Saturday, July 27: Song of Solomon
My NRSV Study Bible gives this introduction to Son of Solomon:
“Song of Solomon consists of a series of loves poems between two lovers. The poems don’t tell a story that has a ending, but move back and forth in a celebrate of physical love and desire. The lovers express delight in each others body when they are together. They long for each other when they are apart. They tease and admire each other and boast to others of their love’s charms. Each er lover uses sensuous images from nature and the human world to describe the other’s body. The book concludes with claims about the power and value of love.”
Lutheran Study Bible, NRSV, Copyright 2009, pg. 1076
While reading through, we are witnessing to young, flirtatious, individuals who are head over heals in love. Some odd descriptions are used to describe each other’s body. Not sure I’d get away with describing my wife as being like the “clusters of the vine” (7:8), and for my own safety, I won’t suggest that when I get home. Regardless of how strange the book may read, for the time, it certainly was beautiful imagery that made these too lovers oogle over each other all the more.
One oddity that I noticed, but didn’t dig into too much was the second encounter our fair maiden had with the city guards. (5:6-8) After searching for her loved one, she finds her way to the city streets where she is “beat” and “wounded.” According to the NRSV, her “mantle” is even “taken away.” Was this fair young maiden raped? I read it as she may have been, and graciously, her lover still takes her in without question, without disregard, without any disrespect. This is huge! Especially for the time and place. Had she been “unfaithful” even though it would not have been her own doing, he would have had every right to deny her, have her stoned, or simply walk way leaving her forever shamed. This is a powerful moment and a wonderful example of God’s eternal and unfailing love for us! Without question of our past, we are still loved!
Readings for the next few days:
Sunday, July 28: Isaiah 1 – 4
Monday, July 29: Isaiah 5 – 8
Tuesday, July 30: Isaiah 9 – 12
Wednesday, July 31: Isaiah 13 – 17