The Shulammite Woman – 10 Key Points for Bible Study 11/08/2014

The Song of Songs/The Song of Solomon

1. “Theme: The wisdom writer celebrates the sexual union between a man and a woman as a joyful part of marital  life in God’s good creation.” (3, pg. 1374- Song of Songs Introduction)

2. “It’s unlike anything in the Bible.  For that reason, it should be read differently than any other book in the Bible.  Don’t take it literally.  Don’t search for hidden codes or submerged messages.  Love letters are to be appreciated, not analyzed.” (1, pg. 793)

3.  “You are opening someone else’s shoebox of  letters and reading the correspondence between two people madly in love.” (1, pg. 793)

4.  “Solomon’s Song describes a relationship between a bride and groom.  Solomon and the Shulammite were about to be married in the king’s palace.  The woman was a peasant worker from Shunem, a farming town sixty miles north of Jerusalem.” (1, pg. 794)

5.  “It is the only book in the Bible to have all its contents put into the mouth of speakers, but it is monologue with practically no dialogue.  The speakers are not identified nor are their speeches introduced. The book has certain dramatic characteristics, but it is not drama.” (2, pg.92)

6.  “In its present form it is purely secular in character,  with no apparent theological, religious, or moral attributes.  God never once appears in it.” (2, pg. 92)

7.  The Shulammite Woman: Her character:

“Hers is the only female voice that speaks directly to us in Scripture.  Ruth’s and Esther’s voices, for instance, are mediated by narrators.  The Shulammite woman boldly declares her longing and desire to be united to her lover in marriage.” (5, pg. 150)

8.  “The story of the Shulammite, mysterious as it is, touches our longing to love and be loved.” (4, pg. 269).

9.  “The Jews believed the book was not primarily about individual lovers but about God’s love for his people Israel.  Christians initially read it as a parable of Christ’s love for the church and later as a parable of his love for the individual soul.  Modern commentators tend to view it more literally, as an expression of love between a man and a woman.  They praise its inclusion in the Bible because it celebrates marital love and the sexual expression of that love.  Anyone inclined to believe the Bible teaches a negative view of sex should read this book of Scripture before drawing such a conclusion.” (4, pg. 268)

10.  “Throughout history, intimate love relationships have been shamefully distorted and profaned.  Song of Songs gives God’s picture of the beauty of the relationship.” (5, pg. 153).

1. The Inspirational Study Bible, The Holy Bible, New king James Version, Max Lucado, General Editor, Word Publishing, 1995.

2. The Interpreter’s Bible, In Twelve Volumes, Volume 5, Abingdon Press, 1956

3. The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1995. (All Scriptures)

4. Women of the Bible,  One Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture, Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda, Zondervan, 2007.

5. Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Jean E Syswerda, Zondervan, 1999.

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