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Song of Songs 7:10-8:4
Bride (to King)
10 I am my beloved’s and his desire is for me.
11 Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country.
Let us spend the night in the villages.
12 Let us rise early to the vineyards.
Let us see whether the vine has budded
and its blossoms have opened
and whether the pomegranates have bloomed.
There I will give my caresses to you.
13 The mandrakes have given forth fragrance
and over our doors are all choice fruits-
both new and old, which I have stored up for
you, my beloved.
Bride to King
8:1 Oh that you were like a brother to me
who nursed at the breasts of my mother.
If I found you outdoors I would kiss you,
and no one would despise me either.
2 I would lead you;
I would bring you to the house of my mother.
You would instruct me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink, the nectar
of my pomegranate.
3 Oh may his left hand be under my hand and his right hand
to Daughters of Jerusalem
4 I adjure you, O daughter of Jerusalem,
not to arouse, not to awaken love until it pleases.
- King Solomon has said to her last night in a various way, how valuable and delightful she was to him as if she is an excellent source of his soul food. Indeed, the bride is well nourished by her husband’s sincere yet loving compliments in words. Now it’s her turn. As a delightful source of his soul food, she exercises her power to give him emotional nourishment by her bold and freer proclamation that he has such an insatiable desire for her!
- Right after their intimacy-nourishing sexual consummation, the wife (Shulamite) freely asserts on the following morning, “I am my beloved’s and his desire is for me.” (7:10) It is the most elaborated expression on her love for her husband, king Solomon. Similar expressions we can find before in 2:6, “My beloved is mine and I am his.” And another one is in 6:3, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” The emotional security of Shulamite in her husband’s love has definitely deepened when we compare the first two with the last in 7:10.
- 3. In 2:6, she places her possession of the beloved primary and his possession of her secondary. Yet the second time she reverses that, placing his possession of her primary that would indicate her greater measure of security in him. Yet after such an emotionally enriching night in 7:1-9, she not only places his possession of her primary but also strengthens it by adding “his desire is for me” (7:10). Thus, she is so focused on him that she even omits her possession of him! King Solomon’s wife is now really lost herself in him and thereby finds herself!
- As we know fully well, the Holy Scriptures would not waste even one iota. In 7:10, we see, the phrase, “his desire is for me.” The word, “desire” has a bad connotation in its first use in Genesis 3:16. In Genesis 3:16, YAHWEH places a curse upon the erring wife by making her so miserable that her desire for Adam is always with her whether she feels for him or not. Such a desire for her husband is not a voluntary, loving, and self-giving one, sadly. Rather, it is sometimes her unwanted desire and other times her excessive desire. It is unruly and against her true feelings and will! Indeed, it was placed as a curse on her!
- But at last, in Song of Songs, we see the curse on the wife is lifted off completely, and her husband has the desire for his wife instead, “his desire is for me” (7:10). King Solomon has led his wife to so much satisfaction and security in his love for her, now she is no more compelled to desire for him against her feelings and will. The curse upon the wife has been changed to be her blessing. Now, king Solomon has such an insatiable desire for her instead! King Solomon has such love for her without making her compelled to yield her unwanted feelings and her will to him by his tyrannical force. Rather, the voluntary and well-satisfied proclamation of Shulamite reveals to us how completely she has lost herself in her husband’s love and desire for her, and now finds herself in firm security that king Solomon’s love provides for her. Now we see the lost paradise is regained in the perfect love of king Solomon for his wife!
Fuller & Freer Communications in Love
- Solitude is to be nurtured for any Christian to properly worship God alone, because worshipping God is his utmost duty and his reason and purpose for his existence on earth. To solve the loneliness only by marriage is like a half-baked cake. When his spouse is gone, his loneliness will come back to haunt him, or when he is gone, she will be very lonely. Therefore, prior to their marriage, by exercising the solitude both parties, the bridegroom and the bride should have a solid footing on their respective intimate relationship with God that cannot be shaken by any other relationship. The worst-case between the married Christian couple is this; he is lonely while she is next to him, or vice versa. That could be the sign of emotional death between the couple. Between such a couple, no meaningful gestures, or words are there to nourish and deepen the love for each other.
- Generally speaking, when marriage is into its second year and more, their romance begins to wane slowly, thus, there is a strong possibility that either one spouse or both spouses can develop certain traits: (1) husband can get rigid, and more or less nonchalant, even robotic with no emotions attached; (2) wife can get fussy and almost no tolerance for things not being done her way. In any Christian marriage, we do not need to develop any of those traits. But when husband or wife becomes self-centered and self-focused, then these traits can easily develop between them. They increasingly focus on what they want, to the exclusion of others. That is the death of their romance and marriage in the sight of their God. In Song of Songs, thankfully, we cannot find any such traits in Shulamite. She remains focused on her loving husband, Solomon. There is reciprocity of freer affection and mutuality of tender care.
- Furthermore, she extends her invitation to him. She wants to spend time with Solomon more than before (7:11-12). She is not bored with Solomon, nor her love becomes cold toward her husband. Their love is very much alive. Still she wants to be with Solomon more than she wants to be with anyone else. We do not see any traces of a sad fact that having Solomon around is burdensome to her. Rather, king Solomon is her joy more than before! Now she wants to go on their second honeymoon on their first wedding anniversary. Time-wise, king Solomon has met Shulamite sometime in fall two years ago, and in the following mid or late springtime he got married to her (2:10-13). Now it’s springtime again, so their first wedding anniversary is fast approaching.
- In their enhanced love life, the wife wants to experiment more with both old and new pleasurable surprises to respond to king Solomon’s romantic gestures and deeds. Her initiating response to Solomon is what king Solomon has drawn from her with his deepened love by making her freer and bolder. She wants to show her deeper affection for him at their second honeymoon in the countryside room. She is very creative in their lovemaking activities. She is not shy as was in their wedding night. She wants to express her love for him all the time anywhere even publicly (8:1). In Bible times, the only men that a woman could touch in public were her father and her brothers. She wants to act like his older sister to lead him, yet she is willing to listen to his teaching. Such a free role-play makes her lovemaking so much fun and pleasant between them. Thus, she is playfully bold and free to tell king Solomon how much she is eager to touch him all the time at any place! It does not mean she wants to be shameless by advocating her outrageous public display of affection for king Solomon. What she is saying to the king is that there is to be no off-limits to their lovemaking. She has an around-the-clock romantic inclination toward her husband so much so that she would love to cause king Solomon to drink “spiced wine, the nectar of my pomegranate” (8:2). It means she desires king Solomon to be constantly intoxicated by the thought of her sexuality.
- The last saying of her is really bold that she is verbally asking her husband to make love to her passionately and tenderly (8:3). Once the daughters of Jerusalem hear about such a passionate lovemaking story between Shulamite and king Solomon, they would be tempted impatiently to force her to go further toward him. Thus, she is asking them not to force her to do so in her love for him, “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, not to arouse, not to awaken love until it pleases” (8:4). Shulamite knows any single romantic act is precious to him and her, so it cannot be forced, rather she would be patiently waiting for its perfect timing and creative moment.
Questions to Ponder with Prayers
- How can you be not falling into boredom in your relationship when it gets older?
- How do you understand a freer and bolder atmosphere in this couple’s lovemaking?
- What possible ways can you express your appreciation in your relationship?