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"?

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    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, 2018 at 13:57

4 Answers 4


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.


The woman is speaking in ch1 vv5-6.

The fact that she is dark-skinned is a social indicator. It means that she belongs to the "peasant" class, working outdoors all the time, as keeper of vineyards (v6) or keeper of goats (v8) or possibly managing both jobs at the same time.

She expects the "daughters of Jerusalem" to look down on her (v6) for social reasons. They are presumably the upper-class girls who are allowed to spend their time indoors without doing much work, so the sun won't affect them quite so much.

The social valuation of fair skin over sun-tanned skin was probably reversed only as an effect of the Industrial Revolution, when the former peasant girls got shut up in the factories and grew pale, while the wealthy girls could afford to take the train and spend the winter on the Riviera.


Solomon was Black and so was many other prophets, such as Moses. Current day Jews who look White or who are White may not want to hear this, but the evidences of the Blackness and African Origin of many prophets whom the Jews and Christians revere is overwhelming. To God, skin colour or nationality is not an aspect of respect or favour. It is the choice of God who creates as He wills. To some foolish men, it is one way of feeling better and dominating others. Yes, Solomon was BLACK. The proof is in the song and in many other books.

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