Song of Solomon 1:1-2

Marriage Covenant

Introduction

In Section Two, Marital Oneness and Sex, we dissect the Song of Solomon to uncover some of the mystery pertaining to marriage, especially marital sex. God led us to a unique means for interpreting Song of Solomon by linking words from the Song to verses or stories from the OT and the NT. It has been interesting what God revealed through this method. We noted the links with a bold text in Sections 2 and 3. For instance, in Song 1:1 you will see the phrase “song of” and that phrase appears in bold in Psalms 133:1. “Good” and “together” are also in bold because they link to the verse from Ecclesiastes 4..

This chapter’s theme focuses on the importance of the marriage covenant vows. Heeding God’s word to keep those vows requires oneness in your marriage, which the many scriptures here address.

The scene opens with the young couple meeting at the betrothal ceremony before witnesses to seal the marriage covenant. The fathers of the bride and groom have made the marriage arrangements for their children prior to this legal betrothal. 

Jewish wedding customs fascinate Jamie Lash, a Messianic Jew, as she and her husband have taken part in some of the customs. She explains the bride price and the marriage contract. “Brides at that time were purchased with a bride price, both to compensate the father for the loss of his daughter and to attribute value to the bride.

“Although this may seem cruel and unjust in today’s culture and way of thinking, it was actually a step above what was happening in the pagan world at that time. There was no value placed on wives. If a man wanted a wife, he simply took her to his house, had intercourse with her and she became his wife. God introduced sanctity and permanence into the marriage relationship, and the mohar or bride price was part of raising a standard of righteousness. Women had value. They were to be cherished.

“At the betrothal ceremony, a marriage contract or ketubah was presented to the father of the bride. This contract was a covenant which stipulated the bride price and other provisions that the bridegroom was prepared to make for his bride. Before the ketubah was introduced, women had no rights, no security, no guarantee of protection and provision. The ketubah as a covenantal document elevated women to a new status in society. In it, the bridegroom promised to work for, honor, support and maintain his bride in truth. He would provide her food, clothing and necessities, and live together with her as husband and wife.”

Song 1:1

A song of songs, which is Solomon’s.

song – H7892: Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible, AHLB: cord, a stringed instrument uses thin cords

To Dwell Together in Unity

We begin with dwelling in unity to set the direction of this chapter, which focuses on the importance of the marriage vows.

A Song of degrees of David. How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Psalms 133:1

God is all about oneness, and an essential part of His design for marriage is to bring two people together to learn to dwell together in unity. This is a lifelong process of change involving their different genders, upbringing, personalities and multiple other factors.

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he has not another to help him up.11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

The foundation of oneness between a married couple and their covenant with the Lord God form a three-fold cord not easily broken. When a cord of oneness with God and with your spouse is missing, the  strength of your marriage is weakened.

It is interesting to find the definition of “song” is associated with cords. A simple, yet strong, two-ply cord is made by holding a bundle of intertwined plant fibers with both hands and twisting them in opposite directions. As the twisting continues, eventually a kink will form in the center and the two twisted strands will start wrapping around each other. 

With the making of a cord, we get the idea of a couple with their lives intertwined and pressed together in marriage, endeavoring to become joined as one unit which is stronger and better than either could be alone. It takes a lot of twisting of the will, along with much persevering prayer, love and forgiveness to learn to become one and to dwell together in unity. It is an ongoing learning process.

Song 1:2a

Let him kiss me

 with the kisses of his mouth:

kiss – H5401: to touch together, fastening up [bind]

mouth – H6310: according to all that proceeds out of the mouth [vow}.

What God Has Joined Together

When anyone speaks a vow to God or swears an oath to another, God requires that he will not break his word and will act according to what he promised. 

If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. Number 30:2

When a couple speaks marriage vows to each other before God, then it is God who joins them together and no ordinance of man should separate their covenant. 

And he answered and said unto them, Have you not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder. Matthew 19:4-6

Song 1:2b

for thy love is better than wine.

love – H1730: passion of a person for another; [covenant love]

wine – H3196: At the last it [wine] bites like a serpent Proverbs 23:32  [deception]

Covenant Vows

Covenant vows bind a marital relationship, which is so much better than the temptation to pursue a relationship without commitment. Like the temptation to overindulge in a fine wine, a non-covenant relationship has great potential to bite, resulting in pain. 

Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it gives his color in the cup, when it moves itself aright. 32 At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder. Proverbs 23:31-32

Unfortunately, the marriage covenant has lost its importance as many couples no longer believe spoken vows are necessary, or if spoken, they do not feel the weight of commitment to their vows. 

The above writing is from Section 2 on marriage and marital sex, in our new book, Simply Song of Solomon.

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