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Deeper Commentary


Song of Solomon 7:1

How beautiful are your feet in sandals, prince’s daughter! Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a skilful workman-
This continues the lover's praise of the Egyptian girl as she dances in the preceding verse in Song 6:13. But the praise of her is from the feet to the head, rather than from head to foot as in the previous praise of her in Song 4,5 and 6. This might be appropriate to her being praised whilst dancing, as her footwork would be observed. "The turns of your thighs" (Heb.) would also be an observation relevant to dancing. We have confirmed that she was no peasant girl, as some commentators imagine due to misreading the earlier metaphors about Solomon as a shepherd of sheep, but rather a "prince's daughter", likely Pharaoh's daughter.

Song of Solomon 7:2 Your body is like a round goblet, no mixed wine is wanting. Your waist is like a heap of wheat, set about with lilies-
The comparison with "mixed wine" shows again that Solomon was well acquainted with wine from an early age, and viewed it positively. Perhaps this is why his mother specifically warns him against alcohol in Prov. 31. His later turning to alcohol mentioned in Ecc. 2 would therefore be an example of how the weaknesses of youth are developed in old age, unless they are cut out of life and thought. Solomon's path to apostacy can be traced as beginning in his youth, rather than as the result of some mid life crisis.

Song of Solomon 7:3 Your two breasts are like two fawns, that are twins of a roe-
Breasts as twins means Solomon considered them, after much observation, to be perfectly identical- apparently something he found attractive. "The lilies" is likewise a sexual allusion; see on Song 2:16. He  was  ravished  with this Egyptian girl, especially with her breasts (Song 4:5; 7:3). Alluding to  this  he  could confidently exhort in Prov. 5:18-20 AV: "Rejoice with  the  wife  of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe (Song of Solomon language); let her breasts satisfy thee... be  thou  ravished  always  with  her love... And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange (i.e. Gentile) woman?". How,  indeed?  But 999 women later, it was a different story for Solomon.  Solomon  writes  in Prov. 5:18-20 as if it is of course unthinkable  that  he  should  have  been  ravished by a Gentile woman;  but  he  had been.

Song of Solomon 7:4 Your neck is like an ivory tower-
The idea is that her neck was very long, and this kind of praise of women is found in Egyptian love poetry. Again we see Solomon influenced by the culture of Egypt. And yet women emphasizing their long necks are condemned in Is. 3:16. Indeed the description there of the condemned daughters of Zion sounds very much like those we are reading in the Song of Solomon about the Egyptian girl.

Your eyes are like the pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bathrabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon which looks toward Damascus-
Again we note that Solomon likens her to the geography of Israel. She was an Egyptian, but he wishes to see her as an Israelite, he projects this image onto her, and falls in love with the image rather than the reality. Even though as noted above he was very much immersed himself in the language and culture of Egypt. Heshbon at that time was under Israelite control, but soon afterwards it was lost by them (Is. 16:8,9). Again this is evidence that the Song was written indeed in the times of Solomon and not, as the critics claim, much later. See on Song 6:4.

Song of Solomon 7:5 Your head on you is like Carmel. The hair of your head is like purple. The king is held captive in its tresses-
“And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her” (Ecc. 7:26) is a clear reference back to Solomon’s own entanglement with this girl. In his younger days, he had found “the hair of thine head like the purple of a king [i.e. he imagined her to be suited to him, the King of Israel, when she wasn’t]; the king is held captive in the tresses thereof” (Song 7:5 RV).

Song of Solomon 7:6 How beautiful and how pleasant you are, love, for delights!-
Heb. "among all the delights" could reinforce Solomon's claim that he considered her the most beautiful of all his women; although he carefully says that his other wives also provided "delights". He clearly implies that he has already had sex with her, as admitted openly in :8. After the conflict with the daughters of Jerusalem in Song 5,6, the relationship is out in the open, and Solomon is confirming her own statements that they had already had sex (Song 6:2).

Song of Solomon 7:7 This, your stature, is like a palm tree, your breasts like its fruit-
He admires her for being tall. Dark skinned Egyptians were held to be generally taller than Israelites (Is. 45:14), and Solomon finds this attractive.

Song of Solomon 7:8 I said, I will climb up into the palm tree. I will take hold of its fruit. Let your breasts be like clusters of the vine, the smell of your breath like apples-
Solomon here clearly states that he has had sexual activity with this Egyptian woman. He likens himself to a small man with her much taller than him. Clearly he has been dominated by the Gentile, just as he had warned Israelites not to be. He considers himself free of any personal moral restraint.

Song of Solomon 7:9 your mouth like the best wine, that goes down smoothly for my beloved, gliding through the lips of those who are asleep-
He says that deep kissing with her gives the same after effect as drinking enough wine that you talk in your sleep afterwards. It’s all very human and carnal. This was all a conscious disregard of Bathsheba’s warning to Solomon not to love wine nor to be destroyed by foreign women (Prov. 31:4). And Solomon published her words in his anthology of wisdom known as the book of Proverbs. He likewise condemns love of alcohol throughout Proverbs, just as he does relationships with Gentile women. But he does the very things he condemns. His wisdom, as he admits in Ecclesiastes, was “far from” him personally. He failed to personalize the truths he knew. And in this he is a warning to all who know God’s Truth. For like him, we can be tempted to assume that mere possession of it justifies us.

He is directly going against the wisdom he had taught in Prov. 7:21: "With the flattering of her lips, she seduced him".
The Hebrew literally refers to the smoothness of her lips; and Solomon admired the smoothness of the lips of his illicit Gentile girlfriend (s.w. Song 4:3,11; 7:9). Again we see Solomon doing the exact opposite of the wisdom and theoretical truth he was blessed with. Solomon in Prov. 7:5 argues as if mere intellectual assent to the truths he was teaching would keep a man safe from sexual temptation and the flattery of bad women. But Solomon himself possessed all this truth and failed miserably in this area.

We may also enquire as to how did Solomon know about wine unless even at a relatively young age, he knew about the sensation of wine from personal experience? He had again denied his own wisdom: “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red… when it goeth down smoothly” (Prov. 23:31 RV).

Grammatically, "that goes down smoothly for my beloved, gliding through the lips of those who are asleep" would imply this is spoken by the woman. In this case, she as it were playfully completes Solomon's sentence. This would explain the change of gender of the speaker in the middle of the verse.


Song of Solomon 7:10 I am my beloved’s. His desire is toward me-
The woman comes over as incredibly naive to believe that indeed, Solomon's desire is toward her and she is his; despite his admission to having a harem of women and virgins in waiting to become his wives in Song 6:8. As noted on Song 1, she comes over as self confident, manipulative and forceful of her agenda. But even she is presented as being duped by smooth words. It's a case of "deceiving and being deceived". The allusion is to "your desire shall be for your husband" (Gen. 3:16). The Genesis ideal was that one man and one woman have mutually exclusive desire for each other. But she is going ahead with a relationship with a man whom she knows has a harem, and he likewise accepts that. And it could be argued that the man having desire for the woman is in fact an inversion of Gen. 3:16, where the woman is to have desire for the man.

The Bride Gives Her Love
Song of Solomon 7:11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field. Let us lodge in the villages-
"Lodge" is "pass the night", "among the henna bushes" (Heb.). So she is setting up another night together, clearly for sex in bushes thought to be aphrodisiacs. Still they appear to be unable to openly live and sleep together in the palace; for they are still unmarried, and the opposition with the daughters of Jerusalem is still unresolved.  

Song of Solomon 7:12 Let’s go early up to the vineyards. Let’s see whether the vine has budded, its blossom is open, and the pomegranates are in flower. There I will give you my love-
Vines and pomegranates are sexual symbols in Song 1:6; 4:13; 7:9; 8;2. It could be that she urges him to sleep with her because she considers herself fertile. For he has used the figures in this way in Song 6:11, in trying to persuade her that he is very serious about their relationship and is sexually attracted to her in the hope of her getting pregnant. Again we note how forward she is, and "there I will give you my love" sounds as if she is sexually dominant and has control over Solomon, for all his power and glory. 

Song of Solomon 7:13 The mandrakes give forth fragrance. At our doors are all kinds of precious fruits, new and old, which I have stored up for you, my beloved
The emphasis upon aphrodisiacs throughout the Song underlines the impression that these two are only in love on a physical level. If external adornment and drugs are required by them for the enjoyment of their relationship right at the start of it, then there is clearly no bond of personality or spiritual aspect to it at all. And so it proves finally unsatisfactory, and the love song doesn't end with marriage and children as we expect, but with cynical and bitter breakup.

Whose "doors"? The language is that of Mt. 13:52 about a householder who brings forth things new and old. She seems to have in mind his returning with her to Egypt under the influence of her aphrodisiacs and sexuality. That is the continued theme in the next verse (Song 8:1).