Bible Commentaries
Song of Solomon 8

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-14

  1. Intro:
    1. In a cartoon in leadership magazine it showed a Couple greeting the pastor after church: "Toni and I met during this morning's 'Greet Your Neighbor' time. We'd like you to marry us."
      1. Love at 1st sight is exactly that…visual! - It can’t be anything more than that! - It should be allowed time to mature, in order to explore the other more important areas of their life.
    2. NLT 1 Cor.13:4-8 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever,”
    3. Martin Luther esteemed marriage so highly he said, “To have peace and love in a marriage is a gift that is next to the knowledge of the gospel.” (Martin Luther. "Martin Luther--The Later Years and Legacy," Christian History, Issue 39.)
    4. Albert Einstein the romantic! “He 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."
  2. LOVE’S THOUGHTS! (1,2)
    1. “In Solomon’s culture, it was acceptable to publicly kiss a family member, but taboo to kiss one’s spouse. Thus, the bride says to her king, ‘I wish you were my brother, so I could freely express feelings for you.’” (Jon Courson; S. of Sol.)
    2. When you’re in love you think about & imagine different wonderful experiences together.
      1. But true love can’t only remain in the mind.
    1. (3) Another description of their love making.
    2. (4) Again the warning(3rd time) she warns not to stir up love too early!
    1. (5a) Oh that we would learn to lean on Jesus our beloved!
      1. “Utter dependance!”
    2. (5b) Like natural birth love is not w/o pain!
      1. The pain of longing (he’s away on business, she went to visit relatives).
      2. The pain of insecurity (he’s working late again, she’s not answering the phone?)
      3. The pain of separation (firefighters wives; west pac; called over seas for a few months)
      4. The pain of disappointment (you will be let down by any mortal you marry!)
      5. Onion Poem:
      6. Learning to know you, and be known, means going, layer after layer, deeper and deeper beneath the skin that others know, into the strength and sweetness at the heart. Sometimes-- as in peeling onions--we cry so hard we can't see what we're doing.But I don't give up onions for that reason. Nor will I give up you. (Jana Carman, Marriage Partnership, Vol. 6, no. 1.)
  5. LOVE’S NATURE & POWER! (6,7)
    1. She wants to be his most valued Possession!
      1. She speaks of 5 images: Love’s Permanence; Love’s Power; Love’s Possessiveness; Love’s Persevering; Love’s Pricelessness.
    2. LOVE’S PERMANENCE! (Seal) (6a)
      1. The seal spoke of ownership. “2 lovers only belonging to each other until separated by death.”
      2. This is the marriage License that is signed with permanent marker!
      3. Free Tip: “Use a favorite picture of a loved one as a bookmark.”
    3. LOVE’S POWER! (Death) (6b)
      1. God created love to be stronger than death, enduring, irreversible.
      2. As Jesus showed us…Love as strong as death!
        1. “endured the cross, despising the shame,” (Heb.12:2)
      3. We also must “love not our lives unto death” (Rev.12:11)
        1. “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom.8:38,39)
    4. LOVE’S POSSESSIVENESS! (Flames of fire) (6c)
      1. A love so jealous that it will not surrender the loved one.
        1. The all-devouring grave knows no pity!
        2. Prov.30:15,16 “There are three things that are never satisfied, Four never say, "Enough!": The grave, The barren womb, The earth that is not satisfied with water; And the fire never says, "Enough!"
        3. God will never surrender you, never sell you out!
      2. Regarding marriage C.S.Lewis writes:
      3. “People get from books the idea that if you have married the right person you may expect to go on "being in love" for ever. 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 the 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 in Mere Christianity. Christianity Today, Vol. 35, no. 9.)
    5. LOVE’S PERSEVERING! (Water) (7a)
      1. Love’s flame cannot be put out!
        1. Oh, how many times we’ve failed Him…yet His love for us has never been extinguished!
      2. Listen to God say, “many”!(7a) – Not just a “scoop of sin” but even a “flood of failure”!
        1. Story - I put gasoline on a bush (pampas grass stump)once…wasn’t a good idea! The fire started going down my hill (the gas mixed w/water was now running down my slope) – I couldn’t quench it w/water.
      3. Martin Luther – “The love toward one's spouse burns like a fire and seeks nothing but the person of the spouse. It says: I do not desire what is yours; I desire neither silver nor gold, neither this nor that; I desire you yourself; I want you entirely or not at all. All other love seeks something else than the person of the loved one.” (Martin Luther. "William and Catherine Booth," Christian History, no. 26.)
    6. LOVE’S PRICELESSNESS! (Wealth) (7b)
      1. No amount of money could buy it.
      2. His love is priceless because the one who is loved is priceless.
        1. Prov.6:34,35 “For jealousy is a husband's fury; Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will accept no recompense, Nor will he be appeased though you give many gifts.”
        2. Paul McCartney commented, “Say you don't need no diamond rings and I´ll be satisfied. Tell me that you want the kind of things that money just can't buy. I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love.”
      3. We still try to buy God’s love sometimes, if we’ll be honest!
        1. Sometimes we feel, “I did my devotions today so I feel comfortable God loves me.” (I’ve earned it)
        2. This is a love based on works rather than on His grace.
        3. “Devotions will change you, but not His love for you!”
        4. “Don’t work for God’s love - Don’t try to deserve it! – Just enjoy it!
  6. LOVE WAITS! (8-12)
    1. ​​​​​​​(8,9) Tells of her family’s concern that she maintain her virginity, which she did, until she married Solomon(10-12).
      1. NLT – “The Young Woman's Brothers: "We have a little sister too young for breasts. What will we do if someone asks to marry her? If she is chaste, we will strengthen and encourage her. But if she is promiscuous, we will shut her off from men." Young Woman: "I am chaste, and I am now full breasted. And my lover is content with me.”
      2. If she’s a “Door” (open to immorality) she must be protected; But if she’s a “Wall”, (knows how to say no) she has the integrity to protect herself. (She’s a “garden enclosed”! [4:12])
        1. I pray you as parents would show the same protection over your kids in discerning their personalities in this (are they flirtatious? - Street wise?)
      3. Single girls/guys – How do others view you? Door or wall?
        1. Q: Could you lean on the help of a friend to hold you accountable to standing firm against temptation?
        2. 2 Hands analogy – {1 hand = temptation; the other hand = Your Will}
          1. Temptation hits against our will, but it isn’t sin until we start closing our hand(will) around it!
      4. Prov.25:28 “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls.”
      5. You may say, “I’m not planning to have a moral accident!” But we must “Plan” not to!
        1. It’s like a driver pulling several tons of equipment behind his car. This requires more braking power & a longer stopping time.
        2. “We must learn to keep plenty of space between us & sinful acts, so we can start braking soon enough to stop, before it is too late!”
      6. When to put on the brakes!
        1. ​​​​​​​When you are so busy there is no time to be alone w/God!
          When you are too busy to spend at least 1 relaxed evening a week w/your wife & family.
          When you feel you deserve more attention then you are getting at home.
          When you wouldn’t want your wife(or colleague) to see what you are reading or looking at.
          When the romance in your marriage is fading.
          When your charisma, appearance, & personality are attractive to women,& you are tempted to make the most of it.
          When you enjoy fantasizing about an illicit relationship.
          When a woman makes herself available by her behavior.
          When some woman tells you how wonderful you are.
          When scriptures concerning adultery are for others, not you.
          When you start feeling sorry for yourself.
          When you hope God isn’t looking, or listening.
        2. (12) She gives him total ownership(1000) of her vineyard(herself).
          1. The 200? – To those who were her keepers (her brothers & family) “may they receive a double tithe(200) in blessings for their faithful protection of her. A double tithe of royal praise & honor.” (Barnes)
  7. LOVE’S LONGING! (13,14)
    1. ​​​​​​​As their love continues to grow in marriage, he still longs for her(13), & she for him(14).
      1. The Savior longs for your voice (also 2:14)
        1. God says to you tonight, “Let Me hear your voice”, talk to me.”
      2. And you must listen for His voice! (2:9; 5:2)
    2. (14) Note it ends like Revelation (22:20) “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
  8. End:
    1. ​​​​​​​Oh that all marriages would reflect the commitment, care, & delight found in this Song.
    2. Marriage Test:
      1. Q: Agree or disagree? “Marriage may get rough at times; we may be misunderstood and we may misunderstand; but it's great to be in the game!”
    3. “Fall knows winter's coming, yet still gives its showy display, still makes its flamboyant exit. I hold this image for my marriage. ... I can identify with the optimistic realism of fall. With summer's wild growth behind us, and regardless of what winter experiences await us, still, today, boldly, we show our colors!” (James Long, Marriage Partnership, Vol. 5, no. 3.)
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 8". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.