AN INTRODUCTION FIRST
The Song of Solomon is the great neglected book of the Bible. The reader who is going through the Word of God for the first time is puzzled when he comes to it. The carnal Christian will misunderstand and misinterpret it. Actually this little book has been greatly abused by people who have not understood it. When Peter was puzzled by some of Paul’s epistles, he wrote, “There are some things in those [epistles of Paul] that are difficult to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist and misconstrued to their own utter destruction, just as [they distort and misinterpret] the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:16–Amplified Bible). I think this is true of the Song of Solomon.
This book is actually not a story at all; it is a song. We read in 1 Kings 4:32: “And he [Solomon] also originated 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005.” Solomon wrote three thousand proverbs, but it is quite interesting that if you count the proverbs in the Book of Proverbs and even include the Book of Ecclesiastes, you come up with quite a few less that three thousand. So we have very few of all that Solomon wrote. However, we can say two things about those that we do have: first, we have the best that he wrote–surely we would have that; second, we have those the Spirit of God wanted us to have.
This verse also tells us that “his songs were a thousand and five.” Think of that–more than a thousand songs! That makes him quite a songwriter. It is interesting to note that the Word of God is very specific when it says that he wrote 1,005 songs. It doesn’t simply give us a round number. Probably those which have been preserved for us are those five. Most of Solomon’s songs, we do not have. In fact, we generally say that we have but one song and in my Bible it is refered as, THE Song of Solomon or THE SONG OF SONGS!
“THE SONG of songs [the most excellent of them all] which is Solomon’s”
(Song of Solomon 1:1–Amplified Bible)
THE “JEWISH BRIDEGROOM”
The story gives you the idea of God’s relationship to man; similar to the relationship of a husband and wife. Christ, in the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25), likened His relationship to the church; the Bridegroom coming for the Bride. In His answer to the Pharisees’ question, “Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, [that is abstain from food and drink as a religious exercise], but Your disciples do not fast? Jesus refers to Himself as the Bridegroom saying, “Can the wedding guests mourn while the bridegroom is still with them?” (Matthew 9:15)
Prior to the time of Christ in the ordinary Jewish marriage processions, the bridegroom, accompanied by his groomsmen and friends went to the bride’s house. Then, he brought the bride to his own or his parent’s home. The bridegroom would travel from his home to the home of the bride. This was done in order to negotiate the purchase price of his bride. This price was referred to as the “mohar“. It had to be paid prior to any other events relating to the marriage.
Once paid, the marriage covenant was established. The man and woman were for all intents and purposes considered to be man and wife. From that moment on, the bride was declared “consecrated” or “sanctified“–set apart exclusively for her bridegroom.
In comparison, Christ left heaven, His Father’s house. He came to earth, the home of His Bride to pay the price for a lost humanity. The “mohar” was His life’s blood.
Christians are redeemed by His blood. Ephesians 1:7 states, “In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood.” Peter also mentions that, “You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] forefathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold, But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:18, 19). In the Song of Solomon, the bridegroom says, “O my love, how beautiful you are! There is no flaw in you! (Chptr. 4:7); [John 14:18; Eph. 5:27].
When the price was paid, the Jewish bride was considered sanctified–set apart for her husband. The Church too has been sanctified–set apart exclusively for Jesus Christ. In Ephesians, Paul teaches, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). The author of Hebrews says, we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once for all.”
As a symbol of the covenant relationship which has been established, the bride and groom drink from a cup of wine (Song of Solomon 5:1), over which a betrothed benediction had been pronounced. In the Jewish ceremony, a shared cup of wine served as a symbol of the marriage covenant. In the Church today, the communion cup is a symbol of the covenant established by Christ to obtain His bride: “Do this in remembrance of Me.”
SONG OF SONGS–Chapter one:
It is also entitled in our Bibles as The Song of Solomon. It is called The Song of Songs for a reason. It is an allegory of the marriage between the Shulammite woman and King Solomon. My emphasis in this blog (PART 1 and PART 2) will concentrate on the representation of the marriage of the Bride (the Church) and Christ (the King). All through the New Covenant, the Church is called the Bride of Christ [Matt. 9:15; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:23; Rev. 19:7, 21:2, and 22:17].
There are four different and important meanings in this Book:
1. The glory of wedded LOVE.
2. The LOVE of Jehovah for Israel.
3. A picture of Christ and the Church.
4. The communion of Christ and the individual.
My focus is on the last two meanings. In this first song, we find the bride and the bridegroom together in a wonderful relationship: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! [she cries. Then, realizing that Solomon has arrived and has heard her speech, she turns to him and adds] For your love is better than wine!” (Song 1:2–Amplified Bible].
Can any of you ladies who are reading this blog remember a relationship you experienced? When perhaps you looked out your window and noticed that your lover had pulled up his car in front of your home.
My wife tells the story about when we were first dating. I was renting an apartment less than a block away from her house. She said, “I could hear his car start its engine (a souped-up 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint), then wait for him to show with much anticipation.”
A kiss in the day of Solomon was the pledge of peace; Solomon’s name means peace. He was a prince of peace and he ruled in Jerusalem, the city of peace. The Shulammite girl was the daughter of peace.
The kiss indicates the existence of a very personal and close relationship. Such as the Lord Jesus has with His own. He is able to communicate His message personally to you and me through the Word of God. I strongly believe that there needs to be a return to studying the Word. More than just learning the mechanics of the Bible; more than memorizing the Word, but a personal relationship with Him. This is so He can speak through His Word to our hearts; the rhema Word of God.
Erskine expressed it poetically,
His mouth the heaven reveals;
His kisses from above,
Are pardons, promises, and seals
Of everlasting love.
HIS LOVE–“For your love is better than wine!”
In that day, wine typified the highest of luxuries this earth offered. It was a champagne dinner which included everything from soup to nuts. It speaks of that which brings the highest joy to the heart. Paul wrote, “do not get drunk with wine…but be filled and stimulated by the Holy Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). To be filled with the Holy Spirit will bring the experience of that excitement and exhilaration. The belonging to Christ; having fellowship with Him.
Am I talking about something you nor I know much about? We play church; we talk about being dedicated Christians because of our “business” of doing what we think needs to be done. What we all need is to come with the attitude which Peter spoke about:
“Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy” (1 Peter 1:8).
Habakkuk said it this way:
“Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls, Yet will I rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my Salvation!” (Habakkuk 3:17-18).
Have you arrived at that place in your life? No wonder it says, “your love is sweeter than wine.” Allow the Spirit of God to come into your life. He will shed in your heart the LOVE of God. That is one reason we need the Holy Spirit!
PART 2 –the next blog will continue with the Song of Solomon 1:3; The Ointment. Begin practicing Jesus’ habit of meditation ;which I discussed in a previous blog, with some practical suggestions on how to begin.