Dance of Delight

Song of Songs 6:11-7:13

After the second of her dreams, “He” speaks; it would seem that he is going out to inspect a grove of trees when he is overcome by his desire for “She”. His friends chime in; he replies and we are left wondering what they mean by a Shulammite. Then the real action begins:

In 7:1-5 we have him being more personal and intimate than heretofore in his description of her body, mentioning her navel, waist and breasts in particular; he is really getting into her apparently dancing figure. Verse 6 provides a little transition using some of her words about him in describing her, and then we come to 7-9a; look out oh you faint of heart, for here comes the sex…

Your stature is like that of the palm,
and your breasts like clusters of fruit.
I said, “I will climb the palm tree;
I will take hold of its fruit.”
May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine,
the fragrance of your breath like apples,
and your mouth like the best wine.

Where his eyes have gone over her body, “He” is now prepared to take his body, climbing that palm tree that is her body. The clusters of fruit he’s going to take hold of, all that wine he’s going to drink… the only problem is that “She” isn’t actually in the scene. “He” went to inspect the grove of trees; did anybody mention that “She” went along? As has been the case since chapter one, there is plenty of innuendo, but the two aren’t together… or are they?

“She” speaks up:

May the wine go straight to my beloved,
flowing gently over lips and teeth. (7:9b)

If you stop reading right here, they seem to be together, but the address of “She” is only just beginning.

Verses 10 ff. contain a great deal of her expression of devotion and desire to be with her beloved; almost as though “She” wants them to run off together… and that is the problem:

Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside,
let us spend the night in the villages. (v. 11)

“She” is urging “He” to go off into the countryside with her, but “He” is already there inspecting groves of trees; groves of trees aren’t found in the city; they are not together in this section.

Yes, these two lovebirds really, and I mean really, want to get together, their mutual love is getting to the boiling point, but they haven’t gotten together yet. Gee whiz, as frustrating as this is for those of us who are reading it, I can just imagine how frustrating it is for the two of them.

That brings me to today’s question: Why do you suppose it is that these two haven’t gotten together yet? Hey, there isn’t much time left in the game, we’re well into the fourth quarter already, and there’s still no score!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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2 Responses to Dance of Delight

  1. Matt Brumage says:

    There’s always the possibility that they have, and the poetic descriptions and allusions are metaphors that are lost in translation and cultural idiom over 3,000 years. Or the poet is driving up the anticipation in his readers to a fever pitch…

    • Don Merritt says:

      I’m not sure what you mean by …” possibility that they have,” Have what?

      Having done the research for these posts entirely in Hebrew, I can tell you that the nuance and many idioms are unique and difficult- you may be on to something. And then: “Or the poet is driving up the anticipation in his readers to a fever pitch…” If you mean a fever pitch of desire as God’s people might have had for a closer relationship with their God, one that involves more than ritual and form, a personal relationship with a God who is approachable… then you have struck gold my friend.

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