The Song Of Solomon 5.10-16

In what looks like a reply to 4.1-7, here the bride praises her beloved:

My beloved is dazzling and ruddy;
he stands out in comparison to all other men.
His head is like the purest gold.
His hair is curly—black like a raven.
His eyes are like doves by streams of water,
washed in milk, mounted like jewels.
His cheeks are like garden beds full of balsam trees yielding perfume.
His lips are like lilies dripping with drops of myrrh.
His arms are like rods of gold set with chrysolite.
His abdomen is like polished ivory inlaid with sapphires.
His legs are like pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars.
His mouth is very sweet;
he is totally desirable.
This is my beloved!
This is my companion, O maidens of Jerusalem!”

(The Song Of Solomon 5.10-16, NET)

Poetry and literature praising the appearance and virtues of women was very common in this place and at this time, but the same extolling men was much rarer.

What’s happening here is that the bride is declaring that she is attracted to both the physical appearance and the character of her beloved. Take v.10 as an example:

My beloved is dazzling and ruddy;
he stands out in comparison to all other men.”

She goes on to say, in summary, that

“…he is totally desirable.
This is my beloved!
This is my companion, O maidens of Jerusalem!”

The total [desirability] comes with the multi-faceted relationship that the bride and her husband share: there will be physical attraction and there will be genuine friendship (my beloved…my companion…).

For you and for me, The Song Of Solomon might not be the first text to come to mind when searching for Scriptural relationship advice, but, more than once we have seen the virtue and the value of having a multi-faceted relationship with our prospective partners or spouses.

To attach ourselves to someone we are attracted to by appearance alone is shallow and leaves us in a relationship devoid of substance.

To gravitate towards those whose character we admire but feel no physical attraction for is to forge a relationship that leaves out a significant part of who we are as people.

A healthy relationship will have both attractions present, and so, in a sense, The Song Of Solomon is a wonderful piece of Scriptural guidance on relationships.

I would encourage you to think on the relationship you keep with your partner: is there an area you have neglected recently? Are you too focused on one area at the expense of another? A healthy relationship will (work to) maintain attraction in all areas:

“…he is totally desirable.
This is my beloved!
This is my companion, O maidens of Jerusalem!”

(Emphasis added)

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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