This outline of Song of Solomon is intended to assist you as you dig into God’s letter to you. May you come to know Him more deeply as you study.
Like Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon has been the subject of a great deal of discussion. There have been more differing interpretations of this book than any other. Aben Ezra, the Jewish commentator of the 12th century, considered the book to represent the history of the Jews from Abraham to the Messiah. Others have seen the bride as “Wisdom.” Still others see it as a celebration of the restoration of Mosaic worship by Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah, or the relationship of God to Israel, or God to the church. Martin Luther maintained that it was figurative of Solomon’s civil government. And others assert that it means nothing more than physical love, dividing as to whether it describes love before marriage or after marriage.
My view is that it describes both wedded love and true love between Christ and the church. I believe that it is this picture that Paul picks up in Ephesians 5.
Date: 950 B.C.
(It would be tempting to put this at the beginning of Solomon’s reign because of the intensity of the love described. However, 6:8 tells us that there were 60 queens and 80 concubines. At the end of Solomon’s reign, he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Therefore, I place it about the center of his reign.)
I. The author. vs. 1
II. He Brought Me. (1:4; 2:4) 1:2-2:7
- The Shulamite’s delight in love. vs. 2-3
- The Shulamite is taken into the king’s private chambers. vs. 4
- The Shulamite addresses the daughters of Jerusalem. vs. 5-6
- The Shulamite addresses Solomon. vs. 7
- Solomon’s answer. vs. 8-11
- The Shulamite’s daydream. vs. 12-14
- Solomon is captivated. vs. 15-2:2
- The Shulamite is lovesick. vs. 2:3-7
III. I Brought Him. (3:4) 2:8-3:5
- She hears his voice as he comes as a shepherd to her room. 2:8-17
- She seeks him. 3:1-5
IV. He Came. (3:6-11; 5:1) 3:6-5:1
- Solomon comes as the kingly bridegroom. 3:6-11
- Solomon describes his intense longing for her. 4:1-15
- She invites him to come and enjoy love. 4:16
- He comes. 5:1
V. I long for you. (5:6-8; 6:12-13; 7:10; 8:1-2) 5:2-8:4
- She fails to respond when he calls and he goes to his garden and she panics. 5:2-8
- She describes her beloved as altogether lovely. 5:9-6:3
- He misses her and pours out his infatuation for her. 6:4-7:9
- She invites him to come. 7:10-8:4
VI. Love’s strength. 8:5-14
- The Shulamite’s statement on love. 8:5-10
- The Shulamite’s invitation. 8:6-14
Love. The word “ahav” means “love,” as in the sense of the Greek “agape” (the inclination of the mind; of God’s love) and it occurs 18 times.
The word “dodem” is found 36 times and means love with a delight or more affection, akin to the Greek “phileo.” Together, they are found 54 times, six times per chapter.
Key Passage: Song of Solomon 2:16; 6:3; 7:10
Key Lesson: Love entails passion.