Song of Solomon 5-8

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

December 21, 2004


The story behind the song.

The woman was an Ammonitess. Her brothers treated her roughly and cruely. They forced her into labor, into keeping the vineyard. She was so busy keeping the vineyard that she didn’t have the time or opportunity to take care of herself. She had become very tan (dark).

One day what seems to be a “shepherd” meets her. It seems to be love at first sight. After he leaves, she dreams about him. Later when the King of Israel came, Solomon himself called her. She found out that he was the shepherd she had fallen in love with.


1:1 – 3:5 The Courtship

3:6 – 5:1 The Wedding

5:2 – 8:14 The Marriage matures

Song of Solomon 5

According to our outline, the two lovers have been married.


:1 I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.


:2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.

While she’s sleeping, she hears a knock at the door.

Makes me think of Rev. 3:20, where Jesus says to the church:

(Rev 3:20 KJV) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

:3 I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?

She was already settled down for the night. She didn’t want to be bothered to get up.

:4 My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.

hole of the door – Apparently this is a reference to some sort of ancient door lock system.

bowels – her feelings have been stirred up.

:5 I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.

She finally gets up to open the door.

Myrrh – a perfume.

He had left some myrrh on the doorknob to remind her of him. When she opens the door, she gets some of the myrrh on her hands.

:6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

She had gotten up too late. He had left.


Respond to your spouse

We are supposed to respond to the needs of our spouse.
(1 Cor 7:1-5 NLT) Now about the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to live a celibate life. {2} But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. {3} The husband should not deprive his wife of sexual intimacy, which is her right as a married woman, nor should the wife deprive her husband. {4} The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband also gives authority over his body to his wife. {5} So do not deprive each other of sexual relations. The only exception to this rule would be the agreement of both husband and wife to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time, so they can give themselves more completely to prayer. Afterward they should come together again so that Satan won't be able to tempt them because of their lack of self-control.

The one time you say “no” is not when you have a headache or you’re already taken off your coat and washed your feet. The one time you say “no” is when you both agree to spend more time in prayer.

It’s easy when you’re “in the mood”, but when you’re not, you are still responsible to meet your spouse’s needs.  In a sense, when you get married, you give your spouse the keys to your car.  And vice-versa.

Responding to Jesus when He knocks.
I think that we need to also think about responding to the promptings of Jesus, our “groom”.
When He knocks on the door of your heart, respond.

:7 The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.

The city police found her and wounded her, thinking she was some sort of criminal.

:8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.

She’s “lovesick”, not “sick of love”.

Chorus (Daughters of Jerusalem):

:9 What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?

Why should we bother to help you out? Why is your lover so special?


We’ve seen some of Solomon’s lovey-dovey language, now we get to hear some of hers.

:10 My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.

:11 His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.

gold – he has a regal way of holding himself.

What color is Solomon’s hair? Black.

:12 His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.

:13 His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

:14 His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.

:15 His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.

:16 His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.


Friends and lovers

“This is my beloved, and this is my friend”
I think that God’s ideal is for your spouse to be your best friend.
What are the kinds of things that “best friends” do together?
For those that are single – make it your aim to be best friends.


Describe your spouse

What kinds of words do you usually use to describe your spouse?
“Old Lady”?  “Ball and chain”?
(1 Cor 13:5 NLT) love … keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
I remember one time in a counseling session where I asked a husband and wife to tell each other five things that they appreciated about each other.  Big mistake.  She had all kinds of things.  He couldn’t think of a single thing.
Yep, that’s one word. It’s the name of a hill on New Zealand’s North Island. The word is Maori for “the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as land-eater, played his flute to his loved one.”
How romantic.


Describe Jesus

He is altogether lovely.
My King
The Bible says my King is a seven weight King. He’s the King of the Jews, that’s a racial King. He’s the King of Israel, that’s a national King. He’s the King of Righteousness. He’s the King of the Ages. He’s the King of Heaven. He’s the King of Glory. He’s the King of kings, and He’s the Lord of lords. That’s my king. WELL!!.....I wonder do ya know Him? David said the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork. My King is a sovereign King. No means of measure can define His limitless love. No far—seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoulder’s supplies. No barrier can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing. He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s empirically powerful. He’s impartially merciful. Do ya know Him?
He’s the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world. He’s God’s Son. He’s a sinner’s Savior. He’s the centerpiece of civilization. He stands in the solitude of Himself. He’s august, and He’s unique. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He’s the loftiest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. He is the supreme problem in higher criticism. He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology. He is the core and the necessity for spiritual religion. He’s the miracle of the age. He is, yes He is, He is the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him. He’s the only one qualified to be an All-sufficient Savior. I wonder if you know Him today?
He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He strengthens and sustains. He guards and He guides. He heals the sick. He cleansed the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharges debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent, and He beautifies the meek. I wonder if you know Him? WELL....(chuckles)
My King, He is the key, He is the key to knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. He the pathway of peace. He’s the roadway of righteousness. He’s the highway of holiness. He’s the gateway of glory. Do ya’ know Him? WELL....
His office is manifold. His promise is sure. His life is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. And His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I wish I could describe Him to ya’! He’s inde...WELL....yeahhhh!!!
He’s indescribable. Yes He is. He’s, He’s indescribable. Yes, He’s indescribable. He is incomprehensible. He’s invincible. He’s irresistible. Well, you can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hands. You can’t outlive Him, and you can’t live without Him! Well, the pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree. Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him. And the grave couldn’t hold Him. YEAHHHHH!!!! That’s my KING!! That’s my KING!!!
And Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever, and ever, and ever, and long is that?....and ever, and ever! And when you get through with all of the forevers, then AMEN! AMEN!!!

Song of Solomon 6

Chorus - Daughters of Jerusalem:

:1 Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.


:2 My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.

:3 I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.


:4 Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.

Tirzah – “pleasantness”, a city known for its great beauty. After the kingdom would split under Rehoboam, the first capital city of the northern kingdom would be Tirzah.

terrible – “awesome”

(Song 6:4 NLT) …You are as majestic as an army with banners!

:5 Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead.

Flowing hair – like a “shag” cut.

:6 Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them.

She has a full set of teeth.

:7 As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks.

Pomegranate – red

These are the same compliments he paid her back in chapter 4.

It’s okay when you’ve got a good line to use it over and over again!


Albert Einstein had a wonderful way with words when wooing women. Check out these love lines from Mr. E=MC2 to the gal he would eventually marry, Mileva Maric:

“If only you were with me! We understand so well each other’s souls, and also drinking coffee and eating sausages, etc.”

:8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.

She stands out among all of Solomon’s women (so far at 60 wives and 80 concubines).  This was apparently written early in Solomon’s reign since he eventually had 300 wives and 700 concubines.  It’s possible that the other women were political marriages.

:9 My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.

She was the envy of all the other women.

:10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?


:11 I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded.

garden of nuts – I think that’s where I live. I’m one of the nuts.  J

:12 Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.

(Song 6:12 NASB) "Before I was aware, my soul set me Over the chariots of my noble people."

(Song 6:12 ICB) My desire for you makes me feel like a prince in a chariot.

(Song 6:12 NLT) Before I realized it, I found myself in my princely bed with my beloved one."

Chorus/Daughters of Jerusalem:

:13a Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee.


:13b What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

(Song 6:13 NLT) "Why do you gaze so intently at this young woman of Shulam, as she moves so gracefully between two lines of dancers?"

Solomon says that these daughters of Jerusalem like to watch the Shulamite as much as they like to watch dancers at a festival.

Song of Solomon 7

7:1 - 8:4 The Marriage Deepens


:1 How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.

:2 Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.

Her body is intoxicating.

:3 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.

:4 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.

Heshbon – a city known for it’s abundant water supply.

She’s got a big nose.

:5 Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.

Carmel – a beautiful mountain in the north.

held in the galleries – captivated by her hair

:6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

:7 This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.

:8 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;

:9 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.

Martin Luther had a way with words.  Here’s what he said:

“There’s a lot to get used to in the first year of marriage. One wakes up in the morning and finds a pair of pigtails on the pillow that were not there before.”

-- Martin Luther. "Martin Luther--The Later Years and Legacy," Christian History, Issue 39.

How romantic!


:10 I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.

For us, as the Bride of Christ – His desire is toward us.

(Eph 3:14-19 KJV)  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, {15} Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, {16} That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; {17} That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, {18} May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; {19} And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

God has a great love toward us:

(John 3:16 KJV)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

(Eph 1:3-6 NLT)  How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ. {4} Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. {5} His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure. {6} So we praise God for the wonderful kindness he has poured out on us because we belong to his dearly loved Son.

(Eph 1:6 KJV)  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

:11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.

She initiates the lovemaking.

:12 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.

:13 The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.

Song of Solomon 8


:1 O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.

In that culture it was not inappropriate for a brother and sister to show each other affection in public, but it was not proper for a husband and wife to show affection in public.

:2 I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.

:3 His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.

:4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.

Chorus/Daughters of Jerusalem:

:5a Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?


:5b I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.

:6 Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.

seal – like a precious possession. She wants to be her husband’s most precious possession.

Did you know that you were Jesus’ most precious possession?

(Mat 13:44-46 KJV)  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. {45} Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: {46} Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

:7a Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it:


In his book Secrets to Inner Beauty, Joe Aldrich humorously describes the realities of married life. It doesn’t take long for the newlyweds to discover that “everything in one person nobody’s got.” They soon learn that a marriage license is just a learner’s permit, and ask with agony, “Is there life after marriage?” An old Arab proverb states that marriage begins with a prince kissing an angel and ends with a bald-headed man looking across the table at a fat lady. Socrates told his students, “By all means marry. If you get a good wife, twice blessed you will be. If you get a bad wife, you’ll become a philosopher.” Count Herman Keyserling said it well when he stated that “The essential difficulties of life do not end, but rather begin with marriage.”

-- Joseph C. Aldrich, Secrets to Inner Beauty (Santa Ana, CA: Vision House, 1977), p. 87-88.

We can laugh at stuff like that, but don’t give up on love.


True Love can’t be quenched.


I stand by the bed where a young woman lies, her face postoperative, her mouth twisted in palsy, clownish. A tiny twig of the facial nerve, the one to the muscles of her mouth, has been severed. The surgeon had followed with religious fervor the curve of her flesh; I promise you that. Nevertheless, to remove the tumor in her cheek, I had cut the little nerve.
Her young husband is in the room. He stands on the opposite side of the bed, and together they seem to dwell in the evening lamplight, isolated from me, private. Who are they, I ask myself, he and this wrymouth I have made, who gaze at and touch each other so generously, greedily? The young woman speaks.
“Will my mouth always be like this?” she asks.
“Yes,” I say, “it will. It is because the nerve was cut.”
She nods, and is silent. But the young man smiles.
“I like it,” he says. “It is kind of cute.”
All at once I know who he is. I understand, and I lower my gaze. One is not bold in an encounter with a god. Unmindful, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth, and I am so close I can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate to hers, to show her that their kiss still works.
-- Richard Selzer, Mortal Lessons


Sam Levison once said, “Love at first sight is nothing special. It’s when two people have been looking at each other for years that it becomes a miracle.”
-- Paul Harvey, 11/5/91


Mary Francis Meyers died today, a great woman in our church. Her husband Ken died two or three years ago. I’ll never forget being in the fireside room when they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. I said, “Ken, fifty years is a long time.”
He immediately responded, “Not nearly as long as it would have been without her.”
-- Robert L. Russell, "God's Design for Marriage," Preaching Today, Tape No. 166.


C.S. Lewis observed that many people have the mistaken idea that, if you have married the right person you may expect to go on “being in love” forever. As a result, when they find they are not, they think this proves they have made a mistake and are entitled to a change, not realizing that, when they have changed, the glamour will presently go out of the new love just as it went out of the old one.

In this department of life, as in every other, thrills come at the beginning and do not last. Let the thrill go. Let it die away. Go on through that period of death into the quieter interest and happiness that follow and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills all the time.

-- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan, 1952), p. 84-86.


First Love

The relationship with husband and wife is so parallel with Jesus and the church.
The church in Ephesus had a lot of good things going for them:
(Rev 2:2-3 KJV)  I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: {3} And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
But they had a problem too:
(Rev 2:4 KJV)  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Jesus gave them the answer to the problem:
(Rev 2:5 KJV)  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Think back to when things were good.

Repent – turn away from things that take you away from your spouse.

Do the things you used to do when you were first in love.


Years ago, in the Midwest, a farmer and his wife were lying in bed during a storm when the funnel of a tornado suddenly lifted the roof right off the house and sucked their bed away with them still in it. The wife began to cry, and the farmer called to her that it was no time to cry. She called back that she was so happy, she could not help it—it was the first time they had been out together in 20 years!

-- R. Kent Hughes in Disciplines of a Godly Man. Men of Integrity, Vol. 2, no. 3.

Don’t let 20 years go by without going out on a date!

Dinner and a movie. Such a simple thing, yet it reminds us of who we are and why we are married. I think of something Popie says about God: How you can worry that your relationship with him has gone cold, that you’ve lost your spiritual edge. You can think it will take a lot of time, a month or so of spiritual discipline to get going again with him. Then you sit down and discover, in just minutes, that you don’t have to do a thing—except take some time. Be alone with him. In what feels like no time you are caught up again in your love.

-- Tim Stafford, Marriage Partnership, Vol. 5, no. 1.

:7b if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

True love can’t be bought – if you try to buy love, it becomes despised.

Brothers of Shulamite:

:8 We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?

It is thought that this is what the Shulamite remembers her brothers saying about her when she was younger.

:9 If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

(Song 8:9 NLT) If she is chaste, we will strengthen and encourage her. But if she is promiscuous, we will shut her off from men."

It’s a good thing to have older brothers like this.


:10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.

She has kept herself from immorality and she has matured.

:11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.

:12 My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.

(Song 8:11-12 NLT) "Solomon has a vineyard at Baal-hamon, which he rents to some farmers there. Each of them pays one thousand pieces of silver for its use. {12} But as for my own vineyard, O Solomon, you can take my thousand pieces of silver. And I will give two hundred pieces of silver to those who care for its vines."


:13 Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it.

He wishes he could be like those that get to hear her voice all the time.


:14 Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.