Song Of Solomon 2


‘I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women.’ Song Of Solomon 2:1-2

Here the Shulammite woman compares her love for Solomon with the professed love among the daughters of Jerusalem.

She compares herself to two flowers, first, she is like a ‘rose of Sharon’, a crocus plant. There are seven species of rose that grow in the Holy Land and the most widely distributed of these is Rosa Phoenicia, which grows on the coast and in the mountains.

The flower was recognised as ‘Sharon’ due to the plain it grew in. The Plain of Sharon was a coastal plain found on the Mediterranean coast between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.

While her love for Solomon is like a ‘lily’, she sees herself among the thorns. The young women’s love for Solomon was a thorny kind of love, a love full of deception and ulterior motives.

In other words, the young daughters want a share in the king’s glory and riches, while the Shulammite woman simply just wanted Solomon for who he is.

‘Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. Let him lead me to the banquet hall and let his banner over me be love. Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love. His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me. Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.’ Song Of Solomon 2:3-7

Here, the Shulammite woman sees in this apple tree her beloved Solomon. This tree, which is among other trees in the forest, produces fruit and is apparently the noblest of trees in this geographic region.

Solomon’s fruit, that is, his character, his words and actions, Matthew 7:15-20 / John 15:5-8 / Galatians 5:22-23, is a refreshing sweet apple to the Shulammite woman.

Solomon is the shade that the tree produces, which means she feels safe and protected when with him. Solomon now brings the Shulammite woman to the ‘banquet hall’, which is the place where he entertains his closest friends.

However, the Shulammite woman appears to be a little uncomfortable with this setting because she is ‘dark’, Song of Songs 1:4, and not of royal descent.

Solomon realises that she’s feeling uncomfortable and his love is shown as a ‘banner over’ her, as a result, Solomon makes her feel comfortable.

The Shulammite woman begins to feel herself going down into a realm of intense loving feelings for Solomon. It’s clear she isn’t looking to end this feeling but rather to be refreshed and so she calls upon raisins and apples to refresh her from her state of being lovesick.

Notice that it’s Solomon who does the refreshing, he uses his left hand to support her lovesick head and his right hand to embrace her.

Because Solomon embraced her in front of the daughters of Jerusalem, this was the moment when Solomon gave his public approval of her. She knows this isn’t a dream, she knows this isn’t a fantasy, she’s refreshed by the reality of his love, like raisins and apples refresh the physical body.

It’s at this point, while she’s being embraced by Solomon and the daughters of Jerusalem are filled with jealousy that the Shulammite woman charges them to leave them alone. The moment of her greatest feelings of love are being fulfilled here as her love sickened heart is made comfortable and fulfilled by Solomon.

The Shulammite woman insists that the young women from Jerusalem don’t try and force her to love the king but to give love time to awaken if it is to be.

She has witnessed wild animals performing mating rituals and understands that even animals must become acquainted before they mate.

Gazelles and does are sleek, graceful creatures who, when startled, will quickly disappear. By speaking about these animals, the Shulammite woman is warning us that in a rush for love, we can easily lose the very thing we are pursuing.

The passion of sexual intercourse must never be aroused outside the limits of God’s intended relationship between a man and a woman, Matthew 5:28.

And that intended relationship is in the bond of marriage. Young people should never place themselves in a situation where their sexual passions are aroused to the point of being out of control, Proverbs 23:6-7.

In the first chapter, we saw how the Shulammite woman was singing and daydreaming of Solomon. Now at this point in time, her daydream has become a reality, as she is now in the arms of Solomon.

‘Listen! My beloved! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.’ Song Of Solomon 2:8-9

It’s been a long winter and the Shulammite woman sees Solomon coming to her through the mountains and excitement is in the air. Solomon, with the speed of a gazelle, rides through the mountains to reach his beloved at her house. When he arrives, he gazes through all the windows, walls, and lattice as though he’s frantically searching for her.

‘My beloved spoke and said to me. Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come; the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.’ My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.’ Song Of Solomon 2:10-15

The Shulammite explains that Solomon finds her and calls upon her to ‘arise’ and come with him back to the royal city. It appears the long winter is over and spring has arrived, flowers, songbirds, turtle doves, and the plants starting to display their green leaves are all signs of the warmer season. Solomon then calls the Shulammite woman to ‘arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me’.

Earlier Solomon referred to the Shulammite woman as having the eyes of a dove, Song of Songs 1:15. He told her of her beauty, Song of Songs 1:9-10, and he calls her ‘darling’, Song of Songs 1:9.

He now calls upon this beautiful dove that he loves to leave her home in the mountains and come back to the city with him. He said that it’s a good time due to the weather warming, hence it’s spring.

Solomon now longs to see her face and hear her voice and it appears that nothing can please him like seeing her face and hearing her voice.

It’s all too easy to forget how wonderful our wives are, especially when we’ve been married for several years. I wonder how many married men still see their wives in this way today!

The Shulammite woman thinks about the vineyard she works at in relation to her love for Solomon and his love for her. Foxes dig holes and burrow underground destroying root systems and creating holes where the roots can gain no sustenance from. This is a picture of a vineyard which is overrun with foxes and is now ruined.

Throughout the Scriptures, foxes are used figuratively to denote the physical, Nehemiah 4:3, and spiritual destroyers, Ezekiel 13:4 / Luke 13:32. The Shulammite woman wants nothing to do with fox-like people who would destroy the love that she and Solomon share, such as the daughters of Jerusalem who live in the royal city.

‘My beloved is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the rugged hills.’ Song Of Solomon 2:16-17

Although Solomon wasn’t a shepherd the Shulammite woman has nothing better to compare him to in relation to her experiences. The idea of Solomon belonging to the Shulammite woman and the Shulammite woman belonging to Solomon conjures up ideas of monogamy. It appears that she has taken the ultimate place in Solomon’s heart.

Although the N.I.V. says that ‘he browses along the lilies’, other translations use the words, ‘he feeds his flock among the lilies’. The ‘feeding of the flock among the lilies’ considers Solomon’s kingly work viewed with beauty by the Shulammite woman.

She requests that he comes quickly, like a gazelle, and finish his work so that they may be together again in the evening.

Notice that the one who holds the Shulammite’s affection is her ‘beloved.’ Up until this point she’s referred to a man as her beloved and the one to whom her soul loves ten times.

Note again that at Song of Songs 1:12-13, the beloved is attributed to the ‘king’. This tells us that even though the Shulammite woman uses ‘shepherd’ terms, there’s no second man in the picture, as some suggest.

As we saw in the very beginning, this is ‘Solomon’s song’, Song of Songs 1:1. Up until this point in time, there have been three main characters in the song, Solomon, the Shulammite woman and the daughters of Jerusalem.

After the long winter, Solomon quickly comes to the mountain home of the Shulammite woman because they had been apart for a while. Solomon tries to persuade her to come back to the royal city so that they can be together again but the Shulammite woman is understandably reluctant to do so.

She is well aware of all those ‘foxes’, that is, the daughters of Jerusalem, and anyone else who wouldn’t agree with their relationship, she knows they will try to ruin their love relationship.

Go To Song Of Solomon 3