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Old Testament Notes

The Song of Solomon

The Hebrew title for the Song of Solomon means the "Song of Songs".
The theme of the Song of Songs is the beauty of love between man and wife.
The scriptures see this as a reflection of God's love for His people.

Song of Songs 1:5 - the tents of Kedar (descendants of Ishmael who gave their name to a tribe and region in Arabia) were woven of dark goats' hair (Gen.25:13, Jer.49:28-29, Ps.120:5-7, Ezek.27:21)
Song of Songs 1:12 - Spikenard or Nard was a perfume imported from India, and was extremely expensive (see Mark14:3, John12:3)
Song of Songs 1:13 - Myrrh was an aromatic gum from Arabia; it was used for incense, perfumes, for embalming, and as a luxury gift (see Gen.37:25, Exod.30:23-25, Esther 2:12, Ps.45:9, Prov.7:17, Matt.2:11, John19:38-40)
Song of Songs 1:14 - Engedi is a beautiful oasis and stream valley in the desert by the Dead Sea. It is now one of Israel's Nature Preserves, where wild goats, Ibex, and Rock Badgers may be seen, and where Date Palms and other trees are grown
Song of Songs 2:1 - "the Rose of Sharon" was probably the bright red tulip-like flower that blooms in the Plain of Sharon, the fertile lowlands between the Mediterranean Coast and the mountain spine of Israel
Song of Songs 2:15 - "the little foxes that spoil the vines" foxes, particularly baby ones, like to eat fruit as well as grubs and small animals
Song of Songs 4:1 - Gilead was the mountainous region east of the river Jordan. which was quite fertile and well-suited to pasture
Song of Songs 4:8 - Lebanon is the country to the north of Israel, famous for Cedar trees and for the snow-capped peaks of its mountain range
Shenir was either the Amorite name for Mount Hermon, or for one of the other two peaks near Mount Hermon in northern Israel (Deut.3:9)
Mount Hermon, elevation 9,230 ft, is the highest mountain in Israel and even in the entire Levant. It is often capped with snow: the melt-waters form one of the sources of the river Jordan. At the time of the Old Testament it was much more thickly forested than now, and was home to lions, leopards, and bears
Song of Songs 6:4 - Tirzah was a city which became the capital of northern Israel during the years (roughly) 922-870BC (see I Kings14:17, 15:21&33, 16:6-23) It is now an archaeological site
Song of Songs 7:4 - Heshbon was a city in Moabite/Amorite territory which became one of the Levitical Cities of Refuge (see Num.21:25-31, Josh.21:1-3&39). The village of Hesban in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is the probable site of Heshbon.
Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is now the capital of Syria. In Old Testament times it was under the control of King David, then from Solomon's time until the Assyrian invasion it was the capital of an Aramean kingdom. It is situated in such a way as to control several of the main trade routes in the Middle East (see II Sam.8:5-6, I Kings11:23-25, II Kings16:9, Isa.7:8, Acts9:1-25).
Song of Songs 7:5 - Carmel is the mountain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the Valley of Jezreel, where Elijah triumphed over the 400 prophets of Baal employed by Queen Jezebel (see I Kings18:17-46)
Song of Songs 7:13 - Mandrake (Mandragora officinarium), also called "Love Apple" is a medicinal plant which has a reputation as an aphrodisiac or a fertility drug (see Gen.30:14-17)

Copyright © 1999 Shirley J. Rollinson, all Rights Reserved

Dr. Rollinson

Department of Religion
Portales, NM 88130

Last Updated: April 9, 2008

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