“You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling, As lovely as Jerusalem, As awesome as an army with banners. “Turn your eyes away from me, For they have confused me; Your hair is like a flock of goats That have descended from Gilead. “Your teeth are like a flock of ewes Which have come up from their washing, All of which bear twins, And not one among them has lost her young. “Your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate Behind your veil. “There are sixty queens and eighty concubines, And maidens without number; But my dove, my perfect one, is unique: She is her mother’s only daughter; She is the pure child of the one who bore her. The maidens saw her and called her blessed, The queens and the concubines also, and they praised her, saying, ‘Who is this that grows like the dawn, As beautiful as the full moon, As pure as the sun, As awesome as an army with banners?’
As we enter our study, the girl made herself believe that her lover had returned through her discussion of his wonderful traits, because in verse 4 the next wasf begins with the lover describing her beauty as if to comfort her ongoing insecurities. We must understand that verse 4 begins the next cycle and is not a response to the previous text. While this wasf is similar to the one in 4:1-4, the eyes as doves and her lips are not mentioned, while the wasf has some things added to it that were not found in the previous one. Once again this is only a partial wasf that leaves us wondering about the feelings of the man regarding the rest of the beloved’s qualities. Chapter 7:1-5 will gives us more details about her beauty and we will be studying that together very soon. The wasf begins with a comparison of the girl with Tirzah. She was compared also with the splendor of Jerusalem. Both Tirzah and Jerusalem represent lofty beauty and grandeur. The Hebrew word for Tirzah actually means delightsomeness. She is a sight to behold and a wonderful display of beauty in his eyes. We dealt with the discussion of the army with banners earlier in our study. This should not make us think about the military, but rather the appearance of the girl in her garb and looking splendid and regal. The problem in translation is determining the root word to use in this passage (dagal or degel meaning to flaunt or chief). There is no mention of a military band here in the original language, but this would be better left rendered as “bannered ones”. Her sight is so tantalizing that he actually pleads with her to turn her eyes away from him. Her eyes cause him to become dumbfounded and confused as if to hypnotize him. While there is no mention of the dove-like eyes here, her eyes continue to dazzle him. He will call her dove in a few verses but not necessarily in reference to the eyes.
Her hair, teeth, temples (which we said were probably her cheeks instead), are cycled again here, as is natural in our Song, while he builds her self-esteem in these repeated words. It may be worth saying that as a relationship progresses there is a need for reaffirming beauty. This is not to be praise associated with some form of flattery, but is to be a true expression of continued love, instead of saying, “I told you I loved you 25 years ago, and if it changes I will let you know!”. We want this outpouring of praise and confirmation of continued love in our relationship. The next words to the girl are to tell her that she is unlike any other. She is unique and set apart from all other ladies. He tells her that all of the queens and maidens praise her and call her blessed. This praise is not to override the feelings that she has about herself, but rather to build up her feelings about who she is in the eyes of others. He only has eyes for her in the midst of many ladies in the midst of the community. This is important to communicate to our spouse. We are not blind to the reality that there are other fair maidens in the land, but we are devoted to one and find her to excel them all. While some have mentioned that Solomon is here comparing her to the other women in his harem, the words of this section would not mean very much in this case. Since 6 is more than a handful and 8 is more than the perfect 7, we could conclude that the number 60 and 80 are nothing more than another way of saying “without number” as is coupled with the maidens at the end of this verse. He is saying that compared to all other available women, she is the only one for him. There are women everywhere, but she is exalted above them all. She is his perfect dove and is here said to be the “only” (favorite See Gen. 22:2) daughter of her mother but the pure child (virgin) of the same. She is favored and is to be happy and content because she is praised by all as she is in their presence. He is perhaps telling her that she needs not to fear what others think because the true feelings of others are not what she has always felt. Our image of self is often skewed because we are our own worst critics. When we think little of our own self-image, we tend to believe that others feel the same way. Look at all of the things that he says that they express to her in verses 10-11 that surpass her feelings about herself in previous chapters. A rhetorical question comes, asking about her beauty in comparing her to the natural phenomenon that is out of this world. She is like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, majestic as the stars. She is B-E-A-U-T-ful. Appearing as the dawn, shares ideas of a first glimpse of the girl, while her rays of beauty shed light on the scene of each moment in her presence. With the dawn comes anticipation and longing of the day, which leads into the majesty of the night and its celestial revealings. The word for moon in Hebrew comes from the same root as Lebanon and frankincense (lebana) and represents here her glowing whiteness (purity). She lights up a room when she enters and draws immediate attention. Next, she is compared to the sun. This could have reference to the splendor of her beauty and her warm presence. In her presence is the glow of love and care which provides comfort. Here she is praised for her capturing beauty and a raised flag, flying high again, as if to leave her viewers with wonder at the ethereal presence she initiates. Lord Byron once said: “She walks in beauty, like the night, Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that’s best of dark and bright, Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellow’d to that tender light, Which heaven to gaudy day denies.” SPIRITUAL APPLICATION: Once we express our love for the Lord, He exclaims His love and devotion to us. He makes us feel unique and lovely when in fact, we may not feel very worthy of His outpouring of praise for us. The Scriptures reveal that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Once He was raised, He pursued us passionately. When we open our hearts up to Christ, He reveals the depth of His love and then renews it each day. When we read about the love of the Lord in the Bible we will find his words of praise and affirmation for us. QUESTIONS: 1. What verses of Scripture come to mind where the love of Christ for the church is described as in this form of romantic poetry?
2. Thinking about reciprocating praise again, as we have reviewed in the Song before, without being considered mere flattery, how do we offer sincere descriptions of our love for the true love of our life?
3. We know that the Lord's love is true and every word is real. How do we make sure that our love for Him remains pure and that our prayers and praise are always honest and from the heart?
4. How do you feel about offering lofty words of praise that are clearly unrealistic, but to us, these affirmations are very real to how we feel? For example, “You are my world!”
5. Make a list of 3 things that you would compare your spouse to that might be similar to what the lover says of his beloved girl in this Song? For example, “You are my sunshine!”
This brings this episode to a close. If you would like to continue this Love Awakening series with Net Cast, please join us next time in a study of Song of Songs 6:11-13 in a message titled, “Visions of Noble Love”.