Song of Solomon 3
By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.
2 I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.
3 The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?
4 It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.
5 I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.
6 Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?
7 Behold his bed, which is Solomon's; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel.
8 They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night.
9 King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon.
10 He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem.
11 Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.
This chapter contains the first of a pair of dreams by the Shulamite, one (verses 1-6) occurring before and the other (5:2-8) after her wedding. Here she dreams that she is searching anxiously for her lover, and finally finds him. The “absence-presence” theme is thus highlighted in the Song. As with the first couple in the Garden of Eden, lovers need each other to be complete and whole! Here and elsewhere in the Song we find evidence of an equal relationship in which the woman is as active as the man in taking the initiative in building the relationship.
In its spiritual application, these verses portray the ardent love that God longs for us to have for Him, a love that seeks Him and will not let Him go!
The Song of Solomon actually provides a “Biblical Guide to Married Love,” with practical principles pertaining to each stage of the love relationship. Particular emphasis is given to the various kinds of intimacy that God longs for us to experience in our marriages. These include: physical, emotional, intellectual, appreciating beauty, creative, recreational, work, crisis, conflict, commitment, spiritual, and communication.
Richard M. Davidson
Professor of Old Testament Interpretation
Andrews University Theological Seminary