Song of Solomon

  • Song of Solomon Facts

    8 chapters
    117 verses
    2,531 words
    Wisdom Genre

  • Song of Solomon Word Cloud

    This word cloud picture shows the most repeated words in Song of Solomon

  • Writings about Song of Solomon

    Christian education materials about Song of Solomon, including book overviews, reading guides for the Wisdom genre, discussion questions, discipleship lessons, and throught-provoking essay.

  • Song of Solomon Daily Readings

    Start reading or listening to Song of Solomon and its associated daily readers on Day 308 when Song of Solomon begins

Daily Reader for Day 308: Song of Solomon 1 - 3


by Dave Moore

“The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s” is the only introduction to author and context that this book receives.  Called in various traditions the “Song of Songs,” “Song of Solomon,” or simply, “Canticles,” this book is one of the most unusual experiences you’ll find in the entire Bible.  

A historical fascination with the Song of Songs is linked to its exceptional content.  Sensual scenes and erotic language are threaded throughout what is on the surface an ancient love song.  Volumes have been written by teachers who find in this Song an allegory of God’s relationship with Israel or His love for the Church. 

These efforts possess greater urgency for those who simply can’t believe something like the Song of Songs could be part of Scripture.  But at You Can Read the Bible we take what the text demands.  The Song itself does not demand allegory, nor does the rest of the Bible demand that such writings can’t be sacred.  While this could be allegorical, and indeed multiple meanings could spiral out from it, this could be the Song of Songs – The Ultimate Song – because of its subject matter and not in spite of it.  As with all of the wisdom literature we’ve seen, this could be what it appears on its face: an observation… a window into the hearts of a bride and groom and their friends. 

An extended dialogue between these three parties fills the first chapter.  Some translations help by indicating who is speaking, based on the gender of nouns in the Hebrew.  In chapters 2 and 3 the bride sings and dreams of her beloved.  Similes and metaphors from the natural world abound, and certain phrases are repeated in some lyrical way.  You can capture one of these raindrops and examine it, or you can let the whole things wash over you like a spring shower.

One final note is needed about the book order.  In most English Bibles, the Song of Songs comes after Ecclesiastes, not before.  In many Hebrew Bibles Ecclesiastes comes after the Song, along with writings such as Lamentations and Ruth.  The Song is read during the week of Passover, but otherwise no order for these books has been definitively established.  Since tradition demands no particular course, we’ve gone with the ancient order because of the Song’s feel as an extended proverb; its ascription to Solomon; and the subject matter of the two books.  Ecclesiastes derives its wisdom from long life; the Song of Songs has its whole life before it. 

Our verse for this week is Ephesians 6:12: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Song of Solomon 1 through 3.  Now let’s read it!

Song of Solomon 1 - 3

1:1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.

  Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
  For your love is better than wine;
    your anointing oils are fragrant;
  your name is oil poured out;
    therefore virgins love you.
  Draw me after you; let us run.
    The king has brought me into his chambers.
  We will exult and rejoice in you;
    we will extol your love more than wine;
    rightly do they love you.
  I am very dark, but lovely,
    O daughters of Jerusalem,
  like the tents of Kedar,
    like the curtains of Solomon.
  Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
    because the sun has looked upon me.
  My mother's sons were angry with me;
    they made me keeper of the vineyards,
    but my own vineyard I have not kept!
  Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
    where you pasture your flock,
    where you make it lie down at noon;
  for why should I be like one who veils herself
    beside the flocks of your companions?

  If you do not know,
    O most beautiful among women,
  follow in the tracks of the flock,
    and pasture your young goats
    beside the shepherds' tents.
  I compare you, my love,
    to a mare among Pharaoh's chariots.
  Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
    your neck with strings of jewels.
  We will make for you ornaments of gold,
    studded with silver.
  While the king was on his couch,
    my nard gave forth its fragrance.
  My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh
    that lies between my breasts.
  My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
    in the vineyards of Engedi.
  Behold, you are beautiful, my love;
    behold, you are beautiful;
    your eyes are doves.
  Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful.
  Our couch is green;
    the beams of our house are cedar;
    our rafters are pine.
2:1   I am a rose of Sharon,
    a lily of the valleys.
  As a lily among brambles,
    so is my love among the young women.
  As an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
    so is my beloved among the young men.
  With great delight I sat in his shadow,
    and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
  He brought me to the banqueting house,
    and his banner over me was love.
  Sustain me with raisins;
    refresh me with apples,
    for I am sick with love.
  His left hand is under my head,
    and his right hand embraces me!
  I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles or the does of the field,
  that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.

  The voice of my beloved!
    Behold, he comes,
  leaping over the mountains,
    bounding over the hills.
  My beloved is like a gazelle
    or a young stag.
  Behold, there he stands
    behind our wall,
  gazing through the windows,
    looking through the lattice.
  My beloved speaks and says to me:
  “Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away,
  for behold, the winter is past;
    the rain is over and gone.
  The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing has come,
  and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.
  The fig tree ripens its figs,
    and the vines are in blossom;
    they give forth fragrance.
  Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away.
  O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
    in the crannies of the cliff,
  let me see your face,
    let me hear your voice,
  for your voice is sweet,
    and your face is lovely.
  Catch the foxes for us,
    the little foxes
  that spoil the vineyards,
    for our vineyards are in blossom.”
  My beloved is mine, and I am his;
    he grazes among the lilies.
  Until the day breathes
    and the shadows flee,
  turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle
    or a young stag on cleft mountains.

3:1   On my bed by night
  I sought him whom my soul loves;
    I sought him, but found him not.
  I will rise now and go about the city,
    in the streets and in the squares;
  I will seek him whom my soul loves.
    I sought him, but found him not.
  The watchmen found me
    as they went about in the city.
  “Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”
  Scarcely had I passed them
    when I found him whom my soul loves.
  I held him, and would not let him go
    until I had brought him into my mother's house,
    and into the chamber of her who conceived me.
  I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles or the does of the field,
  that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.

  What is that coming up from the wilderness
    like columns of smoke,
  perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
    with all the fragrant powders of a merchant?
  Behold, it is the litter of Solomon!
  Around it are sixty mighty men,
    some of the mighty men of Israel,
  all of them wearing swords
    and expert in war,
  each with his sword at his thigh,
    against terror by night.
  King Solomon made himself a carriage
    from the wood of Lebanon.
  He made its posts of silver,
    its back of gold, its seat of purple;
  its interior was inlaid with love
    by the daughters of Jerusalem.
  Go out, O daughters of Zion,
    and look upon King Solomon,
  with the crown with which his mother crowned him
    on the day of his wedding,
    on the day of the gladness of his heart.

(ESV)

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