June 20th – A Love Triangle ?

The Old Testament Song of Songs is a book of 8 chapters, containing seven love songs, all expressed in explicit sexual love poetry. Modern Bible translations, such as the New International Version, are most helpful in that they set out the original words of the masculine gender as ‘the lover’ – the man. Words in the feminine gender are therefore ‘the girl’ – ‘The Beloved’, while the friends speak the lines, like a Greek chorus, adding narrative and participation for the benefit of the audience. “In fact, the Song of Songs is the only book in the Bible to have its entire content put into the mouths of its speakers” (says the Interpreter’s Bible).
You may find it helpful to read the book as a poetic diary of a love triangle, in which a simple dark-skinned country girl, who labours in a vineyard, treated as a drudge by her family, is noticed by the young King Solomon. She is swept off her feet, and is utterly star struck by the aristocratic splendour of the King and his royal power and his attentions. The first words of the book are her words “Kiss me, kiss me on the mouth properly …”. My! She was smitten. Solomon lavishly woos her, and takes her as one of his wives into the royal harem, where she discovers, all too late, that although she is committed to Solomon she cannot forget, and is still bonded to, her rustic peasant lover, who is a rustic son of the earth.
When you read Song of Songs, experiment by seeing it as a love triangle and distinguish the genuine intimacy between man and wife. But also see her fantasies for her handsome, rugged, country boy whom she cannot forget.
Three times the Beloved repeats her warning to the audience: It is in Chapter 2:7, Chapter 3:5 and again in Chapter 8:3-4, which I take it to mean don’t be in a hurry to surrender to your desires. Take your time!.
His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me. Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
Song of Songs 8:3-4

A Prayer:
Lord, above all gifts the of your mighty Spirit, grant me but the one which your word calls “self-control”.

Now read Song of Songs Chapters 5 and 6.

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