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Posts Tagged ‘Song of Solomon’

The poet’s description of the Shunamite beauty in Song of Solomon is breathtaking. Meticulously, he employs his craft from her head to her toe, painting a portrait of her body that sets a reader back on his heels.

Your rounded thighs are like jewels,
the work of a master hand.

It is understandable that pious minds should so quickly have had recourse to allegory, for it is convenient—though in a way, quite sad—to look away from this fresh, fleshly enchantment of a man for his beloved woman and to focus instead on YHWH’s love for Israel or Christ’s for his church. Such symbolic reframing of love’s rushing words goes back to our earliest post-biblical interpretative works. (more…)

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The uninhibited poet of Song of Solomon paints the portrait of two lovers drunk with love.

Each longs for the body, the company, the love of the other. Each describes in lavish detail the beauty of love’s object. Both are driven to behavior bordering on the outlandish by the surge of love’s private frenzy.

You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride,
you have ravished my heart with a glance of your eyes,
with one jewel of your necklace.

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Dan Fogelberg, that troubador of emotive angst, sang memorably that …

There’s a song in the heart of a woman
That only the truest of loves can release.

The love of the Shulamite’s Solomon has with regard to this woman’s song done exactly what Fogelberg exhorts: ‘Set it free.’ (more…)

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It must be asked what a work like this Song says of the community that embraces it and of that people’s God. A splendid eroticism pervades its lines, eroding the conventions of pious discourse in its exuberant longing for intercourse. There is no voyeurism here, it is true. But the appreciation of a splendid and holy eroticism is blushworthy for readers who have been patiently weaned from such desire and its out-loud articulation. (more…)

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