Song of Solomon 1:1-17

Marriage Covenant

Chapter 1

There are six chapters in Section 1 of our book, Simply Song of Solomon. It is a narrative of the book of Song of Solomon. We are posting some of those chapters

Song of Solomon 1:1-2

Love Better Than Wine

“Since my youth I have felt a deep chasm in my heart, the need for love. I have yearned for a faithful lifelong companion, friend and partner who would always be there to understand my deepest thoughts and needs. As a maturing young woman, I dreamt of being appreciated for the blossoming beauty of my womanhood. The desperate desire to share myself with a worthy man crowded my thoughts. Then suddenly my life was changed by a chain of unexpected, but exciting, events. 

“Our village was abuzz with the news of the king coming to visit my father for the purpose of discussing a marriage covenant. The prince had come of age and I had been chosen as his prospective bride. My heart was flooded with exhilaration!

“Could this be true? Could this be what I have been longing for, dreaming of? I could hardly grasp the reality of my situation. 

“What would an attractive prince, heir-apparent to the kingdom, see in me, a common peasant girl? What attraction seems to bind him to me? I know he could have any girl in the kingdom. I have nothing to give but myself, while he possesses everything to give to me. I cannot explain why this has happened, yet according to our traditions, the king has chosen me to be his son’s bride.

“The unexpected prospect of having an exciting new life with this handsome and very prominent man stirred my soul. I sensed his passionate love for me, expressed by the extravagant bride price he offered. To realize such worth had been ascribed to me exceeded my wildest fantasies. No rational reason could prevent my desire to be close to him. 

“The day of the betrothal ceremony has arrived! This is not a dream! I must concentrate on the finality of what is being so graciously offered. If I drink this cup of wine, the prince has set before me, our betrothal will be sealed. What I decide to do in this moment will direct my destiny.”

She turns to her approving father and declares with sincerity, “Let him be the one to kiss me now and forever. Nothing in this world could be better than his love.”

Turning to her suitor she looks into his eyes with searching anticipation, “For your love is better than wine, better than anything I have ever known.” Her eyes still fixed on his, she brings the chalice of promise to her lips and drinks deeply.

“Now I am betrothed to this wonderful man who loves me. I know I am embarking on a new and glorious life, something I do not deserve. The joy I am experiencing is not emanating from wine which only brings a momentary exhilaration. This is much better, more uplifting. My simple decision to accept his proposal has elevated me to a status I can neither comprehend nor express. I feel a new and unsurpassed joy, a welcome relief from doubt and fear. My mental conflict is resolved, for I now look forward to the future with assurance. We are betrothed and one day soon we will consummate our love in sexual union.” 

Our young prince is rejoicing because his chosen bride has drunk the covenant cup and committed her heart to him. The approving crowd of families and friends mirrors the joy of the newly betrothed couple and begin the celebration.

Song 1:3-4

Brought into the Throne Room

“My betrothed, there is an air of distinction about your royal name. It diffuses throughout your kingdom like the fragrance of quality ointment poured out on your subjects everywhere it is mentioned. The good reputation of your name reflects abundant sacrificial love. Yours is a name which draws multitudes and promises hope. You have drawn me by the unbreakable band of your love and set me free from the chains holding me to my old life.”

Many young maidens imagine being drawn by such a rare love. Gladly would they run after him with giddy abandonment.

“My betrothed has opened the chambers of his heart and his life, admitting me into his very presence and giving me access to the mysteries contained in his throne room. There abounds incomprehensible treasures of love, liberality, joy, graciousness, peace and the promise of a bright new future.

“All my life I have struggled to climb a sort of ladder, though it was beyond my strength. By the power of his proclaimed love for me, I have arrived at a heavenly oasis. I feel as though I have been lifted out of hopelessness to a magnificent future.” 

Not only do the guests rejoice with this couple, but they have faith his love for her will far outlive the celebration of this day.

Song 1:5-6

Black, But Comely

“O daughters, I used to be plagued with the blackness of condemning thoughts. There was always the heavy burden of guilt in my heart. Now, through the expression of his gracious love for me, my betrothed has taken away the previous dark thoughts of rejection. I have newly emerged from darkness to the dawn of a brighter day. His eyes see an inner beauty of great worth, comparable to the richly embroidered tapestries and fine interior furnishings of the king’s palace.

“So please do not look at me through eyes of condemnation. Even though overexposure has darkened my skin, compared to the fair maidens of the court. He does not judge my physical imperfections; he looks at my heart. Therefore, you should not look upon me with disdain because my circumstances shrouded me in despair. I was distracted from proper devotions and the keeping of my person. My older brothers were much to blame. They have always been envious of our mother’s favored attention toward me. They were relentless in pressing me into service in the vineyard and fields with little chance to coddle myself. 

“Since childhood I have done my part to tend the family’s flock and vineyard, being excessively exposed to the world and the sun. My brothers considered me a burden on the family, so I worked hard to gain their approval. You might say I was their slave. I had no way of freeing myself from their control over me. If I did not perform to their standards, they would increase my workload.” 

Song 1:7-8

Covenant Vows

“As a young girl, even though I wasn’t protected from the sun, I was under the covering of my family. Now, as a grown woman the dynamics have changed. New dangers and temptations are a reality. I was well-taught from an early age the covering of a husband is essential.

“You, whom my soul loves, I am required to tend my family’s flock. I would feel well-protected if I could follow the footsteps of your shepherds, under your covering. I would never want to be mistaken for one of the prostitutes who makes herself available in the fields. May I ask where you are grazing your flock?” 

Solomon responds to her request with manly certitude. “O, most beautiful among women, your obvious virtue demands my attention. I will make sure the trail of my flock is clearly visible, easy to follow. I will be careful not to lead them too fast for you to keep up with. Stay close on the path as you ascend the hills. Watch over your lambs and kids with the guardians by my shepherds’ tents. You will have nothing to fear as you remain under my vigilant covering.

“I am most willing to honor our marriage covenant as your protector, providing the security so desperately needed by every virtuous woman desiring to stay on the high path of righteousness. I will follow the example of my great, great, grandfather Boaz, who provided covering protection for his intended, fair Ruth.” 

Song 1:9-11

Cherished

“My love, as I admire you, I cannot help but compare your graceful movements and physical attractiveness to a beautiful mare among the stallions of Pharaoh’s chariots in their decorative array. All are spirited steeds of the purest breed, perfect in appearance, trained and obedient for the service of royalty. Their thundering power drives his war chariots into battle when needed. It is most evident, because of their great value, they are cherished, well cared for and highly esteemed. 

“Just as you, my love, are most valued and held dear in my heart. To enhance your beauty, I lovingly give you jewelry of fine gold for our wedding day. These are designed and crafted by the most skilled master in the land. Please receive these gifts as a constant reminder of me and my covenant promise to love and cherish you. The full inheritance of all the riches in my kingdom will be yours.”

“My heart leapt as he called me ‘my love.’ I dwelt in the moment, feeling cherished by his uplifting words of affection and assurance of his love. I will cling to his every word of promise, for he is the most precious of all gifts.”

Song 1:12-17

Assurance of His Promise

“Even though my beloved must soon return to his father and his royal duties, the smell of my spikenard, pure and genuine as my faithfulness, will stir his thoughts of me. 

“My thoughts of him are as precious as the myrrh in the little sachet I wear on a ribbon around my neck, between my breasts, close to my heart. In his absence, this fragrance will be a sweet reminder of him day and night.”

Bringing her out of her thoughts, he reassures her, “My love, every time I catch a glimpse of you, I am entranced, unable to turn my gaze away from you. Your soft doves’ eyes, focused only on me, give assurance of your deep, committed faithfulness.”

“My beloved Solomon, you are wonderful, beyond any noble lord ever before seen or heard of.”

“With these parting words, my love, I must leave to prepare our marriage chamber, with the welcoming marriage bed where our love may flourish. Be assured of my promised return as I yearn to hold you in my embrace.

“Everything I put into our new home, the foundation stone, the supporting timbers, the finishing capstone will be the best attainable. My father will make sure his final specifications have been met. My gifts, my heart and my promise I leave with you. I will return for you on our wedding day.”

The above writing is from Section 1, a narrative of the first chapter of Song of Solomon, from our new book, Simply Song of Solomon.