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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

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