Thursday, July 18, 2013

Marriage From God's View: Part 8: Song of Songs, Chapter 3

Chapter three opens with the young woman searching for her love; some presume she is dreaming here:  

 "In my bed at night
I sought the one I love;
I sought him, but did not
     find him. 
I will arise now and go
     about the city,
through the streets
     and the plazas. 
I will seek the one I love. 
I sought him, but did not find him.
The guards who go
     about the city found me.
'Have you seen the one I love?'
     I asked them.
I had just passed them
when I found the one I love.
I held on to him and would not let him go
until I brought him
     to my mother's house---
to the chamber of the one
     who conceived me."

I have read this before and never considered she could be dreaming until now.  She starts out in bed, futilely seeking her love. She could be in the throes of a dream that continues when she arises.  Then, she wanders the streets of the city to find him, but initially the guards find her, as though she is not supposed to be out that late.  She asks them, "Have you seen the one I love?"  That is not exactly specific, and we are not told if she stuck around for a reply.  But, I picture her in distress, asking anyone she were to come in contact with, but moving on when she doesn't get an immediate answer. Right after she leaves the guards, she finds her love and hauls him to her mother's bedroom.  That is perplexing.  Is she introducing him to her mother for the first time? 

In verse 5 she again admonishes young women,

"Young women of Jerusalem,
   I charge you,
by the gazelles and the wild does
   of the field:
do not stir up or awaken love
until the appropriate time."

Again, the gazelles are symbolic of the young men (bucks, as you will) and the does represent the young women.  She knows how rash young people are, so she is warning them not to mess with fire (engage in sex) until the "appropriate time."  That means marriage.  Remember, God had this book written as he did the entire Bible, so this is what he intends.

The remainder of the chapter introduces King Solomon on his sedan chair.  There is speculation that this is his entrance to his wedding because the chapter ends with these lines:

"Come out, young women
    of Zion,
and gaze at King Solomon,
wearing the crown
    his mother placed on him
the day of his wedding----
the day of his heart's rejoicing."

To me, this is one of the most beautiful chapters in the Song of Songs because it shows her deep love for "her man".  If, indeed, she is dreaming, she can not even escape thoughts of him while asleep.

Next:  Chapter 4