In my study Bible, this book is prefaced with the story of Solomon and the woman he is writing about (often called the Shulamite woman) in these verses. Apparently, Solomon had a vineyard near Lebanon that he rented out. A group of brothers and one sister lived there. The brothers made the girl work out in the fields day after day. Solomon dressed as a shepherd and visited the vineyard. He was taken with the girl's beauty and started to woo her. She did not know this was her king. Eventually they marry and she is taken to the lavish palace. She was not used to such grandeur, and although she enjoyed the affection that was heaped upon her, she was used to simple pleasures. She found herself longing to see her home in the vineyard once again. Solomon granted her that wish and she was even able to persuade him to give a part of the vineyard to the brothers still residing there.
This first chapter is the wonders of new love, the exciting start of a relationship. In verse 5, she is embarrassed by how dark and weathered her skin has become from working out in the vineyards all day. I remember how much time I took to get ready on a date with my husband. I would change 5 or 6 times because I wanted to wear the perfect outfit, I would spend an ample amount of time on my hair because I wanted it to look right. I wanted to impress him. I wanted him to be pleased with my appearance. If I had a pimple appear right before a date, I was horrified. It was embarrassing. I did everything I could to cover it up. I'm imagining that the Shulamite woman tried to do the same. She probably rushed about trying to find some way of covering her skin. In the end, all she can do is apologize and hope he will accept her for what she is. Such a picture of Christ's love for us.
|Kiss Stealer--Taken from Victorian Songs-Lyrics of the Affection and Nature|
By Edmund H. Garrett, 1895
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