Song of songs 3:6-11
Note: We enter into section 2 of this chapter. The Shulamite is retelling the account of Solomon, on his wedding day, and the great joy that he has. She is speaking of his wedding almost as if she is an outsider. Usually, the bride is the focus on the wedding day, but here we see that all the attention is focussed on Solomon.
v6: Who is this: Despite the fact that this is written in the feminine, context demands that the subject of this question (as answered in verse 7) is Solomon. This verse is not just addressing Solomon but is also emphasising the manner in which he presents himself.
- Wilderness: Speaks of dependence, but it can also speak about emptiness – that which has nothing there, something that is lacking.
- Perfumed: Solomon is strongly perfumed. The Shulamite’s beloved is not richly (nor superficially) perfumed, but his perfume (which is related to his inner qualities – good name and character, see 1:3) is like oil poured out.
v7: Couch (bed): In ancient Egypt, the king or queen would not walk from place to place. More often than not their servants would carry them from place to place on a portable couch which they would either sit or lie down on.
- Valiant: Heroes. The mighty ones, men of renown.
v8: Hold swords: They are prepared for opposition.
- Fear in the night: Fear of the unknown. Solomon wants this day to happen, but he is not sure that it actually will. By surrounding himself with soldiers it shows us that he is concerned that something (or someone) will interfere with his plans.
v9: The wood of Lebanon: The temple was constructed from the wood of Lebanon (1 Kings 5). Solomon made this couch from that same material.
- Palanquin: A very luxurious and transportable couch. This word speaks of splendour and glory.
v10: Silver…gold: Costly, Lavish.
- Purple: A royal colour.
- Its interior paved: What it seems to suggest here is that Solomon’s couch has been used many times before. This should not surprise us. 1 Kings 11:1-3 reveals to us what kind of women Solomon loved, as well as telling us that he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Solomon was not a one-woman man. He was a man that knew many women. The Shulamite, here, is just the next woman in his line of conquest. This couch was not uniquely designed for his wedding to the Shulamite, rather it is something that he has used time and time again for the same purpose.
- Daughters of Jerusalem: The daughters of Jerusalem (within the context of this song) are women, candidates for marriage, who are being instructed on how to find a G-dly spouse. The lesson we can learn here is that we should save ourselves for our spouse, so that our love does not devalue and become something that is quickly passed over.
v11: Go forth… and see: She is instructing them to go and see if this is what they really are looking for (or are wanting) in a spouse.
- Mother crowned him: Everything has been done for Solomon.
- His heart: Solomon did not think of his wives hearts but only of his own. Everything was about him and his happiness. The Shulamite felt as if she has been taken for Solomon’s sake. He is not thinking about her (what would make her happy) but he took her for himself – this is his objective. (Unlike Solomon, the Shulamite’s beloved – the shepherd – praises her rather than exalting himself).