As I read the Songs of Solomon, I can't help wondering if King Solomon was dark in complexion or something, when he said,

"Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept." (Songs of Solomon 1:6)

Was he speaking metaphorically or he was actually black in complexion? Why did he say "because I am black"?

  • 1
  • 1
    There is an allusion in the fact of skin darkening under the sun. The Bride has been in the world, she has been under the sun, she has experienced time, she is of the earth. She wishes that she had ever been with the Bridegroom, that she had had the same mother, that she had never been different. This is the Song of songs - a song of loves beyond all others,
    – Nigel J
    Nov 23 '18 at 13:57

Before reading the Song of Songs, one has to determine who is speaking. This is usually not difficult as the verbs and nouns in Hebrew have gender characteristics. Most versions help by providing headings on the basis of the gender of the nouns. The NIV and ESV do this well.

The speakers in the first chapter of the Song of Songs (from the above versions) are as follows:

v1: Heading

V2-4a: Bride (she)

v4b: Friends

v5-7: Bride (she)

v8-10: Bridegroom (he)

v11: Friends

v12-14 Bride (she)

v15: Bridegroom (he)

v16-17: Bride (she)

Thus, v6 is spoken by the Shulamite (a woman/bride) who appears to have been dark skinned, or at least thoroughly sun-tanned.


Yes he was dark complexioned, but he did not say he was black. The Shulamite said that.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.