Song of Songs 3:1-5

The first five verses of Song of Songs 3 involve an erotic dream that the woman of the song has about her lover.  It is to be contrasted with the latter half of the chapter where Solomon uses his power to dominate women.  In her dream the woman has a longing to be secure in the arms of the one she loves.  The emphasis on security is shown in the dream sequence when she brings her lover home to the house where she grew up and takes him to the bedroom where her mother conceived her.  Her heart is consumed with love and she wants to offer herself up to her lover because of the power of the love that has come at its proper time.

This willing sacrifice is in contrast with the forced sacrifice of the bed of Solomon which we will look at tomorrow.

Adults long for each other and desire to be with each other physically in ways that are healthy.  It is good for a wife to let herself dream of and long for her husband’s sexual embrace.  In various cultures and communities the sexuality of the woman has been oppressed.  In Afghanistan female circumcision would mutilate a woman so that she could experience very little pleasure from sex.  In our own culture men often use defenceless young girls for sexual gratification and so create fear and disgust in the mind of the girl about sex when they become a woman.  In some cases a woman might play at sex using it as power herself because she has seen that she is able to get the things that she wants through sexually dominance.  The godly way is to wait until love arises naturally and for a wife to desire her husband in a total way.  This means that when she is alone she will think of the intimacy that comes through conversation and sexual union.  If there is a blockage of this desire it needs to be looked at.  Maybe a woman has lost interest because she feels abandoned.  Maybe a woman loses interest because she fills her life with other things that demand her time and energy.  Maybe a woman got married for the wrong reasons and after the wedding the lack of attraction for their spouse is apparent.  In each case, knowing that the Lord hates divorce, the woman needs to seek Christ.  Christ approves of the intimacy that should fill the dreams of a love-sick woman and he will lead on a path to healing.

NB:  The passage focuses on the woman and so the reflection is mostly concerning women.  The next section will focus on men.

Song of Songs 3:1-5

 1 On my bed (A)by night
I sought (B)him whom my soul loves;
   (C)I sought him, but found him not.
2 I will rise now and go about the city,
   in (D)the streets and in the squares;
I will seek (E)him whom my soul loves.
   I sought him, but found him not.
3 (F)The watchmen found me
   as they went about in the city.
“Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”
4 Scarcely had I passed them
   when I found (G)him whom my soul loves.
I (H)held him, and would not let him go
   until I had (I)brought him into my mother’s house,
   and into the chamber of (J)her who conceived me.
5 (K)I adjure you, (L)O daughters of Jerusalem,
   (M)by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
   until it pleases.

Questions

  1. Where was the woman when she searched for the one her heart loves?
  2. In her dream, where does she take the man?
  3. Why, in your opinion, does the dream emphasize a woman taking sexual initiative in her dreams?
  4. How can a young woman avoid inappropriate sexual desires until love is aroused at the right time?
  5. How can each sex take initiative in sexual union WITHOUT making demands or being oppressive?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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