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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

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