Introduction: By way of a short review, we learned that no place in the Bible gives us as beautiful a picture of the sweet relationship that should exist between Jesus and His people as does the Song of Solomon.
The girl, mentioned here, was a Shulamite girl that was very poor. She came from a shepherd's country. She was in love with her betrothed who was a shepherd in the hills. She was to get married to him, and they were very deeply in love.
Solomon was king at this time and was out to add women to his harem. When he saw the Shulamite girl, he wanted to add her to his "collection." She was a very lovely girl, and Solomon was infatuated by her. He sought to bring her to his palace to love him. She refused all of his offers.
I mentioned that the scope of the book is determined by its structure as a whole. The story gradually develops itself; and, from the key, which is found in the last chapter (8:5-14), the whole story may be pieced together.
We also learned that the story is about a family living at Shunem consisting of a widowed mother, several sons, and one daughter who cared for themselves by farming and raising livestock. The brothers loved their sister very much (as should every brother) and took her under their personal care promising that her purity and virtue should be greatly rewarded by them. In the course of time, while tending the flock, and, according to the custom of the shepherds, at noon, she sat down beneath a tree for shelter against the mid-day heat of the sun and met with the shepherd boy to whom she became espoused.
Having been taken captive by Solomon, the desire of her heart was to be delivered from him. She loved only her shepherd boy. Praise the Lord, she did not go willingly! She wanted only her shepherd boy! She was there in the king's chambers against her will! She begged to be rescued from the one she didn't love by the one she loved.
Now, let's look more closely to the events of chapter 1.
1. The song is announced. - Song 1:1
"The song of songs, which is Solomon's."
- Verse 1 is truly the title rather than the one traditionally ascribed to it.
- The most beautiful song ever written in the history of the world is about to be read.
- The "Song of songs" is like the Holy of holies, the King of kings, the God of gods and Lord of lords, the Hebrew of the Hebrews, and the Heaven of heavens as they are mentioned in Scripture. It is the ultimate of songs.
2. The Shulamite thinks about her lover. - Song 1:2-4
"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee."
- The phrase, "Let him kiss me..." expresses her desire for her shepherd boy from whom she has been taken by King Solomon. Because she is separated from him, the phrase expresses a great desire..."O, for a kiss!"
- Verse 4 shows us plainly that she had been taken captive by King Solomon for his harem of 1,000 women, "...hath brought me into his chambers..."
- In remembering her shepherd boy, she begs in her heart and with her voice for him to come and rescue her from the king. She said, "Draw me, we will run after thee..." This phrase means, "Draw me after thee! Let us flee together! Let's run to anyone for help and refuge!"
3. She speaks to the daughters of Jerusalem. - Song 1:5-6
"I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept."
- These court ladies did not like the Shulamite. Perhaps, they were jealous and bitter, for they were part of Solomon's harem of 1,000 women. The shepherd boy had only one, the Shulamite!
- Apparently, the daughters of Jerusalem had "talked down" to her because she was not only beautiful but sunburned as well, "Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me..."
- She remembers how her brothers treated her, "...my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept."
- For this reason, she turned her thoughts to the one whom she knew only thought kindly of her, sunburned or not!
4. The Shulamite turns her thoughts to her lover.
- Song 1:7 says, "Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?"
- This thought is obviously directed to her shepherd because of the word "feedest." It means "shepherdest," and, therefore, cannot refer to Solomon.
- In essence, she is saying she has no reason nor desire to wander off to anyone else.
- Some look for a reason to leave; not her! She had no reason to leave and many reasons to stay faithful.
5. She speaks again to the daughters of Jerusalem.
- Notice verse 8, "If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents."
- In a nutshell, she turns to the king's harem and says, "If you can't tell me why I shouldn't wander away from my shepherd boy, then go ahead and wander off yourselves. I'm happy with what I have!"
6. Solomon speaks to the Shulamite. - Song 1:9-11
"I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots. Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold. We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver."
- We know it is Solomon because the term "my love" is feminine. Her shepherd is not there, and the court ladies do not speak to her this way. It is the king himself addressing her.
- Here, he reveals his great admiration for this girl. He saw her differently than his other 999.
- However, he does only speak of her appearance. Every girl wants to be noticed, but this girl is not impressed with the words of the king. All she wants is her shepherd boy.
Conclusion: As I bring this study to a close, I want to go back to the daughters of Jerusalem and their attitude toward the Shulamite. They really didn't care for her at this point. So, they spoke down to her. In fact, they spoke so negatively of her and to her that she finally had to say something.
Talking down to her was one of the best ways they knew of to hurt her. People do this today. If we can make others seem small to us, then we appear to come out on top. How sad that even Christians do this to other Christians!
Be careful not to talk down to others. To the wise, it will
not show how more important you are than them; it will show just
how small you really are!