About white linen: Linen made from the flax plant is one of the oldest textiles in the world. It was first cultivated in Egypt. Linen is a good conductor of heat yet feels cool to the touch. It is two to three times the strength of cotton. It is lint free and gets softer the more it is washed. Pure white linen is created by heavy bleaching, it is naturally tan or gray (It is thought that bleaching was done by repeatedly washing and placing in the sunlight). Linen can absorb up to twenty percent moisture without feeling damp, so that it is highly absorbent in removing perspiration from the skin. Linen clings to the skin less, so that it billows in the wind.
Yah, the Messiyah, priests, prophets and the malakim (angels) wear white (linen). The Children of Ysrayl will wear white linen wedding garments in the future (prophesy).
Ezekiyah 44:17-18 And it shall be, whenever they enter the gates of the inner court, that they shall put on linen garments. No wool shall come upon them while they minister within the gates of the inner court or within the house. They shall have linen turbans on their heads. They shall not clothe themselves with anything that causes sweat. (concerning the priests of Yah)
1 Shemuyah (Samuel) 2:18 But Shemuyah ministered before Yah, even as a child, wearing a linen epod.
2 Shemuyah 6:14 Then David danced before Yah with all his might and David was wearing a linen epod.
Yeremiyah 13:1-11 The symbol of the linen sash. A valuable thing that came to nothing like the house of Yahudah.
Mattithyah 27:59; Mark 15:46 When Yoseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth.
Luke 24:12 But Kepha arose and ran to the tomb and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.
1 Chronicles 15:27 David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who bore the ark, the singers and Chenaniyah the music teacher with the singers, David also wore a linen epod.
2 Chronicles 5:12 And the Levites who were the singers, all those of Asaph and Heman and Yeduthun, with their sons and their brothers, stood at the east end of the altar, clothed in white linen, having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding the trumpets.
Isaiah 3:23 This verse shows that fine linen as well as other luxury goods was one of the things taken away from the children of Ysrayl by Yah because of our sinning.
Ezekiyah 16:10 This verse shows that fine linen was one of the luxury items given to us to wear by Yah. Yah cloths us in fine linen.
Proverbs 31: 22, 24 …Her clothing is fine linen and purple…she makes linen garments and sells them. This is the virtuous proverbs 31 woman.
Luke 16:19 The rich were clothed in fine linen. Genesis 41:42 Pharaoh clothed Yoseph in fine linen, a gold chain and signet ring.
In the book of Revelation, Yahoshua says we will walk with Him in white. He that overcomes (endures) will be clothed in white garments (linen). White garments represent spiritual purity or righteousness.
Revelation 3:4-5 …They shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy…He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments and I will not blot out his name…
Revelation 15:6 And out the temple came the seven angels having seven plagues clothed in pure bright linen…
Revelation 19:8 Yah’s wife, the children of Ysrayl will be wearing bright fine linen.
Revelation 19:11-16 Yahoshua’s army will be dressed in white linen on white horses.
Daniyah 7:9 Yah’s garment is white as snow. Also, Isaiah says that Yah wears a robe and the train of the robe fills the heavenly temple. (Isaiah 6:1). Did y’all know that Yah has hair like wool? Remember that when you think that you hate your “nappy” hair!
Allegory: An allegory is a story, poem or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one; a symbol. The bible is a love story between the Most High and the Israylites, from Genesis to Revelation. First, there was a courting period. Courtship is the period of development towards an intimate relationship wherein a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement, followed by a marriage. This could be the time when Yah was getting to know the fathers such as Adam, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Shem and others for example. The engagement period started between Yah and Abraham. Yah made a covenant, promise or engagement with Abraham in Genesis 15:5-21. An engagement is an agreement, commitment, contract or formal contract to be married.
Yah formally married Ysrayl in Exodus 24:8 after rescuing her from the Egyptians, when Moshe sprinkled blood on the people. The blood represented the marriage night symbolism when a woman bleeds. The Israylites also explained that the children of Ysrayl are not divorced from Yah but we are separated or “put away” because we have sinned against Yah. No fallen angel has ever claimed the children of Ysrayl as wife. Read the law of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 Yah has never given us any divorce paper.
Yah is our only husband. Ysrayl is referred to as wife, “isha” in Hebrew. Yah says that the children of Ysrayl have been unfaithful to Him by spiritually whoring with the fallen angels. Yah was tired of the children of Ysrayl’s whoring ways in Hosea 2:2 saying, “For she is not My wife nor am I her Husband”! However, by verses 16-17 He prophesies that the children of Ysrayl will call Him Husband and no longer Master/Baal. In other words we will know who we worship and keep our promise/contract. Yah said to Hosea, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover (friend Husband) and is committing adultery just like the love of the Most High for the children of Ysrayl, who look to the gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.” Yah says that your Maker is your husband and Yah of hosts is His name….Isaiah 54:5…
“You erected your shrine at the head of every road and built your high place in every street. Yet, you were not like a harlot because you scorned payment. (Meaning you did it for free). You are an adulterous wife who takes strangers instead of her husband. Men make payment to all harlots but you made your payments to all your lovers and hired them to come to you from all around for your harlotry. (That sounds like a thirsty woman, right? She/Ysrayl paid). You are the opposite of other women (or nations) in your harlotry because no one solicited you to be a harlot. In that you gave payment but no payment was given you, therefore you are the opposite. (THRISTY! The gods did not even want you and would not give you payment/or a deal but you pushed yourself on them anyway).
Ezekiyah 16:31-34 So now, Yah “put us away” and kicked us out of the land.
Do you remember the adulterous woman? Yahanan/John 8: 3-12. Yahoshua told her to sin no more. She was forgiven. The same will happen concerning Yah’s wife, Ysrayl. She will be forgiven. Let me show you.
Yeremiyah 31:31-40 We will have a new wedding ceremony (marriage renewal). Yah made a covenant with the children of Ysrayl back in Exodus with the sprinkling of blood. This time instead of Moshe standing in as the bridegroom, Yahoshua will be our bridegroom. Yah’s laws will be in our heart and minds forevermore. We will have our spiritual bodies.
Yeremiyah 3:14 Yah says return to Me, you backsliding children, for we are married. After Babylon is destroyed, the marriage renewal will take place.
Revelation 19:7-10 The marriage of the Lamb has come and His wife has made herself ready. And guess what we are wearing to the wedding? Fine bright (white) linen! That white linen represents our righteous acts. Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the lamb!
Mattithyah 22:1-14 Yahoshua told a parable: The king asks a man why he did not have on his wedding garment (white linen). He was taken out because he was not trying to be righteous. Weeping and gnashing of teeth (great pain) means he went to the lake of fire. Yah is serious about righteousness. Will you keep Yah’s laws through Yahoshua? Will you be wearing white linen to the wedding? Won’t all that White linen billowing in the wind be a beautiful sight to behold?
*The above scriptures are from two different congregations with added information and scriptures from yours truly.
Now, Let’s talk about the Song of Solomon. The Song of Solomon is a love song written by Solomon and abounding in metaphors. Historically, It depicts the wooing and wedding of a shepherdess by King Solomon and the joys and heartaches of wedded love. (From Lovestruck book) The Song of Solomon does point us back to Yahoshua but it’s not because the lover (Yahoshua) pursues the lowly woman in the field (you and me), but because romantic love in itself is an echo of Yah’s love for us. (Jaynes, Sharon) The title of this book in Hebrew is “Shir ha Shirim or Song of Songs and is sometimes also called “the most beautiful of songs.” (From Lovestruck book) The title (Greatest of all Songs) is similar to the titles “King of kings” and “Master of masters” in the ‘new testament’, Revelation 19:16 and “Holy of Holies” in the ‘old testament’, Exodus 26:33. (Jaynes, Sharon) Solomon had 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs (1 Kings 4:32) but the Song of Solomon is considered the greatest of the songs. This is in the superlative and speaks of Solomon’s most exquisite song because Solomon is mentioned SEVEN TIMES in 1:1, 1:5, 3:7, 3:9, 3:11, 8:11 and 8:12. So accordingly, the book is also known as the Song of Solomon.
As human life finds its highest fulfillment in the love of man and woman, so spiritual life finds its highest fulfillment in the love of Yah for His people (the flame) and Messiyah for His assembly. (From Lovestruck book) The bible opens with the marriage of a man and a woman in the garden of Eden and concludes with the marriage of (Yah through Yahoshua) and the (assembly) in New Jerusalem, letting us know that marriage and intimacy are important to Yah. Even (Yahoshua’s) first miracle took place at a wedding in Cana where he turned water into wine. (Jaynes, Sharon)
The book reads like scenes in a drama with three main speakers: The bride (Shulamite), King Solomon (the beloved) and a chorus (the daughers of Yahrushalom). This book is a collection of poems or songs in which a woman and a man tell about their love for each other. Sometimes they speak to themselves, sometimes to each other or to friends and in some of the poems, they seem to be remembering earlier times in their relationship. Again, this book shows the love between man and woman and Yah and Ysrayl. Yah stated the following through the Shulamite:
The passion of love bursting into (the) flame (of Yah) is more powerful than death, stronger than the grave. Love cannot be drowned by oceans or floods. It cannot be bought, no matter what is offered. Song of Solomon 8:6-7.
Love. Have y’all noticed by now that Yah only has one wife not even a concubine (girlfriend), in other words, no other nation(s). His focus is only for this one wife, Ysrayl that He has great love for.
Chapter 1: Love is Better Than Wine
1 The song of songs, which is Solomon’s.
The Banquet: The Shulamite (an Israylite woman, compare to 6:13)
*The young maiden is often called the Shulamite. The Shulamite is a shepherdess, country girl from Shunem. Shumen was a small agricultural village in lower Galilee (Hebrew: Ha-Galil or means”the province”), in north Ysrayl. The tribe of Issachar has been identified as living in this area of the mountains of Lebanon (Deuteronomy 33:18-19). Shunem of the tribe of Issachar was near the Jezreel Valley and south of Mount Gilboa, Joshua 19:18.
*Some quick facts about Shunem, her hometown: The Philistines encamped near Shenum, 1 Shemuyah 28:4 when they came against Shaul. Abishaq, King David’s servant came from Shenum, 1 Kings 1:1-4. Ylishua (Elisha) revived a Shulammite woman’s son there, 2 Kings 4:8-37. Shunem is listed as a town conquered by the Egyptian Pharoahs’ Thutmose III and Shoshenk. Lastly, Shunem may be identified as the modern village of Sulam today.
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your (beloved) love is better than wine. 3 Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, your name is ointment poured forth. Therefore, the virgins love you. 4 Draw me away!
The Daughters of Yahrushalom (Friends)
We will run after you. (You=the beloved).
The Shulamite (the Issachar Woman)
The king has brought me into his chambers.
The Daughters of Yahrushalom (Friends)
We will be glad and rejoice in you. (You=the Shulamite). We will remember your (that is, Beloved) love more than wine.
The Shulamite (the Issachar Woman)
Rightly do they love you (that is, the Beloved). 5 I am dark but lovely, O daughters of Yahrushalom, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. 6 Do not look upon me, because I am dark, because the sun has (darkened) me. My mother’s sons were angry with me. They made me the keeper of the vineyards but my own vineyard, I have not kept.
(To Her Beloved)
7 Tell me, O you whom I love, where you feed your flock? Where you make it rest at noon? For why should I be as one who veils herself (or one who wanders) by the flocks of your companions?
8 If you do not know, O (beautiful) among women, follow in the footsteps of the flock and feed your little goats beside the shepherd’s tents. 9 I have compared you, my love to my filly among Pharaoh’s chariots. 10 Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with chains of gold.
The Daughters of Yahrushalom (Friends)
11 We will make you (you=the Shulamite) ornaments of gold with studs of silver.
The Shumalite (the Issachar Woman)
12 While the king is at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance. 13 A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, that lies all night between my breats. 14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blooms in the vineyards of En Gedi.
15 Behold, you are beautiful, my love! Behold, you are beautiful!! You have dove’s eyes.
The Shulamite (the Issachar Woman)
16 Behold, you are handsome, my beloved! Yes, pleasant! Also our bed is green. (also translated as: The fresh green grass will be our wedding bed). 17 The beams of our houses are cedar and our rafters of fir.
From the author of Lovestruck: Chapter 1: The Mystery of Physical Attraction: The author explains that the Shulammite woman is lovestruck (or lovesick), that the Song of Solomon begins with a bang! The Shulammite woman makes no bones about it, she wants her man and she wants him now…we meet a woman who is passionately in love and attracted to this man who has captured her heart, mind, body and soul (pg2). The unmarried Solomon and the Shulammite flirt with each other just as much in the beginning of their romance as they do at the end. As we mature, the author states, we learn to look beyond the window dressing and into the heart…but there is always that mysterious physical attraction that catches the eye. The author asks why there is physical attraction between opposite sexes? The answer is the same. (Yah) put it there. Yah fashioned man and woman to be attracted to one another and that attraction extends to all our senses…what we taste, smell, hear, touch, see and what we perceive lies beneath the physical appearance. (pgs 3-4)
v. 2 “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!” The Shulamite begins with a rush of longing. There is no warm-up as the book begins. No explanation yet plenty of desire…”For your love is better than wine.” Right from the beginning we read of a woman who is amorously wistful and physically longing for intimacy. She wants him! She is thirsty for his love! (pg 4). The author states that the simplicity of the picture of the opening is a work of art that presents inner thoughts of a young princess but in doing so, it captures feelings that are universal at the birth of love and the suddenness with which they appear. (pg 4). Isn’t that the way of love? Even if a man and woman have been friends for many years, there’s a certain point they realize they don’t want to live without the other. Like falling asleep, falling in love can be gradual and then all of a sudden. (pg 5). This kiss is not just a peck but a passionately deep, hungry kiss that are more deliciously intoxicating than wine…the kisses on the mouth, the lovemaking and the wine join together to provide readers with an introductory verse that plunges them into the heady waters of this poem. Here is no gradual acclimation, a step at a time but rather an (immersion) by fire!” (pg 5)
On page 6 the author quotes what scientists say happens to the human body when kissing, the physical changes (especially the neurotransmitter dopamine). The author states, in other words, the body’s response mirrors many of the same symptoms frequently associated with falling in love (or how it becomes addictive).
Chapter 1: The Sensuality of Scent: v. 3 The author states, one thing we learn about attraction in the Song of Solomon is that it involves a variety of senses. In the first verse the Shulammite engages the sense of touch and taste. In the second she brings in the sense of smell. Okay, let’s go ahead and say it, she was turned on by the way he smelled…An article in Psychology Today revealed the following…Some researchers think scent could be the hidden…constant…that explains who we end up with. It may even explain why we feel “chemistry” or “sparks” or “electricity” with one person and not with another. I would have never guessed that men and women were attracted to each other because of the way they smelled. Here’s our takeaway: (Yah) put the attraction to a person’s scent in us and we don’t even realize it’s there or that it’s happening. Again, we can see the intentionality of our fascinating Creator to fashion even our sense of smell for mutual attraction that leads to romance. The Shulammite was no doubt bedazzled by Solomon’s handsome face but she was intoxicated with his yummy smell. Do you remember wearing a certain body lotion or perfume that your husband loved when you were dating? Do you remember a certain scent about him? Since you’re already going to kiss your husband once a day, why not lean in and inhale his scent? Asks the author. Then tell him he smells good enough to eat….(pgs 8-10)
Chapter 1: The Allure of Character: The Shulammite was drawn to more than Solomon’s intoxicating perfumed oil or the scent of his skin; she said that his name was “like perfume poured out” (v. 3). Just the mention of his name made her woozy with love. In Solomon’s day a person’s name had meaning. A name told you something about the person’s character or physical appearance. The name Esau means “hairy” and the Esau we see in Genesis was indeed hairy. Jacob (Yaqob) means “trickster” which fit the bible Jacob perfectly. Moses means “drawn out of water” and he was. Solomon means “peace” and that was what he brought to (Ysrayl). The Shulammite said that her lover’s name was “like perfume poured out” an image that often referred to offerings poured out to Yah in the temple. So we can surmise, then, that her lover was a (righteous) man. Beyond his physical appearance, the Shulammite was attracted to his spiritual character and public reputation. Solomon would later write in the book of Ecclesiastes, “A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume” (7:1 NLT). The NASB translates Song 1:3, “Your name is like purified oil.” Purified oil was extra-virgin olive oil, the purest form from the first pressing. Back in their day this oil was so special that it was only used in the temple for the lampstand that burned night and day. In addition to being the best oil, it was the best of the best given to (Yah). So in a way, she was saying that Solomon’s character was the best of the best. Can you imagine how your husband would feel if you told him, “You’re not just the best; you’re the best of the best”? She concludes the section with this thought: “No wonder the young women love you!” (v. 3). (pgs 10-11)
Physical attraction may be the catalyst to entertaining a possible relationship but it is not enough to sustain it…This is not to say that physical attraction is bad not by a long shot. You should never marry someone that you are not physically attracted to. The point is, you can hide poor character under makeup, stylish clothes and exotic dates for awhile but eventually that character will creep through the cracks and sully the pretty window dressing…That the poor character hidden beneath the attractive exterior becomes apparent. As I’ve often heard, character is who you are when no one is looking. To the Shulammite, Solomon was much more than a handsome face. He was a man of character who was the same whether he was near her or far away. She might have been beguiled by his handsome appearance but she was captivated by his holy (righteous or set-apart) character. You might be thinking, Isn’t this the same guy who had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines? Most likely it is. Some believe that Song was written early in Solomon’s reign, before all that took place. The Shulammite mentions his youthful exuberance like a gazelle and his well-sculpted features like chiseled stone. Most likely she was his first love (or first woman he loved). Solomon started out being known as a man of great wisdom but in his later years his success turned his heart away from Yah and toward foreign women and their gods (1 Kings 11:4). Yah had instructed Solomon not to make treaties with other nations (not to get yourselves too many wives, a law) but with each treaty, he acquired a new wife from that nation. Even though his collection of women was more of a political move than a romantic one, it still eventually led his heart away from Yah. Perhaps that is why one of his later books, Ecclesiastes, is one of the saddest in the entire bible. The Song of Solomon clearly portrays…love between a man and a woman…that is what Yah really wants us to see. Sex was his idea and he wants husbands and wives to experience it without regret.(pgs 11-13)
Chapter 1: Who is that Hot Babe? While the Shulammite was wildly attracted to Solomon, she doubted he could be attracted to a girl like her. She was so insecure about her appearance, she wondered why any man would give her a second glance. Listen to how she described herself: “Dark am I yet lovely” “dark like the tents of Kedar” “dark like the tent curtains of Solomon” “Do not stare at me because I am dark because the sun has darkened me” “My mother’s sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards, my own vineyard I had to neglect. (v. 4-6)
The Shulamite was a hardworking farm girl who labored away in her stepbrothers’ vineyards. Most likely her father was deceased and her mom had remarried, as she referred to the field hands as “her mother’s sons.” In all probability the brothers leased the land from King Solomon, which would explain why he was perusing the vineyard when he first noticed her. We don’t know why her stepbrothers were angry with her. It could be that they were jealous that the king paid attention to her or because she was their mom’s favorite. The Shulammite bemoaned the fact that she had been so busy looking out for her brother’s interests that she hadn’t had time to take care of her own vineyard, her personal appearance. She compared her appearance to the tents of Kedar, which were tents made of dark or black wool by a Bedouin tribe. She also compared her skin to the dark purple curtains in Solomon’s temple. (Me: Here, the author thinks this Iraylite woman has ruddy, sunburned skin. Not so. Although, Solomon probably was ruddy brown or red-bone as we southern ‘American’ Israylites like to say, like his father David. The Issachar, Shulammite woman was a dark-skinned woman. It was interesting for me to see that this light-skinned/dark-skinned division did not start in American slavery….it has been with us for a long time. The devil and his people just played on it, here in America! The Shulammite woman knew that dark-skinned women were not looked upon as attractive by some. (pgs 13-14)
The author continues, the Shulammite’s self-worth was as flimsy as the tent flaps blowing in the arid wind. You can tell how self-conscious she was when she told the women not to stare at her. At the same time, she knew there was something about her that was lovely. What did Solomon think of the Shulammite’s appearance? He found her alluringly beautiful. Solomon responds to her in verses 9-11. In Solomon’s culture, the king used the most beautiful horses to pull his chariots, mostly Arabian horses with bejeweled bridles and headgear. It was if Solomon were saying, “You stand out in the crowd. I can spot you from a mile away. You’re eye-catchingly beautiful and breathtakingly magnificent.” Solomon poured out positive affirmation about the Shulammite’s appearance and washed away her insecurities. The author writes, I’m not sure what you thought of your appearance when you first caught your husband’s eye, but, girl, he thought you were beautiful! (pgs 16-17)
Chapter 1: Things Were Heating Up: It may seem a bit odd the Song jumps from Solomon telling the Shulammite how beautiful she is to her daydreaming about the day when they can finally make love as husband and wife. But, then again, maybe not. Words of admiration can make a woman feel a bit woozy, especially when they’re from the man she loves. (verses 12-14), The ESV translates verse 12 closer to its literal meaning. “The king was on his couch, my nard gave forth its fragrance” (emphasis added). Solomon and the Shulammite weren’t lying on his couch together but she was certainly dreaming about it. She imagined her perfume releasing its scent as her skin warmed to his touch. In Solomon’s day, women who could afford it wore a small leather pouch filled with perfume such as myrrh around their necks. Myrrh is a resin from a thorny, ragged-looking tree, something like an acacia, which grows in Arabia, Ethiopia and India. It was commonly used as an alluring female perfume. It was also used to perfume royal nuptial robes, perhaps preparing the couple for what came after the “I dos (Psalm 45:8). Sometimes women would sleep with the perfume box tucked between their breasts. Then, in the morning, they would carry the scent with them throughout the day. The Shulammite dreamed about the day when Solomon would be like that sachet of myrrh, resting between her breasts. (pgs. 17-18)
Chapter 1: The Divine Design of a Creative (Power): Attraction between men and women is such a beautifully intricate part of Yah’s design. As we learn more about the ways our very bodies have been engineered to respond to stimuli like kissing, smelling and touching, we start to see just what a creative and ingenious Power we serve…we can see in the opening passage of the bible how he had planned from the very beginning for the power of attraction…Then (on the 6th day), he created man, Yah did something different from simply speaking. The Creator bent low, took a set-apart handful of dust (mud) in his palms and formed an image bearer to reflect his likeness: Adam. Afterward he said, “It is not good for the man to be alone (Genesis 2:18, emphasis added). That’s where you and I come in…no helper was found for Adam. The NASB says Yah “fashioned” Eve (v. 22). He took extra special care when he created her. Up to this point in the Genesis recordings of creation, Adam had remained silent. His first words after Yah created Eve, “This in now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man” (v. 23). Adam’s name for this new creature, woman, essentially means “out of me” or “mine.” Eve was created to complete man like two pieces of a puzzle fitting together….Yah gave them the gift of sex. “Be fruitful and multiply,” he instructed them (1:28 ESV). Enjoy! Notice that, while Yah told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, there is no mention of children or procreation in the Song of Songs. This is truly a celebration of romantic love, marital commitment and sexual intimacy and we’re just getting started. So where did the physical attraction and desire come from? Yah put it there! It was his gift to them. It is Yah’s gift to us. (pgs. 18-20).
Chapter 2: The Deepening of Desire: Deep, abiding friendship is a cornerstone for a marriage that goes the distance, according to the author (She has been married for 38 years). The author states that we (she and her husband) knew very early that we were going to be forever friends. Solomon saw that same potential in the Shulamite. Twice in Songs 1, Solomon called the Shulamite his “darling” (v. 9, 15). The Hebrew word rayah is the female form of a noun that means “companion (or friend of Yah)” and is translated “darling” in the NIV, “dearest” in the NEB and “love” in the NRSV. It is like the French petite amie, which carries the meaning of “sweetheart” and is literally “little friend” in English. The Shulamite was not only Solomon’s lover but also his intimate friend and would become his lifelong companion (friend). So what does “being intimate” entail? Certainly there’s physical intimacy. But true intimacy involves much more than a physical union. It is the intertwining of two hearts through mutual sharing and passing years. The author quotes text from Sheldon Vanauken’s love of his wife where his final statement is that, their trust in each other will not only be based on love and loyalty but on the fact of a thousand sharings…a thousand strands twisted into something unbreakable. Just like Sheldon (and his wife) Davy and Solomon and the Shulamite, we need to find ways to protect our friendship above all others. A wise couple considers ways to keep the friendship going and growing. It is often after a married couple has experience a fun time as friends that they experience the most passionate romance as lovers. The author asks a question, Did you notice in chapter 1 that the Shulamite has a sudden interest in sheep? (from v.7). She wanted to be near her man and showed interest in what interested him…sheep. It is crucial to lifelong friendship to have shared activities that create an unbreakable bond. The Shulamite will later say about Solomon, “This is my beloved, this is my friend” (5:16). Their friendship started at the genesis of their relationship and continued till the end. We’re gong to talk more about the importance of growing and maintaining intimate friendship in chapter 7. For now, know that while the couple was wildly attracted to each other, they were also developing a friendship that would last a lifetime. (pgs. 21-24)
Chapter 2: The Elegant Dance of Mutual Praise: Just as important as the actions we take to develop a relationship are the words we speak to deepen it. At the end of chapter 1 and the beginning of chapter 2 of the song, the couple volleys compliments back and forth at breakneck speed. Make no mistake, they are blatantly flirting. Solomon tells the Shulamite what he thinks about her. Then she quickly replies with what she thinks about him. Remember, the Shulammite maiden was extremely insecure about her (dark) appearance. How precious that (Yah) provided a new mirror in which she could see her true beauty…(through the eyes of) the man who loved her. In verse 15 of chapter 1 Solomon tells her how beautiful she is twice with eyes like doves. In verse 16 She tells him how handsome he is and is so charming. The author says, I love that he used the word beautiful twice when describing her. Then she bantered back with a double dose as well. Their words are what one commentator called, “an elegant dance of mutual praise.” Solomon led the dance by taking the first two steps forward and she followed by taking two steps with him. Solomon called her his rayati, the Hebrew word for “darling” or “my love.” She in turn called him her dodi, the Hebrew word for “beloved.” One thing is for sure: they both knew right from the beginning that their feelings were mutual. This was no guessing game. We learn from these lovers the importance of both parties making sure the other feels loved, adorned and preferred. (pgs. 24-26)
Jaynes, Sharon. (2019): Lovestruck: Discovering God’s Design for Romance, Marriage & Sexual Intimacy from the Song of Solomon. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishing: ISBN no: 9781400209644 (pbk) & 9781400209668 (e-book)
Appendix of Lovestruck: Breaking the Secret Code (Symbolism) for Song of Solomon:
1.5 Tents of Kedar—Arab nomadic tribal tents woven from black goat hair
1:5 Tent of curtains of Solomon—Most likely the beautiful dark curtains of Solomon’s palace
1:6 My own vineyard—The Shulamite’s own body; Her personal appearance or complexion.
1.7 Veiled woman—Wandering about as one blindfolded; Most likely not referring to the veiling of a prostitue
1:13, 4:6, 5:13 Myrrh—“A low, thorny, ragged-looking tree, something like an acacia…a viscid white liquid oozes from the bark when punctured, which rapidly hardens when exposed to the air and becomes a sort of gum, which in this simple state is the myrrh of commerce”
1:14, 4:13 Henna—A flowering shrub with fragrant white blossoms still found today only at En Gedi; Produces yellow, orange and red dye which was used to color hair and other parts of the body
1:14 En Gedi—A lush oasis just west of the Dead Sea, meaning “fountain of the king”
1:15, 4:1, 5:12 Dove eyes—Beautiful, deep, smoke gray eyes of the dove