1. Song of Solomon 4:8 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Why does the young man call the young woman to come with him from Lebanon?

Song of Solomon 4:8 (ESV)

8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride; come with me from Lebanon. Depart from the peak of Amana, from the peak of Senir and Hermon, from the dens of lions, from the mountains of leopards.

Having described the young woman’s beauty in Song of Solomon 4:1–8, in eager anticipation of the consummation of their marriage that is about to take place in Song of Solomon 5:1, the young man calls the young woman to finally come to him; to give herself to him in marriage.

The man does not assume to possess her, instead he woos. He invites her to come down from Lebanon and its mountain ranges in the north of Palestine (Song of Solomon 4:8). These mountains do not signify nearness, as Gilead does (Song of Solomon 4:1), but distance. They do not signify accessibility, but inaccessibility. They are not harmless places, like the slopes of Gilead where the goats graze, but dangerous places, where lions and leopards prowl.1

The words with me (ESV, NIV and many others) are not in the Hebrew and should not be inserted. She is not with him, but he is calling her to himself. As in the picture of her neck like a warrior’s tower (Song of Solomon 4:4), he sees her as unassailable. She is high in the mountain peaks of the north and surrounded by prides of lions and leopards.2

The mountains serve as a metaphor as the man asks the woman to leave these inaccessible places in order to experience a new life with him. This picks up the theme of Song of Solomon 2:8–17 where she was like a dove hiding in the cleft of the rocks. He is again pleading with her to come away with him. This time, however, he will hear a very different answer to the negative response he received earlier in Song of Solomon 2:17.3