What is your interpretation of “The Song of Solomon”?
There are two main interpretations of the Song of Solomon. The first, and probably most popular in the church for most of church history, is to take it as a figurative understanding of Christ’s relationship with his church.
Interpreters using this interpretation rely on passages like Ephesians 5:25-32 where Paul talks about husbands and wives, Christian marriage, as an image of Christ and his Bride, the Church. The only problem with this interpretation that I find is that there are places in Song of Solomon that cannot be taken figuratively.
Song of Solomon is a book of poetry, even though it’s usually placed among wisdom literature because Solomon wrote it. It deals with the relationship between a husband and wife from the time of their courtship to after their marriage.
I prefer the second major type of interpretation, that of a literal interpretation. There are several awkward moments as you read the book if you think this is about Christ and the Church. Solomon would not have thought about the Church Because it didn’t exist in his time.
Only later because it was included in the Old Testament Canon did church fathers and leaders have to find a way to make it fit a Christological interpretive framework. But Christians can still use this book as it stands literally.
Song of Solomon is all about the beautiful poetry and relationship that exists between Solomon and one of his wives. When I talk of the book as a Christian pastor, I usually talk about dating and marriage. It does present a godly view of these two subjects.
I stress the fact that Solomon and his wife waited to enjoy each other fully until after they were married. Their love grew and grew until their marriage. They were careful not to go too far too fast. This is a great message for a day and age where people are experimenting physically before they know each other mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
We can learn a lot from the intimate relationship we see portrayed in the Song of Solomon. God’s high standards apply to this marriage. And it is a great example for the rest of us today. The book honors God in every aspect of dating and marriage. It’s a wonderful example for the Church today.