The Song Of Solomon 4.16-5.1

Building from the praise of his bride’s premarital virginity in 4.12-15, today we see the consummation of the marriage:

Awake, O north wind; come, O south wind!
Blow on my garden so that its fragrant spices may send out their sweet smell.

May my beloved come into his garden
and eat its delightful fruit!

I have entered my garden, O my sister, my bride;

I have gathered my myrrh with my balsam spice.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk!

Eat, friends, and drink!

Drink freely, O lovers!

(The Song Of Solomon 4.16-5.1, NET)

There is a subtle but important shift in how the garden, the premarital virginity of the bride, is talked about. Whereas previously it was described as belonging to the bride (v.16) now it is spoken of as belonging to the husband (5.1). The virginity and purity of the bride is given as a spectacular gift to the husband and the result is such a luxurious satisfaction that we read of myrrhbalsam spice, honeycomb, honey, wine, and milk.

Coming together, physically, adds another dimension to this already multi-faceted relationship. The bond formed when two give themselves to one another in deep and committed love is a special thing and is quite rightly celebrated in v.1b.

Eat, friends, and drink!

Drink freely, O lovers!

Whoever these words are attributed to – and there is considerable disagreement – it is important to note that seeing a relationship develop into one of commitment, of closeness, of living by the Word of the Lord (cf. 1 Corinthians 7.4, Hebrews 13.4, for example) is praiseworthy and commendable: enough so to draw praise.

I would encourage you today to do the same.

Look at the relationships around you and offer words of praise and encouragement.

Look at the relationships you keep and offer words of praise and encouragement.

Often we fall into the trap of feeling that we simply cannot be overtly and explicitly encouraging to others lest we lose our perceived piety…which is so wrong. See those praiseworthy relationships around you and say so!

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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