III. Key Thought, Words, Verses, Theme
Song of Songs is the only biblical book that has human love as its sole thought and theme. Song has been a problem to both Jewish and Christian scholars due to the intimate type of love described in such frank and candid terms. It is embellished by rich Oriental scenes that contain charming descriptions of natural beauty. They are handled with skill and insight.
The theme may be expressed in a number of ways by key words or verses. The word “love” or its cognates are used over fifty times. “My darling” or “my beloved,” “my dove,” “beauty,” or their cognates appear frequently. The theme may also be stated as “faithful love” or “courtship and married bliss.”
“Kisses Sweeter Than Wine” (1:2), “Sweet Rose of Sharon” (2:1), “The Lily of the Valley” (2:1), “His Banner Over Me Is Love” (2:4), “I Am His and He Is Mine” (2:16; 6:3), “Until the Day Breaks” (2:17; 4:6), “When the Shadows Flee Away” (2:17; 4:6), “Fairest Among Ten Thousand” (5:10), and “Altogether Lovely” (5:16) are a few of the titles or phrases of songs or choruses taken almost verbatim from SS.
Key verses may be chosen in profusion, e.g., “He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love” (2:4), “I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me” (7:10) and “Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned” (8:7).