The power of words in a relationship

Song of Solomon Bible Background

09.21.2015 Old Testament: Song 1.15–2.3

To read the Bible in a year, read Song of Solomon 1–3 on September 21, In the year of our Lord 2015

By Don Ruhl

Surely you have learned after knowing someone for many years, that the right words have immense power to hurt or to lift the other person up. The Song of Solomon shows this power, especially the section we will notice today. First, he begins by referring to her eyes,

Behold, you are fair, my love!
Behold, you are fair!
You have dove’s eyes.
(Song 1.15) 

She returned a compliment, but then simply referred to herself as having the beauty of a certain flower that no one notices,

Behold, you are handsome, my beloved!
Yes, pleasant!
Also our bed is green.
The beams of our houses are cedar,
And our rafters of fir.
I am the rose of Sharon,
And the lily of the valleys.
(Song 1.16–2.1) 

He took up her imagery of the common “lily,” and made something special of it, showing how she stands out in his eyes,

Like a lily among thorns,
So is my love among the daughters.
(Song 2.2) 

Yes, she was a lily, but she stood out among the rest of the women even as a lily does among thorns.

She again returned the compliment, not using the previous imagery, but choosing something new that would still make the point,

Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods,
So is my beloved among the sons.
I sat down in his shade with great delight,
And his fruit was sweet to my taste.
(Song 2.3) 

This battle of words turns into a love of comparisons, especially as she referred to herself humbly, and he praised her with her doing the same to him.

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