A 1:1-11. The Introduction. The Shulamite separated. Taken by Solomon from her home and her beloved [Shepherd] into the Royal tents, pitched near them. B C 1:12-2:7. The Shulamite and her Beloved together. D 2;8-3:5. The Shulamite and her Beloved apart. B C 3:6-5:1. The Shulamite and her Beloved together. D 5:2-8:4. The Shulamite and her Beloved apart. A 8:5-14. The Conclusion. The Shulamite restored. Return from Solomon to her Home with her Beloved [Shepherd].
The scope of the book is determined by the Structure of the book as a whole.
The story gradually develops itself; and, from the key which is found in the last chapter [8:5-14], the whole may be pieced together in the words of Dr. C.D.Ginsburg, to which the references have been added in order to connect the threads of events.
The story gradually develops itself; and, from the key which is found in the last chapter [8:5-14], the whole may be pieced together in the words of Dr. C.D.Ginsburg, to which the references have been added in order to connect the threads of events.There was a family living at Shulem, consisting of a widowed mother, several sons, and one daughter, who maintained themselves by farming and pasturage. The brothers were particularly fond of their sister, and took her under their special care, promising that her prudence and virtue should be greatly rewarded by them [8:8-14].
"In the course of time, while tending the flock, and, according to the custom of shepherds, resorting at noon beneath a shelter against the meridian sun, she met with a graceful shepherd youth to whom she afterward became espoused [1:7; 2:16; 6:3].
One morning, in the spring, this youth invited her to accompany him into the field; but the brothers, overhearing the conversation, and anxious for the reputation of their sister, sent her [in order to prevent their meeting] to take care of the vineyards [2:15].
The damsel, however, consoled her beloved and herself with the assurance that, though separated bodily, indissoluble ties subsisted between them, over which her brothers had no control [2:16].
She requested him to meet her in the evening [3:1]; and, as he did not come, she feared that some accident had befallen him on the way, and went in search of him [3:2], and found him [3:4].
The evening now was the only time in which they could enjoy each others company, as, during the day, the damsel was occupied in the vineyards.
On one occasion, when entering a garden, she accidentally came into the presence of King Solomon [6:11,12], who happened to be on a summer visit to that neighborhood [6:6-11].
Struck with the beauty of the damsel, the King conducted her into his royal tent [1:2-4], and there, assisted by his court-ladies [1:5-8], endeavored with all alluring flatteries and promises, to gain her affections, but without effect [1:6-11].
Released from the King's presence, the damsel sought an interview with her beloved shepherd [1:12-2:7].
The King, however, took her with him to his capital in great pomp, in hope of dazzling her with his splendor [3:1-11]; but neither did this prevail: for while even there, she told her beloved shepherd, who had followed her into the capital [4:1-5], and obtained an interview with her, that she was anxious to quit the gaudy scene for her own home [4:6].
The shepherd, on hearing this, praised her constancy [4:7-16]; and such a manifestation of their mutual attachment took place, that several of the court-ladies were greatly affected by it [6:1].
The King, still determined if possible to win her affections, watched for another favorable opportunity; and with flatteries and allurements, surpassing all that he used before, tried to obtain his purpose [6:4-7:9].
He promised to elevate her to the highest rank, and to raise her above all his concubines and queens, if she would comply with his wishes; but, faithful to her espousals, she refused his overtures, on the plea that her affections were pledged to another [7:10-8:4].
The King, convinced at last that he could not possibly prevail, was obligated to dismiss her; and the shepherdess, in company with her beloved shepherd, returned to her native place [8:5-14].
On their way home [8:5-7], they visited the tree under which they first met, and there renewed their vows of fidelity to each other.
On her arrival in safety at her home, her brothers, according to their promise, rewarded her greatly for her virtuous conduct" [8:8,9].
The above is an Interpretation. The Application is an incentive to loyalty and fidelity to the One "Who loved us and gave Himself for us"; and to stand fast, in our love and loyalty to Him, in the face of the fiercest temptations and severest trials.
To Israel this would be expressed: "Be you faithful to death" [Jas. 1:3. 1 Pet. 1;7. Heb. 10:33]; "To him that overcomes", &c. [Rev. 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21]; also Heb. 13:9,13. 1 Pet. 1:4-7,&c.
To the Church of God this would be expressed in such passages as Gal. 5:1. Eph. 4:14; 6:13,18. Phil. 1:6; 4:1. Col. 1:10,22,23; 2:7. 2 Tim. 3:14. Tit. 1:9.
The Shepherd [Christ] to his wife [the elect] - Shows emotion [spiritual], and how much our Father loves you.
A A 1. Solomon's Song about the Shulamite. B C 2-4. The Shulamite soliloquizes about her beloved [shepherd]. D 5,6. The court-ladies [who disdain her] answered by the Shulamite. B C The Shulamite soliloquizes about her beloved [shepherd]. D The court-ladies [who tell her to return] answered by the Shulamite. A 9-11. Solomon's admiration of the Shulamite.
Song of Solomon 1)
1 The song of songs (meaning the most beautiful or excellent song. It belongs to the 3rd division of the O.T. Canon. The order of the 5 "Megiloth" [or Scrolls] is the order of the festivals on which they are read. The Song is read annually at the Feast of the Passover, as Ruth is read at Pentecost; Lamentations on the 9th of Ab; Ecclesiastes at the feast of Tabernacles; and Esther at the Feast of Purim. From the most ancient times it has formed part of the Hebrew Canonical Scriptures. It is a poem based on the true facts of a story which unfolds itself as it proceeds.), which is Solomon's. (Or for, or concerning Solomon.)
(Here the Shulamite speaks. She has been taken into Solomon's tent, and soliloquize about her beloved [vv.2,3]; she implores him to come and rescue her [v.4]; she repels the scorn of the court-ladies [v.6]; and implores her beloved to tell her where she may find him [v.7]; the court ladies ironically reply [v.8]; meanwhile the king comes in and commences by expressing his admiration [vv.9-11].)
2 Oh for a kiss with the kisses of his mouth (i.e. the Shulamite's beloved, the shepherd, from whom she has been taken by Solomon): for your endearments are better than wine.
3 Sweet is the odor of your good ointments you are as ointment poured forth, therefore do the damsels love you.
4 Draw me after you, let us flee together! the king (see introduction notes that explains the circumstances described there) has brought me into his inner apartments: we will be glad and rejoice in you, we will praise your love more than wine: uprights ones have loved you.
5 I am swarthy, but comely, O you daughters of Jerusalem (i.e. the ladies of Solomon's court), as the tents of Kedar (= dark. All Kedar's tents were black), [but comely] as the curtains of Solomon.
6 Look not down on me (i.e. regard me not. Cp. 1 Chron. 17:17. Ps. 106:44), because I am black, because the sun has looked upon me (to emphasize the cause of her swarthiness): my mother's sons (i.e. her brothers are referred to as speaking as in 2:15) were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but my own vineyard I never kept. (She says this to show the harsh treatment of her brothers)
7 Tell me (again soliloquizing), O you whom my soul loves, where you shepherd (this cannot refer to Solomon!), where you make your flock to lie down at noon: for why should I be as one that strays (or wanders) to (or among) the flocks of your companions?
8 If you know not (answer of the court ladies: ironical), O you fairest among women, go your way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed your kids beside the shepherds' tents.
9 I have compared you (Solomon now speaks to her), O my friend (or, one beloved), to my mare in chariot of Pharaoh's.
10 Your cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, your neck with chains of gold.
11 We will make you bead-rows of gold with studs of silver.
C E1 1:12-14. The Shulamite to her shepherd lover. They meet and exchange their vows. F1 1:15. The Beloved [shepherd] to the Shulamite. [It is you who are beautiful; not I.] E2 1:16-2:1. The Shulamite to her shepherd love. [No. It is you who are comely; not I.] F2 2:2. The Beloved [shepherd] to the Shulamite. [You are my loved one.] E3 2:3-7. The Shulamite to her shepherd lover: ending with an apostrophe to the court-ladies not to incite or excite her affection for another person till she herself desires it.
12 While the king was sitting at his table, my spikenard (i.e. her shepherd lover) sent forth the smell thereof. (Solomon's advances fail; for, to his flattery she opposes unabated love for her shepherd lover, with whom she has an interview in 1:12-2:7)
13 A little bag of myrrh is my well-beloved to me; it (i.e. the little bag) will lodge all night between my breasts.
14 My beloved is to me as a cluster of cypress flowers in the vineyards of Engedi.
15 Behold, you are fair, my love (here the shepherd lover is replying to his betrothed); behold, you are fair; you have doves' eyes.
16 Behold, you are fair, my beloved (Here the Shulamite speaks again), yes, pleasant: also our couch is verdant.
17 Our bower are cedar arches, and our retreat of cypress roof.