LESSON 23 THE SONG OF SOLOMON
This book is one of the 1005 songs that Solomon composed. (1 Kings 4:32-33) The one we have under consideration is a love song full of metaphors and oriental imagery. Some Jewish historians tell us that this book was prohibited reading material for those under the age of 30. There is a profound lesson to be learned from this song. Allegorically, it pictures Christ's love for His people and the churches love for their husband, as God's espoused bride (Hos. 2:19-20). There is a practical application of this literature that can be fulfilled in the love a man has for a woman, but more so spiritual life finds its highest fulfillment in the love of God for his people and Christ for His Church.
The book is arranged life scenes in a drama, with three main speakers: The Bride (Shulamite), The King (Solomon) and a Chorus (Daughters of Jerusalem).
The Hebrew title Shir Harshirim comes from 1:1, "The Song of Songs". Clearly put, it may be described as Solomon's most exquisite or best song. We know it to be divinely inspired of God.
Solomon is stated as the author in Chapter 1:1.
CHRIST IN SONG OF SOLOMON
In the Old Testament, Israel is regarded as having a bridal type relationship with Yahweh. (See Isa. 54:5-6, Jer. 2:2. Ezek. 16:-14, Hos. 2:16-20). In the New Testament, the Church is also seen as the Bride of Christ (See 2 Cor. 11:2, Eph. 5:23-25, Rev. 19:7-9; 21:9). The Song of Solomon illustrates the former and anticipates the latter.
SURVEY OF THE SONG OF SOLOMON
BEGINNING OF LOVE
BROADENING OF LOVE
Before we examine the structure of this book, let us note the primary thrust of this song to understand its purpose.
THE KEY WORDS ARE: LOVE IN MARRIAGE
Though this book has a very poetic structure, it in turn gives us an historical account of Solomon's actual romance with the Shulamite woman. The writer compliments the joys of love in courtship and marriage. The Song is a bold and positive endorsement by God of marital love in all its physical and emotional beauty. This interpretation does not mean that there is no spiritual illustrations and applications.
THE BEGINNING OF LOVE - CHAPTERS 1-5
1.Falling in Love
TOPIC: Courtship - Fostering of Love
2. United in Love
TOPIC: Wedding, Fulfillment of Love
King Solomon has a vineyard in the country of the Shulamite. The Shulamite woman must work in the vineyard with her brother. When Solomon visits the area, he wins her heart and eventually takes her to the palace in Jerusalem as his bride. She is tanned from hours of outside work in the vineyard, but to him she is the "fairest among women."
Chapter 1-3 gives a series of recollections of the courtship.
- The bride's longing for affection at the palace before the wedding. (1:2-8)
-Expressions of mutual love in the banquet hall. (1:9 - 2:7)
-A springtime visit of the king to the bride's home in the country. (2:8-17)
- The Shulamite's dream of separation from
her beloved. (3:1-5)
- The ornate wedding procession from the
bride's home to Jerusalem. (3:6-11)
In Chapters 4-5, Solomon praises his bride from head to foot with a series of similes and metaphors.
BROADENING OF LOVE - CHAPTERS 5-8
The Shulamite woman has a troubling dream (5:2) in the palace while Solomon is away. Upon his return, Solomon assures her of his love and praises her beauty (6:4 - 7:10). The Shulamite begins to think of her country home and persuades her beloved to return there (7:11 - 8:7), and covers her homecoming (8:8-14).
2 Cor. 11:1-2_______________________________________
1.What kind of Song have we just studied?
2.Explain the allegorical aspects of this Book.
3.Does this song do a good job of describing the joys and heartaches of wedded love?
4.How is this book structured?
FOR THE NEXT LESSON - READ THE BOOK OF ISAIAH