Love prologue (Song 1:2-1:4)

Female lover

“Let him kiss me

With the kisses of his mouth!

Your love is better than wine.

Your anointing oils are fragrant.

Your name is perfume poured out.

Therefore the maidens love you.

Draw me after you.

Let us make haste.

The king has brought me

Into his chambers.

We will exult in you.

We will rejoice in you.

We will extol your love

More than wine.

Rightly do they love you.”

The opening prologue to this poetic love song is uttered by the female lover. These few verses are assigned to a female writer. This woman longs for her male lover. She wants him to kiss her on the mouth. His love is greater than wine. His oils are fragrant, sweet smelling. His name is like a poured out perfume. Obviously then, many maidens love him. However, she wants him to hurry up and bring her to his royal chambers because he seems to be the king or at least a prince. Together they would exult and rejoice in him. Once again, his love was greater than wine. It was obvious why the young girls loved him. This romantic love tale has been interpreted as an allegorical love between Yahweh and Israel, or later by the Christians as Christ and his church. However, the basic story is what it is.

The anointed one (Ps 45:6-45:9)

“Your throne!

O God!

Endures forever and ever.

Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity.

You love righteousness.

You hate wickedness.

Therefore God,

Your God!

Has anointed you

With the oil of gladness.

Thus you are beyond your companions.

Your robes are all fragrant

With myrrh, aloes, and cassia.

From ivory palaces

Stringed instruments make you glad.

Daughters of kings are

Among your ladies of honor.

At your right hand

Stands the queen in gold of Ophir.”

Is this throne the throne of God or the king that endures forever? Once again, the scribe psalmist treats the king like a mini-god. The royal crown helps insure equality. Then we have the famous saying about being anointed with the oil of gladness that had such a resonance with Christian prayers about anointing. This is a royal anointing of the new king. This new king was beyond his companions. His robes were fragrant or smelly. They were filled with myrrh, aloes, and cassia. Myrrh was an aromatic perfume from the Asian bushes. Aloes was a bitter tasting leaf that was used in perfumes. Cassia is an Asian evergreen tree with an aromatic bark that also was used in perfumes. Ivory and stringed instruments were also there. All this adds to the concept of wealth. Of course stringed instruments and beautiful ladies of honor were also added to the scene. Then there was queen in her gold from the mysterious unknown but often mentioned Ophir.