Tag Archives: sex

Bible Overview Series: Song of Songs


Song of Songs 
by Joseph Novak

With the turtledove singing above them in the apple tree, the lovers took off their clothes and made beautiful poems together.

(Ben Myers’ #CanonFodder Summary)


Jeffrey Kranz’s Overview of Song of Songs (Song of Solomon)

When God made Adam and Eve, He brought them together as husband and wife. Adam recognized Eve as bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. (Gn 2:23–24)

The Song of Solomon celebrates this kind of union: a man and a woman becoming one.

It’s a ballad of love and longing. It’s an exchange of love notes. It’s a story of adoration, satisfaction, delight, and yes: sex.

It’s the tale of a young woman preparing to marry her love: a handsome king who adores her. They describe their emotions, their passions, their appearances, their fears. They vulnerably display their love and desire for one another—sometimes rather graphically.

Song of Solomon is arranged by character. Three parties join the song:

  • The bride, a hard-working shepherd girl with a rough home life (So 1:6).
  • The bridegroom, a handsome and stately shepherd. The text doesn’t explicitly say whether or not Solomon is the bridegroom, but the bride does reference Solomon’s wedding parade (So 3:6–11).
  • The chorus, the community of people celebrating the bride and bridegroom’s love and union.

If this were indeed an arranged song, think of it as a duet with a choir. And this song has three general movements:

  • The bride and groom prepare for the wedding.
  • The bride and groom profess their desire for one another.
  • The bride and groom are finally united.

It culminates in their marriage and mutual delight in one another: the bride is her beloved’s and his desire is for her (So 7:10).

Theme verse of Song of Solomon

“I am my beloved’s,
And his desire is for me.” —Bride (So 7:10)

Song of Solomon’s role in the Bible

Song of Solomon is the fifth book of poetry in the Bible. Solomon wrote 1,005 songs in his lifetime (1 Ki 4:32), but this is the “song of songs” (So 1:1). Like Psalms, it’s a  book of lyrics; but while every psalm’s beginning and end is clearly marked, Song of Solomon doesn’t give us this level of clarity.

It’s possible that the song of songs has always been one grand piece that Solomon wrote. But it seems that Solomon didn’t always write his own material: he also explored and arranged pieces of wisdom for the people (Eccl 12:9–10). The song of songs may be a metasong: an anthology of smaller pieces.

Song of Solomon gives us a biblical look at human love. The characters experience attraction, lovesickness, and what seems like a pretty great wedding night (So 7).

In fact, the book has an almost secular feel. God is never directly mentioned in the original Hebrew; the closest we get to a mention of God is in the last chapter, when the bride compares jealous love to a blazing flame (So 8:6). That Hebrew word for flame literally means “flame of the Lord,” but could just mean an especially hot fire.

Solomon’s song of songs is an old book, but its portrait of powerful, all-consuming love probably resonates with most of us today:

“Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor will rivers overflow it;
If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly despised.” (So 8:7)

It’s a passionate description of human love. Although some lines are a little awkward to find in the Bible, Song of Solomon is a good reminder that God created marriage and sex, and it’s OK for us to enjoy them.

Quick outlines of Song of Solomon

Here’s the basic outline of the book’s progression:

  1. Preparation for the wedding (So 1–3)
  2. The bride prepares (1–3:5)
  3. The groom prepares (3:6–11)
  4. The couple profess their love and desire
  5. The groom professes his love (4)
  6. The bride professes her love and longing (5)
  7. Both are united in love (6–8)

The Best Sermon on Love and Lust I’ve Ever Heard

One of the things that has served me well has been my habit of listening to 2-3 Timothy Keller sermons a week over the past year.  My practice is to listen to one sermon after another until I’ve worked my way through all 74, and then start over again.

At times, however, I come across one of Keller’s messages that is so good, I stay with it for a few days, listening to it repeatedly.  Last week I listened to Keller’s message “Love and Lust,” and have had it set to repeat every since.

I can say without hesitation is it the single best sermon I’ve ever heard on the topic.  In fact, it’s the single best “go to” resource on the topic I’ve ever come across.  I cannot imagine anyone who would not profoundly benefit from listening to it.

Do yourself a favour and download Love and Lust today (it’s free!).

Here’s the sermon’s description:

The Bible presents a more attractive and comprehensive view of sexuality than is generally understood.  The headings explored in this sermon include the integrity of sex, the challenge of lust, and the future of love.