This commentary is based on my notes after reading The New International Commentary on the Old Testament: Song of Songs, by Tremper Longman III, 2001
v 1 The Song of Songs, which concerns Solomon
Poem 1: The Woman’s Pursuit
Note: In Song of Songs the woman speaks 53% of the time and the man 39%. While some commentaries make much of this, to me, it seems like a normal relationship…
v 2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth,
For your lovemaking is better than wine.
v 3 How wonderful the scent of your oils (semen);
Your name (sem in Hebrew) is poured out oil (semen).
-This is wordplay, a joke within a compliment. “Name” in scripture indicates what a person is known for, in this relationship she is implying he should be known for his lovemaking- a compliment I believe most men would enjoy!
This poem also changes pronouns randomly- this is not uncommon in poetry of this region.
V 2 and 3 contain a chiasm, a simple poem with repetition and the main idea at the ‘point.’ It is not a perfect chiasm, but you will get the idea.
is your lovemaking
more than wine (most important point)
(as for scent)
your oils (semen)
The repetition of ‘good’ indicates his lovemaking/ semen (equivalent points) are better than wine for making her feel good.
Therefore the young women love you.
–She is likely referring to herself in the third person plural in an exaggerated compliment, ie Who could resist you? (Also a compliment men typically enjoy.)
v 4 Draw me after you; Let’s run! (note her urgency)
The king has brought me into his bedroom. (can also be translated as private place or storeroom)
Note: She wants to run to privacy, she is excited and sure he wants her sexually.
The Women of Jerusalem: (Chorus)
We will rejoice and feel happy for you! (no jealousy or condemnation)
We will praise/ celebrate your love.
– Her friends confirm she has made a good choice. This is not lust and she is not deluded by love, she has made a wise decision and her friends acknowledge it. They are also happy for her. These are good women who are glad their friend is doing well.
Righteousness loves you. (What they are doing is good in God’s eyes.)
- The married woman takes initiative for sex (Draw me after you… Let him kiss me…). She is not forcing, or throwing herself at him, but asking and confident in a positive response.
- She yearns for him.
- Their lovemaking is intoxicating- mood changing.
- The Song incorporates all the senses:
-smell- his scent
-hearing: compliments spoken
-sight: compliments re: body
-mind: wordplay/ joking
- Her friends confirm this is a good choice.
- A wedding ritual in this region has the groom as a ‘king’ and the bride as a ‘queen.’ They would be crowned as such in the ceremony. A king is the best, most powerful man, worthy of the highest honors, likewise a queen is the best, most powerful woman, also worthy of highest honors.
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