Monday, October 24, 2011

First and Last Overview of Song of Solomon

[This is a repost from 2009 for those who joined us after that time]

One of the reasons I see healing in Song of Solomon is through reading about the Beloved in the first and last chapters.

In chapter one it says:
Song of Songs 1:5 I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon.
Vs 6 Do not stare at me because I am swarthy (dark), For the sun had burned me. My mother's sons were angry with me; They made me caretaker of the vineyard, But I have not taken care of my own vineyard.

Above she confesses that she has been pushed into the position of a common laborer by her brothers who were angry with her. She worked for them because they made her do it. And they oppressed her to the point that she neglected her own property, her own vineyard.Elsewhere in SOS, the Beloved is referred to as a nobleman's daughter, so it is curious that she was forced to work as a servant by her brothers in the first chapter.

Now let's look at a couple of verses in the last chapter of SOS.
Song of Songs 8:11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; he entrusted the vineyard to caretakers; Each one was to bring a thousand shekels of silver for its fruit.
Vs 12 My very own vineyard is at my disposal; The thousand shekels are for you, Solomon, And two hundred are for those who take care of its fruit.

I read a commentary somewhere that said that the Beloved's vineyard was her face/appearance.
That she couldn't take care of her looks and became sunburned. I disagree with this since the last chapter also mentions her vineyard and the money she has made from it. So unless they had super models back then, thinking of the vineyard as being her face and her making money off of it... This might imply she was a prostitute, which we know is not true. So she must have really had a vineyard, like the Proverbs woman did.

But the difference in chapter eight is that she no longer talks about the oppression of her brothers or her sunburn. The Lover (whom she is married to at this point) has his vineyard but
does not require the Beloved to work in it. He has hired men for that.

The Beloved is now in charge of her own vineyard rather than being forced to neglect it. In fact, she doesn't work in her own vineyard but also has hired men that she pays to work in it just like her Beloved, Solomon. No longer oppressed, she is in the position to be generous with her Lover. And out of gratitude or love she willingly hands over money made off her vineyard to him.

Quite a change from chapter one to chapter eight. The Beloved has been raised from an oppressed servant to manager of her own affairs. From my reading, the progression from
chapter one through chapter eight, is a progression of healing and being raised
up from a lowly place to an exalted place by the love, care, and generosity of
the Lover.

And this, my friends, is why I hold that Song of Solomon is not just about... uhm... sex. It is about healing and is an allegory or picture of God's love, care, and generosity toward the church and
individuals in the church, working to raise them from the muck and mire of
worldly darkness and into His marvelous light.

This also goes directly against the assertion by Mark Driscoll that the Song of Solomon is not a progression and not in chronological order, an assertion that he makes as though it were fact though he gives no support whatsoever. And there are reasons that he makes this assertion. Because if Song of Solomon were a progression, then his teaching would have the Lover and Beloved engaging in fornication, sex outside marriage.

But enough on that. The point of this post was a first and last overview, where the Beloved started and where she ended up after just eight chapters of being showered with unbridled love and affection from the Lover of her soul.

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