Song of Solomon 


Song of Songs is the sad story about Solomon's first wife (the wife of his youth) who he loves but neglects because of his duties as king (and because of his harem).

Over the years I heard so many interpretations of this book but none of them rang true until my wife one day figured it out. Here's a brief overview...

Song of Songs is the true story of Solomon's love affair and marriage to his first wife, a Shulamite from Lebanon. She is the only daughter in a family of boys and is exploited by them. She is a shepherdess and performs many other menial tasks such as tending the vineyards. Probably her vineyard is owned by King David and her family are the caretakers.

During the time period when King David is collecting supplies for building the temple and his own palace, his son Solomon regularly travels to Lebanon to check up on these arrangements and on their properties. Being a mischievous, curious, energetic, and naughty boy, Solomon dresses up as a shepherd and mingles with the local people. He encounters the Shulamite girl who he instantly falls in love with. He visits her regularly and she falls in love with him.

Soon after becoming king, Solomon travels again to Lebanon to bring her back home to marry her. He probably visits Hiram of Tyre on the same trip.

They are happily married at first but Solomon soon begins to neglect her and his harem grows and grows. Finally she goes back to her homeland and is given the vineyard of her family to tend.

Here are the phases of this story...

  1. Young lovers; she doesn't know his true identity.
  2. Solomon as king comes to her to take her as his wife.
  3. The happy period of their marriage.
  4. She is neglected; merely one of many in Solomon's harem.
  5. She moves permanently back to her home; he visits her from time to time.

There is a key phrase which is repeated three times: "stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please." This means that men and women should be true to one another (lifelong, loving relationship; no divorce; only one spouse, not a harem). Certainly Solomon neglected to practice this and this was his great weakness leading to his spiritual downfall. His wife suffered tremendously as a result.

The love of the Shulamite woman for Solomon is amazing. No matter how badly he neglects her, she still loves him and wants to be with him.

There are subtle references to conjugal relations between man and wife in the Song of Songs but I do not wish to call attention to these; it is not necessary in understanding the flow of the story.


(Song of Songs 1:1) The song of songs, which is Solomon's.

(Song of Songs 1:2) Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.

(Song of Songs 1:3) Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.

(Song of Songs 1:4) Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.

(Song of Songs 1:5) I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

(Song of Songs 1:6) Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.

(Song of Songs 1:7) Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

(Song of Songs 1:8) If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents.

(Song of Songs 1:9) I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots.

(Song of Songs 1:10) Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.

(Song of Songs 1:11) We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver.

(Song of Songs 1:12) While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.

(Song of Songs 1:13) A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.

(Song of Songs 1:14) My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.

(Song of Songs 1:15) Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes.

(Song of Songs 1:16) Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.

(Song of Songs 1:17) The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.

(Song of Songs 2:1) I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.

(Song of Songs 2:2) As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

(Song of Songs 2:3) As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

(Song of Songs 2:4) He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

(Song of Songs 2:5) Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.

(Song of Songs 2:6) His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.

(Song of Songs 2:7) I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

(Song of Songs 2:8) The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

(Song of Songs 2:9) My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.

(Song of Songs 2:10) My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

(Song of Songs 2:11) For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

(Song of Songs 2:12) The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

(Song of Songs 2:13) The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

(Song of Songs 2:14) O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.

(Song of Songs 2:15) Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

(Song of Songs 2:16) My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.

(Song of Songs 2:17) Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.

(Song of Songs 3:1) By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.

(Song of Songs 3:2) I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.

(Song of Songs 3:3) The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?

(Song of Songs 3:4) It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.

(Song of Songs 3:5) I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

(Song of Songs 3:6) Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?

(Song of Songs 3:7) Behold his bed, which is Solomon's; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel.

(Song of Songs 3:8) They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night.

(Song of Songs 3:9) King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon.

(Song of Songs 3:10) He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem.

(Song of Songs 3:11) Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.

(Song of Songs 4:1) Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.

(Song of Songs 4:2) Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.

(Song of Songs 4:3) Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.

(Song of Songs 4:4) Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.

(Song of Songs 4:5) Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.

(Song of Songs 4:6) Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.

(Song of Songs 4:7) Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.

(Song of Songs 4:8) Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.

(Song of Songs 4:9) Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.

(Song of Songs 4:10) How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!

(Song of Songs 4:11) Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.

(Song of Songs 4:12) A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

(Song of Songs 4:13) Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,

(Song of Songs 4:14) Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:

(Song of Songs 4:15) A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.

(Song of Songs 4:16) Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

(Song of Songs 5:1) I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

(Song of Songs 5:2) I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.

(Song of Songs 5:3) I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?

(Song of Songs 5:4) My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.

(Song of Songs 5:5) I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.

(Song of Songs 5:6) I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

(Song of Songs 5:7) The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.

(Song of Songs 5:8) I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.

(Song of Songs 5:9) What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?

(Song of Songs 5:10) My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.

(Song of Songs 5:11) His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.

(Song of Songs 5:12) His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.

(Song of Songs 5:13) His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

(Song of Songs 5:14) His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.

(Song of Songs 5:15) His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.

(Song of Songs 5:16) His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

(Song of Songs 6:1) Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.

(Song of Songs 6:2) My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.

(Song of Songs 6:3) I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.

(Song of Songs 6:4) Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.

(Song of Songs 6:5) Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead.

(Song of Songs 6:6) Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them.

(Song of Songs 6:7) As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks.

(Song of Songs 6:8) There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.

(Song of Songs 6:9) My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.

(Song of Songs 6:10) Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?

(Song of Songs 6:11) I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded.

(Song of Songs 6:12) Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.

(Song of Songs 6:13) Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

(Song of Songs 7:1) How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.

(Song of Songs 7:2) Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.

(Song of Songs 7:3) Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.

(Song of Songs 7:4) Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.

(Song of Songs 7:5) Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.

(Song of Songs 7:6) How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

(Song of Songs 7:7) This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.

(Song of Songs 7:8) I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;

(Song of Songs 7:9) And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.

(Song of Songs 7:10) I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.

(Song of Songs 7:11) Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.

(Song of Songs 7:12) Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.

(Song of Songs 7:13) The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.

(Song of Songs 8:1) O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.

(Song of Songs 8:2) I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.

(Song of Songs 8:3) His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.

(Song of Songs 8:4) I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.

(Song of Songs 8:5) Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.

(Song of Songs 8:6) Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.

Affixing a seal is to prove ownership, to prove the genuine source of something. True love consists in giving provable ownership to one's heart and very being, of one's arm that works and fights and embraces. Just as God is jealous for us, that we worship him only; so also, husband and wife are to be jealous of their love for one another, that no one else encroach upon it.

In this verse, the phrase "coals of fire" refers to coals which are burning. True love with a lifelong commitment is intensely energetic and passionate just as burning coals are when compared to coals which are not burning.

In this passage the word "coal" and the phrase "coals of fire" are figurative because the writer says they are. He says that the coals of love are burning coals — two back-to-back metaphors.

(Song of Songs 8:7) Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

(Song of Songs 8:8) We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?

(Song of Songs 8:9) If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.

(Song of Songs 8:10) I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.

(Song of Songs 8:11) Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.

(Song of Songs 8:12) My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.

(Song of Songs 8:13) Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it.

(Song of Songs 8:14) Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.


King James Version