Song of Songs 1:12-17 The idiot's guide to flirting with your spouse

I'm using the NET Bible. Their headings are in italics.
The Beloved about Her Lover:
1:12 While the king was at his banqueting table,
my nard gave forth its fragrance.

Perhaps Beloved is relating a past experience. She reveals her method of non-contact, long-acting foreplay. It helps to understand what “nard” is. The NET note indicates it is an aromatic drug from a Himalayan plant used as a perfume of seductive charms. So this was an imported perfume with erotic implications. She spent her money on the good stuff and then she left at his dinner table a suggestive fragrance to distract him the entire banquet. She is creative and determined in her goal of sleeping with him. Remember, competition exists to get in Solomon’s bedtime schedule, and she is playing to win.

1:13 My beloved is like a fragrant pouch of myrrh
spending the night between my breasts.

Again, the NET notes are big help here.
It was an expensive luxury item, which had to be imported into Israel. In liquid form it could be carried in small bottles like nard, but it was also used in solid form in which it was carried in a small cloth pouch or sachet worn next to the body. The myrrh was mixed with fat and shaped into cones and as the fat melted from the body heat, the aroma of myrrh and the anointing oil would perfume a woman’s body. Because it had a very strong aroma which would last for long periods of time, women often wore it to bed to perfume themselves for the next day. Because of its beautiful fragrance, it is associated with romance (e.g., Isa 3:24) (R. K. Harrison, Healing Herbs of the Bible, 45-46).
So it was something she would wear all night to smell good all day. But she is comparing him to this romantic fragrance. His fragrance of romance, figuratively and maybe not not literally, stays with her all day after a night on her chest. Whatever the details are, he is on her mind, romantically, all day.

1:14 My beloved is like a cluster of henna blossoms
in the vineyards of En-Gedi.

The next two notes in the NET Bible inform us that henna is not only used for temporary tattoos but also for perfume. The blossoms smell good and look nice. It strikes me that these flowers are growing in a vineyard. Vineyards are not flower gardens. They are places of serious agriculture. They are weeded and tended, but Solomon, in her eyes, is like a burst of fragrance and color amidst all the dark leaves and vines. He stands out visually and smellfully. Some guys stand out smellfully for all the wrong reasons, not Solomon, though.

The other helpful tidbit from the NET notes is the description of En Gedi. It’s an oasis in the desert south of the Dead Sea. Not only does he stand out among the vines, but in a place that stands out in a bleak wilderness. In other words, to her, he is the Bomb, and one that smells really nice to boot.
The Lover to His Beloved:
1:15 Oh, how beautiful you are, my beloved!
Oh, how beautiful you are!
Your eyes are like doves!

The poetry never stops, which makes sense since this is an epic poem. We don’t express ourselves with an “oh” very often these days in this sense. I think it’s equivalent to exclaiming “WOW!” I’m sure her gorgeousness is enhanced by the aroma of her nard that tantalized him at his banquet. He is so bowled over he repeats himself. His knees are practically knocking together, weak with love in her presence. Then he demonstrates his extraordinary love by focusing on her soul through her eyes.

Husbands take note
, if you stare into your wife’s eyes and compliment them she’ll swoon some more. Why? It affirms her entire being, not just the temporary physical things. Not that affirming those things aren’t bad either, he does it later on, but when you gaze into her eyes and tell her how beautiful they are and how beautiful she is, you pack an intense compliment in a few words and actions. What’s the deal with doves though? I’ve never owned doves or birds, but perhaps he kept them in his menagerie. They do soothe people. You should see this ESPN episode with Mike Tyson showing off his pigeons. This fierce fighter finds solace in his birds. Doves are like stress therapy. The king is busy, but her eyes bring him peace like his doves do.

The Beloved to Her Lover:

1:16 Oh, how handsome you are, my lover!
Oh, how delightful you are!
The lush foliage is our canopied bed;
1:17 the cedars are the beams of our bedroom chamber;
the pines are the rafters of our bedroom.

She returns the double "WOW"s to him. She affirms his handsomeness and her pleasure while in his company in words and in deed. Perhaps they are rolling in the grass in this oasis. They are rolling together in the woods and she calls it their bedroom. I think they are doing something more than napping. They have seized the opportunity. Young love is full of spontaneity. Every opportunity is maximized, which is why we have teen pregnancies. If there’s a chance for a kiss, she takes it. If there’s time and enough privacy for intercourse, they take it. Exceptionally, even at the end of this epic love poem she is still calling him to join her in other outdoor bedrooms. If you have been married long enough that your passion is well-contained to one room in your house, consider flirting with your spouse all day like this couple does.


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