Reading the Bible Together – Song of Solomon

November 2018

– The book we are reading this month is the Book of Song of Solomon which is the 22nd book of the Old Testament.

This will be the 48th book of the Bible we will have read, since commencing this initiative over three years ago in October 2015. (We have actually read Matthew and Joshua twice!) . There are a total of 66 books in the Bible, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.

We will review this month’s book at  our Bible Study and Prayer Meeting on Thursday 6th December 2018.

The Book of the Song of Solomon

Song of Solomon 1:2-4 – Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. Because of the savor of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.

Song of Solomon 7:6-10 – How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights! This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes. I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples; And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.

A Brief Overview

Hebrew Name – Shiyr Hashirim “Song of songs”
Greek Name – Asma Asmaton (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author – Solomon (According to Tradition)
Date – 1014 BC Approximately
Theme – The beauty of love
Types and Shadows – In Song of Solomon Jesus is the husband who loves His bride

Summary of the Book of Song of Solomon

Overview of Song of Solomon.

  • Chapter 1:1 to 2:7 – the bride and her beloved
  • Chapter 2:8 to 3:5 – the lovers seek out and find one another
  • Chapter 3:6 to 4:16 – the bridegroom pursues his bride
  • Chapter 5:1 to 7:9 – the bride waits earnestly for the bridegroom
  • Chapter 7:10 to 8:14 – the lovers reunite, and their love is consummated.

The first verse of the Book of the Song of Solomon mentions King Solomon as its author, and this is why it is often called the Song of Solomon. It is also referred to as Canticles (Latin) or the Song of Songs (Hebrew) because it is considered the finest of all songs. It is clear that the poem is a wedding song and it reveals the glories of love. It exalts physical love, erotic love, and everything about love. The time is springtime and two lovers are full of passion and delight. The words in the poem are very descriptive and romantic. When their love is finally consummated the bond is so durable that nothing can destroy it. The poem is clearly describing God’s love for his people, he is the bridegroom and his people are his bride. He is deeply in love with them and ultimately there will be a wedding day, and how excited they both are for that day.

Over time it has been difficult for anyone to give a clear interpretation to the Book of the Song of Solomon. there are three primary interpretations that have been accepted:

1 – A literal interpretation, which treats this poem as a historical factual event. There were two actual lovers who were unselfishly devoted to one another and they were finally married.

2 – An allegorical interpretation, which treats this poem as an allegory, for God loves his people, Christ loves his bride, and his bride loves Him.

3 – The final interpretation is that Solomon was a type of God who is deeply in love with his bride who is a type of the church. The wedding is a type of a future wedding that will exist between Christ and his bride the church.

There is no way to know the exact historical circumstances behind this event. We know it was Solomon because it mentions him by name, but it is uncertain whether he married a Shulamite woman of Israel, or Pharaoh’s daughter. Others have included a third person, a shepherd who the girl of Shulam is in love with despite the king’s desire for her. This book was included in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Canon) and was known in the time of Jesus as part of the Hebrew Scriptures though some critics doubt it should be in the Bible. The Song of Solomon was so important to the Jews that one of the most famous rabbis in history, Rabbi Aqiba (90-135 AD) said that “the entire world, from the beginning until now, does not outweigh the day in which Shiyr Hashirim (Song of Songs) was given to Israel.”

Outline of the Book of Song of Solomon

The contents of the book of Song of Solomon may be summarized as follows:

  1. Song of Solomon 1:1 to 2:7 – The bride expresses her deep desire to be with her lover and sings praises about him.
  2. Song of Solomon 2:8 to 3:5 – The affections between the bride and her lover becomes more intimate, and she pours out more praise on the one she loves was very elaborate and exquisite analogies from nature.
  3. Song of Solomon 3:6 to 5:1 – King Solomon gives his praise, as does the bride, and the engagement takes place.
  4. Song of Solomon 5:2 to 6:9 – The bridegroom goes away for a period of time, and during his absence the bride longs for his return and continues to give him praises.
  5. Song of Solomon 6:10 to 8:4 – This section contains some very descriptive verses describing the beauty of the bride.
  6. Song of Solomon 8:5 to 14 – The conclusion deals with the durable eternal bond of consummated love.

More information can be found HERE

Short illustrated summary of the Book of Song of Solomon

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