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Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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  • WeberHome
    replied
    Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    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)
    _

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  • WeberHome
    replied
    Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    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.
    _

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  • WeberHome
    replied
    Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    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.
    _

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  • WeberHome
    replied
    Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Song 2:17 . . Before the dawn comes and the shadows flee away, come back to me, my love. Run like a gazelle or a young stag on the rugged mountains.

    Why her Shiloh would be away at night, is a mystery. But Shulah is apparently okay with it just so long as she doesn't wake in the morning and find his side of the bed cold and empty, and him gone.
    _

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  • WeberHome
    replied
    Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Song 2:16 . . My beloved is mine, and I am his;

    You don't own me,
    I'm not just one of your many toys.
    You don't own me,
    Don't say I can't go with other boys.
    (Lesley Gore, 1963)

    The lyrics of that song depict a defiant girl standing up to a possessive boyfriend. Well; that defiance may be warranted for people dating for the fun of it; but the girl in Solomon's song is very much in love. Her dreamboat isn't just another guy; he's "the" guy: the one.

    True love is possessive, i.e. jealous; which is an attribute seen of God in the Old Testament. Jealousy wants the object of it's love all to itself and tolerates no rivals.

    Jealousy is often the target of cruel, insensitive teasing --which has no consideration for the feelings of people really fallen in love. True love is vulnerable; teasing it is like viciously kicking somebody in the stomach when they're down.

    Song 2:16 . .He pastures his flock among the lilies.

    The only sheep in this particular flock is Shulah; and a pasture with lilies in it suggests the best soil for grasses rather than just any soil that will support some growth. In other words; Shiloh gives Shulah special attention as opposed to merely being polite to the other girls in Jerusalem. (Compare Genesis 43:34 where Joseph served Benjamin five times more on his plate than the other brothers.)
    _

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  • WeberHome
    replied
    Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Song 2:15 . .Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines. For our vines have tender grapes.

    The Hebrew word for "foxes" actually means jackals. Why it's translated foxes I haven't a clue. But whether foxes or jackals makes no real difference because it's just a metaphor anyway.

    Love usually doesn't shipwreck all at once, rather, it goes to ruin in small ways, a little at a time, until the damage is so great that there's no possibility of recovery.

    Apparently the love that we've been examining is a blooming love; hence the words "tender grapes". In point of fact, the Hebrew word refers to a vine blossom. The same word can also be used as an adverb, e.g. abloom.

    It doesn't take all that many foxes to spoil a blooming love; it's very fragile: a few wrong looks, a few wrong words, a few betrayals of trust, and/or a few simple misunderstandings.

    BTW: Many of Hallmark Channel's blooming loves are almost ruined by perceived betrayals of trust combined with simple misunderstandings. The theme is very recurring probably because it's so true to life.
    _

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  • JudgeRightly
    replied
    Originally posted by patrick jane View Post
    What are Canticles? I've never heard the word, why would you title a thread with that?
    Canticle:
    1. a hymn or chant, typically with a biblical text, forming a regular part of a church service.
    2. another name for Song of Songs (especially in the Vulgate Bible).

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  • patrick jane
    replied
    What are Canticles? I've never heard the word, why would you title a thread with that?

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  • WeberHome
    replied
    Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Song 2:14a . . O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret place of the steep pathway,

    The Hebrew word for "dove" is very often translated pigeon; a peaceable bird that prefers roosting in confined spaces; preferably with a roof over its heads like docks, wharfs, bridges, and roadway overpasses; hence the mention of clefts.

    Song 2:14b . . show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.

    Hard-core, ascetics play down women's looks, but you know; beauty still counts for something in romance.

    And really, just beauty per se counts with most women. I usually accompany my wife when she goes shopping for cosmetics at Sephora-- which is sort of like what Home Depot is to men --and have come to the conclusion that if Sephora doesn't have what women need to look their best, then they're already looking their best.

    One's voice has a role in romance along with their appearance. For example: one day at the Dentist's office, I observed a receptionist talking with her boyfriend on a landline and you should've seen her face. It was all lit up with the brightest, toothiest smile ever. Had her guy seen the effect that his voice was having upon that girl, he would've been greatly encouraged.

    NOTE: It was mentioned back in post No.8 that 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. It's a very minor consideration; if it's considered at all. Well; here in Song 2:14 we encounter Shiloh's infatuation with Shulah's face in spite of her swarthy complexion. Duh. No surprise there.
    _

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  • WeberHome
    replied
    Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Song 2:9b . . Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.

    (chuckle) That makes Shiloh appear to be sort of a peeping Tom but really his behavior is no different than a boy tossing little pebbles at a girl's window to get her attention.

    Song 2:10 . . My lover spoke and said to me; "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me."

    You know, there's nothing like early morning in the countryside during fair weather. The air, the sights, the sounds, and the smells are all very invigorating; and even better when done with someone special.

    Song 2:11-13 . . See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.

    I sometimes wonder if maybe city planners don't have lovers in mind when they design city parks where people can at least feel in nature; though only a microcosm of the real thing.

    There's a moon out tonight,
    Let's go strollin'.
    There's a girl in my heart
    Whose heart I've stolen.

    There's a moon out tonight,
    Let's go strollin' through the park.

    There's a glow in my heart,
    I never felt before.
    There's a girl at my side
    That I adore.
    (The Capris, 1958)
    _

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  • WeberHome
    replied
    Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Song 2:8-9a . . Listen! My lover! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills. My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag.

    Many years ago I was driving to a date with my best girl when I got a hankering to take a roundabout route through a valley that I had heard much about but never seen for myself.

    It was a nice drive but had a very serious downside. My girl was expecting me and when I showed up late and told her where I'd been she said: "So you were in no hurry to get here?" Ouch!

    Well; Shulah's dream guy could scarcely run fast enough to be with her. He was all go with throttle up like a Space Shuttle launch: the pedal to the metal. If Shiloh had an afterburner, he would've lit that off too and made a bee line straight for Shulah's door; no side trips.
    _

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  • WeberHome
    replied
    Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Song 2:7 . .

    I left the scripture for that passage blank because there is so much disagreement as how to translate the Hebrew into English. But myself, I prefer Rashi's version; which reads like this:

    "I bind you under oath-- by the gazelles and the does --that you do not cause hatred nor disturb this love while it still pleases."

    Some translations address that oath to the daughters of Jerusalem.

    Song 2:7 seems to me a concern that rivals might make of themselves the proverbial fly in the ointment by trying to draw Shiloh's attention away from Shulah and thus spoil the happiness she's enjoying with the love of her life.
    _

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  • WeberHome
    replied
    Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Song 2:5a . . Stay me with flagons,

    Webster's defines a flagon as a large usually metal or pottery vessel (as for wine) with handle and spout and often a lid and/or a large bulging short necked bottle, and/or the contents of a flagon

    The Hebrew word must be difficult because not every version translates 'ashiyshah (ash-ee-shaw') as a container or the contents of a container. A number of versions translate that word as a cake of raisins; which actually makes better sense than wine because the purpose is to "stay me" which means to strengthen, prop up, and/or support. Well; alcohol usually does very little to strengthen people; especially pitchers of the stuff.

    Song 2:5b . . comfort me with apples:

    The Hebrew word for "apples" in that verse is the same as Song 2:3, where it's possibly a generic term that can pertain to any number of fruit-bearing trees, e.g. oranges, quince, citron, etc; which are trees that produce fruits that not only taste good, but smell pretty good too when they're cut open.

    It appears that Shulah has been so focused upon this love interest of hers that she has neglected to eat and has now become aware that her body is weak and in need of nourishment.

    Song 2:5c . . for I am faint with love.

    That pretty much describes lovesickness, which Webster's defines as languishing with love; viz: Shulah's love for Shiloh was so passionate, and so distracting, that she had lost her appetite and wasn't eating right; thus, it was wearing her down; and no wonder. Observe this next fantasy going thru her head.

    Song 2:6 . . His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me.
    _

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  • ffreeloader
    replied
    Originally posted by WeberHome View Post
    .
    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.
    _
    God uses the metaphor of husband and wife, i.e. marriage, to describe the intimacy He longs to have with His people and the Song of Solomon describes this intimacy very well as it is a love story. To read it as strictly sexual in nature is to miss the profound lessons God has for us in this metaphorical book. If you have a copy of the ESV it links to many other parts of the Bible as explanations for verses/phrases/words, or at least my Bible software does.

    I don't find anything in the book perverted at all. To me it talks about the beautiful intimacy between a man and wife.

    I do however find much that is highly perverted in the work of Lady Gaga. I love music, but I listen to music that uplifts me spiritually rather than drags me down to the level of Gaga.

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  • WeberHome
    replied
    Re: Canticles (Solomon's Song)

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    Song 2:4a . . He brought me to the banqueting house,

    The Hebrew word for "banquet" is yayin (yah'-yin) which refers to a fermented beverage; one containing alcohol.

    Another of that's word's appearances is located in the book of Esther where she arranged a sort of special tea party for her potentate; only the tea in that case was wine.

    Song 2:4b . . and his banner over me is love.

    The largest use of banners is located in first ten chapter of the book of Numbers as flags hoisted aloft to indicate tribal rallying points.

    The combination is a pretty cool metaphor. The banquet and the banner indicate that Shulah held a special place in her lover's heart.
    _

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