Song Of Solomon 5

Introduction

‘I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Eat, friends, and drink; drink your fill of love.’ Song Of Solomon 5:1

As we begin this chapter we find that the very first verse reveals the climax of the Song Of Solomon.

Remember what’s just happened in the previous chapter, it refers to its fruits and trees, this is the Shulammite woman herself, Song of Songs 4:12. She has called upon Solomon to come and partake of the garden, Song of Songs 4:16.

And now Solomon partakes of his bride’s love in a sexual union which belongs to married couples alone, Genesis 2:24 / 1 Corinthians 6:16 / Hebrews 13:4.

The sexual union marked the wedding day of Israelite couples and afterwards would come the celebratory feasts with all of its guests, Genesis 29:28 / Judges 14:12 / Matthew 22:1-14 / Matthew 25:1-13.

Solomon thereby calls upon ‘friends’ to drink abundantly as guests of the wedding feast, John 2:1-10. It is God who gives His blessing to their union, Proverbs 18:22. It was God who created us and created sex for the enjoyment of husbands and wives, Ecclesiastes 9:9.

Solomon and the Shulammite woman are now married!

‘I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My beloved is knocking: ‘Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.’ I have taken off my robe—must I put it on again? I have washed my feet—must I soil them again? My beloved thrust his hand through the latch-opening; my heart began to pound for him. I arose to open for my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with flowing myrrh, on the handles of the bolt. I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had left; he was gone. My heart sank at his departure. I looked for him but did not find him. I called him but he did not answer.’ Song Of Solomon 5:2-6

We don’t know how long Solomon and the Shulammite woman have been married at this point, but here we’re given a small insight into their married life. It appears that she has turned in for the night and is sleeping but her sleep is disrupted by the voice of Solomon.

Her ‘beloved’, Solomon, Song of Songs 1:12-13, knocks at the door of the Shulammite woman. It appears he has travelled through the ‘night’ to see her and so has ‘dew’ in his hair.

Notice that Solomon refers to her as his ‘sister, darling, dove, and flawless one.’ The term sister was a common expression of closeness and love. The word ‘flawless’ in Hebrew is ‘tam’ which means complete or perfect.

This is an important word in this text because it tells us that Solomon wasn’t simply after the Shulammite woman because of her seven physical traits of beauty, Song of Songs 4:1-5, it also means that he was drawn to her inner beauty too, 1 Peter 3:1-6.

It appears that the Shulammite woman rejected Solomon’s request to enter her room due to the fact that she had already removed her garments and washed her feet.

We must remember in those days floors weren’t covered with carpets. To get up meant having to wash the dirt off your feet again before climbing back into bed. In other words, she wasn’t willing to get up, put her clothes on, and soil her feet so that Solomon may come in.

It’s interesting what’s happening here because before in the previous chapter, she illustrated her intense love and desires for Solomon, but now she isn’t even willing to come to the door to greet him. I wonder if they had their first marriage feud?

It’s possible that they had a serious disagreement about something and she is still upset with Solomon. Maybe she was upset with Solomon because he had been gone for so long, but whatever the reason was, she was still upset and needed some time alone.

This is a good lesson for us husbands today when our wives are upset with us, there are times we simply need to leave them alone until she’s ready to come out of the room and talk.

Remember this entire book is all about relationships between a man and a woman and so if the woman or the man in that relationship doesn’t act worthy of attention, and give the other person honour, affection, love, and praise, then it will be harder for the other to receive them.

If all couples do is put one another down, and treat each other with no respect, then things just get harder within the relationship, 1 Peter 3:1-7.

The Shulammite woman, who is still in bed, didn’t want to put her clothes back on and dirty her feet, hears Solomon ‘thrust his hand through the latch-opening.’

Notice it says that her ‘hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with flowing myrrh.’ Pouring a little of her favourite perfume on objects was common practice for married couples back then, it was Solomon’s way of saying, ‘I love you, I was here and I was thinking of you’. Solomon wasn’t trying to force his way in, he was quietly leaving a message before he left.

Whatever the reason she and Solomon fell out, is quickly forgotten because she now gets out of bed to unlock ‘the handles of the bolt’ in order for him to come in. Her ‘heart sank’ when she realizes she’s made a mistake in not letting him in because Solomon had gone.

Solomon had come to her in the night with sweet words of care, respect, and honour but she rejected him. It’s clear that Solomon felt upset by his bride and left the scene in sorrow.

This is another lesson married couples must learn from, it’s all too easy to try and let your husband or wife know that you are upset with them, but the longer this attitude of selfishness and self-pity goes on, the longer it takes for the couple to get back together again, 1 Corinthians 7:5.

‘The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city. They beat me, they bruised me; they took away my cloak, those watchmen of the walls! Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you—if you find my beloved, what will you tell him? Tell him I am faint with love.’ Song Of Solomon 5:7-8

Notice that the Shulammite woman is searching for her ‘beloved’ in the ‘city’ as opposed to the countryside where a so-called ‘shepherd lover’ would be located. This again reinforces the fact that this story has nothing to do with a ‘shepherd lover’, as some believe.

She now seeks help from the watchman, just did she did in her troubling dream earlier, Song of Songs 3:3. However, this time the Shulammite woman isn’t consoled or helped the watchmen mistake her for a prostitute or some other low-life looking for trouble and so they start to rough her up, but when her cloak is removed, they discover they were striking the queen.

She doesn’t seem to care or to notice, the only thing on her mind is that she has to find Solomon. And so, to avert capture she struggles away from the men leaving her outer garment in their hands.

She then goes to the daughters of Jerusalem, to see if they know what has happened to him. Earlier the Shulammite woman ‘charged’, that is commanded the daughters of Jerusalem to leave their love undisturbed, Song of Songs 2:7 / Song of Songs 3:5. She now calls upon these women to tell Solomon that she is sick over her love for him.

‘How is your beloved better than others, most beautiful of women? How is your beloved better than others, that you so charge us?’ Song Of Solomon 5:9

Remember the daughters of Jerusalem longed to be with Solomon, they admired him greatly, Song of Songs 1:4-5, here they ask the Shulammite woman, what is so special about Solomon? Why is he better than all other men?

The daughters of Jerusalem acknowledge the Shulammite woman’s ‘charge’ with a question. They’re being called upon to tell Solomon how love-sick she is over him.

They seem to want to know why the Shulammite is so enthralled by Solomon. In other words, they are saying, Solomon won’t return her love, so why not go after another ‘beloved’.

I wonder how wives would answer that question the same way today. How would you describe your husband?

Would you say your husband is ‘affectionate, kind, gentle, show me honour and respect’ or would you say, ‘he never does this, that, or anything for me’. Proverbs 27:15.

‘My beloved is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand. His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven. His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels. His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh. His arms are rods of gold set with topaz. His body is like polished ivory decorated with lapis lazuli. His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars. His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem.’ Song Of Solomon 5:10-16

The Shulammite woman answers the daughters of Jerusalem’s question and it’s clear this is a description of a lovesick woman for a man to whom she had committed herself.

Back in Song of Songs 4:1-5, Solomon revealed the sevenfold aspects of the Shulammite woman’s physical beauty and later in Song of Songs 7:1-5, the daughters of Jerusalem will describe her beauty too.

But here, she now reveals her assessment of Solomon’s physical beauty. She describes Solomon as ‘radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand’.

The Hebrew word for ‘radiant’ or ‘white’ as some translations use is ‘tsach’, and it means dazzling, white or bright. The Hebrew word for ‘ruddy’ is ‘adom’, which means red, which is having a healthy, reddish colour.

Solomon’s head is depicted as gold for splendour and his hair was curly and black as a raven. She describes Solomon as ‘outstanding among ten thousand’, which tells us that she not only loved Solomon but she also highly honours him, in that no one could ever take his place.

They clearly still praise and honour each other, as well as still being physically attracted to each other.

Solomon’s eyes are depicted as doves near water, the white in his eyes is like milk and set perfectly within his head like perfectly mounted jewels.

His cheeks and lips are admired and desired as well. With a spirit of fondness, she continues to reveal the strong and royal appearance of Solomon’s hands, body, legs, and mouth.

Notice also that Solomon isn’t only the one whom the Shulammite woman is physically attracted to but he is also her ‘friend’. This is another lesson married couples can learn from Solomon and the Shulammite woman’s marriage.

It’s good and healthy to still be physically attracted to each other, especially if you’ve been married for a while, but it’s also important to be friends, Proverbs 18:24.

Although Solomon is described as having a great body, we must remember that this isn’t the reason why the Shulammite woman wants Solomon so badly.

The real reason for her love is because he is ‘her beloved and her friend’. Near the end of Solomon’s life in Ecclesiastes 4:9-11, he tells us that life doesn’t have much meaning without the companionship of a close friend.

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