1. Song of Solomon 1:1 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Why was this Song written?

Song of Solomon 1:1 (ESV)

1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.

This question has had many different answers, but they can broadly be divided into two.

The first view is that the Song was written as an allegory of God’s love for his people; first, his love for Israel and then ultimately Christ’s love for the church.

The second view is that the Song was written as a celebration of true love between a man and woman that finds fulfilment in marriage. In other words, the Song celebrates love, sex, and marriage as a good part of God’s creation (Genesis 1:1 – 2:25) when it is enjoyed the way God intended.

These two views lead to very different ways of interpreting the Song. The first view tends to spiritualize the text and turns almost every detail of the passage into some aspect of God’s relationship with his people. The second view reads the passage in a very natural way but does not necessarily place what the Song says about love, sex, and marriage in the context of God’s bigger plan of redemption as revealed in Scripture.

The two views mentioned above are, however, not necessarily totally exclusive. Marriage is used often throughout the Bible as a metaphor to describe God’s relationship with his people (Ezekiel 16:1–63; Ezekiel 23:1–49; Hosea 1:1 – 3:5; 1 Corinthians 7:1–40; 2 Corinthians 11:1–33; Ephesians 5:21–33; Revelation 19:7; Revelation 21:2).

So, our view is that there is little doubt that the main theme of the Song is the passionate, even at times erotic, love between two people; a man and a woman who ultimately fulfil their love through marriage. This kind of love, and marriage itself, are celebrated in the Song as part of God’s good design for his creation (Genesis 2:20–25). The book celebrates marriage and promotes the wisdom of using sex and marriage in the way that God has designed it. But, in the broader context of the whole Bible, and even in some of the language used in the Song, the love and marriage described and celebrated also point us to the fact that the ultimate marriage we are created for is our intimate relationship with God through Christ.