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Some say Shulamite's beloved is Solomon. Some say it's another man

Shulamite asks her beloved to enter his garden:

Song of Solomon 4:16

Let my beloved come to his garden And eat its pleasant fruits

Then he replies:

Song of Solomon 5:1

I have come to my garden, my sister, my spouse; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk. Eat, O friends! Drink, yes, drink deeply, O beloved ones!

The beloved calls her "his spouse", it is hebrew word kallah meaning bride. It corresponds to the fact that it was Solomon's wedding day:

Song of Solomon 3:11

Go forth, O daughters of Zion, And see King Solomon with the crown With which his mother crowned him On the day of his wedding, The day of the gladness of his heart

There is no other male person in the Song of Solomon who is said to have a wedding day.

Also the beloved drinks wine and has a garden. So did Solomon:

Ecclesiastes 2:3-5

3 I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives. 4 I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards. 5 I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.

Although another man could have that.

Song of Solomon 6:8-9 about 60 queens and 80 concubines implies that it is about Solomon. It's obviously the king, not a simple shepherd. In Kings 11:3-4, Solomon's wives and princesses are 700 and his concubines are 300 and it's said right after that Solomon got old. In Song of Solomon, it is just the younger Solomon whose number of women hasn't grown yet to hundreds. He wouldn't get all 700 wives and concubines at once, but their number slowly grew over the years.

The beloved has horses in Egyptian chariots:

Song of Solomon 1:9

I have compared you, my love, To my filly among Pharaoh́s chariots.

Solomon had Egyptian chariots:

1 Kings 10:28-29

28 Also Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh; the king’s merchants bought them in Keveh at the current price. 29 Now a chariot that was imported from Egypt cost six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse one hundred and fifty; and thus, through their agents, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria.

2 Chronicles 9:25

And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.

Shulamite's beloved is shepherd (1:7). Could Solomon be a shepherd and king at the same time? In Ecclesiastes 2:7, Solomon says that he has a lot of cattle, however doesn't say who pastures it. Maybe he wasn't a shepherd as other people picture it. Maybe sometimes he could himself pasture it, but for him, it would be more like resting in nature, not work. That's not clear

Daughters of Jerusalem ask Shulamite:

Song of Solomon 5:9

What is your beloved More than another beloved, O fairest among women? What is your beloved More than another beloved, That you so charge us?

If it was Solomon would they even ask what is her beloved more than other beloved? A king is obviously more than other men. Asking that about a mere poor shepherd would be more obvious.

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  • In "The Unseen Husband", by Stephen Disraeli, it is understood that the name of Solomon masks the person of Israel's God, who is an even greater king, as well as being a shepherd at the same time. The questioners are followers of other gods. Jan 14 at 11:50

2 Answers 2

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All that we know about the Song of Songs, as far as authorship goes is as follows:

  1. the opening line (SS 1:1) ascribes the authorship to Solomon. The same person is also referenced in SS 1:5, 3:7, 3:7, 9, 11, 8:12.
  2. This "Solomon" is addressed and described as king in SS 3
  3. "Shulamite" is the feminine form of "Solomon", see SS 1:4, 6:13
  4. The traditional Hebrew author is Solomon.

It is for these reasons that many of believed that the Song of Solomon was simply a beautiful love poem about the courtship and wedding of King Solomon to one of his wives.

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So as not to give an answer based based on personal opinion, I will summarize the arguments pro and con.

Pro

The best argument in favor of Solomon's authorship is the fact that the Bible itself ascribes the book to him. This settles the matter for inerrantists. In addition, Solomon is often mentioned in the book, and the Bible elsewhere mentions him as an amazingly prolific writer of songs:

1 Kings 4

29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore... 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five.

Con

The arguments against Solomon's authorship have to do mainly with language, style and subject matter.

  • The style is less ancient than the time of Solomon, reflecting the time of Babylonian exile or later.
  • Much of the Song is written in the first person singular from the viewpoint of a woman, while Solomon himself is spoken of in the third person. (Song 1:5, 3:7-11, 8:11-12) This would be very surprising if the author was truly a king of the early Israelite monarchy.
  • The Song is a about a couple involved in an exclusive romantic relationship. ("My beloved is mine and I am his.") Solomon was famous for loving many women and having literally hundreds of wives and concubines.

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