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Thread: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Post Canticles (Solomon's Song)

    .
    Just in case someone looking in has neither read nor heard anything from Song until just now; I should probably warn them that portions of it may not be suitable for children.

    Some of its language is a little disturbing even for grown-ups, especially in mixed company. One thing's for sure: if we're not careful with this topic, we might give the impression that Christians are depraved.

    I suppose there are any number of ways to spiritualize Song, and they're probably all very useful. Nothing especially wrong with allegories either; I mean, the apostle Paul allegorized an event from the Old Testament to illustrate his point in Gal 4:21-31, so I think it's probably okay to utilize his method when we ourselves want to draw attention to something important.

    But as for me, I'd much rather take this little book in the Old Testament prima facie, viz: as a romantic fantasy rather than some sort of mystical writing. In point of fact, it's possible that Song is a compilation of several unrelated ditties rather than one continuous story.

    Now; according to 2Tim 3:15-17; all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    So then, how does Song fulfill that statement? Well; I think it's pretty obvious that Song is going to teach us the effect that true heart-felt romantic love has on people in relationships between normal men and normal women which, I can tell you from personal experience, is very beneficial for new Christians who grew up in dysfunctional homes and/or coming out of a religion that made them feel guilty about their thoughts and feelings for the opposite sex.

    Song 1:1 . . Solomon's song of songs.

    Solomon penned quite a few songs; something like 1,005 (1Kings 4:32). Whether he wrote the music too or just the lyrics; I don't know; maybe. He was a very intelligent guy, but that doesn't necessarily mean he was a musician; nor even that he could carry a tune; but then he didn't have too. Solomon had a number of professional singers on the payroll. (Ecc 2:8).

    "song of songs" suggests a colloquialism like Sadaam Hussein's "mother of all wars". In other words: this particular song may have represented Solomon's best work to date.

    NOTE: Personally I think Bad Romance is Lady Gaga's best work to date, but keep that under your hat.
    _

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    Song of Solomon is a love story about a woman who is taken away from her lover by the king.

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    Post Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

    .
    In a number of places throughout Song, speakers address no one in particular. In point of fact, quite a bit of dialogue throughout Song is what's called soliloquy; defined by Webster's as a poem, discourse, or utterance of a character in a drama that has the form of a monologue, or gives the illusion of being a series of unspoken reflections. In other words: talking with and/or to one's self.

    We will also be running across places where the soliloquy isn't vocal; rather, imagined; viz: thoughts.

    The Juliet in this musical story is assumed to be a girl called Shulamite (Song 6:13) from the Hebrew word Shuwlammiyth (shoo-lam-meeth') which is apparently a pet name rather than a real name. It means peaceful; defined by Webster's as untroubled by conflict, agitation, or commotion, i.e. quiet, tranquil, and devoid of violence and force.

    The "untroubled" aspect of her pet name caught my attention because it strongly suggests, at least to me anyway, that Song's Juliet doesn't lose her composure under duress; in other words; she's unlikely to throw a hissy fit when things don't go her way.

    That's a fitting pet name for the girl because later on in Song, she's spoken of as a dove; a bird well-known the world over as having a gentle personality.

    Personally I don't much care for the name Shulamite because it's not all that feminine, and it suggests an ethnic identity rather than a pet name; so from here on in I will be calling her Shulah.

    BTW: Solomon's Hebrew name Shelomoh (shel-o-mo') compliments Shulah's; it means peaceful, which is pretty much the same meaning as hers. However, I don't really care for the sound of that name so I'll be referring to him as Shiloh from here on in. (cf. Gen 49:10)
    _

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    Quote Originally Posted by WeberHome View Post
    .
    In a number of places throughout Song, speakers address no one in particular. In point of fact, quite a bit of dialogue throughout Song is what's called soliloquy; defined by Webster's as a poem, discourse, or utterance of a character in a drama that has the form of a monologue, or gives the illusion of being a series of unspoken reflections. In other words: talking with and/or to one's self.

    We will also be running across places where the soliloquy isn't vocal; rather, imagined; viz: thoughts.

    The Juliet in this musical story is assumed to be a girl called Shulamite (Song 6:13) from the Hebrew word Shuwlammiyth (shoo-lam-meeth') which is apparently a pet name rather than a real name. It means peaceful; defined by Webster's as untroubled by conflict, agitation, or commotion, i.e. quiet, tranquil, and devoid of violence and force.

    The "untroubled" aspect of her pet name caught my attention because it strongly suggests, at least to me anyway, that Song's Juliet doesn't lose her composure under duress; in other words; she's unlikely to throw a hissy fit when things don't go her way.

    That's a fitting pet name for the girl because later on in Song, she's spoken of as a dove; a bird well-known the world over as having a gentle personality.

    Personally I don't much care for the name Shulamite because it's not all that feminine, and it suggests an ethnic identity rather than a pet name; so from here on in I will be calling her Shulah.

    BTW: Solomon's Hebrew name Shelomoh (shel-o-mo') compliments Shulah's; it means peaceful, which is pretty much the same meaning as hers. However, I don't really care for the sound of that name so I'll be referring to him as Shiloh from here on in. (cf. Gen 49:10)
    _
    A Shulamite is someone from Shulem, which is probably a variation of "Shunem", a place a specific someone in the Bible is from.

    So they sought for a lovely young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king.The young woman was very lovely; and she cared for the king, and served him; but the king did not know her. - 1 Kings 1:3-4 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...4&version=NKJV

    Most likely, the man the Shulamite woman longs for is King David.

    So, basically, you're saying, "I don't like this word, so let me rewrite the Bible so that it sounds better."

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    Post Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

    .
    Song 1:2a . . May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.

    A lover's kiss doesn't always have to be mouth-to-mouth. For example kissing the hand used to be common courtesy in some parts of the world, same as greetings consisting of kissing on the cheek. However, I think we can safely assume that Shulah had an affectionate kiss in mind rather than courtesy. A kiss on the shoulder would suffice for that purpose. That kind of a kiss, though maybe not very passionate, is at least intimate.

    Song 1:2b . . for your love is better than wine.

    That phrase makes better sense when kept with the first half of the verse; which refers to kissing on the lips.

    So; better in what way?

    Alcohol, in just the right amount, can soothe people's nerves and put them in a good mood.

    "He bringing forth food from the earth, wine that gladdens the heart of man" (Ps 104:14-15)

    But given the choice, I think most of us would rather be with a lover than with a bottle because lovers, on the whole, make us feel much, much better than booze.

    I cannot remember ever feeling like singing whenever I was drinking; but this one girl I was dating back in the day made me feel so good that I was constantly humming old love songs that I hadn't thought of in years. Pretty amazing.

    "There are three things which are too wonderful for me; four which I do not understand: The way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the middle of the sea, and the way of a man with a maid." (Prov 30:18-19)
    _
    Last edited by WeberHome; May 3rd, 2019 at 07:50 AM.

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    Post Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Song 1:3 . . Your oils have a pleasing fragrance, your name is like purified oil; therefore the maidens love you.

    ASIDE: I am convinced that Song is just as much a fantasy as Mozart's Magic Flute. The reason being that in Ecc 7:28, Solomon complained that he was unable to find even one good woman among a thousand. In other words: in my estimation, Shulah was a daydream; viz: the kind of girl that Solomon always wished to meet, but never did. She was a girl who only existed in his imagination; and that's where she stayed.

    Anyway, back to the guy. The Hebrew word for the "oils" actually describes something greasy, i.e. a paste or a cream or possibly a wax; or something with the consistency of honey. So apparently Shiloh's fragrance was produced by something smeared on rather than splashed on.

    The words "purified oil" are from a Hebrew word that actually means "poured forth". Well; an open container of any strong-smelling chemical would eventually fill a whole room with its odor.

    Shiloh's name-- i.e. his reputation --was like an open container of perfume in an enclosed room; in other words: everybody knew Shiloh just as Boaz was well-known to be a man of standing in Jerusalem (Ruth 2:1) and "therefore the maidens love you" likely means that Shiloh was a man that any girl would be proud to be seen with, i.e. he was very eligible; viz: a good catch.

    NOTE: I'd sure appreciate some help with this topic. I'm not all that confident that I can talk thru the whole Song all by myself.
    _

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    Post Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Song 1:4a . .Take me away with you-- let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers.

    At this point in the Song, there's been no mention of a married relationship between the guy and the girl; but that doesn't mean that Shulah's thoughts are improper, rather, perfectly normal and to be fully expected. I pity a guy in love with a girl who has no interest in sleeping with him.

    Song 1:4b . . We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine. How right they are to adore you!

    We mustn't forget that a man wrote this song, likely thinking himself it's main character, viz: the starring role; so of course he'd picture himself the most irresistible male on the block; and a king to boot. Well; I've seen for myself how girls react to celebrities.

    Good Morning America often has musical groups performing outside in the street and one particular day it was Enrique Iglesia.

    While Enrique was singing, security hoisted a young girl up on the stage and he began singing his song directly to her. She began choking up and fighting back tears, and then he got down on both knees right in front of her; all the while crooning a very emotional Latin love song and looking right up into her eyes.

    And then something happened that was just overwhelming. The girl was wearing a tank top that went down only about mid ways leaving her tummy exposed so you could see her belly button. Enrique gently pressed the palm of his hand on her bare tummy while he was kneeling there singing and looking right up into her eyes. She really lost it then and just about died.

    Do you think that girl would have hesitated to bear Enrique's children? I tell you she would have gladly endured quints for that man right then and there. And it's not just the cute celebrities that have that effect on young girls.

    My son and I attended an Aerosmith concert back in 1998 and I was utterly astounded at the number of gorgeous buxom young girls crowding security in front of the stage trying to get Stephen Tyler's attention. I don't know how many of you out there have seen a mug shot of Stephen Tyler but I can assure you he looks more like the Witch of Endor than a rock star, but there he was, charming those girls right out of their better judgment.

    So then, we shouldn't be surprised that Shulah said to herself: "Let the king bring me into his chambers." Young girls were thinking the very same thing about Elvis Presley back in the early days of his career.
    _

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    Post Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Song 1:5 . . I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon.

    The Hebrew word for "black" is shachor (shaw-khore') which means dusky, defined by Webster's as somewhat dark in color, i.e. somewhere between light and dark; viz: tanned.

    Quite a few people here in Oregon frequent tanning salons to darken their skin, while in California they bake themselves in sunlight. But apparently in Shulah's day, women didn't tan on purpose because it was considered unattractive.

    The "tents of Kedar" is likely a reference to the portable goatskin shelters utilized by herdsmen in the field, while the "curtains of Solomon" is a reference to the beauty of woven tapestries hanging in his palace.

    Shulah had probably never actually seen those tapestries for herself but everybody knew about Solomon's extreme wealth and his ostentatious manner of living.

    So, Shulah's feminine attributes outweighed her complexion; and to tell the truth, very few of the men I've encountered during my 75 years on the third rock from the Sun care all that much about the color of a woman's face anyway. It's a very minor consideration; if it's considered at all.

    Song 1:6 . . Do not stare at me because I am swarthy, for the sun has burned me. My mother's sons were angry with me; they made me caretaker of the vineyards. But I have not taken care of my own vineyard.

    Shulah's "own vineyard" no doubt refers to taking care of herself. Grape harvest in that land is sometime around July and September; so you can just imagine the damage done to Shulah's skin out there in the fields under a hot summer Sun.

    When women "stare" at each other, it's usually for the purpose of evaluating their appearance; viz: the daughters of Jerusalem were nit-picking Shulah's appearance and likely making unkind remarks about it like when Joan Rivers was on Fashion Police; though for Joan it was all in fun, but I suspect the women in Jerusalem were catty; defined by Webster's as spiteful and malicious.
    _

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    Post Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Song 1:7 . . Tell me, you whom I love, where you graze your flock and where you rest your sheep at midday. Why should I be like a veiled woman beside the flocks of your friends?

    A veiled woman following flocks in that day was sort of like the loose women that followed cow towns and mining camps in the olde American west, except that not all veiled women were involved in vice.

    When Judah encountered Tamar at a rest stop along the highway, he mistook her for a qedeshah (ked-ay-shaw') which isn't your typical working girl, but rather a devotee raising money for an established religion (Gen 38:21) typically a pagan kind of religion centered upon the worship of a goddess like Ashtoreth (a.k.a. Astarte). So one might say that a qedeshah's services were for a worthy cause.

    In those days, cult prostitutes had a measure of respect in their community, and it wasn't unusual for every woman in the community to be expected to take a turn at supporting their "church" in that manner; so cult prostitution wasn't really looked upon as a dirty business, rather, as a sacred obligation.

    Still, Shulah wouldn't want it getting around that she was a cult hooker; and it would certainly look that way were she to shadow the flocks. Well; her love interest solved that problem by inviting her to move into camp.

    Song 1:8 . . If you yourself do not know, most beautiful among women; go forth on the trail of the flock, and pasture your young goats by the tents of the shepherds.

    That would not only provide Shulah a measure of security, but also protect her reputation because our Romeo no doubt solemnly charged his men to keep their pea-pickin' paws off her just as Boaz did in the book of Ruth. (Ruth 2:9)
    _

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    Post Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

    .
    This next section in the song appears to me a grandiose day dream wherein Shulah imagines herself utterly irresistible and gives herself quite a variety of compliments. I mean, just look at some of this language.

    Song 1:9 . . I liken you, my darling, to a mare harnessed to one of the chariots of Pharaoh.

    Well; I think we can safely assume that the horses pulling Pharaoh's chariot were well above the quality of your average nag-- the picture of equine health; blue ribbon stock; i.e. the best of the best.

    Song 1:10 . .Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels.

    Those are an interesting compliments. It's stating, in so many words, that the earrings didn't enhance Shulamite's cheeks, nor the necklace her neck. In other words: the jewelry didn't improve Shulamite's appearance, no, she made the jewelry look better.

    There's an old saying that goes something like this: Clothes make the man. Well; I propose a new saying: Women make the jewelry.

    Song 1:11 . . We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver.

    You know, it's one thing to walk into a jewelry store and select something from a display case, but quite another to special-order a piece.

    I have to say something personal to the single guys out there.

    When you finally get around to proposing to your best girl, for heaven's sake don't offer her your mother's ring. No, get one for your girl's very own. Hand-me-downs, regardless of their sentimental value, make no one feel special.

    I inadvertently caught a clip of Kim Kardashian planning her wedding wherein she remarked "I want it to be all about me." Well; your marriage won't be all about your bride if you drag your mother into it. Just saying.
    _

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    Post Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Song 1:12 . .While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance.

    To be "at table" doesn't necessarily refer an item of furniture. The Hebrew word also suffices for just sitting around in a circle, e.g. a picnic. It appears to me that the herders mentioned in verse 8 were on a lunch break.

    The Hebrew word for Shulah's perfume identifies an aromatic called nard; commonly translated spikenard. Whether the girl was actually wearing perfume is kind of hard to tell. She may have been imagining this: I mean, who takes care for their grooming while driving sheep and goats?

    Song 1:13-14 . . My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts.

    I'm not really sure how many guys would feel all that manly about themselves being thought of as a little bag of potpourri but at least he'd know that his best girl was happy with him resting his head in that area.

    The Hebrew word for Shulah's myrrh shows up for the first time in the Bible at Ex 30:23 where it's a principal ingredient in the recipe for a special holy oil. Myrrh is an aromatic resin. Shulah was a farm girl; I doubt that she could afford any myrrh of her own;

    Song 1:14 . . My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi.

    En Gedi first appears in the Bible as a community at Josh 16:52. Though kind of rocky, it was an attractive oasis due to its abundance of fresh water. The area is a nature preserve now.

    I'm guessing that they valued a bouquet of Henna flowers in Shulah's day like we value red roses in ours.

    Now we switch to the king's thoughts.

    Song 1:15 . . How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.

    A humorous ladies tank top I spied had words on it that said "Tell me I'm beautiful, and buy me a donut."

    There are girls who will never once in their entire lives have a guy tell them "Oh how beautiful you are". I'm guessing that Shulah may have been one of those girls.
    _

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    I’ve always hated Song of Songs, even as a Christian, and thought it shouldn’t even be in the Bible. Did you know it doesn’t mention God one time? Yet, Solomon’s other works that did make it into the Bible are really great, IMO. Truth be told, I think Ecclesiastes may be the best the Bible offers. Ironically, Solomon wrote many Psalms, like his father, that are absolutely amazing. These many Psalms of Solomon speak in praise of God, as David’s before him, yet they didn’t make the Bible.

    These Psalms of Solomon can be found in a book entitled, “Lost Books of the Bible.” For the interested.
    Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WeberHome View Post

    NOTE: Personally I think Bad Romance is Lady Gaga's best work to date, but keep that under your hat.
    _[/size][/font]
    I want to thank you for that reference, as I am a huge music fan always looking to expand my repertoire. You may be right in your assessment. Just gave it a listen, and tried a few others as well. She is so talented. Yet, I can’t call myself a fan of her music at this moment.

    Off genre, I offer Thin Lizzy “Hollywood - Down on your luck.”
    Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.

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    Post Re:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    Off genre, I offer Thin Lizzy “Hollywood - Down on your luck.”
    That music takes me back to the old days of really good hard rock when my son was learning to play guitar, e.g. AC/DC, Metallica, and Led Zeppelin, et al.
    _

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    Quote Originally Posted by WeberHome View Post
    .


    That music takes me back to the old days of really good hard rock when my son was learning to play guitar, e.g. AC/DC, Metallica, and Led Zeppelin, et al.
    _
    Nice. I love great music. Sometimes I see God in it. Long as I can see the light. Creedence.
    Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.

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