Turning from Ecclesiastes to the Song of Solomon is like stepping out of a wilderness into a placid valley. It is like the bright shining of the sun after the rain. Under the figure of a bride and a bridegroom is expressed the love of Christ for His own, and the love which each believer has for his Lord. There is no sin, therefore, no shame. The person with an impure mind will never understand the book.
Two main positions are taken in an interpretation of the book. According to one interpretation the bridegroom is Solomon, and the bride, a certain Shulamite woman. The Shulamite is seen awaiting the arrival of Solomon, and surrounded by ladies of the court, pouring out her longing. The King appears and takes her to his banqueting house, where the two lovers commune together. Then the Shulamite again confides in the court ladies, telling what tender regard she has for her beloved. With gaiety of heart she sings of the way in which her beloved King found her, wooed her, how she lost him, found him again, and would not let him go. At this point things become a little dark, like a cloud passing over the scene. Under the figure of a dream she finds herself temporarily separated from her groom. But, Solomon returns and once more the two are united amid words of praise and love. The song ends with the bride singing and bidding her beloved to hasten to her side. In this view of the song, Solomon is taken to be a type of Christ and the Shulamite a type of the Church.
According to the other interpretation Solomon is seen as representing the world; the Shulamite, the church; and the Shulamite's fiancée, Christ. Solomon uses all the splendor of his court to woo the girl away from her true love, seeking to get her to become one of his wives instead. In like manner the world is ever seeking to attract away from Christ those who are "espoused" to Him. Solomon is unable to accomplish his goal, however, for the Shulamite resists all his overtures and remains true to her beloved shepherd to whom, at last, she is reunited.
Whichever view is taken, the book has great value. As human life finds its highest fulfillment in the love of man and woman, so spiritual life finds it highest fulfillment in the love of Christ and His church. Song of Solomon is a masterpiece of beautiful poetry and is definitely a story of love.
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