1. Song of Solomon 4:3 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Why are the woman's cheeks like halves of a pomegranate?

Song of Solomon 4:3 (ESV)

3 Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is lovely. Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate behind your veil.

The Hebrew word raqqah more likely refers to her temples, and not her cheeks. But the phrase is probably focusing on her complexion. The pomegranate is a reddish-orange fruit, and since the women of the region were dark skinned, the comparison probably refers to a desired skin colour, especially in the man’s eyes.1 Due to their many seeds, pomegranates were also associated with fertility, a theme never too far below the surface in this poem.2 Once again, the presence of the veil adds to the young man’s appreciation of her beauty on their wedding day.