The Song of Solomon
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The Song of Solomon Art

Eroticism in the Holy Bible

Song of Solomon: Chapter 1
1. The song of songs, which is Solomon's.
2. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.
3. Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.
4. Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.
5. I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
6. 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.
7. Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?
8. If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents.
9. I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots.
10. Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.
11. We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver.
12. While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.
13. A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.
14. My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.
15. Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes.
16. Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.
17. The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.

Song of Solomon: Chapter 2
1. I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
2. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
3. As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
4. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
5. Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.
6. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.
7. I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.
8. The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.
9. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.
10. My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
11. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
12. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
13. The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
14. O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.
15. Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
16. My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.
17. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.

Word to the Wise: Travel the world, eat lots of strange foods, visit all the places you want to see, collect lots of cheap postcards and then go home and live a long healthy life! Make Love Not War!

The Song of Solomon Art

Song of Solomon: Chapter 3
1. By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.
2. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.
3. The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?
4. It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.
5. I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.
6. Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?
7. Behold his bed, which is Solomon's; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel.
8. They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night.
9. King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon.
10. He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem.
11. Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.

Song of Solomon: Chapter 4
1. Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.
2. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.
3. Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.
4. Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.
5. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.
6. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.
7. Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.
8. Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.
9. Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.
10. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!
11. Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.
12. A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.
13. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,
14. Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:
15. A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.
16. Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

The Song of Solomon Art

Song of Solomon: Chapter 5
1. I am come into 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, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.
2. I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.
3. I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?
4. My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.
5. I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.
6. I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.
7. The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.
8. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.
9. What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?
10. My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.
11. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.
12. His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.
13. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.
14. His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.
15. His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.
16. His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

Song of Solomon: Chapter 6
1. Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.
2. My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.
3. I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.
4. Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.
5. Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead.
6. Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them.
7. As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks.
8. There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.
9. My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.
10. Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?
11. I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished and the pomegranates budded.
12. Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.
13. Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

Song of Solomon: Chapter 7
1. How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.
2. Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.
3. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.
4. Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.
5. Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.
6. How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!
7. This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.
8. I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;
9. And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.
10. I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.
11. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.
12. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.
13. The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.

Song of Solomon: Chapter 8
1. O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.
2. I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.
3. His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.
4. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.
5. Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.
6. Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
7. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
8. We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?
9. If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.
10. I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.
11. Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.
12. My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.
13. Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it.
14. Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.

The Sensual Eroticism of the Song of Solomon

The Song of Solomon Art

By Charles Moffat - May 2011.

If you've ever read "The Song of Solomon" you might have asked 'What is this type of writing doing in the Bible?'¯ Most people would not expect to find such explicit, yet highly poetic, descriptions of a sexuality and lovemaking in the Holy Bible.

Depending on whom you talk to "The Song of Solomon" is literary smut¯ but it is also one of the greatest examples of historical erotica. As a book in the Bible it celebrates sexuality as the most beautiful act a husband and wife can do together, a celebration of "God's Creation". In that line of thinking, eroticism itself (if done with poetic finesse and imagination) can be seen as a celebration of "God's Creation".

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine" says the female poet. Later she says "bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts."¯

If you read between the lines of The Song of Solomon you will notice that in Chapters 2 to 3, oral sex appears to be described: "the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste."

The male poet, Solomon, says, "Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.... Thou has ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou has ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.... Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue."

Solomon describes his beloved as "a garden", presumably a reference to her bushy pubic hair and her fruit-like breasts.

His female lover writes "Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat its pleasant fruits."¯

Its pretty obvious then they're meant to enjoy oral sex.

The Song of Solomon Art

These poetic and metaphorical descriptions of intimacy lead us back to the question as to why this type of writing is in the Bible? The answer is because mankind is supposed to be "fruitful and multiply", because marriage isn't just a symbol before 'God', because marriage is also a sanctuary for lovemaking, and this lovemaking is both a celebration of the human body, and an act for creating children.

It is presumable that 'God' would wish children to be born from lovemaking, and not from rape or rampant fornication.

At the time the Holy Bible was put together it was previously just a collection of stories. Evidently the people deciding which chapters should go in it had a lengthy discussion about how prudish a book they were making. They wanted to off-set some of the more anti-sex ideas in the book with a chapter that celebrated sex. This was a conscious decision to endorse lovemaking and eroticism.

It also says something about the nature of sex of lovemaking. The moment of ecstasy is a moment wherein the whole body, the whole mind, is caught in rapture. It is perhaps no surprise therefore that many people in the moment of orgasm cry out "OH GOD!"

We should note that at the time the Song of Solomon they lived in a fairly liberal culture where both common peasants and the wealthy ran amok having sex with one another. True, they knew the dangers of sexuality, like pregnancy and the STDs of the time, but it was not a 'wholly anti-sexual culture'. Rather it was surprisingly knowledgeable about what causes babies to be born and had learned methods of effective contraception (likely finishing with oral sex or pulling out at the opportune moment).

At such a time we know that prostitution was a constant and that it was also vitally important that sexually transmitted diseases be kept to a minimum which may explain the many warnings in Proverbs and other Biblical passages against fornicating with "the strange woman" and "the harlot".

But while fornication was frowned upon, lovemaking within the sanctity of marriage was actually encouraged because it increases the chances of faithfulness and reduces adultery (which leads to other problems).

Eroticism therefore was not feared by ancient cultures but celebrated for increasing fertility and faithfulness between lovers. The Song of Solomon however is not about fertility of faithfulness however. It is a celebration of lovemaking's ability to give pleasure and to enrich the lives of those we love. It was created by and for people who savored the pleasures of the flesh and was meant to be enjoyed within marriage.

The Song of Solomon can also be appreciated as a larger metaphor. Some people see it as symbolizing the relationship of God to Israel, of Jesus Christ to the Christian Church, etc.

In the end The Song of Solomon is enduring testimony to the pleasures of lovemaking. While it is said that poets make good lovers, we can only assume Solomon was a great one.

See Also:

  • Is Suicide Spiritual Starvation?
  • Patenting Marriage
  • Searching for the Pagan Goddess
  • The Christian Art History Archive
  • Abraham to Zacharias: Christian Art by Topic

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