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A Love Rekindled

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The “Song of Songs” [1:1] is a collection of moving love poems of a love between a man who is both “King” [3:11] and “shepherd” [1:7], and a woman who is a “Shulamite” [6:13]. There is a courtship [1:2-3:5], followed by a bridal procession [3:6-11], the wedding [4:1-5:1], and then the life of love [5:2-8:7]. The garden imagery leads the theological imagination back to the Garden of Eden.

§         The book may also be seen in the light of the pervasive biblical metaphor that likens the divine-human relationship to the intimate union of a man and a woman (see Ezekiel 16, Hosea 1-3, Ephesians 5, and Revelation). The intimacy of the marriage relationship highlights both the intimacy of the relationship between God and his people as well as the exclusivity of the relationship.

§         In terms of the unfolding revelation of God’s covenantal redemption, the prominent symbol of the Song is not the marriage per se, but the bridegroom. That marriage is a metaphor of God’s unique relationship to his church is clear enough from Scripture. But that is not enough for establishing a legitimate typology here. What is enough is the fact that Solomon, of all individuals, and of all kings, is the bridegroom figure of this superlative Song.

§         Yet none of this can detract from the potent symbolism of Solomon’s role and position within OT biblical theology. That role is defined in the Davidic covenant of 2 Samuel 7, where David’s son was promised as the heir, beneficiary and mediator of blessing for God’s covenant people. God promised to raise up David’s offspring to succeed him, “who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom” (2 Sam 7:12 ).

§         Solomon himself, rather than the marriage theme, is the key to the interpretation of the Song. He is the promised son of David and heir of the covenant. As such, he is a type of David’s greater Son, the Lord Jesus, whose marriage to the church is fundamental NT doctrine as it is fundamental NT metaphor. A typological interpretation of the Song of Solomon is grounded not in the use of the marriage metaphor by the biblical writers, but in the place which Solomon occupies within the unfolding biblical revelation.

§         For the reality is not that the Shulammite, by nature a stranger to the covenant community, is on a par with Jewish girls for the affections of the king, but that, in spite of her natural alienation from the covenant and the covenant people, yet by virtue of her marriage to Solomon she becomes integrated into that very communion. Her marriage with the son of David results in her becoming an heiress of God, and a joint-heir with Solomon of the blessings of the covenant, a full member of the covenant community, as if she had never been anything else.


1.       The Love of the Covenant

The purpose of the book, and that which summarises the story of the book, is encapsulated in the conclusion: “love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave…” [8:6-7].

§         ^Wbhea – “love”. Original meaning of the word reflected as love between husband and wife [Hos.11:8-9]. It works irresistibly as a force in the nature of God.

a.        Ignited by God

It is God that ignites love in the heart: “the coals thereof are coals of fire…” [8:6].

                                                                                                   i.      Powerful

Powerful: “the coals thereof have a most vehement flame” [8:6].

§         It is a life long commitment: “love is strong as death” [8:6].

§         External forces cannot quench love: “many waters cannot…” [8:7].

§         Its value cannot be measured, otherwise it is not love: “if a man would give all the substance of his house…despised” [8:7].

b.        Marks ownership

Love operates at the high level of possession and ownership: “set me as a seal upon your heart…” [8:6a].

§         “Seal” – refers to an engraved stone used for authenticating a document or other possession. This could be suspended by a cord around the neck (over the heart) [Gen.38:18]. It can also refer to a seal ring worn on the hand: “his hands are as gold rings” [5:14].

§         The “seal” was something highly precious to the owner and could be used symbolically for a person whom one valued. The Lord said to Zerubbabel: “I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you” [Hag.2:23].

§         Possession of another's seal indicated mutual access and possession.

c.        Possessive

Love is possessive: “jealousy is cruel as the grave” [8:6]. There is a sense in which one can be legitimately jealous for what rightfully belongs to him:

§         Used of God in his jealousy for what is rightfully his: “The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies” [Is.42:13].

§         Used with respect to a marriage relationship with reference to the husband in the context of adultery: “jealousy enrages a man” [Pr.6:34].

It includes the emotions and deep bond of commitment between two individuals.



1.        The Words of the Shulamite  

a.        The Desire for Shared Love

i.        The Stirring Up

The call to initiate the process: “Awake, O north wind…” [4:16],

§         ע֤וּרִי - “awake” [4:16], qal imperative, ‘alert, rouse’; ‘to be in an alert state ready to do an action, as an extension of being in a physically awake state’;

§         צָפוֹן - “north wind” [4:16], ‘the north’; ‘a wind which blows from the north’;

§         ב֣וֹאִי - “come” [4:16], ‘to come, go’; ‘to arrive, ‘to enter in’;

§         תֵימָ֔ן - “south” [4:16], ‘south, southward’; ‘a wind that blows from the south’;

ii.      The Action

The winds are to blow upon her garden: “blow upon my garden…” [4:16].

§         הָפִ֥יחִי - “blow” [4:16], hiphil imperative, qal ‘to blow, be breezy’; hiphil ‘to exhale’;

§         גַנִּ֖י - “my garden” [4:16], feminine, ‘a cultivated place of domestic plants and produce trees, having definite parameters, possibly enclosed with separating wall’;

iii.    The Purpose

The purpose is that the spices of her heretofore private garden would become public, at least to the man: “that the spices thereof…” [4:16].

§         בְשָׂמָ֑יו - “spices thereof” [4:16], with 3rd masculine singular suffix, ‘balsam tree’; ‘aromatic tree’;

§         יִזְּל֣וּ - “flow out” [4:16], qal imperfect, ‘to flow down’; to waft down and around’;

She calls on the winds to make her fragrance drift to her beloved, thus drawing him to herself. Maintaining the metaphor of the garden, she invites him to come and enjoy her love. This is the consummation of their marriage.

b.        The Invitation

The woman’s invitation: “Let my beloved come…” [4:16].

§         דוֹדִי - “my beloved” [4:16], ‘one who is beloved and of romantic kindred spirit’;

§         יָבֹ֤א - “come” [4:16], qal imperfect, cohortative in meaning, ‘to come, go’; ‘to arrive at’;

§         לְגַנּ֔וֹ - “to his garden” [4:16], ‘a cultivated place of domestic plants and produce trees, having definite parameters, possibly enclosed with separating wall’;

§         יֹאכַ֖ל - “eat” [4:16], qal imperfect, ‘to consume food’; ‘to devour’;

§         פְּרִ֥י - “his pleasant fruits” [4:16], ‘fruit, harvest’;

§         מְגָדָֽיו – “pleasant” [4:16], ‘choice things’; ‘best gifts’;


2.        The Words of the King to the Bride

The words used in 5:1a are Solomon’s morning salutation to her who has now wholly become his own.

a.        The Entrance to the Garden

The entrance to the Shulamite’s chamber: “I am come into my garden…” [5:1].

§         בָּ֣אתִי - “come into” [5:1], qal perfect, ‘to come, go’; ‘to arrive at’;

§         לְגַנִּי֮ - “my garden” [5:1], ‘a cultivated place of domestic plants and produce trees, having definite parameters, possibly enclosed with separating wall’;

§         The poetic expression בָּ֣אתִי לְגַנִּי֮ points to the entrance of a man into the woman’s (bride’s) chamber.

§         The “garden” is the Shulamite: “a garden enclosed is my sister…” [4:12].

§         אֲחֹתִ֣י - “my sister” [5:1], ‘a female sibling with the same father and mother’; ‘a family relative in the same clan/family’;

§         כַלָּה֒ - “my spouse” [5:1], ‘bride’; ‘a woman in the very initial stage of marriage to a man, or possibly just prior to marriage’;

b.        The Shared Love

The King now triumphs in the final enjoyment of life with the Shulamite.

i.        The Gathering

The shared love is spoken of in a way which describes the enjoyment of the union: “I have gathered my myrrh with my spice…” [5:1]. 

§         אָרִ֤יתִי - “gathered” [5:1], qal perfect, ‘to pluck produce from plants’;

§         מוֹרִי - “my myrrh” [5:1], ‘a yellowish to reddish brown resinous gum or oil related to Balsam tree or other oily bark trees, fragrant and slightly bitter, used as perfume and incense’;

§         בְּשָׂמִ֔י - “my spice” [5:1], ‘balsam tree’; an aromatic tree’;

ii.      The Participation

The interchangeable figurative description of the enjoyment of love: “I have eaten my honeycomb with…” [5:1].

§         אָכַ֤לְתִּי - “eaten” [5:1], qal perfect, ‘to consume food’;

§         יַעְרִי֙ - “honeycomb” [5:1], ‘structure of wax cells that contain honey’;

§         דִּבְשִׁ֔י - “honey” [5:1], ‘the sweet viscid product of bees collecting pollen, with the associative meaning of abundance or sustenance’;

§         שָׁתִ֥יתִי - “drunk” [5:1], ‘to experience’, formally, drink, i.e., to have a certain personal experience happen to a person (positive or negative) as a figurative extension of drinking liquid from the hand or container’;

§         יֵינִ֖י - “my wine” [5:1], ‘naturally processed fermented grape juice’;

§         חֲלָבִ֑י - “my milk” [5:1], ‘a naturally occurring food for infants of humans and animal, from the lactating female of the species, also as a human food from certain animals’;


The poetry is discreet and restrained. The catalog of luxuries here (garden, myrrh, honey, wine, etc.) imply that he has partaken of her pleasures to the full.

§         Solomon and his Song here hover on the pinnacle of full enjoyment.

3.        The Word of the King to the Guests

The call addressed to the guests at the feast is given forth on the second day of the marriage: “Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink…” [5:1].

§         אִכְל֣וּ - “eat” [5:1], qal imperative, ‘to consume food’;

§         רֵעִ֔ים - “friends” [5:1], ‘a friend, companion’; “she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows” [Jdg.11:37];

§         שְׁת֥וּ - “drink” [5:1], qal imperative, ‘consume liquid mass’;

§         דּוֹדִֽים - “beloved” [5:1], ‘one who is beloved and of romantic kindred spirit’;

§         שִׁכְר֖וּ - “drink abundantly” [5:1], qal imperative, ‘drink to one’s fill’; ‘to be intoxicated’;


Of the antitype of the marriage pair it is said: “For the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready” [Rev. 19: 7]; and of the antitype of the marriage guests: “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” [Rev. 19: 9].

  1. THE ABSENT LOVER [5:2-7]

The poem [5:2-6:3] opens with the woman speaking, telling a story, an account of an experience.

1.        The Changed Condition  

a.        The Description of the Shulamite

i.        The Sleep

She is asleep: “I sleep but my heart wakes…” [5:2].

§         אֲנִ֥י – “I” [5:2], ‘coming first for emphasis’;

§         יְשֵׁנָ֖ה - “sleep” [5:2], adjective, ‘not awake’; ‘an altered state of awareness’;

ii.      The Stirring

She is stirred up from her sleep: “but my heart wakes…” [5:2].

§         לִבִּ֣י - “my heart” [5:2], ‘the totality of man’s inner nature’; ‘mind, will, affections’;

§         עֵ֑ר - “wakes” [5:2], qal participle, ‘alert, rouse’; ‘to be in an alert state ready to do an action, as an extension of being in a physically awake state’;

b.        The Position of the King

i.        The Recognition

She recognises the voice: “it is the voice of my beloved…” [5:2].

§         ק֣וֹל - “voice” [5:2], ‘any type of distinctive noise which breaks the sound waves’; ‘the audible, intelligent sound of the human voice’;

§         דּוֹדִ֣י - “my beloved” [5:2], ‘one who is beloved and of romantic kindred spirit’;

§         The King is her “beloved” [5:2] with whom she has shared much: “As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste” [2:3].

ii.      The Position 

The King’s action: “the voice of my beloved that knocks…” [5:2].

§         דוֹפֵ֗ק - “knocks” [5:2], qal participle, ‘to drive hard, push’; ‘to press one another towards a door’;

§         “behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spoke to the master of the house…” [Jdg.19:22];


The church of Laodicea: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock…” [Rev.3:20].

2.        The King’s Appeal

a.        The Call for Readmission

The plea: “open to me, my sister, my love…” [5:2].

§         פִּתְחִי־לִ֞י - “open to me” [5:2], qal imperative, ‘to be in a position that allows movement or sight between two places’;

i.        The Complements

The complementary epithets in describing what she means to him: “my sister, my love…” [5:2].

§         אֲחֹתִ֤י - “my sister” [5:2], ‘a female sibling with the same father and mother’; ‘a family relative in the same clan/family’;

§         רַעְיָתִי֙ - “my love” [5:2], ‘a friend, companion’; “my love”, as one freely chosen by him to intimate fellowship;

§         יוֹנָתִ֣י - “my dove” [5:2], ‘ceremonially clean domestic bird’; ‘symbol of peace’ [Gen.8:11; Luk.3:22]; “my dove,” as beloved and prized by him on account of her purity, simplicity, and loveliness.

§         תַמָּתִ֔י - “my undefiled” [5:2], ‘blameless, innocent’; ‘flawless, perfect – pertaining to the feature of an object of beauty’;

§         The meaning of the fourth designation is shown by the Arabic tam to be “wholly devoted,”: “one devoted” = a servant, and mutajjam, desperately in love with one. He thus designates this love as wholly undivided, devoting itself without evasion and without reserve.

b.        The King’s Devotion

The King has braved uncomfortable conditions to be with his beloved: “for my head is filled with dew…” [5:2].

§         שֶׁרֹּאשִׁי֙ - “my head” [5:2],

§         נִמְלָא - “filled” [5:2], niphal participle, ‘have a quantity of space filled with a mass or liquid’;

§         טָ֔ל - “dew” [5:2], ‘night-mist’; ‘moisture condensed on surfaces, especially at night’;

§         קְוֻּצּוֹתַ֖י - “my locks” [5:2], ‘a portion of the total hair on the head, which one can run the hands through’; ‘note: the plural may refer to all the locks, and so the entire head of hair’;

§         רְסִ֥יסֵי - “drops” [5:2], ‘drop of moisture’;

§         לָֽיְלָה - “the night” [5:2], ‘a period of time from the setting to the rising of the sun’;


Shulamite thus dreams that her beloved seeks admission to her.

§         He has come a long way and that at night.

§         In the tenderest words he entreats for that which he expects without delay.

3.        The Lack of Enthusiasm  

a.        The Rest

She has settled in her home: “I have put off my coat…” [5:3].  

§         פָּשַׁ֙טְתִּי - “put off” [5:3], qal perfect, ‘to strip’; ‘to remove clothing’;

§         כֻּתָּנְתִּ֔י - “coat” [5:3], ‘tunic, garment’; ‘a fine garment, dressy robe, or something worn for show’;

§         אֵיכָ֖כָה - “how” [5:3], interrogative, ‘means or manner’;

§         אֶלְבָּשֶׁ֑נָּה - “put on” [5:3], ‘to dress’; ‘to have a covering over the body’;

b.        The Journey

She has cleaned herself after a long journey: “I have washed my feet…” [5:3].

§         רָחַ֥צְתִּי - “washed” [5:3], qal perfect, ‘to bathe’; ‘to remove dirt and impurities by water’;

§         רַגְלַ֖י - “feet” [5:3],

§         אֲטַנְּפֵֽם - “defile” [5:3], ‘to make dirty as they had been prior to washing’;


Shulamite is here brought back to the customs as well as to the home of her earlier rural life:

§         She had already washed her feet, from which it is supposed that she had throughout the day walked barefooted. Why should she soil again her feet that had been washed clean?

§         She has settled for the night and how should she again put on her dress, which she had already put off and laid aside?

§         She is unwilling for his sake to put herself to trouble, or to do that which is disagreeable to her.

§         In the Shulamite’s dream it was inwardly manifest that she had lost her first love. She relates it with sorrow; for scarcely had she rejected him with these unworthy deceitful pretences when she comes to herself again.

4.        The King’s Persistence

a.        The King’s Action  

The man is undeterred by his beloved’s cool reception: “my beloved put his hand through the hole…” [5:4].

§         דּוֹדִ֗י – “my beloved” [5:4], ‘one who is beloved and of romantic kindred spirit’;

§         שָׁלַ֤ח - “put” [5:4], qal perfect, ‘to send out’;

§         מִן־הַחֹ֔ר - “through the hole” [5:4], ‘an opening allowing viewing or passage, or partial passage, through’;

b.        The Drawing

The response that was desired: “my bowels were moved for him” [5:4].

§         מֵעַ֖י - “my bowels” [5:4], ‘internal organs’; ‘heart’;

§         The sum total of emotions: “thy strength, the yearning of thy heart and thy mercies toward me…” [Isa.63:15].

§         הָמ֥וּ - “moved” [5:4], qal perfect, ‘make a noise’; ‘groan loudly’; “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me?” [Psa.42:5].

§         עָלָֽיו - “for him” [5:4],


It does not properly mean a window, but a part of the door pierced through at the upper part of the lock of the door (the door-bolt).

§         The “hole of the door” is understood from the standpoint of one who is within; “by the opening from without to within,” thus “through the opening;” stretching his hand through the door-opening as if to open the door, if possible, by the pressing back of the lock from within, he shows how greatly he longed after Shulamite.


1.        The Arising

a.        The Action

In response to her lover’s overtones, she moves forward with anticipation of union: “I rose up to open to my beloved…” [5:5].

§         קַ֥מְתִּֽי - “rose up” [5:5], ‘to get up’; ‘to stand up’;

§         לִפְתֹּ֣חַ - “to open” [5:5], qal infinitive construct, ‘to be in a position that allows movement’;

§         לְדוֹדִ֑י - “my beloved” [5:5],

b.        The Result

i.        Adfhgadfh

She senses the fragrance of his presence: “and my hands dropped with myrrh…” [5:5].

§         יָדַ֣י - “hands” [5:5],

§         נָֽטְפוּ - “dropped” [5:5], qal perfect, ‘pour down’; ‘drip’;

§         מ֗וֹר - “myrrh” [5:5], ‘a yellowish to reddish brown resinous gum or oil related to Balsam tree or other oily bark trees, fragrant and slightly bitter, used as perfume and incense’;

§         אֶצְבְּעֹתַי - “fingers” [5:5],

§         מ֣וֹר עֹבֵ֔ר - “sweet-smelling” [5:5], “myrrh” plus qal participle ‘to pass over’, ‘to go beyond’;.

§         כַּפּ֥וֹת - “handles” [5:5], ‘the part of a door lock and bolt assembly that you grab to lock, close, or open’;

§         הַמַּנְעֽוּל - “lock” [5:5], ‘a wood or metal bar or rod as part of a lock of a door or gate, which moves to lock or unlock a door or gate’;

ii.      The King’s Fragrance

The King had “put his hand through the hole of the door” [5:4].

§         The King has come perfumed as if for a festival, and the costly ointment which he brought with him has dropped on the handles of the bolts.

§         The King left the “myrrh” on the lock of the door: “His lips like lilies, dripping sweet-smelling myrrh” [5:13].

2.        The Delayed Response

a.        The Discovery

The result is disappointment: “I opened to my beloved…” [5:6].

§         פָּתַ֤חְתִּֽי – “opened” [5:6], ‘to be in a position that allows movement or sight’;

§         לְדוֹדִ֔י - “my beloved” [5:6],

§         חָמַ֣ק - “withdrawn” [5:6], qal perfect, ‘to turn away’;

§         עָבָ֑ר - “gone” [5:6], qal perfect, ‘to pass over, through’;

b.        The Woman’s Emotions

i.        The Longing

The intense longing: “my soul failed when he spoke…” [5:6].

§         נַפְשִׁי֙ - “my soul” [5:6],

§         יָֽצְאָ֣ה - “failed” [5:6], qal perfect, ‘to come out, go out’; ‘to go out from a particular locality’;

§         בְדַבְּר֔וֹ - “spoke” [5:6], piel infinitive construct, ‘to turn away, drive away’; ‘to leave an area’;

ii.      The Disappointment

Her discovery of his absence sends her in hot pursuit: “I sought him but I could not find him…” [5:6].

§         בִּקַּשְׁתִּ֙יהוּ - “sought him” [5:6], piel perfect, ‘to search, look for’;

§         לֹ֣א מְצָאתִ֔יהוּ - “could not find him” [5:6], ‘to uncover’; ‘to learn the location of’;

§         קְרָאתִ֖יו - “called him” [5:6], ‘to summon’; ‘to call someone into one’s presence’;

§         לֹ֥א עָנָֽנִי - “gave no answer” [5:6],


It is not that she is physically alone, but that emotionally and psychologically she suddenly feels herself abandoned.

§         The voice of her beloved struck her heart; but in the consciousness that she had estranged herself from him, she could not openly meet him and offer empty excuses.

§         But now she recognises it with sorrow that she had not replied to the deep impression of his loving words; and seeing him disappear without finding him, she calls after him whom she had slighted, but he answers her not.

3.        The Involvement of Others

a.        The Suffering

She suffered as she sought her beloved: “the watchmen that went about the city…” [5:7].

§         She is treated harshly: “they smote me, they wounded me…” [5:7].

§         They exposed her: “they took away my veil from me” [5:7].

b.        The Help of Jerusalem   

She turns to others for help in her pursuit: “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem…” [5:8],

§         הִשְׁבַּ֥עְתִּי - “charge” [5:8], hiphil perfect, ‘to swear an oath’; ‘to promise’;

i.        The Daughters of Jerusalem

The Shulamite turns to others for help: “O daughters of Jerusalem…” [5:8].

§         בְּנ֣וֹת - “daughters” [5:8], ‘daughter’;

§         יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם - “Jerusalem” [5:8],

§         The “daughters of Jerusalem” [5:8] are the ones who have been singing the King’s song from the beginning: “we will be glad and rejoice in thee…” [1:4].

ii.      The Shulamite

The Shulamite: “Return, return, O Shulamite; return…” [6:13].

§         הַשּׁ֣וּלַמִּ֔ית - “Shulamite” [6:13], ‘possibly a person pertaining to the town of Shunem’; ‘Shulamite = ‘the perfect’ or ‘the peaceful’;

§         Shunem was a city in Issachar, located 5 miles (8 km) south of Mount Tabor in the Northern part of Israel.

§         The Shulamite, the lightly esteemed, cannot boast that she is so ruddy and fair of countenance as they are: “I am black but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem…” [1:5].

§         But now she has become the King’s bride: “I am come into my garden…” [5:1].

iii.    The Charge

The message to the King: “tell him that I am sick of love” [5:8].

§         תִּמְצְאוּ - “find” [5:8], qal imperfect, ‘to find location of’;

§         אֶת־דּוֹדִ֔י - “my beloved” [5:8],

§         מַה־תַּגִּ֣ידוּ - “tell him” [5:8], hiphil imperfect, ‘to inform’; ‘to report’;

§         שֶׁחוֹלַ֥ת - “sick” [5:8], qal participle, ‘to be weak, faint’; >>> she pines for him; she needs him desperately;

§         אַהֲבָ֖ה - “love” [5:8], ‘a state or condition of strong affection for another based on a relationship’;

§         In Ch.2 she was physically spent from the exercise of love and needed the sustenance of food: “stay me with flagons…for I am sick of love” [2:5].

§         Here, however, he is absent, and so the translation “sick” rather than “faint” is appropriate.


All this Shulamite dreamed; but the painful feeling of repentance, of separation and misapprehension, which the dream left behind, entered as deeply into her soul as if it had been an actual external experience. Therefore she besought the daughters of Jerusalem

§         Her message is an exclamation of desire and a plea for union.

§         She turns to the daughters of Jerusalem, because she can presuppose in them, in contrast with those cruel watchmen, a sympathy with her love-sorrow, on the ground of their having had similar experiences. They were also witnesses of the origin of this covenant of love, and graced the marriage festival by their sympathetic love.


1.        The Description of the King

a.        The Question

The “daughters of Jerusalem” proceed to question the Shulamite in order to enable her to give expression to the love that she had for the King: “what is thy beloved more than another beloved…” [5:9].

§         מַה - “what” [5:9], ‘endeavours to find what character or quality lies behind the peroson’;

§         מִדּ֔וֹד - “more than” [5:9], ‘from’ plus ‘beloved’;

b.        The Shulamite’s Description

The Shulamite then gives the “daughters of Jerusalem” [5:8] a full description of her “beloved” [3:8].

§        She extols every aspect of the physical beauty of her lover: “My beloved is white and ruddy…” [5:10-16].

§        The question thus asked cannot proceed from ignorance; it can only have the object of giving them the opportunity of hearing from Shulamite’s own mouth and heart her laudatory description of him, whom they also loved, although they were not deemed worthy to stand so near to him as she did who was thus questioned.

2.        The Location of the King 

Finally, the woman tells the women of Jerusalem where to find her “beloved” [6:1].

a.        The Questions

The daughters of Jerusalem now offer to seek along with Shulamite for her beloved, who had turned away and was gone: “Where has your beloved gone…” [6:1].

§         אָ֚נָה - “whither” [6:1], interrogative,

§         דּוֹדֵ֔ךְ - “beloved” [6:1],

§         הָלַ֣ךְ - “gone” [6:1], qal perfect, ‘to go, travel, journey’;

§         הַיָּפָ֖ה - “fairest” [6:1], ‘beautiful, attractive’;

§         פָּנָ֣ה - “turned aside” [6:1], qal perfect, ‘to turn away’; ‘look away’;

§         נְבַקְשֶׁ֖נּוּ - “seek him” [6:1], ‘seek, search’; ‘learn location/information about’;

§         עִמָּֽךְ - “with thee” [6:1], ‘together’; ‘in company with’;

b.        The Location

The location of her beloved: “my beloved is gone down into his garden…” [6:2],

§         יָרַ֣ד - “gone down” [6:2], qal perfect, ‘to descend’;

§         לְגַנּ֔וֹ - “into his garden” [6:2],

§         לַעֲרוּג֖וֹת - “beds” [6:2], ‘garden bed, plot’; ‘area of ground cultivated for plants’;

§         הַבֹּ֑שֶׂם - “spices” [6:2], ‘balsam tree, i.e., an aromatic tree’;

§         He is intimately united with her;

c.        The Activity

The theme of grazing to express intimacy: “to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies” [6:2].

§         לִרְעוֹת - “feed” [6:2], ‘to be a shepherd’; ‘to graze’;

§         לִלְקֹ֖ט - “gather” [6:2], ‘to glean, gather’;

§         שֽׁוֹשַׁנִּֽים - “lilies” [6:2], ‘lotus flower’; ‘the bloom of a large Egyptian water lily’;

3.        The Love Rekindled

The formula of mutual affection: “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine…” [6:3].

§         לְדוֹדִי - “my beloved’s” [6:3],

§         אֲנִ֤י - “is mine” [6:3],

§         דוֹדִ֣י - “my beloved” [6:3],

§         לִ֔י - “is mine” [6:3],

§         הָרֹעֶ֖ה - “feeds” [6:3], qal participle,

§         בַּשּׁוֹשַׁנִּֽים - “among lilies” [6:3],

§         “Tell me, O thou whom my soul loves, where thou feed, where thou make thy flock to rest at noon…” [1:7];


He has never really left her but the struggle for union finds consummation here only at the end of the poem.

§         The poem that begins with an expression of alienation between the man and the woman ends with an affirmation of togetherness.

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