Song of Songs is a collection of love poems, meant to be read as a flowing whole story and simply enjoyed.
The name Song of Songs means something similar to other phrases in the Bible like Holy of Holies or King of Kings. According to the author, this is the greatest song of all songs.
The book is widely known as the Song of Solomon, but scholars debate whether King Solomon wrote the book. The phrase “of Solomon” most likely means that the poems were written with wisdom like that of Solomon, who wrote 1,005 songs in his lifetime (1 Kings 4:32). Solomon was known for asking God for wisdom and for his love of learning.
In the beginning of the Song of Songs, two lovers are introduced, who are likely engaged or married. They declare their love for each other and their desire to be together.
The main voice in these poems is the woman, but the book is a dialogue between her and the man she loves.
The young woman delights in her betrothed, and the book is an expression of the couple’s passionate love and sexual desire—both good gifts from God.
Seeking and finding: Throughout Song of Songs, it almost seems like these two lovers are playing a game of hide and seek. They constantly search for each other and reunite in the song, further demonstrating the great power and mystery of love and desire.
The joy of sexual desire: Like all things, God created sexual desire as a gift for humans to enjoy within the covenant of marriage. The two lovers in the Song of Songs use its correct application. Their desire for one another is not corrupted by sin.
The power and intensity of love: Love is described in Song of Songs as both beautiful and dangerous. It is mysterious, and should be enjoyed only when the time is right. This verse is used three times throughout these poems: “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the doe of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” (Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5, 8:4).
Endless love: Much like the two lovers, God’s love for His people is powerful and unending. This symbolism has translated into both Jewish and Christian Biblical interpretations of the Song of Songs.
Song of Songs 2:7
Song of Songs 8:6-7
HOW DOES THIS FIT INTO GOD’S STORY?
Song of Songs is a unique book of the Bible. It can be interpreted more than one way because it is a collection of love poetry.
According to Jewish tradition, the book is an allegory for Israel and God. According to Christian tradition, it is an allegory for Christ and the church. Archeological discoveries of other examples of ancient Jewish love poetry show that love poetry was a meaningful part of ancient Jewish life; it was written for the purpose of being enjoyed.
Song of Songs parallels Christ’s relationship with his bride, the church, shows readers a healthy example of the gift of romantic love and sexual desire and displays God’s creative, poetic genius writing the greatest love song of all time.