A few objections against Solomon being the bridegroom are that Solomon was a king, not a shepherd (1:7), that he had hundreds of wives (versus 6:9, remembering that Solomon's first wife was an Egyptian princess and cannot have been the Shulamite), and that he was not a good role model for marriage (whether or not we take the book allegorically). Are these or any other objections strong enough to say that Solomon is not the bridegroom in the Song of Solomon?

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    I could type another 'this can't be answered' answer here, but I'm not sure you'd appreciate. If you think he wrote it, he could certainly have metaphored himself, Marie-Antoinette-like, into the role of a 'simple shepherd'.
    – user947
    Oct 28 '13 at 23:06
  • I understand that the Song of Solomon is a difficult book and that scholarly opinion is divided. But if this question, so central for the interpretation of the entire book, cannot be answered, then we are basically saying that the original intention of the author cannot be understood. And this problem can really be extrapolated to any book: "Did the apostles call Jesus the son of God to indicate his literal divinity, or to contrast him against the emperors who were also sons of God?" "Scholarly opinion is divided, and we can't know the original intent of the authors."
    – Niobius
    Oct 29 '13 at 7:54
  • Few would agree to such an answer - hermeneutics, and by extension this forum, is meaningful because authorial intent is knowable.
    – Niobius
    Oct 29 '13 at 7:55
  • To quote IA Richards, "How many children had lady MacBeth?" You're asking about whether the author intended to convey something that is, I think, nowhere in the text at all. I wouldn't know where to start.
    – user947
    Oct 29 '13 at 21:49
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    FWIW I thought this was a good question, well worded and researched, and worth investigating and attempting to answer. Time prohibits me from doing so, but I hope someone will.
    – Jas 3.1
    Nov 8 '13 at 4:33

The Song of Solomon is attributed to Solomon as the author according to verse 1. It is clear to scholars if Solomon is actually speaking from experience. It is more likely that he wrote about the idea romance and the people are supposed to be archetypes. The name of the bride is "Shulamit" (7:1). It has the same hebrew root as Salomon and therefore it is suggested that she it can be translated with "the one of Salomon". It is the female Version of the name Salomon. It can be seen as the bride belonging to Salomo and that he is the actual bridegroom. Or that they are both archetypes like similar to the use of man ('ish) and woman ('isha) in Genesis 2:28 ("[...] she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”)

However the rabbis say that the book symbolizes the relationship of GOD with Israel and the church alternatively said that it symbolizes the relationship of GOD with the church.

  • Welcome! Be sure to take our site tour to learn more about us. Where do they say this (last paragraph about rabbis and 'the church')? Please cite sources.
    – Dan
    Mar 30 '14 at 14:30

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