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An outline of the Book of the Song of Solomon

An outline of the Book of the Song of Solomon

 

Hebrew Name - Shiyr Hashirim "Song of songs"
Greek Name - Asma Asmaton (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Solomon (According to Tradition)
Date - 1014 BC Approximately
Theme - The beauty of love
Types and Shadows - In Song of Solomon Jesus is the husband who loves His bride

The Song of Solomon is a lyric poem written to extol the virtues of love between a husband and his wife. The poem clearly presents marriage as God’s design. A man and woman are to live together within the context of marriage, loving each other spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

This book combats two extremes: asceticism (the denial of all pleasure) and hedonism (the pursuit of only pleasure). The marriage profiled in Song of Solomon is a model of care, commitment, and delight.


The poetry takes the form of a dialogue between a husband (the king) and his wife (the Shulamite). We can divide the book into three sections: the courtship (1:1 - 3:5); the wedding (3:6 - 5:1); and the maturing marriage (5:2 - 8:14).

The song begins before the wedding, as the bride-to-be longs to be with her betrothed, and she looks forward to his intimate caresses. However, she advises letting love develop naturally, in its own time. The king praises the Shulamite’s beauty, overcoming her feelings of insecurity about her appearance. The Shulamite has a dream in which she loses Solomon and searches throughout the city for him. With the help of the city guards, she finds her beloved and clings to him, taking him to a safe place. Upon waking, she repeats her injunction not to force love.

On the wedding night, the husband again praises the beauty of his wife, and in highly symbolic language, the wife invites her spouse to partake of all she has to offer. They make love, and God blesses their union.

As the marriage matures, the husband and wife go through a difficult time, symbolized in another dream. In this second dream, the Shulamite rebuffs her husband, and he leaves. Overcome with guilt, she searches the city for him; but this time, instead of helping her, the guards beat her—symbolic of her pained conscience. Things end happily as the lovers reunite and are reconciled.

As the song ends, both the husband and wife are confident and secure in their love, they sing of the lasting nature of true love, and they yearn to be in each other’s presence.


 

 
 
 
 
 1:1-1:8     Colloquy of Bride and Friends
 1:9-2:7     Colloquy of Bridegroom, Friends, and Bride

 2:8-2:17    Springtime Rhapsody

 3:1-3:5     Love's Dream
 3:6-3:11    The Groom and His Party Approach

 4:1-5:1     The Bride's Beauty Extolled

 5:2-5:8     Another Dream
 5:9-6:3     Colloquy of Friends and Bride

 6:4-6:13    The Bride's Matchless Beauty

 7:1-8:4     Expressions of Praise

 8:5-8:14    Homecoming



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