New European Commentary


About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

Deeper Commentary


Song of Solomon 1:1 The Song of songs, which is Solomon’s-
The key to understanding the Song is to appreciate that we have here a set of dialogues- Solomon to his Egyptian girlfriend, the Egyptian girl to him, words of the daughters of Jerusalem to the girl and the girl to them. And sometimes the words of her brothers who disapprove of her sleeping with Solomon and see themselves as the guardians of her virginity. Breaking up the text into these sections isn't easy, as sometimes the break can occur within a verse.  

The Song begins by the daughters of Jerusalem and the Egyptian girl being in some kind of competition for Solomon; they both state their desire for him, and both of them compare his love to wine (1:2, 4). Note how the Song doesn't begin as a romance is supposed to- with the first meeting, love at first sight scene. As early as 1:2 she comments that "your lovemaking is more delightful than wine". Sex and sexual imagery and allusion fills the song, making it almost verbal pornography in places. This is all a subversion of the whole genre of romance. So the Song begins with the relationship already advanced, or with the woman inappropriately forward, and with intense rivalry between the girl and the "daughters of Jerusalem". The Egyptian justifies her darker complexion to the Jerusalem girls, and praises her own beauty: "I am black but comely, O daughters of Jerusalem" (1:5). There's evident aggression from her to them: "Don't stare at me because I am dark!" (1:6). Her despising of the Jerusalem girls is perhaps reflected in 1:6,7, where she asks Solomon: "Where do you rest your sheep during the midday heat? Tell me lest I wander around beside the flocks of your companions!". His "companions" presumably were the daughters of Jerusalem, and she didn't want to be anywhere near them. She likewise yells at them not to sexually stimulate her lover, Solomon (2:7). And I take "My beloved is mine" (2:16) to be the same catty kind of defensiveness. The girl is jealous of how the daughters of Jerusalem admire Solomon, not least because of his fame in Israelite circles: "your name is as ointment poured forth; therefore do the virgins love you" (1:3); "How rightly the young women adore you!" (1:4). "Where has your beloved gone, O most beautiful among women? Where has your beloved turned? Tell us, that we may seek him with you" (6:1) appears none less than sarcasm from the daughters.

So often there's the sense of urgency and haste- perhaps rooted in the girl's fear of competition from the daughters of Jerusalem: "Draw me after you; let us hurry! May the king bring me into his bedroom chambers!" (1:4). This would also explain the quite unabashed sexual seduction practiced by the girl- she begs Solomon to take her to his bedroom right here at the start of the Song (1:4), and later says things like "May my beloved come into his garden and eat its delightful fruit!" (4:16). This is all inappropriate for a romance, and in ancient Israel such forwardness would have been greatly frowned upon. In Proverbs, Solomon often warns against falling for the forwardness of the Gentile immoral woman; and yet he falls for it himself.

We have here and in Ecclesiastes a unique insight into the depth psychology of the man who knows and teaches God's truth, but does the very opposite. In this lies the supreme value of the work. The Song has nothing to say about God, the covenants of promise etc. These things were far from Solomon's heart, even in youth. The language is clearly influenced by that of Egypt, which Solomon was clearly inappropriately involved with from his youth. Indeed the Song "has parallels with Mesopotamian and Egyptian love poetry". Other students suggest it is even based on the celebration of the sacred marriage of the god Tammuz and the goddess Ishtar.

Solomon clearly was aware of the tension between the Egyptian girl whom he loved, and the daughters of Jerusalem- from whom he should've been choosing a wife. The girl says she is merely a common "meadow flower from Sharon", but Solomon responds that in his eyes, "like a lily among thorns, so is my darling among the maidens" (2:1,2). He likens the Jerusalem girls to thorns- he was besotted with this Gentile. Ironically enough, Num. 33:55 had warned that the Gentiles within the land promised to Abraham would be "thorns" to Israel if they married them. And yet Solomon sees the Israelite women as "thorns" and the Gentile as a lily amongst them... . He likewise compares her to them in 6:8,9: "There may be sixty queens, and eighty concubines, and young women without number. But she is unique...". But despite this, the girl seems to always fear Solomon's attraction to the Jerusalem girls. She challenges him: "Why do you gaze upon the Perfect One [as Solomon called her] like the dance of the Mahanaim?" (6:13), the dance of the two camps / lines. She suspects there may be two camps in Solomon's mind.

It was because of the impossible tension between the Egyptian girl and the Jerusalem maidens that there's the constant theme of needing to hold meetings in secrecy, often in the countryside or mountains around Jerusalem ("in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places of the mountain crags, let me see your face", 2:14), and to "go away" in order to be together- e.g. 2:13 "come away my darling; my beautiful one, come away with me!”. They appear to have slept together in the open air, beneath the trees: "The lush foliage is our canopied bed; the cedars are the beams of our bedroom chamber; the pines are the rafters of our bedroom" (1:16,17). The same impression of outdoors secret romance is to be found in 7:11 "Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside; let us spend the night in the villages". 2:17 and 4:6 suggest they spent a night together in the hills, and then before dawn Solomon got back to Jerusalem. 5:2 has Solomon coming to her room secretly at night, wet with the night dew.

She has nightmares, reflecting her fears. In chapter 3, the night after sleeping with Solomon she has a terrible vision of Solomon's kingly bed coming to Jerusalem- prepared for the daughters of Jerusalem and not her, and fiercely guarded by aggressive Israelite soldiers. Chapter 5 appears to tell of another dream she has, a nightmare actually, of how Solomon failed to turn up at a night time rendezvous in Jerusalem, and she distraught and desperate wanders around the city, is picked up by the night watchmen, but finally finds Solomon and drags him back to her mother's house [in Egypt]. I find the passage very powerful- it's so imaginable as a nightmare which a girl in her situation would have. Her deepest desire was to get Solomon back to Egypt, into her family... and thus she dreamt of it. And likewise her subconscious awareness of the tension between her and the people of Jerusalem comes out too; yet again she charges the daughters of Jerusalem not to stimulate Solomon.

 The daughters of Jerusalem mock her for her nightmare of chapter 3 at the very end: "Who is this coming up from the desert, leaning on her beloved?" (8:5). We expect a romantic song to end with the wedding; but it doesn't. It ends with the couple parting; and this dream wedding is no more than the Egyptian girl fantasizing. The fact the wedding 'scene' or dream comes in the middle of the song rather than at the end is again a subversion of the whole genre of romance. The climax is in the wrong place. And this just indicates how unfulfilling are relationships which flout Divine principles.

Because of all this, there is a sense of on-off relationship throughout the Song. One moment she is sick of love (2:5), the next she claims Solomon had caressed her head with one hand and fingered her with the other (2:6). The very explicit language of 2:6 sits strangely if the Song is intended to be some wonderful romance building up to the climax of marriage. Another example is in 5:8, where after Solomon gives up on visiting the girl one night, she angrily tells the daughters of Jerusalem that as far as she's concerned, they can tell Solomon that she [too?] is sick of love. But when they sarcastically call her "O most beautiful of women" and enquire what she exactly loves about Solomon (5:9). she comes out with a great speech of praise for him (5:10-16). The seeking and not finding him of chapter 5 all suggests he had temporarily rejected her, after she had been lazy to open the door to him (Song of Solomon 3:2; 5:6- these passages are the basis of NT teaching about Christ’s rejection of his unworthy bride).  

The girl wants to see in Solomon one as dark and Egyptian-looking as herself. Having said that she is "dark" in complexion (1:4,6), she later comments in 5:11 that to her, Solomon is also "dark" [s.w.]. She says 5:11 to the daughters of Jerusalem, as if in defence of her relationship with Solomon, and his choosing her rather than them. In the same way as he tried to see in her an Israelite woman, "O daughter of my princely people" (when she was the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh, 6:12 cp. 7:1), comparing her body parts to various geographical places in Israel (e.g. goats on Gilead, 4:1; the tower of David, 4:4; "as beautiful as Tirzah, as lovely as Jerusalem" 6:4), so she tried to see him as an Egyptian. They were trying to see each other as who they were not... and so the relationship was doomed to failure. Right from the start, the girl feels that Solomon isn't giving her the complete passion of his love: "Oh, how I wish you would kiss me passionately! For your lovemaking is more delightful than wine" (1:2).

The Song ends without the famous final scene which we expect in a romance. The expectation of a wedding and walking off into the sunset is subverted by the concluding songs. The girl laments how she can't kiss Solomon publically or be with him without being despised; and longs to be able to take him back to her mother in Egypt (8:1,2). She utters the final warning to the daughters of Jerusalem not to stimulate Solomon, and then breaks down with the lament that jealousy is cruel as death (8:6) and unrequited love is impossible; Solomon's true love cannot be bought by her. The daughters of Jerusalem then speak of how they have a younger sister whose breasts aren't yet developed, but they will care for her until she is ready for Solomon (8:8,9). The Egyptian girl then reminisces in the past tense: "I was a wall, and my breasts were like fortress towers. Then I found favor in his eyes" (8:10). Solomon throughout the Songs has commented positively upon her breasts; and now she is left to lament that that is all just how it was, it's all over now. She then makes the enigmatic comment about how Solomon has a vineyard which he leases out, and yet she is a vineyard which belongs to her alone: "My vineyard, which belongs to me, is at my disposal alone". The Songs have likened her and her sexuality to a vineyard (Song 2:13,15), and her romantic meetings with Solomon appear to have sometimes been in a vineyard. Solomon spoke of her breasts as grapes (7:7). But Solomon's vineyard, she says, was associated with Baal-Hamon- Lord / husband of a multitude. She finally realized that he was a womanizer, who would go on to have over 1000 women in his life... Lord [or husband] of a multitude. Perhaps his 1000 wives and concubines lay behind her reference to the 1000 shekels that Solomon can have for his vineyard (8:12). But now she was splitting up with him, her vineyard was hers alone, her grapes were now solely at her disposal and were not his any more. The final couplet of the Song is one of bitter sarcasm, typical of the worst order of romantic breakup. Solomon says that his "companions"- the daughters of Jerusalem whom she had so hated- are listening carefully to her, as he is. And she responds by telling him to run away, whilst still calling him her "beloved"- for although jealousy is cruel as the grave, her love for him was unquenchable by many waters. Or perhaps this too is sarcasm. So the Song ends with Solomon in rather a bad light- off to his next women, whilst the Egyptian girl walks off the scene bitterly protesting her love for him and how she's a victim of circumstance and jealousy. Yet Solomon, presumably, authored the Song. I read it therefore in the same way as I do Ecclesiastes- his jaded statement of how life has been for him, how he sought fulfilment of his human lusts but it never worked out, leaving him with a tragic sense of unfulfilment because he had not gone God's way.

The  blindness  of  Solomon  is  driven  home time and again; he knew Divine truth, but the more he knew it, the more he lived the very opposite, failing to grasp the deeply personal relevance of truth to himself. A whole string of passages in Proverbs warn of  the "strange" (AV) woman  (Prov. 2:16; 5:20; 6:24; 7:5; 20:16; 23:27; 27:13). Yet the very same word (translated "outlandish", AV) is  used  in  Neh. 13:26 concerning  the women Solomon married. The antidote to  succumbing to the wicked woman was to have wisdom- according to Proverbs. And Solomon apparently had wisdom. Yet he succumbed to the wicked woman. He was writing Song of Solomon at the same time as Proverbs. The reason for this must be that Solomon didn't really have wisdom. Yet we know that he was given it in abundance. The resolution of this seems to be that Solomon asked  for  wisdom  in  order  to  lead  Israel  rather than for himself,  he used that wisdom to judge Israel and to educate the surrounding  nations.  But  none of it percolated to himself. As custodians  of  true  doctrine-  for  that is what we are- we are likely to suffer from over familiarity with it. We can become so accustomed  to 'handling' it, as we strengthen each other, as we preach,  that  the personal bearing of the Truth becomes totally lost  upon us, as it was totally lost upon Solomon.

The Beloved
Song of Solomon 1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; for your lovemaking-
That the woman should take the initiative in opening the story with a request to be kissed and talking about sex... would have been shocking in contemporary society. The Hebrew dodim specifically refers to sexual love. Song 5:1 is specific that they slept with each other. And she continues to be incredibly "forward" throughout the Songs, asking Solomon to sleep with her (Song 4:16; 7:13; 8:2). She proudly reflects: "I awakened you" (Song 8:5). This taking of the sexual initiative by the woman was an absolute deconstruction of the genre of romance songs. And she is presented as exactly the fulfilment of the loud and forward Gentile woman whom Solomon had warned against in the Proverbs. But he fell in love with her and slept with her whilst a young man, whilst writing such sober warnings against this. The purpose of Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon is to give us an insight into the psychology of the person who knows God's truth who falls into sin. These books are really an insight into depth psychology. And we who likewise know God's truth, who are also tempted to sin, find in them therefore a profound insight into our own likely psychologies and paths of temptation.

"Lovemaking" is s.w. Prov. 7:18, where the bad Gentile woman invites the young Hebrew man to sleep with her undetected by others. Solomon is beyond hypocritical; he appears to think that he can teach one thing and do precisely the opposite. It is beyond narcissism, but rather a kind of playing God to the extent of considering he had no possibility of personal failure and could act as he wished.

Is better than wine-
The  criticism  of Solomon for marrying foreign women also applies to  his  first  marriage  with  the daughter of Pharaoh; besides marrying  her,  he  married  the  others too, and the criticisms which  follow  are  spoken in the context of both these actions. Yet Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter in his early days, before he asked for wisdom. This is another indication that Solomon did not  start  off well and then go wrong; right from the beginning he  had this incredible dualism in his spirituality. The Talmud (Shabbath F, 56,2) records that “When Solomon married the daughter of Pharaoh she brought to him 1000 kinds of musical instruments, and taught him the chants to the various idols”. Even when Solomon was young, he evidently loved wine (Song 1:2,4)- which was later to be something he (temporarily) abandonned himself to. He had a child by an Ammonite girl one year before he became king (1 Kings 14:21)- so his relationships with foreign women cannot be put down to mere political alliances. If the Song of Solomon is about her rather than the Egyptian woman he married, one can only say that one early error, unrepented of, paved the way for his later disasters with foreign women. The Song suggests that he met the foreigner he married whilst walking alone in the countryside- which again proves it was a love relationship rather than a political alliance. The record later describes his building of store cities in the very language used of Pharaoh’s using Hebrew labour to build treasure cities (2 Chron. 8:4 cp. Ex. 1:11 Heb.). The influence of his father-in-law was deep, and lasted a long time.

Song of Solomon 1:3 Your oils have a pleasing fragrance. Your name is oil poured forth-
We are baptized into the Name of Jesus, and bear that Name in the eyes of men. The Hebrew concept of a name meant really a renown, an understanding of the person. The Bride comments that “your name is as ointment poured forth” (Song 1:3 AV), likening the name to the smell of perfume. The “scent” of a nation is likewise their reputation, the message they give out (Jer. 48:11; Hos. 14:7). We are the savour of Christ (2 Cor. 2:16), we bear His Name, and therefore anyone carrying the Name is thereby a witness to Him.

Therefore the virgins love you-
For all her self confidence and forwardness, the girl knows she is up against strong competition from the daughters of Jerusalem. She is far from positive that she as one Gentile girl can overcome that factor. And she sees the only chance of her winning is to get Solomon right away from them, and back to Egypt (:4).

Song of Solomon 1:4 Take me away with you. Let’s hurry. The king has brought me into his rooms!-
I suggested on :4 that she considered getting Solomon away to Egypt was her only chance of countering the attraction of the daughters of Jerusalem. She imagines them leaving Jerusalem together in Song 2:10, and at the end of the story, still this is her desire (Song 8:2). Nothing changed. She was as she was. And yet she fantasizes that thereby she would be Solomon's wife and therefore brought into his "chambers". But the word literally means a hiding place, and we note the desire to be taken away, to hurry as if they are under threat of discovery, rather than being on the way to a wedding. Most of their encounters which we will read of are in the open air, as their relationship is not approved of by others. And so it may be better to read "rooms" as "hiding place", somewhere in the countryside, to which they must "hurry".

Daughters of Jerusalem
We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will praise your love more than wine!-
The daughters of Jerusalem are immediately portrayed as not very spiritually minded either. They know all about wine, which they praised, but they praised Solomon's love for them more than that. This is tacit admission that he did "love" them as well as the Egyptian girl. As becomes apparent at the very end of the Song. "Glad and rejoice" is a phrase used multiple times in the Psalms for how we should primarily be glad and rejoice in Yahweh. But there is no spiritual aspect here in any of the characters. This is demonstrated by the inspired record using terms which are found elsewhere in scripture, and highlighting the lack of spiritual perception of them by the characters.

They are right to love you-
For all her forwardness and self confidence, she recognizes that she has major competition.

Song of Solomon 1:5 I am dark, but lovely, you daughters of Jerusalem, like Kedar’s tents, like Solomon’s curtains-
She is very confident of her own beauty, as in Song 8:10. As an Egyptian she was darker skinned than the Jerusalem girls, and dark skin also spoke of lower social class. But she insists that this is to be no barrier to her winning of Solomon uniquely for herself. She comes over as bold, self justifying to her competitors (the "daughters of Jerusalem") and ever on the initiative; she goes out looking for him (Song 3:1-5; 5:6,7), and propositions him for sex. She is the very fulfilment of Solomon's 'bad woman' of the Proverbs. "Kedar" means "black", and she likes to think that the famed curtains or tents of this Gentile place were as good as any Jerusalem made curtains (Jer. 49:28,29). She never perceives the unique nature of Jerusalem, seeing it as being as good as any other Gentile city. Yet Solomon likes to call her the Shulamite, the Jerusalem girl- counting her as who he wanted to see her as. This is the value of this book; we have a unique insight, at the level of depth psychology, into the mentality and thought processes of those who wish to go against God's clearly stated will, because they perceive everything in the light of the narrative they wish to believe and act according to. This is the same essential process going on in the minds of all manner of sexual perverts who on another hand know God's truth so well. 

Song of Solomon 1:6 Don’t stare at me because I am dark, because the sun has scorched me-
She is very self defensive. She says the sun has looked or stared at her, and so they shouldn't look at her askance because of her darker skin. This marked her as a Gentile, or a woman of lower social class. She comes over as anything but humble.

My mother’s sons were angry with me. They made me keeper of the vineyards, but I haven’t kept my own vineyard-
If her vineyard refers to her virginity or sexuality (as in :14; Song 6:11; 7:13), this would mean that her brothers were angry with her for sleeping with Solomon. Brothers were seen as guardians of their sister in sexual terms (Gen. 34; 2 Sam. 13). The Song concludes, perhaps, with her brothers considering her too young for marriage, and wanting to set her up with a more appropriate husband than Solomon (8:8,9).

Song of Solomon 1:7 Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you graze your flock, where you rest them at noon; for why should I be as one who is veiled beside the flocks of your companions?-
"Who is veiled" can as well be rendered "one who is lost", as LXX. She complains she is just tagging along with the flocks of women companions who were following Solomon as if he were their shepherd and they the sheep; they are the "daughters of Jerusalem". He responds that she should follow their tracks to him (:8), and she will find his special love and attention (:9). 


Song of Solomon 1:8 If you don’t know, most beautiful among women, follow the tracks of the sheep. Graze your young goats beside the shepherds’ tents-
I suggested on :7 that Solomon was not a literal shepherd, but he is here responding to the metaphor she uses in :7. Although he is indeed like a shepherd leading a flock of women, the daughters of Jerusalem, he says that she should follow their tracks to him, and she will find his special love and attention (:9). He encourages her that he finds her the most beautiful amongst all those other women or sheep. She is to come near to his tent, and graze her goats there- perhaps some sexual reference.

"Beautiful woman" is the term used by Solomon in Prov. 11:22 "Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion". It is the term sarcastically used about her by Israelite competitors (Song 5:9; 6:1). Seeing Solomon's wives were idolaters, they lacked discretion; and yet Solomon loved them and married them. He behaved with women completely opposite to his own teachings. And we have in the Song an invaluable exploration of the psychology and mental processes behind this feature of human nature.

Song of Solomon 1:9 I have compared you, my love, to a steed in Pharaoh’s chariots-
Heb. "I count you as...". Again we have an insight into the psychology of a man in love. He sees her as... whatever. He is in love with an image of his own creation, rather than her character. The  Song of Solomon is the record of Solomon's romance with Pharaoh's  daughter. Of course, this was an explicit breach of the crystal clear commandment not to marry women from Egypt. He should  have  admired  neither the horses nor the women of Egypt; yet he begins his Song with an unashamed breach of the command not to desire either  of  these things. The unashamedness of Solomon coupled with his spirituality indicates that at this time he was genuinely convinced that what he was doing was deeply spiritual;  when  in  fact it was completely carnal. He totally ignored his own advice about choosing a spiritual woman as a wife. And worse, he encourages her that although he is like a shepherd leading a flock of women, the daughters of Jerusalem, she is in fact his one special one. She is a beautiful mare, in his eyes, amongst all Pharaoh's chariot horses. He thus likens the daughters of Jerusalem to Pharaoh's chariot horses- which were destroyed at the Red Sea. But Solomon doesn't care about this obvious negative connection. See on Song 2:2, where he likens her to a lily amongst the thorns of the daughters of Jerusalem. See on Song 2:12.

Song of Solomon 1:10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels-
She loves him because of his ointment, and he loves her because of her jewellery (Song 1:2,3,10; 4:4). He says that deep kissing with her gives the same after effect as drinking enough wine that you talk in your sleep afterwards (Song of Solomon 7:9). It’s all very human and carnal, based upon the external and not the internal. But this is what Solomon was like. He sees wisdom, even in Proverbs and certainly in Ecclesiastes, as only helpful in that it gives a person a good name and image in this life.

Song of Solomon 1:11 We will make you earrings of gold, with studs of silver-
The Song is shot through with allusion to the Law and  tabernacle  rituals; he speaks of making her borders [NEV "earrings"] on her clothes, probably alluding to the borders of blue to be worn  by  the  faithful  Israelite.  Solomon  wanted her to look externally like a spiritual  woman,  and  he  was  going  to  make her one; many a preacher,   teacher,  husband,  wife,  father, mother,  child,  boyfriend has had to learn the impossibility of this.  He wanted to see her as a spiritual woman, and eventually he became persuaded that she was just this. See on Song 3:10.


Song of Solomon 1:12 While the king sat at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance-
The girl is not a shepherd girl, she is a prince's daughter from Egypt (Song 7:1), and so she has access to the Jerusalem palace and sees the king sitting at his table. She seems to be secretly boasting that after being intimate with each other, the smell of her perfume can be smelt exuding from him.

Song of Solomon 1:13 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh, that lies between my breasts-
AV "lies all night" implies they had slept together already at this early stage. Again we note that the entire genre of romance is subverted, consciously so. Sex and marriage are not the climax of the romance, but rather it all starts with inappropriate intimacy.

Song of Solomon 1:14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi-
She again seems to associate vineyards with her breasts or sexuality (:13; see on :6). She seems to associate Solomon as a person with the aphrodisiacs she was using. In this we see her complete focus upon the external, seeing Solomon as a person as only as good as the aphrodisiacs. This collapsing of identity between the person and the external illustrates the degree to which the issue of character and spirituality is so sadly absent in the relationship.


Song of Solomon 1:15 Behold, you are beautiful, my love. Behold, you are beautiful. Your eyes are doves-
Solomon sees her as a dove (also Song 5:2), and she then says that he has dove's eyes (Song 5:12). They tend to praise each other in the same language. Indeed this is an accurate record of a romance. But the praise is all of externalities, no attention is paid to the character, and there is absolutely no spiritual dimension to the relationship. This says so much about Solomon. This lack of attention to true spirituality means that his love of Divine wisdom at the time was purely of an intellectual, theoretical nature. And this is the warning for us. For he was writing this love song in his youth when he married foreign women, and it was then that he received Divine wisdom and wrote it up in the book of Proverbs.


Song of Solomon 1:16 Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, yes, pleasant; and our couch is verdant-
The "verdant" bed they would sleep on may be assumed to be of leaves, in the open air bower they would construct in :17. The Gentile woman invites Solomon, the young Hebrew male, to her bed in the same way as the woman he warns against in Prov. 7:17 "I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon". The Proverbs so frequently refer to the dangers of the house of the Gentile woman; yet the Song shows the Egyptian girl dearly wishing that Solomon would come with her into her bed. And  Solomon,  just  like  the foolish young man he wrote about, went right ahead down the road to spiritual disaster he so often warned others about. He warns the young man of the dangers of the Egyptian woman who perfumes her bed with myrrh (Prov. 7:16,17)- and then falls for just such a woman (Ps. 45:8).


Song of Solomon 1:17 The beams of our house are cedars. Our rafters are firs
The house can be taken as a bower made of cedar and fir trees, the location of their tryst in the countryside. This continues the idea of :16. So whilst Solomon was still building the temple of cedars and firs, he was making a bower out of such trees in which to secretly sleep with his Egyptian, Gentile girlfriend. This is more that duplicitous hypocrisy, it is the behaviour of a man who has not at all personalized God's truths for himself. The path to this tryst has been hinted at in :7,8. That the king of Israel should need to act in this deceptive manner has much to say about him. He was worried about his image, and wished to give an appearance of interest in the daughters of Jerusalem.