King Solomon wrote over 1,000 songs. The title of his biblical book “The Song of Songs” means the song is Solomon’s best song. Some Jewish scholars postulate the book describes God’s love for Israel. Some Christian scholars see the relationship between Christ and the Church in the song verses. I see sex, as do many other commentators. That’s the obvious reading, so let’s go with it and take it as God telling us about sex.
Below are the lines that inspire me. I include my weird commentary on each of those verses. Read the snippets below and decide for yourself if God gave us sex as a wonderful gift:
1:2 She says: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is more delightful than wine. Wine is delightful, but sex is even more delightful.
1:3 She says: Take me away with you—let us hurry! The urgency of passion; we’ve all been there.
1:6 She says: Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun. She has a charming shyness, perhaps about her lover seeing her naked tan lines.
1:8 He says: If you do not know, most beautiful of women. Flattery will get him everywhere.
1:9 He says: I liken you, my darling, to a mare harnessed to one of the chariots of Pharaoh. Now that’s a compliment not often heard these days...I suppose it could be flattering...
1:12 She says: While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. This may mean she became aroused, the perfume being a euphemism for natural sexual fluids and their musky odor.
1:13 She says: My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts. She has him where she wants him and he smells great.
1:15 He says: How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. Again with the flattery.
1:16 She says: How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant. When I checked my Funk and Wagnall, I found that either they are laying in the grass or on green sheets.
1:17 He says: The beams of our house are cedars; our rafters are firs. Sure seems to imply that he’s talking about his erections, and there’s no mention of a blue pill.
2:2 He says: Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens. She’s prettier than all other girls. Flattery again, but I bet he believes it.
2:3 She says: Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. She loves to pleasure him with fellatio.
2:4 She says: He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love. Two beautiful analogies for passion.
2.5 She says: Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love. Long lovemaking sessions need carb-refuel breaks.
2:7 She says: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. Don’t just scratch the itch; make love making wonderful.
2:8-9 She says: Listen! My lover! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills. My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. She’s visually attracted to him. She feels his approach.
2:13 She says: The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me. The early fruit of the fig tree seems to be a euphemism for his erection and the blossoming vines spreading their fragrance seems to be a euphemism for her legs spreading and her building arousal.
2:14 He says: My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. He’s looking for her, desiring her, and trying to connect with her.
2:15 He says: Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. Perhaps the foxes are the little cares and annoyances that distract from focused lovemaking.
2:16 She says: My lover is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies. He pleasures her with cunnilingus.
2:17 She says: Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, turn, my lover, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the rugged hills. They make love outside throughout the night. Then she tells him to go on his way. I’m not sure of their marital status here, but this doesn’t seem like married people sex.
4:1 He says: How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead. Beautiful language. When our son-in-law first met our daughter on a blind date, they sat down in a restaurant and she removed her winter hat. Her curls tumbled down to her shoulders. He gasped in involuntary awe. He had her at the gasp. The same kind of thing seems to be happening here.
4:3 He says: Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate. Lips, teeth, and mouth are such integral parts of lovemaking. This verse, along with verses 4 and 5, remind me of Al Pacino in the movie Scent of a Woman, where he describes, in coarser language, the feminine attractions.
4:7 He says: All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you. We can all feel that way about our partner in a special moment, can’t we?
4:9-15 He says: You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.
How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!
Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like that of Lebanon.
You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard,
nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices.
You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.
He’s full of love and analogies for great sex. He’s a happy guy.
4:16 She says: Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad. Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. She requests cunnilingus with a “gentle blowing,” a light touch.
5:4 She says: My lover thrust his hand through the latch opening; my heart began to pound for him. The word translated “latch opening” is also the word for hole...you get it.
5:10 She says: My lover is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand. She values him.
5:11 She says: His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven. He has great hair.
5:12 She says: His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels. He has great eyes.
5:13 She says: His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh. He has a great face.
5:14-15 She says: His arms are rods of gold set with chrysolite. His body is like polished ivory decorated with sapphires. His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars. He has a great physique and an erect penis.
5:16 She says: His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. His kisses are altogether lovely. He’s her lover and friend, which is a beautiful gift from God.
6:2-3 She says: My lover has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather lilies. I am my lover's and my lover is mine; he browses among the lilies. He explores the wonders of her vulva.
6:4 He says: You are beautiful, my darling, as Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, majestic as troops with banners. Here’s another odd compliment: “As lovely as troops with banners.” On the other hand, he’s the guy with a 1,000 wives and concubines, so maybe he knows a few things I don’t.
6:5 He says: Turn your eyes from me; they overwhelm me. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Gilead. Asking her to avert her eyes because she overwhelms him is certainly charming, as is the complement to her hair.
6:6 He says: Your teeth are like a flock of sheep coming up from the washing. Each has its twin, not one of them is alone. All teeth are present and accounted for; no hillbilly smile here.
7:1 He says: How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince's daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman's hands. She has great legs.
7:2 He says: Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies. I believe this is the first mention in history of belly button shots, though the symbol for the navel may be in reference instead to the vulva.
7:3 He says: Your breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. When I walk through the woods and see two white tailed deer fawns, I am filled with joy. Seeing my wife’s breasts still does that for me.
7:5 He says: Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel. Your hair is like royal tapestry; the king is held captive by its tresses. Funny to think of the King held captive by the beautiful hair of a peasant girl, but that’s the stuff all Disney princess stories are made of.
7:6 He says: How beautiful you are and how pleasing, O love, with your delights! Think about the delights of love; it’s a list of activities that can just keep growing.
7:7 He says: Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. She has great posture and breasts unaffected by gravity.
7:8 He says: I said, "I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit." May your breasts be like the clusters of the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples. Wonderfully graphic sex talk. He’s ready to get busy.
7:9 She says: And your mouth like the best wine. May the wine go straight to my lover, flowing gently over lips and teeth. Wine is an aphrodisiac.
7:10 She says: I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me. Ah, the mutual submission of great lovemaking.
7:12-13 She says: Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates are in bloom—there I will give you my love. The mandrakes send out their fragrance, and at our door is every delicacy, both new and old, that I have stored up for you, my lover. A good reminder to use fragrances in love making. Each of our five senses can be pleasured. The door refers to an opening (vagina).
8:10 She says: I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment. Those towering breasts seemed to make him happy. One aspect of the joy of sex is that it has the potential to make both husband and wife feel content.
8:14 She says: Come away, my lover, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the spice-laden mountains. She really likes sex.
Now that you’ve read through these verses and musings, think more about the Song of Songs. It is clearly a love story. It is sometimes the love story between a rural girl and her shepherd lover and other times between peasant girl at court and a handsome king. Neither the woman nor the man is named, but Solomon is mentioned. This could be a literary technique called “King fiction,” where challenging texts are made more acceptable since the leading character is a king. In the ancient world, leaders got to play by different rules. Glad that doesn’t still happen.
The Song of Songs teaches about passion, desire, and sex. While many folks find sex shameful, embarrassing, and ungodly, God doesn’t seem to share that opinion.
What conclusions do I draw, then, from the above? God gave us sex to enjoy, to celebrate, to revere. He inspired the Song of Songs to give us some directions in the act of lovemaking. I don’t know about you, but I’m trained to follow orders.