1. Song of Solomon 4:6 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

In what way does the young man go away to the mountain?

Song of Solomon 4:6 (ESV)

6 Until the day breathes and the shadows flee, I will go away to the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense.

At this point the man has thrown himself into the description and says he will go to the mountain of myrrh, also called the hill of frankincense. Coming after the reference to the woman’s breasts in Song of Solomon 4:5, they are undoubtedly still in focus. He tastefully states his desire to fondle her breasts.1 The two mountains are a reference to the cleft mountains of her breasts (Song of Solomon 2:17) that are now accessible to his touch.2

The anticipation of this sexual intimacy is heightened by the reference to frankincense and myrrh. Fragrances such as these are often associated with sexual pleasure in the Song (Song of Solomon 1:3, Song of Solomon 1:13; Song of Solomon 3:6; Song of Solomon 4:11, Song of Solomon 4:14). Indeed, the young woman has herself used reference to myrrh in anticipation of the young man’s intimate touch of her breasts in Song of Solomon 1:13.

The determination of the man to enjoy the pleasures of the woman is restrained by the fact that he will not and in fact cannot seize those pleasures by force; she must freely give them. The second part of the poem (Song of Solomon 4:8–15) is an appeal for her to give herself to him in sexual union.3