Dave Burnette's Commentary

Song of Solomon Chapter 1

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Solomon
Date Penned: (971-931 BC)
Overview: The Love Between the Bride and the Bridegroom (c 1-8)
Theme: The Wedding Day (c 1-2)
Message: The Song of Songs (v 1-17)

Song of Solomon 1 Commentary 

(1:1) Seven Poems - The Song of Solomon is a series of seven poems, not necessarily in chronological order. Interpreters have proposed various ways of reading these poems and seeing narrative connections between them. One reading views these poems as part of an overarching narrative that reflects upon the first meeting of Solomon and a peasant woman, their engagement, their wedding, their wedding night, and the growth of their marriage after the wedding. If this narrative is correct, it is possible that this woman was one of Solomon's actual wives or that she is a metaphorical representation of his wives generally. This reading of the narrative goes something like this: One day, as Solomon was visiting some royal vineyards in the north, his royal entourage came by surprise upon a beautiful peasant woman tending the vines. Embarrassed, she ran from them. But Solomon could not forget her. Later, disguised as a shepherd, he returned to the vineyards and won her love. Then he revealed his true identity and asked her to return to Jerusalem with him. As this book begins, we come upon Solomon and his beloved being married at the palace. 

(1:1) Four Groups - This book features four characters or groups of characters: the young woman (1:2), Solomon (1:8), the daughters of Jerusalem (1:5), and the young woman's brothers (8:8). The young woman who caught Solomon's attention may have been from Shulam, a farming community about 60 miles north of Jerusalem. Her tanned skin indicates that she probably worked outside in the vineyards (1:6); thus, she was likely not from the upper class. The daughters of Jerusalem likely include either members of Solomon's harem or workers in his palace. 

(1:1-4) A Picture of Love - This vivid description of a love relationship begins with a picture of love itself. Love is "better than wine"; it makes the lovers rejoice. God created us out of love and gave love to us as a great gift (see 1 Corinthians 13; 1 John 4:7-12). 1:1 Solomon, a son of King David, became king and was chosen by God to build the temple in Jerusalem. God gave him extraordinary wisdom. Much of Solomon's reign was characterized by wisdom and reverence for God, although toward the end of his life he became proud and turned away from God. Read about Solomon in 1 Kings 1-11 and 1 Chronicles 28--2 Chronicles 9. Solomon wrote and collected more than 3,000 proverbs (see the book of Proverbs) and over 1,000 songs. Some of these songs form this book, Song of Solomon. See his profile. 15 Kedar was a nomadic community in northern Arabia. It was known for its tents, which were woven from black goat hair. 

(1:6-7) Insecurity - The young woman felt insecure at being different in appearance and background from the women of Jerusalem and at being alone while her lover was away. She longed for the security of his presence. 

(1:6) The Vineyard - The vineyard mentioned here was apparently owned by Solomon (because he came to visit it) and was leased to the woman's brothers, who made her tend the vineyards in the hot sun. Thus, she could not protect her skin by staying in the shade ("mine own vineyard have I not kept"). When she was brought to Jerusalem, she was embarrassed about her tanned complexion because the women in the city had the fair, delicate skin that was considered much more beautiful in that day. But Solomon loved her dark skin. How do you feel about your appearance? Do you often compare yourself to others? Consider how you look as a gift from God, and develop the kind of inner beauty that God delights in. 

(1:14) An Oasis - En-gedi was an oasis hidden at the base of rugged limestone cliffs west of the Dead Sea. It was known for its springs of water, fruitful palm trees, and fragrant balsam oil. The terrain surrounding En-gedi is some of the most desolate in Palestine and has an extremely hot desert climate. "Camphire" was a flowering plant, probably henna. When in bloom, henna shrubs are covered with bright yellow flowers. At En-gedi these would have appeared all the more beautiful because of their stark, desert surroundings. Thus, the woman was complimenting Solomon's looks, saying that he stood out among all other men. 

(1:16-17) The Wedding Bed - The young woman describes the woodland surroundings as a wedding bedroom.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

A Biblical Marriage

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we start the Book of Song of Solomon with Chapter 1. Today's text shows the wedding day as this book is a song honoring Marriage. In making an application, we see society trying to redefine Marriage as being other than a man and woman with an attempt to redefine Biblical Marriage. The Bible is clear that our Lord ordains Marriage between a man and a woman. How about you? Do you hold the Biblical position on Marriage or the New World position that anything goes? Let us learn from our text today to remember that our Lord has a pattern for Marriage, and this plan is located in the Bible, as God's Plan is one man and one woman.


Song of Solomon 1

Song of Solomon 1

 1The song of songs, which is Solomon's.

 2Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.

 3Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.

 4Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.

 5I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

 6Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.

 7Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

 8If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents.

 9I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots.

 10Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.

 11We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver.

 12While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.

 13A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.

 14My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.

 15Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes.

 16Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.

 17The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.