The Wisdom of the Song of Songs: A Pastoral Guide for Preaching and Teaching | Eric Ortlund

This article explores the way in which the Song of Songs instructs its readers in wisdom with regard to romance and marriage. Although neither a straightforward narrative or a simple set of instructions, the poetry of the Song does portray God’s ideal for human love. Special attention is given to the importance of waiting (2:7, 3:5, 8:4), the climactic place of marriage and the subordinate (though still good) role of physical sexuality, the role of the woman, and the non-ultimacy of marriage. The spiritual significance of human romance as a “flame of the Lord” (8:6) is finally discussed with special reference to the sweeping changes in Western sexuality morality in recent decades, and the way in which the Bible’s narrative about love and sexuality is simultaneously more realistic and more beautiful than recent humanly-constructed alternatives. Attention is given throughout to the particular way in which the Song communicates, by adorning and beautifying its subject through poetry, rather than through direct commands. [Read More]