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Song of Solomon 7-8

This seemingly dysfunctional couple have been on and off and are back on.

Chapter 7

Verses 1-8 are the husband, once again, going body part by body part explaining his physical attraction to her. He also mentions he likes her delights. Nothing about her substance yet. I guess never using her name is an indication of how deep he'll look at her.

Next she speaks and wishes that her wine be received by him. Then in verse 10 we see a sad transition in her thinking. In verse 6:3 when he husband had left her for the other gardens, she still claimed that, "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine." Now, after the honeymoon is over and she sees that he has other gardens he can choose from she settles for, "I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me."

Then, she seems to offer to sleep with him if he'll take her on vacation to the countryside vineyards.

Chapter 8

She then seem to wish her husband was her brother so she could kiss him in public, which is vastly different than our culture today- so I'm assuming something is lost in translation. You can kiss your husband in public, but not so much with your brother where I am from.

Here we also repeat the refrain of "not arousing or awakening love until it so desires." That being the most prominent sentiment, through both their good times and bad times gives the whole story a very melancholy, "sad country song" feel.

Although, the NASB has a totally different take on it. It reads as if he is instructing the people not to awaken his love until she wants to be. And the next time he speaks he awakens her under the apple tree her mother conceived her under. So NASB has that part reversed in whom they attribute the text. However, the NIV clearly labels love as an it, not a she.

I become confused in verse 5, the metaphors have gotten so far out of my understanding that I'm lost. She roused him from under the apple tree where his mother both conceived and gave birth to him. She asks him to place her like a seal on his heart and arm and then explains how strong jealousy burns...which seem to offer evidence supporting my theory that she's been cowed by him going to other gardens when they fought. Then she explains how strong love is. She seems to want more from him than he is contributing to the relationship.

In the NASB version she describes jealousy painful as the fires of Sheol.

Then the "friends" or "Chorus" announce that they have a little sister and ask what to do about her..."

In the NASB this same section is labeled under the Shulammite's stepbrothers, who had responsibility for her. They made a point of her being flat chested. They told her (according to the explanation in the NASB footnote) that if she was a wall and prevented entrance to her garden they would reward her; but if she allowed entrance to her garden (door), they would lock her up behind cedar planks. She reports that she was a wall.

She then reminds Solomon of when he had a vineyard and gave it to caretakers who were require to return 1000 shekels for the year, keeping 200 for the caretakers.

NASB says she then says that she is all she has to give, she is the 1000 shekels, could he pay 200 to the caretakers (her stepbrothers).

I read it as her telling him that her vineyard was going to bear fruit- that she was pregnant...

It ends with him asking for his friends to hear her voice and she replying for him to come to her quickly.

And, blessedly, that ends Song of Solomon. I hope to read it again with some assistance. My reading of it is of a superficial couple solely attracted to each other's beauty. She locks him out and he goes to other woman. Again, I know we can't judge a culture by our own standard; but much is lost in translation for me.

I do love God's word though. And He promises that it never returns void, so I know that reading this and doing my best to understand it is important-all of the books, regardless of my uneducated take on them.

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