Song of Solomon 4:1 – 5:1
In the last article we looked at Shulamith’s recollections of her wedding night. We saw that sex is a beautiful wedding gift from God to seal the love of a husband and wife, but that the world today has so misused and abused it that it is sometimes hard to see it in that light. That’s not how it was for Solomon and Shulamith. She continues her reminisce of her wedding night in Song of Solomon 4:1 – 5:1.
SOLOMON TAKES THE LEAD As God intended, Solomon takes the lead in this as well as other areas of married life. He complements her hair (v 1) and eyes (v 1), then her teeth (v 2), lips and mouth (v 3) and temples (v 3). Working his way down he marvels over her stately neck (v 4) and breasts (v 5) and then down to her “mountain of myrrh and hill of incense” (v 6). He sums her all up by telling her she is beautiful and flawless (v 7). She feels totally loved and accepted, so she can respond in an uninhibited manner. There are no fat jokes, no critical comments, no uncomplimentary remarks about her body. That would ruin it for her, as it would for all women.
The conversation takes an abrupt change here, though, for Solomon starts talking to her about taking a trip back to her home (v 8). Why talk about this now? Put yourself in her shoes. In the last 48 hours she’s gone from a bare-foot country girl to queen of one of the greatest countries in the world. She’s culture shocked, drained, homesick and feeling out of place. As a result she’s distracted mentally from their lovemaking. Solomon could have pushed on, pretending he didn’t notice. She would have felt guilty to ‘deny’ him and would have gone along as best she could. But that’s not the way is should be. When each one puts their mate first that means being sensitive to the other’s needs, not your own. Solomon’s talking about the honeymoon for awhile relax her and make her feel even closer to him.
It seems she starts sending signals to him with her eyes to continue their lovemaking (v 9) and he reassures her of his love (v 9). Then he complements her on her lovemaking (“love” here is the Hebrew word for “caresses” saying they are the greatest thing he’s ever experienced. He encourages her in her kissing (v 11). Her knows she is a virgin (v 12) and that makes it all even more special for him.
This is in symbolic/poetic language, but that’s the nicest way to refer to sexual things. Street slang is too crude and lacking in love. Medical terms are cold and impersonal. A husband and wife often develop their own language to talk about these things, and it is usually symbolic. The locked garden and spring enclosed refer to the same thing: a special, refreshing place reserved only for the owner to enjoy. Proverbs 5:15-23 clearly shows this meaning.
Solomon continues in this vein, focusing on her sexual organs and their fragrance (v 13-14). Her fluids show him she is as excited as he is (v 15). Shulamith responds by encouraging Solomon to fully enjoy her sexually (v 16) and he does so (v 5:1a).
Of great interest is the final comment of 5:1 “Eat, O friends, and drink; drink your fill, O lovers.” God Himself, the only spectator to this, is giving His full approval. He is pleased when we enjoy this gift He created for us. Just like we enjoy watching our children enjoy a special present we give them, so God enjoys seeing us like His gift of sex.