1. Song of Solomon 4:9 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Why does the man refer to the woman as his bride?

Song of Solomon 4:9 (ESV)

9 You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

This is the first time in the Song that the man refers to the young woman as his bride. This is not simply a term of affection. In every other instance in the Bible the Hebrew word kalla clearly means a bride or a daughter-in-law and indicates a new family that is brought into existence through marriage. Its repeated use (six times) in this part of the Song (Song of Solomon 4:8 – 5:1) marks this poem out as the turning point in their relationship.1 Here is a marriage that is about the one-to-one intimacy of persons, something clearly communicated by the constant repetition of the word bride throughout the section, in conjunction with all the sensuous imagery employed to describe her.2