1 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
2 As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
3 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
5 Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.
6 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.
7 I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.
8 The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.
9 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.
10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
13 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
14 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.
15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.
17 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.
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The Song of Solomon, also known as the Song of Songs or Canticles, is a unique book in the Old Testament of the Bible. It is a collection of lyrical poems organized as a lengthy dialogue between a young woman, the Shulamite, and her lover, Solomon. Chapter 2 of the Song of Solomon continues this dialogue, focusing on the themes of love, desire, and the beauty of nature, which are used as metaphors to express the profound affection between the lovers. This chapter is not only about the expression of romantic love but also contains rich allegorical meanings concerning the relationship between God and His people.
The chapter opens with the Shulamite speaking, describing herself as "the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys" (Song of Solomon 2:1, KJV). These flowers, common and beautiful, symbolize her humility and purity. She sees herself as a simple, yet lovely maiden, not a queen or a noblewoman. In the next verse, Solomon responds by comparing her to a lily among thorns, signifying her exceptional beauty and virtue amidst a world of sin and corruption.
The dialogue continues with the Shulamite expressing her love and desire for Solomon. She describes his love as better than wine and his name as an ointment poured forth, indicating the intoxicating and healing nature of true love. She also invites him to a banquet hall and asks him to set her as a seal upon his heart, signifying her desire for an intimate and enduring relationship with him.
One of the main themes in this chapter is the power and passion of love. Throughout the dialogue, the Shulamite expresses her deep longing and desire for Solomon. She describes his voice as sweet and his face as lovely, indicating her intense attraction to him. She also expresses her desire for his presence, asking him to "be like a roe or a young hart on the mountains of Bether" (Song of Solomon 2:17, KJV), signifying her longing for his swift and joyful return.
In the same vein, Solomon expresses his profound love for the Shulamite. He praises her beauty, comparing her to a lily among thorns and a dove in the clefts of the rock. He also expresses his desire for her presence, asking her to "rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away" (Song of Solomon 2:10, KJV). These expressions of love and desire reveal the depth and intensity of the romantic relationship between the lovers.
Another significant theme in this chapter is the use of the beauty of nature as a metaphor for love. Throughout the dialogue, the lovers use various images from nature to express their feelings and describe their relationship. For example, the Shulamite compares Solomon to an apple tree among the trees of the wood, indicating his uniqueness and attractiveness. She also describes his fruit as sweet to her taste, signifying the satisfaction and pleasure she derives from his love.
Similarly, Solomon uses the image of the changing seasons to describe the progress of their relationship. He invites the Shulamite to come away with him because "the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land" (Song of Solomon 2:11-12, KJV). This imagery conveys a sense of joy and renewal, signifying the blossoming of their love.
Beyond the literal interpretation of the dialogue as an expression of romantic love, there is also a rich allegorical interpretation of this chapter. Many biblical scholars and theologians have interpreted the Song of Solomon as an allegory of the relationship between God and His people. In this interpretation, Solomon represents God, and the Shulamite represents the people of God, or the Church.
The expressions of love and desire in the dialogue are seen as symbolic of the mutual love and desire between God and His people. For example, the Shulamite's description of Solomon's love as better than wine can be seen as a metaphor for the spiritual joy and satisfaction that come from a relationship with God. Similarly, Solomon's invitation to the Shulamite to rise up and come away with him can be seen as a metaphor for God's call to His people to leave behind the world and follow Him.
In the same vein, the use of the beauty of nature as a metaphor for love can be seen as symbolic of the beauty and goodness of God. The image of the apple tree among the trees of the wood can be seen as a metaphor for God's uniqueness and attractiveness. Similarly, the image of the changing seasons and the blossoming of flowers can be seen as a metaphor for the spiritual growth and renewal that come from a relationship with God.
In conclusion, Chapter 2 of the Song of Solomon in the KJV Bible is a beautiful and profound exploration of the themes of love, desire, and the beauty of nature. It provides a rich and nuanced depiction of the power and passion of love, as well as the joy and satisfaction that come from an intimate and enduring relationship. Whether interpreted literally as an expression of romantic love or allegorically as a depiction of the relationship between God and His people, this chapter offers a profound and timeless message about the nature and significance of love.