WARNING: The following material is intended for mature audiences. While this is a Bible study, the Song of Songs is written with references to sexual themes, intimate textual innuendos, and suggestive figurative language that may not be suitable for some audiences. Viewer discretion is advised. It is recommended that you approach this book from God with pure motives and pray that His will in preserving these song lyrics can be a blessing to you. Thank you for taking this word of caution into consideration as we begin today’s episode.
“How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! The curves of your hips are like jewels, The work of the hands of an artist. “Your navel is like a round goblet Which never lacks mixed wine; Your belly is like a heap of wheat Fenced about with lilies. “Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle. “Your neck is like a tower of ivory, Your eyes like the pools in Heshbon By the gate of Bath-rabbim; Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon, Which faces toward Damascus. “Your head crowns you like Carmel, And the flowing locks of your head are like purple threads; The king is captivated by your tresses.
In chapter 7:1-5, we begin with a wasf from the male lover to his beloved girl. After we have seen a few wasf’s about the girl in our Song, none will compare in intimate detail to this description of the beloved found here. We will now see a complete description of her form from her feet to her head, and this is considered a full wasf.
We begin with the beautifully sandaled feet of the beloved girl. The word for feet here can also refer to the steps that are taken and some have seen this to lend to the belief that she is dancing before her lover. No matter what she is doing, her feet (ankles included) are an item of interest to the lover in this text. The looks of her feet even evoke a thought again of her being royalty in his eyes as he calls her a “prince’s daughter”. While some take from this that she is from a royal family, it is obvious from a contextual study that since she was forced to work in the vineyard’s, she was most likely of no royal descent. This is how she appears in the lover’s eyes, as we have pointed out before.
Next, we move to the legs in the wasf, where many interesting translations are found here. To take all the translations and sum them up, the lover is looking at the graceful, rounded thighs and hips of his beloved girl, that appear to be turned like ornaments or jewels by a craftsman. From the feet to the waist, she is an exquisite piece of art.
On the way through the wasf, the lover now describes “the navel” a part of the body that has been under much criticism. Some have said this is translated in a more specific way than necessary and that it refers to her body in general, while others have even described this as the waist. This word has been translated as “navel (umbilical) cord”. In Ezekiel 16:4, we find “As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water for cleansing; you were not rubbed with salt or even wrapped in cloths. Then we see the same word translated as “body” in Proverbs 3:8, “It will be healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones.” Since both translations seem to fit their context, some have speculated that a very vague description about the body is under consideration here. Since we are looking at a wasf, whatever is being described must fall in the order of the things already mentioned. It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word found here was used in Arabic for the idea of “secret” place. This seems to be a place where only he can go. It could be that we are not to know the exact meaning here. Let me suggest that because there is a mention of wine in the text that we could be dealing with a picture that is very intimate as often times, the text of this Song associates wine with sexual activity. Whatever he is describing about the beloved is something that gives him great pleasure. The navel is often a sexual symbol for men. Many ancient pictures focus on the navel as a central image to capture the beauty of any woman. In conclusion, she provides him with a secret place of constant and full amounts of sweetness.
At the end of verse 2 her belly is said to be like a heap of wheat fenced about with lilies. While the belly of the girl seems to be under consideration here, most of the time, the word is translated as “wombs”. Wheat on the threshing floor was often times protected by a surrounding row of thistles to keep any intruding animals from getting to it. Here the wheat is not being protected, but rather is described as decorated with lilies for the lover. The metaphor from the first part of this verse may be enhanced by this as we look at the lower abdomen of the girl that may have a strand of flowers tracing her waistline. Let us not forget the images of lilies in the earlier parts of our study, where they make reference again to the intimacy of the love-making in the Song (See Song of Songs 4:5; 5:13; 6:2).
Consider the following translations:
-“Thy body is 'like' a round goblet, 'Wherein' no mingled wine is wanting: Thy waist is 'like' a heap of wheat Set about with lilies.” ASV
-”Your stomach is a store of grain with lilies round it, and in the middle a round cup full of wine.” BBE
-”Thy waist 'is' a basin of roundness, It lacketh not the mixture, Thy body a heap of wheat, fenced with lilies” YLT
Whatever is being addressed in this verse, can simply be summed up by considering that this is something only the two young people in our Song can share with one another. It must be noted here that she is not dancing naked or in some immodest apparel for others to see (some have even said that these are not the words of the lover, but rather are the words of the bystanders as she dances). She seems to be in the presence of her lover, and he is once again reaffirming her beauty and is in many ways, making contrast with what others had said about her doing a scandalous dance before a multitude (See Song of Song 6:13).
In verse 3 the lover again mentions the breasts of the girl in the Song and speaks of this feature in the same way that he did in the previous texts. For example in Song of Songs 4:5, we find, “Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle that graze among the lilies.” It is interesting to note that the breasts are also a place where the lover finds great pleasure with the beloved girl. The breasts are viewed as fawns (female youth) that are twins (proportionate) and are an intimate part of their love.
Verse 4 begins with the mention of her neck again, as in Song of Songs 4:4, where we learned, “Your neck is like the tower of David, Built with layers of stones On which are hung a thousand shields, All the round shields of the warriors.” The first time the neck is mentioned, the decorations are under consideration rather than her actual neck, but here we see that the lover is referring to the physical neck of his beloved girl. He says that her neck is like a tower of ivory, which makes reference to the smooth, beautiful features that she has from the shoulders to her face.
The eyes are mentioned here again, but with another added feature. The eyes are said to be like the pools of Heshbon by the gates of Bath-Rabbim. These pools were said to be hand dug cisterns out of solid rock with clear, uninterrupted, calm waters. To look into these waters would take you to a place of tranquility and peace. Perhaps this also has reference to the eyes as doves (a symbol of peace). The gate of Bath-Rabbim was thought to be the entrance to the pools of Heshbon. It is also interesting to note that Bath-Rabbim literally means “daughter of noble people” which would play on 7:1 with the reference to nobility.
Her nose is now described as the tower of Lebanon. While our initial feelings may be that this is some sort of humor, we need to remember that many qualities in these two people are described with something to do with Lebanon. This may be because only the finest quality items came from Lebanon or that the root of Lebanon also has connection with frankincense. Since the nose is compared to a tower we should not think of a nose that is out of proportion or that is long and large for that matter. Her nose is most likely straight and is of the finest form. It is in a shape that pleases him.
At the end of this wasf the head of the girl is mentioned as crowning her like Carmel. Her head is set on her shoulders and extraordinarily smooth neck and it represents the many features that enhance her beauty. One poetic piece that might be worth considering is the word “carmil” for “Carmel” that is interpreted as the color crimson, that may be paralleled with the color of royal purple threads in the next part of the verse in reference to her hair.
One feature of the girl that the lover has often mentioned is her hair (4:1; 6:5). Here he concludes this wasf with her hair being viewed as flowing locks like purple threads. The lover is viewed here as a king which parallels the discussion of the girl as a noble’s daughter. This is not “the king” but, “a king”. The text says the “king is captivated by your tresses.” It is amazing how many times we find her hair being the very thing that he admired the most about her.
As mentioned in previous spiritual applications, the Lord admires our beauty and long awaits the day when we enter heaven as His glorious bride, the church. As He looks us over, he cannot find spot or wrinkle or any such thing. We are pure in His eyes as He has sanctified us by the washing of water with His word. We are a glorious bride and are reminded often of the Lord's preoccupation with redeeming us for His very own.
1. Take a moment to consider the wasf again. Try to think of the qualities in your lover that you could write poetry about and make note of them.
2. Since God is the Creator and we are made in His image, why do you think that we are so infatuated with the shape and features of the human body?
3. There are several physical locations mentioned in this text to denote the beauty of the girl in our Song. What places would we use in modern language or poetry that would be connected to luxury, royalty or precious value?
4. Is there a specific feature about your body that you do not find pleasant but you spouse seems to find that trait attractive?
5. What has the Lord promised you in the life to come that makes you feel like royalty, even though you do not originally come from a royal family?
This concludes the episode for today. If you find this study to be encouraging I want to invite you to join me for the next study from Song of Songs 7:6-13, in a lesson titled, “Desire Realized”.