Song of Songs: The Value of Love
Song of Songs
The Value of Love
Mutual admiration, Bride's dreams, Groom's praise, Mutual expressions of love.
Background: Written by Solomon about human love Theme: The value of covenant love Outline: Mutual Admiration, Bride's Two Dreams, Groom's Praise, Mutual Expressions of Love Key Verse: "Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned." (Song 8:7, NIV)
This book is known by either "Song of Songs" or "Song of Solomon". "Song of Songs" indicates the best song of all songs, while "Song of Solomon" acknowledges King Solomon as the author. King Solomon, the son of King David. Solomon was known as the wisest man who ever lived (that is, before Jesus). He wrote this love songs around 950 BC to show that love, even human physical love, can be pure and admirable, a gift from God.
Talk Thru the Bible states: "Some commentators insist that the book is indeed historical but its primary purpose is typical, that is, to present Yahweh's love for His bride Israel and/or Christ's love for His Church. But this interpretation is subjective and lacking in evidence. ... This may be an application of the book but it should not be ther primary interpretation." I emphasis these comments because this book is so commonly taught as an allegory, by preachers past and present. Even many who normally hold to a very literal or normal method of explaining the Bible depart in the Song of Songs. Perhaps this is because of the sensual nature of this book. Human sexuality is a gift from God, intended to be enjoyed within the covenant of marriage. This song depicts these joys.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary, page 1009 ¶8, states: "The purpose of the book is to extol human love and marriage. ... Since the world views sex so sordidly and perverts and exploits it so persistently and since so many marriages are crumbling because of lack of love, committment, and devotion, it is advantageous to have a book in the Bible that gives God's endorsement of marital love as wholesome and pure."
The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Vol I, Old Testament) is an excellent resource and is referred to as the BKC.
I. Superscription (1:1)
1:2-4a It is difficult to always know who is speaking. For this study, accept the two person view that Solomon was the shepherd and the king.
1:2-4a "In summary, this opening soliloguy suggests that physical desire is a characteristic of romantic love and that properly channeled the desire is good, not evil." I agree wholeheartedly. One must remember, however, that the proper channel for fulfillment of this desire is marriage. This good gift of God is exploited and degraded when improperly exercised outside of the sacred covenant between a husband and wife.
II. Courtship (1:2-3:5)
2:1 "I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys." This verse is often applied allegorically to the Lord Jesus, even by those who perhaps claim to interpret the Bible in a very literal sense. In some songs and discussions of the names of Jesus, the names Rose of Sharon or The Lily of the Valley are applied to Jesus from this verse. If we do not choose to use the allegorical interpretation of this book, then we should be careful not to apply these names to Jesus. To confirm that these names are not used elsewhere in Scripture, and the allegorical application to Jesus comes only from this passage, look up both Sharon and lily in a concordance and check each Scripture reference.
2:4 "He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love." Again, the phrase his banner over me is love' is commonly and allegorically applied to the Lord Jesus and His love for either the Church or individual believers. There is even a common chorus with these words. It is true that Moses said in Exodus 17:15, "The LORD is my banner." This does not justify considering Solomon's reference to a banner being a reference to God. It is clear that the lover is displaying his human affection here, not Jesus. To consider this more fully, use the concordance to check every Scripture reference including the word banner. This is the only reference to his banner being love. I do not want to tear apart the devotional and allegorical use of this passage by others, but do want to point out how commonly accepted the allegorical interpretation of this book is, even by those who normally hold to a literal method of interpretation.
III. Wedding (3:6-5:1)
IV. Maturation (5:2-8:4)
V. Conclusion (8:5-7)
VI. Epilogue (8:8-14)
Please send comments or suggestions to ron@iStudyBible.com
Updated March 2012