Monday, August 8, 2016
The Shulammite shepherdess
Picture two little boys with an open Bible in front of them, and one is pointing at the page, and they both are giggling. What do you think they are reading?
Yep. You guessed it. The Song of Songs. The Song of Solomon.
I wonder if any passage has been more discussed, more misunderstood, but studied any less than these eight chapters?
Within these chapters we find poetry that some have frowned on, some have labeled "erotic," and others just ignore, because they aren't sure what to make of it.
Some scholars have said it's a picture of Christ's love for his church. Some have said, no, it's a picture of God's love for Israel. And still others have said it's Solomon's love for a shepherdess that became his bride, and that it can be seen as an illustration of Christ's love.
The Pulpit Commentary says this: "There is no book of scripture on which more commentaries have been written and diversity of opinion expressed that this short poem of eight chapters. Despite these voluminous writings, it is a book about which very little is know generally by students of the Bible."
I once heard a historian tell this tale: In early America, Benjamin Franklin published the Song of Solomon in installments - little sections for people to read. It stirred up an awful lot of interest, and he was inundated with requests from people who wanted to know where a complete copy of the poetry could be purchased. Finally, on the last installment, he told them it was right there in the pages of their own Bibles!
Here is your reading assignment!
Are you ready? I know, right? I don't usually give out assignments! (Grin)
I hope you will take some time to read the eight chapters of the Song of Solomon.
We will try to study and make some applications for our own lives.
No fair asking me which picture I think it is . . . .