Song of Solomon 1:1 – Solomon’s Song
The historical background of the Song of Solomon is one of the most difficult to establish of the various documents of the Old Testament. This 117-verse “love poem” is a matter of great controversy among biblical scholars. Is it allegory? No. Does it involve typology (a picture of Christ and His church)? Perhaps, but this is vague unless one assumes that every book in the Bible, in some sense or another, is related to the coming of the Lord. Or is the Song of Solomon a romantic poem grounded in actual history? The natural view is to take the narrative as an exchange between king Solomon and one of his wives, someone whom he loved dearly. It may reflect an early stage in his life before he became involved with so many women (see 1 Kings 11:3).
The purpose of this inspired poem appears to be a commendation of married love. It extols the bliss of genuine love after the divine order. Sexuality is a dominant theme but there is nothing base in this, for sex is not an invention of Satan; rather, it was ordained of God for the pleasure and happiness of humanity – within the confines of the marriage relationship. How tragic that this heavenly gift has been so perverted across the centuries in such great variety of ways.
“The major sections of the Song deal with courtship (1:2-3:5), a wedding (3:6-5:1), and maturation in marriage (5:2-8:4). The Song concludes with a climatic statement about the nature of love (8:5-7) and an epilogue explaining how the love of the couple in the Song began (8:8-14)” (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Vol. I, p. 1009). Near the beginning of your text, perhaps you will want to enter a few introductory notes as to author, purpose, etc. Then, bracket and label the sections indicated above.
About the Author
Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.