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Song of Songs [2/15]; Tell me where you rest at noon

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posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 04:05 PM
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I’m still exploring the intended meaning of the Song of Songs.
The next passage I’m considering is the rest of the first chapter, ch.1 vv7-17.
(The translation being used is the RSV)

I need to explain my naming of the “speakers” in these passages.
The two main characters of the Song are frequently called “the Lover” and “the Beloved”, giving the first name to the male.
Those labels make the male the active pursuer, following the conventions of romance.
They mask the reality of this poem, that the woman is patently doing most of the pursuing.
That should be one of the clues that this is not a conventional romance.
So I’m calling these characters “the Woman” and “the Loved One” in that order.

We now see the woman occupied in keeping a flock and giving it pasture.
So what happened to the task of keeping the vineyards (v5)?
I don’t think there’s a conflict.
If her work in the vineyard is mainly about keeping off the foxes and the other scavengers (ch2 v15), then all she needs to do is to keep her flock in the vicinity.
Then the same attitude of protective watchfulness will suffice for both jobs at the same time.
Only if she moves the flock elsewhere, as she now proposes to do, will the vineyards be neglected.

v7; Addressing the Loved One again, she asks him where he rests at noon.
She takes it for granted that there will be a rest, because only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.
She needs to know, because she wants to spend her time with the Loved One, and not with other shepherds of the same kind (“your companions”).

v8; In most translations, this verse is given to the “Friends”, or whatever they’re calling their third-party chorus.
I don’t see why.
Since the question was addressed to the Loved One, it does make sense to assume that the Loved One is responding to it.
The gist of the answer is that if she doesn’t know where to find him, she should attach herself to those who do, and follow their guidance.
The picture seems to be of a general rendezvous, where shepherds can socialise while their flocks are at rest.

However, there’s a puzzling paradox at the heart of this exchange.
The couple seem to be “in touch” with each other and “out of touch” at one and the same time.
They are “in touch” in the sense that the Woman can ask the Loved One a question and get an answer.
Yet they must be “out of touch”, because the whole point of the question is not knowing where to find him.
Another way of describing the case is that the relationship is asymmetrical.
He seems to have a contact with her, which is closer than the contact she has with him.
We’re going to have to come back to this one

v9; Then the Loved One begins praising the woman. He tells her she’s like a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.
The word “among” is ambiguous.
It might mean “belonging to that group”.
Or it might mean “standing out against them, by way of contrast”.
In the first case the point would be that Pharaoh could be expected to have beautiful horses, perhaps ornamented as in the next verse.
In the second case, the contrast would be between the hostility of Pharaoh’s chariots, and the horse which carries the Lord’s champion, a very welcome sight in battle.
The rest of the poem rather supports the second option, with two clear examples of “among” in the “contrasting” sense at the beginning of the next chapter.
In either case a stallion would be more natural, but he can hardly compare the Woman with a stallion.

vv10-11 He praises the ornaments on her cheeks and neck, and offers to supplement them with others.
He cannot say “I will make”, because he’s not a goldsmith or a jeweller and he’s not going to make them with his own hands. He’s going to give the commission to his servants, who will instruct the craftsmen, and the best way of describing that process is to say “We will make”.
Perhaps by now we should be thinking of him as the “king” who is going to be mentioned in the next verse.

vv12-14 Once again we have the problem that it’s not clear, from the text, how the dialogue is to be broken down.
My understanding is that these three verses belong to the Woman.
She praises the king in terms of fragrance.
She finds him as fragrant as the bag of herbs that lies between her breasts, or the henna that can be found in the vineyards of En-gedi
Fragrance comes from her own herbs- her nard- in response to the sight of him on his couch.
Before commentators get too excited about v13- it is the bag, and not the king, that lies between her breasts. The point of comparison is the fragrance, not the location.

v15 The rest of the chapter is even more ambiguous.
The versions vary between “beautiful” and “handsome” according to the taste of the translator.
We might think that the comparison of eyes with doves suits a woman, but it’s also used, later in this poem, in the Woman’s praise of the Loved One.
The real clue, for me, is that phrase “You are…”
When the Loved One praises the woman, in this poem, he tends to address her directly and say “You are…;
“…You are beautiful! Your eyes are doves behind your veil…”- ch4 v1
When the Woman praises the Loved One, she tends to speak about him and say “He is…”;
“His eyes are like doves beside springs of water”- ch5 v12
So this verse, at least, is the Loved One praising the Woman.
But the word for “beautiful”, at the beginning of the next verse, appears to switch to the opposite gender, so that looks like the Woman’s echoing response.

Apart from this personal praise, there is a statement about their location.
Their couch is green, they are surrounded by cedar and pine.
It’s been suggested that he’s talking about the Temple of Solomon, with its wooden panelling.
I would take it the other way round- I believe the trees are literal, and the house structure is metaphorical.
This would mean that “the king’s couch” is located in the woodland.
That throws a new light on the meaning of “brought me into his chambers” in v2, which now seems less out of place in the “pursuit” theme than it did at first glance.

What have we discovered about this Loved One?

We’ve discovered that he’s both a shepherd and a king.
Some people insist on the difference and try to read a human love-story into this poem.
The plot is the Eternal Triangle- the king loves the woman, but she prefers the shepherd.
But this alleged storyline is abandoned in the rest of the poem.
It breaks down, in any case, on the fact that the Woman loves the king (v12) just as passionately as she loves the shepherd (v7).
The only way to save her reputation is by the assumption that shepherd and king are one and the same.
As we read through vv8-17, we can watch the transition from one role to the other.

We’ve discovered that he can speak to the Woman at a time when she doesn’t know where to find him.
In other words, the relationship between them is asymmetrical.
There is a sense in which the distance between them is shorter for the Loved One than it is for the Woman.

We find that the king is “at home” in the open spaces of the land (and this theme will be developed in the later chapters).

I believe the Loved One is the Creator God.
I’ve already proposed that the Woman represents God’s people.

That would explain why the Woman, in v6, wants to escape the “companions”, who would be the alternative gods claiming to be his peers.
If she keeps in their company, she will be “wandering”, not following her true allegiance.
The message in this passage is that her rightful husband, her king and her shepherd, is one who loves her dearly.
He regards her as beautiful, and wants to give her further adornment.




posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 05:30 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


The key to the entire thing is to research Jewish Wedding Customs and Song of Solomon together. The groom is away for a time preparing a home. The servants communicate between the two. The bride does not know when the groom will come for her. In the same way, this is a veiled reference to the rapture. Read the Masnavi of Rumi for more on the beloved. His Discourses are also good. Once you understand the relationship between Ocean and Dew, you can see more clearly concerning the Soul of the King and that of mankind. The King is always on Earth with us, therefore, the Shepherd of men.

Virgin of the World (Worthless Mystery)

"The king is the last of the Gods and the first of men. So long as he sojourns upon earth, his divinity is concealed, but he possesses something which distinguishes him from other men and approximates him to the Divine. The soul in him comes from a loftier region than that from which descend the souls of common men."

Compare this to Adam being created by the Son of God, following through to all humanity and ending with the Last Adam (Christ). Adam is the heel of the loaf of bread. 1 Corinthians 10 speaks of the loaf of bread. Genesis speaks of the heel crushing the head of Satan.

1 Corinthians 15

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[f]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.

Is there a connection between the Egyptian Osiris, Isis, Horus and the reason Moses had to be schooled in Egypt? The Virgin of the World has many of the same elements, as does the Corpus Hermeticum. Each is a connection to the Bible, but broken by language. Why? Babel. Read the symbols for the inner story. You also need to be careful for the worthless mystery of Paganism.

Enoch One

And now as to the Watchers who have sent thee to intercede for them, who had been aforetime in heaven, say to them: 3 "You have been in heaven, but all the mysteries had not yet been revealed to you, and you knew worthless ones, and these in the hardness of your hearts you have made known to the women, and through these mysteries women and men work much evil on earth." 4 Say to them therefore: " You have no peace."'

The Mystery School is a worthless version. Paganism held the worthless mystery. Moses carried the true thread of truth forward out of Egypt. This is why the Bible is on the altar of every Freemason Temple. Who were the first Masons and how did they reject the chief cornerstone? It's the difference between Cain and Able and Jacob and Esau. Jacob was loved and Esau hated. This gives you a clue as to the bride and the blood that will be avenged.

It's a mystery for sure and one that I still do not have in my mind clearly. None of us do until all things are revealed, but you can be sure that broadening your awareness reveals more of the story from the symbols used by all cultures.



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 05:58 PM
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reply to post by EnochWasRight
 

Thank you for those comments.
The angle that is particularly interesting me is the light thrown on the subject-matter by the history of the probable time of writing.
It's very plausible that it was written after the fall of Jersualem and the Babylonian Exile, and I'm convinced that this experience is the reason for the sense of loss and abandonment and crisis which enters into the second part of the poem, from ch.5 onwards.
A "wedding" explanation does not completely solve the poem, unless it accounts for that sense of crisis.
This is the story of a true love which is not running smooth.



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
reply to post by EnochWasRight
 

Thank you for those comments.
The angle that is particularly interesting me is the light thrown on the subject-matter by the history of the probable time of writing.
It's very plausible that it was written after the fall of Jersualem and the Babylonian Exile, and I'm convinced that this experience is the reason for the sense of loss and abandonment and crisis which enters into the second part of the poem, from ch.5 onwards.
A "wedding" explanation does not completely solve the poem, unless it accounts for that sense of crisis.
This is the story of a true love which is not running smooth.


Why did Christ need to die? Hint, Israel is the harlot. What does the law say of the union between husband and wife. What releases the wife?



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 06:43 PM
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reply to post by EnochWasRight
 

There is a sense, in the second part of the poem, that the groom is "hidden" from his bride.
Just as Christ is "hidden" from us now.
When this series comes to the last chapter of the poem (but there's a while to go yet), I'll be drawing attention to the resemblance between "Make haste, my beloved" (ch8 v14) and "even so, come Lord Jesus".



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 07:01 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
reply to post by EnochWasRight
 

There is a sense, in the second part of the poem, that the groom is "hidden" from his bride.
Just as Christ is "hidden" from us now.
When this series comes to the last chapter of the poem (but there's a while to go yet), I'll be drawing attention to the resemblance between "Make haste, my beloved" (ch8 v14) and "even so, come Lord Jesus".



The groom had to die to release the bride from the covenant. The law was a guardian until faith came.

Galatians 3

23 Before the coming of this faith,[j] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

The only way to release Israel from the union was to allow the groom to die. The new bride is the church, which will eventually drawn in Israel. This allows all of humanity to be joined in union.

Romans 11

11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

Union with God has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. In the end, the entire world is consummated in this union. We are grafted in to the olive tree.

17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

The blindness of Israel is only for a time. The second day God revives them from their sleep and then raises them on the third day. In the coming tribulation, Israel will wake on the second year when the foreshadowing of Joseph happens (Telling his brothers who he is). When Christ said, "if you destroy this temple, I will raise it again in three days," he was referring to 3000 years. 2000 have passed so Israel will wake on the second year of tribulation.

Hosea 6

2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
3 Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.”

The rains are parallel to Elijah in 1 Kings 17. The Dew that was shut off is turned on again and Baptism of souls happens in the wilderness. 7 billion are here now to see Christ return for the bride. Once he does, Israel will finally see their Messiah and faith will bring the victory. The Muslims will enter as well and the combined unity will crush Satan's head. The heel of the loaf will be known, even by the wicked generation that pierced Christ. You must be born again and we are in that resurrection of the dead now. All of us.

Revelation 1:7

7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”[c]
So shall it be! Amen.

The groom comes from the bride. Baptism is our involution into the water to put out the fire. We must be born again to see this happen. Elijah / John prepares the way. See this thread: I'm My Own Grandpa




edit on 2-6-2013 by EnochWasRight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 05:29 PM
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reply to post by EnochWasRight
 

As I was explaining to someone on the previous thread- I think interpretations in terms of Christ are valid, but they need to be grounded in a sense of what the writer himself thought he meant.
So I'm working on that level of things, so that other interpretations can be built up from there.
E.g. the implied message of the later part of the poem is the assurance that what appears to have been lost is not really lost at all- and that can then be applied in other ways.



posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 05:22 PM
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My interest in the Song of Songs was originally inspired by the reading of the sermons of Bernard of Clairvaux.
Especially by his comments on the words “I am black, but beautiful”, as applied to the spiritual state of the church or the individual soul. The idea of being sinful and imperfect, but still beloved by God.
Knowing the history of the church, I was very conscious of its imperfections, so it all rang very true.
However, my own interpretation obviously strikes out a very different line from Bernard, in all sorts of different ways.
Nor is there space for me to take the devotional approach.
But I would argue that gaining a good sense of the writer’s conscious intentions would provide the most sure foundation of any approach, including the devotional.



posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 04:13 PM
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This thread is the sequel to
Draw me after you
which covered the first half of the same chapter.


edit on 5-6-2013 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 6 2013 @ 04:16 PM
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For information;
The next thread in this series will cover the first half of the second chapter of the poem.



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 01:03 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

The thread mentioned in the above post can nw be found at;
Feed me with raisins



posted on Jun, 19 2013 @ 03:03 PM
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The most recent thread in this series is
Arise, my love, my fair one
(second half of second chapter)

edit on 19-6-2013 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)
extra DIV



posted on Jun, 28 2013 @ 03:04 PM
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The most recent thread in this series is
I will seek him
covering the beginning of the third chapter



posted on Jul, 3 2013 @ 04:23 PM
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The most recent thread in this series is
Behold the litter of Solomon
(second half of third chapter)



posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 01:39 PM
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This whole series is now indexed at the following location;

The Unseen Husband




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