We go on to Song of songs 5:1-8
v1: (The Shepherd): I have come to my garden: This foreshadows that these two (the shepherd and the Shulamite) are going to come together. Here it is as though they have been reunited, although it has not happened yet.
- Garden: A garden is a place of provision. As a married couple we should be constantly providing for one another. We need to be sensitive, paying attention, to what our spouse needs based upon the circumstances.
A garden is a place of care – There is a process to gardening. If we do not follow the correct methodology (planting, weeding, watering etc) then there will not be much of a harvest (provision).
- My sister, my spouse: Marriage is a relationship founded in love. We love because G-d has commanded us to do so. There is a big difference between the love a brother has for a sister and the love a man has for his wife. In order to have that unique, intimate love it needs to be first founded upon an innocent love, one that we express within a family. In the absence of pure love, we will not be able to develop the other. Many times, relationships are more governed by the second love (that intimate love between a man and a woman) and it is not founded upon the right basis – this G-dly love that we should have.
- Myrrh: A pleasing, expensive fragrance. It speaks of that which is satisfying. He has gathered satisfaction from her. He has found value in her.
- My..my…my: This is repeated, in this verse, and shows emphasis. He understands that she is the one for him. We need to acknowledge that our spouse is G-d’s choice and gift for us.
- Garden…forest: Some Bibles translate this word as ‘honeycomb’, but the word actually means forest. Love changes over time (It has also been compared to wine which also changes over time). Forests are also a place of provision. They are larger than gardens and their provision is more long term.
- Honey: Honey is sweet, and it is a source of joy. It is something additional that is added to a dish. He is saying that she is that topping in his life. She turns an ordinary dish into a dessert.
- Wine: In this book it is a reference to love.
- Milk: Milk is synonymous with sustenance, nourishment. It causes growth and sustains life. He is saying here that she, in many ways, is the foundation of what/who he has become. He is acknowledging her and the wonderful influence she has in his life.
- Drink deeply (drunk with love): The consumption of too much alcohol influences the person causing them to have a different perspective and a different behaviour. What he is saying here is that this love is abundant. It is an influence in his life. She causes him to see things differently and to behave differently.
v2: (The Shulamite): Heart: Place of thoughts. She is thinking.
- Open: He wants to come in. This again foreshadows them coming together.
- Perfect (Innocent) one: She is in the palace. She has been taken by another man, but in his eyes, she is still innocent/perfect – none of that has changed his love, commitment and how he sees her.
- Dew: Dew is heaviest at night. When morning dawns the sun causes it to dry up.
- Of the night: They are separated. There is something that is between them.
v3: Note: The Shulamite is quoting the Shepherd. It is a verse that should be understood as his words of assurance to her. He is saying that he is there to stay, and this verse leaves us anticipating their wonderful reunion.
- : He has prepared himself to go into her chamber.
v4: Put his hand by the latch: He put his hand on the door (latch) in order to go in.
- My heart yearned: A word speaking of her inner condition/the feeling in the pit of her stomach. She was excited.
v5: Note: She is in the room, asleep, but she hears his voice. He tells her that he is there, and he asks her to open up for him. She rises up, in this verse, to do exactly that.
- Myrrh: A pleasing scent, synonymous with this feeling of love (this occurrence that is
pleasing, joyful, and satisfying).
- Handles of the Lock: The bolts that fasten the door. She is trying to open the lock, but her hands are oily with this myrrh, this incense, that she has on them. Her difficulty in opening the door is a common experience within dreams, where sometimes the simplest of actions cannot be carried out.
v6: My beloved had turned away: The reason why he was not there, when she opened the door, is because this passage should be understood as a type of dream.
- I sought him but I could not find him: The dream reveals to the reader the Shulamite’s strong desire to be reunited with her Shepherd. It also reveals, by his words, his desire to remain with her (We learn of their feelings for one another in the midst of their separation). Dreams can be very frustrating. When she eventually opens the door, and he is not there, it informs the reader that their separation continues. Perhaps this is saying we should not take for granted the time we have with our spouse.
v7: Watchmen: The watchmen of the city represent the perspectives of others. The Shulamite loves the Shepherd deeply. It is a strong love, that can only be expressed within the covenant of marriage, and it is not going away. The watchmen are annoyed that, instead of being satisfied with Solomon, she is pursuing her love of the Shepherd – which in their eyes is not good and is deserving of punishment.
- Keepers of the walls: This is a different group of people. Walls are emphasised here – walls separate. Walls in a house are thin, but walls around a city are thick and strong. These walls emphasize this separation between the shepherd and the Shulamite. Society is trying to push and keep them apart. Likewise, the world attacks and beats against marriage.
- Took my veil away from me: This is an image of shame. Their actions shame her.
v8: Note: This is her pushback/response to society.
- Lovesick: When we are missing home (because we are away from it) we call this ‘homesick’. In much the same way she is separated from and missing the one she loves. She calls this ‘lovesick’.