The great irony of this entire experiment is the first day I had an official day off from work is the day that I did not remember or was too busy to post, so now I have to post twice today. Perhaps even more annoying is I have plenty of drafts in the cue to post, even a guest post that is entirely complete. I think I got caught up in what I actually wanted my final 10 entries to be about and felt I needed a few really profound ones. But sometimes you can’t force things. So for yesterday’s post I missed, I’m going to do the easy work of continuing to make comments on Song of Solomon. So here we go with chapter 4

V. 1 The bridgegroom beholds his brides beauty and he sees her singularly devoted eyes behind her veil. He compares her hair to goats which if I’m honest would be one of the last things I’d compare hair to. But I guess in an agrarian society where you get amusement from goats leaping down slopes perhaps it conjures up a similar feeling. All that to say, it would seem like Solomon is beholding his bride for the first time on their wedding day.

V. 2 comparing her white teeth to sheep is perhaps a little less of a stretch and he emphasizes that she has them all. It is a non-hillbilly bride in a society without dentists.

V. 3 scarlet threaded lips and cheeks like halves of pomegranates are entirely reasonable descriptors. But I like the simplicity of him saying your mouth is lovely to sum up the lips and teeth piece.

V. 4 a neck like a tower holding a thousand shields is a delightful detail, really in an effort to slowly see her from her head to her toes. Now I’ve consulted some commentaries here because I think he actually is using metaphors to symbolize chracteristics as much as appearance.

V. 5 we circle back to breasts like twin fawns grazing among lillies and the commentaries on this verse are less than PG, so I’m going to bypass it for the sake of all the children that come in droves to read this blog. (That is a joke)

V. 6 I find it interesting that after we get to the breasts we get a break from the descriptor of her features and now move on to the cover of night and him going away to the mountain which I’m sure is a metaphor for something sensual/sexual.

V. 7 He returns to complementing her beauty, he can’t get enough and why should he. I’m sure the complements are welcome and he appeals to her having no flaw. And I think this is an accurate depiction of love. Even if there are flaws, we are optimistic that they can be refined to create a person that we find flawless as they are being sanctified.

V. 8 Now if I did my due diligence I would go back and check, but it seems in this invitation it is the first time he refers to her as his bride. Prior to this a lot of talk of the beloved, but now he is calling her to come with him to where he is. It is an invitation to leave home.

V. 9 Now we have even more references to the bride yet also his sister and he being captivated by her. He loves having all his attention on her.

V. 10 Now he moves from features to celebrating her love, the reciprocated love she willingly gives. This is the beauty of love, the consistent giving like the taste of a good wine or the smell of fragrant oils.

V. 11 Now he is complementing her words, that she too is sweet and kind with her words, yet also contains elements of acknowledging a make out session or something more. Who knows?

V. 12 we return to the garden metaphors, most commentators assume this is talking about virginity and it might be but it would also seem confusing when pointing back to the idea in chapter 1 referencing her tending to her mother’s sons garden but neglecting her own. Perhaps more than virginity it is a reference still to sexaulity being reserved for her spouse which has less to say about virginity and more to say about faithful sexuality in the context of marrriage. In other words she was becoming more concerned about her own marriage than that of her siblings from chapter 1.

V. 13 With the above in mind (it is less funny to talk about sexuality than I thought), he now describes the fruit of sexual intercourse or sexuality in general as being fruitful and fragrant.

V. 14 literally a list of fragrances

V. 15 compared to living water, in other words life in many forms has great potential to flow out of sexual relations.

V. 16 And finally it concludes with an invitation that one can draw their own conclusions about. Is it metaphor for lifegiving nourishment or something more explicit. There is a reason this poetry came with an age limit and wasn’t used in a traditional worship context.

It is after all love poetry. It is intimate and vulnerable and naked. It would very much seem to indicate at this stage that the couple is married and enjoying the fruit of marriage. What is interesting in the remaining chapters of the Song is, if they are have already reached the consummation of marriage, what else is there to say? I guess we will see

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