2 until the day he ascended to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions from the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after his ... Read more
2 until the day he ascended to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions from the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time and proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive.
(my notes: Jesus continued to give instructions to the apostles through the Holy Spirit forty days after his crucifixion).
6 When the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, "Lord, are you going to free Israel now and restore our kingdom?" 7 "The Father sets those dates," he replied, "and they are not for you to know.
(my notes: We do not know when Jesus will return, free Israel and restore our kingdom. Jesus tells us through the word that we are not supposed to know, only God knows and he will tells us when he returns. Read less
Luke 7:35 "Yet wisdom is justified by all her children." (ESV)
If Forrest Gump had spoken this he probably would have said, "Stupid is as stupid doe... Read more
Luke 7:35 "Yet wisdom is justified by all her children." (ESV)
If Forrest Gump had spoken this he probably would have said, "Stupid is as stupid does." The point is the same If you claim to be wise, then your actions should show it. Or, if you claim to be a follower of the Way, your life should show it.
Mother Teresa said that she had lived many years without a sense of God's presence. Some critics picked up on this and said that she was admitting she was not a Christian. But they missed her pain. What she said about God's presence was relative to the ecstasy of His presence she one knew.
Even Paul might have said something like that.
But the proof of her faith was in the following. She gave her life without reserve to the Lord and to the task He had given her. Yes, I'm sure she longed for the former days of heavenly delight. But the absence of that did not affect her faith or obedience to God.
Though I fear to compare myself to Mother Teresa not to speak of Paul, have had days of incredible visitation from God Read less
Here's the man (Hezekiah) who went before God and pled for his city and then for his life. God honored both prayers. But Hezekiah never quite got it. ... Read more
Here's the man (Hezekiah) who went before God and pled for his city and then for his life. God honored both prayers. But Hezekiah never quite got it. You will recall that he had first tried to hedge his bets against the Assyrians by forming an alliance with Egypt. Egypt subsequently fell to the Assyrians. While Hezekiah had a firm relationship with God, he liked to cover all his bases. It was Isaiah who held Hezekiah's feet to the fire. And...to Hezekiah's credit, he gave heed to Isaiah's counsel. However, in verse 1, visitors from afar show up at Hezekiah's door - messengers from Merodachbaladan of Babylon.
Here's the entry regarding "Merodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon" of Isaiah 39:1 taken from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:
The son of Baladan, is mentioned in Isa 39:1, as a king of Babylon who sent an embassy to Hezekiah, king of Judah, apparently shortly after the latter’s illness, in order to congratulate him on his recovery of health, and to make with him an offensive and defensive alliance. This Merodach-baladan was a king of the Chaldeans of the house of Yakin, and was the most dangerous and inveterate foe of Sargon and his son Sennacherib, kings of Assyria, with whom he long and bitterly contested the possession of Babylon and the surrounding provinces. Merodach-Baladan seems to have seized Babylon immediately after the death of Shalmaneser in 721 BC; and it was not till the 12th year of his reign that Sargon succeeded in ousting him. From that time down to the 8th campaign of Sennacherib, Sargon and his son pursued with relentless animosity Merodach-Baladan and his family until at last his son Nabushumishkun was captured and the whole family of Merodach-Baladan was apparently destroyed. According to the monuments, therefore, it was from a worldly point of view good politics for Hezekiah and his western allies to come to an understanding with Merodach-Baladan and the Arameans, Elamites, and others, who were confederated with him. From a strategical point of view, the weakness of the allied powers consisted in the fact that the Arabian desert lay between the eastern and western members of the confederacy, so that the Assyrian kings were able to attack their enemies when they pleased and to defeat them in detail.
But where was Isaiah when these envoys show up to visit Hezekiah? They said they came to pay their respects because they heard that Hezekiah had been sick. That sounds suspicious. Although, as a vassal state of Assyria at the time, Merodachbaladan must have admired the fact that Jerusalem alone had withstood the Assyrian assault - something he had failed to do up to this point. Hezekiah wanted to make their trip worthwhile, so he showed them everything he owned. After all, they had a common enemy - Assyria.
Then Isaiah shows up and says something to the effect of, "You did what?!" Isaiah breaks some bad news to Hezekiah. These people will be back. They'll return one day as conquerors...and lead your descendants into captivity. Some good news though - you'll die before this happens; all this will happen to your kids, not you. News that I think I would find depressing seems to please Hezekiah (verse 8) - "at least it won't happen to me!"
The miracle of Isaiah's prophecy...revisited
The prophecy issued by Isaiah to King Hezekiah here is so remarkable, it should be emphasized again.
Following are the essential components of Isaiah's prophecy:
•The Assyrians WILL NEVER capture Jerusalem.
This prophecy came to Hezekiah first in Isaiah 37:7-10 (see notes) while Jerusalem was surrounded by the Assyrians - several hundred thousand troops. The Assyrians had laid siege to all of the countries surrounding Jerusalem, including the walled cities within Judah itself. After Hezekiah's prayer in Isaiah 37:15-35, we find in verse 36, "Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses." Count 'em - 185,000 dead Assyrians. Then the Assyrians leave Jerusalem without accomplishing their mission. Then, here in Isaiah 38:6, God prophesies to Hezekiah through Isaiah, "And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city. " So, in the face of insurmountable opposition, God promises to deliver Jerusalem from Assyria...and does. This took place in 701 B.C.
•The Babylonians WILL capture Jerusalem.
After Hezekiah gives the deluxe tour to the visiting messengers from Babylon (Isaiah 39; II Kings 20:12-21), Isaiah rebukes Hezekiah for such a bone-headed gesture. These Babylonians would one day conquer the Assyrian Empire, and then they would come for Jerusalem.
Notice this remarkable prophecy given by Isaiah in Isaiah 39:6-7, "Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD. And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon."
Here's the very fascinating aspect of this prophecy by Isaiah: It would be 92 years before the Babylonians would overcome the Assyrians (609 B.C.), and another 23 years before Jerusalem would fall once and for all (586 B.C.), the account of which is found in II Kings 24-25 (see notes).
What a prophet of God! In the face of impossible odds, Isaiah correctly prophesies that Jerusalem will not fall. Yet, Isaiah prophesies that Jerusalem will fall 115 years later to an empire that in 701 B.C. was not even an empire - just a vassal state of Assyria. Just as I said, "REMARKABLE!" Read less
Hezekiah's so sick, he's about to die; he goes back to God in prayer (verses 1-3) asking that his life might be spared...at least for the immediate fu... Read more
Hezekiah's so sick, he's about to die; he goes back to God in prayer (verses 1-3) asking that his life might be spared...at least for the immediate future.
Through Isaiah, God makes two promises to Hezekiah:
•To spare Hezekiah's life for another 15 years (verse 5)
•To defend Jerusalem from the King of Assyria (verse 6)
In II Kings 20:8, Hezekiah wants an immediate sign that God will fulfill his two promises here. That's where the sun dial comes into play. After a little negotiation with God regarding which way he wanted the sun to abnormally move, backward or forward, Hezekiah decides he'd like to go look at his Dad's (Ahaz) sun dial and see the sun's shadow move back 10 degrees (some specific unit of measurement) on the dial. Since we don't have the details of the construction of this sun dial, we don't know exactly how it was marked. Therefore, it is impossible to tell exactly how much of the day's sunlight was repeated on this occasion. Here's what we do know; God gave a sign of his promise to Hezekiah on the sun dial that was definitive. More details are available in the notes on II Kings 20:1-11.
In verses 9-20, Hezekiah writes down his thoughts regarding his sickness:
•Hezekiah’s metaphor-filled recap of his sickness (verses 9-14),
•Hezekiah's feelings about death and life (verses 15-18),
•Hezekiah's promise to praise the Lord as long as he lives (verses 19-20).
As a deal capper, God gives Hezekiah that special sun-dial miracle to demonstrate his ability to keep his promise regarding the extension of Hezekiah's life. In the II Kings account, we see that Hezekiah specifically only mentions this aspect of the promise. We see one more interesting fact about the healing of Hezekiah that day in II Kings 20:7; Hezekiah had a nasty-looking boil upon which Isaiah commanded a lump of figs should be laid - briefly mentioned in Isaiah's account here in verses 21-22. Read less
Solomon said that the young woman was like a sister to him (5:1). In chapter 8, she copies this idea. She pretends that he is her brother. But... Read more
Solomon said that the young woman was like a sister to him (5:1). In chapter 8, she copies this idea. She pretends that he is her brother. But her words may surprise us. She pretends that she is a young girl. And that Solomon is her little brother. She pretends that Solomon is younger than her.
At the time of the Bible, parents wanted to have very large families. For example, King David had 7 brothers. But the parents would not look after all the children constantly. Instead, they taught the older children to look after the younger children (1:6). So a little girl would look after a younger brother. This young woman has become Solomon’s wife. She believes that she must work hard in order to look after Solomon (Proverbs 31:10-31). But her many duties do not upset her. In fact, she is very happy. She is so happy that her work seems like a game. She speaks as if she is merely playing, like a little girl with her brother.
Her pleasure is immense. A little girl may kiss her younger brother as she plays. And so the young woman kisses Solomon. She is working hard. But whenever she has a spare moment, she expresses her love to Solomon.
In the book of Philippians, Paul had been working hard for God. Paul even called himself ‘a servant of Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 1:1). Now he was in prison because he was a Christian (Philippians 1:7). But Paul was not sad. He was still working for God continuously (Philippians 1:12-13). And he felt great joy (Philippians 1:4, Philippians 1:18, Philippians 2:2, Philippians 3:1, Philippians 4:4). He trusted God completely (Philippians 4:12-13). He loved God deeply (Philippians 3:8-11). He prayed often. And he always prayed with joy (Philippians 1:3-4).
The young woman continues to speak as if she is Solomon’s older sister. She would take her little brother back to her mother. This is a clever description. The young woman is reminding Solomon about 3:4. Then, she took Solomon to her mother. We think that the couple became engaged then.
The young woman prepares a beautiful drink for Solomon. Pomegranates are a special fruit. Solomon spoke often about his love of pomegranates (6:7, 7:12). The juice of pomegranates smells very beautiful.
In verse 3, the young woman repeats 2:6. Then he held her because she was too weak. Now she is strong. And she is working hard. But there is still time for their love. In fact, their love seems better than in chapter 2. Then she was not sure about him. And now she really enjoys his love.
She has said similar words before, in 2:7 and 3:5. But now her meaning seems different. Then she was not ready for Solomon. But now she knows his love. Perhaps she is advising the other women. They must not let emotions control their behaviour. They should decide carefully about marriage.
When we choose to love God, we are making a very important decision. God asks us to give our whole lives to him (Luke 14:25-30). Buy many people allow their emotions to guide them. Sometimes they are for God. And sometimes they are against God (Revelation 3:15-16). God wants us to trust him completely. So we must decide carefully. God promises wonderful things to the people who love him (1 John 5:2-5). But if we only want to satisfy our own desires, we do not really love God (Galatians 5:19-21).
The young woman is joking that Solomon is like her younger brother. But the other women can see the reality. Really, she depends on Solomon. She has to lean on him. He is strong, and he supports her.
We have the same experience as we work for God. We may work very hard. But we are not working alone. We can only do God’s work because he supports us. We depend completely on him.
The couple are coming from the desert. They have been visiting the country that Solomon rules (7:11). They have seen the beautiful places (7:12). But now they are also visiting places where there are serious problems.
As we become mature Christians, God may prepare more difficult tasks for us (2 Corinthians 11:23-29). But God never sends us alone to do his work. God is always with us (Matthew 28:20).
The young woman continues her story about the children. But now her story seems more serious. She speaks about the struggle when a baby is born. Now she is not merely playing. Sometimes a girl must work hard when she looks after her baby brother. Sometimes the mother is too weak to help the girl. So the girl cannot play. She must stay with her younger brother continuously. The two must always be together.
The young woman needs to be with Solomon continuously. They must not leave each other. Their work is difficult. She depends on him.
People used a *seal instead of an envelope. The *seal would attach the papers firmly. The sender would place his own mark on the *seal. Nobody else would use the same mark. Solomon was the king. So his mark was very important. Solomon would place a *seal on each new law that he made. People knew that the law was genuine because of Solomon’s mark.
The young woman wants to be like a *seal. It is as if she wants to have Solomon’s mark.
The Bible also expresses such ideas elsewhere. It is as if God places a mark on his people (Galatians 6:17; Revelation 7:3-4). But it is as if the devil also places a mark on his own people (Revelation 13:16-17).
In Ephesians 1:13-14, God’s *seal means the gift of the Holy Spirit. God gives us the Holy Spirit to help us to know him better (Ephesians 1:17). God’s Holy Spirit will protect us through this life (Ephesians 6:10-18). The Holy Spirit helps Christians to love each other (Ephesians 4:3). The Holy Spirit teaches the Bible to us (Ephesians 6:17) and he helps us to pray (Ephesians 6:18).
Verse 6 becomes very serious. The young woman has been very happy with Solomon. But her attitudes are now mature. She realises that she will not always be happy. They may suffer terrible troubles. She cannot depend on her feelings. Her love for Solomon is not a mere emotion. She has decided to be his wife. Whatever happens, she will still love him. Nothing can ever change her mind.
Love is like death because her decision to marry was permanent. A dead person cannot return to life. And she can never return to the same state that she had before her marriage.
Love is like fire because love is very powerful. Her love for Solomon will not reduce because each day she will work to increase their love for each other. Her happy feelings will not last. But she realises that love is not merely happy feelings. Love is the decision that they made to look after each other. And even if they have troubles, that decision will become stronger. In fact, their troubles might even make their love stronger.
Our decision to love God should not be merely an emotion. Instead, we should make a firm decision always to trust him (James 1:6-8). We cannot forget him if we have problems. Instead, we should trust him more because of our troubles.
Water can put out a fire. But nothing can stop real love.
‘Nothing can separate us from Christ’s love. Trouble cannot separate us from Christ’s love. Pain cannot. People who oppose us cannot. Hunger cannot. Even if we are naked, there is no difference. Even danger and war cannot separate us from Christ’s love’ (Romans 8:35).
God loves us deeply (John 3:16). Jesus died for us because of his love for us (1 John 4:10). And we must trust God’s love (1 John 4:16).
Love is precious. It is more valuable than anything that we can own. But nobody can buy love. And nobody can buy God’s gifts (Acts 8:18-22). God’s love is a free gift (Isaiah 55:1-3).
This young sister is still a child. Once, Solomon’s wife was like this girl. Solomon’s wife was not always a mature woman (4:5). But now she is mature. And she has become the queen. So she is the model for this young girl. The girl’s relatives hope that the girl will also marry well. They want to work out how the girl can become a beautiful woman. Then perhaps she will be able to marry a great man like Solomon.
So the relatives have a plan for the girl. They will make her more beautiful. And they will improve her until she is perfect for marriage.
Silver is an expensive metal. And *cedar is an expensive wood. People did not use such materials in ordinary buildings. But they might use such precious materials for a palace.
God does not want Christians to be selfish. He offers his love to everyone. As Christians, we should tell everyone about God’s invitation (Revelation 22:17). And we should teach newer Christians how they can love God more.
At the start, perhaps we were not sure whether the young woman would ever become the queen. She was very young. Her attitudes were not mature.
But now we can see that she is a mature woman. And she is also a mother. Her husband is content because she has provided a child for him. The Bible does not actually mention the child. But we know about people’s attitudes at the time of Solomon. Solomon needed a son who would be the king after him. So, when the boy was born, Solomon would be content.
As our love for God increases, we do not want to satisfy our own desires. Instead, we gladly do whatever God wants us to do. We forget our own plans. His plans are much more important.
Many people produced fruit for Solomon. His palaces were large and he needed plenty of fruit. For most people, the production of fruit was just a business. They were working for the king. But they did not love the king.
The queen’s own *vineyard also produces fruit for Solomon. So she too is working for Solomon. But there is an important difference. She works for Solomon because she loves him. So she does not ask for any money. She gladly gives everything that she has to him.
The queen’s *vineyard is better than the other *vineyards. Their fruit is only worth 1000 pieces of silver. But the fruit from her *vineyard is worth 1200 pieces of silver. Her *vineyard is more successful because of her love. And she is generous with her workers.
Many people know God, but they do not really love him. Some people work for God merely in order to earn money. Perhaps they are selfish. Or perhaps they are not yet mature Christians (Philippians 1:15-17).
But people who really love God are glad to work for him. They do not care about money (Philippians 4:12). They only care about God’s plans.
Solomon asked his queen to end the Song. Her words were special to him. And God also wants to hear our prayers (Luke 11:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Revelation 5:8).
The queen reminds Solomon about her earlier words in 2:17. At that time, she told him to go way. But now she invites him to join her.
Together, they will be like strong, graceful animals. They will climb the most wonderful mountains (4:8). They will enjoy the smells of beautiful plants (4:13-16). They will explore the country that Solomon rules (7:11). And they will learn to love each other even more deeply.
Jesus said, ‘Love God. Love him with all your heart. Love him with all your spirit. Love him with all your mind. Love him with all your strength... And love other people as much as you love yourself. No other laws are as important as these laws’ (Mark 12:30-31). Read less
Solomon describes his beautiful bride. Perhaps he begins with her feet because she is dancing (6:13). Her movements are very graceful.
Verse ... Read more
Solomon describes his beautiful bride. Perhaps he begins with her feet because she is dancing (6:13). Her movements are very graceful.
He associates her *waist with wine and wheat. People make wine from the fruit called grapes. Fruit and grain were the most important crops in ancient Israel. Solomon speaks about plentiful wine and wheat. So, he was describing a good harvest.
This verse is like 5:1. The woman does not disappoint Solomon. She is able to provide everything that he needs. She will work hard to supply everything for their family. But she is not merely a servant of her husband. All her actions show grace and love. She is like someone who arranges flowers round the wheat harvest.
Our work for God should not be merely a duty. We work for God because we love God. Every action should be an expression of our love (2 Corinthians 9:7).
This young woman is almost perfect for Solomon. But there is one problem. She is still very young. Solomon needed a son, who would be the king after him. But Solomon’s bride is not yet ready to become a mother. Solomon waited eagerly (verse 8).
In the Song, Solomon often has to wait. He needed to be patient twice when she sent him away. Now he must be patient again while he waits for her to become a mother.
God is very patient with us. He wants us to learn many new qualities (2 Peter 1:5-8). He wants us to be mature Christians (Hebrews 6:1). In the end, we shall be perfect for him (1 Corinthians 13:9-13).
This woman reminded Solomon about the country that he ruled. Solomon was a good king. He felt as if he belonged to his country. This woman was now his bride. And Solomon felt as if he belonged to her, also. But Solomon’s duty to his country did not oppose his duties to his bride. Because of his bride, Solomon would love his country better. She would help him as he ruled his country.
When he saw his bride, he also thought about his country.
And God does not love us less because he also loves other people. God wants us all to receive everything that he has for us. So we should be glad when other people trust God (Romans 11:11-12). God cares about people from many nations (John 10:16). We should be glad when God sends us to work for him. We should even be glad to go to people whom we may not like (Acts 1:8; John 4:9).
The woman’s problem is that she is not yet ready to become a mother (verse 3). But Solomon knows that the woman’s body will soon become mature. He speaks about the *palm tree. The fruit on the *palm tree is plentiful. He says that she will be like the *vine. The *vine also has plentiful fruit. So he is confident that she will have children.
The fruit on a tree is very small before it is ripe. But the fruit develops quickly. It becomes much bigger. The young woman was not yet ready to be a mother. Her breasts were not yet ready to feed a baby. But Solomon was confident that they would not have to wait long.
The young woman wants Solomon to receive everything that she can give to him. She does not want to keep anything for herself.
This verse shows how much her attitudes have changed:
· In 2:16, she spoke as if her opinions were as important as his opinions. So, she had the right to send him away. She was glad that she impressed this noble young man. But her feelings about him were not mature.
· In 6:3, her ideas are similar. But she does not speak as if she is so important. Solomon’s attitudes seems much more important to her than her own attitudes.
· In 7:10, her attitudes are mature. She is not still thinking about herself. Her own feelings do not seem important. Solomon’s love for her seems more important than anything else. She does not even mention her own emotions.
When we first become Christians, our attitudes are not mature. We are glad that God loves us. But perhaps we do not really want to give him an important place in our lives. We may care more about our own feelings than we care about God.
As we become mature Christians, our attitudes change. We do not still care about our own feelings. Our only desire is to serve God. And our most important emotion is that we appreciate God’s great love.
The young woman is now showing the attitudes of a good wife. Like him, she wants to look at the plants. Like him, she wants to work in the country. Like him, she wants to know the state of the fruit plants. These are the attitudes of the perfect wife in Proverbs 31:10-31.
Of course, Solomon was not really a farmer. He was a king. But to Solomon, a king’s work seemed like a farmer’s work. Both kings and farmers look after the land. Of course, they do this in different ways. Farmers look after the soil and the plants. Kings look after the people who live on the land. And kings look after the borders of the country.
So perhaps the woman really means that they should make a royal visit to the country. They can see whether the people have problems. If so, the king may be able to help them. Christians look after other people because God loves us. We show our love to him by helping other people (Matthew 25:34-45).
The mandrake was a special plant. People used it to help women to have babies (Genesis 30:14-16). So we can see that Solomon’s bride now wants to become a mother.
She adds that she has many beautiful things to share with Solomon.
Jesus seems to refer to this verse in Matthew 13:52. He speaks about a man who has studied the Bible. This man has learned about God’s law. So he has learned to obey God. But this man has now learned from Jesus. The man has heard about God’s rule in heaven. And the man has gladly believed Jesus. Jesus said that such a man has many good things. They are both old and new things. It is as if the man has a store room. And the room is full of good things.
We should not merely obey God. We should also love God. Then we too will have many beautiful things for his delight. Read less
The women of Jerusalem have heard the young woman’s description of Solomon. But they still do not realise why he is special. He seems to them ... Read more
The women of Jerusalem have heard the young woman’s description of Solomon. But they still do not realise why he is special. He seems to them like any other man (5:9). They do not love him, as the young woman does. But they are willing to help her. The man that she loves seems to have gone away. And the women of Jerusalem think that they can find him.
People who do not love God cannot explain our attitudes. They do not know why we love God. Perhaps they admire our sincere behaviour. Perhaps they would even like to be like us. But unless they themselves trust God, they will never really know God’s love. Until then, they will never know how anyone could be in love with God. Even the idea will seem strange to them.
The women were kind when they offered to help. But the young woman does not need their help. She remembered Solomon’s character. So she already knew where Solomon would be.
Jesus spoke about Christians as if they were sheep. At that time, a man would look after a small group of sheep. The man would lead the sheep into the fields. The sheep knew the man’s character. And they could even recognise his voice (John 10:2-5). So Jesus said, ‘My sheep (people) listen to my voice. I know them. And they follow me’ (John 10:27). As Christians, we learn God’s character. We learn how to trust him. And we learn to obey him.
The woman is right about the place where she can find Solomon. He is not angry with her. Instead, he speaks kind words to her again. He still loves her deeply.
Solomon was speaking to the young woman who had just sent him away. But you would never guess this fact from his words. He speaks as if she has always obeyed him. He has many kind words to say to her. He repeats some phrases from chapter 4. He loves her as deeply as he used to love her. They had been apart. But their love was still the same.
Some couples always remind each other about their past mistakes. But God does not behave like this. He really forgives us.
In the end, Solomon would have 700 wives. And 300 other women lived with him in the palace (1 Kings 11:3). So we can see that Solomon is still a young man in this Song.
Solomon married these women for political reasons. They came from many countries. Solomon married all these women so that his country would be at peace. For example, he married the daughter of the king of Egypt. So Solomon’s country was at peace with Egypt. We do not think that this was a good plan. But this was how Solomon behaved.
So Solomon had many wives. These women lived in his palace. They were important women. But they probably did not really love Solomon. And he probably did not love them. But the young woman in Song of Solomon was different from these other women. Solomon really loved her. Everyone in the palace realised this fact. Even the other queens approved of Solomon’s love for this woman. They all knew that she really was special.
Many Christians behave rather like Solomon’s other wives. Such Christians like to be Christians. And they are glad to receive God’s good gifts. But they do not love God deeply. They do not try always to please God. They will never become mature Christians. In fact, they do not even want to be mature Christians.
We should be like the young woman who really loved Solomon. We should want to obey God. We should try to become mature Christians. We should learn the lessons that God teaches us.
Jesus taught us to love God with all our heart. And with all our mind. And with all our strength. Jesus said that this is God’s most important command (Mark 12:28-29).
Solomon may be the speaker. But we think that this verse is probably the words of the other women. Solomon said in verse 9 that they were praising the young woman. She impresses them. And they seem curious about her.
At the start of the book, only Solomon could see the young woman’s beauty. The other women did not seem to think that she was beautiful. People might stare at her because her skin was dark (1:6). Even the young woman herself did not seem sure that she was beautiful.
But at the start of the book, the young woman was still a girl. Now she is older. And she is more mature. She has spent time with the king. And she has learned how to make herself beautiful.
Now other women can see her beauty too. They do not still complain that her skin is too dark. Instead, she is so beautiful that they compare her with the brightest lights.
Solomon wants to check whether it is spring again. The couple often considered that spring would be the right time for their marriage (2:7, 2:10-13). Solomon often used *pomegranates as a description of the young woman’s face (4:3, 13; 6:7). Now he wants to see if she is ready for love.
Solomon is in a carriage again. There seems to be a procession. Everybody is very happy for the king. He had waited for a long time to be with the woman that he loves. But now she is ready for him. Now, she wants to go with him.
At a wedding, the tradition was that the bridegroom would go to the bride’s home. Then he would take the bride to his own home. And everyone would be very glad.
The other women do not want her to leave. They still want to enjoy her beauty. They ask her to stay with them. But perhaps they are merely pretending to ask her to stay. They know that she is now Solomon’s bride. So they must expect her to go with him.
Solomon replies. She is his bride. So now, he himself will look at her. He wants to enjoy her beauty.
The woman may be called the Shulamite because she comes from a town called Shulem. King David was Solomon’s father. When David was very old, his servants chose a woman called Abishag to live with him. Abishag was also a beautiful young woman. It seems that she came from the same town (1 Kings 1:1-4).
However, the word Shulamite is similar to the name Solomon. The couple are now married. So perhaps she now uses her husband’s name. In many countries today, women use their husband’s surname after marriage.
We do not know anything about the Mahanaim dance. But perhaps it was like the dance of the girls of Shiloh (Judges 21:21). As the girls danced there, the men chose their wives Read less
To begin the letter Paul identifies himself as an apostle of Jesus by God's will. So he is emphasizes immediately his apostolic authority to write thi... Read more
To begin the letter Paul identifies himself as an apostle of Jesus by God's will. So he is emphasizes immediately his apostolic authority to write this letter. The co-author of the letter is identified as their brother Timothy.
The letter is written to the church in Corinth. In Acts 18 Paul went to Corinth where he met Acquila and Priscilla. It was in Corinth that after little response from the Jews he went to teh Gentiles. Timothy and Silas joined him there and for 18 months he ministered to the church. He left after Jewish leaders began persecuting Jewish believers.
Note that since Timothy was heavily involved in ministering to the church in Corinth that Paul mentions him as a co-author. Read less