“Who is this coming up from the wilderness
like a column of smoke,
like a fragrant billow of myrrh and frankincense,
every kind of fragrant powder of the traveling merchants?
Look! It is Solomon’s portable couch!
It is surrounded by sixty warriors,
some of Israel’s mightiest warriors.
All of them are skilled with a sword,
well trained in the art of warfare.
Each has his sword at his side,
to guard against the terrors of the night.
King Solomon made a sedan chair for himself
of wood imported from Lebanon.
Its posts were made of silver;
its backwas made of gold.
Its seat was upholstered with purple wool;
its interior was inlaid with leather by the maidens of Jerusalem.
Come out, O maidens of Zion,
and gaze upon King Solomon!
He is wearing the crown with which his mother crowned him
on his wedding day,
on the most joyous day of his life!”
(The Song Of Solomon 3.6-11, NET)
There seems to be considerable doubt as to who is being spoken of here (Who is this…) in v.6. Some make a case, grammatically, for the lover (Carr) and others are much more ambiguous and suggest the beloved (Constable). Either way, the wedding procession we read of was surely an impressive spectacle. Whether Solomon or his bride are being delivered to the ceremony on Solomon’s portable couch the dignity, the grandeur, and the scale are magnificent (vv.6-10).
Days where relationships are celebrated are joyous occasions (the most joyous day of his life) and we read that Solomon is wearing the crown with which his mother crowned him. Different to the royal crown used in coronation (עָטַר v. נֶזֶר), this headpiece was worn in celebration: marriages were then, and are now, times of great celebration.
David Guzik writes
“It was a glad wedding because their love was real, it was passionate, but it was also pure and restrained into the proper channels. This principle made it a glad day not only for the maiden and the beloved, but also for everyone.”
In a culture and at a time where marriage is seemingly cherished less and less, pointed to as an antiquated and archaic structure (read this diatribe, for example) The Song Of Solomon 3.6-11 reminds us that marriage is a wonderful, God-given institution (cf. Genesis 2.24) that is to be celebrated. It is to be anticipated (vv.6-10) and shared (v.11) and celebrated by all involved.