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The second half of Song of Solomon is easier to follow than the first (in my opinion), a rough outline is:

  • 5:2- the bride sleeps the groom knocks outside
  • 5:6 but he is gone
  • 5:7-8 she travels across the city getting in trouble
  • 5:9 -16 the women of the city challenge her in her devoted search for her beloved.
  • 6-8 she finds him in the garden, and they converse

However, a lot of the commentators see the phrase in 5:2, "I slept but my heart was awake" as meaning I was dreaming, and this next section is a dream I am not sure when the dream ends.

Is the dream only of her husband knocking? Is the travel narrative real? Is the dream, her beloved knocking and then her travel across the city? Then is the scene in the garden real? If so how did she get there? Is the rest of the book a dream?

2 Answers 2

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There have been many (very many) ways to analyze and structure the erotic poem that is the Song of Solomon. I have given one in the appendix below.

According to the chiastic structure below, the second dream sequence goes from 5:2-7. The rest follows as shown below and created to make a very memorable sequence.

APPENDIX - Chiastic Structure of the Song of Solomon

A: Song 1:2-2:2

  • Wife's desire for he husband (1:2)
  • Solomon named (1:5)
  • "my own vineyard" (1:6)
  • "silver" (1:11)
  • "My breasts" (1:13)
  • Evaluation of her (favorable) (1:15, 16)
  • Cedar (1:17)

B: Song 2:3-17

  • The apple tree (2:3-5)
  • Charge to the Jerusalem girls (2:6, 7)
  • The beloved visits her home (2:8, 9)
  • His invitation to an outing (2:10-15)
  • Marriage covenant formula (2:16)

C: Song 3:1 - 4:15

  • Dream 1: search-encounter (3:1-4)
  • Charge to Jerusalem girls (3:5)
  • Praise of Solomon's procession (3:6-10)
  • Wedding scene (3:11)
  • Praise of bride's beauty (4:1-7)
  • Praise of Bride's character (4:8-15)

D: Song 4:16

  • Her invitation (4;16)

D': Song 5:1

  • His response (5:1)

C': Song 5:2 - 7:9

  • Dream 2: encounter-search (5:2-7)
  • Charge to Jerusalem girls (5:8)
  • Praise of Solomon's person (5:9-6:3)
  • Praise of bride's character (6:4-10)
  • Dance of Mahanaim (6:11-13)
  • Praise of bride's beauty (7:1-9)

B': Song 7:10 - 8:5

  • Marriage covenant formula (7:10)
  • Her invitation to an outing (7:11-13)
  • A wish that he mighty visit her home (8:1, 2)
  • Charge to Jerusalem girls (8:3, 4)
  • The apple tree (8:5)

A': Song 8:6-14

  • Evaluation of her (unfavorable) (8:8, 9)
  • "My breasts" (8:10)
  • "Silver" (8:11)
  • "My own vineyard" (8:12)
  • Solomon named (8:12)
  • Wife's desire for her husband (8:14)
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Song of Solomon 5:

2 I slept but my heart was awake.

This signifies what follows is a dream sequence.

Listen! My beloved is knocking:
“Open to me, my sister, my darling, ...

6 I opened for my beloved,
but my beloved had left; he was gone.

Her lover disappears in her dream. Then she goes out to look for him. But instead,

7 The watchmen found me
as they made their rounds in the city.
They beat me, they bruised me;
they took away my cloak,
those watchmen of the walls!

Before things would get any worse, the dream ends. Now back to reality:

8 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you—
if you find my beloved,
what will you tell him?
Tell him I am faint with love.

She has recounted her dream to her female companions.

When does the dream in Song of Solomon end?

The dream that starts at 5:2 ends at 5:7.

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