Song of Solomon 5
1"I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;
I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk
Solomon speaks of having consummated the marriage and having entered the garden. He says, in keeping with his earlier analogies and symbolism, that he enjoyed the garden.
Drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers."
This is likely God speaking here, giving His blessing and approval to what they are doing. He tells them to indulge of the goodness and wonder of His idea of sexual intimacy. The word for “friends” should be better translated “companions.” The word for “imbibe” means literally “drunk.” God wants us to be overwhelmed and carried away with love, letting go, loving, and enjoying His idea of sexual intimacy in marriage. We are to be consumed with pleasure, intimacy, love, and affection. The sights, the fragrant smells, the garments, the jewelry, and the romance all lead to a healthy and normal experience of intimacy in marriage.
2"I was asleep but my heart was awake.
A voice! My beloved was knocking:
'Open to me, my sister, my darling,
My dove, my perfect one!
For my head is drenched with dew,
My locks with the damp of the night.'
God is very realistic in the Scriptures, highlighting the goods and bads of people. Not long after the consummation of the marriage and perhaps even the same night, a conflict occurs. Soon into their marriage, perhaps even their first night together, she has a dream. She says she was sleeping but her heart was awake, so she was probably in a very deep sleep. She hears a voice, and she is awakened by a knock on a door. For whatever reason, Solomon had to leave the bedroom and go outside. He was drenched with dew and wanted to be let back in. She hears him knocking and recognizes the voice as her beloved.
3"I have taken off my dress,
How can I put it on again?
I have washed my feet,
How can I dirty them again?
She says to him that she would need to get dressed in proper attire to come out to him, and she says that she doesn’t want to dirty her feet again since she has already washed them. In other words, she makes it sound like she is going to leave him out in the damp night. This could easily offend Solomon, for one would think that she would at least go through the minor inconveniences so that he can come inside and be with her, let alone get out of the damp night.
4"My beloved extended his hand through the opening,
And my feelings were aroused for him.
5"I arose to open to my beloved;
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
And my fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the bolt.
Solomon reached his hand through the opening to likely signal to her to come and open the door. Maybe he made some kind gestures trying to show her that he missed her. The bottom line is that something aroused her feelings toward him, and she put fragrances on her fingers and hands, even spilling some onto the bolt as she went to open the door.
6"I opened to my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and had gone!
My heart went out to him as he spoke
I searched for him but I did not find him;
I called him but he did not answer me.
But in this delay he left her, and she longed for him but could not find him. She called but he did not answer. Perhaps he had been angry at her secondary delay, losing patience, and went to go and calm down somewhere. Perhaps she took so long that he thought she wasn’t going to come or that she fell back to sleep. Either way, he left.
7"The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
They struck me and wounded me;
The guardsmen of the walls took away my shawl from me.
Yet things got even worse. As she searched for Solomon, she came upon some of the watchmen making their rounds in the city. She was covered with a shawl, so perhaps they didn’t recognize her and thought she was sneaking around as a prowler or thief, perhaps as a spy for an enemy kingdom (see 6:12). They struck her, injured her, and took her shawl.
8"I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
If you find my beloved,
As to what you will tell him:
For I am lovesick."
Perhaps at this point they recognize that she is the king’s wife, and they let her go to be with some of the other women. She adjures them, as adamantly as she wanted to emphasize that sex is only for marriage, to tell him that she is lovesick for him. She misses her beloved, and she wants that message conveyed to him, wherever he is.
9"What kind of beloved is your beloved,
O most beautiful among women?
What kind of beloved is your beloved,
That thus you adjure us?"
Clearly they are taken by her adjuration such that they ask her why she is so lovesick. They want to know why she admires him so. They also comment on her beauty as being most beautiful among women. Clearly, Solomon could see that she was beautiful, and her concern about her sun-darkened skin was no big deal. It wasn’t too difficult for Solomon to say and see that she had no blemishes.
10"My beloved is dazzling and ruddy,
Outstanding among ten thousand.
She immediately starts by describing his physical features. She is enraptured by his dazzling looks and ruddy complexion (like his father David (1 Samuel 16:12)). She says that he is outstanding even if he was to be compared with ten thousand other men. Clearly, Solomon is most attractive and desirable to her.
11"His head is like gold, pure gold;
His locks are like clusters of dates
And black as a raven.
12"His eyes are like doves
Beside streams of water,
Bathed in milk,
And reposed in their setting.
13"His cheeks are like a bed of balsam,
Banks of sweet-scented herbs;
His lips are lilies
Dripping with liquid myrrh.
She loves his head, his black hair, his tender eyes, the smell of his cheeks, and the taste of his kisses.
14"His hands are rods of gold
Set with beryl;
His abdomen is carved ivory
Inlaid with sapphires.
15"His legs are pillars of alabaster
Set on pedestals of pure gold;
His appearance is like Lebanon
Choice as the cedars.
16"His mouth is full of sweetness
And he is wholly desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem."
She adores his hands, his abdomen, and his legs. His appearance is as ideal as a cedar tree, which was very important in the culture for building. She loves his kisses and says that he is wholly desirable. Just as Solomon has gone from head downward describing her beauty to her, she now tells of his extravagant appearance and love to some of the women of the town, tastefully keeping the intimate thoughts to herself. She is trying to show them how important and special this man is to her, and she does a very formidable job of convincing them about the wonder of her beloved companion.