SONG OF SOLOMON
O U T L I N E
Writer and Theme of the Book. The overarching theme of the book is the anticipation of the bride for the bridegroom, and the moral growth and development of the bride throughout her relationship the bridegroom. The experiences through which the bride passes serve to deepen her understanding of love, and of her relationship. The writer of this book was King Solomon (v.1). He had a thousand wives and concubines, but this book describes a relationship that Solomon likely never had, because he disobeyed the Lord in multiplying wives. But the author of the book is God, for the words Solomon wrote were inspired by the Spirit of God. It says of Solomon, “he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five” (1 Kings 4:32), but this one is “the song of songs” (Song. 1:1). The moral growth throughout the book is manifest in the utterances of the bride. At the beginning, she puts her own portion first; “My beloved in mine, and I am his” (Song. 2:15). Later, she learns to put him first, but still holds onto her own portion; “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song. 6:3). But at the end, she takes herself out of it completely; “I am my beloved’s and his desire is towards me” (Song. 7:10).
The threefold application of this book.
#1 – Natural application. On the surface, the Song of Solomon is a dialogue between a man and a woman, a bridegroom and his bride. Several others are briefly seen, such as the Daughters of Jerusalem (sometimes called the Virgins) who are the bride’s friends, and the Watchmen who at one point warn the bride and at another time wound her. The story unfolds the progression of love between a man and a woman leading from courtship into “the sunset”; i.e. settled married life. The book can be broken into four sections: (1) the courtship, (2) the wedding, (3) a post-honeymoon phase, and (4) and finally a deeper state of marriage.
#2 – Spiritual application. But when we apply it to the relationship of an individual believer with the Lord we see many encouraging and helpful points. The courtship might speak of the Lord’s work of warming up our hearts to seek the Lord; this involves recognizing our wayward past and catching the little foxes that spoil the joy of the Lord. The wedding and consummation might speak of those high points of communion with the Lord where we are focused on his love for us and share with him the joys of our relationship. The post-honeymoon period might speak of the coldness that so often comes into our hearts, and that way that he brings us back into communion – a process called restoration. The final section where marriage deepens might speak of the happy settled walk of the believer in communion with the Lord, now reaching out in maturity to help those younger in the faith.
#3 – Prophetic interpretation. The interpretation of this book is prophetic, not of Christ and the Church, but of Christ and his people Israel, more specifically, the faithful Jewish remnant of a future day. The first section corresponds to the Lord’s work in their hearts to awaken them to His claims of love. The second section corresponds to his appearing and union with them. The third section corresponds to that great work of repentance that will be done in their hearts before the millennium can be ushered in. The fourth and final section corresponds to the deeper character of blessing Israel will come into once repentance is complete, at which time the ten tribes will be restored and the Millennium will begin. I believe this is the primary thought in the mind of the Spirit when writing the book!
Note: Many have tried to force the interpretation to be that of Christ and the Church. This might be an application, but as an interpretation this breaks down in several ways. For example, the marriage, which would mirror the Marriage Supper of the Lamb comes before the repentance part which mirrors the Judgment Seat of Christ. This order doesn’t make sense. Therefore, we need to concede this as an interpretation of the Jewish remnant. We can see an application to Christians as individuals, but not collectively as the Church.
- Lectures on the Song of Solomon (by W. Kelly)
- The Song of Songs (by Hamilton Smith)
- Synopsis of the Books of the Bible (by J. N. Darby)