1. Song of Solomon 5:4 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

How does the young man put his hand on the latch?

Song of Solomon 5:4 (ESV)

4 My beloved put his hand to the latch, and my heart was thrilled within me.

The imagery of the young man seeking to open the door in Song of Solomon 5:2–5 is full of double meaning that speaks of sexual intimacy.

The man persists in his attempts to get through to the woman. She is once again a locked garden as in Song of Solomon 4:12, except that in this case, after the marriage has taken place, this description is no longer seen as a positive assessment.1

The word translated as latch is simply opening, and there is no evidence that some kind of latch opening is meant. The metaphor of the door has almost completely disappeared in this verse. Insomuch as the Hebrew word yad, translated as hand is used in Hebrew as well as in other Semitic languages for the male member (see Isaiah 57:8), the meaning of the line as a sexual metaphor is clear.2 The man has very clearly expressed his desire for sexual intimacy with his wife.