Song of Solomon 1:1
ESV - 1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
The Song of Solomon, the song of songs, or the superlative of songs, was composed by Solomon. It is a real story told in a poetic drama with characters, dialogue, and a basic plot. On this basis it cannot be considered an allegory or a compilation of love songs or poems. One reason to think it is a real event that Solomon experienced is that in Song of Solomon 6:8, it mentions that Solomon had “60 queens, 80 concubines, and virgins without number.” He ended up having “700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines,” I Kings 11:3. So, the story setting is before that. In I Kings 11:2, Solomon’s sin was to marry those who turned him away after their gods. This is the reason many see three main characters: Solomon, the Shulamite girl, and the unknown shepherd. The two men contrast each other. They are in different places and have different approaches. The king in the city, palace, or pavilion attempts to flatter and entice her and epitomizes the worldly sensual love. On the other hand, the shepherd in a rural setting speaks from his heart in warm devotion and affection. The song may be based on a situation when Solomon became king. A girl, Abishag, was left from the household of his father David, I Kings 1:3. She was not of his harem and not married. As for her being the Shulamite in the song, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., author of “Love by the Book,” speculated that she is “a likely candidate.” Shunem is also known as Shulem, a town in the Jezreel Valley. Adonijah attempted to have her for his wife which would have assured him the throne, I Kings 2:17. Adonijah was executed, and Solomon was in a position to have her for a wife, but no record exists of her coming into his harem or becoming one of his many wives. It may be that Solomon began to woo her but did not understand the power of true love. Perhaps, later in life he wrote this song to confess he had not understood what true love was and he recalled when he tried to woo the Shulamite. He found out she really loved, longed for, and looked for her beloved shepherd and he let her go. The song provides a picture of the love of the Lord, the great shepherd, and His bride who waits for His return. Solomon pictures the worldly enticements that rob true devotion. Although the Shulamite is brought into Solomon’s pavilion, she keeps meditating on her beloved. Through that, she can dispel the influence of the world. She knows her beloved shepherd loves her and is faithful and true. The book, which is never obscene and immoral, expounds on the purity and beauty of human love in the sight of God. The application of the book is to learn that true love wisely chooses the right mate, waits for love, respects marriage, and keeps love fresh within marriage. True love is unconquerable.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.