The Old Testament | The Books of Poetry

Song of Songs

Things to know
Where does the book begin?

The book begins with words from a woman who is in love.

Where does the book end?

The book ends with a poem – a woman calling to a man.

People to know

The King
The Bride

Places to go

The bride longs for her lover
Song of Solomon 2:3-17

The lover longs for the bride
Song of Solomon 7:1-9

The Story of Song of Songs

‘Listen! I hear my love!
    Look! Here he comes!
He jumps across the mountains.
He’s coming over the hills.
He said to me, ‘Rise up, my love.
Come with me, my beautiful one.
Look! The winter is past.
The rains are over and gone.
Flowers are appearing on the earth.
The season for singing has come.
Rise up and come, my love.
Come with me, my beautiful one.’

The Song of Solomon is also called the Song of Songs. This book is a love poem.

Song of Solomon is the last of the wisdom books. But it is not a book of songs or wise words. This book is a poem. It is a poem that was written like a play. First, one person speaks and then another. There are three key characters in the book. There is a young man and a young woman. The last character is a group of friends. Sometimes the young woman speaks. She is sometimes called ‘the Shulamite’. Sometimes the young man speaks. And sometimes their friends speak. Try to think about this as you read the book. As the book begins, a young woman is the first to speak.

Some people think that Solomon did not write the book. They think that someone wrote the book as a gift to praise* Solomon. That is why they made him the central player in the story. This book is about the love of one man for one woman. The story is about two people who love each other and marry each other. The book shows that they are kind to one another. They respect one another. They are not cruel. They do not speak in ways that hurt each other. They are faithful* to each other. So some people wonder how Solomon could write about these things. Solomon had many wives.

But most people think that Solomon did write the book. He wrote the book to tell what he knew about love. He wrote a poem about what love can be like. He wrote about a man who speaks and acts when he loves someone. He wrote about how a woman acts toward a man who loves her well. The best way to know love is to be faithful* to one person. Solomon knew this even if he chose something less.

Many people who read the book think that the book can teach us something about God’s love for Israel*. They think that the book can teach us something about Jesus’ love for his people (the church*). Some think that the love of the young woman is a picture of Israel’s love for the Messiah*. Only when he comes can she find what she longs for.

We can learn many things from the book. We can learn something about God’s love for us. We can learn things about how to love God better. But always remember this. The Song of Solomon is a story about a man and a woman. The book can tell us how a man and a woman should love each other well. That is a lesson of great value.

  • [1] Song of Solomon 2:8-13

The Old Testament | The Books of Poetry