Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, June 16th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Song of Solomon 5

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verse 1


A wedding procession (3:6-5:1)

As the wedding day approaches, the girl pictures the coming of the bridegroom for her as a royal wedding procession - King Solomon in all his glory coming to this humble country town to claim his bride. She pictures the scene as the procession approaches amid clouds of perfumed incense. The centre of attraction is the king himself, carried on his gold and silver carriage and surrounded by fully armed royal guards in brilliant uniforms (6-11).
The bridegroom meets his bride and praises her in the most extravagant language (4:1-5). He looks forward to the first night with this one who, to him, is flawless, the one who fulfils all his ideals (6-7). In making his bride his own, he feels like a conqueror who has taken a person from a well defended stronghold. Yet he feels also like one who has himself been conquered, for his bride has stolen his heart (8-11). Everything about her is pure and lovely. She is like a fragrant garden where he can find delight and refreshment for ever (12-15).
In response the bride wishes that the wind would blow upon her ‘garden’, so that her lover might smell its fragrance and come into it (16). The bridegroom accepts the invitation, comes to his ‘garden’ (his bride) and takes the girl as his own. Friends then announce their blessing on the bridal couple (5:1).

Verses 2-16


A dream of frustration (5:2-6:3)

Another dream reflects the girl’s unfulfilled longing as she waits impatiently for her wedding day. She dreams that while she is asleep, her lover has travelled through the night to come to her and now he knocks on her door (2).
Only half awake, the girl is slow to get out of bed and answer the door. She finds it a nuisance, as she has just bathed and got herself dressed for bed (3). Suddenly she realizes what has happened: her lover has come for her! Excitedly she hurries to the door and opens it to welcome him. But she has delayed too long and now he has gone (4-6). She rushes into the streets looking for him, but receives no sympathy from the nightwatchmen. To them a girl in her bedclothes who rushes around the streets at night must be a prostitute, and they treat her harshly (7).
Desperately the frustrated dreamer appeals to the women of Jerusalem to help her find her lover, but the women’s reply is uncooperative. Why is her lover more special than anyone else’s that they should help her find him (8-9)? The girl replies that in appearance, build and personality he surpasses all others (10-16). If he is so wonderful, reply the women, they would like to go with her to meet him (6:1). At this the girl remembers that she has not really lost him, for she has only had a dream. She knows where he is. He is at home on the farm, faithful to her as ever (2-3).

Bibliographical Information
Fleming, Donald C. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 5". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/song-of-solomon-5.html. 2005.
 
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