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 13 (Fan the Desire)
v 10 How beautiful your love, my sister, my bride!
How much better your love than wine (it makes him feel intoxicated)
and the scent of your oils from spices.
Note the compliments are lavish and many. He is attracted to her scent. Since it is better than spices, this is likely her natural odors.
v 11 Your lips drip with honey, O bride,
Honey and milk are under your tongue.
He enjoys kissing her. It is a deep kiss- note the mention of her tongue.
The scent of your garments is like the scent of Lebanon.
Lebanon is known for its cedar trees. Her garments smell like cedar. She stores her clothes carefully and changes them often (which is not a norm at this time).
v 12 You are a locked garden, my sister, my bride.
You are a locked garden, a sealed fountain.
Garden and fountain are euphemisms for female sexuality. She is not permiscuous. Her garden/ fountain are sealed, open only for him.
v 13 Your shoots (hairs) are a garden of pomegranates (fertility) with choice fruits (tasty), henna (hair color) and nard (fragrant oil that smells sweet, woody and spicy).
He is complimenting her genitalia.
v 14 Nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices.
He loves her smell. It is better than any spice.
v 15 You are a garden fountain, a well of living water, streaming down from Lebanon.
She refreshes him. Garden and fountain represent female sexuality. Their lovemaking does not just satisfy, it energizes him.
v 16 Wake up north wind, and come, south wind!
Blow on my garden (sexuality) and let its spices flow forth,
She wants to fan their desire.
Let my lover come into his garden and eat its choice fruit.
She is inviting him to intimacy- again.
v1 I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride,
I have gathered my myrrh with my spices, I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk.
They have been intimate and he has enjoyed many different aspects of their love making, indicating the entire process is to be enjoyed, not just the finale.
The Women of Jerusalem
Eat, friends, drink! Be intoxicated, lovers!
Her female friends are supportive and encouraging of their relationship/ sexuality. They want them to be ‘intoxicated’ with each other, feeling the satisfaction/ “high” that comes with a full, satisfying relationship.
Leave a Reply