November 22

Reading: Song of Solomon 5

1   I came to my garden, my sister, my bride,

     I gathered my myrrh with my spice,

     I ate my honeycomb with my honey,

     I drank my wine with my milk.

     Eat, friends,

     drink, and be drunk with love!


2   I slept, but my heart was awake.

     A sound! My beloved is knocking.

     “Open to me, my sister, my love,

     my dove, my perfect one,

     for my head is wet with dew,

     my locks with the drops of the night.”

3   I had put off my garment;

     how could I put it on?

     I had bathed my feet;

     how could I soil them?

4   My beloved put his hand to the latch,

     and my heart was thrilled within me.

5   I arose to open to my beloved,

     and my hands dripped with myrrh,

     my fingers with liquid myrrh,

     on the handles of the bolt.

6   I opened to my beloved,

     but my beloved had turned and gone.

     My soul failed me when he spoke.

     I sought him, but found him not;

     I called him, but he gave no answer.

7   The watchmen found me as they went about in the city;

     they beat me, they bruised me,

     they took away my veil,

     those watchmen of the walls.

8   I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,

     if you find my beloved,

     that you tell him

     I am sick with love.


9   What is your beloved more than another beloved,

     O most beautiful among women?

     What is your beloved more than another beloved,

     that you thus adjure us?


10 My beloved is radiant and ruddy,

     distinguished among ten thousand.

11 His head is the finest gold;

     his locks are wavy,

     black as a raven.

12 His eyes are like doves

     beside streams of water,

     bathed in milk,

     sitting beside a full pool.

13 His cheeks are like beds of spices,

     mounds of sweet-smelling herbs.

     His lips are lilies,

     dripping liquid myrrh.

14 His arms are rods of gold,

     set with jewels.

     His body is polished ivory,

     bedecked with sapphires.

15 His legs are alabaster columns,

     set on bases of gold.

     His appearance is like Lebanon,

     choice as the cedars.

16 His mouth is most sweet,

     and he is altogether desirable.

     This is my beloved and this is my friend,

     O daughters of Jerusalem.


After the words of the groom in verse 1, the rest of chapter 5 contains the words of the bride.

She is waiting for him.  He wants to come to her and to be with her. (vs. 2)  She is doing everything to prepare herself for him.  Then something happens. (vs. 6)  She is about to open her door to him and welcome him into her bedroom when he is forced to leave.  Maybe he has had a matter of state arise.  Possibly he is called off to war.  Duty or work takes him away from the woman he loves.  So, then she goes out looking for him.  Her anguish and longing for her husband is known to all those who know her.  She misses him.

In verse 9, the people of the city interrupt her longings and searching for him, “Won’t another man do?  What is so special about this guy you love?”

Then she breaks into song, singing of the qualities and desirability of her husband.  She praises how he looks and, at the very end, says, “This is my beloved and this is my friend.”  Women, do you praise how your husband looks?  Do you admire aloud his handsomeness?  It is good for you and for him that you do so.  You honor him in so doing.

Men like to know that their wives think they are strong, attractive, and that he has a pleasing aroma.  Those who make television commercials know this.  Shouldn’t we?

Martin Luther wrote, “Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.”  You need to think about how you can accomplish this.  It is worth it.