September 17, 2021

The Greatest Love Song

Song of Solomon 1–8

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The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.

The Bride Confesses Her Love

She 1

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your love is better than wine;
    your anointing...

The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.

The Bride Confesses Her Love

She 1

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your love is better than wine;
    your anointing oils are fragrant;
your name is oil poured out;
    therefore virgins love you.
Draw me after you; let us run.
    The king has brought me into his chambers.

Others

We will exult and rejoice in you;
    we will extol your love more than wine;
    rightly do they love you.

She

I am very dark, but lovely,
    O daughters of Jerusalem,
like the tents of Kedar,
    like the curtains of Solomon.
Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
    because the sun has looked upon me.
My mother's sons were angry with me;
    they made me keeper of the vineyards,
    but my own vineyard I have not kept!
Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
    where you pasture your flock,
    where you make it lie down at noon;
for why should I be like one who veils herself
    beside the flocks of your companions?

Solomon and His Bride Delight in Each Other

He

If you do not know,
    O most beautiful among women,
follow in the tracks of the flock,
    and pasture your young goats
    beside the shepherds' tents.

I compare you, my love,
    to a mare among Pharaoh's chariots.
10  Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
    your neck with strings of jewels.

Others

11  We will make for you 2 ornaments of gold,
    studded with silver.

She

12  While the king was on his couch,
    my nard gave forth its fragrance.
13  My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh
    that lies between my breasts.
14  My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
    in the vineyards of Engedi.

He

15  Behold, you are beautiful, my love;
    behold, you are beautiful;
    your eyes are doves.

She

16  Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful.
Our couch is green;
17      the beams of our house are cedar;
    our rafters are pine.

I am a rose 3 of Sharon,
    a lily of the valleys.

He

As a lily among brambles,
    so is my love among the young women.

She

As an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
    so is my beloved among the young men.
With great delight I sat in his shadow,
    and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He brought me to the banqueting house, 4
    and his banner over me was love.
Sustain me with raisins;
    refresh me with apples,
    for I am sick with love.
His left hand is under my head,
    and his right hand embraces me!
I adjure you, 5 O daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.

The Bride Adores Her Beloved

The voice of my beloved!
    Behold, he comes,
leaping over the mountains,
    bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle
    or a young stag.
Behold, there he stands
    behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
    looking through the lattice.
10  My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away,
11  for behold, the winter is past;
    the rain is over and gone.
12  The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing 6 has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.
13  The fig tree ripens its figs,
    and the vines are in blossom;
    they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away.
14  O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
    in the crannies of the cliff,
let me see your face,
    let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
    and your face is lovely.
15  Catch the foxes 7 for us,
    the little foxes
that spoil the vineyards,
    for our vineyards are in blossom.”

16  My beloved is mine, and I am his;
    he grazes 8 among the lilies.
17  Until the day breathes
    and the shadows flee,
turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle
    or a young stag on cleft mountains. 9

The Bride's Dream

On my bed by night
I sought him whom my soul loves;
    I sought him, but found him not.
I will rise now and go about the city,
    in the streets and in the squares;
I will seek him whom my soul loves.
    I sought him, but found him not.
The watchmen found me
    as they went about in the city.
“Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”
Scarcely had I passed them
    when I found him whom my soul loves.
I held him, and would not let him go
    until I had brought him into my mother's house,
    and into the chamber of her who conceived me.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.

Solomon Arrives for the Wedding

What is that coming up from the wilderness
    like columns of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
    with all the fragrant powders of a merchant?
Behold, it is the litter 10 of Solomon!
Around it are sixty mighty men,
    some of the mighty men of Israel,
all of them wearing swords
    and expert in war,
each with his sword at his thigh,
    against terror by night.
King Solomon made himself a carriage 11
    from the wood of Lebanon.
10  He made its posts of silver,
    its back of gold, its seat of purple;
its interior was inlaid with love
    by the daughters of Jerusalem.
11  Go out, O daughters of Zion,
    and look upon King Solomon,
with the crown with which his mother crowned him
    on the day of his wedding,
    on the day of the gladness of his heart.

Solomon Admires His Bride's Beauty

He

Behold, you are beautiful, my love,
    behold, you are beautiful!
Your eyes are doves
    behind your veil.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
    leaping down the slopes of Gilead.
Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes
    that have come up from the washing,
all of which bear twins,
    and not one among them has lost its young.
Your lips are like a scarlet thread,
    and your mouth is lovely.
Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
    behind your veil.
Your neck is like the tower of David,
    built in rows of stone; 12
on it hang a thousand shields,
    all of them shields of warriors.
Your two breasts are like two fawns,
    twins of a gazelle,
    that graze among the lilies.
Until the day breathes
    and the shadows flee,
I will go away to the mountain of myrrh
    and the hill of frankincense.
You are altogether beautiful, my love;
    there is no flaw in you.
Come with me from Lebanon, my bride;
    come with me from Lebanon.
Depart 13 from the peak of Amana,
    from the peak of Senir and Hermon,
from the dens of lions,
    from the mountains of leopards.

You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride;
    you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes,
    with one jewel of your necklace.
10  How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!
    How much better is your love than wine,
    and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!
11  Your lips drip nectar, my bride;
    honey and milk are under your tongue;
    the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
12  A garden locked is my sister, my bride,
    a spring locked, a fountain sealed.
13  Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates
    with all choicest fruits,
    henna with nard,
14  nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon,
    with all trees of frankincense,
myrrh and aloes,
    with all choice spices—
15  a garden fountain, a well of living water,
    and flowing streams from Lebanon.

16  Awake, O north wind,
    and come, O south wind!
Blow upon my garden,
    let its spices flow.

Together in the Garden of Love

She

Let my beloved come to his garden,
    and eat its choicest fruits.

He

I came to my garden, my sister, my bride,
    I gathered my myrrh with my spice,
    I ate my honeycomb with my honey,
    I drank my wine with my milk.

Others

Eat, friends, drink,
    and be drunk with love!

The Bride Searches for Her Beloved

She

I slept, but my heart was awake.
A sound! My beloved is knocking.
“Open to me, my sister, my love,
    my dove, my perfect one,
for my head is wet with dew,
    my locks with the drops of the night.”
I had put off my garment;
    how could I put it on?
I had bathed my feet;
    how could I soil them?
My beloved put his hand to the latch,
    and my heart was thrilled within me.
I arose to open to my beloved,
    and my hands dripped with myrrh,
my fingers with liquid myrrh,
    on the handles of the bolt.
I opened to my beloved,
    but my beloved had turned and gone.
My soul failed me when he spoke.
I sought him, but found him not;
    I called him, but he gave no answer.
The watchmen found me
    as they went about in the city;
they beat me, they bruised me,
    they took away my veil,
    those watchmen of the walls.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    if you find my beloved,
that you tell him
    I am sick with love.

Others

What is your beloved more than another beloved,
    O most beautiful among women?
What is your beloved more than another beloved,
    that you thus adjure us?

The Bride Praises Her Beloved

She

10  My beloved is radiant and ruddy,
    distinguished among ten thousand.
11  His head is the finest gold;
    his locks are wavy,
    black as a raven.
12  His eyes are like doves
    beside streams of water,
bathed in milk,
    sitting beside a full pool. 14
13  His cheeks are like beds of spices,
    mounds of sweet-smelling herbs.
His lips are lilies,
    dripping liquid myrrh.
14  His arms are rods of gold,
    set with jewels.
His body is polished ivory, 15
    bedecked with sapphires. 16
15  His legs are alabaster columns,
    set on bases of gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon,
    choice as the cedars.
16  His mouth 17 is most sweet,
    and he is altogether desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend,
    O daughters of Jerusalem.

Others

Where has your beloved gone,
    O most beautiful among women?
Where has your beloved turned,
    that we may seek him with you?

Together in the Garden of Love

She

My beloved has gone down to his garden
    to the beds of spices,
to graze 18 in the gardens
    and to gather lilies.
I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine;
    he grazes among the lilies.

Solomon and His Bride Delight in Each Other

He

You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love,
    lovely as Jerusalem,
    awesome as an army with banners.
Turn away your eyes from me,
    for they overwhelm me—
Your hair is like a flock of goats
    leaping down the slopes of Gilead.
Your teeth are like a flock of ewes
    that have come up from the washing;
all of them bear twins;
    not one among them has lost its young.
Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
    behind your veil.
There are sixty queens and eighty concubines,
    and virgins without number.
My dove, my perfect one, is the only one,
    the only one of her mother,
    pure to her who bore her.
The young women saw her and called her blessed;
    the queens and concubines also, and they praised her.

10  “Who is this who looks down like the dawn,
    beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun,
    awesome as an army with banners?”

She

11  I went down to the nut orchard
    to look at the blossoms of the valley,
to see whether the vines had budded,
    whether the pomegranates were in bloom.
12  Before I was aware, my desire set me
    among the chariots of my kinsman, a prince. 19

Others

13  20 Return, return, O Shulammite,
    return, return, that we may look upon you.

He

Why should you look upon the Shulammite,
    as upon a dance before two armies? 21

How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
    O noble daughter!
Your rounded thighs are like jewels,
    the work of a master hand.
Your navel is a rounded bowl
    that never lacks mixed wine.
Your belly is a heap of wheat,
    encircled with lilies.
Your two breasts are like two fawns,
    twins of a gazelle.
Your neck is like an ivory tower.
Your eyes are pools in Heshbon,
    by the gate of Bath-rabbim.
Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon,
    which looks toward Damascus.
Your head crowns you like Carmel,
    and your flowing locks are like purple;
    a king is held captive in the tresses.

How beautiful and pleasant you are,
    O loved one, with all your delights! 22
Your stature is like a palm tree,
    and your breasts are like its clusters.
I say I will climb the palm tree
    and lay hold of its fruit.
Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
    and the scent of your breath like apples,
and your mouth 23 like the best wine.

She

It goes down smoothly for my beloved,
    gliding over lips and teeth. 24

10  I am my beloved's,
    and his desire is for me.

The Bride Gives Her Love

11  Come, my beloved,
    let us go out into the fields
    and lodge in the villages; 25
12  let us go out early to the vineyards
    and see whether the vines have budded,
whether the grape blossoms have opened
    and the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give you my love.
13  The mandrakes give forth fragrance,
    and beside our doors are all choice fruits,
new as well as old,
    which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.

Longing for Her Beloved

Oh that you were like a brother to me
    who nursed at my mother's breasts!
If I found you outside, I would kiss you,
    and none would despise me.
I would lead you and bring you
    into the house of my mother—
    she who used to teach me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
    the juice of my pomegranate.
His left hand is under my head,
    and his right hand embraces me!
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.

Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
    leaning on her beloved?

Under the apple tree I awakened you.
There your mother was in labor with you;
    there she who bore you was in labor.

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
    as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
    jealousy 26 is fierce as the grave. 27
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
    the very flame of the LORD.
Many waters cannot quench love,
    neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
    all the wealth of his house,
    he 28 would be utterly despised.

Final Advice

Others

We have a little sister,
    and she has no breasts.
What shall we do for our sister
    on the day when she is spoken for?
If she is a wall,
    we will build on her a battlement of silver,
but if she is a door,
    we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

She

10  I was a wall,
    and my breasts were like towers;
then I was in his eyes
    as one who finds 29 peace.

11  Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
    he let out the vineyard to keepers;
    each one was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver.
12  My vineyard, my very own, is before me;
    you, O Solomon, may have the thousand,
    and the keepers of the fruit two hundred.

He

13  O you who dwell in the gardens,
    with companions listening for your voice;
    let me hear it.

She

14  Make haste, my beloved,
    and be like a gazelle
or a young stag
    on the mountains of spices.

Footnotes

[1] 1:2 The translators have added speaker identifications based on the gender and number of the Hebrew words
[2] 1:11 The Hebrew for you is feminine singular
[3] 2:1 Probably a bulb, such as a crocus, asphodel, or narcissus
[4] 2:4 Hebrew the house of wine
[5] 2:7 That is, I put you on oath; so throughout the Song
[6] 2:12 Or pruning
[7] 2:15 Or jackals
[8] 2:16 Or he pastures his flock
[9] 2:17 Or mountains of Bether
[10] 3:7 That is, the couch on which servants carry a king
[11] 3:9 Or sedan chair
[12] 4:4 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[13] 4:8 Or Look
[14] 5:12 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
[15] 5:14 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[16] 5:14 Hebrew lapis lazuli
[17] 5:16 Hebrew palate
[18] 6:2 Or to pasture his flock; also verse 3
[19] 6:12 Or chariots of Ammi-Nadib
[20] 6:13 Ch 7:1 in Hebrew
[21] 6:13 Or dance of Mahanaim
[22] 7:6 Or among delights
[23] 7:9 Hebrew palate
[24] 7:9 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew causing the lips of sleepers to speak, or gliding over the lips of those who sleep
[25] 7:11 Or among the henna plants
[26] 8:6 Or ardor
[27] 8:6 Hebrew as Sheol
[28] 8:7 Or it
[29] 8:10 Or brings out

The Greatest Love Song



Key Verse | Song of Solomon 8:7

Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
he would be utterly despised.

Bio | Amber Hapka

Led to Christ at an early age but fully surrendered in my 30s.

Only have eyes for Mark, my husband of 12 years.

Venture to sporting events as often as possible (preferably in another location).

Encouraged by the ladies I serve alongside and get to lead in Watermark's Equipped Disciple and Women's Bible Study.

Discipler to Titus, our 3-year-old son.

Central Truth

We all have a longing and desire for love. That's how God designed us. This poetic song shows us a beautiful picture of God's design for love within the marriage relationship. While that's beautiful, His love is unlike anything we may experience in any human relationship!

Devotional | Song of Solomon 1–8

Song of Songs is love poetry between a man and a woman. Some believe it represents God's love for Israel/Christ's love for the church. When I study it, I see God's design for marriage and reminders of...

Song of Songs is love poetry between a man and a woman. Some believe it represents God's love for Israel/Christ's love for the church. When I study it, I see God's design for marriage and reminders of His great love.

Our key verse at the end of the book says, "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it." (Song of Solomon 8:7a). God's love is not like human love that ebbs and flows according to feelings. His love is everlasting, strong, sustaining, secure, and eternal (John 3:16). God's love for the believer remains strong, not just at the beginning of the relationship, but forever. 

Who loves like that? Only God! I am married to an incredible man. He's selfless, thoughtful, and most importantly points me to God with the way he serves. Even still, he fails to meet my expectations and lets me down from time to time. I do the same to him more often than I care to admit. We love each other, but we also have to really work hard to show it. God doesn't. We only have this ability because God loved us first (1 John 4:19). This book shows the power of love and the joy God has designed for marriage between a man and a woman. (See also Ephesians 5:25.)

While I cherish the gift of my husband, his love will never satisfy me the way God's love does. Anytime I value others' approval greater than God's I need reminders from His Word about His great love for me. I am thankful for this reminder of God's intense love for us in Song of Solomon and His entire love letter collection—the Bible.

No human relationship will ever give us the kind of love God offers. Romans 6:23 tells us that God's love is a free gift. If you have accepted this free gift, may you be encouraged to tell someone else about His love today. If you are not sure about this gift, please read on in the Discussion Questions.

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Discussion Questions

1. If you were to die today, how sure are you that you would go to heaven? If you are anything less than 100% sure, please read what the Bible says about how you can be sure.

  • Man is separated from God. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
     
  • Sin earns death for eternity (Romans 6:23) and judgment from God. "And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)
     
  • This creates a gap that we cannot cross on our own. Many try through good deeds, going to church, and other good things that will always fall short. Thankfully, Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."
     
  • Jesus tells us in John 5:24, "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life." God offers eternal life with no death or judgment on the other side of the gap. You only have to hear and believe to receive the gift He is offering. You have "heard" by reading this today. You can believe by putting your trust in Jesus Christ for your salvation and confessing that you are a sinner who believes Christ died for your sins and rose from the grave to give you eternal life with Him forever.
     
  • Here's a great two-minute video to help! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykUD4tRAM6c&feature=youtu.be

2. What are some things that capture your greatest affections? Are those things of eternal significance? If not, what steps can you take to change that?

7 Comments available

Michael Scaman 8 days ago

Solomon had many many wives and concubines, about as many as all the girls in my large high school.

He writes his love song about his one and only.

Sue Bohlin 8 days ago

Thanks, Amber! Clever bio, too.

3 times in this book, Solomon writes, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it pleases/it so desires/the right time.” 3 times! That’s significant! No wonder our world is so screwed up sexually, when people are not waiting for marriage and adulthood to open that door. My heart is heavy seeing the front-page news of US gymnasts testifying before Congress about the horrific sexual abuse they experienced at the hands of a man who did the opposite of this excellent exhortation, devastating hundreds of girls and women over the years. I am thankful for God’s view of sexuality as something incredibly powerful and good, but which–like fire–needs to be contained within marriage, lest–like fire–it burns and leaves scars.

Linda Green 8 days ago

Great devo, Amber! Love the way you joyfully serve in Equipped Disciple so we can know Jesus through His word. You are a blessing!

I used to think that if I found the right person, Song of Solomon could be real life. But then I looked at Solomon himself- he was obviously never satisfied. Life has high moments, like a wedding, but plenty of struggles and needing to choose to love when you aren’t feeling it.

Instead, since the New Testament so often speaks of believers as the Bride of Christ, I like to think this book will one day somehow have its complete fulfillment when Jesus returns for us.

Not sure how this will play out but love Paul’s encouraging words in 1 Corinthians 2:9. It will be worth the wait!

Greg Jones 8 days ago

Like the first paragraph of the devotional. Good meanings and sense can become from each view and application of Song of Solomon, it’s erotic theology.

Song of Solomon isn’t unique as written erotic theology there are other examples from contemporary cultures and religions of the same period. In a comparison of those writings most scholars assume assume some cross influencing. Joseph marries the daughter of an Egyptian priest, Moses the daughter of a Median priest, the Israelite narrative supports environments and times where cross influencing would be a pretty natural result.

Personally I can make any theology support a desire to have much and few cares. Actually having much and few cares doesn’t support that great of a life from personal experience. Finding cares that some of my, much, can support is an upgrade to few cares. Finding old and new others to do new caring with…feels redeeming.

Hugh Stephenson 8 days ago

I love the idea of my role as a “Servant Leader”. A recent piece I read said that if I would serve Jesus in a given way, I should be willing to do that for anyone.

Uh-oh.

Foot washing anyone?

https://www.gotquestions.org/questions-about-Song-Solomon.html

Hugh Stephenson 8 days ago

GM Amber. Love your contrast of our human love and God’s love.

Amy and I have been married for 37 years. We love each other but we mutually disappoint all the time. Conflict ensues. We ultimately always work it out but it’s no fun.

Speaking for myself, I have unrealistic expectations of myself and most others in my life. I disappoint myself and others.

The great contrast, and irony, is that often I have unrealistically LOW expectations of God. Yet not only does He NEVER disappoint, I am frequently surprised at the amazing things He does.

We have spent a lot of time on getting a better understanding of what God’s intent and design is for marriage.

Michael Scaman 12 days ago

It seems an ironic providence that at Passover time Jewish people read the Song of Solomon. But it is fitting. Jesus the Passover lamb made the way possible for the marriage supper of the lamb.

Interesting also, in wisdom literature like Proverbs and Song of Solomon the woman does most of the speaking

We do see allusions to the groom being tied to God such as the smoke rising in the wilderness as he comes is like the pillar of fire and smoke in the dessert.

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