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 22 (Ch 8)
(The Rest of the Wives…)
v 11 Solomon had a vineyard in Baal-hamon;
he entrusted the vineyard to guards,
each one brings a thousand pieces of silver for his fruit.
v 12 My vineyard is mine alone;
the thousand is for you, Solomon,
and the two hundred for the ones who guard its fruit.
Here is a reference to Solomon’s harem. Obviously the woman is not happy that it exists and makes reference to the fact that she does not wish to share her vineyard. The two hundred are likely ‘wives’ he has not yet slept with. This woman lives apart from the rest of his woman. We know that his Egyptian wife, who was also his first wife, had her own palace so many guess that this is the identity of the woman of the poem. Remember, in this culture, polygamy is the norm. Here it is not portrayed in glowing terms. The woman does not like it. She implies that the someone has paid so that these women would bear Solomon’s offspring.
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