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What would be appealing about the metaphors used in Song of Solomon?

For example:

- Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor
- thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.
- Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.
- 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.
- Thine head upon thee is like Carmel
-  the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.
- This thy stature is like to a palm tree
- thy breasts to clusters of grapes.
- the smell of thy nose like apples;
- 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

How are any of these appealing or attractive to a woman?

Song of Solomon 7:2 - 9

ESV - 2 Your navel is a rounded bowl that never lacks mixed wine. Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies. 3 Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle.

Clarify Share Report Asked April 20 2019 Mini Jack Gutknecht

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1
Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
Metaphors will vary a lot by culture based on what is valued or prominent in that society. The traits which society finds desirable on average will also vary (demure vs. Outspoken, modest vs, sexy, etc.) 

Song of Songs/Song of Solomon was written approximately three millennia ago - that is a lot of time for social customs to change! Further more, the cultural 'context' of Israel was that of a Middle Eastern agrarian/pastoral nation. Turns of phrase that westerners or people living in the modern day might find odd, even repulsive, would have been attractive to Arabian people living in that era. It's also important to remember that many of the lines in the book were to be spoken by women to a woman, so are not all necessarily meant to be flirtatious.

It is possible to guess what many of the metaphors are speaking of, however:

"Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor. Thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies."

The 'navel' here is likely the belt-girdle, not her belly button, and mixed wine a reference to the jewels it is set with. 'Wheat' was considered the most attractive skin color in ancient Syria and was also a life-sustaining commodity, while lilies were a common motif on clothing. There is also a possible nuance of poetry in regards to how her garments would move and flow about her and the semi-transparent cloth in places might show the movement of her thighs.

- Her breasts like "young roes that are twins" likely mean that they are symmetrical and have no sagging - she's a youthful and attractive maiden.

- Here neck as a tower of ivory: She has a tall neck, and it's probably adorned with ivory medallions or a necklace of some kind, as some towers were adorned with ivory (Psa 45:8)

- Her eyes like "fishpools" probably means about the same as when we say someone has eyes like a clear pool or the ocean: Something about the shimmer or depth or clarity is meant.

- "thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon" She probably had an elevated and prominent nose, which apparently was attractive at the time.

- "Thine head upon thee is like Carmel" Mt. Carmel is the majestic mountain overlooking the country, so likely means something like she 'holds her head high' or that she has a majestic appearance.

- "the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries." She has purple-black/blue-black hair, and the king is poetically 'held captive' by her beautiful tresses.

- "stature is like to a palm tree" - Tall and graceful. Tamar (Palm tree) was a common Hebrew girl's name.

- "thy breasts to clusters (of grapes or dates)" - Likely a reference to her maturity - she is ready to wed and have children.

- the smell of thy nose like apples: her breath smells fresh and pleasant

- "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" - A bit lost in translation, but likely a reference to the 'sweet nothings' a woman might speak to her sleepy husband.

Of course, there may be other layers to these references of appearance as well! Some might have more intimate connotations 'The roof of they mouth/lips" very much sounds like kissing, and in general the Jews thought the book to be sacred erotica. There is no denying that at least some references to the Shulamite maiden and her beloved were meant to be sensual and celebrate their desire for each other.

And many throughout history have tried to see 'Christ' in every line, speculating that the book may have yet another layer in reference to Jesus. "Twin breasts" in that context would be taken to mean "Faith and Love," for example.

But in general, each of the lines does have at least a literal reference to something about the maiden or her beloved's appearance or character. Though the references may seem strange to modern readers, they would have been taken as attractive and sensual to readers of that region and era.

April 21 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
I see what some of the symbols could represent. I believe they are metaphors in Song of Solomon 7:2-9.

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. A metaphor is a figure of speech that describes an object or action in a way that isn't literally true, but helps explain an idea or make a comparison. Here are the basics: A metaphor states that one thing is another thing. A metaphor is a figure of speech that is used to make a comparison between two things that aren't alike but do have something in common. Unlike a simile, where two things are compared directly using like or as, a metaphor's comparison is more indirect, usually made by stating something is something else.

Metaphor [NAVE] or Nave's Topical Bible has an example:
METAPHOR, See: Parables.


Song of Solomon 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.” The word “like” is not in the original and so is italicized in the King James Version of the Bible.
“Wine” in Song of Songs 7:9 is a symbol or metaphor of love (Warren Wiersbe’ INDEX OF BIBLICAL IMAGES). 

2 Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.
3 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.
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.
5 Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.
6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!
7 This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.
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;
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.

The “palm TREE” in Song of Songs 7:7-8 is symbolic of or a metaphor of “A Lover” (see 
Wiersbe again.) 

7 This thy stature is like to a palm TREE, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.
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;

“Breasts” (SS 7:3; 4:5) are symbolized by or are metaphors of “roes” (“deer”). 

Song of Solomon 7:3 

Your breasts are like twin deer, like two gazelles. (GNT). (Wiersbe).
“Fruit” (or fruit of the vine) are metaphors for “Breasts” (Song of Sol. 7:7)—Wiersbe. 

7 This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy BREASTS to clusters of grapes.

April 22 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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