Song of Solomon

The Song of Solomon is really a lovely poem.  It is no wonder that Solomon was able to be with so many women, as he is very romantic.  In Solomon’s poem a young Shulamite bride-to-be, whose skin has been darkened by the sun, is lying in her bed and longing to be with her betrothed, the king.  The king praises the Shulamite’s beauty, which allows her to overcome her feelings of insecurity about her appearance.  She has a dream in which she loses Solomon, so she starts searching the city streets for her lover.  With the help of the city guards, she finds her beloved and she clings to him and takes him home with her.  She envisions a lavish wedding procession, in which her happy bridegroom appears as King Solomon.  Solomon compares each part of the maiden’s body to animals and precious objects.  He calls for her to come down from the mountain peaks (her boobs) to be with him.  With intense yearning, he characterizes her as an enclosed garden, full of ripe foliage and having a flowing fountain (I will let you guess this body part).  Solomon had detailed knowledge of many plants and the beautiful smells from distant lands, so he used this imagery for the woman, who has collected these plants and placed them in her wonderful secret garden.  The gate to the garden is locked and nobody can enter to smell its plants.  The maiden bids the wind to blow on her garden and invites the man into the garden.  The man dines in the garden and calls for their friends to celebrate with the lovers.

My favorite part of the poem is when Solomon says, ‘Your lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under your tongue; and the smell of your garments is like the smell of Lebanon.  A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.  Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.’  Years ago, many women all squishy inside when they read this part of the poem, because it allowed them to fantasize about romance while reading the scriptures.  Today women have many other outlets.

Solomon was telling the maiden, that she was very special to him and that he loves everything about gardens.  He loves to smell the beautiful plants and he loves exotic plants from distant countries, but he feels happier being with this maiden than he has ever felt in any garden.  Although unusual plants interest him, he is much more interested in this woman.  Beautiful smells make him happy, but when he smells the maiden’s perfume, he becomes even happier and Solomon is happiest when he is near her.  The maiden loves Solomon’s wonderful words and she wants to share her life with him, so she pretends to invite Solomon into her garden, and she tells him to enjoy the fruit.

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