A wedding day is meant to be a wonderful time of great joy. The Bible
portrays the gathering of the Lord's people unto the Lord on that final day
as eternity begins as a bride joining her betrothed on their wedding day
(Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-4; 9-10). The groom is the Lord Jesus; the bride is
His people. His best man was John the Baptist (John 3:28-29). The New
Testament in several places makes an analogy between the love of a couple -
man and woman, husband and wife; groom and bride - with the love of Jesus
for His Church (Ephesians 5:25-33). More generally, the love of God for all
His people is also pictured this way in the Old Testament (Isaiah 54:5;
God's Love Has Always Been
Something to Sing About
Both the teachings of the Old Testament and the New Testament include
parables, allegories and figures of speech to describe God's relationship
with His people. One example of this is one of the 1005 songs that Solomon
wrote (1 Kings 4:32). The Lord has preserved one of these songs for us,
evidently because of its special importance. In fact, it begins with the
phrase, "The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's". What is this
“song of songs” about, and what does it have to do with God's love for
Both Jews and Early Christians saw the Song of Solomon as allegorical.
Ancient Jewish commentaries speak of the “Song” as an allegory of the
love between God and His people. Jeremiah, Isaiah and Hosea all appeal to
the people to be faithful to God on the basis that a spiritual marriage
contract existed between God and Israel.
Early Christians also looked at the book the same way, emphasizing the
relationship between Christ and His people, the church. This interpretation
was in line with what Paul and John wrote and Jesus Himself taught.
The Story Summary
1. A humble family of shepherds including a daughter who is the focus of the
2. The young maiden and a young shepherd fall in love. They become devoted
to one another and seem to vow themselves to one another. However, the
brothers do not look favorably on the developing relationship.
3. One day the king of the land (Solomon?) and his retinue pass by and see
the maiden. He is taken with her beauty and he decides she ought to become
one of his wives. She is taken to Jerusalem and put in care of the women
amidst the luxury, comforts and grandeur of the palace.
4. She is enticed with gifts of jewelry and advancement in the court if she
will become another of the king's wives. But she is loyal to her shepherd
whom she loves. Her thoughts constantly dwell on her "beloved" and her heart
belongs only to him.
5. The king comes to realize that her heart belongs to another and will not
be swayed. He is impressed with her virtue and dignity and grants her
permission to return to her home.
6. She joyfully sends word to her "beloved" to come and escort her home, and
he eagerly responds. There is dialogue between the two as the return home as
the express their joy and love for one another, and look forward to their
Some Parallels Between the Song of
Songs and the Love Between Jesus & His Church
The story is somewhat difficult to follow due to the unannounced changing of
speakers and locales (hearing it read or sung by different speakers as
originally done would have been helpful). Note some wonderful points of
comparison between the Song of Songs and Jesus and His Church. The
Shepherd/Groom is a figure of Jesus; The Shulamite Maiden is a figure of the
church. The relationship is tender and loyal between the two, and survives
the obstacles to it from several sources, including the maiden's brothers as
well as the king.
1. The Maiden In The King's Palace
Available to the maiden while at the palace are all sorts of comforts and
luxuries far beyond her wildest imaginations, but she cannot be distracted
by them from her first love, the shepherd. She is surrounded by luxury and
costly perfumes, but she desires the fragrance of her Shepherd's name (SOS
1:3; Matthew 6:33; 19-21; 24; John 6:27). She asks to be "drawn"
after the Shepherd that they may be together (SOS 1:4; John 12:32; Hebrews
4:16; James 4:8). Even the other maidens of the court recognize her deep
devotion to her shepherd. They consider her love for the shepherd as
evidence of his fine qualities, but will prove to be resentful of the maiden
(SOS 1:4b; Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12). She had been tested by suffering
hardships and yet possesses beauty and is unashamed. Her toil “on the
farm” had built endurance and character. (SOS 1:5-7; 1 Peter 1:6,7;
James 1:2-4; Matthew).
But the king is very persistent and tries to win over the maiden and cause
her to forget the shepherd. Still, her love endures. The ladies of the court
ask where her shepherd is? Has she been abandoned? Has he forgotten her? How
often does the world suggest that God has forsaken us? (SOS 6:1; 2
Corinthians 4:7-10; 2 Timothy 4:16-18).
The maiden's answer is that her shepherd is far away, but he has not
forsaken nor forgotten her. That is her confidence and a source of her
strength. He is preparing a home for them both (SOS 6:2,3; Hebrews 13:5,6;
After some final attempts to seduce the maiden, the king permits a message
be sent to the Shepherd to come and take her home. She recalls the open
country and longs to return there and make a home with her special one (SOS
7:11; Hebrews 11:10;16; 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17).
2. The Journey Home
The shepherd comes to the palace and the two return to the countryside
together. As they near home, villagers see them coming (SOS 8:5a). Perhaps
this is a figure of the angels of heaven so intently interested in our
Shepherd and His Bride, the church. The Shepherd reminds her of a previous
time in the yard of the cottage where she had been born and raised (SOS
8:5b). The maiden affirms her loyalty and love for the shepherd, and asks
for the same in return. Nothing had been able to quench her love for him.
Nor can anything quench his love for her. She asks for a seal, or pledge of
His love. We, as the church, have it (SOS 8:6-7; John 15:13; Ephesians
Perhaps the stage we are at right now is in the king's palace, being enticed
by the world to leave our first love (like Ephesus did - Revelation 2:4-5).
There have been and will be obstacles and distractions. Will our love for
the Lord be proven true? Especially in times of distress, the early church
had a saying. It is similar to the way the Song of Songs closes (The bride
says: "Hurry, my beloved" (SOS 8:14a;) "Amen! Come Lord Jesus!" (Revelation
From The Bradley Banner 8/6/2006
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway
Bradley, IL 60915