Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Song of Songs...

Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires...SoS 3:5b


Michael said...

The same phrase appears in SoS 2:7. I would guess that this adjuration is asking the girls not to arouse the poor man too often or too early. (Of course I could be completely off-base!) Must have been nice to have so many opportunities that he was willing to turn most of them down. :)

You might be interested in the Net Bible's notes; a pdf of SoS is at


The Beloved to the Maidens:
2:7 I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and by the young does of the open fields: Do not awaken or arouse love until it pleases!
[excerpt from note 29] Throughout the Song, the term הָבֲהַא (’ahavah, “love”) is not used as a term for endearment in reference to one of the lovers; it typically
refers to sexual passion (Song 2:4, 5, 7; 3:5; 5:4; 8:4, 6, 7). When used of the man/woman relationship, the term הָבֲהַא (“love”) may refer to emotional love (Eccl 9:1, 6; Prov 15:17; Ps 109:4-5) or sexual love/desire (Gen 29:20; 2 Sam 1:26; 13:4, 15; Prov 5:19-20; 7:18; Jer 2:33; Song 2:4, 5, 7; 3:5; 5:4; 8:4, 6, 7) (DCH 1:141 s.v. I הָבֲהַא; HALOT 18 s.v. I הָבֲהַא). The reference to sexual desire in 2:4-5 and הָבֲהַא תַלֹוח (kholat ’ahavah, “love-sickness”) in 2:5 suggests that the use of הָבֲהַא (“love”) in 2:7 is sexual desire. Love is personified in this picture.

MistiPearl said...

Thanks for clarifying that one!

MistiPearl said...

One thing I forgot to mention, the speaker of this comment is the Beloved - the woman. She is giving wise advice. Something along the lines of "Don't rush things"...Beloved makes this comment 3 times in the book, which would suggest it is important advice to heed. (2:7, 3:5, and 8:4)

The Song of Songs (or Solomon) is a beautiful book that gives us an intimate look at the art of love - hence why many pastors avoid it in the Sunday service. It is a sensitive (yet, real and beautiful) subject.

Michael said...

Perhaps a copy ought to be given to all newlyweds at their wedding. No need to preach about it! :)

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