Aside from the allegoric theories, there are different meanings that commentators take away from the passages in chapter 5; and it is admittedly difficult to be sure one draws the right conclusions from it in some places. Clearly, the marriage has been consummated, as the groom states in verse 1. We are not told how long it has been since the wedding, but Solomon has gone to encourage the celebration of his guests. The bride has retired for the night, but the excitement and anticipation of her new marriage has kept her half-awake.
Perhaps when he returns to find the door latched, she is indeed half-asleep, but perhaps she is in the middle of another dream. When he calls out terms of endearment to her to open the door, she at first hesitates, not wishing to soil her feet after washing in order to get up. But her heart is thrilled at the sound of her beloved placing his hand on the latch. So she arises and opens the door to find him gone. The passage says that her fingers were dripping with myrrh from the bolt of the latch – likely left by her beloved as a reminder of his presence.
Then in a scene much like the dream of chapter 3, she finds herself off to look for him again. This time, however, the watchmen beat her when they find her. If this is not a dream, it is unknown why they would do that, unless they had mistaken her for a prostitute or a thief. But this time, she “adjures” the daughters of Jerusalem to tell her beloved that she is “sick with love.” Having consummated their marriage, she no longer has need, as his wife, to withhold her love from him; and this is apparently the point she is making after the earlier incident.
The other women ask her why her beloved is more important to her than some other man. She replies with a laundry list of things that she loves about him. Though (just as with all marriages) everything is not always perfect between them, the way that he speaks to her and the way she speaks of him to others both demonstrate their love for each other. Both of these things matter in a marriage. The two have become one flesh, and a part of each other. She closes with the declaration that “this is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”
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.