We begin reading the Song of Solomon in today’s Bible reading*. It’s a poem that extols the virtues of marital love.
It reads like nothing else in the rest of the Bible. The words and phrases create imagery that is highly suggestive. It doesn’t take much to read between the lines as Solomon and his wife describe their physical attraction to each other.
However, unfortunately, some commentators and preachers have interpreted the Song of Solomon as an allegory describing the love between Jesus Christ and His bride, the church.
I honestly can’t see how anyone could read this book in an allegorical way. I mean, it takes an impossible measure of effort to twist the Scriptures describing erotic marital love to say that it’s about Jesus and the church.
I have come to my garden—my sister, my bride.
I gather my myrrh with my spices.
I eat my honeycomb with my honey.
I drink my wine with my milk.
Eat, friends! Drink, be intoxicated with caresses!
Song of Solomon 5:1 (CSB)
Church people have sanitized the Song of Solomon to the point that to read it the way it’s written almost sounds “dirty”. But it isn’t! It’s a beautiful poem of love!
Why not just let the Bible speak for itself and be real?
I agree, the Song of Solomon isn’t one of those books that’s appropriate for all audiences. It deserves an edgy PG-13 rating. But it certainly doesn’t deserve an NC-17 or R rating.
Marital love is a wonderful thing that God has given humanity. We should celebrate it for the gift that it is. To treat it otherwise is to communicate a distorted view of God.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
Song of Songs 1
Song of Songs 2
Song of Songs 3
Song of Songs 4
Song of Songs 5:1