The Final Proverb & The Girl Who Got Away

The Consequences of Prophecy-The Final Proverb & The Girl Who Got Away

Song of Songs was written as a prophetic play, expressing the internal conflict that Israel was feeling as it began to become divided between those who worshipped the God of David and the newly introduced foreign gods that King Solomon’s wives had been temple priestesses of. The Shulamite, who represented Israel, was finally ready to decide who she would marry, but only in hindsight would King Solomon realize the absolute treasure that slipped through his fingers and the fool that he was.

The first acts had the Shulamite initially deciding to go to the capital city of Jerusalem to marry Solomon, before realizing that her true love lay in the arms of the Shepherd who had loved her since her youth. King Solomon finds her back in her hometown and proposes again, extolling the wealth and material benefits that would come from participating in his polygamous marriage and the polytheistic cults that the rest of Jerusalem was falling into.

The Final Act of Song of Songs begins when King Solomon catches up with the Shulamite after she has run away after asking if she was ready to marry him.

Solomon begins to praise her beauty again using imagery from his royal and prestigious life as a King in contrast to the natural pastoral environment the Shepherd uses. Also in contrast to her Shepherd Love, Solomon focuses heavily on her body in a sexual manner. Solomon adores her sandaled feet, calling them beautiful and describing her graceful legs as jewels crafted by artist’s hands. Her navel is a rounded goblet that is never lacking expensive blended wine. Her hips are full and round like a mound of wheat encircled by lilies, while her perky breasts are like twin fawns of a gazelle.

Her neck is described as like the ivory towers seen throughout the city of Jerusalem, and her eyes are reminiscent of the pools of Heshbon by the Gate of Bath Rabbim. Her nose is like the tower of Lebanon, a tower-like temple which was planted on the chief summit of Hermon (Joshua 13:5), which faced Damascus to the east. Her hair is like luxurious purple tapestry, whose locks and tresses King Solomon has become captivated by.

Her stature is compared to that of a palm tree and her breasts are like the large hanging bunches/clusters of date fruits. Solomon becomes fixated on her breasts, stating that he wants to “climb the palm tree” and “take hold of its fruit”. He further obsesses over her breasts describing them as ripe clusters of grapes on the vine.

He finishes by describing her breath like the smell of apples and her mouth like the best wine, but she cuts him off.

Referring to her mouth as “the best wine” as King Solomon had just flirted, she corrects that it will go straight to her Beloved, gently flowing over lips and teeth.

She proudly declares that “I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me”.

The Shulamite turns to her Shepherd love and says that they should return back to the countryside they grew up in, so they can spend the night in the villages they know. She uses the same sexualized imagery of vineyards having budded, blossoms having opened, and pomegranates in bloom that Solomon had used when he wanted to see if she was ready to marry him in the previous act, but she reverses the invitation and directs it towards her Beloved expressing that it is back in the wilderness that they fell in love in that she wants to give him her love.

The mandrakes, flowers known for their sensuous scent which elicit romantic desires, send out their fragrance to these young lovers and before them is every intimate aspect of herself that she has stored up and is ready to share with her Beloved.

She wishes that she could have expressed her love for him sooner, saying that in another reality they could have shown affection for one another without having to contain it for so long. She would have gone to her mother’s house to ask for her permission to marry him and to be taught how to pleasure her soon to be husband, allowing him to drink of her “spiced wine” and “the juice of her pomegranates”.

As they cuddle after consummating their love, her head would rest on his left arm, while his right arm embraces her, holding her close.

She whispers to the Daughters of Jerusalem, who have served as the chorus, to not wake her Beloved, since he has fallen asleep after their love making, and to allow him to rest until he is ready to rise again.

The Daughters of Jerusalem sneak a peak of them returning, the Shulamite leaning upon the Shepherd after she has given him her love in the wilderness.

As they go through the region they grew up in, they recall special places from where their love began to blossom. There was where she caught him napping under the fruit trees. That was the spot where her mother conceived her and there was where she gave birth to her and raised her.

The Shulamite asks of her Beloved Shepherd to place her like a wedding ring hung by his neck over his heart, like a bracelet on his arm so that she will always be near him whatever he is doing. She waxes poetic about the intensity of her love for him, that Love is as powerful and as jealous as the Grave, burning like a blazing fire and a mighty flame. A great flood cannot quench Love nor can rushing rivers sweep it away. She makes a gentle slight against Solomon, saying that if a rich man were to give all the wealth of his house to try to purchase someone’s love, such a proposal would be viewed with utter scorn.

She remembers her brother’s voices from when she was a young girl, fighting amongst each other about her undeveloped body. They don’t know what to do when she is ready to be married off and whether or not she will defend her honor and her virginity. If she staunchly guards and protects it like a wall, they will adorn her with silver jewelry, but if she makes herself readily available to be opened like a door, they will seal her up with wooden panels to prevent someone from entering before her wedding day.

She proudly declares herself as a wall, which had saved herself exclusively for her Beloved and the full perky breasts she has finally grown adorn her like towers, bringing joy and contentment to her Love.

She boasts to the wedding guests that Solomon had a vineyard in Baal Hamon; which he rented out to his tenants for a thousand shekels of silver per harvest. But her vineyard, her body, her love, is hers to give. She will give Solomon the money she owes for the lease, but the profit would go exclusively to her husband who had been helping her grow in love.

Her husband toasts to his wedding guests “You who dwell in the gardens with friends in attendance, let them hear your voice!” asking them to cheer for the happy newly married couple before she sings the closing line.

She turns to the audience and sings to her Husband to Run and Chase after her as she darts off stage to enjoy the rest of her married life with the Shepherd (ref. Song 8:14).

But that’s not happened.

Israel, represented by the Shulamite, did not chose the Shepherd that had loved it from its Youth and live happily ever after.

Just as Solomon followed the advice of his mother, Co-regent Bathsheba and continued to add hundreds of foreign wives to his harem, Israel continued to add more idols to their places of worship before ultimately splitting apart in a Civil War after Solomon’s death.

Proverbs 31, the final and perhaps most famous proverb, extolls the value of a noble wife and all her redeeming qualities.

But this Proverb is not attributed to wise King Solomon, but rather King Lemuel, an oracle. King Lemuel’s mother taught him “not to spend his strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings” (ref. Proverbs 31:3) most likely referencing King Solomon and the hundreds of wives he had collected over his reign who ultimately turned him away from the God of Israel towards the foreign gods they were temple priestesses of.

King Solomon confirms this reality in his treatise on Wisdom when he declares “While my soul was still searching but not finding, among a thousand I have found one upright man, but among all these I have not found one virtuous woman” (ref. Ecclesiastes 7:28). Amongst the thousand wives he had, he recognized that not a single one of them was virtuous.

Song of Songs stands as very open rebuke by King Solomon against himself for not only realizing that he failed to marry at least one virtuous woman, but for having contributed to the introduction of foreign idols, leading to Israel’s future demise.

While Israel’s history is sad and tragic, Song of Songs can still give us hope. It still stands as a prophetic play, as it described what could and should have happened had the country turned itself back to the Love of their Youth. Solomon was not wise because he never made any mistakes, but because he learned from them and tried to get others to not repeat his blunders. Likewise, as our own country is beginning to split apart, we must recognize that human leaders will always make mistakes, and we should instead put our Love and Trust in the God who adored us before our births.

While the Shulamite was the Girl Who Got Away to Solomon, The Shepherd was the Love that Israel forsook for wealth and power. If we forget the God of our Founding, we will fall apart, economically, politically, & socially, just as Israel before us.

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator

Battle for the Heart of Israel

The Consequences of Prophecy-Battle for the Heart of Israel

In the first half of Song of Songs, the Shulamite, representing Israel, had agreed to marry Solomon and joined him in Jerusalem. But she began to regret her decision and realized that she truly desired to be with the Love of her Youth, a humble Shepherd. In reality Israel and Solomon were realizing that they had gone astray and needed to turn their hearts back to the God of David. Despite recognizing His Glory and the Love that He bestowed upon her, there was still a turmoil brewing before her final decision.

Act Three begins with the Shulamite waking from her dream that she had married and consummated her relationship with her Shepherd Love.

She quickly proceeds to another dream where she is back in Jerusalem, still waiting to be married to King Solomon. She is in her private bedchamber when her Beloved wakes her, knocking on her bedroom door. He calls out to her, to open to him. Like the Second Act, he calls her his sister, his love, but adds his Dove and his undefiled, indicating that she is still a virgin and that the previous marriage scene had not actually taken place. Her Love is arriving at a late hour, as his “head is filled with dew, and locks with the drops of the night” (ref. Song 5:2).

His arrival is a complete surprise. And in her panic she is initially uncertain of what to do, questioning whether she should get properly dressed to answer the door and dirty her feet on the ground after having already washed them (ref. Song 5:3).

She ultimately rises out of bed, but when she opens the door, he is gone.

She looks for him in the hallways, yelling his name as she leaves the castle, but he never responds.

As she explores the city looking for her Love, the night watchmen of the city who had been unable to help her find her Love in the previous dream, now openly attack her, and take away her veil. This behavior by the guards would be unthinkable if she was King Solomon’s newest queen as some interpretations have suggested, but makes sense if they thought she was a woman of the night, or were trying to prevent her from leaving the city in search of another man who wasn’t the King (ref. Song 5:5-7).

The Shulamite calls out to the Daughters of Jerusalem, saying that if they find her Beloved, to tell him that she is madly in love with him (ref. Song 5:8).

The women of the city are utterly confused. Considering King Solomon has brought her into Jerusalem to marry her, what about her Beloved makes him so special? How could he possibly compete against a King? (ref. Song 5:9).

The Shulamite begins a love stricken boast of her Beloved, describing him as radiantly handsome, the best looking among ten thousand. His face is smooth and glowing like refined gold, but he has thick bushy raven black hair. His eyes are dove grey with splashes of blue, emerald, and violet, with bright white sclera (whites of eyes) making the color of his deep set eyes more profound. His high cheekbones release a sweet fragrance and his full lips drip with sweet smelling myrrh. His core is strong and well defined which she describes as ivory overlaid with sapphires. His legs are thick and powerful as marble pillars from carrying lost sheep and his ankles are sturdy and stable like golden sockets so he can bound over the mountainous regions. He is tall like the mountainous Lebanon covered in its legendary cedars. The kisses of his mouth are sweet and overall he is remarkable to her (ref. Song 5: 10-16).

Had she been describing King Solomon, the women of the Jerusalem would have known what he looks like already. But she needs to describe her Beloved who is a foreign shepherd and a stranger to these Daughters of Jerusalem. Most telling, she calls her Beloved her Friend, describing the long term relationship that had previously developed growing up before they started their love affair (ref. Song 5: 16).

The Daughter of Jerusalem are intrigued by the Shulamite’s description of her Beloved and ask where he might be that they can help her look for the man who has captured the heart of the most beautiful of women (ref. Song 6:1).

She knows her Love, he is amongst the lilies where he rests his sheep. While he is there within the garden, he is smelling the spices and admiring the flowers, deciding which ones to gather as a gift for her. Her love belongs to him and his heart beats for her exclusively (ref. Song 6:3).

Her Shepherd Love responds by describing her through prophetic poetry.

She is as beautiful as Tirzah and as lovely as Jerusalem. The comparison to the capital city of Jerusalem makes sense since it would have stood as the most impressive city in the nation. But Tirzah, an obscure Canaanite fortress (Joshua 12:24), which was captured by Joshua when conquering the Promised Land, is puzzling until we recall that the Shulamite represents Israel and the choices she makes will affect the future of the country.

After King Solomon’s future death, Israel split into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. The Southern Kingdom of Judah maintained its capital city of Jerusalem, while the Northern Kingdom of Samaria changed several times during the rule of Jeroboam, its first king. His first capital was Shechem in Mount Ephraim before he moved it to Penuel (ref. 1 Kings 12:25), before settling on Tirzah (ref. 1 Kings 14:17). The seceding of the Northern Kingdom of Samaria by Jeroboam’s revolt, and the making of Tirzah the capital, which would occur after Solomon’s death is alluded to as well when the Shepherd pronounces her as terrible as an army with banners. The prophetic realization of the civil war that is to come is so powerful that the Shepherd cannot even look into her eyes (ref. Song 6:4-5).

He continues to describe her through the eyes of a Shepherd, lovingly likening her silky bouncy hair to flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead. Her teeth are flocks of radiantly white sheep coming back from having been washed, all paired and perfectly straight, without any missing. Her rosy cheeks are like pomegranates behind her hair/veil (ref. Song 6: 6-7).

The Shepherd begins to compare her to the many wives of Solomon, reminding her that there are sixty queens, eighty concubines, and virgin girls in waiting without number lined up in the city ready to marry Solomon someday. But she is special and unique. His heart belongs only to His Dove. She is loved in her family as the only daughter of her mother, and the favorite even though she has many brothers (ref. Song 1:6). But she is also adored within the city. When she was in Jerusalem, the young woman saw her and called her blessed and the queens and concubines praised her beauty (ref. Song 6: 8-9).

The Daughters of Jerusalem sing the praises of the most beautiful woman, describing her as the dawn, as fair as the moon, bright as the sun, yet filled with the anxiety of an army on the brink of battle.

Solomon arrives just in time to intensify her tension, declaring that he was here to check on the development of the nut tree orchards, the budding of the grape vines, and the blooming of the pomegranates, a coy way of saying he was checking to see if she was ready to marry him and present her fruits for him to harvest. He makes a play similar to a wealthy man flashing his expensive sports car when he says that he knows that his chariot has made many others “his willing people”, implying that his luxury vehicle will help her make her final decision.

In response, she flees.

The Daughters of Jerusalem call out for the Shulamite to return after she has fled Solomon’s presence and proposition. They invoke the imagery of two armies lined up against each other ready to battle for the Shulamite’s hand in marriage. They want to see the show down and her ultimate decision between King Solomon and her Shepherd Love.

While we ultimately know the path that Israel would take, Song of Songs was written during a contentious moment in its history and Solomon’s reign. Act three showcases the grand moment that the king realized that the country needed to change direction. But even in wanting to make this change, the seeds of what would happen had already been planted. Thankfully, we can always correct our own paths to reconnect to the God who loves us without limit.

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator

Dream Weddings & The Ballad of the Shepherd

The Consequences of Prophecy-Dream Weddings & The Ballad of the Shepherd

Song of Songs is a prophetic musical King Solomon composed as a way of expressing the way that Jerusalem had turned from its initial monogamous worship of God and now began to worship other imported deities introduced by Solomon’s many foreign wives. The Shulamite, who represented Israel, had already begun flirting with the concept of being just another wife of Solomon’s, but also had visions of what life with her childhood sweetheart would have been like if she chose him instead.

The Second Act opens with the Shulamite waking up from a dream which she describes for the audience.

She looks for her Love in the middle of the night but cannot find him. She is no longer in the countryside she grew up in alongside her Beloved, but in the city. She searches the alleys and the major streets but is unable to find him. She even goes to the city’s night watchmen to ask if they have seen “him whom [her] soul loveth”, but they do not know this small town country boy who is a foreign stranger in this big city (ref. Song 3: 1-3).

After asking the night watch, she finally finds her Love. She holds him tightly and won’t let him go, until she brings him back to the countryside, to her mother’s house and her mother’s room (ref. Song 3:4).

While the Shulamite and her Beloved are back in their hometown in her mother’s home, a grand procession begins.

Again, in contrast with her Love who is described with rural environmental scenery, King Solomon has all the trappings and finery that you would expect of royalty.

Solomon comes out of the wilderness like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense made from all the foreign spices of the merchant. Unlike her humble shepherd Love who bounds through the pastures and mountains amongst his flocks, Solomon rides upon a carriage or sedan and is even escorted by sixty body guards! They are the noblest in Israel, all of them wearing a sword at their sides, ready to use their experience in battle to face the terrors of the night. Solomon’s carriage is made from Lebanese cedar, its posts are made of silver and its base of gold. Its seat was upholstered with purple and the interior is inlaid with love for the Daughter of Jerusalem (ref. Songs 3:5-10).

These Daughters of Jerusalem are called to come out and look upon Solomon in all his glory. He is crowned with the diadem that his mother gave him on the day of his first wedding, the day his heart rejoiced (ref. Songs 3:11).

While the whole town is amazed by King Solomon’s arrival, the Shulamite’s Love can’t take his eyes off of her.

He declares his love for her, but the simple country boy can only wax poetic with the words his life as a shepherd has granted him.

He describes her hair as “like a flock of goats descending from the hills of Gilead”, her “teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing” each having a twin. Her cheeks or temples are like a piece of pomegranate behind her locks of hair. Though he does not live in Jerusalem, he is an observant Jew who goes for the required feasts. The scarlet ribbon/strand tied around the scapegoat on Yom Kippur is used to describe her luscious lips and her neck reminds him of the famous Tower of David, which he would see as he entered Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate. He playfully describes her perky breasts as twin fawns of a gazelle that he had seen prancing through the lilies he had seen while grazing his flocks amongst the lilies.

While expressing his love for her, he recalls the farthest reaches of his journeys, and focuses on the rocky mountainous regions his flocks would have to travail to find fresh pastures. Starting in craggy Lebanon, they descend from the crest of Amana, the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon, crossing the caves that hide lion’s dens and the mountainous haunts of leopards (ref. Song 4:8).

The Shepherd declares that she has stolen his heart, calling her his sister/beloved and bride several times heavily implying that they are in the middle of a wedding scene (ref. Song 4:8, 9, 10, 11, 12).

The Shepherd again uses natural imagery to describe Her Love as more pleasing than wine, her scent better than any of the foreign spices Solomon’s caravan reeks of. Her lips sweeter than honeycomb, her kisses like honey and milk. She smells of the countryside of Lebanon which he loves (ref. Song 4:10-11).

Her virginity is a garden locked up, a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. The man who wins her heart will be lavished with the greatest natural wonders: succulent pomegranates, sensuous scents of henna and spikenard, saffron, calamus and cinnamon, incense, myrrh, aloes and the finest spices. Ultimately she is life giving and nurturing, a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from the countryside (ref. Song 4:12-15).

The Shulamite takes joy in being his Bride, asking for the North and South Winds to spread her fragrance everywhere. She is ready for her Beloved to come into her garden and taste of its choice fruits, a poetic description of their first night as Husband and Wife (ref. Song 4:16).

After their first intimate encounter after the marriage ceremony, her Love declares that He has come into his garden, again describing her as his sister, beloved and bride. He has gathered his myrrh and spices, eaten his honeycomb and honey and drunk his wine and milk (ref. Song 5:1)

The wedding attendants declare:

Eat, friends, and drink;
Drink your fill of love.

But it was all a dream.

In reality, she is in Jerusalem. She decided to accept Solomon’s engagement and left her small country town and her shepherd love.

And now she is beginning to regret her decision.

Act Two begins with the Shulamite dreaming of trying to find her love after she’s made the horrible decision to go to Jerusalem to marry Solomon. She ultimately finds him searching for her as well and they rush back to her mother’s home to ask for her blessing to be married. Solomon returns looking for his bride to be, but the Shepherd’s simple natural words of love win her over. They marry and consummate their love as their friends and family celebrate, but she wakes up only to realize that she is still in Solomon’s mansion waiting for their wedding day.

For all his wealth and many wives, King Solomon missed out on one of the greatest joys of life: rejoicing in the wife of your youth, captivated by her love forever (ref. Proverbs 5:18-19). Solomon had been excited during his first wedding day, still wearing the crown that his mother placed on his head, but the marriage was not built on a long standing relationship with deep mutual love for each other, so he was unsatisfied and sought others to fulfill his desires. Ultimately, he was left empty, constantly looking for that new excitement from a novel affair. This bled into his relationship with God and explains why he ended up building temples to satisfy the desires of priestess princesses.

While Jerusalem became more metropolitan and focused on the material benefits of trade with their foreign neighbors, Solomon writes through the voice of the Shepherd to declare that the natural gifts that God had bestowed upon Israel were greater than anything their neighbors could compare. At this point in his reign Solomon has been able to see that turning back towards the God of his father David and Israel’s foundation was the correct thing for him to do as a leader. But would the rest of the country turn their hearts back toward the Love of their youth?

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator

The Love Triangle & The Girl Next Door

The Consequences of Prophecy-The Love Triangle & The Girl Next Door

Before Israel split into two kingdoms, due in part to the introduction of a new national center of worship in the Northern Kingdom, there were signs that Israel was already culturally destabilizing internally due to the introduction of strange gods by King Solomon’s foreign wives. Following in his father King David’s melodious footsteps, King Solomon wrote a play centered on the young country girl whom he had watched nurse his dying father. The Shulamite, symbolized by Israel, was tempted by the lavish riches and power of King Solomon and the new multi-cultural, religiously diverse city of Jerusalem his foreign wives had created, but her heart still longed for the True Shepherd who had loved her since her youth. Would Israel be a nation tenderly and faithfully married to the God of its inception or a quickly forgotten people amongst a harem of others, which had bound themselves to idolatry?

While much of the Song of Songs is told from the view of the Shulamite, after King Solomon has taken the throne, she was introduced earlier during King David’s final days. Having trouble taking care of himself and staying warm, even when covered with blankets, the king’s attendants put out a search for a young virgin to take care of him and keep him comfortable to help him sleep. After searching throughout Israel for a beautiful young woman, they found Abishag, the Shunammite (strongly suggested to be synonymous with Shulamite). Abishag took care of King David in his dying days, but they never had sexual relations (ref. 1 Kings 1:1-4).

After the power struggle for the thrown before King David’s death, Solomon came out crowned king, but granted mercy on his older brother Adonijah who had also been positioning himself for power (ref. 1 Kings 1: 5-53). After King Solomon began to establish his administration, Adonijah went to Solomon’s mother Bathsheba to make a request. In Adonijah’s eyes, because the kingdom had been his and all of Israel had looked to him as their king before the Lord gave it to Solomon, it would only be fair that Adonijah be allowed to marry the beautiful Abishag. But King Solomon did not see this as a simple nor reasonable request, explicitly equating marriage to Abishag as asking for the Kingdom itself (1 Kings 2:22). This symbolic insult was so great to Solomon that he revoked the protection he had placed on Adonijah and had him executed (ref. 1 King 2:13-25).

When Song of Songs begins, several years have already passed and the Shulamite (most likely the fought over Abishag) has returned home to the countryside and has just been re-introduced to Solomon, who is there inspecting the tree nut harvest, whom she hadn’t seen since her time in the royal palace looking after his father King David. Looking upon handsome King Solomon she remarks “No wonder the maidens adore you”, and after her initial infatuation, quickly ads “take me away with you- let us hurry! May the King bring me to his chambers” (Songs 1: 1-4).

She has lost the pale skin of her days in the palace walls from Solomon’s memory and has developed a farmer’s tan, which she is initially embarrassed about (ref. Songs 1:5-6), then rapidly remembers her shepherd boyfriend who loves her, burned skin and all, asking the Chorus where he is and where has he pastured his flocks (Songs 1: 7-8). The Chorus explains that while the king is right in front of her, her Love can be found tending to the young goats if she follows the tracks of the flock to the tents of his fellow shepherds.

Because of his royal background, Solomon flirts by describing the Shulamite through the luxuries and fine things available to him such as comparing her to “a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots”, describing her freckles as ornaments and her neck as strung with jewels. Trying to further convince her to go with Solomon, the Chorus declares they will make her ornaments of gold, studded with beads of silver, luxuries her shepherd love could not readily provide.

She begins to compare her Love to King Solomon, explaining that “While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance”, poetically explaining that while the king at the palace hearing about her beauty, her love had been beside her all along. Their love is not full of palatial extravagances, but described through the natural beauty around them. Their bed chamber is lined with the trees of the forest and the soft grass is their bed (ref. Song 1:12-17). She describes herself as her Love does, in floral terms, as “a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valley”.

She also describes her Love in terms of their countryside scenery. He is “an apricot tree amongst the trees of the forest”, and he “sustains [her] with raisins; [refreshes her] with apples”. When her Love comes back from shepherding, he is like his sheep and goats “leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills”. He is handsome and graceful “like a gazelle or a young stag” (ref. Song 2:1-9). Her love calls for her to stay in the countryside with her since “the flowers have appeared”, “the season of singing has come”, “the cooing of turtledoves is heard in [their] land”, and “the fig tree has ripened and blossoming vines are spreading their fragrance”, it is the season of love they had been waiting for. He longs to see his “dove in the clefts of the rock” only wanting to see her face and hear her sweet voice. Unlike the king, the Shepherd wants to know her rather than just her body (ref. Song 2:10-14).

At this point in Solomon’s reign, he already had “sixty queens and eighty concubines, and maidens without number” (Songs 6:8). He ultimately ruled for forty years and had “seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines” who would eventually lead him astray and turned his heart towards worshipping idols, since his soul was not fully devoted to the Lord His God (ref. 1 Kings 11:3-4). If each new romantic conquest took about two weeks total from courtship, marriage, and honeymoon, before moving onto a new obsession, Solomon’s exclusive focus on her body and pushing to take her to his bedchamber immediately begins to put into question flawed theories that she was his One True Love or even that the role of the Kingly Casanova represents Christ.

“Catch for us the foxes-
the little foxes that ruin the vineyards-
for our vineyards are in bloom.”

The Chorus helps further understand the distinction between Solomon and the Shepherd, poetically describing King Solomon as a fox intent on scaling the vineyard’s walls to revel on the ripening fruit of the young maidens’ maturing bodies. The implication that he is ruining the vineyards, infamously insinuates that Solomon is only after their virginity before making them a forgotten member of his expanding harem (ref. Song 2:15)

But her beloved does not seek to collect notches on his bedpost. He is hers, and she is his. He is kind and thoughtful, making sure his flock has all that they need. Before the sun rises and he has to leave, she asks him to gently nuzzle and kiss her (ref. Song 2:16-17).

As he saw his capital city Jerusalem develop extreme wealth and prestige, Solomon began to compare this new metropolis with the nation his father, initially a shepherd, loved. King Solomon refused to give Abishag, the Shunammite/Shulamite who he considered represented Israel, to his older brother Adonijah, but did not marry her himself, but instead begun to develop a taste for multiple foreign wives and started to indulge in their idolatry during the timing of Song of Songs. This was in direct contrast to the singular love King David had for God, which was mirrored by the Shulamite and her Shepherd Love. The First Act shows that while she and Israel were tempted by Solomon’s advances and the wealth, prestige, and idolatry he then represented, they were still loyal to their First Love.

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator