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Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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  • #31
    Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

    Song 3:1-2 . . One night as I lay in bed, I yearned deeply for my lover, but he did not come. So I said to myself: I will get up now and roam the city, searching for him in all its streets and squares. But my search was in vain.

    Apparently Shiloh was later than usual and Shulah began to panic that maybe her man was lying in the streets somewhere beaten half to death by muggers on his way home. Women's imaginations tend to run a little wild like that at times, especially late at night.

    Song 3:3 . .The watchmen stopped me as they made their rounds, and I said to them: Have you seen him anywhere, this one I love so much?

    It appears that Shulah felt that the night watchmen should know the identity of the man for whom she searched without her having to tell them. Perhaps they inquired (after first calming her down a bit) but we're not told. Solomon's love song is sketchy in places, lots of places.

    Shulah's venture out at night says something about the Jerusalem of Solomon's day. It was safe for a lone woman after hours. Actually that's believable because the Bible characterizes Solomon's kingdom as peaceable. But this song is a fantasy.


    • #32
      Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

      This next section smacks of braggadocio; roughly defined by Webster's as boasting. I rather suspect that Solomon tended to be a bit ostentatious; defined by Webster's as attracting or seeking to attract attention, admiration, or envy often by gaudiness or obviousness.

      Song 3:6a . . Who is this coming up from the desert like a column of smoke

      Like they say: Where there's smoke, there's fire.

      Song 3:6b . . Perfumed with myrrh and incense made from all the spices of the merchant?

      Apparently if the wind was just right, people could smell Solomon coming before he was in sight. No doubt nobody in the Israel of that day smelled like he did, nor could afford to. The bouquet of spices producing his scent was likely quite distinctive.

      Song 3:7-8 . . Look! It is Solomon's carriage, escorted by sixty warriors, the noblest of Israel, all of them wearing the sword, all experienced in battle, each with his sword at his side, prepared for the terrors of the night.

      The armed escort probably wasn't the only members of the king's entourage; but his personal bodyguards are notable because they're all combat veterans.

      I'm guessing Solomon made sure everybody all around knew that his guards had what it takes to survive in battle so that wannabee assassins wouldn't assume that attacking him would be no more risky than breaking through a pack of Boy Scouts.

      You know, losing your life by a bullet is actually kind of tidy compared to losing your life by sword. Soldiers back then typically disemboweled their opponents, hewed their limbs; and sometimes hacked off their heads and/or split open their skulls like melons. That's a messy, grisly way to die; and just the thought of it can be very intimidating.

      Song 3:9 . . King Solomon made for himself the carriage; he made it of wood from Lebanon.

      This carriage was custom made rather than taken out of storage from a previous king's garage.

      Song 3:10 . . Its posts he made of silver, its base of gold. Its seat was upholstered with purple, its interior lovingly inlaid by the daughters of Jerusalem.

      The song says that Solomon's carriage was upholstered "lovingly". Well; I have to doubt that because he's known in other parts of the Bible for conscripting huge labor forces to accomplish extravagant building programs. I even kind of doubt that his bodyguards were volunteers.

      But in this song, Solomon is thinking very highly of himself so the women are of course pleased, proud, and happy to do something for him; I mean, after all he's a king; what's not to admire? Right?

      Song 3:11a . . Come out, you daughters of Zion,

      No men are called to come out? You know, I can't help but detect a touch of narcissism in this song's lyrics coupled with the fantasies of a man who sincerely believes himself desired not just by some women, but by all women.

      Song 3:11b . . and look at King Solomon wearing the crown, the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, the day his heart rejoiced.

      I'd like to know exactly which of his weddings that Solomon was thinking about when he penned that verse. He had something like seven hundred wives.


      • #33
        Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

        Chapters 04 Thru 08

        The remainder of Solomon's love song is a bit mushy. It's filled with the lovers' expressions of admiration and praises for each other; which more or less speak for themselves and require neither explanation nor comment.

        To cap my remarks, I'd like to borrow a pertinent line from the 1995 movie "Sabrina" staring Julia Ormond, Harrison Ford, and Greg Kinnear.

        While strolling with a friend in Paris, Sabrina expressed her feelings for Kinear's character David, who at the time was living back in the States. Sabrina and David weren't an item; they'd never dated nor had he even once shown the slightest interest in her; yet Sabrina regarded David as the love of her life, and had only good things to say about him. But Sabrina didn't know the real man; rather, her David was a fantasy.

        After Sabrina told her friend how that thoughts of David keep her company, the friend remarked:

        "Illusions are dangerous people because they have no flaws."

        Well; Solomon's song has only good things to say about Shiloh and about Shulah, viz: they're both flawless; but that's an illusion-- in real life, nobody is flawless; and some flaws can be rather intolerable once we get to know them.

        Buen Camino
        (Pleasant Journey)