Book Overviews · Song of Songs

Song of Songs (Song of Solomon) Overview

Tomorrow we read a new book. (that’s right: the whole book)

Much debate over this book.  Actually, when the council of Jamnia in 90 A.D. was affirming the Old Testament books as inspired by God: should be included in the Bible, they questioned 5 of them:

  1. The book of Esther does not contain the name God at all
  2. Some passages in Proverbs appeared controversial (hmm wonder if it was 31..ha ha!)
  3. Ezekiel chapters 40-48, conflicting with Moses Law
  4. Ecclesiastes was too pessimistic
  5. Song of Solomon for its sexual nature

Song of Songs: Think about the name, it is like say the King of Kings. the best of the best!  Solomon wrote 1,005 songs and this is the one that God chose to put in the Bible as the “best”.   This book can be read as an allegory of God’s love for His church. It can also be read as poetic drama explaining:

  1. Engagement (1:1-3:5)
  2. Wedding (including the wedding night) 3:6-5:1
  3. Marriage (5:2-8:14)

(Some say it is both.)

This book is about Sex, Love, Commitment, Beauty, and Problems.

There are 3 Characters in this book.

  • Beloved (Shulamite girl)
  • Lover (Solomon)
  • Friends (Friends)

This Poem was written probably while Solomon was still young.  He fell in love with the most beautiful woman in the land (in his eyes).   Some say it is Abishag the Shulammite (the woman who cared for David on his deathbed),  but we truly do not know.

Solomon eventually will have over 700 wives and 300 concubines. (Bless their hearts). But we assume this was his first wedding.

Poetry is a language of imagery, using similes and metaphors.  I will post a blog tomorrow trying to break down some of them, but if you don’t need it-just go on with your day.   I will be reading in NIV (creature of habit), but just like we did for Job, feel free to pick another version if you think it might help.  I am not strong on poetry and I make no bones about it.

Feel free to watch this Overview Video which will do a better job than me:

1 Kings · 2 Chronicles · Psalm

1 Kings 3-4, 2 Chronicles and Psalm 72

Before we read:

  • Exodus 34:15-16 “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices.  And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.”
  • Deuteronomy 17:17  He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.
  • Deuteronomy 12:13-14 Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please. Offer them only at the place the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you.

Chapter 3

Verse 1: “Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem. The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the Lord. Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.

Chapter 3 begins immediately with the scripture that will eventually be Solomon’s ultimate downfall.  Marriage between royal families was a common practice in the ancient Middle East because it secured peace.  His MANY marriages opened the door to pagan ideas and practices.  Solomon’s foreign wives brought their gods to Jerusalem which led to idolatry.

Solomon loved God, but sacrificing outside the Tabernacle was forbidden.   It took the offerings out of the careful practices of the priesthood and opened the door for false teaching.

(Cool fact: 40 kings will be mentioned in 1 and 2 Kings, and Solomon is the only one in scripture that says he loved the Lord)❤


This is was so cool I thought I would share:

In 1928 a Syrian farmer found the first of many tablets in his field.  He uncovered the Ras Shamra tablets. These tablets described Canaanite religious practices “in high places” of child sacrifice (lining up with the exact description from the Bible).  Other cultural practices mentioned in the Bible such as Levirate marriage (Gen 38:8; Deut 25:5-6), were also described in the Ras Shamra tablets.  A small fragment of one of the tablets contained an account of the flood story. Findings like this supports the reliability of the Bible.


Next:

God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Solomon said, “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

His words show that he viewed himself as dependent on God, not self-sufficient.

(A few key words are underlined)

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” 

(Darn!  as soon as I see an “if”, I know it’s not going to go as planned!)


One of Solomon’s first acts in the Bible to use his Wisdom was “The Wise Ruling” incident:


Chapter 4- Continuing with wise decision, Solomon organizes Officials and Governors to maintain government effectiveness.  He was wiser than the men from the East (Egypt) who were known for their wisdom.  The men that were named: Heman, Kalkol, and Darda are from the tribe of Judah (mentioned in 1 Chron 2:6)


2 Chronicles 1:   It is not what this book says, but what it does NOT say.

  1. What is missing?
  2. Why is it missing?

Psalm 72- This is categorized as a Royal Psalm so here is my question…when you read Psalm 72, did you read is as:

  1. David writing it, and praying it over his son Solomon?
  2. Solomon, wanting/needing Wisdom from the Lord?
  3. Did you read it as they were referring to the Messiah?

(There is no right or wrong answer)