Working through this unique book.
I included verse 1 in the chapter 4 review because he is closing the deal and entering her garden.
And then in the second half of the verse, it says, "Eat, friends, and drink; drink your fill of love." In a footnote in my NASB Ryrie Study Bible it says that line is God blessing the union. But in my NIV version that snippet is labeled "friends" saying that part. So that's interesting.
This book is a bit confounding. I wasn't able to find a regular commentary on it and it seems like what I can find online wants to focus on the allegory parts. So it's tough to unravel the actual cultural references. And even who is speaking often seems up to interpretation. Very interesting. But, it is God's Holy Word and I trust that He can speak to me in it.
So if the romance was confusing; now it gets really weird. It sounds like she locked him out and he begged to come in, even trying to break in; then she relented but he was already gone. This time when she went running through the city looking for him and ran across the guards they beat her and stole her cloak. So we know it's probably not a dream this time. While I'm anxious to learn the allegory sometime; this may also be an interesting look at biblical marriage in general. The romance is exciting; but how you fight decides how long you'll last.
She went to sleep without him and bolted the door. In response to his knocking and begging she laments she'll have to put on her robe and dirty her feet so she stalls. I get it; but that's pretty selfish for someone she calls her beloved. Finally he tries to reach in and unlock it and she decides she'd better open the door. By then he is long gone. She, then, goes running through the streets looking for him and gets caught up with corrupt guards. She ends her turn in this scene by asking her friends to pass along how much she loves him if they see him.
Her friends want to know what's so great about him, why is she "faint with love" for him.
She responds with a catalogue of his physical attributes. Nothing about his character or how he treats her. Just a description of positive body parts.
Her friends ask which way he went so they can look for him.
Her answer to them is that he went down to his gardens to browse and gather lilies. Followed immediately by a proclamation that he is hers and she is his.
That last part sounds nice, especially while they seem to be quarreling. It's nice to have that confidence in the relationship. However, the "gardens" metaphor earlier seemed to be referring to women's naughty bits. So it would seem Solomon went to his haram?
He responds that she is lovely and majestic. He repeats some of the same compliments as from the wedding day. He points out there are many queens and concubines; but is perfect and unique and loved by her mother...
That seems to confirm my interpretation of him going to other women when she wouldn't let him in. Or he could have, with so many to choose from. While complimenting her; he doesn't say she is the best or favorite. Just unique and her mother's favorite.
In verse 10 I think they are announcing the return of the man.
He explains that he went down to look at the nuts and pomegranate vines. Although the NASB has this labeled as the wife saying she went down to check out the nuts and pomegranate vines and Solomon showed up with his official chariot and scooped her up. I can see that when it's interpreted for me...but I can't see that from my own reading. Either way, NASB says this is a sure sign that they have reunited.
The friends ask the girl to come back so they can look at her and the man asks why they would do that.
One of the sidebars calls this a beautiful love story; but I think a huge portion must be lost in translation. They don't seem like a caring, loving couple. And the fact that he ran off to be with other women in response to the trouble, is gross to me. I know he was king and it was culturally acceptable. And I et that you can't judge morality of one cultural and time against today...but God made us for one man and one woman and explicitly told the kings not to get a bunch of wives, which Solomon clearly disobeyed. Him going to them, seemingly, out of anger toward the Shulammite (whose name is never even recorded) just isn't very romantic or healthy to me.
I really need to get a commentary on this. It's just not coming across well to my casual attempt at reading it.