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The Blue Letter Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Notes for Song of Solomon

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WRITER: Solomon (Sgs 1:1). Solomon was the author of 1,005 songs (1 Kings 4:32), but we have only one (Song of Songs); as the name would indicate, it is the best.

KEY WORDS: “Beloved,” the name for Him; “love,” the name for her.


I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine; he feedeth among the lilies. (Sgs 6:3)

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it. If a man would give all the substance of his house for love, he would utterly be rejected. (Sgs 8:7)

THE MEANING: The Song of Solomon is a parabolic poem. The interpretation, not the inspiration, causes the difficulty — although there are some who actually feel it should not be in the Bible. Since it is in the canon of Scripture, it is the great neglected book of the Bible. Often young preachers are counseled not to use it until they become old men. The Jews called it the Holy of Holies of Scripture. Origen and Jerome tell us that the Jews would not permit their young men to read it until they were thirty years old. Surely any fragile flower requires delicate handling. There have been four different and important meanings found in this book:

1. It sets forth the glory of wedded love; declaring the sacredness of marital relationship and that marriage is a divine institution. To our occidental minds, it borders on the vulgar, but when it is compared to other oriental poetry, it is indeed tame and lacks the splash of color and extravagant terms which characterize oriental (e.g., Persian) poetry. The Jews taught that it sets forth the heart of a satisfied husband and a devoted wife.

2. It sets forth the love of Jehovah for Israel. The prophets spoke of Israel as the wife of Jehovah.
These two interpretations have been set forth by the scribes and rabbis of Israel and have been accepted by the church. However, there are two other interpretations:

3. It is a picture of Christ and the church. The church is the bride of Christ, a familiar figure of Scripture (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:27; Revelation 21).

4. It depicts the communion of Christ and the individual believer. The soul’s communion with Christ is here set forth.

“The Song of Solomon tests the spiritual capacity of the reader.”

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