- Christogenea Internet Radio
On the Song of Songs: Part 4, the Consequences (White is Beautiful, and White is Godly)
We titled our presentation of chapters 5 and 6 of the Song of Songs as The Conclusion, adding the assertion in the parenthetical subtitle that Two Seedline is Biblical Truth. The statement may be puzzling to some who may not be fully acquainted with all of the ideological differences among Identity Christians, but it is meant to indicate that the Song supports, and even corroborates, our interpretations of the idioms of Genesis chapter 3, which we have often explained portrays an account of sexual seduction and resulting fornication. However while that is one conclusion we made from our study of the text of the Song it is not the conclusion of the Song itself. Now, as we do present the final two chapters of the Song, we will see even further corroboration for the veracity of our interpretation.
Throughout our presentation of the Song, we were also able to make conclusions which are important to a proper understanding of Biblical anthropology, that the subjects of the Song must have been of the White or Caucasian race. We will also see further evidence of that here in chapter 7. Properly, only White people can be described as being ruddy, or as having skin like ivory, or legs like pillars of marble, as we saw in the Bride’s description of the Husband in Song chapter 5 in reference to his belly and his legs. These same descriptions also further reinforce the assertion that the Song contains allegories describing sexual relations, where the Husband speaks of eating fruit from a garden, the garden being the Bride herself, or where the Bride celebrated the eating of fruit from an apple tree, which in turn was a reference to the Husband. That is evident where in the the physical descriptions the lovers are portrayed as comparing parts of one another’s nude bodies to those various natural elements, such as ivory or marble.
As we had approached the end of Song chapter 6, as the Husband and Bride have once again come together and as they begin to describe one another with provocative language, it seems that he is taking her away and the Chorus beckons to him, asking “What will ye see in the Shulamite?” The word Shulamite evidently means perfect one, which is a reference to the Bride made by the Chorus in response to the Husband’s description of his lover. Now, the Husband responds, evidently answering their inquiry.
But the response, placed at the end of the last verse of chapter 6, was translated in the King James Version to read “As it were the company of two armies.” Neither did the King James Version ever distinguish the speaker of each part of the Song, which is sometimes difficult to deduce. So the divisions supplied here in our commentary are our own, where some parts are spoken by the Husband, some by the Bride, and others by a Chorus, the daughters of Jerusalem. Only context and the grammar in the Hebrew text have helped us make the determination as to who is speaking which lines. Therefore we would move that last clause of chapter 6 here to the beginning of chapter 7, and interpret it as the beginning of a statement which is completed in verse 1, spoken by the Husband in answer to the Chorus:
Husband: 6:13 … Like a dance of two camps 1 How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.
Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible agrees with us in moving the clause to the first verse of chapter 7, but it does not interpret the Hebrew word מחנה, or machaneh, leaving it untranslated. The word is a dual form in the Hebrew text, denoting a pair of hosts, companies, camps, or armies. But a man would not describe his wife’s feet as a pair of armies. However the phrase “dance of two camps” may describe the toes of the bride dancing in her shoes, which also helps us to perceive that the shoes were open sandals, which were typical at the time. Other translations have sandals, rather than shoes. The word for joints, חמוק or chamuq, is more properly curves, and the word for thighs, ירך or yarek, may also be sides or flanks, among other things. The New American Standard Bible appropriately has the phrase to read “the curves of your hips”.
Here it is also apparent, as we have discussed earlier in this commentary, that while the Song was written in the form of romantic exchanges between two lovers it is actually an allegory describing a loving relationship between Yahweh God and His bride, the children of Israel as a nation. That is once again evident because it is not likely that a pious nobleman, a king, would describe his bride so intimately in public, where here he is apparently addressing the chorus. Now giving that description, it is further apparent that the Husband may be imagined to be describing his Bride as he begins by looking at her feet and then working his way up her body with his eyes he continues to describe the beauty of each portion. So the scene is as erotically graphic as it is romantic, as he continues:
Husband: 2 Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.
The word for liquor is מזג or mezeg, which only describes a mixture. It most likely refers to mixed wine, as other translations have it, and as the ancient Greeks and others had customarily mixed their wine with water and sometimes even with other substances, such as herbs or spices, before they consumed it. The early Greeks also thought it strange to drink unmixed wine, and they wrote of how it drove certain men to madness.
Evidently, glass was still very rare in Solomon’s time and it is doubtful as to whether it was even being manufactured in significant quantities in Palestine until the century after he had lived. So the goblet which Solomon must have had in mind when this was written was most likely either of silver or gold or possibly, but less likely, of brass or bronze. Lilies, which are generally white but which are also found with red, purple and yellow hues, seem to describe the ruddiness of the woman’s complexion, which is also white like wheat. In its ripest stage wheat is white, or a light golden color.
The association of wheat with whiteness is found in the Gospel, in the words of Christ Himself where He addressed His disciples upon their having wondered whether He had eaten, and we read in John chapter 4: “33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” The word for white there is λευκός, the common word in Greek for something which is bright or white.
An interesting explanation of this passage is found in an article titled Fields white for harvest, written in 2011 by someone named Ferrell Jenkins, a denominational Christian who has conducted tours for Christians in the Middle East since 1967, so he has a practical knowledge of the area. In the article he wrote, in reference to John 4:35:
This is one of those statements with a literal meaning as well as a spiritual one. What did he mean by four months? Four months separate the sowing and the harvesting. Barley harvest could begin around April 15. Wheat harvesting begins six weeks later in late May or early June. In May the fields would be white unto harvest. This helps to date the episode in John 4 to December or January, depending on whether the crop was barley or wheat.
Of course, both here in Wisdom and most likely in John chapter 4 the crop was wheat, and it was described as being “white for harvest”, but barley seems to be not much different in its general appearance in the field.
The Husband continues to describe his Bride, his eyes still moving upwards towards her head:
Husband: 3 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.
The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible has this verse to read “Your twin breasts are like two fawns, like the twins of a gazelle.” As we have already posited, this seems to describe the vivacity of his lover’s breasts, and not their physical appearance. Neither is the physical description complete, although it is enough to determine the general character of the woman’s appearance, presenting a romantic image while also maintaining a degree of literary modesty. The image it portrays is erotic, but it is not pornographic. Now as the Husband continues, we see the Bride described once again as a fair White woman:
Husband: 4 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.
A tower of ivory is always white, although it may be arguable that it was slightly tanned. However while the Israelites left us no graven images of their people, according to the law, in ancient Greek and in Egyptian art women were never portrayed as having been tanned, a feature which was reserved for men who were commonly portrayed as being tanned, or darker than their women. Ostensibly, the women of the upper and noble classes were sheltered and spent little time out in the sun. Earlier in the Song, in chapter 5, the Bride described her Husband’s belly as being like “bright ivory”, but being a king, that part of him would in all likelihood rarely see the sun. In any event, no Negro or dark-skinned Arab or Jew could justly be described as having a neck or belly which looks like either ripened wheat or ivory.
The mountains of Lebanon were usually capped with snow, hence the name Lebanon (לבנון) is also a word which means whiteness, and it is derived from the Hebrew word לבן or laban, which is white. Laban was also the name of the father of two of Jacob’s wives, and he must have fit the description. Bathrabbim means “daughter of multitudes”, a term which also seems to be descriptive of Israel, and which only appears here in Scripture. While it seems the description is only allegorical, it cannot be told whether there was actually such a gate in Heshbon.
The Hebrew word ברכה, or berekah, does not necessarily mean fishpools, but only ponds or pools, as opposed to streams, springs or fountains. It is reported that recent excavations at Heshbon have uncovered the remains of large man-made reservoirs near the city, so the reference is historical. Heshbon was in the land of Reuben east of the River Jordan. Depending on the angle, lighting, foliage and location, pools of water may appear to be either blue, gray or green. The only pools which appear to be brown are those which are polluted with soil or heavy concentrations of dead foliage or other minerals, rust or refuse, such as swamp water. Having eyes like ponds or pools, they were most likely blue or gray, but possibly green or even hazel.
So once again, as we have already seen several times in the Song, these are romantic and poetic physical descriptions of a White couple, a king of Israel and a princess of Egypt. It cannot be imagined that yellow, brown or black people would ever describe themselves with such words and phrases as those which have been used to describe this couple here in the Song.
Now the Husband finally reaches the top of her body:
5 Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.
The phrase “thine head upon thee” may have been translated as “the height of your head”. Carmel is a 24-mile mountain range on the Mediterranean coast of Palestine which bordered the ancient land of Asher. It is probably not a coincidence that most of the geographic references in the Song are outside of Jerusalem and the land of Judah. The word translated as purple, ארגמן or argaman, may refer to purple thread, but it may also describe the majesty of the hair upon the head of the Bride, which is perhaps more likely. It is also conceivable that Solomon was painting a portrait of the sun setting in the west over Carmel, which would shroud the peak in purple hues.
The translation of רהט, or rahat, as galleries in this context is odd, and this is the only place where the evidently rare word is translated in that manner in the King James Version. In appropriate contexts it is trough in Exodus chapter 2 (v. 16) and gutter twice in Genesis chapter 30 (vv. 38 and 41). Where the word gallery appears elsewhere in the King James Version, five times in Ezekiel chapters 41 and 42, it is translated from the Hebrew word אתק or אתוק, atok or atuwq, which through Greek and Latin is the ultimate source of our English word attic. While the meaning is admittedly dubious, as the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament attests, in this passage they define it as rafters or boards, like those in an attic. In this context it is best rendered as tresses, as the New American Standard Bible has the clause to read “The king is captivated by your tresses.” Likewise the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible has “the king is held captive by your tresses.” We would agree with either of those renderings, as the use of the word is apparently metaphorical.
Here we may also justly conclude that the whiteness of the Bride, in these allegorical illustrations of her belly and her neck, the ruddiness which accompanies that whiteness, these describe not only her beauty, but also the ideal of beauty which has ever since been upheld in the fine arts and literature of Western Civilization, what we know as the White world. More importantly, the king and his bride being metaphors for Yahweh God and His Bride, the nation of Israel, the ideal beauty in the eyes of God is also White. To be white and ruddy is to be beautiful, and it is also the Biblical ideal of beauty. This realization is an inevitable consequence in an honest study of the Song of Songs, so named because it is the ideal song. So not only is it okay to be White, but it is beautiful to be White, and that is according to the Word of God.
Now the Husband concludes his description of his Bride, and declares that he will partake of her delights.
Husband: 6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights! 7 This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.
This last clause evokes the passages in the Epic of Gilgamesh where the breasts of the harlot were described as being ripe, or as her ripeness, which we had cited and discussed in earlier in this commentary on the Song. But the phrase “of grapes” was added to the text, and perhaps since palm trees in the Middle East bear dates, and certainly not grapes, that would have been a much better rendering. The word for cluster, אשכול or eshkowl, suggests a cluster of fruit, and dates, which also grow in clusters, would have been much more appropriate in this context. The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible has “clusters of fruit” here, but where the King James Version has boughs in verse 8, that translation properly has date-clusters.
Now as the Husband continues, we have even more allegorical language describing the eating of fruit as euphemisms for sexual activity.
Husband: 8 I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;
The word for go up is עלה or elah, which is to ascend or climb. Through Latin, it is very likely the source of our English word elevate. The New American Standard Bible has the clause to read “I will climb the palm tree, I will take hold of its fruit stalks.” But the word translated as boughs, or fruit-stalks, is a feminine plural form of סנסנ or cancan, which specifically refers to the clusters of dates from a palm tree. The allegory describing a sexual act as climbing a tree and grasping its fruit cannot be mistaken or denied.
So once again we shall read from Genesis chapter 3: “6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” They made for themselves aprons, from a plural form of the Hebrew word חגר or chagor, which is a girdle or loin-covering. Covering their loins in shame, there should be no dispute that the eating of fruit in Genesis chapter 3 is also a euphemism for sexual activity, just as it is here in the Song.
The Husband continues:
Husband: 9 And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.
The New Amercan Standard Bible renders the beginning of verse 9 to read only “And your mouth like the best wine!” However the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible has “may your kisses be like the best wine”, and it wants the phrase “my beloved”, which seem out of place both here and in the Septuagint.
These are the last words of the Husband in the Song, as the balance of the text belongs to the Bride and to the Chorus. In the next chapter, in verse 4, if the interpretation in the King James Version is correct, we shall once again see that the Husband has fallen asleep after making love to his Bride, just as he seems to have been depicted as having done in the scenes of love-making which were described earlier, in chapters 2 and 3. The text of verse 9 here is also the last verse of which any portion survived in any of the copies of the Song found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Now the Bride speaks, and describes her own body as fruits reserved for her lover’s delight:
Bride: 10 I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.
The Hebrew word for desire, תשוקה or teshuwqah, is the same word found in Genesis 3:16 where Yahweh admonished Eve and said “thy desire shall be to thy husband”. The word only appears elsewhere in Scripture in Genesis 4:7. Interestingly, in the Septuagint this word here was translated as ἐπιστροφή, which in this context is merely attention.
Now the Bride beckons her husband, and this is also only an allegory:
Bride: 11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.
The language for field and villages is literal, however this seems to be an allegory for comfortable places, representing the comfort of the Bride in the arms of her lover. So in that manner she continues, where the basis for that interpretation may become evident:
12 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.
The New American Standard Bible has the last clause to read “There I will give you my love.” The Septuagint Greek is quite different, and Brenton translated it appropriately, where it reads “there will I give thee my breasts.” So clearly, the Bride is describing another act of love-making, but in different terms than her husband had already described it. So in reference to her loves, or perhaps, after making an explicit reference to her breasts, she begins to describe fruits, where ostensibly she is also referring to herself:
13 The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.
In the act of love-making described in chapter 2, we read in part: “13 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then in another act of love-making, in chapter 4: “10 How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! 11 Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.” So it is here also, that the Bride is describing her own endowments as vineyards, grapes, pomegranates and mandrakes, all laid up, or reserved, for her Husband’s sexual pleasure, just as he was portrayed in chapter 4 as having exclaimed that “a garden inclosed is my sister…” To that, at the end of that chapter the Bride had answered and said “Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.”
This seems to be the end of the scene, depending upon how verse 4 in chapter 8 is interpreted. So perhaps in verses 1 through 3 of chapter 8, the scene changes and the Bride is once again lamenting the absence of her Husband. So now as we enter the final chapter of the Song, the Bride continues with what is in the King James Version a strange exclamation:
Bride: 1 O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.
Of course, a woman should not want a brother of the same mother as a lover, and the law precludes such a thing. The New American Standard Bible has the verse to read: “Oh that you were like a brother to me Who nursed at my mother's breasts. If I found you outdoors, I would kiss you; No one would despise me, either.” But the Hebrew, Latin and Greek versions all contain a verb, to give, which is ignored in both of these English translations and in the English of Brenton’s Septuagint. Therefore, the first clause of the verse should read, after both the Hebrew and the Greek: “Who might give you as a brother…” The Bride is describing how dear her lover is to her, and not imagining that he should be her own mother’s son.
This is actually prophetic. Since the Song is an allegory for Yahweh God as the Husband and Israel as the Bride, then Yahshua Christ, who is Yahweh God incarnate, was manifest in the flesh and therefore became “first born among many brethren”, as Paul had called Him, and in that manner He was given by God to be a brother of the Bride, having sucked the breasts of her mother in the form of the nation as a whole.
So in that same manner she continues:
Bride: 2 I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.
The form of the verb for instruct is evidently a past tense, as the same form occurs on one other occasion in the Old Testament Hebrew where it is taught in Psalm 119:171. So the phrase “who would instruct me”, where the word who was added, is a reference to the mother and would have better been translated as “who instructed me”. The Bride is fancifully describing how much she would like to care for her Husband, with the love that an older sister would have caring for an infant brother.
This scenario was also played out in the Gospel, as Christ was succored by many of His sisters, the widow women who looked after His necessities as He traveled from Galilee to Jerusalem, which is evident in Matthew chapter 27: “55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: 56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.” So this is also prophetic.
But since this overall dialogue is also part of a scene of love-making, perhaps this a also natural reaction of the woman to the pleasure which she derived from their making love. Now the Bride turns back to describing their physical intimacy:
Bride: 3 His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.
Except for one inconsequential word form, the Hebrew here is identical to that of chapter 2 verse 6, where after a scene of love-making the Bride had said, as it is translated in the King James Version: “His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.” If that is how the passage should have been translated here, then we are still in the scene of love-making from chapter 7.
However it may be more plausible, due to the grammar of several verses here, that the scene did change with the end of chapter 7, and from the beginning of chapter 8 the Bride is once again lamenting the absence of the Husband, so she is fantasizing here and the interpretation of the passage in the King James Version here is more appropriate.
In any case, the Bride goes out to the Chorus to admonish them once again:
Bride: 4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.
This is the third time that we see this admonition in the Song, and each time the Bride has made it, on the surface, as the King James Version has translated it, it is apparently because the Husband has fallen asleep after an act of love-making. But perhaps that interpretation is not quite correct. Here, if we are correct that the scene changed at the beginning of chapter 8, then the Bride is only fantasizing about being in the company of the Husband once again, and this is a profession that he will come to her with his affection in due time. But how could the Chorus have any control of that? Because if the love spoken of is an allegory for the love of Yahweh, then it is an admonition that the nation of the children of Israel cannot force His hand. So the line may have purposely had more than one meaning.
As we had explained where the same admonition occurs in chapter 3, the final phrase is problematical. The word for love is feminine, so it cannot be a direct reference to the Husband. The form of the Hebrew verb for please is feminine, and for that reason the New American Standard Bible has it to read “That you will not arouse or awaken my love, Until she pleases." However that does not fit the context either here or there. In the passage in chapter 3, however, we were able to examine the rendering in the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, where love itself is the subject of the verb and it says “do not stir up or awaken love until it is ready!” Here in the New American Standard Bible, there is a footnote which also states that the verb may be read in that manner. We would agree, that is the better and more appropriate interpretation.
Now the Chorus speaks, but the scene must have changed once again because the perspective provides an entirely different context. The Chorus makes an exclamation, but it is not in response to that admonition from the Bride.
Chorus: 5 Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.
Early in the Song, the Bride was described as a daughter of Pharaoh. However here she seems to be described as having been raised by the Chorus, which ostensibly represents the people of the nation of Israel, as the daughters of Jerusalem. But perhaps this only represents the fact that the Bride embodies the nation, as each generation is raised by that which had preceded it. This certainly does not make sense if it intends to refer to Solomon’s actual wife, so the allegory of Husband and Bride as Yahweh and Israel is the only interpretation which does seem to have significance.
So it is the Chorus which seems to continue speaking:
Chorus: 6 Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
Apparently the Chorus is still speaking on behalf of the nation. To set the nation as a seal upon one’s heart is to love one’s brethren and give a consideration for one’s people the preeminent place in one’s life, as Christ had later commanded His disciples to do. Love is as strong as death, as Yahweh God had come as a man, Yahshua Christ, and Christ had given His Own life for the sake of His people. Jealousy is as cruel as the grave: Yahweh God having described Himself as a jealous God, His jealousy was only provoked when the children of Israel sinned by worshipping other gods, by which she was described as as a whore having other lovers and committing adultery, for which she was under penalty of death. The nation should have died, and deserved to die, and the flame seems to represent the judgment of God, but instead, it was ultimately saved by the love of God.
So the Chorus once again seems to continue:
Chorus: 7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
If a man would give all the substance, or wealth, of his house for love, the wealth is despised, or as it is here, contemned, but not what he loves. So all of his wealth is not as valuable to him as the woman he loves, if he truly loves her.
Now the Chorus makes another analogy, and perhaps this is meant to represent the nation of Israel in its youth:
8 We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?
The little sister is evidently still a child, so the description that she has no breasts represents the early stages of her life. Likewise, the children of Israel were described in Joel chapter 1 as grieving in the punishment for their sins, and were told to “8 Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.” There is a similar analogy in Malachi chapter 2: “14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.” So perhaps the little sister here is also a similar analogy, so she is described as something much more than a mere girl:
9 If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.
So the hypothetical little sister is a description of the aspirations which the Chorus, which represents the people of Israel, would have for their nation. But the Bride represents the full-grown wife, so now she declares:
Bride: 10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.
Here it seeems as if the Bride is lamenting a fall from favor, or peace. The word for favor is שלם, or salem, and it is typically translated as peace. Here it is further evident that throughout the Song, the Bride is indeed an allegory for the nation of the children of Israel. Solomon, the Husband and the king, is an allegory for God Himself, and now it is apparently the Bride who is speaking, and she makes yet another analogy:
Bride: 11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.
The allegory evokes the parables of Christ concerning the master of the vineyard and his experience with the wicked husbandmen in Matthew chapter 21. However since that vineyard also represented Israel, or at the time of Christ, more properly it represented Judaea, in Solomon’s time the vineyard had not yet been taken over by wicked husbandmen.
However this vineyard should certainly not be interpreted along the same lines as the earlier allegories of the Bride as a garden and the Husband as her lover, partaking of her fruits in their love-making. Certainly a King would not let out his wife to others. Rather, Solomon being an allegory for Yahweh, this describes the bounty of the nation as it occupies the land which was divided among the people. Right from the beginning, in Genesis chapter 2, the Word of Yahweh describes the land which He alloted His people as a garden. As we proceed, it seems that it is still the Bride who is speaking:
Bride: 12 My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.
The passage is obscure, and it is noted that even different manuscripts of the Masoretic Text contain variations. The apparent sense is that from the profits of the vineyard, Solomon would have the thousand pieces of silver, reaping the greater bounty, while those who work to keep its fruit would have only two hundred pieces of silver.
Nearing the end of the Song, the Bride is now depicted as longing for her Husband once again:
Bride: 13 Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it.
The Bride imagines that her lover “dwellest in the gardens”, just as in Genesis chapter 3, Adam and Eve had perceived that “8 … they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day…” Here, in Solomon’s time, the Bride makes the further observation that the companions of the Husband hearken to His voice, as Christ had also told His disciples, as it is recorded in John chapter 15, “14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” So the bride knows that the Husband is present, even if she cannot see him, just like Adam and Eve knew of His presence in the garden of Eden.
Now the Song ends with an appeal by the Bride for the Husband to come to her quickly:
Bride: 14 Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.
Whenever he is absent, we see the Bride is always longing for Husband. But earlier in the Song she imagined, even suspected that he was just outside the door, and when she opened she could not find him. Then when she actively sought after him, she found him. This we read in Song chapter 3, in the words of the Bride: “1 By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. 2 I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. 3 The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? 4 It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.”
Then again, in Song chapter 5, she sought him but she did not find him immediately, and it almost seems as if he had purposely eluded her, although she was apparently only fantasizing, or dreaming. This we read in the words of the Bride: “2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. 3 I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? [Note that the bride was hesitant.] 4 My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. 5 I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. 6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. 7 The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. 8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.
There the Bride, who was at first hesitant, did not immediately find the Husband. But he did appear to her a short time later, after her description of him and at the beginning of Song chapter 6. These episodes in the Song evoke the frequent admonishments for the children of Israel to seek Yahweh their God continually.
From the 105th Psalm: “1 O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. 2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. 3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. 4 Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. 5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; 6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.”
Similarly, from Isaiah chapter 51: “1 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. 2 Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.”
Again, from Hosea chapter 3, which, like the passage from Isaiah, also addresses the children of Israel in their punishment, “4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: 5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.”
As we had also explained when we presented that passage from chapter 5 of the Song, the Bride could not have been Solomon’s literal wife, but rather she represents the children of Israel in their own wanderings. So when the Chorus inquired as to why it was that the Bride sought her Husband, and would not settle for another, she began to explain by saying that “My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.” Not only is it acceptable to be White, but it is also Godly to be White, because White is the image of God, according to Solomon. To be anything but White is evidence that someone has eaten from of the fruit of the wrong tree.
Arriving at this realization is one of the consequences of having learned the Song of Solomon. There are consequences to learning just as there are consequences to ignorance, and especially willful ignorance.
This concludes our commentary on the Song of Songs.