1. Song of Solomon 3:1–5 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Is Song of Solomon 3:1-5 a dream or an actual event?

Song of Solomon 3:1–5 (ESV)

1 On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not.

This poem (Song of Solomon 3:1–5) is very similar to the nighttime scene in Song of Solomon 5:2–8. Both scenes have a dreamlike quality and so the young woman is said to be lying on her bed (Song of Solomon 3:5) or asleep (Song of Solomon 5:2). Both poems describe events that are unlike normal experience, and yet are uncomfortably familiar. Both these poems are therefore best taken as symbolic and not the description of an actual event or even of an actual dream. A poem about a dream is not the same thing as a dream, nor is either of them the same as an actual event.1

The Song at this point is moving towards the climax in Song of Solomon 3:6 – 5:1 where they will consummate their marriage and the bride and groom will be united in one flesh. This poem in Song of Solomon 3:1–5 therefore reflects the young woman’s sexual desires and fears before the marriage takes place.2