My man's nice ride: Songs 3:6-11

As has become my habit lately, I am looking at this epic love poem out of order. I wanted to jump to another unique part of this poem. Much of the adorations in this poem are focused on the external features of each other. In this section, the 2nd half of chapter 3 Beloved expresses her appreciation for her Lover’s accomplishments. The NET is not certain who the speaker is here but I see these as Beloved’s lines. The setting could be a wedding, since there seems to be a great deal of pomp and circumstance.

3:6 Who is this coming up from the desert

like a column of smoke,

like a fragrant billow of myrrh and frankincense,

every kind of fragrant powder of the traveling merchants?

Solomon knows how to make an entrance as expected in royalty. He arrives from a distance, making a trail of dust, but dust that is mingled with some really good smells. Perhaps back then sensitivities and allergies to perfumes were not a common problem and there was no such issue as wearing too much of them. I’m sure it wasn’t just himself smelling good but he had the equivalent of a few hundred scent trees hanging off his ride. Being the man of wealth, he uses the imported stuff. His scents were the scents of romance and his intentions were clear.

3:7 Look! It is Solomon’s portable couch!

It is surrounded by sixty warriors,

some of Israel’s mightiest warriors.

Solomon arrives with his posse. This groom brought 60 groomsmen/usher/warriors and they were not in need of steroids. Solomon’s reign was mostly a peaceful one. He had small battles on his frontiers in the beginning and end of his reign, so his army was a peacetime one, but he used his wealth to arm it well with chariots and bronze and horses.

3:8 All of them are skilled with a sword,

well-trained in the art of warfare.

Each has his sword at his side,

to guard against the terrors of the night.

With so many sons of David alive, I’m sure assassination was a concern. The best soldiers in the country were assigned to his private security detail. Security is a concern of bride’s even today. Our culture today normally views security in terms of financial ability. Financial stress easily strains a marriage and frequently leads to break ups. Even if a man is young and is unable to have much wealth, if he has no debt, he is better off. Of course, in Solomon’s case, security in its physical and financial forms exceeded adequacy.

3:9 King Solomon made a sedan chair for himself

of wood imported from Lebanon.

3:10 Its posts were made of silver;

its back was made of gold.

Its seat was upholstered with purple wool;

its interior was inlaid with leather by the

maidens of Jerusalem.

She appreciates his entrance, his good smells, his security, and, now, his ride. I’m not one to tinker with my vehicles. I change the oil and that’s it. I don’t wash it, I don’t wax it, I don’t buy fancy rims for it. But I know people who do. I have a friend who is restoring a muscle car. He searches the internet for parts. I guess the good deals he finds enables him to have enough money to pay his mechanic to install them. To some this hobby may seem like a colossal waste of money and time and an affront to the environment, those old V-8’s use a lot of gas without a catalytic converter. But it’s artistic expression. Some people express themselves in paint and canvas, some in yarn, some in thread, some in lenses and lights, some in words, some in wood and some in steel and grease. Whether Beloved thinks it’s a waste of time or not, she appreciates his work by noticing the details. It’s polite to say, “Nice car,” but it’s on another level to say, “Nice walnut trim, chrome job, and leather re-upholstery on your whip.” As Solomon does elsewhere, she does by moving from complimenting the general to appreciating the specific. To be affirmed in the specifics is to be affirmed past what is polite. It’s good to be polite to your spouse, but it’s important to move beyond that.

3:11 Come out, O maidens of Zion,

and gaze upon King Solomon!

He is wearing the crown with which his mother crowned him

on his wedding day,

on the most joyous day of his life!

Beloved taunts the harem. She rejoices in her position as bride. She exults her husband as she takes in with him the “most joyous day.”


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