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
Poem 4 (Compliments and Gifts)
Remember- compliments change with time…. Not all women want to be called a ‘mare.’
v 9 To a mare among Pharoah’s chariots (strong, powerful, beautiful, sleek, opulent)
I liken you, my darling. (note the term of endearment)
Typically stallions, not mares, drove the chariots. This could be saying she is as good as any man, an equal, in his eyes. There is another theory however. There was a battle strategy where a mare in heat was sent amongst the enemy’s chariots to distract their stallions. He may be saying she is very distracting to him.
v 10 Your cheeks are lovely between earings, your neck with a necklace.
This implies she has been given gifts of jewelry- some things do not change!
v 11 Earings of gold we will make for you along with studs of silver.
Given her background, she likely does not have a lot of jewelry. He will give her the things she desires.