Song of Solomon 7 Commentary



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
of Love
of Love
of Love
of Love
in Love
in Love
in Love
in Love
Before the
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
Chief Speaker:
The Groom
Chief Speaker:
Chief Speaker:

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

Song of Solomon 7
See also main resource page for Song of Solomon

Adam Clarke -

Song of Solomon 7 Commentary

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Song of Solomon 7 Commentary

Century Bible Commentary -

Song of Solomon 7 Commentary

Thomas Constable - well done

Song of Solomon Commentary

Gene Getz short videos (3-12 minutes) -

Song of Songs 6:1-7:9 - Keeping Love Alive

Song of Songs 7:9-13 - Being Creative

Net Bible Notes synchronized with Thomas Constable's notes

Song 7 Commentary


Ellicott's Commentary -

Song of Solomon 7 Commentary


David Guzik

Song of Solomon 7 Commentary

H A Ironside

Song of Solomon 6-7 Commentary

Keil and Delitzsch - not always literal

Song of Solomon 7 Commentary

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

Song 7 Commentary

Reformation Study Bible Notes

Song 7:1

Song 7:4

Song 7:5

Song 7:8

Song 7:9–13

Song 7:13


Rob Salvato Sermon Notes

Song of Solomon 7:1-8:14

Third Millennium - relatively detailed comments

More Mutual Praise and Longing - Song of Solomon 7:1-8:4

The Young Man - Song of Solomon 7:1-9a

The Young Woman - Song of Solomon 7:9-8:4

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

Song of Songs 7 Commentary

Steve Zeisler - sermon notes

Song of Songs 6:4-7:9 The Radiant Bride

Song of Songs 7:10 - 8:14 Life Lessons

Solomon (young man)...
Song 7:1 "How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince's daughter! The curves of your hips are like jewels, The work of the hands of an artist.
Song 7:2 "Your navel is like a round goblet which never lacks mixed wine; Your belly is like a heap of wheat fenced about with lilies.
Song 7:3"Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle.
Song 7:4 "Your neck is like a tower of ivory, Your eyes like the pools in Heshbon (note) By the gate of Bath-Rabbim (note); Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon, which faces toward Damascus.
Song 7:5 "Your head crowns you like Carmel (note) (picture), And the flowing locks of your head are like purple threads; The king is captivated by your tresses.
Song 7:6 "How beautiful and how delightful you are, my love, with all your charms!
Song 7:7 "Your stature is like a palm tree (note), and your breasts are like its clusters (See pictures of palm tree clusters)
Song 7:8 "I said, 'I will climb the palm tree, I will take hold of its fruit stalks.' Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and the fragrance of your breath like apples,
Song 7:9 And your mouth like the best wine! "

Shulammite (young woman)...

Song 7:9b It goes down smoothly for my beloved, flowing gently through the lips of those who fall asleep.

Song 7:10 "I am my beloved's (see Song 6:3), and his desire is for me.

Solomon (young man)...
Song 7:1 "How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince's daughter! The curves of your hips are like jewels, The work of the hands of an artist.


Song 7:1-9.

NET - How beautiful are your sandaled feet, O nobleman's daughter! The curves of your thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a master craftsman.

NLT - How beautiful are your sandaled feet, O queenly maiden. Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a skilled craftsman.

Criswell observes that Song 7:1-9 "is the third detailed description by Solomon of the physical beauty of his wife. This section reveals a growth and maturity in their relationship (7:10). The metaphors are more vivid and intimate than the previous ones. An increase in freedom in both sexual matters and communication is expected in a healthy marriage." (Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas Nelson)

NET Note - Solomon calls attention to the sandals the “noble daughter” was wearing. While it was common for women in aristocratic circles in the ancient Near East to wear sandals, women of the lower classes usually went barefoot (e.g., Ezek 16:10). (NET Note Song 7)

MacArthur does not think this is Solomon speaking - It is better to understand this as the friends answering Solomon. Verses 1 and 5 fit far better this way. (MacArthur Study Bible)

Carr seems to agree with MacArthur - Most commentators and translations assign the whole unit Song 7:1–9 to the lover as he responds to her question, but the context (i.e. the plural forms in Song 6:13 and the last colon in Song 7:5) makes it clear that these five verses are spoken by the onlookers, not by the lover himself. His contribution—and a highly personal one it is—comprises Song 7:6–9. The companions respond to her question with a very explicit and erotic description of why she is the focus of their attention. Beginning from her feet and progressing upward to the crown of her head, they sing the praise of her beauty. Whether, as Delitzsch suggests, she removed her outer garments and danced in the light clothing of a shepherdess, or as Gordis argues (p. 96), she danced either naked or in diaphanous veils, she ‘displayed all her attractions before them’ (Delitzsch, p. 122). The Song of Solomon - Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries)

Daniel Akin - Solomon focuses on ten aspects of his wife’s beauty. Though attention is on the physical, certain features also highlight the attractiveness of her personality and character.. (Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs -Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary)

Carr on feet in sandals - Sandalled feet (NIV, NEB) were considered particularly attractive (cf. Judith 16:8f.). (As Akin says - "Gentlemen, he noticed her shoes!") Ibid)

POSB - Regel is the common Hebrew word for the feet. However, pa’am is used here, referring to the stroke or beat of the feet. This word suggests that Solomon was praising his wife’s gait when she walked; or, more likely, that she was dancing for him, and he was complimenting her charming and seductive movements.

Guzik - The mention of the dance of the two camps in Song 6:13 suggests that the maiden was dancing. This is also suggested by the description of these verses, which begins at her feet and continues up her body to her head. This would be much more natural in describing someone who was standing and dancing. Yet did she dance before a group of onlookers or privately for her beloved? (Song of Solomon 7 Commentary)

Jack Deere - This section portrays the maturing of the couple’s marriage. The progress in their love is revealed in two ways. First, the imagery in these verses is much bolder and more intimate than the imagery the lover used on the wedding night (Song 4:1–11). Such an increase in sexual freedom is a normal part of a healthy, maturing marriage. Second, the climactic nature of the refrain in Song 7:10 also speaks of this maturation. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Guzik - It is also important to notice that this is the third extended description of the maiden’s beauty (previously also in Song of Solomon 4:1–5 and 6:4–9). These three descriptions may be compared to the single description of the beloved’s appearance (found in Song of Solomon 5:10–16), which was not even spoken to the beloved himself, but to others about the beloved. This comparison strengthens the impression that it is far more important for a woman to be assured of and confident in her beauty than it is for a man.

• The first description of beauty (Song of Solomon 4:1–5) is in the context of the wedding night; the beloved praised the beauty of the maiden before she yielded her virginity to him.

• The second description of beauty (Song of Solomon 6:4–9) is the context of restoring a relationship after a conflict; the beloved assured the maiden that she was just as beautiful to him then as she was on the wedding night.

• This third description of beauty (Song of Solomon 7:1–5) is perhaps a more public description, further assuring the maiden of her beauty.

“It should be noticed that, though the Song is really the bride’s song there are three occasions when the groom describes her beauty in detail and only one where she reciprocates. If the Song has any allegorical significance, it should indicate that God finds us much more delightful than we find him.” (Kinlaw) (Ibid)

POSB - Introduction: one of the most basic laws of science, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, teaches that everything in existence is in a state of decline or degeneration. In order for something to be sustained, there must be some force at work that overcomes the item’s natural tendency toward deterioration. Simply stated, everything in life must be maintained and nourished. Nothing ever reaches a point where it is permanently self-sustaining. Fires must be fed or they will burn out. Structures and machines must be maintained and improved or they will wear out or erode. People must be continually nourished or they will become weak and eventually die. Marriages are no different. If wood is not added and the flame is not fanned, the fire in marriage will go out. If a marriage is not nurtured and nourished, it will die. Some marriages are starved—wasting away and barely existing. God does not want it to be this way. The Word of God teaches the truth of the Law of Thermodynamics in regard to marriage. All of the actions commanded of husbands and wives in the New Testament are in the Greek present tense, which indicates continuous action. Husbands must continually love their wives (Eph. 5:25) and be respectfully considerate of them (1 Pe.3:7). Wives must continually submit to their husbands (Eph. 5:22; 1 Pe.3:1). This most beautiful of songs ends with Solomon and the Shulamite nurturing their relationship. Chapters seven and eight present a valuable list for keeping the fires of marriage burning, for growing and maturing a marriage. Husbands and wives everywhere would do well to follow their example. Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible- Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon)

Carr on Prince’s daughter - As in Song 6:12 (Ed: Translated "noble"), the meaning is not necessarily that the girl is of royal birth, but rather that she is of gracious and noble character and person. Ibid)

MacArthur on prince’s daughter - She appeared by beauty and dress to be of royal lineage, although she really came from a humble background. (Ibid)

Your hips are like jewels (a simile) - 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.

Carr on curves of your hips - clearly refers to the beautiful craftsmanship (i.e. the perfection) of her thighs....The yārak (hips - cf. Song 3:8) is not the leg as a whole, but is specifically the fleshy upper part of the thigh where the leg joins the pelvis (cf. Ge 32:25–32; 46:26; Ex 1:5; Jdg. 8:30), here likened to ‘ornaments’ (Heb. hălî). This word occurs only three times in the Old Testament, here, Proverbs 25:12, and Hosea 2:13. The latter reference indicates these ornaments were used in the love-making that was part of the fertility ritual. The action of the dance reveals the symmetrical beauty of her thighs. The Song of Solomon - Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries)

Holman Study Bible on Song 7:1-5 - Solomon's tenfold praise of Shulamith from head to toe in this section is in chiastic balance with her tenfold praise of Solomon from toe to head in Song 5:10-16. This praise also offers interesting comparisons with the lovemaking praise of the wedding night (Song 4:1-7). It is more intimate and lavish—more lavish, in the royal imagery of a princess with hair not like a flock descending a mountain but like fine purple threads holding captive a king; more intimate, in praising not only her breasts again (more sensually), but her thighs (lit "hips"), navel, and waist (lit "abdomen") for the first time. The praise poetically portrays the greater depth of intimacy that reconciliation and time have achieved.

Carr on The work of the hands of an artist - Here the competent work of the artisan is used as a comparison. Ibid)

Daniel Akin - There are a couple of valuable lessons here we must not miss. First, we cannot praise our mate too much or too often. This is especially true when it comes to a husband’s need to praise his wife. It feeds and nourishes her (Eph 5:29). Second, we cannot know too much about our mate. In fact, a lack of knowledge and understanding of how she thinks and feels about certain things can be dangerous....we all must grow in our knowledge of our mate, and Solomon highlights two specific areas. Grow in Your Knowledge of Her Physically (Song 7:1-5) (and) Grow in Your Knowledge of Her Particularly (Song 7:6). (Ibid)

Solomon (young man)...

Song 7:2 "Your navel is like a round goblet which never lacks mixed wine; Your belly is like a heap of wheat fenced about with lilies.

NET - Your navel is a round mixing bowl– may it never lack mixed wine! Your belly is a mound of wheat, encircled by lilies.

NLT - Your navel is perfectly formed like a goblet filled with mixed wine. Between your thighs lies a mound of wheat bordered with lilies.

Your navel....never lacks mixed wine - Speaks of the "intoxicating" effect on Solomon. Compare Song 4:10 "How much better is your love than wine." (Song 4:10 Note) Note that a few commentators feel the word for navel is better translated vulva!

Daniel Akin - verse 2 is badly translated in my judgment in virtually every English version. The problem is with the word translated “navel.” It simply does not fit the upward progression or the description. The Hebrew word is rare, occurring only three times in the Old Testament (cf. Prov 3:8; Ezek 16:4). Here the word almost certainly is a reference to the innermost sexual part of a woman, her vagina (vulva) (see Carr, Song, 157; Snaith, Song, 101). Solomon’s description makes no sense of a navel, but it beautifully expresses the sexual pleasures he continually receives from his wife. Like “a rounded bowl; it never lacks mixed wine”—she never runs dry. She is a constant source of intoxicating pleasure and sweetness. The idea of blended or “mixed” could refer to the mingling of male and female fluids in the appropriate place of a woman’s body (Snaith, Song, 103). Shulammite was an exotic garden (Song 4:12,16) and an intoxicating drink (Song 7:2) in her lovemaking. Seldom, if ever, was her husband disappointed. She was his dream lover, and amazingly, he wasn’t dreaming! The more he learned about her the more he loved and enjoyed her.. (Ibid)

NET Note on like a round goblet...mixed wine - probably refers to the source of intoxication, that is, just as a bowl used to mix wine was the source of physical intoxication, so she was the source of his sexual intoxication. She intoxicated Solomon with her love in the same way that wine intoxicates a person.....The comparison of a wife’s sexual love to intoxicating wine is common in ancient Near Eastern love literature. Parallel in thought are the words of the Hebrew sage, “May your fountain be blessed and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer – may her love (or breasts) always intoxicate you, may you ever stagger like a drunkard in her love” (Pr 5:18–19). (NET Note Song 7)

POSB - (mezeg) means mixed wine. Though wine was usually diluted with water to lessen its intoxicating powers, that is not the meaning here. This word describes wine that has been blended with spices and liquors to heighten its taste and intoxicating effect. Solomon was saying that this part of her body had a strong intoxicating effect on him. It made him drunk with passion, and its power over him never decreased....On their wedding night, Solomon likened the sexual area of her body to a garden; now, he describes it as a feast. Ibid)

Deere on a heap of wheat - the comparison of her waist to a mound of wheat would be absurd if interpreted visually. Wheat was one of the main food sources in ancient Palestine (Deut. 32:14; 2 Sam. 4:6; 17:28). Thus his wife was both his “food” (wheat) and “drink” (wine) in the sense that her physical expressions of love nourished and satisfied him. (Ibid)

Criswell - Evidently the Shulamite is dancing before her husband. The text indicates she had few if any clothes on (Song 7:1-3). The word "navel" has also been interpreted as a reference to his wife's "garden" (Song 4:12), which is a continuous source of sexual pleasure to him. (Ibid)

Glickman - One of the things we notice is that the praise of the king is much more sensual and intimate. It reflects a greater knowledge of they physical beauty of his wife. For example, here he praises the curves of her thigh and soft warmth of her stomach.....Wine and wheat were the basic foods of any meal. His joining these two images in his praise of her stomach must mean that her stomach is like a wonderful feast to him.” Solomon's Song of Love - Let a Song of Songs Inspire Your Own Romantic Story).

Akin - She is wheat and wine, food and drink. She nourishes and satisfies him as he has sought to nourish and satisfy her.. (Ibid)

NET Note on your belly - The term בִּטְנֵךְ (bitnekh) probably refers to the woman’s “belly” rather than “waist.” It is associated with a woman’s abdominal/stomach region rather than her hips (Prov 13:25; 18:20; Ezek 3:3). The comparison of her belly to a heap of wheat is visually appropriate because of the similarity of their symmetrical shape and tannish color. The primary point of comparison, however, is based upon the commonplace association of wheat in Israel, namely, wheat was the main staple of the typical Israelite meal (Deut 32:14; 2 Sam 4:6; 17:28; 1 Kgs 5:25; Pss 81:14; 147:14). Just as wheat satisfied an Israelite’s physical hunger, she satisfied his sexual hunger. J. S. Deere makes this point in the following manner: “The most obvious commonplace of wheat was its function, that is, it served as one of the main food sources in ancient Palestine. The Beloved was both the ‘food’ (wheat) and ‘drink’ (wine) of the Lover. Her physical expression of love nourished and satisfied him. His satisfaction was great for the ‘mixed wine’ is intoxicating and the ‘heap of wheat’ was capable of feeding many. The ‘heap of wheat’ also suggests the harvest, an association which contributes to the emotional quality of the metaphor. The harvest was accompanied with a joyous celebration over the bounty yielded up by the land. So also, the Beloved is bountiful and submissive in giving of herself, and the source of great joy” (“Song of Solomon,” BKCOT, 203–204). (NET Note Song 7)

Carr on belly - refers to the lower abdomen, below the navel, and is used specifically of the womb and the fetus carried there (cf. Job 3:3–11; 31:18; Ps. 139:13, etc.). Obviously the internal organs are not referred to here, but rather the rounded lower parts with their glistening wheat-coloured skin. Ibid)

Kinlaw on belly...fenced about with lilies - The reference to the lilies that encircle the stomach reminds us that we are dealing with figures whose very ambiguity enrich the eroticism of the passage.

Carr adds that "If lilies suggests intimacy (cf. Song 2:16; 6:3), there is continual upward movement suggested here, from her upper thighs to her pudenda, to her abdomen to her breasts (Song 7:3). Ibid)

Notice how absurd some of the comments become when one interprets this book primarily allegorically. John Trapp (who is an older but often excellent commentator) postulates "The navel is baptism, that nourisheth newborn babes in the womb of the Church … Some understand hereby that other sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, called a ‘heap of wheat,’ for its store of excellent nourishment....(and commenting on Song 7:3 he says) Fresh and lusty, even and equal. Understand the two Testaments; hereunto resembled for their perfect agreement, amiable proportion, and swift running all the world over in a short time.” Wow! The message is clear that the safest way to interpret this book is to do so as literally as possible, realizing that the literal meaning of many of the terms of comparison is not always clear cut.

Kinlaw who interprets the text more literally accurately states that “This poem indicates the perpetual charm of the female form to the male.”

Solomon (young man)...

Song 7:3 "Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle.

NET - Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle.

NLT - Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle.

Like two fawns - See Song 4:5-note

Akin - They are soft and attractive, enticing him to pet them.. (Ibid)

Solomon (young man)...

Song 7:4 "Your neck is like a tower of ivory, Your eyes like the pools in Heshbon (note) By the gate of Bath-Rabbim (note); Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon, which faces toward Damascus.

NET - Your neck is like a tower made of ivory. Your eyes are the pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bath-Rabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon overlooking Damascus.

NLT - Your neck is as beautiful as an ivory tower. Your eyes are like the sparkling pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bath-rabbim. Your nose is as fine as the tower of Lebanon overlooking Damascus.

Neck...tower of ivory - This sounds much more appealing than his previous description of her neck " like the tower of David Built with rows of stones." (Song 4:4-note)

Glickman on a tower of ivory - He is probably complimenting not only the noble dignity exemplified in her posture but also the artistic smoothness of her neck. As he gently slid his fingers down her neck it was smooth as ivory to him. Ibid).

NET Note on tower of ivory - The noun הַשֵּׁן (hashshen, “ivory”) is a genitive of composition, that is, a tower made out of ivory. Solomon had previously compared her neck to a tower (Song 4:4). In both cases the most obvious point of comparison has to do with size and shape, that is, her neck was long and symmetrical. Archaeology has never found a tower overlaid with ivory in the ancient Near East and it is doubtful that there ever was such a tower. The point of comparison might simply be that the shape of her neck looks like a tower, while the color and smoothness of her neck was like ivory. Solomon is mixing metaphors: her neck was long and symmetrical like a tower; but also elegant, smooth, and beautiful as ivory. The beauty, elegance, and smoothness of a woman’s neck is commonly compared to ivory in ancient love literature. For example, in a piece of Greek love literature, Anacron compared the beauty of the neck of his beloved Bathyllus to ivory (Ode xxxix 28–29). (NET Note Song 7)

Pools of Heshbon - Is east of the Jordan River opposite Jerusalem and known for its beauty and abundant supply of water (cp Nu 21:25-26). Excavations have revealed large reservoirs near the city, perhaps the pools mentioned. The ISBE article says "There is also a large ruined reservoir; while the spring in the valley forms a succession of pools." (note)

Carr on pools - These ‘pools’ are not the springs themselves (cf. 4:12 ‘fountain’), but the deep reservoirs which the springs supply. The sense here is one of still, deep calmness rather than the sparkle and shimmer of flowing springs.

NET Note on the gate of Bath-Rabbim - It is impossible at the present time to determine the exact significance of the comparison of her eyes to the “gate of Bath-Rabbim” because this site has not yet been identified by archaeologists. (NET Note Song 7)

POSB - The pools of Heshbon were a place of peaceful respite in the heart of a busy city. In the midst of his hectic life, Solomon found peace and rest when he gazed into his wife’s eyes. ibid)

Carr on nose is like the tower of Lebanon - Lebanon is one of several words derived from the Hebrew root laben, ‘to be white’. It was probably the whiteness of the limestone cliffs that gave the mountain its name. This suggests that the imagery here is associated with the color of her nose rather than its shape or size. Her face is pale, like the ivory tone of her neck, not sunburnt. Ibid)

Garrett on tower of Lebanon - viewed from a distance a [tower] adds symmetry and comeliness to an otherwise nondescript horizon. Her nose complements and sets off her facial beauty.”

Glickman feels tower of Lebanon is "a reference to “her strong character which was her protection,” just as the tower of Lebanon protected the Syrian capital of Damascus." Ibid).

Solomon (young man)...

Song 7:5 "Your head crowns you like Carmel (note) (picture), and the flowing locks of your head are like purple threads; The king is captivated by your tresses.

NET - Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel. The locks of your hair are like royal tapestries– the king is held captive in its tresses!

NLT - Your head is as majestic as Mount Carmel, and the sheen of your hair radiates royalty. The king is held captive by her tresses.

Head crowns you (Jerusalem Bible = Your head is held high like Carmel, New English Bible = You carry your head like Carmel) - speaks of its majestic appearance (royalty). Compare hair "like a flock of goats" (Song 4:1-note).

POSB - The Shulamite’s head crowned her just as Mount Carmel majestically crowned the land of Palestine below it Ibid)

Carr on flowing locks - The root meaning is to run or flow, so that the picture here is of her hair having the appearance of running, rippling water. Ibid)

Glickman comments on the number of compliments compared to Solomon's earlier descriptions - On their wedding night he could give sevenfold praise, but on this later night he could give tenfold praise. Their love had truly deepened...This is a different mood from the delicate formality of their wedding night. Ibid).

Criswell on Carmel - Carmel is a fertile and majestic range of mountains on the coast near Haifa. Beautifully wooded and covered with flowers in their season, it was a symbol of beauty in ancient Israel (Isa. 35:2; Jer. 50:19). The phrase "held captive by your tresses" is a metaphor suggesting that the Shulamite's lovely hair bound or enslaved Solomon to her. (Ibid)

RSB on like Carmel - There are two places with this name in the Old Testament. One is in the relatively arid south, in the hills west of the Dead Sea (1 Sam. 15:12). The other is the famous mountain where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal (1 Kin. 18), in the lush north. This is probably the one used here as a favorable comparison. Mount Carmel is on the Mediterranean coast, due west of the Sea of Chinnereth (Galilee).

NET Note on Carmel - The Carmel mountain range is a majestic sight (see pictures and article). The mountain range borders the southern edge of the plain of Esdraelon (Jezreel Valley) dividing the Palestinian coastal plain into the Plain of Acco to the north and the Plains of Sharon and Philistia to the south. Its luxuriant foliage was legendary (Isa 33:9; Amos 1:2; Nah 1:4). Rising to a height of approximately 1750 feet (525 m), it extends southeast from the Mediterranean for 13 miles (21 km). Due to its greatness and fertility, it was often associated with majesty and power (Isa 35:2; Jer 46:18). The point of the comparison is that her head crowns her body just as the majestic Mount Carmel rested over the landscape, rising above it in majestic and fertile beauty. See ZPEB 1:755; C. F. Pfeiffer and H. F. Vos, Wycliffe Historical Geography of Bible Lands, 100. (NET Note Song 7)

NET Note on locks (Lxx = "lock of your hair like purple", NLT = the sheen of your hair radiates royalty) - The term דַּלָּה (dallah, “locks, hair”) refers to dangling curls or loose hair that hangs down from one’s head (HALOT 222-23 s.v. I דַּלָּה). The Hebrew term is from a common Semitic root meaning “to hang down,” and is related to Arabic tadaldala “dangle” and Ethiopic delul “dangling curls” (KBL 222–23). (NET Note Song 7)

Locks...purple - Earlier it states her hair is black (Song 4:4, 6:5). Carr proposes that "Purple is distinctly different, but probably indicates the lustrous highlights which shimmer and ripple as she moves." Ibid)

Longman - Purple was the most expensive dye at the time and was reserved for both human (Jdg. 8:26) and divine (Ex.25-39) monarchs (which may) mean that her hair was “queen-like and fit for a king.”

NET Note on purple threads - Heb “like purple” or “like purple fabric.” The term אַרְגָּמָן (’argaman, “purple fabric”) refers to wool dyed with red purple (HALOT 84 s.v. אַרְגָּמָן). It is used in reference to purple threads (Ex 35:25; 39:3; Esther 1:9) or purple cloth (Nu 4:13; Jdg 8:26; Esther 8:15; Pr 31:22; Jer 10:9; Song 3:10). NASB translates it as “purple threads,” while NIV nuances this term as “royal tapestry.” M. H. Pope (The Song of Songs [AB], 629-30) adduces several ancient Near Eastern texts and suggests that it refers to purple hair-dye. The comparison is to hair which entangles Solomon like binding cords and therefore, it seems most likely that the idea here must be purple threads. The Hebrew noun is a loanword from Hittite argaman “tribute,” which is reflected in Akkadian argamannu “purple” (also “tribute” under Hittite influence), Ugaritic argmn “tax, purple,” Aramaic argwn “purple” (HALOT 84). Purple cloth and threads were considered very valuable (Ezek 27:7, 16) and were commonly worn by kings as a mark of their royal position (Jdg 8:26). (NET Note Song 7)

The king - More accurately "a king" and this represents the only use of "king" in Song without the definite article (cp Song 1:4, 12; Song 3:9, Song 3:11). This absence of the definite article ("the") leads some to say that this is not a reference to Solomon.

Captivated - The Lxx translates asar with the verb deo which means to bind and is in the perfect tense which describes signifies the binding (figurative) occurred at a point in time in the past but the effects continue in the present. I can identify with this because the moment I laid eyes on my wife some 45+ years ago, I was "captivated" and continue to be captivated to this day. As an aside it is interesting that the most concentrated use of asar in Scripture is in the story of the literal binding of Samson by Delilah which led to his downfall (Jdg 15:10, 12f; 16:5-8, 10-13, 21, 25). Perhaps Samson was bound by her beauty which led to her being able to entice him to be bound and finally to reveal the secret of his strength.

NET Note on captivated - “captivated.” The verb אָסַר (’asar, “to bind, capture, hold captive, put in prison”) is commonly used of binding a prisoner with cords and fetters (Ge 42:34; Jdg 15:10–13; 16:5–12; 2Ki 17:4; 23:33; 25:7; 2Chr 33:11). It is frequently used as a figure to depict absolute authority over a person (Ps 105:22). The passive participle סוּר means “to be bound, held captive, imprisoned” (2Sa 3:34; Jer 40:1; Job 36:8). Like a prisoner bound in cords and fetters and held under the complete control and authority of his captor, Solomon was captivated by the spellbinding power of her hair. In a word, he was the prisoner of love and she was his captor. Similar imagery appears in an ancient Egyptian love song: “With her hair she throws lassoes at me, with her eyes she catches me, with her necklace she entangles me, and with her seal ring she brands me” (Song 43 in the Chester Beatty Cycle, translated by W. K. Simpson, ed., The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 324). J S Deere suggests, “The concluding part of the metaphor, ‘The king is held captive by your tresses,’ is a beautiful expression of the powerful effect of love. A strong monarch was held prisoner by the beauty of his Beloved” (“Song of Solomon,” BKCOT, 206–207). This is a startling statement because Solomon emphasizes that the one who was being held captive like a prisoner in bonds was the “king”! At this point in world history, Solomon was the ruler of the most powerful and wealthy nation in the world (1Ki 3:13; 10:23–29). And yet he was held totally captive and subject to the beauty of this country maiden! (NET Note Song 7)

Solomon (young man)...

Song 7:6 "How beautiful and how delightful you are, my love, with all your charms!

NET - How beautiful you are! How lovely, O love, with your delights!

NLT - Oh, how beautiful you are! How pleasing, my love, how full of delights!

ESV How beautiful and pleasant you are, O loved one, with all your delights!

Beautiful...delightful...charms - All speak of Solomon's great attraction to his bride.

Carr on the identity of the speaker - After the detailed description of the beloved’s beauty by the onlookers, the lover himself again adds his praise, speaking out of the remembering of the wedding night just past (cf. Song 1:8; 4:10). Ibid)

Beautiful (03302 - יָפָה) (yapah) is a verb (cf noun = yapheh) means to be fair, bright, excellent, beautiful. It is used as a term of approval and of descriptive power referring to the king of Israel. It is used only 8x in the OT - Ps 45:2; Song 4:10; 7:1, 6; Jer 4:30; 10:4; Ezek 16:13; 31:7. In Ps 45:2 it indicates excellence and splendor in both an ethical and moral sense. Solomon used it to depict the beauty of love itself (Song 4:10 - Lxx = kallioo = to be beautiful), the beauty of her feet in sandals (Song 7:1). Yapah can mean adorn oneself or something as in (Jer. 4:30; 10:4; Ezek. 16:13). Finally yapah is used to describe the political, military, and royal splendor of the nation of Assyria (Ezek 31:7). Song 7:1 and Song 7:6 uses of yaphah are translated in the Lxx with the verb horaioomai = to be beautiful.

NET Note on love - The MT preserves a syntactically difficult reading בַּתַּעֲנוּגִים (batta’anugim, “in/with delights”). A variant Hebrew manuscript tradition preserves the vocalization of the passive form אֲהֻבָה (’ahuvah, “beloved one, one who is loved”), as is also reflected in the Vulgate and Syriac. The term אַהֲבָה (“love”) usually refers to sexual (2Sa 13:15; Pr 5:19) or emotional love between a man and a woman (2Sa 1:26; Song 8:6–7) (NET Note Song 7)

Carr on charms (delights - notice it is plural!)- The verbal form ‘anag (08588 - תַּעֲנֻגָה - charms, delight, luxury, pleasant, pleasures) has the sense ‘delicate, soft, delightful’, and the noun ta‘ănûg has the meaning of luxurious, specifically erotic, delights (e.g. Eccl. 2:8 = "delights of men"; Mic. 1:16). The sense of this last colon is a description of the delights of love-making remembered (Song 4:16–5:1), and anticipated (Song 7:10–12). Gordis (p. 97) quotes the rabbinic comment from Ibn Ezra on this verse: ‘in all the world there is no such delight for the spirit and nothing as fair and pleasant as love’. Lehrman (p. 27) renders this ‘how surpassingly delightful is love above all other pleasures’. The Song of Solomon - Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries)

NET Note on charms (delights)- The term תַּעֲנוּג (ta’anug, “luxury, daintiness, exquisite delight”) is used in reference to: (1) tender love (Mic 1:16); (2) the object of pleasure (Mic 2:9); (3) erotic pleasures (Eccl 2:8); (4) luxury befitting a king (Prov 19:10). The term may have sexual connotations, as when it is used in reference to a harem of women who are described as “the delights” of the heart of a man (Eccl 2:8) (BDB 772 s.v. תַּעֲנוּג). (NET Note Song 7)

Akin - Everything about her, every detail, every particular of her person, is a delight, a joy, a blessing to his soul. The more he knows her the more he loves her....This is a remarkable lady indeed. She is not the same shy and insecure girl we first met in Song 1:5-7. The love of her king has transformed her!. (Ibid)

Solomon (young man)...

Song 7:7 "Your stature is like a palm tree (note), and your breasts are like its clusters (See pictures of palm tree clusters)

NET - Your stature is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like clusters of grapes.

NLT - You are slender like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters of fruit.

Stature... like a palm tree - Tall, slender, noble. The Date palm (see pix) (tamar) was tall and slender, which would picture her grace and elegance.

It is interesting to read Solomon's advice to young men in Proverbs 5:19-20 - "As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love. For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress, And embrace the bosom of a foreigner?"

Constable on Song 7:7-9 - All these verses reflect the increased freedom in sexual matters that is a normal part of the maturation of marital love. A husband has the freedom to enjoy his wife’s body (cf. 5:10–16; cf. 1 Cor. 7:3–5), though not to abuse this privilege, of course. (Song of Solomon Commentary)

NET Note on stature - The term קוֹמָתֵךְ (qomatek, “stature”) indicates the height of an object, e.g., tall person (1 Sam 16:7; Ezek 13:8), tall tree (2 Kgs 19:23; Isa 10:33; Ezek 31:3–5, 10–14), a towering vine (Ezek 19:11). (NET Note Song 7)

NET Note on palm tree - The term תָּמָר (tamar, “palm tree”) refers to the date palm tree (Phoenix dactyliferia) that can reach a height of 80 feet (24 m). It flourished in warm moist areas and oases from Egypt to India. Ancient Iraq was the leading grower of date palms and dates in the ancient world, as today (M. H. Pope, The Song of Songs [AB], 633). There is also a hint of eroticism in this palm tree metaphor because the palm tree was often associated with fertility in the ancient world. The point of comparison is that she is a tall, slender, fertile young woman. The comparison of a tall and slender lady to a palm tree is not uncommon in love literature: “O you, whose height is that of a palm tree in a serail” (Homer, Odyssey vi 162–63) (S. H. Stephan, “Modern Palestinian Parallels to the Song of Songs,” JPOS 2 [1922]: 76). (NET Note Song 7)

NET Note on like its clusters (see pix) - the reference to climbing the palm tree in Song 7:8a is best understood if it is a date palm and its fruit are dates. The comparison between her breasts and clusters of dates probably has to do with shape and multiplicity, as well as taste, as the rest of this extended metaphor intimates. (NET Note Song 7)

Carr on its clusters - The picture is not of multiple breasts as in the statue of Artemis of Ephesus nor in their large size, as the ‘cluster’ of grapes from the valley of Eshcol which required two men to carry it (Nu 13:23f.), but rather of the ‘sweetness’ the heavy, dark fruit provided. Ibid)

Daniel Akin - In recent years research on marriage and family has revealed some interesting facts. To a secular-minded culture the conclusions proved surprising. To those of us committed to a biblical worldview, what was discovered was not surprising at all. It was found that “the most emotionally and physically satisfying sex was between committed partners.” Furthermore, “emotional and physical satisfaction from sex increases with sexual exclusivity, with emotional investment in the relationship, and a longtime horizon for the relationship” (Greeley, “Privileging”). The husband and wife in the Song of Songs would say to us, “We already knew this! We learned this in the real life laboratory of marriage, and what a joy it is to share what we learned.” A persistent passion for your mate is a healthy tonic for a happy, growing relationship. So as you move forward growing old together, keep a couple of things in mind. Keep On Expressing Your Desires for Her (Song 7:7-9) (and) Keep On Receiving Her Affection for You (Song 7:9-10).. (Ibid)

Solomon (young man)...

Song 7:8 "I said, 'I will climb the palm tree, I will take hold of its fruit stalks.' Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and the fragrance of your breath like apples,

NET - I want to climb the palm tree, and take hold of its fruit stalks. May your breasts be like the clusters of grapes, and may the fragrance of your breath be like apricots!

NLT - I said, "I will climb the palm tree and take hold of its fruit." May your breasts be like grape clusters, and the fragrance of your breath like apples.

RSB on I will climb...take hold - These are images of lovemaking (Song 7:7; cf. Song 5:1).

NET Note on I will climb - The verb אָמַר (’amar, “to say”) is often used metonymically in reference to the thought process, emphasizing the spontaneity of a decision or of an idea which has just entered the mind of the speaker moments before he speaks (Ge 20:11; 26:9; 44:28; Ex 2:14; Nu 24:11; Ru 4:4; 1Sa 20:4, 26; 2Sa 5:6; 12:22; 2Ki 5:11). (NET Note Song 7)

Glickman - He creates a vivid picture of his kissing her breasts as one would place the clusters of the vine to one’s lips. And her kisses would bring the fragrance of her breath like the sweet scent of apples, and her mouth would be ‘like the best wine’ to be slowly and exquisitely enjoyed with every sip. Ibid).

NET Note on palm tree - A Palestinian palm tree grower would climb a palm tree for two reasons: (1) to pluck the fruit and (2) to pollinate the female palm trees. Because of their height and because the dates would not naturally fall off the tree, the only way to harvest dates from a palm tree is to climb the tree and pluck the fruit off the stalks. This seems to be the primary imagery behind this figurative expression. The point of comparison here would be that just as one would climb a palm tree to pluck its fruit so that it might be eaten and enjoyed, so too Solomon wanted to embrace his Beloved so that he might embrace and enjoy her breasts. It is possible that the process of pollination is also behind this figure. A palm tree is climbed to pick its fruit or to dust the female flowers with pollen from the male flowers (the female and male flowers were on separate trees). To obtain a better yield and accelerate the process of pollination, the date grower would transfer pollen from the male trees to the flowers on the female trees. This method of artificial pollination is depicted in ancient Near Eastern art. For example, a relief from Gozan (Tel Halaf) dating to the 9th century B.C. depicts a man climbing a palm tree on a wooden ladder with his hands stretched out to take hold of its top branches to pollinate the flowers or to pick the fruit from the tree. The point of this playful comparison is clear: Just as a palm tree grower would climb a female tree to pick its fruit and to pollinate it with a male flower, Solomon wanted to grasp her breasts and to make love to her (The Illustrated Family Encyclopedia of the Living Bible, 10:60). (NET Note Song 7)

Take hold (0270 - אָחַז) (achaz) means to grasp, take hold of, take possession of and is used 4x in Song (Song 2:15; 3:4, 8; 7:8). It is translated in the Lxx with krateo which can mean to seize or control but also means to use one's hands to establish close contact (cp Acts 3:11 = "clinging").

Carr on like clusters of the vine - In the previous verse the beloved’s breasts are compared with the sweetness of the dates; here the image changes to the fruit of the vine (cf. Song 2:13; Song 6:11). Ibid)

POSB - So strong was Solomon’s yearning that he anticipated the very taste of his beloved. He wished that her breasts would taste as sweet as grapes on the vine Ibid)

Fragrance (07381 - רֵיחַ) (reyach) is used seven times in the Song (Song 1:3, 12; 2:13; 4:10f; 7:8, 13) of the beloved’s perfumes (Song 1:3, 12; 4:10f.) or of the fragrance of the plants of the garden (Song 2:13; 7:13).

Akin on breath - Carr (Song, 162–63) notes that breath could be a reference in the Hebrew language to the nipples of her breasts. Garrett (Proverbs, 422) concurs.. (Ibid)

NET Note on like apples - The Hebrew noun תַּפּוּחַ (tappukha) has been traditionally been translated as “apple,” but modern botanists and the most recent lexicographers now identify תַּפּוּחַ with the “apricot” (BDB 656 s.v. I תַּפּוּחַ). This might better explain the association with the sweet smelling scent, especially since the term is derived from a Semitic root denoting “aromatic scent.” Apricots were often associated with their sweet scent in the ancient world (Fauna and Flora of the Bible, 92–93). (NET Note Song 7)

POSB - There is a marked difference in the way the husband approaches sex with his wife at this point in their marriage and his demeanor on their wedding night. Glickman.expresses it best: Remember on the wedding night there was the almost formal request and acceptance in the imagery of the garden. It was easily compared to the first kiss of Romeo and Juliet. But notice now how much freer the couple is with one another. It is not a loss in sacredness but rather a growth in familiarity…This is a different mood from the delicate formality of their wedding night." Ibid)

Solomon (young man)...

Song 7:9 And your mouth like the best wine!

NET - May your mouth be like the best wine, flowing smoothly for my beloved, gliding gently over our lips as we sleep together.

NLT - May your kisses be as exciting as the best wine, flowing gently over lips and teeth. Young Woman

This presumably refers to her kisses and the pleasant odor of her breath. The NET translation has "may the fragrance of your breath be like apricots!" NLT and ESV = "the fragrance of your breath like apples."

Carr - The suffix on the first noun, your kisses (more literally "your mouth"), is feminine, indicating that the girl is still being described. Ibid)

NET note on mouth - The term חֵךְ (khek, “palate, mouth”) is often used as a metonymy for what the mouth produces, e.g., the mouth is the organ of taste (Ps 119:103; Job 12:11; 20:13; 34:3; Prov 24:13; Song 2:3), speech (Job 6:30; 31:30; 33:2; Prov 5:3; 8:7), sound (Hos 8:1), and kisses (Song 5:16; 7:10) (HALOT 313 s.v. חֵךְ; BDB 335 s.v. חֵךְ). The metonymical association of her palate/mouth and her kisses is made explicit by RSV which translated the term as “kisses.” (NET Note Song 7)

POSB - How to Keep the Marriage Fires Burning: Praise your spouse regularly. You can never offer your spouse too much genuine praise. Affirmation and appreciation add fuel to the fires of passion. For the wife, they provide the support and approval she needs. For the husband, they provide the respect and admiration he craves. Words are powerful things. Words of praise for your spouse can help keep your marriage from getting stale and can even keep it exciting. It is not enough just to refrain from criticizing or speaking negatively to or about your spouse. Spouses should give positive affirmation and praise to each other every day. God’s Holy Word is clear. Praise helps a marriage in many, many ways: It builds confidence in your spouse. It makes your spouse feel valued. It makes your spouse want to please you. It keeps you focused on the positive things about your spouse and helps to keep you content in your marriage. It is a reminder of how much God has blessed you in giving you this person to walk with throughout life.Remember this: God not only demonstrated His love for us by giving His Son (Ro.5:8), but He also tells us throughout His Word how special we are to Him and how much He loves us. We must follow God’s example and faithfully tell our spouses how special they are and how much we love them. Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible- Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon)

Shulammite (young woman)...

Song 7:9b It goes down smoothly for my beloved, flowing gently through the lips of those who fall asleep.

NET - May your mouth be like the best wine, flowing smoothly for my beloved, gliding gently over our lips as we sleep together.

NLT - May your kisses be as exciting as the best wine, flowing gently over lips and teeth. Young Woman

Carr explains that "What begins in the last two cola of Song 7:9 continues through the first four verses of Song 8, and capsulizes the fourth major division of the Song. The girl, who has been the object of the attention of the assembled crowd, now responds with a reaffirmation of her commitment to her lover/spouse. In the second and third cola of Song 7:9 there is an abrupt switch as the beloved speaks... it is difficult to make certain sense in translation." (referring to Song 7:9b) Ibid)

Deere has an interesting note - The beloved used the same image of wine (cf. v. 9a) to express her desire to satisfy her husband’s wish for her. The rapid interchange of speakers (the beloved is not introduced as the speaker in v. 9b) reflected their excitement in giving and receiving kisses and caresses. The intermingling of their lips in kisses was stylistically reflected by the poem’s intermingling of their voices. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Flowing gently (dabab) is used only here and the intended meaning is difficult to surmise in this context.

Gordis translates through the lips as "stirring the lips of sleepers (with desire) which gives it an erotic connotation."

Glickman - Whereas the wedding night focused on the purpose of sex as the consummation of marriage, this night focuses on the purpose of sex as the nourishment of marriage … As they fell asleep the last kiss lingered in each other’s minds like the aftertaste of good wine. What an enchanting picture of the sleeping couple! Ibid).

Morgan - It is the full, final, ultimate word of love. It expresses complete satisfaction, absolute rest, and uttermost of contentment and peace. There are two elements in it. The first is that of complete abandonment; ‘I am my beloved’s.’ The second is that of the realization that the beloved is satisfied; ‘His desire is toward me.’

Akin - John Gries says, “Jesus intended marriage to be happy for you. God expects regular sex in marriage, and sex is a learning process” (Lackey, “Counselor Offers Help”). Gries is right, and we have seen this truth lived out in our Song. This couple has grown in their knowledge of each other. They have learned both how to give and how to receive.. (Ibid)

Shulammite (young woman)...

Song 7:10 "I am my beloved's (Song 6:3), and his desire is for me.


NET - I am my beloved's, and he desires me!

NLT - I am my lover's, and he claims me as his own.

Glickman on her omission of my beloved is mine - She not only places his possession of her primary, but strengthens it by adding that his desire is toward her, and so focused is she upon him that she omits her possession of him. She has really lost herself in him and thereby found herself. Ibid).

Constable - The Shulammite exulted in her complete abandonment to her husband and in his complete satisfaction with her (cf. Song 2:16; 6:3). These joys increase through the years of a healthy marriage. (Song of Solomon Commentary)

Deere adds that "the clause my lover “is mine” is replaced with his desire is for me. This is a more emphatic way of stating possession. How much more could a husband belong to his wife than for him to desire only her? She had so grown in the security of his love that she could now say that his only desire was for her. She had become so taken by his love for her that here she did not even mention her possession of him." (The Bible Knowledge Commentary)

POSB - This time, she speaks only of her beloved’s possession of her. Why is this significant? The Shulamite was expressing her security in the love of her husband for her exclusively, as indicated by the second clause: “his desire is toward me.” She was convinced that she was the only true love of his life. His passion in lovemaking had comforted her and given her this assurance. Ibid)

RSB - Here as in Song 4:16 the woman responds to her beloved’s wooing with happy surrender.

My beloved - This specific phrase is found 24x in 23v in the Song of Solomon - 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 are found in the Song of Solomon.

Paige Patterson - Far from being the objectionable condition alleged by many women today, Shulamith obviously basked in her position of subordination. This does not suggest that her personality had been dissolved in Solomon’s like a drop of honey in the ocean or that she considered herself mere chattel. This is apparent from her self-assertiveness documented in Song 5:3. However, it does suggest that she found in her position sustaining comfort. (Song of Solomon Everyman's Bible Commentary))

W A Criswell - This is the third detailed description by Solomon of the physical beauty of his wife. This section reveals a growth and maturity in their relationship (Song 7:10). The metaphors are more vivid and intimate than the previous ones. An increase in freedom in both sexual matters and communication is expected in a healthy marriage. (This note is from his Believer's Study Bible - it is surprising that Dr Criswell did not preach a single sermon on the Song of Solomon - as determined from search of his archived messages at the W. A. Criswell Sermon Library)

Clearly Solomon is taking great pleasure in his beloved, which raises the question of the appropriateness of viewing someone other than one's marital partner to "re-kindle" the fires in one's marital relation. And before you say "The answer is obvious", let me tell you an experience I had some 25 years ago as a brand new "baby" Christian. I was attending a well known and highly respected non-denominational Bible church where the elder (very well respected in the church) who interviewed me for membership (questions regarding the authenticity of my born again experience at age 39 - see My Testimony of God's Amazing Grace) related to me how he and his wife frequently viewed pornographic movies as a means to "stimulate" their relationship! I was taken aback to say the least, and that is why I included the following comments (you will need to click the link for the full article).

Jeff Olson addresses this query asking "Is it right and beneficial for a husband and wife to view pornographic videos? We live in a sexually charged culture where some would have us believe that it is acceptable and appropriate for a husband and wife to view pornographic videos. Most in this camp contend that couples watching tapes of other couples having sex can re-ignite dwindling passion and "spice up" a dull sex life. Although some "training videos" may contain some practical information about the physical realities of sex, they cross a moral line by communicating that information with demonstrations of couples engaged in sexual activities. The strong sexual imagery in the Bible's Song of Solomon illustrates God's intention for a husband and wife to take great pleasure in viewing and touching each other's bodies. Outside of marriage, however, such behavior is wrong. And it is wrong to view such an intimate act under the pretense of "sex education." (Read the entire article Answers to Tough Questions)


Today in the Word (Song 7:6) - In the movie and bestselling novel, The Help, an African American woman, Aibileen, tells the little girl in her care, Mae Mobley, that she is valued. Uncomfortable with the harsh way the girl’s mother scolds her young daughter, Aibileen constantly whispers encouraging words to the child: “You is beautiful. You is smart. You is important.” She hopes that those words will echo in Mae’s ears and encourage her heart, even when she is no longer serving there in the home.

Everybody needs to feel loved. Here the young woman enjoys the adoring words of her lover. He describes each detail of her physical being, assigning to it the highest value. Words like “jewels” and “ivory” show that he views her as precious and valuable (7:1, 4). A valuable item should be treasured. By comparing his lover to items that are precious, he is demonstrating how he esteems her. She is priceless to him. He holds her in highest regard and will treasure her.

He writes this song like a love letter, describing her beauty. To him, she can do no wrong. He finds no fault in her physical appearance. She is captivating to the king (v. 5). To him, she is the source of great pleasure, and he delights in her. How wonderful to be fully loved and adored! It satisfies a deep hunger in our soul and lifts our self-worth.

To be valued by a king, to be completely desired, is the reality of each believer. God’s call to us is even greater than the adoration that the man gave this woman. God thinks we are priceless. To Him, we have immeasurable value. In God, as children of the Almighty, we are fully adored and completely loved (1 John 4:10).

Apply the Word - Words of love can shape our lives. Who has spoken words of encouragement and love to you? What words of hope and love have you spoken to others? Take a moment to tell someone how much they are loved. Consider a simple note or quick phone call to say, “I value you! You are greatly loved.” Your words may make a difference in someone’s life.


Delighting in Beauty - Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies. [Song 7:2] The Song of Songs progresses from Solomon’s courtship of his bride through the early days of their marriage. In Song 1–2 Solomon woos the Shulamite maiden, and she affectionately responds to his advances. In Song 2:4 and Song 3:6 we find Solomon taking her to the palace to present her to the court. Then in Song 4 Solomon praises her beauty as she stands fully dressed and veiled. He mentions her beautiful eyes, her raven hair, and what he can see of her body as it moves beneath her garments (Song 4:1–5). He even says that she smells good to him (Song 4:10–15—a locked garden is one that captures good scents). Song 5:1 says that the marriage has been consummated. The new wife yearns to be with her husband, but he is about his business (Song 5:2–6:3). Later in the day Solomon remembers her beauty and longs to be with her also (Song 6:1–9). Next we find her public presentation before the people as their queen. They fall in love with her and want to see her more often (Song 6:10–13). In Song 7 the newly married couple is alone, and Solomon admires her physical beauty in privacy. The language in Song 7 is naturally more intimate. What we see throughout the Song is the delight that both the husband and the wife take in each other and in each others’ bodies. There is no hint of comparison here, as if the husband compares his wife’s body to the beauty of other women he has known. His eyes are for her alone. Happy is the man who has never known another woman with physical intimacy and the woman who has known only her husband. A benefit of fidelity is that they have no basis for unwanted comparisons. The negation and depreciation of the human body, which is still present among some Christians, is characteristic of pagan culture, not of the Bible. The Bible teaches us that God made human beings in his own image, as the crown of his creation. While God is a Spirit without a physical body, in some ways our physical bodies do reflect his beauty and glory. We should delight in this and in one another within the strict confines of marital privacy. Both clothed and unclothed, adorned and unadorned, scented and unscented, married couples should regard the loveliness of one another. Coram Deo - The abundance of exposed flesh in our public marketplace today makes it more difficult for husbands or wives to believe their spouses only have eyes for them. As Job, covenant with your eyes (Job 31:1 - Ed: And do this enabled by transforming grace and supernatural power from the indwelling Holy Spirit! - cp 2Ti 2:1, Ro 8:13) that you will not gaze or long for someone besides your marriage partner. If you are married, are there ways you can strengthen your fidelity to the person with whom you are one flesh? (Tabletalk)


Today in the Word (Song 7:10) - The word honeymoon has a fascinating history. It was associated with an ancient European custom where couples would drink a daily cup of honeyed wine called mead for the first month of their marriage. The word suggests that, like honey, the first month of marriage is sweet, without the stresses that follow. The word honeymoon also hinted at the lunar cycle, suggesting that love tends to wane as time goes on.

In the early days of a relationship, love is consuming. The woman speaks to her beloved, urging him to run away with her for time alone. She describes an idyllic vacation, a honeymoon of sorts where the two can be completely alone, entranced with one another. For this couple, so completely in love, they are in the stage of their relationship where they need only one another. Their sense of deep belonging is so pleasing to them, that it makes everything around them more beautiful. In this honeymoon world, we see abundant fruit and blooming flowers. The air is filled with delicious scents. The love that the couple feels for one another is described in sensory detail, and it pleases every aspect of their being.

These details are described as she looks ahead to the physical consummation of their love. She sees that their union will be special and overwhelming because they love one another and have waited a long time for this moment (Song 7:13).

True love is worth waiting for and provides a rich feast of delights. In chapter 8, there is a caution that lovers should wait for the time when they can be united without risk of scandal or unwanted consequences. True love, in the right place and time, provides the deepest type of satisfaction. The honeymoon is worth the wait.

Apply the Word - Some refer to their first days as a believer as their “honeymoon” with Christ. In the first flush of belief, we are overwhelmed by God’s love, and it seems to spill over into every aspect of our lives. Ask God today to renew your sense of overwhelming love, both your love for God and your awareness of how deeply and completely He loves you in return.

Shulammite (young woman)...
Song 7:11 "Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country, Let us spend the night in the villages.
Song 7:12 "Let us rise early and go to the vineyards (picture); Let us see whether the vine has budded And its blossoms have opened, And whether the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love.
Song 7:13 "The mandrakes (note) (picture - scroll down) have given forth fragrance; And over our doors are all choice fruits, Both new and old, Which I have saved up for you, my beloved.
Shulammite (young woman)...
Song 7:11 "Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country, Let us spend the night in the villages.


NET - Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside; let us spend the night in the villages.

NLT - Come, my love, let us go out to the fields and spend the night among the wildflowers.

Notice that in Song 7:1-10 the husband takes the initiative in their love making, and now she responds by giving him an unambiguous invitation.

Come my beloved - Earlier the beloved made a similar invitation to the maiden: Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away (Song 2:10 - "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along." see note on Song 2:10).

Deere adds that "Previously her desire had been expressed in the third person (e.g., Song 1:2a; Song 2:6). Now, having grown more secure in the love of her husband, she felt free to initiate the lovemaking. So she asked him to go to the countryside where they could spend the night together." (Ibid)

Constable - Secure in her love the Shulammite now felt free to initiate sex directly rather than indirectly as earlier (cf. Song 1:2a, 2:6). (Ibid)

POSB - How to Keep the Marriage Fires Burning: Continually offer yourself fully to your spouse. The Bible instructs husbands and wives to view their bodies as belonging to each other and to fulfill their spouse’s desires (1 Co.7:3-4). Yet the sexual relationship should not be viewed as a duty; it should be a delight. Husbands and wives should happily respond to the desires of their spouses. Ibid)

Shulammite (young woman)...

Song 7:12 Let us rise early and go to the vineyards (picture); Let us see whether the vine has budded and its blossoms have opened, and whether the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love.

NET - Let us rise early to go to the vineyards, to see if the vines have budded, to see if their blossoms have opened, if the pomegranates are in bloom– there I will give you my love.

NLT - Let us get up early and go to the vineyards to see if the grapevines have budded, if the blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love.

Vine...budded...blossoms...opened - She is describing the coming of the Spring season.

POSB - Remember that she was a country girl and that she, like Solomon, delighted in the beautiful sights, scents, and sounds of nature. Remember also that spring was a special time of year for this couple. Two particularly special spring days have already been mentioned in the Song (Song 2:8-17; 6:11-13). Ibid)

Guzik - Since springtime was a special emblem of their love (Song 2:10–13 and Song 6:11–12). She used that image to communicate her own desire to enjoy the freshness and strength of their love and intimacy. (Ibid)

Glickman writes "The poet thus reveals that their relationship has gone from spring to spring, that now it has experienced a full cycle of growth.” Ibid).

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)

There I will give you my love - Here she gives a clear invitation to share intimacy together. Notice "I will give" which is a response to his giving a 10-fold compliment earlier. Often a husband has the attitude "I will take" even though he has not picked up the sense of "I will give." We must be sensitive to our wives in this time of delicate verbal and sensual interchanges. Notice how he patiently plied (furnished) her with sincere and sumptuous praises. A good pattern for every husband!

Guzik comments that "The maiden was refreshingly honest and open with her beloved. She said to him, “Let’s get away to the countryside and make love.” This is an invitation likely to appeal to a husband.. In all of this we see a remarkable freedom and joy in their love. Sexual intimacy was not understood to be the husband’s pleasure and the wife’s duty; there is a spirit throughout the Song of Solomon that shows how good marital love can be for both partners. “Song of Solomon teaches that true freedom does not come by someone’s being liberated from marriage. The truth is that genuine liberation comes in marriage. Marriage is a secure hedge that protects love as it grows. As love is nurtured, it produces freedom and fulfillment.” (Estes)" (Ibid)

Shulammite (young woman)...

Song 7:13 "The mandrakes (note) (picture - scroll down) have given forth fragrance; And over our doors are all choice fruits, Both new and old, Which I have saved up for you, my beloved.

NET - The mandrakes send out their fragrance; over our door is every delicacy, both new and old, which I have stored up for you, my lover.

NLT - There the mandrakes give off their fragrance, and the finest fruits are at our door, new delights as well as old, which I have saved for you, my lover. Young Woman

Holman Study Bible on Song 7:12-13 - These verses contemplate a new season of spring in their experience. Love (Hb doday) is a wordplay on mandrakes (Hb duda'iym), an appropriate name for these plants associated with love and fertility. Delicacy (choice fruits) is the same word twice rendered "choicest fruits" referring to erotic delicacies of the wedding night (Song 4:13,16).

Carr notes that "The mandrake (Wikipedia) or ‘love apple’ is a pungently fragrant plant that has long been considered an aphrodisiac—not that these lovers needed any additional stimulation, but the use of such items has long been part of the lore of love-making.” Ibid)

Guzik adds that "the reference to mandrakes shows a desire for children. “Shulamith wanted children as a visible demonstration of the oneness in her and Solomon’s love.” (Estes)" (Ibid)

Carr on choice fruits (AV pleasant fruits; ASV precious fruits; NIV every delicacy; NEB rare fruits; JB rarest fruits; Heb. kol-mĕgādîm). This rare word occurs earlier in Song 4:13, 16 where it is used of the girl’s physical and erotic attractions. Here a similar meaning seems likely. Ibid)

Mandrakes (01736) (duday) (picture - scroll down) "Hebrew dudaim; i.e., "love-plants", occurs only in Gen. 30:14-16 and Song 7:13. Many interpretations have been given of this word dudaim. It has been rendered "violets," "Lilies," "jasmines," "truffles or mushrooms," "flowers," the "citron," etc. The weight of authority is in favour of its being regarded as the Mandragora officinalis of botanists, "a near relative of the night-shades, the 'apple of Sodom' and the potato plant." It possesses stimulating and narcotic properties (Gen. 30:14-16). The fruit of this plant resembles the potato-apple in size, and is of a pale orange color. It has been called the "love-apple." The Arabs call it "Satan's apple." It still grows near Jerusalem, and in other parts of Palestine." (Easton's Bible Dictionary) (Mandrake - Wikipedia)

Duday - 4x in NAS - Gen 30:14, 15, 16; Song 7:13, all translated "mandrake." The Lxx translates the Hebrew duday with the noun mandragopas which means mandragora, which is the botanical name given to the mandrake plant.

NET Note - In the ancient Near East the mandrake was a widely used symbol of erotic love because it was thought to be an aphrodisiac and therefore was used as a fertility drug. The unusual shape of the large forked roots of the mandrake resembles the human body with extended arms and legs. This similarity gave rise to the popular superstition that the mandrake could induce conception and it was therefore used as a fertility drug. It was so thoroughly associated with erotic love that its name is derived from the Hebrew root דּוֹד (dod, “love”), that is, דּוּדָאִים (duda’im) denotes “love-apples.” Arabs used its fruit and roots as an aphrodisiac and referred to it as abd al- sal’m (“servant of love”) (NET Note Song 7)

MANDRAKES (ISBE article) - man'-draks (dudha'im; mandragoras (Gen 30:14 f; Song 7:13); the marginal reading "love apples" is due to the supposed connection of dudha'im with dodhim, "love"): Mandrakes are the fruit of the Mandragora officinarum, a member of the Solanaceae or potato order, closely allied to the Atropa belladonna. It is a common plant all over Palestine, flourishing particularly in the spring and ripening about the time of the wheat harvest (Gen 30:14). The plant has a rosette of handsome dark leaves, dark purple flowers and orange, tomato-like fruit. The root is long and branched; to pull it up is still considered unlucky (compare Josephus, BJ, VII, vi, 3). The fruit is called in Arabic baid el-jinn, the "eggs of the jinn"; they have a narcotic smell and sweetish taste, but are too poisonous to be used as food. They are still used in folklore medicine in Palestine. The plant was well known as an aphrodisiac by the ancients (Song 7:13).

Fragrance (07381)(reah from ruach = breath, wind) means scent or odor. Reah refers to the “scent or smell” of a person or thing as when Isaac smelled Jacob's garments and concluded (falsely) that they had the aroma of Esau (Ge 27:27 where reah is used 3x). See possibly related article - Olfactophilia - Wikipedia.

NET Note on over our doors - Her comparison of their love to fruit stored “over our door” reflects an ancient Near Eastern practice of storing fruit on a shelf above the door of a house. In the ancient Near East, fruits were stored away on shelves or cupboards above doorways where they were out of reach and left to dry until they became very sweet and delectable. The point of comparison in this figurative expression seems to be two-fold: (1) She was treasuring up special expressions of her sexual love to give to him, and (2) All these good things were for him alone to enjoy. See M. H. Pope, The Song of Songs [AB], 650. (NET Note Song 7)

Guzik on new and old - This difficult to translate phrase may have the sense that she is inviting him to enjoy intimacy in ways that are both familiar and new to the couple. The idea would be they would enjoy their lovemaking in creative ways that were planned in advance by the maiden (which I have laid up for you). (Ibid)

HCSB on new and old - New and old refer literally to fresh fruit from the harvest and dried fruits from the past. This refers figuratively to lovemaking "delicacies" that were in part fresh and new and in part familiar and constant. "Old" (Heb yeshanim) plays on "of the ones sleeping" (Heb yeshenim; Song 7:9). Since this is the peaceful sleep after lovemaking (see Song 7:9), the poet associates the familiar lovemaking with security and comfort. The location of delicacies at our doors (Heb pethachenu) is a play on has opened (Hb pittach; "of blossoms," Song 7:12), both words derived from the same root. The poet's intention to create the wordplay is underscored by his rejection of a different word for door that he could have used (Heb chomah, used in Song 8:9) without creating the wordplay. "Our doors" is thus a very erotic play on "our openings." Her "openings" and openness are like the opening of flower blossoms.

POSB - The Shulamite was very wise: she recognized the need to get her husband away from the incredible busyness and pressures of life to focus on their relationship. She recognized the need to add some variety to their lives, including their love life. She tantalized her husband by telling him she had some special ideas for the two of them during their most personal and private times together. How to Keep the Marriage Fires Burning: Go away together—alone. Every marriage needs revitalizing along the way to maintain the passion. Every couple should plan occasional excursions where they can get away from the pressures of life and the familiarity of home to rekindle their love and their identity as a couple. Such trips need not be long, or far away, or expensive. Some couples err by putting their personal lives on hold during the child-rearing years. Some do not want to leave their children overnight or to exclude them from an activity they would enjoy. One of the best things parents can do for their children is to nurture and nourish their love for each other. This instills security in the hearts and minds of the children and sets an example for them to follow later in life. Husbands and wives must never forget: one day those children will be grown and gone, but the spouse is going to be there always—at least, that is the way God intends it. Sadly, when the nest is empty, many people find themselves alone with a stranger. For that reason—and before it is too late—husbands and wives need to put their marriage relationship first. Scripture is clear on the subject: Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible- Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon)


TODAY IN THE WORD - In a Christianity Today article entitled, “Losing Our Promiscuity,” author Paula Rinehart quoted a woman in her twenties with a history of sexual promiscuity. “I wish I hadn’t given so much of myself,” she lamented. “I feel that some of my experiences thinned my soul, and such an effect takes time to undo.”

One of the many tragic side effects of a promiscuous lifestyle is that it can lead to sexual boredom in the marriage relationship. Ironically, the notion that marriage makes sex boring is one of the myths used to justify a promiscuous lifestyle. In a healthy marriage the opposite is true. As the relationship deepens, so does the couple’s enjoyment of the physical dimension of their marriage.

Today’s passage continues the Song of Solomon’s celebration of sexual love within the context of marriage. The bride promises to give her love to her groom. She declares, “At our door is every delicacy, both new and old, that I have stored up for you, my lover” (v. 13). This beautiful image depicts sexual love as something rare that has been saved for the bride’s husband alone. It is a cherished treasure, hidden away until the proper time.

The bride’s imagery also suggests that those in a healthy marriage should expect the pleasures of physical intimacy to increase rather than decrease with time. She promises to give her husband choice delicacies “both new and old.” If marriage leads to sexual boredom, it is not the institution but the nature of the couple’s relationship that is flawed.

Sexual pleasure should never be squandered. God did not intend for us to share this gift with many. Instead, like Solomon’s bride, it is something to be protected until it can be offered as a gift to the one for whom it was originally intended.

Scripture warns us to flee sexual immorality (1 Cor. 6:18) and that immoral behavior is inconsistent with the profession of godliness (Eph. 5:3). Thankfully, God also promises forgiveness and cleansing to those who confess their sin–no matter what it may be (1 John 1:9). We cannot undo past decisions, but we can be made new through Jesus Christ. If you have succumbed to sexual temptation, embrace the forgiveness found in Christ and ask the Holy Spirit to give you renewed strength to glorify God through your body.

Joe Guglielmo's
Sermon Notes


Song 7:1-5

As much as this Shulammite did not see herself as beautiful, the virgin daughters of Jerusalem did and they speak of her beauty with very descriptive words. One thing I would point out, do not say to your spouse or to anyone for that matter, that their “nose is like the tower of Lebanon.” It may have been a compliment back then, but today it may not be taken so well.

As we move on I believe it is at this point that Solomon is speaking as he starts speaking in the first person. Let’s read on and see what Solomon has to say.

Song 7:6-9a

He speaks of his love for her and for some, this is embarrassing. Maybe the reason many feel this way, that this is too descriptive for them is that they have gone to the other extreme and think that any kind of sexual relations except for having children is wrong, it should not be encouraged. They may feel that this kind of love is fleshly, that it is not godly, but I disagree.

Think about that for a minute. You mean to tell me we are not to be enraptured, captivated, totally head over heels with our spouse, that there should be no sexual attraction? You know what I call that kind of marriage, and you may disagree with me, but it is a dead marriage! If there is no heat in a marriage it is because there is no fire in that marriage!

Here with Solomon and his wife they have grown, this couple has matured in their sharing of love, sexual and otherwise. And love within a marriage relationship should also grow over time, it should be richer, it should be deeper. And let me also say this, if your love for your spouse is just based upon sexual relations you are going to be in trouble. There is much more to it than that but don’t go to the other extreme and negate sexual relations altogether.

Listen to what Paul has to say in 1Corinthians 7:3-5, “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Satan will look for any way that he can bring us down. He can’t steal away our salvation but he can surely destroy our witness and make us ineffective for the work of God. And one of the ways he does this is through the flesh and sexual relations. Thus, Paul says that a husband and a wife are to give themselves over to each other so that Satan will not get in the middle and destroy the relationship.

So hear me out on this, listen to what God is saying here. God is say that sexual relations between a husband and a wife are not wrong, they are not evil but it is good, it is honorable. Paul put it like this in Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Now Satan comes along and tries to pervert what God has established and I think many times that is where we go wrong and say that sex is wrong except for having children.

Thus, in marriage you need to give yourself to your spouse and if you do you won’t let Satan get in and try to drive a wedge between you and your spouse, tempting you to move away from your spouse. Of this Christenson wrote: “In plain language this means that if one partner desires the sexual relationship, the other should respond to that desire. The husband and wife who adopt this down-to-earth approach to sex will find it a wonderfully satisfying aspect of their marriage – for the simple reason that the relationship is rooted in reality, and not in some artificial or impossible ideal.”

So keep the fire burning in your relationship with your spouse and if you do your relationship will not grow cold!

For Solomon, he delighted in her, he was attracted to her and she delighted in him, she was attracted to him! He speaks of her being like a palm tree or I think the idea is that she is tall, great stature and probably not just physical but an inward strength, an inward character!

He speaks of her breasts being like clusters and he is consumed with her beauty and wants to partake of this beauty with her. He then speaks of her breath being like apples and her mouth, the roof of her mouth like the best wine. What is that all about? I think the idea here is the satisfaction that he felt in being intimate with her.

Glickman put it like this, “He creates a vivid picture of his kissing her breasts as one would place the clusters of the vine to one’s lips. And her kisses would bring the fragrance of her breath like the sweet scent of apples, and her mouth would be ‘like the best wine’ to be slowly and exquisitely enjoyed with every sip.”

May we have that kind of passion, that kind of love for our wife! I guarantee you that if you tend the garden of your relationship your wife will blossom. Encourage her, speak beautiful words to her, tend to her needs and watch her grow!

We see Solomon speak of this once again in Proverbs 5:19-20, “As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love. For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?”

What happens many times today is that when people get married, once the vows are said and the papers are signed, the dating is over. Wrong! Men are especially guilty of this because we are so goal oriented. Once that goal is achieved, we move on to something else. Let me ask you this, when was the last time you dated your wife? If you can’t remember, you better plan a date. Send her flowers. Do those things you did when you were dating her, and more. Show her you love her even more today than you did when you were dating her. If you refuse to do that, then just make an appointment for marriage counseling now, you are going to need it!

The problem for many is that they have bought into Hollywood’s idea of love, but that is not love, it is lust. And you can see it in their relationships, for true love is a commitment, lust is the satisfying of a need and once that has been met, they move on. Be satisfied with what God has given to you and cherish that person, love them to the fullest and don’t get hooked by the bait that Satan has placed in front of you! Be enraptured with your spouse and no one else!

Now let’s look at this in our relationship with God. Interestingly enough when God looks at us He sees us as being beautiful. Paul said of our condition that has made us ugly in Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” When we were lost in our sins we were dead, spiritually speaking and we were ugly.

But when we ask Jesus to be Lord and Savior of our life it changes everything. We are made alive in Christ, spiritually speaking. And God does not see us as we are, but what we will be. In Christ, on a practical level, we still sin, but on a positional level we are seen as perfect as the blood of Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness. As Solomon said, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. . .” Ecclesiastes 3:11.

In Isaiah 62:5 listen to how God loves us, “. . . And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.” Did you hear what God says about you? He rejoices over you! Can you believe that? I don’t think we fully comprehend how much God really loves us.

Paul, in Ephesians chapter 3, wanted these believers to understand God’s love as fully as they could. He said beginning in verse 17, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”Ephesians 3:17-19. The richness of God’s love I don’t think we will fully understand until we see Him face-to-face.

But let’s see what we can glean regarding this love, what is the love of Christ? It is seen in the cross – His love for us pointed in four directions.

WIDTH: The width speaks of the world, that God’s love is wide enough to include every person if they would receive Him as their Lord and Savior. In John 3:16-17 Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” His arms are outstretched for all!

LENGTH: God’s love is long enough to last through all of eternity, it will never end, it will last forever! It is as Paul said in I Corinthians 13:4-8a, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails . . .”

DEPTH: God’s love is so deep that it can reach down to the worst sinner and rescue him, save him. Remember the thief on the cross next to Jesus, a murderer, many would look at that man today and say that he could never be saved and yet he cried out to Jesus to forgive him and Jesus said to this man, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43. Folks, thank God that His love is so deep that it can save sinners; it can save you and me! Paul said in Romans 5:8,“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

HEIGHT: God’s love is high enough to take us to heaven, we won’t fall short for He will bring us to the very throne of God, not because we are so good, but because He is so good and loves us that much. Again, as Jesus said in Luke 23:43,“Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

We can never fully understand the richness of God’s love for us but every time we look to the cross we do get a glimpse of it. It is as Paul tells us in Romans 5:5, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Don’t put a cover over your life, but allow His love to be poured out into it for then you can allow that love to flow from your life to touch the lives of others.

Listen to what Meyer wrote regarding God’s love for us, “Dear soul, do you realize the desire of your Beloved towards you? You love Him; but He loves you ever so much more. You desire Him; but his desire towards you is as much greater than yours towards Him, as sunlight is more brilliant than moonlight.” May we not forget that!

Song 7:9b-10

There has been tremendous growth in this relationship on her part. In Song of Solomon 2:16 she says, “My beloved is mine, and I am his. . . .” Then we see in Song of Solomon 6:3 that she says, “I am my beloved’s, And my beloved is mine. . . .” Now, in Song of Solomon 7:10 she says, “I am my beloved’s. . . .” PERIOD!

She no longer is trying to earn his love, but is freely giving her life to him, the main joy of her life. Of this Morgan tells us, “It is the full, final, ultimate word of love. It expresses complete satisfaction, absolute rest, and uttermost of contentment and peace. There are two elements in it. The first is that of complete abandonment; ‘I am my beloved’s.’ The second is that of the realization that the beloved is satisfied; ‘His desire is toward me.’”

Make no mistake about it, our spouse should know that we love them unconditionally. They should be able to rest in that fact. Anytime you threaten to leave them, go away you are breaking that commitment and she or he is not going to be able to rest anymore. The person will be thinking, “I better be careful because I may do something to make them leave again!” That is not a marriage relationship, threats don’t build up a relationship but they destroy it.

I can honestly say that my wife has never felt threatened that I was going to leave her in the 34 years that we have been married. Now I am not saying that there were times when she wanted me to leave, just kidding, but you understand that unconditional love is just that and it puts the spouse at ease and the relationship can grow!

Let me also say this. The most important thing in your life is to know Jesus Christ, to give your life to Him, for He already loves you and His desire is that you love Him!

Song 7:11-13

Think about how this relationship has grown over time. When they first met they were in love with each other and that love grew to the point of marriage and consummating the marriage. Now some time has passed and maybe things have cooled off a little. That passion they once had for each other was gone. To re-kindle that fire she wants him to go to the place they first met, they first fell in love, and they will share each other’s love there. The mandrakes were similar in size and color to apples and were considered to be an aphrodisiac.

When we were living in Illinois, about 20 years ago, my wife did this with me in that she kidnapped me for some time away with her. I was busy with work, teaching Bible studies, doing this and doing that beside my home life with her and the kids. And I came home from work and she met me at the door with the suit cases by the door. Not a good sign, at least it was bothering me a little, I did not know what she was up to.

And when she explained that she was taking me away I said, “What about the kids?” They were taken care of. “Then what about the dog?” Taken care of. What about all the work I need to do? “It will still be here when we get back!” And off we went and what a great time. She knew we needed to rekindle that fire and I am blessed to have a wife that sees that and then is willing to do something about it! For us it was a weekend getaway just like it was for Solomon and his wife!

As Christians we may need to re-kindle that fire that we once had with the Lord. Jesus told the church in Ephesus who had left their first love, Jesus, to “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works. . . .” Revelation 2:5.

Remember the story of Jacob. As he was on the run from his brother Esau he had an encounter with God at Bethel. From there he went to his uncle Laban’s house and spent 20 years away from God, until once again he was on the move, heading home.

And after he makes peace with his brother Esau, “Then God said to Jacob, ‘Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.’” Genesis 35:1. God was calling Jacob to get back to Bethel, which means “house of God.”

Why did he need to do that? To re-establish that relationship that he once had with God. And the first thing he does is he puts away all the foreign gods, he wants to return to his first love, and he recognizes what needs to be done, and does it. May we also return to Bethel, the house of God!

Also, God wants to give us fruit in our lives. We were created for good works. The old fruit is the dried fruit while the new fruit was the fresh, and both are important in our lives. The old love is precious, it has been built up over the years and it is strong and deep. But there also needs to be fresh love, it keeps the relationship alive, romantic. In our walk with the Lord our love has been built upon our cry to be saved and from that point on it grows and becomes stronger. We must also keep our walk fresh with the Lord, not let it become dry or stale. You need to spend time with Him!

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