ps 87:3 "Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God. Selah."

Jerusalem was "The perfection of beauty, A joy to all the earth" (Lam 2:15).

POSB - The two settings, Tirzah and Jerusalem, and what they represent—the past and the present, the country and the city, the natural and the sophisticated—are a testimony that the Shulamite was still as beautiful as she was when she dwelled in the country and worked in the vineyard. Her beauty had not faded with the passing of years. Ibid)

As awesome as an army with banners - This would be very apropos coming from a king and one who had seen impressive armies. And so looking at his bride was like surveying an awesome army with banners waving in full array and glory. As stated below the word Solomon chooses (ayom) combines a mixture of awe and fear at the beauty of his bride.

Longman -The beauty of the woman is so overpowering that it arouses fear as well as joy.

Awesome (0366 - אָיֹם) (ayom) is an adjective which means terrible, dreadful, horrible, but in the context of describing the Shulamite's beauty it is best translated "awesome." Ayom is used twice in Song 6:5 and Song 6:10, both times by Solomon describing his wife. It is used in Habakkuk 1:7 where it is used of the Babylonian armies. The Lxx translates the phrase "awesome as an army with banners" as follows -- "terrible as armies set in array." The idea is the emotion of astonishment, amazement, wonder one has when one sees an army in orderly array and drawn up for battle. To a leader like Solomon this latter would be a "beautiful" sight (as long as it is his army!), and so he uses this picture to portray the beauty of his beloved. Lxx translates ayom here with the noun thambos which means astonishment or amazement at some unusual event. It is an emotion in which awe and fear are intermingled.

Army with banners (also in Song 6:10) (01713 - דָּגַל) (dagal) describes a flag, a standard or a banner and indicates the display of loyalty and commitment to the LORD for His victories (Ps 20:5 = only other OT use). In Song 6:4,10 dagal speaks of the strength and dazzling glory of an army arrayed in its orderly troops. Dagal is used in Song 5:10-note and is translated "outstanding!" So on one hand she calls him outstanding and here in essence he says the same thing about her!

Carr explains as awesome as an army with banners - The Hebrew text does not contain the word for ‘army’, but simply reads ‘as bannered’. The context suggests that it is the cities which are thus bedecked, and the introduction of ‘armies’ here is superfluous. In the light of the discussion of dgl (dagal), meaning ‘to look upon’ (cf. Song 2:4), this colon is rendered simply ‘splendid to look upon’. The expression is repeated in Song 6:10. Cf. Song 5:10-note. Ibid)

Solomon (young man)...
Song 6:5 "Turn (command) your eyes away from me, for (Why?) they have confused me; Your hair is like a flock of goats that have descended from Gilead (note).

  • NET - Turn your eyes away from me– they overwhelm me! Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead.
  • NLT - Turn your eyes away, for they overpower me. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead.

Compare this section with the young man's previous glowing description of his darling in Song 4:1-3-note.

Your eyes...have confused me (ESV = "overwhelm me", HCSB = "captivate me"; Pope = "drive me wild") - The NAS translation misses the sense Solomon is trying to convey. The Lxx translates the Hebrew verb (rahab - 07292) with the verb anapteroo which literally is used of a bird, to describe the raising of its feathers! Hence the figurative sense here seems to be to excite, to "set on the wing" (figuratively), to cause to be in a state of excitement, "to put in a state of expectation." And what was the causative agent? Her eyes! (Compare previous mentions of her eyes and their effect on Solomon = Song 4:1, 4:9) Solomon is bewitched as it were. He is under her spell so to speak!

Daniel Akin shares that "When I began dating Charlotte, some of my friends said I had been “caught in Charlotte’s web!” They were right. Like Solomon, I was captivated, overwhelmed by her beauty. And I still am! Her eyes, her mouth, her face, and yes the rest of her, ensnared me and I have never been able to escape. The fact is, I have not wanted to. Why? Because I am hers and she is mine.". (Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs -Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary)

Your hair like a flock of goats...Your teeth are like a flock of ewes (Song 6:6)...temples are like a slice of a pomegranate (Song 6:7) - Some time in the past (probably months to years) Solomon had offered the same praise he used to describe her on their wedding night (Song 4:1-3 = "your hair is like a flock of goats" = Song 4:1-note; "your teeth are like a flock of newly shorn ewes" = Song 4:2-note; "your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate behind your veil" = Song 4:3). Clearly in Solomon's eyes his wife was still as beautiful to as she was on the day they wed. His feelings for her had not changed. Could you (I) make a similar declaration of your love to your wife if you have been married a few years?

Solomon (young man)...
Song 6:6 "Your teeth are like a flock of ewes which have come up from their washing, all of which bear twins, and not one among them has lost her young.

  • NET - Your teeth are like a flock of sheep coming up from the washing; each has its twin; not one of them is missing.
  • NLT - Your teeth are as white as sheep that are freshly washed. Your smile is flawless, each tooth matched with its twin.

As in Song 4:2-note Solomon praises her for she still has all of her teeth and they are still radiant. Dental hygiene must have been an issue in the ancient world!

Solomon (young man)...
Song 6:7 "Your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate behind your veil.

  • NET - Like a slice of pomegranate is your forehead behind your veil.
  • NLT - Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates behind your veil.

As beautiful as Tirzah...as lovely as Jerusalem, as awesome as an army with banners...hair is like a flock of goats...teeth are like a flock of ewes...temples are like a slice of a pomegranate -The Song of Solomon makes liberal use of terms of comparison // similes // metaphors. A simile is easily identified by a preceding "as" or "like." As is used in 9v - Song 5:6, 8, 11, 15; 6:4, 10, 13; 8:6, 10. Like is used 47x in 36v - Song 1:3, 5, 7, 9, 15; 2:2, 3, 9, 17; 3:6; 4:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11; 5:11, 12, 13, 15; 6:5, 6, 7, 10; 7:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9; 8:1, 6, 10, 14. Ask the Spirit, your Teacher to guide you in the correct interpretation of these terms of comparison and this should greatly assist your understanding of this great love letter.

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TODAY IN THE WORD - An old cliché notes that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Although this may be true, not many people think of themselves as attractive. Such feelings are often the result of unrealistic expectations. Few of us, either men or women, compare with the air-brushed images we see on television programs and magazine covers. Strange as it may seem, even many professional models are unhappy with their personal appearance. They recognize that the image the public sees is not realistic. It is the result of many hours of preparation, occasional tricks of photography, and sometimes even cosmetic surgery.

In today’s reading the groom describes the bride as “beautiful.” He focuses on the beauty of her face. He praises the beauty of her eyes, hair, and smile. The fact that he compares the bride to an army in battle array may seem strange. It is a fitting image when placed on the lips of a king. In effect, it is the groom’s way of saying that his bride is irresistible. He also compares the bride to the two great cities. Tirzah, the first to be mentioned, served as the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel for a time. Jerusalem was the capital of Judah. The mention of these two cities has led some scholars to conclude that this song must have been composed after the kingdom divided in 931 b.c. and that the author uses Solomon as the example of the loving groom. The groom is so overwhelmed by the bride that he cannot look into her eyes. This description of the bride is striking in view of her perception of herself. She did not initially see herself as lovely (Song 1:6-note). In a sense, the love of her husband has transformed her. How does Christ view the church? One way to answer this question is to study the descriptive terms Paul used in his letters to the church in the New Testament.

Solomon (young man)...
Song 6:8 "There are sixty queens and eighty concubines, and maidens without number;
Song 6:9 But my dove, my perfect one, is unique: She is her mother's only daughter; She is the pure child of the one who bore her. The maidens saw her and called her blessed, The queens and the concubines also, and they praised her, saying,
Song 6:10 'Who is this that grows like the dawn, as beautiful as the full moon, As pure as the sun, As awesome as an army with banners?'

Solomon (young man)...
Song 6:8 "There are sixty queens and eighty concubines, and maidens without (beyond) number;

  • NET - There may be sixty queens, and eighty concubines, and young women without number.
  • NLT - Even among sixty queens and eighty concubines and countless young women,

Song 6:8 - These 140 women are one of the main clues that Song of Solomon was written fairly early in his reign, before the plethora of pagan women turned his heart away from the LORD (Men and Women in light of the dangers of the "social network" and the lurid pictures on the Internet in 2016 please pause and ponder Paul's plea in 1Cor 10:6, 11, 1Cor 6:18-20). In 1Kings 11:3 we read that Solomon "he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away." (1000 women!) One wonders what happened to the Shulamite? This sad saga of sliding illustrates the danger to all of us, no matter how much we love our spouses today! We must continue to cultivate the flowers of love and affection (and passion) that bloomed when we first met, lest the flowers begin to fade and eventually fall to the ground. If it happened to the wisest man who ever live, beloved, it can happen to us! "Therefore (term of conclusion) be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil." (Eph 5:15-16)

Criswell on Song 6:8 - No one in the royal court can compare to the Shulamite. Another descriptive account of Solomon's harem (cf. 1Ki 11:3) gives a far larger number (700 wives and 300 concubines). This difference in numbering is easily explained by dating the Song early in Solomon's reign. The harem may have been an inheritance from his father David. Since the text does not claim the king's possession of the queens and concubines, they could be foreign royalty in the marriage procession. (Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas Nelson)

Reformation Study Bible - The two references to queens and concubines indicate that Song 6:8 and Song 6:9 belong together. In her beloved’s eyes the girl is more beautiful than all the women of Solomon’s harem (Song 8:11, 12). (Reformation Study Bible)

RSB note on concubine - A concubine was not an illicit or casual partner, but a wife of secondary status (Ge 25:6; 36:12; Jdg. 20:4). (See note below).

What is a concubine- Why did God allow men to have concubines in the Bible?

Maidens (05959)('almah) has several meanings depending on the context - young woman of marriageable age (Ge 24:43), maiden (Pr 30:19), girl (Ex 2:8), virgin. While some argue that 'almah is by no means an unambiguous Hebrew term for a virgin, it is notable that a passage such as Genesis 24:43 describes not only a young woman of marriageable age but one who undoubtedly is a virgin. Thus the use of 'almah by no means excludes the possibility that the intended meaning in Isaiah 7:14 is a literal virgin. 'Almah is never employed of a married woman.

NET Note on Maidens - The term עַלְמָה (’almah, “young woman”) refers to a young woman who is of marriageable age or a newly married young woman, usually before the birth of her first child (HALOT 835-36 s.v. עַלְמָה; BDB 761 s.v. עַלְמָה) (e.g., Ge 24:43; Ex 2:8; Ps 68:26; Pr 30:19; Song 1:3; 6:8; Isa 7:14). The only other use of the term “young women” (עֲלָמוֹת) in the Song refers to the young women of Solomon’s harem (Song 6:8). The root עלם denotes the basic idea of “youthful, strong, passionate” (HALOT 835 s.v. III). While the term עַלְמָה may be used in reference to a young woman who is a virgin, the term itself does not explicitly denote “virgin.” The Hebrew term which explicitly denotes “virgin” is בְּתוּלָה (bétulah = Strong's 01330 - בְּתוּלָה - maidens, virgin, virgins) which refers to a mature young woman without any sexual experience with men (e.g., Ge 24:16; Ex 22:15–16; Lev 21:3; Deut 22:23, 28; 32:25; Jdg 12:12; 19:24; 2Sa 13:2, 18; 1Kgs 1:2; 2Chr 36:17; Esther 2:2–3, 17, 19; Job 31:1; Ps 45:15; 78:63; 148:12; Isa 23:4; 62:5; Jer 2:32; 31:3; 51:22; Lam 1:4, 18; 2:10, 21; 5:11; Ezek 9:6; Joel 1:8; Amos 9:13; Zech 9:17). The related noun בְּתוּלִים (bétulim) means “state of virginity” (Lev 21:13; Jdg 11:37–38; Ezek 23:3, 8; Sir 42:10) and “evidence of virginity” (Dt 22:14–15, 17, 20) (NET Note Song 6)

David H Engelhart on concubines (pilegesh 06370 - פִּלֶגֶשׁ) - Female slave who functioned as a secondary wife and surrogate mother. The Hebrew word for concubine (pilegesh - פִּלֶגֶשׁ) is a non-Semitic loanword borrowed to refer to a phenomenon not indigenous to Israel. Babylonian and Assyrian law codes regulate primary and secondary marriages more specifically than do the Old Testament laws. Ex 21:7-10 has been appealed to as regulative of some aspects of concubinage, but that only implicitly.

Concubines are mentioned primarily in early Israelite history—during patriarchal times, the period of the judges, and the early monarchy although some later kings also had concubines. While concubines did not have the same status as wives, they were not to be mistreated (Ex 21:7-10 ) nor could they be violated by other males (Ge 35:22 ) with impunity (Ge 49:3-4 ). They seem to have received higher status if they bore sons, or at least they are remembered by name (Ge 21:10; 22:24; 30:3; 36:12 ).

The sons of some concubines were treated as co-heirs with the sons of wives. Was this facilitated by the wife accepting and naming the child as her own, or was the father's act of "adopting" the son required? Paucity of information prevents us from answering this definitively. In at least one case the inheritance potential of the concubine's son seems to present a threat to the primary wife and her son (Ge 21:10 ). Abraham eventually gives the full inheritance to Isaac, and only gives gifts to his concubines' sons (Ge 25:6 ).

The story of Judges 19-20 suggests that the terminology used of relationships in a regular marriage are also used in a concubinage relationship. The man is called the concubine's "husband" (Jdg 19:3; 20:4) and the woman's father is referred to as the man's "father-in-law" (Jdg 19:9). Some evidence suggests that royal wives (concubines?) were inherited by succeeding kings (1Sa 12:8 ). Thus approaching the royal concubines (1Sa 16:21-22 ) or even requesting the king's female attendant for a wife (1Ki 2:13-22 ) can be understood as the act of one attempting to take the throne away from its designated occupant (1Ki 2:22 ).

The practice of taking concubines as "wife" was used to provide a male heir for a barren wife (cf. Ge 16,35 , 36 ). In addition, the practice provided a social safety net for poor families who could sell their daughters in dire times (Ex 21:7-10; Jdg 19:1 ). It seems plausible to suggest that the practice of taking concubines was perpetuated to meet the sexual desires of the males and/or to cement political alliances between nations. Nevertheless, the paucity of sufficient internal data requires dependence on comparative ancient Near Eastern evidence for these conclusions. Multiplying children through concubines would not normally complicate the inheritance lines, but would increase the available family workforce and the family wealth. (Concubine - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

Solomon (young man)...
Song 6:9 But my dove, my perfect one, is unique: She is her mother's only daughter; She is the pure child of the one who bore her. The maidens saw her and called her blessed, The queens and the concubines also, and they praised her, saying,

  • NET - But she is unique! My dove, my perfect one! She is the special daughter of her mother, she is the favorite of the one who bore her. The maidens saw her and complimented her; the queens and concubines praised her:
  • NLT - I would still choose my dove, my perfect one-- the favorite of her mother, dearly loved by the one who bore her. The young women see her and praise her; even queens and royal concubines sing her praises
  • Young's Literal - One is my dove, my perfect one, One she is of her mother, The choice one she is of her that bare her, Daughters saw, and pronounce her happy, Queens and concubines, and they praise her.

HE SAYS SHE IS
"ONE OF A KIND"

Solomon heaps praises on his bride. Gledhill well says, “Happy is the girl who receives so much extravagant praise." "No doubt she is a happy girl. Her husband has seen to it.". (Akin)

Glickman - He did not go off in a dream world, feel sorry for himself, and wish he had married someone else. Such an attitude, in fact, would only have compounded the problem. Quite the opposite, he very creatively and compassionately assured her of his forgiveness. She was still the girl he married, and he was thankful for her.... One of the best ways to praise someone is to mention the nice things other people have said about that person. Ibid).

My perfect one - speaking of her virtuous character.

My dove, my perfect one - He says the same thing in Song 5:2.

Unique means being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else. The Hebrew literally is better "‘Unique is she, my dove, my undefiled; unique is she to her mother."

Unique (0259)(echad) is an adjective meaning one, first, once, the same. It may mean simply one of various things: e.g., place (Ge. 1:9); soul, or person (Lev. 4:27); a person from among many (Gen. 3:22; 42:19; 1 Sam. 26:15). It has the idea of unity or integrity. The Lxx translates with the adjective mia meaning one or as a marker of that which is first.

NET Note on unique - The term אַחַת (’akhat) is used here as an adjective of quality: “unique, singular, the only one” (DCH 1:180 s.v. אֶחָד 1b). The masculine form is used elsewhere to describe Yahweh as the “only” or “unique” God of Israel who demands exclusive love and loyalty (Deut 6:4; Zech 14:9). Although Solomon possessed a large harem, she was the only woman for him. (NET Note Song 6)

Others share this high opinion of the young woman - her mother (her mother's only daughter...the pure child of the one who bore her) and others (the maidens saw her and called her blessed).

Pure child - The Hebrew word for pure is bar which means clean or innocent. The Lxx however translates with the adjective eklektos which means chosen, elect, select, considered best in the course of a selection. In the NT this word describes the ones who have been chosen for one's self, selected out of a larger number.

NET Note on pure - The term בָּרָה (barah) is sometimes nuanced “pure” (NASB) because the root ברר I denotes “to purify, purge out” (BDB 140-41 s.v. בָּרַר). However, the root בָּרַר also denotes “to choose, select” (BDB 141 s.v. 2) (Neh 5:18; 1 Chr 7:40; 9:22; 16:41). Most translations adopt the second root, e.g., “the choice one” (KJV), “the favorite” (NIV), “favorite” (JB). This is supported by the exegetical tradition of LXX, which translates בָּרָה as ἐκλεκτή (eklektē, “the chosen one”). (NET Note Song 6)

Carr on she is her mother's only daughter - These descriptions do not mean that the beloved was an only child, but simply that she was the favourite of the mother. Ibid)

NET Note on called her blessed (NET = "complimented her"; NLT = praised her") - Heb “to call blessed.” The verb אָשַׁר (’ashar) is used of people whom others consider fortunate because they have prospered or are to be commended (Ge 30:13; Ps 72:17; Mal 3:12, 15). Likewise, the verb הָלַל (halal, “to praise”) is used elsewhere of people who are held in high esteem by others either due to a commendable moral quality (Pr 31:28, 31) or due to one’s physical beauty (Ge 12:15; 2Sa 14:25). The actual content of their praise of her appears in Song 6:10 in which they compare her beauty to that of the dawn, moon, sun, and stars. (NET Note Song 6)

But my dove (cp Song 1:15, 4:2, 5:2) - Observe the but (a term of contrast) - What is being contrasted? Clearly Solomon has a special place in his heart for the Shulammite when compared to the women in Song 6:8. Notice the verbiage - dove...perfect...unique...pure...blessed! Oh, would it only have been that Solomon had clung to his wife (cf Ge 2:24 where cleave = dabaq = "stick like glue!") and frequently recalled these words of first love! (Apply this to yourself and your marriage, dearly beloved -- in your marriage [pull out some of those letters {in days when "dead tree" mail was still in vogue} and ponder the praises your beloved heaped on you, likely mirroring similar words from you] and also apply this truth to your spiritual {albeit very real and very eternal} marriage to Christ your Bridegroom Who wrote to the church at Ephesus - "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this: 2 ‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4 ‘But I have this against you, that you have left {NOT "LOST"} your first love. 5 ‘Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place–unless you repent. {All verbs in red = commands} Rev 2:1-5-note). See related discussion of Backsliding or Drifting (See also Backsliding Quotations)

Queens and concubines - Same Hebrew words as Song 6:8 but this time without any "quantization." So even if these were women in Solomon's "harem," they clearly recognize the Shulammite's unique place in the king's heart.

Praise (verb) (01984)(halal) has the root meaning of "giving off of light by celestial bodies." Halal means to shine, to flash, to radiate, have bright or clear light be visible from a source (as in Job 29:3; 31:26; 41:18; Isa 13:10). To praise is the meaning of the intensive form of the halal, which in its simple active form means to boast (Related to God = "My soul shall make its boast in the LORD" Ps 34:2, Boasting related to men = 1Ki 20:11). Halal connotes genuine appreciation for the great actions or the character of its object.

POSB on praise - Praised (halal) is formed from the word that is the same in every language: hallelujah. Halal comes from a root that means to be clear, to shine, to boast, to give glory to, and to exalt. It was clear to all the other queens and concubines that the Shulamite was Solomon’s true love, and they exalted her and glorified her as such. Ibid)

Solomon (young man)...
Song 6:10 'Who is this that grows like the dawn, as beautiful as the full moon, As pure as the sun, as awesome as an army with banners?'

  • NET - "Who is this who appears like the dawn? Beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun, awe-inspiring as the stars in procession?"
  • NLT - "Who is this, arising like the dawn, as fair as the moon, as bright as the sun, as majestic as an army with billowing banners?"
  • KJV - Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?
  • ESV "Who is this who looks down like the dawn, beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun, awesome as an army with banners?"

Grows in NAS is difficult to understand - appears, arising, or looks down are better translations.

Again observe Solomon continues his sincere, loving description of his beloved - like the dawn...beautiful...pure...awesome! It is as if he cannot find enough words to describe his beloved. When was the last time you spoke words like this to your wife? Are you as convicted as I am?

Solomon extols the young woman...

(1) she “shines like the dawn,”

(2) she is “as beautiful as the moon,”

(3) she is “bright as the sun,”

(4) she is “awe-inspiring as an army with banners”

Guzik - his high and poetic praise assured the maiden that her relationship with her beloved was truly reconciled. There was no lingering bitterness or withheld forgiveness. (Ibid)

Daniel Akin - We might say she is celestial in her beauty and powerful in her presence. I love Duane Garrett’s take on this verse, “In a Cinderella motif, the woman who was very ordinary is now extraordinary in her beauty and breathtaking to behold” (Proverbs, 418). Douglas O’Donnell simply adds, “She is out of this world” (Song, 102). . (Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs -Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary)

Glickman adds that Solomon "did not fall prey to the destructiveness of wounded pride. He did not act in petty revenge; he did not determine to ‘get back’ at his wife. He thought only of assuring her of his forgiveness.” Ibid).

Daniel Estes - Solomon showed us a better way. He did not make Shulamith pay for her insensitivity. He worked on the problem, not on the person. He wanted reconciliation, not retaliation. (Life and love- Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon)

NET Note - This rhetorical question emphasizes her position among women (e.g., Mic 2:7; Joel 2:1).

NET Note on grows like the dawn - Alternately, “rises” or “looks forth.” Delitzsch renders הַנִּשְׁקָפָה (hannishqafah) as “who rises,” while NIV opts for “who appears.” The verb means “to look down upon [something] from a height” and is derived from the related noun “ceiling, roof, sky” (BDB 1054 s.v. שָׁקַף; HALOT 1645 s.v. שׁקף). The verb is used of looking down over a plain or valley from the vantage point of a mountain-top (Nu 21:20; 23:28; 1Sa 13:18); of God looking down from heaven (Ps 14:2); or of a person looking down below out of an upper window (Jdg 5:28; 2Sa 6:16; Pr 7:6). M. H. Pope (The Song of Songs [AB], 571-72) suggests that this verb implies the idea of her superiority over the other women, that is, she occupies a “higher” position over them due to his choice of her. But another interpretation is possible: The verb creates personification (i.e., the dawn is attributed with the human action of looking). Just as the dawn is the focus of attention during the morning hours and looks down upon the earth, so too she is the focus of his attention and is in the privileged position over all the other women. (NET Note Song 6)

NET Note on dawn...moon...sun...stars - The common point in these four comparisons is that all are luminaries. In all four cases, each respective luminary is the focus or center of attention at the hour at hand because it dwarfs its celestial surroundings in majesty and in sheer brilliance. All other celestial objects pale into insignificance in their presence. This would be an appropriate description of her because she alone was the center and focus of his attention. All the other women paled into the background when she was present. Her beauty captured the attention of all that saw her, especially Solomon. (NET Note Song 6)

NET Note on moon - The term לְבָנָה (lévanah) literally means “the white one” (BDB 526 s.v. לְבָנָה) and is always used in reference to the moon. It is only used elsewhere in the OT in parallelism with the term used to designate the sun (Isa 24:23; 30:26), which likewise is not the ordinary term, but literally means “the hot one,” emphasizing the heat of the sun (Job 30:28; Ps 19:6). Both of these terms, “the white one” and “the hot one,” are metonymies of adjunct in which an attribute (i.e., color and heat) are substituted for the subject itself. The white moon in contrast to the dark night sky captures one’s attention, just as the red-hot sun in the afternoon sky is the center of attention during the day. The use of the figurative comparisons of her beauty to that of the dawn, sun, moon, and stars is strikingly similar to the Hebrews’ figurative comparison of Simon the high priest coming out of the sanctuary to the morning star, moon, sun, and rainbow: “How glorious he was when the people gathered round him as he came out of the inner sanctuary! Like the morning star among the clouds, like the moon when it is full; like the sun shining upon the temple of the Most High, and like the rainbow gleaming in glorious clouds” (See G. Gerleman, Ruth, Das Hohelied [BKAT], 171). (NET Note Song 6)

Awesome - “awe-inspiring," “unnervingly beautiful.”

NET Note on an army with banners (all one word in Hebrew - see notes on Song 6:4-note) - Heb “as bannered armies.” The term כַּנִּדְגָּלוֹת (kannidgalot, “as bannered armies”) is used figuratively (Hypocatastasis) in reference to stars which are often compared to the heavenly armies. This nuance is clear in the light of the parallelism with the dawn, moon, and sun. (NET Note Song 6)

As awesome as an army with banners - See comments on Song 6:4 above.

Seven Ways to Bless Your Wife

A husband can be a blessing to his wife by loving her as Christ loved the church and giving her specific gifts of love:

1. Be a spiritual leader. Be a man of courage, conviction, commitment, compassion, and character. Take the initiative in cultivating a spiritual environment for the family. Become a capable and competent student of God’s Word and live out before all a life founded on the Word of God. Lead your wife in becoming a woman of God, and take the lead in training the children in the things of the Lord (Ps 1; Eph 5:23-27).

2. Give her personal affirmation and appreciation. Praise her for personal attributes and qualities. Praise her virtues as a wife, mother, and homemaker. Openly commend her, in the presence of others, as a marvelous mate, friend, and companion. Help her feel that, to you, no one is more important in this world (Prov 31:28-29; Song 4:1-7; 6:4-9; 7:1-9).

3. Show personal affection (romance). Shower her with timely and generous displays of affection. Tell her how much you care for her with a steady flow of words, cards, flowers, gifts, and common courtesies. Remember, affection is the environment in which sexual union is enjoyed more fully and a wonderful marriage is developed (Song 6:10,13; Eph 5:28-29,33).

4. Initiate intimate conversation. Talk with her at the feeling level (heart to heart). Listen to her thoughts (i.e., her heart) about the events of her day with sensitivity, interest, and concern. Conversations with her convey a desire to understand her not to change her (Song 2:8-14; 8:13-14; 1 Pet 3:7).

5. Always be honest and open. Look into her eyes and, in love, always tell the truth (Eph 4:15). Explain your plans and actions clearly and completely because you are responsible for her. Lead her to trust you and feel secure (Prov 15:22-23).

6. Provide home support and stability. Take hold of the responsibility to house, feed, and clothe the family. Provide and protect, and do not feel sorry for yourself when things get tough. Look for concrete ways to improve home life. Raise the marriage and family to a safer and more fulfilling level. Remember, the husband/father is the security hub of the family (1 Tim 5:8).

7. Demonstrate family commitment. After the Lord Jesus, put your wife and family first. Commit time and energy to the spiritual, moral, and intellectual development of the children. For example, pray with them (especially at night by the bedside), read to them, engage in sports with them, and take them on other outings. Do not play the fool’s game of working long hours, trying to get ahead, while your children and spouse languish in neglect (Eph 6:4; Col 3:19-20). (Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs)

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TODAY IN THE WORD - During a trip to Algiers, the British statesman Lord Frederick North asked his host if he might be permitted to see one of the women of his harem. Instead of being offended by the request, the host took one look at Lord North and told the keeper of the harem, “He is so ugly, let him see them all!”

In today’s passage the groom compares his bride to the women of a harem. It was not unusual in Solomon’s day for kings to have harems of many wives and concubines. Political reasons motivated many multiple marriages.

Concubines, on the other hand, were granted a different status. They had more rights than an ordinary slave, but far fewer than a wife. Their function was primarily to bear children and care for the king’s palace (2 Sam. 15:16; 16:21).

According to Scripture, King David had multiple wives and several concubines (2 Sam. 19:5). Solomon had a total of seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines (1 Kings 11:3). The numbers of wives and concubines listed in our reading today are substantially lower. It may be that this was written early in Solomon’s reign, before he had acquired his enormous harem.

When compared to all other women, the bride stands out. Solomon describes her as “unique” (v. 9). The Hebrew text literally says that she is “one.” Solomon also calls her “my perfect one.” The Hebrew term conveys something pure and chosen. She is like a beautiful gem that is both rare and flawless. Today we might paraphrase the comparison by saying that she is “one in a million.”

One secret to nurturing a love relationship is to recognize the uniqueness of the other person. This comes naturally during the beginning of a relationship. In time these will seem commonplace. If the relationship is to grow into a mature love, we will need to learn to look more deeply to discover what makes that person “one in a million.”

Shulamite (young woman) - ??
Song 6:11 "I went down to the orchard of nut trees To see the blossoms of the valley, To see whether the vine had budded Or the pomegranates had bloomed.
Song 6:12 "Before I was aware, my soul set me Over the chariots of my noble people."

Daughters of Jerusalem...

Song 6:13 "Come back, come back, O Shulammite; Come back, come back, that we may gaze at you!"

Shulamite (young woman)

"Why should you gaze at the Shulammite, as at the dance of the two companies?

Shulamite (Young woman)...
Song 6:11 "I went down to the orchard of nut trees to see the blossoms of the valley, To see whether the vine had budded or the pomegranates had bloomed.

  • NET - I went down to the orchard of walnut trees, to look for the blossoms of the valley, to see if the vines had budded or if the pomegranates were in bloom.
  • NLT - I went down to the grove of walnut trees and out to the valley to see the new spring growth, to see whether the grapevines had budded or the pomegranates were in bloom.
  • ESV Before I was aware, my desire set me among the chariots of my kinsman, a prince.
  • NIV Before I realized it, my desire set me among the royal chariots of my people.

It is difficult to determine whether the speaker in 6:11–12 is the young man or the young woman. Carr favors the young woman whereas MacArthur favors the young man!

MacArthur warns that Song 6:11–13 "represents the most difficult portion to interpret in the entire song." (MacArthur Study Bible)

I went down - Assuming this is the young woman she is simply telling us she followed her lover to the garden.

Constable - Song 6:11–12 are probably the Shulammite’s words. She had gone down to Solomon’s garden (Song 6:2) but to see if his love for her was still in bloom more than to examine the natural foliage (Song 6:11). (Song of Solomon Commentary)

NET Note on blossoms of the valley - It is not clear whether the “valley” in Song 6:11 is a physical valley (Jezreel Valley?), a figurative description of their love relationship, or a double entendre. (NET Note Song 6)

Daniel Akin feels her description is actually "a double entendre is probably at work here. She is looking for new and fresh evidences of their love in the grove. She knows he loves her. After all, look at what he said in Song 6:4-9. Still, she wants to be certain the offense of Song 5:2-8 has been forgiven. She wants to see for herself. So she, who is a garden, goes to the garden. Has Eden been restored?". (Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs -Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary)

Hess in fact feels "The stroll around the garden is a stroll around the body of the lover. It is a description of the beauty of the lover’s body as well as suggesting the pleasures of love that await the speaker” (Song of Songs - Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms)

Guzik - She went to see and to enjoy the coming of spring. Springtime was associated (perhaps both literally and symbolically) with the presence and goodness of their love (Song 2:10–13). Their relationship was in springtime again. (Ibid)

Temper Longman adds "In these verses, the woman is speaking, and she is sharing an experience. She talks about going into the grove of walnut trees and examining the new spring growth. By this time in the Song, we are well aware of the meaning of such a setting. While the city is hostile to love, any type of garden or cultivated countryside setting is conducive to intimacy. The time period specified is spring, which is a time perennially associated with love. After all, the spring follows the winter. It is a time to remove clothes, not put them on. It is a time of new fertility, also suggestive of sexuality. Spring brings wonderful fragrances into play, particularly in the garden. Indeed, this poem describes the woman as going down to see the new buds and blossoms of particularly fragrant plants like the grape and the pomegranate. Grapes and pomegranates also are edible fruits that suggest another sense, that of taste. As we have seen throughout the Song, love is an emotion that expresses itself in physical union involving all the senses."

picture) - i.e., "grained apple" (pomum granatum), Heb. rimmon. Common in Egypt (Num. 20:5) and Palestine (13:23; Deut. 8:8). The Romans called it Punicum malum, i.e., Carthaginian apple, because they received it from Carthage. It belongs to the myrtle family of trees. The withering of the pomegranate tree is mentioned among the judgments of God (Joel 1:12). It is frequently mentioned in the Song of Solomon (Song 4:3, 13, etc). The skirt of the high priest's blue robe and ephod was adorned with the representation of pomegranates, alternating with golden bells (Ex. 28:33,34), as also were the "capitals upon the two pillars" (1Kings 7:20) which "stood before the house." (See all dictionary articles)

Glickman reasons that "Guilt had turned her eyes inward, but he brought them outward. She went down to the garden in self-conscious guilt in hope of renewal, and she was met with praise which turned her eyes from herself to him, and once to him, back to herself through eyes of forgiveness." Ibid).

I appreciate David Guzik pointing out how this book can be sorely misinterpreted if one takes the allegorical approach writing that "Watchman Nee gives an example of over-spiritualization here: “Nuts—with their hard shells which require careful cracking before the delicious and nourishing interiors can be extracted—may be likened to the Word of God, which yields its soul-satisfying meats only to those who diligently and with prayer seek to rightly divide the word of truth.” (Ibid)

Solomon (young man) or Shulamite (young woman)
Song 6:12 "Before I was aware, my soul set me over the chariots of my noble people."

  • NET - I was beside myself with joy! There please give me your myrrh, O daughter of my princely people. (This translation would seem to favor the young man speaking in contrast to the NLT translation below).
  • NLT - Before I realized it, I found myself in the royal chariot with my beloved.
  • RSV - Before I was aware, my fancy set me in a chariot beside my prince.
  • CJB Before I knew it, I found myself in a chariot, and with me was a prince.
  • NJB - Before I knew . . . my desire had hurled me onto the chariots of Amminadib!

The reader should realize even by comparing the NET and NLT translations that this is a difficult verse so not only do translations differ, so do the commentators! For example Carr states that "Commentators are unanimous that this verse is the most difficult in the Song and one of the most difficult in the Old Testament to make sense of."

NET Note - Most scholars agree that the Hebrew text of 6:12 is the most elusive in the entire Song. The syntax is enigmatic and the textual reading is uncertain. The difficulty of this verse has generated a plethora of different translations. (For more discussion see Song 6 Commentary)

This commentary will make no attempt to unravel this verse!

Daughters of Jerusalem...
Song 6:13 "Come back, come back, O Shulammite; Come back, come back, that we may gaze at you!"

  • NET - Turn, turn, O Perfect One! Turn, turn, that I may stare at you! Why do you gaze upon the Perfect One like the dance of the Mahanaim?
  • NLT - Return, return to us, O maid of Shulam. Come back, come back, that we may see you again. Young Man Why do you stare at this young woman of Shulam, as she moves so gracefully between two lines of dancers?

Both the Hebrew and the Greek (Lxx) texts assign the number 7:1 to Song 6:13.

NET Note - The chapter division comes one verse earlier in the Hebrew text (BHS) than in the English Bible; 6:13 ET = 7:1 HT, 7:1 ET = 7:2 HT, through 7:13 ET = 7:14 HT. Beginning with 8:1 the verse numbers in the Hebrew Bible and the English Bible are again the same. (NET Note Song 6)

NET Note on come back - Alternately, “Return…Return…!” The imperative שׁוּבִי (shuvi, “Turn!”) is used four times for emphasis. There are two basic interpretations to the meaning/referent of the imperative שׁוּבִי (“Turn!”): (1) The villagers of Shunem are beckoning her to return to the garden mentioned in 6:11–12: “Come back! Return!” R. Gordis nuances these uses of שׁוּבִי as “halt” or “stay” (“Some Hitherto Unrecognized Meanings of the Verb SHUB,” JBL 52 [1933]: 153-62); (2) In the light of the allusion to her dancing in 7:1 (Heb 7:2), several scholars see a reference to an Arabic bridal dance. Budde emends the MT’s שׁוּבִי to סוֹבִי (sovi, “revolve, spin”) from סָבַב (savav, “to turn around”). M. H. Pope (Song of Songs [AB], 595-96) also emends the MT to the Hebrew verbal root יָסַב (yasav, “to leap, spin around”) which he connects to Arabic yasaba (“to leap”). These emendations are unnecessary to make the connection with some kind of dance because שׁוּבִי has a wide range of meanings from “turn” to “return.” (NET Note Song 6)

Guzik on come back (4x) - The idea is of the speakers calling out to a departing chariot. They wanted the maiden to return so that they might continue enjoying her beauty and goodness, now made more beautiful because of the lovingly restored relationship she enjoyed. (Ibid)

MacArthur on come back - This is best understood as being spoken by the daughters of Jerusalem. In effect, they beckon the bride back to the royal palace. (Ibid)

O Shulamite - see NET Note for lengthy discussion of this name and this difficult verse in general = Song 6 Commentary.

Glickman writes (but not all commentators agree) that "In the original language in which this song was written, ‘Shulamith’ was simply the feminine form of the name Solomon, the name of the king. It would be like ‘Don and Donna’ in our language. The name would thus mean that she was the feminine counterpart of Solomon, his opposite number.” Ibid).

GotQuestions - Question: "Who was the Shulammite woman?"

Answer: The Shulammite woman, or Shulammite maiden, is the bride of Solomon who features in the Song of Songs. She is only mentioned once by the title “Shulammite,” in Song of Solomon 6:13. Her exact identity is unknown, although there are a couple of theories.

She is most likely called the Shulammite because she came from an unidentified place called Shulem. Many scholars consider Shulammite to be synonymous with Shunammite (“person from Shunem”). Shunem was a village in the territory of Issachar, north of Jezreel and south of Mount Gilboa. Other scholars link Shulem with Salem, believing Solomon’s bride was from Jerusalem. Still others believe that the title Shulammite (“peaceful”) is simply the bride’s married name, being the feminine form of Solomon (“peaceful”) and only used after her marriage to the king.

One theory on the identity of the Shulammite is that she is the daughter of Egypt’s king, whom Solomon married (1 Kings 3:1), but there is no evidence supporting this theory in the Song of Solomon. Another speculation points to Abishag, a young Shunammite who served King David in his old age (1 Kings 1:1–4, 15; 2:17–22). It is plausible that Abishag is the Shulammite; we know she was from Shunem, which could be the same place as Shulem. Also, as David’s personal servant, Abishag would have been known to David’s son, Solomon. Solomon’s half-brother Adonijah attempted to have Abishag as his own wife, and Solomon prevented the union (1 Kings 2:13–25).

Solomon uses passionate language to describe his bride and their love (Song 4:1–15). Solomon clearly loved the Shulammite—and he admired her character as well as her beauty (Song 6:9). Everything about the Song of Solomon betrays the fact that this bride and groom were passionately in love and that there were mutual respect and friendship, as well (Song 8:6–7). This points to the fact that the Song of Solomon is the story of Solomon’s first marriage, before he sinned by adding many other wives (1 Kings 11:3). Whoever the Shulammite was, she was Solomon’s first and truest love. (Gotquestions)

Shulamite (young woman)
"Why should you gaze at the Shulammite, as at the dance of the two companies?

Why should you gaze - Apparently the people were gazing (as if in a vision) at an illustration of the reconciliation God always wants to achieve with His people.

Henry Morris on dance of the two companies - he phrase "the company of two armies" is said to mean, literally, "the dance of Mahanaim," where Mahanaim was the name of the place where Jacob met the angels (Genesis 32:2). This dance seems to have been a very intimate dance enjoyed alone by a man and his wife, and Solomon was rebuking the daughters of Jerusalem for wanting to observe it.. (Defender's Study Bible Note)

Two companies - Companies is Mahanaim (dictionary article) (mahaneh - 04264) which describes the place Jacob and Esau's reconciliation took place (Ge 32:2-33:20) and thus serves as an appropriate parallel for the resolution of conflict between husband and wife. And so here in Song 6:13b Solomon was using the illustration of God's love for Israel to illustrate his love for Shulammite.

Carr on the dance of the two companies - presents a major interpretative problem....The exact choreography is not recoverable, but the sense of celebration and joy in association with victory in war (Ex. 15:20; 1Sa 18:6), religious ecstasy (Ex. 32:19; Jdg 21:21; Ps 149:3; 150:4), or simply joyous celebration (Jer 31:13), suggests some sort of vigorous group activity with antiphonal singing and instrumental accompaniment. Ibid)

John MacArthur on why should you gaze - This is best understood as being spoken by the beloved. This probably refers to some form of marital dance associated with the city of Mahanaim which would be inappropriate for anyone other than Solomon to witness. (Ibid)

Jack Deere on Song 6:11-13 - These verses tell the story of the couple’s reconciliation from the beloved’s point of view. She knew that he had “gone down to his garden” (v. 2). So she went there to see if their love was still in bloom (v. 11). As a person would look in the spring for new growth, buds on grape vines, and pomegranate blossoms, so she looked for fresh evidence of their love. When she found him there his first words were words of praise (vv. 4–10), indicating that their love was in fact flourishing. One of the most difficult verses in the Bible to interpret is verse 12 (see NIV marg.). The Hebrew can be translated in several ways. One translation which has much to commend it is this: “I became enraptured, for you placed me on the chariots of the people of the prince.” When the husband’s first words in the garden were words of praise, she “became enraptured”; she was beside herself with joy. He then placed her on his own chariot at the head of his entourage. As they left, the inhabitants begged her to stay (come back-stated four times in v. 13) and the lover noted the intensity of their desire to gaze on the Shulammite. The Hebrew word rendered “Shulammite” is actually the feminine form of the name Solomon. Thus it means the “Solomoness.” “How you gaze …?” (v. 13b) is better than why would you gaze …? They gazed at her and her beauty, he said, as if they were viewing a graceful dance. In some way the town of Mahanaim is associated here with the dance, though the point of the association is not clear. Mahanaim was east of the Jordan River where David fled from Absalom (2 Sam. 17:24).(The Bible Knowledge Commentary)

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TODAY IN THE WORD - The old hymn “In the Garden” begins, “I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses.” In it, hymn writer Charles Austin Miles describes an intimate encounter with Jesus. Miles described his time spent in prayer this way: “And he walks with me, and he talks with me, and he tells me I am his own; and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”

Poets have often used the image of a garden to convey a sense of beauty and even intimacy, and we have seen this image throughout the Song of Solomon. Verse 11 describes a visit to a grove of nut trees. This could refer to a literal visit to a real garden, or it could be figurative language meant to speak of the blossoming of love. It is unclear who is doing the speaking; the context does not clearly indicate whether it is Solomon or his bride.

The translation is also extremely difficult (the kjv, niv, and nasb each translate verse 12 differently). After the speaker’s visit to the garden, the speaker arrives among the chariots. Although the Hebrew text is very obscure, many Bible scholars believe that the bride is speaking. It may indicate that she stumbled upon a royal procession during her visit to the nut grove. Another possibility is that the groom placed the bride among the chariots.

These verses paint a very romantic picture. It is one in which the bride is swept off her feet and carried away by her lover. Not only is she by his side once more, she has been elevated to her rightful status as queen.

You do not need to “sweep someone off their feet” in order to show them love. You do not even need a chariot. One of the best ways to demonstrate unexpected love to others is by performing random acts of kindness. Think of something you can do for someone else without drawing attention to yourself. It does not have to be elaborate to be meaningful. Simply giving a cold cup of water to one who is thirsty is enough to warrant a reward from your Father in heaven (Mark 9:41).

Joe Guglielmo's
Sermon Notes
Song 6-8

Please turn in your Bibles this evening to Song of Solomon 6 as we continue our study through the Word of God and we finish up this love story or this love song this evening. Let me just fill in a few details before we dig into our study this evening. If you remember from our last study the marriage feast is over and now some time has passed by. And Solomon once again calls for his bride to come with him on a trip. But once again comfort got the better of her, it was late, she was already in bed, and she did not want to get up. We saw this in Song of Solomon 5:3 where she responds to his request to go with him, “I have taken off my robe; How can I put it on again? I have washed my feet; How can I defile them?” But as she thought about her decision, as she was laying there in bed, she decided that she wanted to go with her husband. But, as she got up out of bed and opened the door looking for him, he was already gone. So she hits the streets trying to find him, trying to locate Solomon, and the watchmen of the city beat her up, they abused her. And in all of that, she still is not any closer to finding him.

But she does not give up and the next group of people she encounters is the daughters of Jerusalem, the young virgins. And she tells them to help her find her beloved, she is lovesick without him. And as she pleads with these young virgins, they say to her, “What is your beloved More than another beloved, O fairest among women? What is your beloved More than another beloved, That you so charge us?” Song of Solomon 5:9.

What they are saying to the Shulammite woman is, “What is so special about Him? Why is he so different than any other man? Why should we go looking for him?” And from Song 5:10-16 she tells these young virgins why Solomon is so special and why they should look for him. She witnessed to them of his great love and concludes by saying, “Yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, And this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem!” Song of Solomon 5:16.

That is where we left off last week and now we will pick up our story in Song of Solomon chapter 6 beginning in Song 6:1 as the daughters of Jerusalem, these young virgins, respond to her witness of her beloved.

SONG OF SOLOMON 6

Song 6:1

Remember that she just got done answering their question regarding why they should go searching for Solomon, what made him so special, what made him so great. And as she completed her witness of him, what was their response? They wanted to find him. They desired to have what she had.

Now how does this relate to our relationship with the Lord? Hopefully as people see us live out our faith, as people see us gather together as a body of believers that they will desire to have what we have – JESUS! Remember what happened on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2, 3,000 people got saved that day. What drew these people to Jesus? There were 120 people that were praising and worshiping God that drew them in and then Peter spoke forth the Words of God and they were saved.

Through our witness of him, not only by what we say but what we do, people should be drawn to the Lord. And then as we share the Word of God with them those seeds that were planted can take root and grow.

Jon Courson shared this story as he said that he “. . . Talked with a lady today who, claiming to be an agnostic, said, ‘The interesting thing is, I enjoy coming to the fellowship. I love seeing people who love the Lord. The worship and the genuine fellowship blow by mind.”

You see, when people worship and praise the Lord with their whole heart, not just going through the motions, people will want to seek Him, they will desire to have what we have, they will want to go with us! That is the way it should be but sadly that is not what people always see in our lives and that is not what they always see in the church. May we truly live what we say we believe so that people will want to go with us to Jesus!

Song 6:2-3

Now this is interesting to me because when she thought about where her beloved would be she remembered that he would be doing his work, feeding his flock and not only that but looking for ways to show his love to her, like bringing her flowers.

This is a beautiful picture of what the Lord does with us as we seek Him. Remember what we are told in Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

We may go through times of laziness in our Christian walk, where we just don’t want to take the time to get away with the Lord, but in the end we love Him so much that we seek Him and as we do He will reveal Himself to us! You see, not only is our praise and worship of God a witness to others but as we do God reveals Himself to us. She was looking for Him and as she spoke of him, He revealed himself to her. As we draw close to God He will draw close to us and the blessings He bestows upon us just shows us how much He loves us!

Song 6:4-7

Men, this is an important lesson for us to learn with our wives. Notice that as the bridegroom speaks, as Solomon speaks he does not say, “Where in the world were you, I came to get you and you just couldn’t be bothered with me!” He did not complain, “If you don’t have time for me then I don’t have time for you. I am sick and tired of you! Why don’t you just go home to your mother!”

These are not words of condemnation or hate towards his wife but he speaks of her beauty, he tells her that she is beautiful to him! Tirzah was a beautiful city in the north and was the capitol of the Northern Kingdom of Israel for a time. (During the reign of Baasha, I Kings 15:21, 33. Elah, I Kings 16:8. Zimri, I Kings 16:15. Omri, I Kings 16:23.).

He also speaks of her being as beautiful as Jerusalem and we see the beauty of Jerusalem spoken of in Lamentations 2:15 where we are told, “. . . The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth.” Also, her beauty was displayed for all to see like the banners of a parade.

As you read this you can’t miss the point that he is madly in love with his bride and yes, there is a lot of poetic language that is used to speak of the beauty of his beloved, but you clearly get the picture of his love for her. When you speak of your bride is the picture that you are painting of her beautiful or do you complain of how far short she comes up in meeting your needs, your expectations? Solomon does not speak of her weaknesses, her failures, but of her beauty and so should we of our spouse.

Song 6:8-10

At this point in their marriage, and we are not sure how far down the road they are, Solomon has 60 wives, 80 concubines that were already his, and many other virgins that would soon become his. Keep in mind that he eventually had 700 wives and 300 concubines according to 1 Kings 11:3. So this is probably early on in his reign, before he had all those wives but his true love was this Shulamite woman, she surpassed the beauty of all the others, she was special to him.

Now how in the world can this be a picture of Christ? Here is one possible way to look at it. We are not the only Church in town that loves the Lord, nor is Calvary Chapel the only true Church. There is a body of believers that love the Lord within Calvary Chapel and the many other churches in Manitowoc and throughout the world. The important factor that links us together is not what church we belong to, but are we one of His, saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ. Some would be shocked to find out that there are no church denominations or non-denominations in heaven, only those that have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb! That is what really matters.

In Song 6:9-10 Solomon is once again expressing his love for her, how he loves her more than anyone else. Now I just got done saying in the previous verses that we, the multitudes of believers are united into one body, and now we can say of this illustration that there is a united body of believers and a signal Bride! As the Church of God, His Bride, we should reflect His glory, pure in His sight and go forth as an awesome army of God proudly displaying our love for Him and the Gospel message. There are millions upon millions that make up the body of Christ, but there is only one Bride!

Song 6:11-12

She went down to the garden of nuts to see the fertility of the valley and she is overjoyed in the presence of her shepherd-king. She says that it is like “the chariots of my noble people” carrying me away.

I think the picture that is being painted here is that their love continued to grow and it climaxed with her bridegroom coming for her to take her to himself. And as she reflects of this time she can still hear the daughters of Jerusalem say to her . . .

Song 6:13a

As she prepares to leave her family to go to her beloved, friends, the daughters of Jerusalem, compel her to dance for them one more time. The phrase “Return, return”means to “turn around” or dance and show us your joy so we may remember your love before you go. They wanted the Shulamite to return so that they might continue enjoying her beauty and goodness, now made more beautiful because of the relationship she enjoyed with her beloved.

As people look at our lives, as they watch us may they see the beauty of the Lord flowing through our lives! May they smell the fragrance of Jesus in us! May they be drawn to us because of what Christ has done in our lives!

Song 6:13b

Once again she is just speaking of a special dance they would do, weaving between each other, and it was a dance of joy. And we once again see that she is insecure. She is wondering why anyone would want to see her. We will see in chapter 7, the first 5 verses that the daughters of Jerusalem will respond and then Solomon will respond in verses 6-9. I do realize that some or most of your Bibles will attribute these first 9 verses of chapter 7 to Solomon, but I don’t think that is right. In the last half of verse 5 we are told, “The king is held captive by its tresses” as the beauty of her hair is spoken of. The key is that it does not say that “He” was taken captive but that the “king is held captive.”

Thus, I believe these first 5 verses are the daughters of Jerusalem speaking and explaining why they want to see her, that she is beautiful and then Solomon will jump in also and speak of her beauty! I do realize that not everyone agrees with me on this, most tend to see the first 9 verses of this chapter as Solomon speaking to his bride but again, because of what we read in verse 5 I see this as the daughters of Jerusalem speaking. Let’s read on and see how this is played out.

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