Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Song of Songs chapters 4&5

The themes continue in chapters 4 and 5. There is one part of each chapter that is important. The rest of the chapters are filled with beautiful procomations of love that repeat the theological points already stated, but two parts stand out:

A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a garden locked, a fountain sealed.
Songs 4:12

This line reinforces chastity. A garden locked. A fountian sealed. Their love is sexual in the nature of how all love is...but it has not contained the sexual act yet. All of the erotic nature of the poem so far is a longing. A longing in physical and spiritual terms. It is not a dirty or unclean longing because it moves toward ultimate union and fidelity as its' goal.


I slept, but my heart was awake. Hark! my beloved is knocking. "Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one; for my head is wet with dew, my locks with the drops of the night." I had put off my garment, how could I put it on? I had bathed my feet, how could I soil them?

My beloved put his hand to the latch, and my heart was thrilled within me.
I arose to open to my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, upon the handles of the bolt. I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had turned and gone. My soul failed me when he spoke. I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he gave no answer.

The watchmen found me, as they went about in the city; they beat me, they wounded me, they took away my mantle, those watchmen of the walls.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that you tell him I am sick with love.

What is your beloved more than another beloved, O fairest among women? What is your beloved more than another beloved, that you thus adjure us?

Songs 5:2-9

He comes to the door. But she is naked and can not open it. She is ashamed and does not want to be improper. It echos, directly:

And he said, "I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." He said, "Who told you that you were naked?

Genesis 3:10-11

When she finally gets to the door, He is gone. She runs out in search of Him. We are never told that she is in any state other than the state which prevented her from opening the door. But yet, she will not lose Him.

The people ask her a question that i have looked at in the very beginning of my posts:

What is your beloved more than another beloved?

This is the only time in the Bible where this Hebrew grammatical structure is used:

“Mah (X) Mi{n} (Y)” The specific structure of “How is this different from that”

This is not a comparative structure but a differentiating structure. Although this grammatical structure is found nowhere else in the Bible, it is found somewhere else:

Mah nistannah ha-laylah ha-zeh mi{n}-kol ha-leylot
How is this night different from any other?

Used once in the Bible in the Song of Songs, but one of the most important questions ever asked. It is used at Passover to differentiate the night of deliverance from all other nights.

To me this is a beautiful parallel in the divinely inspired work to our redemption by Christ. How is the beloved different from all others? Because He brings deliverance and redemption.

We are fallen. Sin has harmed us. It has brought us shame and we don't want God to see it. We refuse to let Him in. Then we chase Him, We run after Christ who has come to save us. Why?

How is our beloved different from others? Becuase He brings redemption from Sin. Redemption of our very nature and bodies and heals all creation.

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