The beauty of Song of Songs is noticed in the details. The time taken to see and be seen is worth the effort. Lovers need to learn to read each other. This comes in three stages: Observation, Interpretation and Application. The first stage in reading is often overlooked. What I mean is that we often decide what we think about what we have seen without really seeing. It is good to indulge the sense of sight and look at the one we love. After really seeing the intimate details our love becomes more special and unique. For example, if we see our love has hair we have distinguished them from all bald people. If we see that our love has red hair, we seperate them from blondes and brunettes. If we see that our love wears a pony-tail, we have distinguished them from all those who have cropped hair or a bob. God’s love is reflected in his intimate knowledge of the number of hairs on our head. It emphasizes his knowledge of our uniqueness – we are special.
As the lovers praise each other they interpret how they feel about each thing they see. They delight in difference. Finally, the lovers act on what they see. This usually involves them coming together in a steamy embrace. All of this started by close and detailed observation. However, how do people observe each other if we keep ourselves hidden?
Song of Songs 5:9-6:10
9 How is your beloved better than others,
most beautiful of women?
How is your beloved better than others,
that you so charge us?
10 My beloved is radiant and ruddy,
outstanding among ten thousand.
11 His head is purest gold;
his hair is wavy
and black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves
by the water streams,
washed in milk,
mounted like jewels.
13 His cheeks are like beds of spice
His lips are like lilies
dripping with myrrh.
14 His arms are rods of gold
set with topaz.
His body is like polished ivory
decorated with lapis lazuli.
15 His legs are pillars of marble
set on bases of pure gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon,
choice as its cedars.
16 His mouth is sweetness itself;
he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved, this is my friend,
daughters of Jerusalem.
1 Where has your beloved gone,
most beautiful of women?
Which way did your beloved turn,
that we may look for him with you?
2 My beloved has gone down to his garden,
to the beds of spices,
to browse in the gardens
and to gather lilies.
3 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;
he browses among the lilies.
4 You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling,
as lovely as Jerusalem,
as majestic as troops with banners.
5 Turn your eyes from me;
they overwhelm me.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
descending from Gilead.
6 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep
coming up from the washing.
Each has its twin,
not one of them is missing.
7 Your temples behind your veil
are like the halves of a pomegranate.
8 Sixty queens there may be,
and eighty concubines,
and virgins beyond number;
9 but my dove, my perfect one, is unique,
the only daughter of her mother,
the favorite of the one who bore her.
The young women saw her and called her blessed;
the queens and concubines praised her.
10 Who is this that appears like the dawn,
fair as the moon, bright as the sun,
majestic as the stars in procession?
- What physical features do the lovers draw attention to?
- Why do lovers need to take time to praise physical features?
- Why are some of the romantic observations merely repeated from previous chapters?
- How detailed are your observations of those that you love?
- What do games like Mr and Mrs. show about how little we observe each other?