Chapter 2 begins with very familiar words. Most everyone has heard the hymn titled “Jesus, Rose of Sharon.” The name Sharon means “a level plain,” and this one was laid out about 15 miles west of the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Joppa, Lydda, and Caesarea. Today, the area is filled with citrus farms and small settlements. But as beautiful as the song is, the first two verses of this chapter have nothing to do with Jesus.
Instead the term, along with the lily of the valley, are used by the bride of this love poem to describe herself. Those who insist on making the “Song of Songs” an allegory about Jesus have, with the best of intentions, contributed to the misunderstanding of these Scriptures. Still, the song is appropriate when applied to Jesus, as is the “The Lily of the Valley,” which contains other more scriptural references to the King, such as from Revelation 22:16.
Solomon then counters her own description of herself by more flatteringly comparing his betrothed to a lily among the brambles. The lesson for us among these and the previous verses of the last chapter are the public display and declaration of affection, in an appropriate manner, with which Solomon comforts and elevates his bride (verse 6). Speaking now more pointedly of lilies in verse 16, she declares their love for each other – “My beloved is mine, and I am his; he grazes among the lilies,” while likening her beloved to “a gazelle or a young stag on cleft mountains.” Still, she desires to not to give herself over completely until the time is appropriate (“that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases”).
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.