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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Song of Songs

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FRAMEWORKS: Song of Solomon 1: Her Initial Concerns

 

Preliminary Comments: Please ensure you have read the notes in the Introduction. Very well, to begin with, the study which simply seeks to help the reader absorb the text more easily without too much guidance:

 

Possible breakdown [ignoring ‘the Friends']:

v.1 Title

v.2-8 Her initial concerns

v.9-17 Initial expression of the other by both of them

  

 

v.1  Solomon's Song of Songs. [song identified, accepted by most as written by Solomon]

 

She

 

v.2 [she anticipates his intimate love] Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth –
    for your love is more delightful than wine.
v.3 [she anticipates being close to him and even when his name is mentioned she is affected] Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
    your name is like perfume poured out.
    No wonder the young women love you!
v.4 [she anticipates him taking her away to where they can be alone] Take me away with you – let us hurry!
    Let the king bring me into his chambers.

 

Friends

 

[the chorus exult in what will come] We rejoice and delight in you;
    we will praise your love more than wine.

 

She

   

[she knows his reputation] How right they are to adore you!

v.5  [but she is no fair-skinned maiden] Dark am I, yet lovely,
    daughters of Jerusalem,
dark like the tents of Kedar,
    like the tent curtains of Solomon.
v.6 [she has been coloured by the sun] Do not stare at me because I am dark,
    because I am darkened by the sun.
[her brothers unfairly demanded she take her share of the family work outside in the vineyards] My mother's sons were angry with me
    and made me take care of the vineyards;
    my own vineyard I had to neglect.
[this had been to her own loss – her colour?]
v.7 [she wonders where she would find this one she idolizes from a distance] Tell me, you whom I love,
    
[would he be where his flocks were?] where you graze your flock
    and where you rest your sheep at midday.
Why should I be like a veiled woman
[she who mourns his love not yet being hers]
    beside the flocks of your friends?

 

Friends

 

v.8 [the chorus tells her to take her own flock to be with the other flocks [where she might find him?] If you do not know, most beautiful of women,
    follow the tracks of the sheep
and graze your young goats
    by the tents of the shepherds.

 

He

 

v.9 [Pharaoh's horses were perfect, a mare stood out – so does she] I liken you, my darling, to a mare
    among Pharaoh's chariot horses.
v.10 [here ‘ornaments' only accentuate her beauty even more] Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings,
    your neck with strings of jewels.
v.11 [we will do what we can to do it even more] We will make you earrings of gold,
    studded with silver.

 

She

 

v.12 [she imagines being at his table & her scent impacting him] While the king was at his table,
    my perfume spread its fragrance.
v.13 [she longs for the closeness of intimacy] My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh
    resting between my breasts.
v.14 [his close presence almost overpowers her] My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
    from the vineyards of En Gedi.

 

He

 

v.15  [he declares her beauty] How beautiful you are, my darling!
    Oh, how beautiful!
    Your eyes are doves.

 

She

 

v.16  [she declares how handsome he is] How handsome you are, my beloved!
    Oh, how charming!
    And our bed is verdant.

 

He

 

v.17 [he imagines the woods are like their home] The beams of our house are cedars;
    our rafters are firs.

 

[Concluding Comment: Note in this first chapter there is no clue to who he is – except a shepherd [v.7,8] – or who she is – except a young girl with brothers who has to work in the family vineyards [v.6]. There is no mention of Solomon.]

 

And now the drama:

The Text: The Play:

1 1 Solomon's Song of Songs.

 

HER

2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth-- for your love is more delightful than wine.

3 Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out.

No wonder the maidens love you!

4 Take me away with you--let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers.

 

(The girl enters and comes centre stage. It is as if she is in a reverie as she utters that which is on her heart)

“Oh how I long for him to kiss me. I'm sure his love will be more wonderful than even the effect of good wine.

Even as I think of him his name seems to surround me in a wave of wonder, like a perfume being released. No wonder he's the talk of all the girls in the town.

Oh, if only he would come and carry me away. Come, o king, and take me into your private rooms away from prying eyes.

 

FRIENDS

We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine.

How right they are to adore you!

 

(The chorus joins in from the back)

Oh yes! His love will be far more wonderful than wine. O king, how right they are to idolise you!

 

HER

5 Dark am I, yet lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Kedar, like the tent curtains of Solomon.

6 Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun. My mother's sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I have neglected. 7 Tell me, you whom I love, where you graze your flock and where you rest your sheep at midday. Why should I be like a veiled woman beside the flocks of your friends?

 

(She continues)

“Oh but why would he be attracted to me. I'm dark and swarthy through having to be out in the sun and work for the family. I have worked for them and neglected myself.

“Oh you of whom I dream, where will I find you, out with your flocks? Where could I come to you? But could I come to you, would I not appear as a prostitute seeking her livelihood? Surely not!

 

FRIENDS

8 If you do not know, most beautiful of women, follow the tracks of the sheep and graze your young goats by the tents of the shepherds.

 

(The chorus join in and encourage her again)

You are most beautiful, you have nothing to fear, go looking for the one your heart longs for!

 

HIM

9 I liken you, my darling, to a mare harnessed to one of the chariots of Pharaoh. 10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels. 11 We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver.

(On the stage she moves to one side looking away. The young man enters the other side and espying her, he speaks to himself )

My love? What beauty, what incredible beauty. Even as one of the gentle mares of Pharaoh is so beautiful to behold, so is this gentleness before me. The softness of your cheeks set off by those earrings, the beauty of your neck by that necklace. Oh you are worthy of so much more. How wonderful you would look in gold and silver that I can give you!

HER

12 While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance.

13 My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts.

14 My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi.

 

(Still not aware of him, she continues)

“I saw him from afar as he sat at his table. I imagined going to him and my perfume wafting over him, drawing his attention to me.

I imagine him lying on my breast and, like a bag of scent, the perfume of his presence overwhelms me. His effect on me is like the overwhelming scent of the henna blossoms I know so well from the vineyards.

 

HIM

15 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.

 

(He, with his eyes still on her speaks)

“Oh my darling one, how incredibly beautiful you are. Look at those eyes, so gentle, so timid, just like that of a dove.

 

HER

16 How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant

 

(She turns and sees him from afar. The background turns, even as she speaks to scenery of the woodland countryside)

“Oh, how handsome he is, how charming. He's everything I could want for one to bring me love. Out here, the bed for our meeting can be the soft grass. If only it could be.

HIM

17 The beams of our house are cedars; our rafters are firs

(It is as if there is a coming together of their minds as he speaks)

“Indeed and the trees form the beams and rafters of our home together.

      

Continue to Songs 2