Lectionary Calendar
Friday, December 8th, 2023
the First Week of Advent
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Bible Commentaries
Song of Solomon 5

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verse 1



Verse 1 of Chapter 5 affirms that the beloved shepherd has indeed entered the garden and partook of its delights, thereby consummating the marriage. The time sequence is not indicated. (NOTE: Wine used in that day was diluted with 2 to 3 parts water and differed considerably from the wine of the present day.)

Verses 2-9


NOTE: Verses 2-8 are considered by many as a dream of the Shulamite. It appears more reasonable to regard it as an actual incident not fully explained.

Verse 2 reveals a temporary lessening of ardor by the Shulamite after some passage of time. She is asleep and dreaming or in a near sleep condition when the beloved, returning in the night from some necessary duty, knocks and asks her to open the door.

Verse 3 expresses her reluctance, offering the excuse that she has put off her coat and washed her feet.

Verse 4 indicates that the beloved made an effort to open the door by thrusting his fingers dipped in a costly unguent of myrrh into the hole by the door. The adhesive quality of the myrrh would often stick to the pins and enable one to lift them with the fingers. The effort was not successful in this instance, but awareness of it stirred the heart of the Shulamite.

Verses 5-6 reveal that she then rose up, opened the door, found sweet smelling myrrh on the handles of the door, but her beloved had withdrawn. She was distressed and began immediately to seek and call to him, but got no answer. Rejected, her beloved husband had disappeared.

Verse 7 affirms that the city watchman found her abroad in the city, beat and wounded her, and removed her veil. No reason for their harshness is given in the text, but it may have been prompted by her refusal to stop her wandering search and return home. It was not proper for a woman to be abroad in the streets at night.


Verse 8 is not clear as to the precise message the Shulamite wanted conveyed to her beloved, but it indicated to the women that he was regarded as more important than any other person and prompted their question raised in Vs. 9.

Verses 10-16


Verses 10-16 answer the question of verse 9 with the Shulamite’s detailed statement that her beloved shepherd is from head to foot, feature by feature, the ultimate in male physical beauty, and is also her friend as well as her beloved.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 5". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/song-of-solomon-5.html. 1985.
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