Now that the Shulammite bride has become the favored one of Solomon, the daughters of Jerusalem cannot be accommodating enough to her. The term Shulammite is of unknown origin, but it is supposed that it may refer to people from Shunem, in the tribe of Issachar (Joshua 19:17-20). Here, she repeats that “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he grazes among the lilies,” – a reminder that Solomon does indeed belong to her? Solomon returns to speaking of her beauty, saying:
You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love,
lovely as Jerusalem,
awesome as an army with banners
Then, asking the others why they are so preoccupied with her, Solomon asks, pointedly acknowledging their solidarity:
Why should you look upon the Shulammite,
as upon a dance before two armies?
The sins and transgression of Solomon with his many queens, wives, and concubines (for which he may well have repented) were well-known. But the Shulammite’s love for him, and his for her was pure – and she was undefiled and exemplary as a wife.
According to Delitzsch’s comments a hundred years ago, the “Song of Songs” was a drama that consisted of six acts having two scenes each. In this drama, Solomon took her to his harem in Jerusalem, where he was purified in his affection from a sensual lust to pure love. Perhaps.
J Paul Tanner summed it up better (Tanner, J. Paul, “The History of Interpretation of the Song of Songs”, Bibliotheca Sacra 154: 613 (1997): 23-46):
“She is a pattern of simple devotedness, naive simplicity, unaffected modesty, moral purity, and frank prudence – a lily of the field, more beautifully adorned than he could claim to be in all his glory. We cannot understand the Song of Songs unless we perceive that it presents before us not only Shulamith’s external attractions, but also all the virtues which make her the ideal of all that is gentlest and noblest in woman. Her words and her silence, her doing and suffering, her enjoyment and self-denial, her conduct as betrothed, as a bride, and as a wife, her behavior towards her mother, her younger sister, and her brothers – all this gives the impression of a beautiful soul in a body formed as it were from the dust of flowers.”
Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.
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.
Hi, This is Eliezera who come from the Living Word Publications. Found there’s an image called “Tirzah Area, near Tel El Para”. May I have your permission to print the image on the education book? Thank you!
The copyright belongs to V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers. They used to have a website that I no longer can find. They gave permission freely for anyone to use the photos on that site, but I no longer have the contact information. Sorry I cannot be of more help. I’m sure they would be happy with an attribution, but I have no right to say so.