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Song 3:5 “Do not arouse or awake love till it so desires”

Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5 and 8:4

“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles or by the hinds of the field, That you will not arouse or awaken my love Until she pleases.”



1 Basic Idea of the text.  (Read this if you like quick answers the rest of the post is about how I got there and application) 2 Possible scenarios where love could be roused before the proper time 3 My best conclusion so far.  4 Questions 5 Clearly 6 What is not so clear to me 7 Where the verses are in context.  8 Paraphrases that have been offered 9 Translations 10 How this verse fits in with the poem as a whole 11 Staying humble is implied 12 In effect she is asking them to swear by God’s Name 13 A puritan view 14 When love desires 15 When she desires 16 Means of arousing and awakening 17 Examples in Scripture

Basic Idea. 

The basic idea is that something is forbidden.  “Do not…”

Also, if something is forbidden then there is something that should be. 

1 Do not sin but show holy love. 2   Do not arouse or awaken sinful thoughts, sinful feelings, sinful words or sinful actions that run contrary to a holy growing Eros love. 3 No one should go to the next level of mental, emotional, spiritual or physical intimacy until everyone involved is ready.


1 Love and don’t sin.  The most basic idea or what the verse comes down to is being wise and loving in getting to know someone, dating, courtship and marriage.   Particularly as it relates to rousing up feelings, words and actions before the proper time.

2 Both Love and lovers have a proper time for holy feelings, holy words and actions, so do not rouse or awaken sinful thoughts, feelings, words and actions in courtship, engagement and marriage. For example.  He can take his clothes off in front of her in marriage but not before.  This would rouse her.  This would rouse her Eros love to him before the proper time in marriage. There is a timing to arousing certain feelings like desire for physical intimacy Eros love is a desire for physical intimacy like touching, kissing and making love.

3 No one should go to the next level of mental, emotional, spiritual or physical intimacy until everyone involved is ready.  Including the daughters of Jerusalem, her, him and love.  It is not consistent with the holy love of God to have sex before marriage.  Therefore, you should not even have feeling and thoughts now about what isn’t but is only fantasy for now.

The primary idea is that “There is wisdom in the timing of certain feelings, thoughts, words and actions that are consistent with a holy love.”  Therefore, you can cedar up, make rules, guard against anything, anyone, anyplace any situation where the virtue of her mind and body is at stake or where she may be venerable to attack.

The point is that whoever’s thoughts, feelings, words or actions that are being woken up, roused or stirred to activity are forbidden until the proper time.   

4 I suppose you could say the command in another way.  Do not sin but think, feel, say and act according to a love that is strong as death and who’s holy Jealousy is as severe as the fire of hell, that sparks, is a flame above all other’s, is unquenchable and priceless.  Act in a manner consistent with the unyielding power and holy jealousy in the heart that comes from God, who is Love.

The basic feeling is love, trying to do something to make it happen or make you feel it is earning it and you can’t buy love.  Jesus will not make you feel loved while you had a motive of earning his favor and love.   This is not why He gives it, he doesn’t let us feel loved based on anything we do, He gives it when He pleases, and how much and in which way. 

2 Possible scenarios where love could be roused before the proper time.  Feelings, feelings of a true and holy love come in God’s timing.

Know the principle and see it in action.  What is a principle?  Going too far too fast in a relationship.  Now, not only is going too far too fast a principle that ought to be followed but so it

The text gives us no indication as to the exact or specific way in which the daughters are to not arouse her or love until it pleases.  But only a general idea is given to not do it.   They are to swear in regard to a principle of love or being wise in dating and marriage.  What are some specific ways this command could be disobeyed?

  1. It could be disobeyed by going too far too fast physically.  Holding hands, a kiss on the cheek, a kiss on the mouth, an open mouth kiss, side hugs or front hugs, caressing and making love have their proper time in a holy relationship.  So, to rouse up these intimate actions before the proper time is unwise and doesn’t show love to God.  Being on the same page with God, the Bible and each other as it relates to the timing of physical intimacy is extremely important.  Not going too far too fast is a principle.  Having sex before marriage is an example of going too far too fast.  There may be many examples of going too far too fast.  To awaken love making is to arouse or awaken an act of love before a true and holy love demands.  True love is only pleased to physically unite in the most intimate way once married.  Waiting to awaken love.  Don’t let your passion have it’s fill until the proper time like in Song 5:1.
  2. Do not push her too far too fast in the courtship until she pleases. That this is a warning to not force love or make it happen before its time. Don’t go too far to fast in courtship.  Take time to get to know each other.  Basically, boundaries need to be set or sin can easily ensue during times of heightened emotions. 
  3. Is love casting out fear?  Take time to build trust in the dating phase. Do not push her our yourself to engagement when love hasn’t cast out fear yet.  It is not wise to encourage or rouse a woman to engagement when she has legitimate fears or concerns.  This would be an example of an action of further commitment when she is not pleased or ready for it.  If she has fears, then the “season of singing and cooing of doves” isn’t happening.  Song 2:12-14 “When to propose“.  Notice the timing of love, that it is not “until love desires.” 2:7
  4. Love expresses itself in many ways at various times.  Couples dating may share a certain level of thoughts and feelings with each other.   More than likely her feelings about him in 1:2, 1:13, 1:14, 4:16 etc. were not shared with him till sometime after marriage.  These feelings were part of the “old” “choice fruits”7:13 of their relationship that she had stored up for him in.  There was a timing for when she let him know these feelings.  So some feelings she had before marriage were kept and not said “until” after married.
  5. In Courtship and marriage do not make her feel, think, say or do anything she doesn’t want to until “she desires” (Principle) (Speaking in general).  Can you think of specific feelings, thoughts, words or actions that a man may want of a woman before she is ready or desires?  Love can’t be forced before the proper time.  Love must be mutual and freely reciprocal.
  6. Do not stir up lust until the proper time (principle).  Do not encourage sex before marriage (application born out of the principle).  Do not reveal body parts meant to be exposed only in the Marriage bed or this will rouse feelings before the proper God given time.  Don’t wear revealing clothing (application).  Sexual thoughts are for the right time, not courtship (application).  I believe this could be the application of the principle of love but not what the idea of the text is.  Don’t fantasize of sex or lust after your spouse until the proper time (application).  What do you look at on your computer? (application)
  7. Sounds to me a whole lot like the command to not grieve the Holy Spirit who is Love.  Ephesians 4:30.  But everytime you rouse love before the proper time then you grieve the Spirit whose essence and nature is Love.
  8. The daughters of Jerusalem that are seeing all this going on could possibly lust and desire what she is having.  And may fanaticize.  Or covet. They can’t have those thoughts and feelings until they are married.  Desiring physical intimacy with one spouse is not a sin but is God’s means to feeling loved in the bedroom.  The couple is to “Drink their fill of love.” Song 5:1 in the marriage bed.  But do it before marriage and it is sin.  Do this to much and you “burn with lust” then don’t delay the marriage.
  9. Sometime you need to reel back your feelings.  Like if you are the guy and you like the girl but she isn’t interested in you then you can’t think or feel or say things as if you were dating.  You can’t just awaken her feelings for you either if she is not ready.  Now if your jealous when she talks to another man then you, the guy, have roused your feelings for her before she desired.  She is not your girlfriend and has not promised herself to date only you.  She is free and you should have feelings consistent with that truth.  For more on this read here.  Arousing Love.
  10. Love is free and unconditional and mutual therefore having her get married before she is ready is not love nor will she be pleased to give herself completely to him unconditionally. True love is unconditional (Song 8:7). 
  11. Forced love is not love but more like forced labor.  Do not be jealous for what is yours until it is.

3 My best conclusion thus far is..

The idea here is that swearing by nature is swearing by God’s Name, remember the warning starts off with “By the gazelles and does of the field, do not arouse or awaken love until she desires.”  God’s character is love.  For Loves sake, don’t do anything sinful or unwise as it relates to getting closer to the one you love.

Particularly by rousing or awakening love before it (love) desires.   Specifically, God is God, God is Love, the very essence and nature of God is Love, Deity in act, the holy spirit, therefore don’t let your thoughts and feelings get ahead of the times.  For example, if you are dating the daughters of Jerusalem should not rejoice in the fact, they “He belongs to her and she belongs to him”  for that spark of love can’t be ignited, awakened or aroused in you until love desires or she desires, which is after he proposed, and she accepts.   Neither should the daughters of Jerusalem sexually desire their man until after marriage as our bride does in 4:16.

Love and let its spark fly at the right time and do not lust.

4 Questions arise.

1 Can we arouse or awaken true love at any time?  If you aroused or awakened love before the right time, is it no longer love but sinful lust at that point?

2 Can we rouse love as in erotic love before marriage?  A holy Eros love clearly would not want to be roused until marriage.

3 Can Jealousy be roused before love desires?

4 Is it sinful to arouse or awaken love before it desires?

5 Would the daughters of Jerusalem be tempted to rouse up the brides affections for him to soon?

5 Clearly

The text can be a little hard to understand, therefore when in doubt you need to go with what is clear.  What do we know without a doubt?  Here we learn and argue from what is clear to help understand what is not so clear.

  1. This is charge “I adjure you.”  Ewald well remarks, “In common life people swore by things which belonged to the subject of conversation or were especially dear to the speaker.
  2. by the gazelles and does of the field” As, therefore, the warrior swears by his sword; as Mohammed by the  soul, of which he is just about to speak (see Koran, Ch. 91:7); so here Shulamith by the lovely gazelles, since she is speaking of love.” The Septuagint has a peculiar rendering; which points to a different reading of the original ἐν δυναμέσι καὶ ἰσχυσέσι τοῦ ἀγροῦ “by the power and virtues of the field.” These creatures are called as witnesses to this charge, which, if not observed, would be brought against them. “Gazelles and deer represent the joys of love” WBC
  3. Within the charge is a command, “Do not…
  4. There is a command within the adjuration to the daughters of Jerusalem. The words are spoken to the virgins, her companions, that waited on her.
  5. There is a timing to the awakening or arousing of love.  It is clear that the command to not arouse or awaken love is not until she or love desires.  The word “until” lets us know that there is a proper time (to date, propose, have sex etc.)  The daughters of Jerusalem are being commanded to show love to the bride by not arousing her love until the proper time. “Until” To not do something about her love, God’s flame in her “until” the proper time.
  6. She wants them to swear by nature, which to swear by God’s creation is to swear by God.  Hallowed be thy Name.  The holiness and character of God reflected in the marriage is dependent upon them obeying this charge.  The sanctity of courtship and marriage is at stake.
  7. arouse” or “awaken” Her love is what shouldn’t be roused or awakened.  Her love could sleep and therefore need rousing.  Some people’s love is dead and needs awakening.   Those who have God’s flame of love in them can’t have it dead and need awakening, but their love could sleep as it does in 5:2ff.  A non-believer needs their love to be awakened from the dead.  The daughters of Jerusalem can’t awaken a soul that has not love, implying that life comes with a holy and true love.  Neither can the daughters of Jerusalem rouse love from its sleep for love is sovereign.  Imagine pushing someone to the next level of commitment who doesn’t have the desire or want to.
  8. Love is feminine.  Her love is the subject of the command.  Therefore, this is her love or God’s flame in her Song 8:6. “Used for being aroused or excited to some activity.” Hamilton
  9. Who is giving the command really isn’t as important as what the command is and who should follow it.
  10. The charge is quite important due to it being repeated.  The command happens 3x in this Love Song.
  11. The repetition shows that they are a kind of chorus, refrain or a marked divide in the Song.  These breaks where the command is repeated in 2:7, 3:5 and 8:4 help in outlining the Love Poem.   First date, engagement and wedding day, married life then conclusion.
  12. There is a being that “desires” or wills to be awaken or aroused.  You would usually conclude then that the “it” must be translated to “her”   “she desires”.  She wills for it to happen.  She wants it.   Or can love be desirous or can love have a will?  Desire comes with the feeling.  And the will is moved or affected by the feeling.
  13. Another thing that is clear is that the command is general and not specific.  Meaning exactly how the daughter’s out not to arouse love is not stated, but rather that they should not do it.  There are specific things they could do that would be disobedience but they all would be summed up in arousing or awakening love before the proper time.
  14.   To be sure as well.   She lets us know that Solomon had “roused” her under the apple tree.  8:5   At a time and place where love happens.  He roused her when she was fearless.  (Does the compliment in 1:9 take her deeper in her feelings towards him in her wanting to give her life in order for him to be close to her heart? 1:12-14)

These things are clear.  At least to me.  Now what is not so clear.

6  What is not so clear is one part of the translation.    Should it be translated “It” or “She”.   Translations differ on this point.  “Until it desires” or “Until she desires”.  Either you don’t arouse love until “she desires” or you don’t arouse or awaken love until she desires.

  1. The Daughters are to do something at the right time but not until then.  “Until it desires” The “it” then would refer to love and would then mean  “Until love desires” Like it was their duty.  Don’t rush her off to marriage to soon.?!  Her feelings come and go, do not push things to soon.  The sovereignty of love.  True love is Sovereign if we take it to mean “until it desires” to be love.   Some translate it “until she desires“, which makes the woman’s desire to be aroused or awakened the primary focus of the timing.
  2. until she pleases“.  The sovereignty of love.  He is her love, and she is his love neither should be aroused or awaken until “love” pleases.  The word is very emphatic, the love, the famous love, the well-known love. Communion one with the other is entirely at loves timing or pleasure, when and how long it shall continue.
  3. Until she pleases.  There is a time for love.


All the same anyway.  Translations.  It or she.

It seems to me that you come to the same application either way.   If you don’t arouse or awaken love until she desires, then you are asking her permission all along the way.  Before each greater level of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy is experienced, he does nothing to move the relationship along until she desires.  Which would at the same time be when love was in the air which is the same as when love desired the relationship to go to the next level.  Love being from God whose essence and nature is love.  

If the Hebrew word is translated “it” rather than she, then the command is to not rouse us a feeling before the proper time rather than not rousing up her.  But to rouse up her is to rouse up feelings in her, thus all is the same.  If translated “it” then the “it” refers to love which is a feeling that also comes with certain thoughts that also have their timing.  Then by extension there are also words and actions specific to dating, engagement and marriage that have their proper time.


7 Where the verses are in context.

  1.  This charge shows up 3 times in the love poem.  The command shows up 3x.  2:7, 3:5 and 8:4.   Each command neatly separates Solomon’s Song of Song into 4 sections.  The first time this charge shows up is after their first date and before his proposal.  The second time it shows up is after a bad night ends with them closer than ever before and before their wedding day.   The last time it shows up is after the best night of lovemaking they have had so far and when they are both practically one in every way.  Each section starts with some level of union or separation to a greater more stricter union. A progressive stricter union and sweeter communion in marriage is achieved.  Once achieved then there is a warning or charge at the time after a stricter union is achieved. Or depending on how you look at it the charge comes before another stricter union or level of oneness in the relationship.  The four sections are divided by Solomon in 8:5 thus giving us an outline of the Love Song. “Under the apple tree I roused you; there your mother conceived you, there she who was in labor gave you birth.”
    1. First section 1:2-2:7 Her love roused by the shepherd king.
    2. Second section 2:8-3:5 Conception or engagement.
    3. 3:6-8:4 Laboring in love
    4. 8:5-8:14 Love gives birth to oneness.  Fruits of love.  Fruits of recognized union.
  2. All 3 commands come immediately after a stricter happier holier union was achieved.  Love brought about that stricter union.  And they could not have done it unless her heart was on fire with love.  This love ought not to be roused until it/she desires. They come after a both a physical and spiritual high point.  2:7 comes after she was in his arms for the first time.  3:5 comes after she thought she lost him and now is keeping him close to herself and feeling safe.  The last command in 8:4 comes after the separation starting in 5:2 and ending in 6:2-3, then continues closer and closer to 8:4. But there’s no separation after 8:4 because she is leaning on her beloved in 8:5
  3. The context is the bride enjoying being supported and embraced by her suitor, enjoying communion with her type of Christ, she chooses not that he should be disturbed.  If they were dancing, she doesn’t want someone to cut in.  And by any means she doesn’t want him to depart from her.  If you take it masculine until “he” pleases.  Yet it is feminine.  Better rendered she pleases. “That ye stir not up, the” or “this love, until she please.”
  4. Interesting that the verse before both 2:7 and 8:4 says the same thing as well.  Song of Songs 2:6 and 8:3 “His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me.”  She is enjoying the embrace of the one her heart loves and who’s banner over her is love.”
  5. After both 3:5 and 8:4 the bride is illustrated as coming out of the wilderness in 3:6 and 8:5. I suppose “winter” being gone and the “rains” being over in 2:11 after the warning in 2:7 would be similar to being in a difficult trial or situation like a wilderness.
  6. Do not arouse or awaken “love“.   It certainly must be maintained that by “love” is meant “the lover” or bridegroom who is her love.  Same phrase in all three 2:7, 3:5 and 8:4 and “love” the same phrase is also in 8:7, Many waters cannot quench “love”.  So, what they are charged to not arouse or awaken in her could not be quenched and was stronger than death but had a timing to its arousal or awakening.
  7. “Until” Timing of the engagement is illustrated as when love is in the air.  2:10-13.  When the “winter is past” and the “rains are over and gone” and “turtle doves are cooing.”  Imagine him proposing to her in the winter or cold time of the relationship or a difficult time and when love is not in the air?  Partaking of the nature of love doesn’t happen until it or she desires.  Love having a personality.  The Holy Spirit is love.  The Holy Spirit has a will.  Love has a will.  God is love.  Love can be aroused out of sleep and love can be stirred up when felt, both are when love pleases.

8 Paraphrases that have been offered.

“By the purity and blessedness of a simple country life, I adjure you not to interfere with the course of true love.”

“See what a blessed thing is pure and natural affection: let not love be forced or unnatural.”

“They are in love, oh daughters of Jerusalem, continue among them and do not disturb them, mind your own business.”

Pulpit Commentary concludes.  Let the pure love seek its own perfection; let its own pleasure be realized. So, spiritually, let grace complete what grace begins. “Blessed are all those who trust in him.”



9 Translations

Do not arouse or awaken this love until she pleases.”  Michaelis.  The word is very emphatic, the love, the famous love, the well-known love.

Do not arouse or awaken love until the time is right.” NLT

That you do not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.”

Swear…  that you will not arouse or awaken the passions of love until they are ready.”  WBC

Big difference between KJV and NKJV


King James Bible
“That ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.”

New King James Version
“Do not stir up nor awaken love Until it pleases.”

A Jewish translation by Art scroll   Shirhashirim.   translates the last portion.  Do not rouse or awaken love “while it yet gratifies.”  So, if she and or him are happy, let them be so until they have drunk their fill for the moment.   This goes well with Song 5:1  “Drink your fill”    ( I have enough of this feeling and have been roused to activity of loving God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength and my neighbor and spouse.

I adjure you”   Essentially, she wants them to swear.  This is a charge to the daughters by the soon to be engaged woman to the

Daughters of Jerusalem.”  These are holy women who grew in the holy city of Jerusalem worshipping YHWH.  These young virgin women are present in the banquet hall where there is a banner of the woman that says “love” on it.

that you do not”   She is forbidding them to not do something.   This is in the negative.  Do not.    Which implies that there is something else they should do.

Two things are forbidden.

1  “arouse”   Stir up to activity.   love is going or awake already, and more rousing could be too much or too soon.

“the activities to which one is aroused are those that require extra effort, such as war, work and love.”  WBC

2 “awaken” This is out of sleep if love was sleeping.  And it could also apply to someone who has no love and is dead in spirit to awaken and come alive.

Emoitional awakening of love. So, if we take the text to be talking about love.  Then this is an emotional awakening that is forbidden.   

Physical awakening of the person from physical sleep.  If we translate the text as the man speaking to the daughters or a narrator then it could be him speaking saying “I want you to swear, daughters of Jerusalem that you do not arouse or awaken my love (the soon bride to be) out of physical inactivity or sleep until she pleases.   (Don’t rush to her aid as she is inactive or asleep in his arms until she comes to on her own.

The extreme height of emotion that she was feeling caused her body to become inactive.   She was literally and completely swoon off her feet due to the thoughts and feelings of him expressing his love to her in the banquet hall.

“Do not (arouse, stir up or love) until (love desires, pleases, he pleases, it pleases)

“Love” meaning the feeling itself.  

“until”   at par with, equal to, until

“Love” or “it” or “she” or “he”   Wow!  How translators differ on this one!  Love and it are the same.   And only the KJV translates it “he”.

“My love”   Her talking to the daughters to not say or do something that would rouse her feelings until she desired.   or

“My love” Her talking to the daughters to not say or do something that would rouse her feelings until love desired.   NIV   “that you do not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.”  ESV



10 How this verse fits into the love poem as a whole.

How this verse fits into the poem and helps with the conclusion.

Now let’s look at this verse in light of the purpose or end of the poem.  Basically, seeing how it fits in with the conclusion.  Or maybe saying it another way, how this verse fits into the plot.

Don’t forget that this charge or them listening to her charge will help the two become more one thus creating a stricter union or closer relationship, tighter, more trust etc.  For everything in the love poem leads them to getting closer and ultimately a better understanding of love.  Keeping their hearts and bodies pure before marriage will strengthen the bond of love.  Not arousing love before marriage with any other person will also help keep painful jealousy out of the equation.  How will keeping their hearts and bodies pure strengthen the bond of love?

11  Staying humble is implied in the text. 4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant” (proud, prideful) 1 Cor. 13:4

Implied in not arousing love before the proper time is the idea of staying humble.

The context of each is at major spikes in emotions, this leads me to think that this is a warning against spiritual pride!  Believers can fall into spiritual pride at times of both physical and or spiritual prosperity.  Yet hypocrites are full of it and only pride, they can’t properly or truly meditate in the Spirit on “Dark am I, yet lovely” in Christ for they think they are lovely within themselves apart from the work of Christ.  They think their own good deeds got them the prosperity.  They think they are better than others.  etc.

The bride is no better than any of her other counterparts.  The bride did nothing to deserve the blessings, she was an enemy slave girl deserving only Wrath and not special grace,

Finding her type of Christ thus nigh to her, the soul is in great care that her communion with him is not interrupted. We easily grieve the Spirit by wrong tempers. Let those who have comfort, fear sinning it away.

Coming from the general idea that this is a command.  Yes, this could be a specific command to do a specific thing, but I doubt it.  The language is general and vague.  There is no specific action that the daughters were going to do, and they are warned not to.  But generally, the idea behind all the things we do is Love to God.  We are commanded to Love God.  2:7,3:5 and 8:4 are commands.  These are commands given at the end of a stricter union in a love poem about oneness in courtship and marriage.

  1. Do not sin, but by all means Love God.  Don’t forget your love to God. Dt. 6:10-12
  2. Love God and love your neighbor.
  3. Don’t let her get prideful but keep her humble until the proper time.
  4. “Do not force the situation.  Let love take its natural course and its own time” Intro. New Geneva Study Bible.

12 Swearing By God’s Nature and creation.

“I adjure you daughters of Jerusalem, that you do not arouse or awaken love until it pleases.”

She is essentially charging them to accept a holy and solemn command that is imperative not optional.

By calling upon nature it also suggests that if the daughters for forbidden to do something that would be opposite of the natural order and timing of things as it relates to love.

1  “Anything that invokes God’s creation or anything dear to Him is in effect an oath uttered in His Name.”  Phil Johnson, sermon on not misusing God’s name.  Third Commandment.  What’s in a name.

Definition of God’s name= That by which He is called, made know to us, His nature and perfects are made known to us. (Phil Johnson)

Clearly God’s nature and perfection are made know to us in creation.  The gazelles and does of the field are God’s creation which her charge to the daughters of Jerusalem is based upon.  It’s a very serious charge.

So to say that you are God’s child and act like the devil in arousing love before the proper time, then you are in effect taking God’s name who is love and is God of creation in vain.

Interesting also is the fact that she also uses words that sound like names of God Sabaoth and El Shaddai.

In the Name of the Joy’s of love.  by the gazelles and does of the field.  And deer represent the joys of love.  Joy and delight in one another are also implied here in the text of nor arousing love before the proper time.   Which includes its delights.  Certain delights are reserved for the right time.  Like rejoicing in the fact that He is yours and you are his before engagement.  And if you save your lustful desires for marriage, which is the proper time for lovemaking then the joys of lovemaking will be even greater and the union stricter and happier.

2 Notice also in Song 4:16 when it is a proper time for lovemaking, she calls upon the wind which is controlled by God to cause her love to go out to her husband and for him to enjoy her and all she has for him.  It takes the power of God to enable her to show love to her husband in a way that pleases both God and her husband.  For her to have right and holy emotions it takes the power of God.  She can’t do it on her own.  Only a born-again person can truly love their spouse in a way that pleases God.

In charging the women with an oath in the name of the gazelles, she is calling on them to swear by love itself rather than by the name of a deity.  WBC OT

Links to other translations and commentaries on Solomon’s Song of Songs 2:7.

My Question thus far

  1.  When is love sleeping in order for it to be aroused out of sleep?  5:2ff.
  2. The words Arouse or Awaken seem to intimate revival.   Love is not to be disturbed.  I agree that appropriate love should not be disturbed.  But so far I have a hard time with the words “arouse” and awaken.  These terms sound like revival to me rather than stopping a good thing.  Arouse or awaken sounds like her love needs enflaming and the daughters would want to enflame it but are commanded not to until she desires.
  3. Would the daughters of Jerusalem want the feelings of love to soon or desire to separate the two when its not the kings desire?  Is it possible to awaken the kings love for his bride?  Is it possible to awaken the brides love for the king before the proper time?
  4. Could his love be sleeping?  Could it seem like his love could sleep.  Would his love sleeping feel like what she feels when he is not present, for if love was aflame then it would delight her heart more than wine, yet when that delight in God is not felt then it is not so delightful in the heart.   The sense of the delightfulness of his love when gone, when she doubts his love.  It’s when the husband/Husband and Love pleases thats when the feelings of love in her can be aroused and awakened.  To be awakened is to have that feeling that he/He loves you and it comes with great delight much more delightful than wine.
  5. ? Do not revive her love until she desires?  Could the daughters of Jerusalem be tempted to arouse the brides love before the proper time?  Meaning is she giving a general charge to the daughters to make sure that now and when they are dating to not arouse or awaken love in themselves until the proper time.   Or is she thinking that her love needs awakening or arousing but now is not the proper time for the daughters to arouse or awaken her love until she desires for them to do so.  Like at such a high point of emotion, the daughters of Jerusalem ought not to say or do anything that will cause her emotions to go to the next level until the proper time.  Lord willing is a proper humble attitude.

What advice or piece of wisdom is often given to unmarried young women in regard to her and his feelings of love in a relationship?

I watched hours and hours of video on gazelles and found some very interesting similarities between them and the Christian life HERE.

One point you can get out of this is that whether it is God to Israel, Christ to the church or a husband to his wife.  They can’t force love but they can woo her by their love.  Jer. 31:3 He can do his best to woo her like the birds of Paradise.

The onlookers may want this experience of love she is having but haven’t had it yet.  Therefore they may be tempted to awaken love before the proper time.

Thinking of us and Jesus Christ.  In our relationship with Him we ought not to rejoice in our relationship with Him if we are continuing in sin.  Having assurance of salvation when in deliberate sin.  If in deliberate willful sin, there ought only to be a certain expectation of the wrath and fire of God (Hebrews).

Again, in our relationship with Jesus.

You’re going to want the delightful taste of His love all the time.  Well, like nature, it doesn’t work that way.  You can’t rush a buck to mate with a doe, it just won’t work until the doe is ready.  “Until”. The only reason your not experiencing the Flame of the LORD to the degree that you would like is because your not ready.   Until she so desires.  In like manner, you are going to see the path in front of you and you will want to be there sooner than in God’s timing.  You can’t go to far to fast meaning, don’t rush the relationship if she’s not ready but wait “until” loves desire is ready to be satisfied.  Meaning in your spiritual walk chewing on meat when you should be drinking milk.  You will want to do this because you have the flame of God in you.  You want to be more mature.  You want to be like the mature brother.  Does that mean that even if a babe wants to be like dad that the babe should eat meat like dad.  No the babe drinks milk.  Growth happens when love desires, though we want it and strive for it.  Growth and closer intimacy with God happen at His pace as He desires.  When you understand the phases of Growth you will want it soon and fast.  Yes, this is good and pursue Christ as fast as possible, but don’t expect extra ordinary outpourings of His Spirit until He pleases.

The feelings you get or love you feel when engaged are reserved for engagement.  The proper time for those feelings in our culture in America, 20th century is when there is an engagement ring on her finger and promises of marriage have been made.

47856100 - happy bride showing her cute bridesmaids wedding ring
“Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires”

13 A puritan view

that believe the Song was about Christ and the Church.

Do nothing to disturb this sweet holy communion in love between the bride to be and her suitor.  I suppose you could say that even God was calling her to Solomon and thus to Himself.  Jer. 31:3 He was the greatest type of Christ living.  She was at the banquet hall and Solomon had a banner over her saying “LOVE”.  As she enters, she is faint and calls for something to strengthen her and she finds it in his arms.

She lies like one helpless in the arms of Solomon; but in him to expire is her life; to have lost herself in him, and in him to find herself again, is her happiness, then gives the charge to the daughters of Jerusalem to not arouse or awaken her until she pleases.


Who knows how long the night went but if they kept dancing.  No one was to “cut in” so to speak.  A strict warning was giving for no one to disturb them.  Do not arouse or awaken her love til she pleases.  

The idea is that Solomon would not stop in his pursuit of her, but her love would not be so bright all the time.  Her desires for him just peaked through the roof!!   The whole thing escalated to her being so overwhelmed by experiencing God’s love and grace through Solomon that it was all too much, it makes her lovesick, her heart burned so intensely for him, she was seeking some way to express itself, and she faints, yet blissfully aware that she is being held in his arms!  Song 2:4-6 then comes the charge to not arouse love until it desires.

14 When love desires.   

A Differences in translation.  B Explaining until love or “it desires“.  C Love is a feeling that comes with desire.

A Translators differ in translation her.  Some say “it desires” referring to love.  Some say until “she desires“.  Either way the rising up of love from the sleep and the rousing up of love from being awake to a higher level only happens if our God who is Love desires.  So, when God desires so will she.

B The buck wants close intimacy, but the doe needs to be ready.  Even though His goodness and mercy pursue us all our days.  We also must be ready and willing to experience it.  Yet we can’t and are forbidden to rouse love until “It so desires.” 

It is a Sovereign feeling that is aroused to a higher level when it desires, and it is awakened from sleep when it desires.

C Love is a feeling that comes with desire.   When having true and holy feelings for the one we are united to desire to be taken to greater heights, depths, widths and lengths of love will be there.

D God is Love.  The Holy Spirit is Love.   The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity.  Persons have desire.  Those made in the image of God have desire.  When true love is in the heart so is God.  God at work in the heart.  God the Holy Spirit of Love at work in the heart both giving and building up desire.  Love, God’s will and desire are not to be thought of as different principles in God for God is simple.  The Three Persons are One.  By mutual indwelling or possession.  Desire is in the Father by the indwelling Spirit.   Desire is in the Son by the indwelling Spirit.  

When she desire is also when the Spirit of God who is Love desires.  When the two are practically one and not just positionally then they both desire.

15  When she desires

I have also thought that there is a time when the doe is in heat.  Love is a flame that gives off heat and desire.   The doe will not mate unless in heat or is desirous to mate.  The buck can’t make love unless she is ready.   The buck can’t and shouldn’t take her to the next level of intimacy unless she is ready.

 Means that this experience is a Sovereign experience.  It happens when It the Spirit of Love desires.  Not when we desire but when Love desires.

He is always pursuing her, but they never get closer till God’s timing.  Ez. 16:8

16 Means of awakening or arousing.

A False or unbiblical means B means of aligning our hearts with God who is Love.

Do not use unbiblical means and thinking to get the one you love back.  No flogging yourself or thinking that you have thoroughly humbled yourself that Christ should. No thinking that you’re humbling yourself will get him back, isn’t this thinking that you deserve His presence because of what you have done and you’re also thinking you should get it NOW.  This is what the text means by not awakening experiencing the love of God until he desires to visit you.  You do not arouse or awaken love til it so desires.  It is sovereign over the timing of a joyful union.  In desertion you’re going to want union.  Soon!!  The spirit of the bride will yearn “come quickly for I am lovesick.”  “Make haste” “Turn” I don’t have that good feeling I have when He is close to me, it feels like Im not tasting the best wine right now.  I don’t have those glorious thoughts and wonderful feelings right now and I will wait til “it so desires” before “love is shed abroad in my heart” again.  In the meantime, I will make sure my garden is producing spices.  I will make sure my garden stays locked up for your return.  For your enjoyment, a garden full of spices.

B Means of aligning our hearts with God who is Love. 

1 Get a right and clearer idea of God by reading Scripture   2 Pray  3  Repent 4 Faith

The heat of desire gets turned up when the light gets brighter.  The heat of love and desire is awakened from sleep when the light is turned on.

17  Examples in Scripture

1 Her first sparks of love didn’t go too far.   He didn’t even know her yet and she is feeling like she would want him to “kiss her over and over again on the lips because the experience would be better than wine.”  Song 1:2. At first glance this looks like she disobeyed the command to not rouse or awaken love before the proper time, for having thoughts like kissing should be reserved for marriage.

So, how do we know this is a holy feeling not a sinful one?

Because love from God is in her heart, therefore this desire would come with a recognition that the time for kissing is not now but Lord-willing later.  Song 8:6.  Not arousing or awaking feeling of love before the proper time is an act of love to God.  In her heart was a fire.  Love.  God the primary object of it and obedience to His commands as proof.

Solomon’s song of songs “I was asleep, but my heart was awake.
A voice! My beloved was knocking

So clearly her body was inactive, and her heart was awake.   Her heart need not be awakened.   Her body needed rousing up to the activity of love.  Specifically, the physical activity of answering his call by getting up out of bed, getting a little dirty even just after washing up and open the door.   Here if the daughters where there then they could have shaken her up and encouraged her to open the door.  So, rousing her to love at this point would not be forbidden but encouraged for it is a proper time to show love.

Now if a man wanted a woman to have sex before marriage and the woman was saying no, then it would be a forbidden rousing if the daughter’s tried to encourage her to have sex before marriage.

Song 2:12ff   His proposal was clearly at the right time.  She was ready and love was in the air.  Even the doves were cooing, calling to their lovers.  She needed not rousing when he proposed.

Basically, the daughters are to follow the example of the woman in the love song as it relates to being wise with your emotions.


examweekSpecifically, this warning is to the onlookers of this marriage.  You and me.  Or the daughters of Jerusalem.  Those ascending to Jerusalem.  The onlookers will want this experience, the point is you can’t force it.  Like nature you can’t force or change the way things are.  This is the reason for the gazelle and doe metaphor.  You can’t change the way nature and the does timing for love or mating.   You can’t change the way God works in these things.  Closer intimacy is from God and by God’s Love and Sovereign Grace in His timing and in Biblical ways.  God pours the fuel on the fire producing more heat when He desires, and we ought not to force it nor arouse it before the proper time.  Though the chemistry and desire is there, wait for the right time then enjoy it all you want!

The Lord gives His joyful presence He takes it away, we deserve worse, blessed be His Glorious Name.  Do not arouse or awaken God’s Love until it so desires and soon you will be feeling like a newborn baby in the arms of a mother.  Feeling safe, loved and enjoying every minute of it.  “to the room of the one who conceived me.”  The warning in 3:5 comes at the end of a painful night away from her lover when the two are closer than ever before due to the time spent away from each other.  The warning in 2:7 comes at the end of a good time.  So there is a wanting more of His joyful presence in the bad times and there is a wanting more of His presence in the good times.  It is a Sovereign feeling that is aroused to a higher level when it desires, and it is awakened from sleep when it desires.

220px-Slender-horned_gazelle_(Cincinnati_Zoo)As this warning relates to spiritual growth. The reason you can’t experience more of Him in the good times is because your not humbling yourself enough, and it will happen in His timing.   The fault lies in you.  God has already shown the child that His LOVE, if more fully poured out on you now will only make you weak and need raisins to strengthen you.  You’re not mature enough to handle greater dosages of my Spirit that is why you fainted in Song 2:5. This warning is also for any Christian courting a woman.  When the times are good you will want to go faster and when the times are bad, but you want them to be better right now, but you have to wait “til Sovereign Love desires” to bring the two of you closer at Its pace and not yours.  “Do not arouse or awaken Love til it so desires” before you experience His Love to the point of fainting as in Song 2:5-6.  Go Here to learn about this experience with Christ that will make you want it right now.

The doe will not go to the buck until she pleases.  He has to wait til she is ready.  Also, it is natural in a progressive relationship to want it to go faster.  You can’t buy God’s love by good works or humbling yourself.  You can’t stir it up.  It is a sovereign and gracious Love.

Although I tend to believe that the reference to the gazelles and does is that of nature.  And that you can’t change the laws of nature.  If you were to try to stir up the love of a doe to a buck you couldn’t do it.  This I believe to be the point of the passage.  But I used to believe what Andrew Miller and other’s did on this verse, but my opinion has changed.

As part of the Courtship Phase and basically means to not go to far to fast in mind and body.  Don’t let your emotions carry you away to sin in times of closer and closer intimacy in courtship!  At a time of heightened emotions a couple in courtship could easily lust.  Do not stir up love until the right time.  No lust in the mind or sex until the proper time.


I believe the warning is to the onlookers who will want this experience but haven’t had it yet.

Catch phrases.

Wait for love to blossom, don’t rush it.

Don’t go too far too fast.

Don’t force the experience.

Respect her feelings.

Special union and communion are in God’s timing and when she is ready.  When the doe is ready to receive the buck then union happens.  The Buck desires union and is ready whenever she is.  This is the way it is like an immutable, the ways things are, not controlled by us but by God.

The point also is that she is that neither one of them is satisfied until she is ready!!  Oh, that we would be thoroughly humbled and desire Christ always.  His desire is for us we ought to give our lives for Him!

Andrew Miller

Cant. 2:7“I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he [she] please.” At the close of this happy and cloudless day, we leave the bride of the King, in the repose which His changeless love alone can give. The banner of His love over her, the everlasting arms underneath her, she rests in His eternal embrace. She delights in what He is. Hence she speaks of His shadow, His fruit, His banquet, His banner, His left hand, His right hand. It is all, it is only, Christ. When the soul is thus occupied with Him, He of all others is the most careful that it should not be disturbed. The roes and the hinds are the most easily startled creatures in the field. And their sense of hearing is so acute, that a far distant sound of danger will alarm them. So keenly sensitive should we all be to the most distant approach of that which would interfere with our walk and communion with the Lord; or that would in any way turn us aside from the paths of practical holiness, and entire devotedness to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Phases of Growth

  1. Basics of the Babe phase 1:2-1:7
  2. Basics of the Child Phase 2-3:5
  3. Young man 3:6-5:1
  4. Strong young man 5:2-8:4
  5. Father/Mother fully adorned 8:5-8:14

Although I strongly disagree with this view and even hesitate to put it here.  I will for you to see other views.  This is a view from those who think Solomon is wooing the Shulamite away from her true love of the shepherd.  Sometime called the trio view.

What has triggered her love sickness? Memory of what happened in that outdoor banquet hall. “His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me.” Just to think about his strong arms around her makes the Shulamite quiver with excitement and grow faint. Such memories fortify her against the seductive charms of the royal suitor. Verse 6 could also be rendered as a wish (NASB). In this case the maiden is expressing a need for her beloved’s support in this hour of trial, when attempts are being made to alienate her affections (2:6; cf. 8:3).

Having vowed her loyalty to her beloved, the Shulamite pleads that the harem girls desist from trying to turn her affections to Solomon. She invokes the shy and timid “roes” and “hinds of the field” in her appeal. Being graceful, these animals were symbols of feminine beauty. Perhaps she means to suggest that she is shy and timid like those lovely animals. She, like they, desires only to be left alone.

The daughters of Jerusalem should not “stir up” nor “awaken” love until she pleases to do so. The point is that true love needs no arousing from without. It should be as free and unfettered as the gazelles and hinds (2:7).

Smith, J. E. (1996). The wisdom literature and Psalms (So 2:4–7). Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co.

Adam Clarke

I charge you, O ye daughters, &c. — After that it was commanded Moses, by the spirit of prophecy from the Lord, to send spies to spy the land, and when they returned from spying it, they brought an evil report upon the land of Israel, wherefore they tarried forty years in the wilderness. Moses opened his mouth, and thus he said, I adjure you, O congregation of Israel, by the Lord of hosts, and by the fortresses of the land of Israel, that ye presume not to go up to the land of Canaan until it is the will of the Lord; lest the whole generation of warlike men perish from the camp, even as your brethren, the children of Ephraim, who went out thirty years from Egypt, before the time came, and they fell into the hand of the Philistines, which dwell in Gath, and they slew them: but tarry ye unto the end of forty years, and your children shall go up and inherit it.

The temptation for the daughters of Jerusalem to arouse love before the proper time is at its height at this point.  They may want what she has but must wait for it/him/Him.

The full context helps to see the warning better.  The context is that he/He wants to love her and she wants to receive his unquenchable love over and over again at greater heights, depths, widths and lengths.  The Shulamite was a slave girl.  An enemy of God.  She received the very Flame of God and then desired to be married to King Solomon (Song 1:2-4) who ruled Israel and owned the promise land.  If she were to marry, she would get redemption, Solomon and his kingdom.  They meet In Song 1:9 and he compliments her noble character as fearless in her pursuit of getting close to him and beautiful with love and faithfulness to God on her heart. Song 1:10 then he promises to make her more beautiful, this whole time she is thinking that Solomon is the most precious and valuable person to her.  She was a miserable slave in forced labor to someone who did not love her and now she is seated at Solomon’s table.  They exchange the sweetest love words ever.  They fellowship much more and she is in ecstasy because Solomon’s love is being manifested to her.  She wants more and they go to the banquet hall where love is announced to everyone and he announces his love to her and she grows faint and falls into his arms.   You would think that she would be tempted to want him right then and there.  So now in this context lets apply the 3 possibilities from the beginning of this page.

  1. The single onlookers would also want to have this happening to them as soon as possible but will have to wait for God’s timing.
  2. The emotions are heightened to a degree that she is very vulnerable to temptation right now.  So don’t go to far to fast in both mind and body.
  3. While having these heightened emotions one would not want to be disturbed.  So, while she is fainted in his arms the charge would be to the other single ladies to not cut in.  To not disturb them.  Can you image perfect love happening and someone cuts in.  Basically, don’t bother them let them enjoy the moment.

Interesting that all three could apply.

Hhmmmm, just thinking about this again.  When we swear by anything precious to God, we swear by God Himself.  To swear by nature.  Is to swear by what nature represents.  Nature is meant to reflect the beauty and holiness of God.  To reflect His Character.  So also union and communion with God in Christ must reflect the beauty and holiness of God.

The trio view is that Solomons harem is the daughters trying to woo her to join them and she charges them that they “can’t arouse or awaken her love for Solomon, until she pleases.”


  1.  What do the feeling of lovesickness do with growth in maturity?   Does God withdrawl his sensible presence to increase our desire for and hunger for him to return to teach us to love Him more constantly and holier than before.  Cleaner.  Greater level of consecration.
  2. When was the time right for a covenant relationship with God.  Ez. 16:8

Could this be that by putting yourself in her shoes you can start a fire in your heart for the king but the timing of his supping with you is determined by the nature of things.  She has to be ready and he has to be willing.  although he is always willing and doing all he can to woo her closer, she is not always willing to accept his advances.  2:7 comes as a warning.  A command or imperative.  3 x this imperative is in the Song, marking three distinct high points, or peak expressions of love.  Once after the height of engagement 2:7 then thinking he is gone but then holy communion is shared again in 3:4 so another warning “not to arouse or awaken love until”…..  “until”  the proper time.  This can be an encouragement that he will not hide his face forever.  But will return when he thinks you are thoroughly humbled and ready.  The other at the height of the wedding night.  The heights of remembering.

Doctrine?  This is a command, right?  Profitable for teaching, correcting and training in righteous courtship and marriage.


This is the first of three texts in which the woman demands that the Jerusalem girls forswear “arousing love before it pleases.” The other two are at Song 3:5 and 8:4 (the latter lacks the line concerning gazelles and does of the field).

We naturally wonder why she asks the girls to swear by gazelles and also what specifically they are supposed to forswear.

Many modern interpreters take ‏בצבאות או באילות השׁדה‎, “by gazelles or by the does of the field,” to be a circumlocution for “by (Yahweh) Sabaoth [‏צבאות‎]” and “by God Shaddai [‏אלהים שׁדי]” (cf. Note 2:7.a-a. on the LXX). The coincidence is remarkable, and it is easy to see why interpreters have taken this as a circumlocution. But if the similarity is deliberate, it is probably little more than a wordplay, and we still have to deal with the words that are actually present in the text. The words for gazelles and does have not been chosen simply because of their similarity to Sabaoth and El Shaddai; gazelles and deer play an important role in the Song and in love imagery from the ancient Near East. The woman’s lover is like a gazelle (Song 2:9, 17), and her breasts are like the twins of a gazelle (Song 4:5; 7:3). Keel ([1994] 91–93) has documented the place of gazelles or deer in the iconography of the Near East that relates to sexuality and the goddess. It is probable that in the wider culture of the ancient Near East as well as in the vocabulary of the Song itself, gazelles and deer represent the joys of love. In charging the women with an oath in the name of the gazelles, she is calling on them to swear by love itself rather than by the name of a deity.


Fox (Song of Songs, 110) argues that she is asking the chorus not to disturb the lovers until they are finished. He states that ‏עור‎ never means to arouse sexually but that it only means to “awaken” someone. He thus concludes that waking someone is equivalent to disturbing someone, and thus that she is asking that they not be disturbed. His interpretation, however, is very unnatural; “Do not awaken love until it desires” cannot possibly mean “Do not disturb us until we have finished making love.” Arguing that ‏עור‎ does not of itself mean “to arouse sexually” misses the point that this is metaphorical language. She is telling them not to “wake up” love itself. One can readily understand “waking up love” as a metaphor for arousal (or more precisely as a metaphor for becoming sexually active for the first time in one’s life) without having to demonstrate that ‏עור‎ alone connotes sexual arousal. Apart from that, Fox’s translation is simply wrong.

V. Hamilton

(NIDOTTE §6424, 3:357) summarizes the meaning of ‏עור as follows: “In the simple and passive stems the vb. is used for being aroused or excited to some activity. In the factitive and causative stems the vb. is used for arousing or stirring somebody to action. The activities to which one is aroused are those that require extra effort, such as war, work, or love.” The word does not mean “disturb.”

[vol. 23B, p. 153]


Symbolically, this text describes the tension between the glory of the wedding and the glory of the marriage. The glory of the wedding is in ceremony and elaborate costuming. The glory of a marriage is in the love of a man and woman.

It remains for the woman of the Song to redirect attention to where it belongs, not on the trappings of the wedding but on its significance as the beginning of a marriage.

The association between love play and a verdant paradise (“Our bed is really verdant”) are universal, and it is not surprising that the fertility cult seized this setting as the locus for sexuality. It is probably safe to assume that the Israelites would have heard “our bed is verdant” to be an indication that it is ready for their love play. At the same time, the image is not of itself evil. God himself seizes the language of the fertility cult when he promises that he will be a lush, life-giving tree or vineyard for Israel (Hos 14:4–8 [ET 14:5–9]). The grove is the domain of sexual love. While the sacred prostitute (or, in a more modern setting, the mistress) might make use of the language of sexual pleasure, such imagery rightly belongs in a setting of a couple committed to one another in love. The question the Song confronts us with is this: Which of these two, the liaison with the prostitute or the unity of a married couple, is the real arena of sexual pleasure?

A very common motif in love poetry is yearning for an absent lover, or distress over an unrequited love, or wasting away in agony in a love that one dare not or cannot declare openly. Egyptian love poetry also makes use of the motif of lovesickness, often because one is longing to see the beloved again. For example, in Papyrus Chester Beatty I group 34, a woman describes how vexed and agitated she is in the absence of her lover; she cannot even put on her scarf or paint her eyes. In group 37 of the same text, a boy declares that he is sick from not having seen his beloved for a full seven days and that medicines do him no good.

[vol. 23B, p. 154]

A classic expression of this kind of lovesickness in English is in the Knight’s Tale in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and it well illustrates what one frequently sees in love literature. When Arcita is freed from prison in Athens and banished from the city, he is despondent over the thought that he will never see Emily, the object of his undeclared love, again (p. 36, lines 497–508):

Whan that Arcite to Thebes comen was,

Ful ofte a day he swelte and seyde “allas,”

For seen his lady shal he nevermo.

And shortly to concluden al his wo,

So muche sor we had nevere creature

That is, or shal, whyle that the world may dure.

His sleep, his mete, his drink is him biraft,

That lene he wex and drye as is a shaft.

His eyen holwe, and grisly to biholde;

His hewe fallow and pale as asshen colde;

And solitarie he was and evere allone,

And waillinge al the night, makinge his mone.

The Song of Songs is strikingly different. Here, the soprano does not imply that the man is absent or that she can be cured by seeing him again. To the contrary, v 6 suggests that he is with her. Instead of longing for an absent lover, she asks to lie upon raisin cakes and apples. The Song has taken the motif of lovesickness and, by doing away with the absent-lover device, has transformed a formulaic device and taken it in an entirely new direction.

A desire may be conflicted for a number of reasons: a woman may love a man whom her family rejects (as in Romeo and Juliet), or she may love a man but know that loving him is at odds with another duty. This commentary will argue that Song 3:1–5 describes symbolically the conflicted state of the woman’s love. She fully confronts the source of her suffering in 5:2–8, where she once again declares herself “wounded by love” (5:8).The Song is distinctive in ancient love poetry in that it refuses to invoke the goddess (or a god) of love. Neither the woman nor the man calls upon Aphrodite (under any of her many titles) to give aid in the quest for happiness in love. But neither is Yahweh explicitly invoked. This is not because the Song is “secular” but because it avoids any suggestion that Yahweh will play the role of Eros or Aphrodite. It does not participate in the superstitions that surrounded love in the ancient world. The Song offers no sanctioned prayer, ritual, or amulet for calling upon Yahweh to make this or that person fall in love. By using words that sound like Sabaoth and El Shaddai, the woman forces the girls of Jerusalem to reckon with the importance of the oath she calls them to take. Nevertheless, she avoids naming God and has them swear by love instead.

Her appeal is that they do not awaken the passions of love until those passions are ready in at the right time of the relationship.

That is, it is a simple moral injunction (cf. M. Saebø, “On the Canonicity,” 276). Put another way, she is telling them to avoid sexual experience until the proper time. A modern, Western reader might take this to mean “Do not become involved in sexual activity until you are sure that you are emotionally prepared for it.” Such an interpretation would be quite out of character with the moral code of ancient Israel and the message of the Song. In this context, [vol. 23B, p. 155] the exhortation can only mean that they should avoid promiscuity and save their virginity for marriage. This is not a matter of imposing Christian or bourgeois ethics on the text. To the contrary, ancient moral codes in this regard are far more conservative than modern Western codes. At the heart of the Song, moreover, is the event of a young woman marrying the man she loves and giving up her virginity. The passion of love and of the powerful emotions of the transition from virgin to sexually active woman are to be experienced with what the OT calls the “husband of your youth.” The woman is simply telling the younger girl to wait until she finds and marries the man she loves.

In this light, lines 14C–D (Song 2:7b) make more sense. Because her man tenderly sustains her, she is at peace about “awakening love” with him. A woman who awakens love with a man who is not giving of himself or prepared to sustain her will find herself bitter and desolate.


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Saved in 2000 at age 27. Nearly immediately I fell in love with the Song and grew very fast the first two years memorizing large portions of scripture purifying my mind the started chewing on meat to soon and struggled for 12 years and Christ has me on track like always but I just took the long way around and now I love leading others closer to Christ by seeing His love reflected in Solomons love for an enemy slave girl.

I have experienced God's love to me in the Song in ways that words can't express. There are many portion of the Word where she experiences extra ordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God. If you have a burning desire for a close intimate relationship with God by experiencing His Love to you over and over again at greater and greater heights, depths, lengths and breaths then The Song of Songs is where you need to be.

I can help you with this process of Growing in the experience of God's love. As of 7-23-16 I have experienced everything prior to chapter 8. The Song of Song is progressive in experience. Meaning that if you are mature then you can experience the joys and extraordinary outpourings of God's Love shed abroad in your heart.

If you are not so mature then the delights in the first chapter of the Song will satisfy your thirst for experiencing the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Many Christian are living in sin because they do not know how to experience God's love and get hooked on Loving Him. It feels good to be loved and to love Him. His burden is not heavy and His yoke is light, Jesus said in Matt. 10:28

I believe God wants to use me to help beautify His Bride through the Song of Solomon.

If you see the book literally you will not understand nor grasp the Love God has for you. If you see the book and the verses in it relating to Christ's love to you then I would love to show you how to experience this Love to the fullest. I will pray for you daily and guide you every step of the way.

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

I grew up going to church but was a hypocrite. I lived my life how I chose but went to church on Sunday because my family went.

Mom and Dad divorced when I was about 5.

About this time I was sexually abused by "Bob" a made up name. This incident changed my life for the worst. I had no clue how to deal with it.

As I got older I grew in my hatred for Bob. I didn't blame anyone of my family because I was to young to know any better. Some of what happened during the abuse was in a bathroom. So overtime I would use the bathroom and look at my private parts that night would replay in my mind. My hatred for Bob would continue to grow each time.

Now I know this only happened to me one night. I can't image the pain other's go through who have had this happen to them over and over. Even as I write this now I cry with many tears for those hurting. God love you even though you may not know it or feel it. Go to Him in your time of need.

I was a really bad teenager. I only cared about myself and not even my family. I always came first in my mind. Even at the expense of hurting others. I was growing in my hatred for God by now.

I was going to church and was learned that God was in control. I thought well, if God was in control then He must have let me be sexually abused. I didn't understand this, How could a good and loving God allow this. I hated Him for it. My hatred for Bob grew as well. I was still using the bathroom and memories kept coming back. My heart grew even harder for Bob and God. As far as I was concerned God would have nothing to do with my life so I lived even worse. I thought I would be in jail or dead and I really didn't care, I thought it could be much worse than reliving your painful past over and over again. Little did I know that God's plan later would be to use these events to give me a burning passion for the closest most intimate love relationship with Himself through Christ mainly through the love poem in the Song of Songs in the Bible.

I remember hating Bob so much that the only thing that would relieve my pain was actually thinking he would suffer forever for what he did. I grew so much in my hatred for him that I had to continue to think that he would get even worse than what I imaged before. After some time I would only be relieved of hatred for him unless I thought he would burn in a hotter and hotter hell for all the suffering he put me through.

I never told my mom or family what happened, although I think some of them knew something had happened.

I grew up quite rebellious and even went to jail at the age of 20. I was living the fast life pursuing all my sinful desires and wanting more. It never seemed to be enough. I was quite happy in my sin but I just wanted more of it.

I lived life thinking I would die at a young age, riding motorcycle and living on the edge put me in the hospital many times and I should have been dead.

California at age 26.

I moved to California for a job opportunity at the age of 27. While trying to figure out what radio stations to program in my car, I ran across a RC Sproul talking about "people who have the faith that saves and people who only say that have faith" only the people who have the faith that saves will go to heaven. I thought "I don't think I have the faith that saves because my life was so bad." I searched the scriptures to try to get this faith. I found a church and thought people there could help me get this faith that saves. All along God kept showing me how sinful I was and that I deserved punishment from Him for living my life hating Him.

One weekend I read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John desperately trying to find out how to get this faith that saves. By now I knew that if you had the faith that saves that Jesus would be saving you from a life of sin. I still liked my sin and Jesus sure wasn't saving me from a life of sin, so I rightly concluded that I didn't have the faith that saves.

By the time I got to John, I saw "believe" everywhere. John 3:16 and other verses and wow the whole book was written so that you may believe. John 20:31 "these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." So at night I would pray "I believe Jesus died for me, I believe, I believe. This was just an intellectual belief. I knew that in history and the Bible that Jesus died for everyone, so I believed it. But this belief did not change my life.

I would go on night after night saying the same prayer only to wake up the next day wanting to fulfill my sinful desires. The prayer wasn't working so I started to word it different each time hoping some prayer would work. After about 2 weeks of this I was fed up with it all, nothing was happening. I still was living in my sin and wanted more of it. A Christian hates their sin and does something about it, and certainly they don't continue to make plans to sin. The prayers weren't working so I gave up. I thought to myself "God, I tried with all my might, I searched the Scriptures, went to church, read the Bible and prayed all to no avail. If Im going to be saved your going to have to do it because I tried."

So I quit praying but still the Bible kept calling me so I read more. 3 Days later I was laying in a tanning bed and God convicted me really hard that I had offended Him by the life I was living. I was so scared of God, where could I run. You can't hide from God. It seemed like forever that I was under these terrors of being punished by a Holy Angry God. This lasted about 10 minutes then this is how I understood it. God let me understand that all that anger that He had for me for all my sin should come my way but He had poured that anger out on Jesus 2,000 years ago. I immediately started weeping an couldn't stop for about 20 minutes. All the sins that I could think of I confessed for that 20 minutes one after another after another, I was so sorrowful and grieved it physically hurt inside.

After I stopped crying I thought that was the weirdest thing that ever happened. I walked out of the tanning salon and stood outside and everything seemed so beautiful, the tree's, the birds, even the air seemed pleasant. Now I was really wondering what was going on.

I pondered all of this as I drove to work that day. I brought my Bible to work and was thinking what am I doing, I want to take my Bible to work so I can read it. As soon as I got to work I started reading my Bible. I couldn't believe what I was reading!! It all was so wonderful. It felt so good to just read my Bible. My client showed up and as I was training them the only thing I could think about was getting back to my Bible. I read all night and slept about 2 hours and was reading again.

I had sinful things in my apartment and I rounded everything evil up and threw it in the garbage. It was weird I was thinking but it felt good so I left it all in the garbage. I called my girlfriend to break it up and she thought I had another girl, I said no, I just think this is wrong we shouldn't be sleeping together. She didn't understand so I told her I was a Christian now and she still thought I had another girlfriend. She said "Im glad your a Christian, so am I" I thought to myself, "I have a strong conviction that sleeping together is wrong and she thought it was okay" I wondered how she could think that. Anyway we broke up.

I kept reading my bible and repenting, there was so much to repent of and I had lived a very sinful life. I was a thief for some part of my life and all the people I stole from kept coming to mind. I owed so much money. I was instantly in debt about $80,000. As I could I paid them back. As of 7-18-2016 I still owe about $25,000 but it sure is a joy to be paying them back.

The first week of being saved a car just about ran me over, they hit me but I wasn't hurt at all. The guy in the car felt so bad. I just looked at him and said "God bless you and have a great day, I am okay" smiled at him and moved on. Now I was really wondering what was going on because I normally would have cussed him out left and right and instead of cussing I blessed him. That was so weird. But again it felt good. I learned to do good by what my conscience told me was good and that it felt good. I got hooked on this feeling good by doing good and did it more often.

About two weeks after being saved I thought of Bob. I immediately prayed for him, something like "Lord help him.." then I stopped praying and said out loud "What am I doing?" I'm praying for a man that I hated my whole life, but it feels good and right, so I did it again. I stopped again midway in the prayer and started pacing around. I was trying to make sense of what was going on and couldn't figure it out. But again it made me happy to pray for him so I did. Bob would often come to mind when I went to the bathroom and each time I would pray for Him. The more I did this the less weird it got. And the greater my love grew for him.

I started memorizing large portions of scripture and this was wonderful because it felt like the words were cleaning my mind and as Proverbs 2:10 "For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul." I wanted more and more of this pleasantness. So I memorized even more and the joy got more and more.

Then this life changing advice came:

A friend from church told me to find a book of the Bible and really understand it. Read through the Bible and pick one and read it over and over and study it and really get it. So I started in Genesis and read through. When I got to Proverbs I really liked it so I thought that would be the book. I started by memorizing all of Proverbs chapter 3. After that I thought maybe there is a better book than Proverbs. So I read on. Then I came to Song of Solomon. I read it with quite some confusion. It wasn't as good as the other books, I didn't know why. So I bought a commentary on it. George Burrowes commentary on the Song of Solomon.

In the commentary I found that George and other saw the book as illustrating God's love to the Church. And not only illustrating it but displaying the Love of Christ better than any other book. This caught my attention big time, because I was having a burning desire for a closer relationship with God and desperately learning about His Love so that I could Love God. You see I had hated Him for so long that God used that old hard heart to spur me on in loving Him. I so much did not want to hate God anymore that I was on fire to learn to Love Him as much and as fast as possible. So here was a book that would help me do that. So I landed on the Song of Solomon. I committed to learning as much of this book as possible.

I memorized the first chapter and would repeat it often throughout the day. I didn't know much of what I was repeating but it sure made me happier and on fire for God. I grew so fast repeating the first chapter over and over again all day, like a dozen times a day at least. It felt so good and I never found any other book that caused me to weep so much. I would often weep everyday just reading it. I was to immature to know what was going on. Even though it hurt to weep so much, I felt like my heart was being cleansed from the filth that was in it by repeating it over and over again so I did. As I read the commentary I understood more and more. What God was doing in me through the Song was greater and faster than any other portion of Scripture so I tended to stay there often. I was so excited about God that I thought it funny that other's in church weren't the same way. Some where happy but it seemed most of them didn't seem to care much about God. They would talk about work, football the weather. The only thing I wanted to talk about was Jesus and God and how can I grow closer to Him.

About this time there was a mission trip to Ireland.

I started to have convictions that I should try to find Bob and witness to him. I kept praying for him but how could he be saved if he hadn't heard the Gospel that has power unto salvation. So I asked family if they had any information. Like me before, my family hated him and thought he deserved hell. After some time I got his name but no location or phone number. Either they didn't know where he was or didn't want to tell me. I prayed some more and then started to get stronger convictions to do something about finding Bob.

So I went on the internet and typed in "his name and child molestation sex offender court" thinking that some court record would have some info leading to where I may find him" I even talked to a private eye and he couldn't help. So I googled some key words and spent hours each day looking through each page. I believed it was God's will for me to witness to Bob. I wanted him to be saved. Really bad. So much so that I thought God would save Bob if I were to witness to him. So I didn't stop searching for him. I kept my computer on each day and went page by page. It took two years to go through about 15,000 pages but I found someone who matched his name in a prison for molesting his grandchildren. I wrote the prison and he wrote back. All kinds of emotions went through my body when I saw his letter from the jail. I didn't open it right away but two hours later God gave me enough courage to face my fears again and I opened the letter. He admitted to being the one who molested me. We wrote back and forth I told him I was angry before but now I was saved and that I loved him and believed God wanted me to talk to him. He read my letters over and over again. I shared the gospel in each one.

I got mad at Bob 2x. Once he said that he love me. I got really angry with him. He didn't love me. That night it was hard to love Bob, I had to call a friend to pray for me to repent, after he prayed I felt greater love for Bob. Then I wrote him back saying "I'm sorry but you can't say that you loved me. You did not love me you lusted after me." He admitted he didn't love as he should have and admitted that it was lust and sinful. Finally some conviction. Yet I only thought he was saying that because I was being nice to him. All his family had left him and he said I was the only "friend" he had.

Wether or not it was true Bob said that he had cancer in his arm and that the help the prison gives was not enough and if he had money he could see a different doctor and get help. I sent him some money and since I was in jail before I knew what it was like to be in there without money, so I sent him money.

About 4-5 months in the economy went down, it was 2008. Work was hard. I still sent him money and I had to work harder. This was a really good lesson for me because I had to "work hard for the benefit of someone who did not deserve it." This was one of the greatest blessing ever because I realized with great certainty that Jesus was in me. This is what Jesus did. Jesus worked his whole life for me and I didn't deserve it!! Christ was in me! This was one of the best feelings ever and it put me in worship for months.

Then a mission trip to Croatia.

Each time I had to leave my business and amazing as it is I was completely okay each time. I am a self employed personal trainer and it is normally absurd to just leave and start over, but each time I had enough work within 2 weeks of coming back. This is a flat out miracle. I trusted God to provide and he did. How many people can start up a business in 2 weeks. Only with the help of God. God was teaching me early on in my walk that as long as I did what He wanted me to do then I had nothing to worry about.

About 3 years saved now.

I Taught the 4 year old's at church Sunday morning for 10 years.

Left my business 2x for mission trips and God miraculously provided when I came back.

I taught 5 x a week plus held a job.

Sunday morning to the kids.
Sunday night with the 5th graders
Friday afternoons at Good News Clubs. Sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Friday Nights with the Kids teaching through Pilgrims Progress, I did this 2x
Teaching Monday afternoons at a nursing home. I taught through the Song of Songs once then John, then Romans then back to the Song again! I love the Song of Songs.
I grew up hating God for what happened to me, and now I love Him because He first loved me. My passion is for children to grow up loving God and not hating Him.

My other passion which has become ever greater is to help others see the Love of Christ to His Church in the Song of Songs!!

I would love to help you, just let me know and I will lead you and pray for you.

God demonstrates His love to us in sending His one and only Son to suffer in our place, taking our sins upon Himself so that whoever believes they get to heaven because of what He did for us will not perish but have everlasting life.

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