There is so much richness from the erotic language to the visual pictures that a simple explanation hardly does justice to the textured layers hidden within the Song of Solomon. At the heart of the Song of Solomon is intimacy,
"The song of songs, which is Solomon's. 2 Let him kiss me with the
kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. 3 Because of
the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth
, therefore do the virgins love thee."
yet one is convinced it is not merely about the Shulamite woman(6:13) and the "Beloved", who is a 'type' of Solomon, yet obviously Solomon is the narrator,
" Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant
? 7 Behold his bed, which is Solomon's; threescore valiant men are
about it, of the valiant of Israel.
One must search deeper in order to find the treasures hidden in the Song of Solomon: on one level it is the soul's aspiration for intimacy with God, and the paths that it takes to arrive there, yet this explanation doesn't account for the "Daughters of Jerusalem" who are treated simularly as an 'antiphon chorus', re-emphasizing the activity of the Shulamite, who is obviously on a path of intimacy with her beloved, who "is like a roe or a young hart".(Songs 2:9)
In the Jewish Tradition, the Song of Solomon is to be interpreted as God's relationship with Israel, and indeed there are many clues to suggest this as Solomon's intent. A quote from the Midrash(rabbi's interpretations of Song of Solomon):
"'I am black but comely' (Songs 1. 5). So says the house of Israel: I
am, to my knowledge, black, yet my God considers me comely. I am truly
black with my deeds, but I am comely if the acts of my Patriarchs are
accounted to me. And in Egypt I was at times black and at times
comely. The same may be said about me concerning my position at the
Red Sea; there too I was both black and comely. Black, as the Psalmist
says: 'Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt, they
remembered not the multitude of thy mercies, but provoked at the sea,
even the Red Sea' (Ps. 106.). But I was comely at the Red Sea when I
said, 'He is my God, and I will prepare Him an habitation' (Exod.
Origen was probably the best known as one of the Early Church Fathers who identified the Song of Solomon,(Commentaries on the Song of Songs-Rufinus Translation, Prologue, Part I)
It seems to me that this little book is an epithalanium, that is to
say, a marriage-song which Solomon wrote in the form of a drama
and sang under the figure of a Bride, about to wed and burning
with heavenly love towards her Bridegroom, which is the Word of God.
The "Daughter's of Jerusalem" to whom the admonition
" 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."
are not only those who are sensitive to the Shulamite-indeed, like one of them, but also those who are awaiting the consolation of Israel. Interesting, in Luke 23:28, Jesus says,
"But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not
for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children."
Here, it is the "Daughters of Jerusalem" are stirred up, and weeping for their beloved; unlike those who previously yelled "Crucify Him, Crucify Him!"(vs 21)
This brings us to the "Antiphon"; they are not to be 'stirred up' until He appears. Again, it can mean that the soul is to patiently wait for God's invitation; and not search frantically like the Shulamite does in the following chapter. But here the special attention is on "Him" who arouses the desires of all the Daughters of Jerusalem, this picture is clearly seen when Jesus enters Jerusalem, "
And when he was come nigh , even now at the descent of the mount of
Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and
praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had
seen ; 38 Saying , Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the
Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest."(Luke 19:37-38)
This is the "son of David" indicated by the white donkey which was David's donkey, the one Solomon rode into Jerusalem on,
"Solomon to ride upon king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon. 39
And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and
anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said ,
God save king Solomon. 40 And all the people came up after him, and
the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the
earth rent with the sound of them."(1 Kings 1:39-40)
So this is who the Shulamite and the Daughters of Jerusalem arouse their love for.