Song of Solomon: An Introduction

Pin It

Song of Solomon

Probably the most important book in the whole Bible is Song of Solomon.

Song of Solomon is about two people who really want to have sex so they spend an entire book talking about it, kind of like two Christian virgins who are counting down the days till the wedding and they can’t have sex so they just make lists of all the things they want to do to each other and read them over the phone and that’s not weird, your face is weird.  Anyway, in Song of Solomon, the man and the woman take turns talking about sex and then the man says he wants to climb a tree and grab some fruit except he’s talking about her boobs, and then they wander around the city looking for each other like they are in a Counting Crows video from the 90s:

Song of Solomon was written by King Solomon, who had 700 wives, which was fine, but also 300 concubines, which was just overkill.  Come on man.  Solomon’s dad was David, who was kind of a hot mess, just all over the place with the killing and the dancing and the lying and the Psalming and the weird allegiance to Joab, who was basically the Yellow King from True Detective and no one seemed to notice.  Since David was a military man, of course his son was a brooding poet type.  That’s how it works.  True story: One time God appeared to Solomon and said “ask for whatever you want,” and Solomon asked for wisdom, and what kind of weak crap is that, how can you not ask for more wishes.  I mean you have to try that move.  It might not work, but if it does…oh baby.

If there’s one thing seminary students can tell you, other than the theology thing they just read, it is OBSERVATION, INTERPRETATION, and APPLICATION, which is the way to study the Bible that Wayne Grudem invented in AD 451 at the Council of Chalcedon, or something.  Ask Bill Gaither, he was there too.

Anyway, Song of Solomon is tricky, because the application can be hard to figure out:

Observation: It’s about sex

Interpretation: It’s okay for Christians to enjoy sex

Application: ???

If you are married, I guess the application could be to climb the tree and grab some fruit.  But if you are not married, you are not allowed to climb the tree, or touch the fruit, or shake the tree to watch the fruit jiggle, which turns out is not actually a loophole.

Probably the primary purpose of Song of Solomon is to reach 12-year-old boys, because when you’re 12 you’re too old to be in children’s church but too young to stay focused on sermons and everything is boring and everything sucks and you’d rather be home playing NES Play Action Football but hey what’s this there’s a book of the Bible and IT’S TALKING ABOUT SEX I JUST READ THE WHOLE BOOK TWICE

In the year 1992 alone I read the Song of Solomon at least 400 times, and it is probably the thing that helped me remain a Christian, because that was the year Clinton came to power and he was probably going to outlaw Christianity like the preacher on the radio said.  And not everyone made it: there was a kid at church named Aaron who didn’t read Song of Solomon, and he snapped like Squints did in The Sandlot.  I guess Aaron spent too much time staring at Sarah Bjorkman, who was the Wendy Peffercorn of our church, because he got to the point where he would sit in the back of the sanctuary and furiously sketch pictures of ladies’ bosoms all throughout the sermon, and when I got married I finally realized that Aaron had been full of it, because that was not what bosoms looked like.

*****

When I was 16 and couldn’t have gotten female attention if I had wandered into the Singles Ministry Mixer with a pocket full of Jars of Clay CDs, I arrived at the conclusion that I was a contemporary of Solomon.  I began to write anguished, ham-handed poems addressed to “Beloved,” and kept them in envelopes in my desk drawer.  Eventually my friend Andy [the yearbook Index Editor from Homeschool Sex Machine] found out about this project.

“Who are you writing those to?” he asked.

I tried to explain how I was just like Solomon, but Andy didn’t see it that way.  I guess the main difference was that Solomon had 700 wives and I had never been on a date, or something.

“That’s weird,” Andy said, and I could tell that he was real jealous of my artistic vision.

“You don’t understand,” I told him, showing him the stack of envelopes in the drawer.

“These are my ticket to romance.”

And then I laughed, because I had figured out the application for Song of Solomon, and also adolescence was going to be real easy.

*****

*****