Song of Songs chapter 1

Solomon and an unnamed woman are in love. She expresses her sexual desire. And he responds.

 

Like this chapter of the Bible,
our comments are sexually explicit.

 


 

INTRODUCTION

 

VERSE 1. The Song of songs, which is Solomon’s.

Song of songs. This means “the sublime song.”

 

THE WOMAN EXPRESSES HER SEXUAL DESIRE

 

(Woman)

 

VERSE 2. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; for your love is better than wine.

Let him kiss me. That is, “let him give me kisses.” People usually describe kissing as a mutual activity: “Would you like to kiss?”

  • However, the woman refers to this kiss as something he gives her. She receives that kiss. What does this mean? It will become clearer in the verses and chapters that follow.

of his mouth. It should not be necessary to define a kiss this precisely. The kiss is from his mouth. What does this mean?

your love. The Hebrew word is dodim. It means physical expressions of love.

is better than wine. This man has made himself winsome to the woman. To her, his love is more delightful than wine. Its clear from this verse and other verses that she looks forward to the times of their sexual relationship. She does not view that as a duty or obligation.

  • In our day, many men do not see things this way. They feel their wife is obliged to have sex with them. They see sex a duty that she must fulfill. He takes out the garbage and mows the lawn, while she has to cook and clean and have sex.

 

VERSE 3. Your oils have a pleasing fragrance. Your name is oil poured out, therefore the virgins love you.

Your oils have a pleasing fragrance. The man has made himself winsome to the woman.

the virgins love you. That is, “young girls give you their love.” King Solomon was very experienced, sexually. As we saw in 1 Kings 11, he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines. Wherever he went, he was surrounded by his own harem:

1 Kings 11:3. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.

 

VERSE 4. Take me away with you. Let’s hurry. The king has brought me into his rooms.

Take me away with you. The woman asks him to take her to his chambers.

let’s hurry. Her feelings are urgent.

 

(Friends)

 

We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will praise your love more than wine!

We will be glad and rejoice in you. The other women are happy that she has such a fulfilling relationship with a man.

 

(Woman)

 

They are right to love you.

 

VERSE 5. I am dark, but lovely, you daughters of Jerusalem, like Kedar’s tents, like Solomon’s curtains.

NASB translation: I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon. (NASB translation)

dark. The Hebrew word is שְׁחוֹרָ֤ה (“šə·ḥō·w·rāh”). It means black.

I am dark. Solomon’s lover says she is Black. Who is she? Who do you think she was? We have four theories »

but lovely. She says, quite directly, that she is lovely. She likely sees herself through the eyes of her man. He sees her as quite wonderful, and so does she.

  • Lovers can have considerable influence on each others’ self-image. It is important to speak in winsome ways, to build each other up and not tear each other down.

 

VERSE 6. Don’t stare at me because I am dark, because the sun has scorched me. My mother’s sons were angry with me. They made me keeper of the vineyards. I haven’t kept my own vineyard.

I am dark. The Hebrew word is שְׁחַרְחֹ֔רֶת (“šə·ḥar·ḥō·reṯ”). It means blackish.

the sun has scorched me. How do we interpret this?

  1. A suntanned field worker
  2. The princess of Egypt.
  3. The Queen of Sheba.
  4. An unnamed African woman

My mother’s sons were angry with me. From this verse and others, we get the sense that her family-of-origin was not healthy.

they made me. She was forced to do things against her will. They did not treat her well.

keeper of the vineyards. Many people assume this means she was a field-hand. However, it could also mean she was the overseer.

I haven’t kept my own vineyard. In the past, her own needs had not been a priority. But now that she is in a healthy relationship, her own needs are important. They are important, not only to herself but also to her lover.

vineyard. This is an allusion to womanhood, as we see in chapter 8:

Song of Songs 8:12. My own vineyard is before me. The thousand are for you, Solomon; two hundred for those who tend its fruit.

 

VERSE 7. Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you graze your flock, where you rest them at noon; For why should I be as one who is veiled beside the flocks of your companions?

you whom my soul loves. They speak of each other in ways that are majestic and poetic.

why should I be as one who is veiled. Perhaps they had been keeping their romantic relationship a secret. When they were among other people, perhaps they had to “veil” their affection so no one would see it.

 

SOLOMON RESPONDS

 

(Solomon)

 

VERSE 8. If you don’t know, most beautiful among women, follow the tracks of the sheep. Graze your young goats beside the shepherds’ tents.

most beautiful among women. The man speaks highly of his lover. This is not mere flattery or manipulation. It is how he actually sees her. Perhaps this has come natural to him; perhaps it is something he says by faith. In either case, this is how he speaks of her and how he sees her.

follow the tracks of the sheep. They arrange to meet clandestinely. He provides her with the route to their destination.

Graze. The Hebrew word is ro‘eh. Together with homonyms, it often enters into wordplays that allude to lovemaking.

beside the shepherds’ tents. He provides her with the destination. This is where they will meet clandestinely.

 

VERSE 9. I have compared you, my love, to a steed in Pharaoh’s chariots.

a steed in Pharaoh’s chariots. These words strike us as odd or comical. However, in the language and culture of those days, they were likely quite romantic and quite complimentary.

 

VERSE 10. Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels.

 

(Friends)

 

VERSE 11. We will make you earrings of gold, with studs of silver.

 

(Woman)

 

VERSE 12. While the king sat at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance.

my perfume. The Hebrew word is נִרְדִּ֖י (“nir·dî”). It means nard. Nard is an expensive spice that emits scent when rubbed.

spread its fragrance. As the two of them dine together, he detects her fragrance.

 

VERSE 13. My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh, that lies between my breasts.

My beloved. Again we see that they speak of each other in majestic ways.

a sachet of myrrh. A sachet of myrrh would be hung on a string from a woman’s neck and rest in her cleavage.

between my breasts. Solomon lies nestled between her breasts like a pouch of spices. They may have been naked together, not just during sexual intimacy, but at other times as well.

 

VERSE 14. My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi.

 

(Solomon)

 

VERSE 15. Behold, you are beautiful, my love. Behold, you are beautiful. Your eyes are doves.

Behold, you are beautiful. He sees her as beautiful. He tells her so.

 

(Woman)

 

VERSE 16. Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, yes, pleasant; and our couch is verdant.

you are beautiful, my beloved. That is, “how handsome you are.” She sees him as handsome. And she tells him so.

our couch is verdant. That is, “bed.” When they are in bed together, it is wonderful. We believe she experienced a sexually fulfilling relationship there. It is not a place of duty or obligation. He fulfills her sexual appetites. She is not left without orgasm.

 

(Solomon)

 

VERSE 17. The beams of our house are cedars. Our rafters are firs.

The beams of our house are cedars. They have built a relationship that is strong.

 


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.