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Bible Commentaries
Song of Solomon 2

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Verse 1

Son 2:1

Song of Solomon 2:1-2

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

It will be noted that I associated Song of Solomon 2:1 and Song of Solomon 2:2 with Solomon’s blandishments in the previous chapter. See comment on Song of Solomon 1:15-17; Song of Solomon 2:1 there.

"As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters" (Song of Solomon 2:2). Many of the commentators view the word `love’ here as Solomon’s reference to the Shulamite. If that had been the case, the word would have been `beloved’ as the triple use of it in Song of Solomon 1:15 indicates. What Solomon is saying here is that his style of loving affection shines like a lily among the thorns, a self-compliment that Solomon supposed that all "the daughters" agreed with. If that had not been true among the daughters, not one of them would have dared to contradict the king. The failure of the RSV to make the distinction between love and beloved as used in these chapters obscures the meaning. This is unfortunate, because the proper understanding of this verse clarifies the following paragraph.

Verses 2-7

Son 2:2-7

Song of Solomon 2:3-6

THE SHULAMITE CONTRASTS HER TRUE LOVER WITH SOLOMON

"As the apple tree among the trees of the wood,

So is my beloved among the sons.

I sat down under his shadow with great delight,

And his fruit was sweet to my taste.

He brought me to the banqueting house,

And his banner over me was love.

Stay ye me with raisins, refresh me with apples;

For I am sick from love.

His left hand is under my head,

And his right hand doth embrace me."

"So is my beloved among the sons" (Song of Solomon 2:3). Note that when a lover is meant, the word is not `love’ but `beloved.’ Note also that the Shulamite’s true lover is "among the sons," a description that has no application whatever to Solomon.

Also, look at the past tense: "I sat down"; "his fruit was sweet"; "he brought me," etc. All the scholars admit that Solomon is wooing the maiden in this book; but she mentions loving experiences with her true lover that occurred in the past. She is rejecting the king.

"He brought me to the banqueting house" (Song of Solomon 2:4). When was Solomon’s palace ever called "a banqueting house."? This is clearly a reference to some public eating place.

In the light of these considerations, we find full agreement with Balchin who wrote that these verses recall, "A meeting the maiden had with her lover.”

We include here a sample of the allegorical speculations with regard to the meaning of this chapter:

"This is a poetical, allegorical representation of what takes place in the Church and in the experience of believers individually. Examples of this are seen (in the case of God’s people) when the Jews returned from the captivity in Babylon, or in the Incarnation of Christ; or, (in the case of individuals), at any time of great revival in the Church.” This writer only wishes that he could see things like that here; but, truthfully, he cannot.

Illustration: This writer once watched a skilled artist painting a picture of Bryce Canyon in Utah. He used many different colors in portraying the matchless wonder of that spectacular pageant of natural beauty. A bystander said:

"I don’t see all those colors down there"! The artist looked at him sadly, and said: "Don’t you wish you could"?

Similarly, this writer would welcome the power to see such wonderful teachings in these erotic verses. And make no mistake about it, these words are extremely sensuous and erotic, as a glance at the Good News Bible translation will indicate.

"Stay ye me with raisins ... I am sick from love ... his left hand is under my head ... etc." (Song of Solomon 2:5-6). What do these verses say?

The recall of events in her former meeting with her beloved were too taxing for the maiden. Memory brought an acute emotional climax. She appeals to the women of the harem to bring food (Song of Solomon 2:5). Evidently, the love-sick maiden had not eaten properly during the period of her separation (due to the king’s bringing her into his harem).”

This translation supports Bunn’s understanding of the passage: "Restore my strength with raisins, ... I am weak from passion.”

Song of Solomon 2:7

"I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,

By the roes, or by the hinds of the field,

That ye stir not up, nor awake my love,

Until he please."

"This refrain appears four times in this book: here, and in Song of Solomon 3:5; Song of Solomon 5:8; and Song of Solomon 8:3; and with each use of it, there is a definite break in mood and movement. It twice follows the clause, `O that his left hand were under my head, and that his right hand embraced me.’” What does it say? "She begs the attendant maidens not to disturb their private moments of love." Pope was sure that it could mean no such thing; "It cannot be an appeal not to be disturbed during the course of love-making.” This writer believes that the Shulamite’s plea here is that the women she addresses may not awaken her desire for love in the continued absence of her lover. This would make the words, "Until he please," carry the message, "Until he comes and rescues me." The use of the abstract word `love’ rather than the concrete word `lover,’ as pointed out by Jordan, supports this viewpoint. "The verse refers to a false rousing of love as an emotion.” It might very well be a reference to the Shulamite’s rejection of the passion arousing stimulants which members of the harem provided for the woman scheduled to be called to the king’s bed.

Exegesis Song of Solomon 2:2-7

The shepherd picks up the figure used by the Shulammite and once again turns it to her advantage. He says in essence: “You are indeed a lily or flower but compared to those among whom you live you are like a lovely bloom among brambles.” He could be emphasizing the jealousy engendered by her beauty in his reference to thorns or brambles.

The word translated “apple” in the American Standard version is much better thought of as “a citron tree.” Apples do not grow well in the Holy Land. An orange tree seems to fit the description perfectly. Such a tree with its evergreen heavy foliage and golden fruit would indeed stand out amid the cypress, fir or cedar trees. Among the other young men so did her beloved stand out. It might be of import to notice the contrast: she is a flower, he is a tree. This is a subtle compliment on her part.

It is so refreshing to contemplate the transparent sincerity of this country lass in the affluence of Solomon’s palace. She turns to the women of the harem, and with the direct simplicity of youth she describes her relationship to the shepherd. “In contrast to the trees with no fruit is my beloved who offers fruit and shade.” The orange tree blossoms and bears fruit at the same time. “Refreshment and rest amid lovely fragrance are both offered by my beloved.” She takes great delight in his presence and is satisfied with what he offers her of himself.

The maiden is in the banquet room of Solomon—but she much prefers the banquet hall of her beloved. And just what would that be? A humble, but beautiful vine arbor in the midst of the vineyards. Read 1 Kings 4:7; 1 Kings 4:22-23; 1 Kings 10:21, for a description of the gold vessels Solomon used in his feasts. “A canopy was often spread above the host and principle guests at a feast and richly decorated according to the means of the former.” (Clarke) Perhaps this is “the banner” referred to by the maid. It could be that “banner” is to be thought of as a standard of protection such as those used in battle. Cf. Numbers 1:52; Numbers 5:10; Numbers 6:4; Numbers 6:10; Numbers 10:14; Numbers 10:18; Numbers 10:23; Numbers 10:25. It was a rallying-point and guide to give encouragement and confidence to those on a weary march or those amid extreme conflict. “So the bride, transplanted from her lowly station to new scenes of unwanted splendor, finds support and safety in the known attachment she has with her beloved.” (Cook)

Are we to imagine that this bride-to-be is actually physically ill from her loss of her loved one? It is possible—she has lost her appetite and has not eaten—she is weak and in need of refreshment. “Sustain me with raisin-cakes, refresh me with citrons, for I am lovesick.” There was someone else who was sustained by raisin-cakes—read 1 Samuel 30:12 to find out who it was. Orange blossoms were once used in the East to revive the bride—much like we would use smelling salts. It is from this custom that orange blossoms have been associated with marriage. It would seem that Solomon and his court and courting made her weak and sick but not of love.

As we attempt an understanding of verse six it would seem difficult to imagine a posture for the maiden and her lover in which his left hand could be under her head and his right hand supporting her unless they were lying down. This is an obvious reference to the intimate embrace of the marriage bed, it is repeated in Song of Solomon 8:3. With this kind of total involvement in the mind of the maid, Solomon has but a superficial interest for her.

The seventh verse is most interesting inasmuch as it is repeated in Song of Solomon 3:5 and Song of Solomon 8:4. It seems to be a faithful axiom to which we should give heed. What does it say? “It is an adjuration that no attempt to kindle love by unworthy means should be made, for true love awakens spontaneously. It should owe nothing to improper stimulation by others, but be as free and unfettered as the life of the gentle creatures here mentioned.” (Clarke) It would seem the ladies of the court were attempting to get her to accept the affections of the King much as they had. No doubt those members of the harem were quite proficient in the art of sex stimulation. Where such desires are aroused apart from the person for whom they are reserved disappointment and frustration is the inevitable result. “Genuine love is a shy and gentle affection which dreads intrusion and scrutiny (here the reference to the gazelles and hinds, shy and timid creatures) but dangerous in its strength and vehemence, if heedlessly awakened—“as strong as death and as cruel as the grave” (Song of Solomon 8:4-5). “Be shy of love, lest, like the silly fawn that runs to look the lion in the face, one heedless gaze betray thee to thy death.” (Cook)

Marriage Song of Solomon 2:2-7

How could we possibly find a more practical passage for present day marriage relationship? Believe it or not you could never, never tell your wife often enough that she is the fairest of women to you. (Of course, she must have been or you would not have made her your choice.) If we look closely she will become more fair each passing day. But she will never know it until we express it—and with evident feeling! Once we convince our wife that she is indeed in our eyes all we say she is we shall not wait long for a reciprocal response from her. We can easily be a “stand out” winner with our wife—who else has access to her heart like her husband? Do we offer protection and refreshment? We are thinking of much more than physical protection and refreshment. A constant consistent solicitous attitude about every relationship along with planned times of mental and physical refreshment will create a genuine appetite for a repeated visit to the shade of your tree and refreshment from your hand. How easy it would be to expand on this section until we had a sizeable marriage manual. We cannot do this but we do want to say every husband (beginning with the writer) must have a banquet room for his wife—he must often lead her to it—over it all is the lovely canopy inscribed “Love.” We are thinking of all that nourishes—your words—which is food for the mind and heart—food also for the body, a sense of abundance in more than sharing—a total giving of self for the needs and enjoyment of your beloved.

Of all persons our wives know the meaning of verse seven. When artificial or crude means are used in a vain attempt to awaken love the results might be disastrous! If we are not willing to accept the nature of love as possessed by our wives we had best leave the lovely creature in the seclusion of her own forest. She is willing to come out, nay she wants to be found—but not with a bull horn! If courtship is not continued beyond marriage we are due to find out just how strong and cruel love can be—and we deserve it! I shall not leave here instructions on how to attract your gazelle or lure your deer. After all she belongs to you.

Communion Song of Solomon 2:2-7

As much as we see in this text for help in a happy marriage we see even more in a happy relationship with our Lord. Project yourself into this dialogue: My Love to You:

“As a lovely flower amid the brambles of the earth so art thou my companion to me. In the midst of the many, yea multitudes who are lost I see each and every one who is saved. I would love to transform every thorn into a flower—but I want you to know that I am looking intently, with great fond interest on you—I can also identify every bramble and its relation to you. How beautiful you appear to me. How deeply I want your constant companionship.” We can hardly believe this. It is only true because in love He looks at us through grace. We Respond to His Love:

“As an evergreen tree who constantly bears delicious fruit and delightful blossoms in the midst of a forest of trees with no foliage or fruit art thou to me. I have found much more than a refuge in your presence. In the contemplation of your beauty is the fullness of joy.” We Advertise to Others:

Relish these words—rethink each one lest they become commonplace. “In the calmness that is mine through my awareness of your love and omnipotence I delight to sit down. When I eat the words you leave me in your book they are so nourishing and sweet to my taste. The more I am willing to sit in your heavenly places the more overwhelmed I am with your abundant provisions. I find in my contemplation of just the four accounts of your love through your Life a whole expansive banquet room. The table is laiden with all my favorite food. Upon entering the room I saw emblazoned over the whole wall a banner and on it were these words—“I love you.”

A Warning to Those Who Might Think to Presume Upon His Love:

I adjure you by all the meekness and tenderness of the lovely One: do not push into His presence and demand He express His love for you. Foolish One! How could He more fully show you His heart?—it was pierced for you! Stay with Him until in your meditation and exchange of conversation, emotions are awakened. Praise Him and sing of Him—He is love and you shall know it.

Verses 8-14

Son 2:8-14

Song of Solomon 2:8-9

THE SHULAMITE’S LOVER COMES TO RESCUE HER

"The voice of my beloved! Behold he cometh,

Leaping upon the mountains,

Skipping upon the hills.

My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart:

Behold, he standeth behind our wall;

He looketh in at the windows;

He glanceth through the lattice."

"My beloved ... leaping upon the mountains ... skipping upon the hills" (Song of Solomon 2:8). This is not the picture of a king ordering one of his eunuchs to bring a new concubine to his bed. No indeed! This is the Shulamite’s true lover striding over the hills of Judea, scaling a wall, looking through the windows to find his beloved!

"He standeth behind our wall" (Song of Solomon 2:9). To be in front of a wall would be to stand on the outside of it, approaching it. The shepherd lover of the Shulamite found his way inside the wall that guarded the harem, found his lover’s window, and was looking in at it! What an amazing development!

Song of Solomon 2:10-14

HE CARRIES HER AWAY

"My beloved spake, and said unto me,

Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.

For, lo, the winter is past,

The rain is over and gone;

The flowers appear on the earth;

The time of the singing of birds is come,

And the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land;

The fig-tree ripeneth her green figs,

And the vines are in blossom;

They give forth their fragrance.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

O my dove, thou art in the clefts of the rock,

In the covert of the steep place,

Let me see thy countenance,

Let me hear thy voice;

For sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely."

"Rise up, my fair one, come away" (Song of Solomon 2:10; Song of Solomon 2:13). Why is this repeated? The Shulamite might not have been able to respond instantly, through fear of discovery, or by reason of interference by other women in the harem. Anyway, in some of the most beautiful language in all the literature of mankind, the shepherd lover pleads for her to come away.

"The winter is past ...the rains are come and gone ... the flowers are blooming .... the birds are singing ... and the figs are getting ripe" (Song of Solomon 2:11-13). The next verse indicates that the lovers have indeed escaped from the harem.

"O my dove, thou art in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the steep place" (Song of Solomon 2:15) This indicates the security of the wilderness which, at this point, they had achieved in their flight to the shepherd lover’s vineyard in northern Palestine, far from Jerusalem.

Exegesis Song of Solomon 2:8-14

We like the expression of Moffat as found in Song of Solomon 2:8-9. He says:

“Listen, it is my darling,

There he is, coming to me,

leaping across the mountains,

bounding over the hills!

There he stands behind our wall,

gazing through the window,

glancing through the lattice!”

The word “voice” in verse eight is better understood as “sound”; so the thought is that the maiden hears the footsteps of her beloved. “In his eagerness of love the shepherd scorns all obstacles that would keep lovers apart, yet as he nears the maiden’s home he appears somewhat shy, not knowing, perhaps, what kind of reception he will get from the rest of the family (Song of Solomon 1:6, Song of Solomon 2:15)” (Clarke) He is compared to a gazelle because of his beauty of form—but also because of his alertness and timidity. It would appear that the shepherd is not the only one who is unwilling to express himself—when he arrives at the house why isn’t the lovely maiden there to greet him? The “lattice” window refers to the form of construction. Glaze or glass windows were not used. Evidently, the latticework was so built that a person on the outside could not see in but those on the inside could easily see out.

It would seem that beginning with verse ten through verse thirteen we have an eight line stanza of the beloved’s entreaty to his love. Notice: he invites her to come with him into the open country, which is now a place of unsurpassing beauty. The winter is over and the spring has come. It is a time of “mirth and mutual affection.” (Cook)

It must be either the last week in March or the first or second week in April. Six signs of the season are given in these verses:

(1) The winter and its heavy rain is over—“For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.” (Song of Solomon 2:11) For six months in the summer the rain rarely falls.

(2) “Buds and flowers appear on the earth” (Song of Solomon 2:12 a). “When the tender grass springs out of the earth, through sunshine after rain.” (2 Samuel 23:4)

(3) “The time for singing has come “or” the time has arrived for pruning the vines.” It would seem considering the context of the first two signs that “time for singing” is much more parallel than pruning the vines. (Song of Solomon 2:12 b)

(4) “The voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.” (Song of Solomon 2:12 c) “This is a migratory bird that appears in Palestine the second week in April” (Cf. Jeremiah 8:7). (A. F. Harper)

(5) “The fig tree has ripened its figs.” The figs remained embalmed during the winter months and come to life or ripen in the early spring.

(6) “And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.” The fragrance of the grape vine blossom is very sweet, but very brief. The inhabitants of grape country need no proofs or descriptions to appreciate this fact. (Adapted from C. F. Cook)

We like the words of W. J. Cameron as found in the New Bible Commentary. “After the wintry months devoid of fresh life and growth, the stirring vigor of the Syrian spring follows of a sudden upon early rain. The earth rapidly assumes a mantle of bright green intermingled with the varied colors of innumerable flowers. The newly clad woodland comes alive with song amid which can be discerned the persistent mournful note of the turtledove. It is then that the voice of the beloved is heard.” (quoted by Clarke)

“Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along!” (Song of Solomon 2:13 b) Verse fourteen continues in four lines an entreaty to the bride to come out of her seclusion. The modesty and shyness of the maiden are the points here. Her home must have been inaccessible—note the description; “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret place of the steep pathway, Let me see your form (appearance), Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, and your form is lovely.” “Some render the phrase ‘the secret place of the ascent,’ pointing to crevices in a cliff approachable only by a steep ascent. The wild dove chooses high and inaccessible rocks for its resting place. In poetic language the shepherd seems to intimate that the maiden is not easily accessible to him because the attitude of her brothers as shown in the next verse.” (Clarke)

Marriage Song of Solomon 2:8-14

“Oh that my wife would want me and love me as this maid did her shepherd.” Such an expression could well be the lament of many a husband. No doubt there are some wives who think as fondly of their husbands as the Shulammite did of the shepherd. Every wife (as well as husband) have known what it is to wait for the familiar sounds of the approach of their spouse but are they persuaded he (or she) is as eager to see them as the hero of our text? Such persuasion must be planned and cultivated long before he arrives. Actions in little areas of need met time after time will convince anyone that no hill or mountain will separate us from meeting a need when it is present. The largest need is one of companionship. It would be easy for me to change places with the maiden and imagine my wife as the eager, shy, beautiful gazelle anxiously-curiously-alertly looking through the almost impenetrable windows of my heart to see if she could discover a meaningful movement. Please exchange places husband—you are to be just that eager to know what goes on in the heart of your wife—never mind that you cannot see or know, the important thing is that you are there and that you want to know.

There are a thousand times a thousand wives who weep today for a husband who would dream a dream like the one described in verses eight through thirteen. Let’s take our wife on a picnic in the country—or to a lovely secluded spot by the seashore. The important part of this is not the picnic but her person. The spring is only lovely because she is the center attraction. Have we forgotten how to be romantic? Perhaps it is because the beauty of God’s creation and our willingness to give ourselves to our wife has ceased to be a reality.

Communion Song of Solomon 2:8-14

As the bride of our Lord we can soliloquize concerning His coming again—but I would rather relate this passage to His present interest in us. There is no barrier that can or will separate us—“not tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine or nakedness, or peril, or sword” (Romans 8:35). In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. Behold! He stands at the door of our heart—He is beautiful in appearance—but He will not force entrance. He is more than curious—He wants very much to come in and share every activity of ours—He is standing behind our wall and looking in at the windows—see Him there as He glances through the lattice? He is calling me to leave the television set and meet Him for a walk together in seeking and saving some poor lost person who lives but a few houses from me. One glad day He came and called me to put aside the winter of my backsliding and join Him in the springtime of my first love. There is so much beauty in holiness! The time of singing is come. The song of heaven’s dove is with me. What was once only hard words I find to be delectable fruit. What fragrance I find in His presence! I seem to hear His voice again and again “Arise, O my companion, my fair one, and come away! Far too often I have been as inaccessible as the maiden in the clefts of the rock, in the crannies of the precipice—but no more—He shall hear my voice and see my face—I love Him.

Verses 15-17

Son 2:15-17

Song of Solomon 2:15-17

THE TRUE LOVERS LIVE HAPPILY IN THEIR OWN ESTATE

"Take us the foxes, the little foxes,

That spoil the vineyards;

For our vineyards are in blossom.

My beloved is mine, and I am his:

He feedeth his flock among the lilies.

Until the day be cool, and the shadows flee away,

Turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart

Upon the mountains of Bether."

"Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyard" (Song of Solomon 2:15). This is called, "The most enigmatic verse in Song of Solomon.” Bunn suggested that, "It might be a reference to the young men who pursued her.” Balchin also understood the verse as figurative. "The Shulamite requests that anything that would spoil the vineyard of their lives must be caught and eradicated. Let love be pure and undisturbed.” The imagination of men has been turned completely loose on this verse. Pope tells us of an alleged explanation, as follows: "The marauding foxes refer to the Amalekites who held a grudge against Jacob, and destroyed his birthright.”

"My beloved is mine, and I am his; he feedeth his flock among the lilies" (Song of Solomon 2:16). Anchor Bible cites a number of scholars who find the most explicit sexual meanings in the second clause; but all such notions lie utterly beyond the perimeter of what our English text says; and, as stated earlier, our concern is to understand what the text says, not what some imaginative scholar thinks it might mean. As the verse stands, it stresses the marital happiness of the shepherd and his Shulamite lover. Furthermore, we cannot accept the supposition of Redford that the Shulamite, "Was here lovingly thinking of Solomon as a shepherd. She idealizes.” It seems to this writer that not even an idiot could have idealized Solomon as a shepherd pasturing his flock all night long, that is, "until the morning breezes blow, and the darkness disappears.”

"Until the day be cool and the shadows flee away" (Song of Solomon 2:17).

See the Good News Bible rendition of this in the above paragraph.

"Turn, my beloved, be thou like a roe, or a young hart" (Song of Solomon 2:17). The Good News Bible translates this: "Return, my darling, like a gazelle." The picture here is one of marital happiness. Although the shepherd is out all night with the flock, his wife lovingly, awaits and anticipates his return. It seems to this writer that any application of these verses to Solomon is impossible.

"Upon the mountains of Bether" (Song of Solomon 2:17). "There was a chain of mountains east of the Jordan river that bore that name"; which says as clearly as language could say it that this happy couple, was at this time, living happily beyond the Jordan river, whither they had fled from the harem. This is what the passage says.

Now we take an excursion into the never, never land of what the scholars say it might mean:

"These `mountains of separation’ refer to her breasts, and, by metonymy, to her whole person. Comparing Song of Solomon 1:13 and Song of Solomon 4:6 we have similar usage. The Shulamite says, `My beloved is unto me a bundle of myrrh betwixt my breasts’; and Solomon sings, `I will get me to the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense.’” In case there is any doubt of what is meant by this, this rendition of Song of Solomon 1:13 will clarify it: "My lover has the scent of myrrh as he lies upon my breasts" This comparison of a woman’s breasts to twin mountains is evidently quite old. The American Indians did the same thing when they called the mountains near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, "The Grand Tetons." A recent example of the same thing is near Kokurah, in Japan, where the soldiers of the United States Air Force called a couple of symmetrical mountain peaks, "The Jane Russell Peaks." This writer made a picture of those.

Interpretation: In this chapter, the Shepherd Lover, standing for Jesus Christ, appears to his love trapped in an evil world (Solomon’s harem), takes her unto himself and bestows upon her citizenship in the heavenly kingdom. This all stands for the incarnation of Christ, the establishment of his Church, the rescue of his love (all mankind who believe in Him and obey Him), and his ascension to heaven, leaving the bride separated from Himself until the Second Advent. This separation is found in the allegory of the Bether mountains, "the mountains of separation" (Song of Solomon 2:17). Note that the Shepherd is absent from his lover in Song of Solomon 2:16. His Church feels the absence of Christ in heaven.

Exegesis Song of Solomon 2:15-17

Let’s not forget that Song of Solomon 2:8 to Song of Solomon 3:5 is a narration given in the court of Solomon to the court ladies of an incident that occurred some time earlier in the experience of the Shulammite with the shepherd and her brothers. When the shepherd came to call he received something less than a welcome from the brothers. Perhaps their attitude would account for her unwillingness to appear at the door. The request of the shepherd was viewed as a total waste of time, if not a threat to the safety of their sister. She has a job to do. The traps must be set for the foxes. The vines are threatened by these rodents. There is no time for frolic—there is work to be done.

She will dress the vines and catch the foxes but this will not dissuade her from devotion to her lover. He is mine, and I am his. I know just where he pastures his flock, and when I am through with my work I will go to him.

Returning to her beloved she asks him to call again, when the day cools and the shadows lengthen—in the evening come again—come to me as swiftly as a gazelle or young deer. Perhaps they had both observed the fleet-footed deer on the mountains near their home and it is to this she refers in his swift return to her. “Bether” means separation or division. It was a definite locality near Bethbara (2 Samuel 2:29, Bithron) and was separated from the rest of Israel by the river Jordan. The region was cut up by hills and valleys, rough, craggy, and difficult to cross, hence the allusion in a symbolic sense.” (Clarke)

Marriage Song of Solomon 2:15-17

Brother, sisters and mothers have all posed a threat to marriages. The demands by relatives are many times quite legitimate. This is what causes the rift. Such “little foxes” will cause all manner of havoc in married life. Yes, we must meet family responsibilities and catch a few foxes—but not to the extent of neglecting our love for the one to whom we have given our selves. “To despise little things in relationships of love is to show ourself utterly ignorant of important facts of life. It is little things that often account for happiness or for sorrow—a little remembrance, or a little forgetfulness.” (A. F. Harper)

We could also observe that these verses also exemplify the attitude that keeps a marriage together and makes the two an inseparable “one.” My beloved is mine and I am his. I know just where he (or she) is and what he (or she) is doing. My interest is his interest, where he goes there goes my heart. As soon as possible come to me as swiftly as at all possible. Such a constant mutual giving to each other insures happiness.

Communion Song of Solomon 2:15-17

How often have we gone after the “little foxes” and lost our beloved? Just a little compromise with the world—just a little disobedience to the voice of the Holy Spirit through our conscience; just a little indulgence of the flesh; it is easy to rationalize and justify all such action. Or perhaps the demands have no question about them—they are “the affairs of this life” in which we can be entangled and because of them we fail to please Him. (Cf. 2 Timothy 2:6)

We have pledged ourselves to our Lord—He has never failed in his pledge to us. We know where we can find Him—He pastures His flock among the lilies—it is a pleasant beautiful place—let’s go find Him and spend some time in His garden. When the rapid pace of the work-a-day world has come to an end, let’s find Him in the cool of the day. Or in the early morning before the shadows begin to form.

The Wedding Day - Song of Solomon 1:1 to Song of Solomon 2:7

Open It

1. Why do you agree or disagree with the saying that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"?

2. What is your favorite part of the wedding ceremony? Why?

3. How is love generally depicted in television programs, movies, and romance novels?

4.Why do you think people read romance novels or watch romantic movies?

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5. Who are the three speakers in these verses? (Song of Solomon 1:1 to Song of Solomon 2:7)

6. What is the relationship between the Lover and the Beloved? (Song of Solomon 1:1 to Song of Solomon 2:7)

7. How did the Beloved describe her Lover? (Song of Solomon 1:1-4; Song of Solomon 1:16)

8. Where did the Beloved want her Lover to take her? (Song of Solomon 1:4)

9. How did the Beloved describe herself? (Song of Solomon 1:5-7)

10. How did the Lover describe his Beloved? (Song of Solomon 1:9-11; Song of Solomon 1:15)

11. To what did the Lover compare his Beloved? (Song of Solomon 2:2)

12. To what did the Beloved compare her Lover? (Song of Solomon 2:3)

13. Where did the Lover take his Beloved? (Song of Solomon 2:4)

14. What did the Beloved ask her Lover to do? (Song of Solomon 2:5)

15. What did the Beloved tell the Daughters of Jerusalem they should do? (Song of Solomon 2:7)

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16. What stage in the Lover and Beloved’s relationship is described in these verses?

17. How is romantic love depicted in these verses?

18. What types of words did the Lover and the Beloved use in speaking to each other?

19. How might the Beloved’s description of herself be an indication that others may not have found her as attractive as did her Lover?

20. Why did the Lover and the Beloved praise each other’s physical attractiveness?

21. Why is it important to compliment a person’s physical appearance?

22. How do you think the compliments given by the Lover and the Beloved made the other person feel about himself or herself and about their relationship?

23. How important is mutual physical attraction in a relationship?

24. Besides physical attractiveness, what other characteristics did the Lover and the Beloved praise?

25. What qualities besides physical attractiveness should a potential marriage partner possess?

Apply It

26. How can you make the person you are in a relationship with feel loved and accepted today?

27. What one thing can you do this week to add a bit of romance to your relationship?

Memories of Courtship - Song of Solomon 2:8 to Song of Solomon 3:5

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1. What is the strangest dream you have ever had?

2. What were (or are, as the case may be) the essential elements of courtship when you were dating?

3. What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you on a date?

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4. What sort of relationship did the Lover and the Beloved have? (Song of Solomon 2:8 to Song of Solomon 3:5)

5. How did the Beloved describe her Lover? (Song of Solomon 2:8-9)

6. What did the Lover say to his Beloved? (Song of Solomon 2:10-13)

7. What time of year was it? (Song of Solomon 2:11-13)

8. How did the Lover describe his Beloved’s voice and face? (Song of Solomon 2:14)

9. What did the Lover ask his Beloved to catch? Why? (Song of Solomon 2:15)

10. How did the Beloved describe her relationship with her Lover? (Song of Solomon 2:16)

11. When did the Beloved say she looked for but could not find her Lover? (Song of Solomon 3:1)

12. What did the Beloved dream? (Song of Solomon 3:1-4)

13. Where did the Beloved say she would go to look for her Lover? (Song of Solomon 3:2)

14. What did the Beloved ask the watchmen? (Song of Solomon 3:3)

15, What did the Beloved do when she found her Lover? (Song of Solomon 3:4)

16. What charge did the Beloved give to the Daughters of Jerusalem? (Song of Solomon 3:5)

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17. How would you describe the Lover and the Beloved’s relationship?

18. Why do you think the Beloved described her Lover as a gazelle?

19. What might the coming of spring symbolize?

20. What do you think the little foxes represented in the Beloved and the Lover’s relationship?

21. What kind of problems crop up in a relationship sooner or later?

22. When does romantic love tend to fade from a relationship? Why?

23. Why do you think the Beloved took her Lover to her mother’s house?

24. Why do you think the Beloved told the Daughters of Jerusalem not to arouse love "until it so desires"?

25. In what way do people arouse love before it desires?

Apply It

26. With what relationship will you ask God to help you be patient this week?

27. What can you do this week to resolve a conflict in your relationship with your spouse or a friend?

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Song of Solomon 2". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/song-of-solomon-2.html.
 
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