It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Song of Songs; The unseen husband [Index thread]

page: 1

log in


posted on Sep, 8 2013 @ 05:12 PM
My series of threads on the Song of Songs has now reached the end of the poem.
Here, then, is the promised Index, to help people find their way around them

Chapter 1 vv2-6
Draw me after you

The poem begins, as it ends, with a speech from the Woman.
This Woman addresses the one she loves, and tells him that she wants his love.
She believes that she had a close relationship with him, but she’s also conscious that others may hold her in low esteem.
I believe the best way to read this poem is to understand the Woman as representing God’s people, in the same way that God describes Israel as his wife in other places in the Old Testament.

Chapter 1 vv7-17
Tell me where you rest at noon

The one whom the Woman loves begins to respond
He assures her how much he loves her.
In fact, there is a sense in which he knows the Woman much more closely than she knows him.
He can be seen both as a shepherd and as a king.
I believe the best way to read this poem is to understand the Loved One as representing the Creator God.

Chapter 2 vv1-7
Sustain me with raisins

In this passage, we see the Woman and the Loved One in a time of rest and mutual enjoyment.
This is the relationship in the ideal state.
But I believe these early passages are retrospective, looking back from a time when the relationship seemed to have gone wrong.

Chapter 2 vv8-17
Arise my love, my fair one

The Loved One, in the form of a gazelle, invites the Woman to join him in a shared enjoyment of the Creation.

Chapter 3 vv1-5
I will seek him

The Woman describes how she sought out and found the Loved One, and brought him home.

Chapter 3 vv6-11
Behold the litter of Solomon

Solomon enters, accompanied by power and glory, and depicted as a bridegroom.
Solomon was the ruler of the ideal kingdom of Israel’s past.
But this passage is also about one who “comes up from the wilderness”, which points to the arrival in the land of God and his people.
Therefore my understanding is that this marriage represents the Covenant relationship between them.

Chapter 4 vv1-8
Your hair is like a flock of goats

The Loved One praises the beauty of his bride.

Chapter 4 vv9-16 and chapter 5 v1
My sister, my bride

This praise continues. The marriage relationship seems to be secure.

Chapter 5 vv2-8
I am sick with love

This passage is the central episode of the Song of Songs, because it explains why the poem was written.
The Woman describes the devastating impact of the apparent loss of contact with the Loved One.
I believe this represents the catastrophe of the Fall of Jerusalem and the Babylonian Exile, when it would seem to God’s people that they had indeed lost contact with their God.

Chapter 5 vv9-16 and chapter 6 vv1-3
One among ten thousand

The Woman praises the Loved One, showing how her love perseveres, despite the apparent separation.

Chapter 6 vv4-13
The dance of the Shulamite

This passage combines two themes.
The Woman’s thoughts, on the one hand, are focussed on the Loved One, and she regrets his absence.
Meanwhile the Loved One seeks to assure the Woman that his love towards her remains undiminished

Chapter 7 vv1-9
The queenly maiden

The Loved One continues to praise the Woman.
He is hidden, but he is not absent.
In reality, the Covenant relationship, the marriage bond of the Loved One and the Woman, remains unbroken.

Chapter 7 vv10-14 and chapter 8 vv1-4
I would kiss you

Not fully conscious of the Loved One’s assurances, the Woman expresses her sense of loss.

Chapter 8 vv5-10
Under the apple-tree

The sense of loss which the Woman has experienced begins to be replaced by a message of hope.
The Loved One continues to love and protect her, and she is moving towards the time when her restoration will be complete.

Chapter 8 vv11-14
Make haste, my beloved

Therefore the poem ends on this appeal. I have suggested that it is the emotional equivalent of the Christian’s “Even so, come Lord Jesus”.

At first sight, the Song of Songs looks like an ordinary love-poem, and is often interpreted that way.
I suggest that it belongs to the genre of “love poetry” to the same extent that Kings and Chronicles belong to the genre of “history”, or Proverbs belongs to the genre “collection of proverbs and wise sayings”.
In each case the literary genre has been given a spiritual dimension.
It is easy to see that the “historical” books are not just pure secular history, but have been used to say something about the relation between God and his people.
We find in Proverbs not just secular wisdom, but warnings against different kinds of unrighteousness.
Similarly the writer or compiler of Song of Songs has taken the genre of “love-poetry” and adapted it, turning it into another picture of the relationship between God’s people and their God.

Many scholars believe, for language reasons, that the poem was more probably written in the period after the Return from the Babylonian Exile.
In which case the “life-situation” of the poem can be seen as a response to the disaster of the Fall of Jerusalem.

The story of the poem goes like this;
The early chapters are nostalgic, looking back to the “honeymoon” period of the relationship, when the two lovers, God and his people, could enjoy each other’s company and enjoy the land together.
This honeymoon period is identified, retrospectively, with the kingdom of Solomon.
The nightmare episode of the fifth chapter is central in every way, because it represents the catastrophe caused by the power of Babylon, when the relationship between God and his people appeared to be broken.
The two themes of the chapters thereafter are the sense of loss and the sense of renewed hope.
They are assured, over and over again, that they have not lost their God after all.
The final note of the poem is the prospect of complete reconciliation

A different response can be found in the allegories of Ezekiel ch16 and ch23.
These allegories are complaining about the idolatries of the old kingdoms, in terms of sexual jealousy, and the language can be so bluntly and brutally sexual that the passages cannot be read in church services.
I believe this love- poem was deliberately intended as a more optimistic and benevolent version of the same kind of allegory.
So the intended purpose of the poem would be to encourage God’s people to believe in his love towards them, despite the discouraging aspects of their situation, and to remain faithful.

Therefore the most natural way of understanding this poem is that the people who placed the book among the sacred writings of Israel, believing it to have a sacred meaning, were correctly grasping the writer’s intentions.

posted on Sep, 8 2013 @ 06:22 PM
Why is the husband unseen? I know you'll disagree, but the husband is unseen because he is the one who sees, he is your consciousness.

The wife is seen by the husband because the physical world is seen by consciousness. The Husbands (spirits') Bride is the Wife (physical), and when the two become one, you get the Son, which is life itself, a.k.a. you and me. We are in the bridal chamber right here and now, and everyone is invited to the wedding.

posted on Sep, 8 2013 @ 06:35 PM
reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1

That kind of philosophy is much later than the time when this poem was written, and therefore would not be what the author meant.
The object of the exercise is understanding what the author was getting at.

posted on Sep, 8 2013 @ 06:39 PM
reply to post by DISRAELI

It is not a new philosophy by any stretch of the imagination, and Solomon's poem proves that in my opinion. Those who put the bible together distorted his true intention to mean something different from the original intent. They kept the words but changed their meanings. All good lies have a foundation of truth.

posted on Sep, 8 2013 @ 06:45 PM
reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1

Any philosophy based on modern pyschology is not much older than Freud.

posted on Sep, 8 2013 @ 06:57 PM
reply to post by DISRAELI

What makes you think my philosophy is modern? It's much older than you think and it was hijacked and twisted to mean something different by those who put the bible together, and pretty much any other religious book for that matter. The world has been full of lies throughout history, and religion is one of those lies including Judaism and Christianity.

Like I said, all good lies have a foundation of truth, and that foundation of truth is what sells the lies that come with it. The truth is simple and what we know (life) is the simplest answer. Read the bible with the mindset of God being life itself and everything that comes with it and it's much easier to understand.

top topics

log in