The Song of Solomon or Song of Songs is Worthy of Study
So often the Song of Solomon or Song of Songs is passed over in Bible studies because the topic is too hot to handle or the book is just not understood.
Let’s not exclude anything God has for us to learn. Throughout the Bible, sexual intimacy between a man and his wife is celebrated as a gift from God. In this book, it is the main theme. Running right along side is the theme of Christ’s love for His bride, the church universal.
Some Christians would say the book is only about Christ’s love for us and they shy away from the obvious love poetry. Others are caught up in the sexual intimacy of marriage and do not explore the church as Christ’s bride.
Different Ideas on Who Wrote the Book
Most traditionalists believe the book was written by Solomon about his bride. Problem is there are no records of Solomon marrying a Shulammite woman. In Phil Cole’s new book “Love Redeemed”, he explains some of his research results and his conclusions are very interesting.
Phil has pointed out that both Solomon and Shulam mean “peace” in different dialects of the day. Because of different styles of writing, he divides the book into separate poems or songs as has been done by other scholars. The way Solomon and the king are referred to and the references to the groom as a shepherd, lead him to believe the meaning of Solomon and Shulam are the most important.
I also like using the alternate name for the book of Song of Songs. It is very likely a collection of love poems possibly put together by Solomon. Song of Songs is an expression meaning the best of the best such as Lord of Lords.
Combining the Two Popular Interpretations of Song of Solomon
Phil has written a very detailed and well-researched book. He has done a study of sexual intimacy in marriage and the Christ’s bride analogy, suitable for study by singles, side by side . Exercises at the end of each poem are presented for both lines of study.
The two interpretations are presented as separate and related. He invites us to increase and explore our sexual intimacy with our spouse and to increase and explore our intimacy with the Holy Spirit. Well done!
Ancient Poetic Expressions Can Confuse Us
Research into the ancient descriptions in the Song of Songs is presented in detail and explains how beautiful they really are in a different time and place. Not one tooth missing would be an obvious sign of beauty at the time it was written. Many of the expressions of beauty and love have been found in secular writings of the time.
I had never noticed the distinct use of rural and garden references for beauty and peace and love. All references to cities are turmoil and loss and suffering. When I think of it, the country and city references are throughout the Bible. Country is God-made and cities are man-made. Hmmm could that be it?
The other reference is to the desert or wilderness as that place of being lost and confused that we can find ourselves in. Coming out of the desert to the land of milk and honey is a great experience.
Phil does a wonderful job of explaining the symbolism including the trouble spots in marriage or our relationship with God that are in the poems. I hope you will read this book. I couldn’t put it down. I read it in one day and I know I will be using the material in it in my own life and marriage and referring to it in my writing and teaching. Thank you Phil. “Love Redeemed” by Philip D. Cole.