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Why Is Song of Songs Included?


Why is the book Song of Songs Included?

Steve Answers:

The reason Song of Songs is in the Bible is that God wanted it there.

Song of Songs is often referred to as the Song of Solomon, since he wrote it. According to

1 Kings 4:32, "he [Solomon] spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five." Song of Songs is his best song of all.

Actually, it’s a love song that scares some people and attracts others. How do you relate to love songs? Do you get all weird? Are you drawn into them, and do you lose all rational thought because your emotions carry you away?

In case you don’t have a Bible nearby to read the entire eight chapters for yourself and aren’t sure why some people avoid this book in the Bible, I’m going to quote a few lines from the first chapter of Song of Songs and add a few of my reactions.

Verse 2, "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth."

Verse 4, "Take me away with you–let us hurry!"

Verse 6, "Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun." (Some racially prejudiced people try to deny that Solomon’s referring to a woman "of color" as the one he desires in this love song.)

Verse 13, "My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts." (Just mentioning the word "lover" is a problem to some. But mentioning the word "breasts" is way too sexual in some circles in our society–a society that associates female breasts with pornographic Internet sites, etc.)

And that’s just some of the stuff in the first chapter! There are seven more!

If you’re uncomfortable with your own sexuality, the Song of Songs might be something to steer clear of until you mature some more. But if you’re ready to handle the best love song Solomon wrote, then savor his phrases.

To really understand all the meaning Solomon wove into Song of Songs, consult a Bible commentary. The powerful images he uses probably don’t make sense in your world the way they did in Solomon’s.

If you don’t consult a Bible commentary, you’ll end up with a literally silly perception of what he thought was beautiful ("Your teeth are like a flock of sheep" [Song of Solomon 4:2]; "Your neck is like the tower of David . . . on it hang a thousand shields" [verse 4]; "You are a garden fountain" [verse 15]).

On the surface Song of Solomon is a love song that illustrates human love. Underneath the surface Song of Solomon illustrates God’s passion for us. So no wonder God wanted it in the Bible. He’s trying to let us know in so many different ways how much He loves us! 

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