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You will find an introduction of the Song of Solomon, here.

Here is a prayer to use before reading,  by Origen (c. 185 – c. 254) an early church father from Alexandria.
Lord, inspire us to read your Scriptures and meditate upon them day and night. We beg you to give us real understanding of what we need, that we in turn may put its precepts into practice. Yet we know that understanding and good intentions are worthless, unless rooted in your graceful love. So we ask that the words of Scriptures may also be not just signs on a page, but channels of grace into our hearts. Amen.

Chapter 5:2-6:3 The Woman’s Second Long Speech. The woman tells about a second night visit by the man and her search for him in the streets during the night. This is a dialogue with the women of Jerusalem. The story contains many sexual allusions. In verse 9 the women ask why is your beloved special? Verses 10-16 are the woman’s reply. The woman ask, where is your beloved in verse 6:1 and the woman replies in 6:2-3.

Chapter 6:4-7:9 The Man’s Second Long Speech.  6:4-10 are the man’s song of praise. Tirzah was the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (c. 920-880 BCE). “Terrible as an army with banners” might be better translated as “as awesome in splendor as they”- meaning Jerusalem and Tirzah in verse 4 and the moon and the son in verse 10. The royalty who praise the woman ( v8-10) are imaginary.  Verses 11-12 may be the man’s words or perhaps the woman’s words. The meaning of verse 12 is uncertain. “Shulammite” is not a proper name and probably means “perfect one”. The meaning of “a dance before two armies” is unknown. 7:1-6 are another descriptive song. 7:7-9 the man describes his desires.

7:10-13 The Woman’s Reply

8:1-14 Several Short Speeches. Verses 1-4 the woman speaks. Verses 5a the women of Jerusalem speak. 5b “in labor” would be better translated at “conceived you”.  Verses 6-7 are the only statement in the book about love in general. What does the woman say about love? The brothers speak in verses 8-9. Verse 10 the woman speaks. Verse 11-12 the man speaks. How do verses 13-14 end the book? The story seems unfinished, perhaps a story without end?

Here are several good sources to aid your reading of the Song of Solomon

Anderson, Bernhard W., Katheryn Pfister Darr, Understanding the Old Testament Abridged fourth Edition. (Upper Saddle River,New Jersey: Prentice Hall) 1998.

Exum, J. Cheryl “The Song of Solomon” in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version.Coogan, Michael D.; Brettler, Marc Z.; Perkins, Pheme; Newsom, Carol A. (2010-01-20) Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

Fox, Michael V. “The Song of Songs” in  HarperCollins Bible Commentary Mays, James L. ed.(San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco) 2000.

Weems, Reinta J “The Song of Songs”,in The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary Vol 3, Keck, Leander E. ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press) 1996

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