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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

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Not the time for closer intimacy yet, do not arouse or awaken her love until she desires.

“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.”

Clearly

What do we know without a doubt?

  1. This is a command.  “Do not..”
  2. This is a command to the daughters of Jerusalem.
  3. The daughters of Jerusalem are being commanded to show love to the bride by not arousing her love until she desires.
  4. Her love is the subject of the command. Love is feminine.  Therefore this is her love or God’s flame in her Song 8:6.
  5. “Until”  To not do something about her love, God’s flame in her “until” the proper time.
  6. Who is giving the command really isn’t as important as what the command is.  The command happens 3x in this Love Song.
  7. ?Daughters of Jerusalem, help keep her humble, do not puff her up as if she deserves any of this?
  8. The Daughters are are to do something at the right time but not until then.  “Until her 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.

Where the verses are in context

  1.  The 3 commands separate Solomon’s Song of Song into 4 sections of progressive stricter union and communion in marriage.
  2. All 3 commands come immediately after a stricter happier holier union was achieved.  They come after a spiritual high point.  2:7 comes after she was in his arms.  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 lengthiest union without separation Song 6:2-8:3.  And after another high point. But there’s no separation after 8:4 because she is leaning on her beloved in 8:5
  3. 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.”

Possible application of the principle of love

  1. Do not push her to far to 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 to far to fast in courtship.  Basically, boundaries need to be set or sin can easily ensue during times of heightened emotions. or
  2. In Courtship and marriage do not make her do anything she doesn’t want to do until “she desires”.
  3. or do not do anything unbiblical in regards to her love to God and Solomon while they are enjoying each other in the stricter union.
  4. Do not stir up lust until the proper time.  Do not encourage sex before marriage.  When it is God’s will.
  5. As she is here in his arms. What lies nearer, then, than that she should guard against a disturbance of this love-ecstasy.  In the heat of it all don’t sin.  Guard your pride.  In a time of increasing prosperity, especially if the prosperity was fast.  Pride, spiritual pride, self-righteousness, thinking you are better than others.  All these sins could creep in at this time but to not disturb “her love until she desires” is the command.
  6. She is getting her dream come true.  Don’t do anything to mess this up.
  7. In the Name of the Joy’s of love.  by the gazelles and does of the field.  And deer represent the joys of love.  Here the Joy of stricter holier union at quite a high point.
  8. Love God for we don’t want to sin in any situation.
  9. Love your spouse.   “She is saying show your love to me by…
  10. Sexual thoughts are for the right time, not courtship.  I believe this could be the application of the principle of love but not what the idea of the text is.
  11. Watch out for false affections at the height of blessing.  Unbiblical joy arising from false premises.  Thinking highly of yourself and then thinking God is thinking much of me and glorifying self.  “Come down from Lebanon. 4:8”  and ravish the heart of your groom/Groom 4:9
  12. Do not arouse or awaken the love or lust until the proper time.  Keep her desires holy.
  13. What God has joined together by His love 8:6  may no man separate.

    Matthew 19:4-6 ” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

  14. The daughters of Jerusalem that are seeing all this going on could possible lust and desire what she is having.  They can’t have those thoughts and feelings until they are married.  Desiring ones spouse sexually is not a sin.  But do it before marriage and it is sin.  Do this to much and you “burn with lust” then don’t delay the marriage.
  15. Do not think sinful self righteous, prideful, look at me apart from in Christ and thinking I’m lovely,  un holy thoughts to raise the affections must be avoided at times of physical and spiritual prosperity.  Dt. 6:10-14  She is in this context. Just as Moses brought Israel out of slavery to the promised land.   So also the bride goes from slavery to the greatest prosperity ever as queen of Israel!

The context of each are 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.

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 are no specific action that the daughters where 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.

Swearing By God’s Nature and creation.

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.

 

 

My Question thus far

  1.  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.

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 wether 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.

I believe the first two to be right, but the 3rd could work as well.  All are true biblical conclusions but only one fits the text.  I believe the first one fits best because the warning is to the onlookers who will want this experience but haven’t had it yet.

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

Maybe this warning is here because you are going to want to go faster than God in your pursuit of a closer and closer relationship with Him.   Your 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 texts in which the woman demands that the Jerusalem girls forswear “arousing love before it pleases.”

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

?Do not revive her love until she desires?  Could the daughters of Jerusalem be tempted to arouse the brides love before the proper time?

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 to much it makes her love sick, her heart burned so intensely for him seeking some way to express itself, and she faints, yet blissfully aware that she is being held in his arms!  Song 2:4-6

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

And then comes the first of three warnings in 2:7.  You could say that the first recorded conversation between the two started with the bride wanted to know where to find peace and rest, he tells her, he compliments her character and then Solomon speaking on behalf of everyone involved in her beautification promises to make her more beautiful in Song 1:11 and it goes back and forth, adoration, value, love, sweet communion, great delight escalating and escalating til she faints in his arms at the banquet hall in 2:7

The buck wants close intimacy, but the doe needs to be ready.  Even though His goodness and mercy pursues us all our days.  We also must be ready and willing to experience it.  “Until it so desires”  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.

Many arabic poems use the gazelle as a symbol of female beauty.  A mere reflection of the beauty of Christ.  Ps. 27:4  “One thing I desire and that will I seek to behold the beauty of the Lord..”   As beautiful, lovely and attractive as she is, your husband and Christ will have to wait until she is ready.

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

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 your humbling yourself will get him back, isn’t this thinking that you deserve His presence because of what you have done and your 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 your going to want union.  Soon!!  The spirit of the bride will yearn “come quickly for I am love sick.”  “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.

examweekSpecifically this warning is to the onlookers of this marriage.  You and I.  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 works.  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.  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, I 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 your at your Mother’s house.  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 dark time.  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.  Love revealing Itself is when it desires.  It is a Sovereign Love.

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.  Your 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.

Catch phrases

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

Don’t go to far to fast.

Don’t force the experience.

Special union and communion is 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 when ever 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 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 daug 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”

Questions

  1.  What doe 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.  More clean.  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.

WBC

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]

Explanation

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.

“King” is here a metaphor for her lover, the bridegroom, who has in her eyes the significance, beauty, and charm worthy of a king. She thus declares that her spikenard gives off its fragrance until he comes to his “circle,” that is, to the feast and to her embrace. Translated into simple terms, she is saying that the spikenard gives off its fragrance in expectation of the “king,” her groom, coming to her.

The governing topic is the question, What enhances the woman’s beauty? The man and the chorus desire to adorn her with expensive ornaments of gold and silver. This sentiment is not bad, and it is born of love for her, but it substitutes a superficial embellishment for true adornments. She asserts rather that her desirability is enhanced by her fragrances of spikenard, myrrh, and henna and that her beauty is enhanced by the love of her lover. She gives off the fragrance of spikenard as she waits for him to come to her. She will have him, like her myrrh, between her breasts. He is like henna in that he adorns the beauty of her, the vineyard. The fragrance of these perfumes is like love itself; it is invisible but powerful and sweet. Her real adornment, she asserts, is the groom and the love she has for him.

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 sorwe 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 not awaken the passions of love until those passions are ready. 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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