March 4, 2011

The Song of Solomon

Whew... I never thought I'd say this but certain parts of the Bible get a bit steamy. I'm not even kidding, most of this book is about a very naughty girl having very naughty dreams. It's also really beautifully written. There are some really romantic parts that I bet the boys at Bible camp could pitch some pretty impressive woo with. I know if I ever end up attracted to the offspring of Christian Conservatives I am going to whip this book right out (pun possibly intended).

As you can guess this is a song book and it goes into some detail about love, sex and longing for the opposite sex. Some verses were syrupy sweet (Song of Solomon 8:6-7):
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
Some were destined to be Friday Facebook status updates (Song of Solomon 5:1):
Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love.
Some made my jaw drop with shocking eroticism (Song of Solomon 5:4-5):
My beloved thrust his hand into the opening, and my inmost being yearned for him. I arose to open to my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, upon the handles of the bolt. 
Pretty intense stuff, no? Another interesting thing is that God isn't mentioned in this book at all. To be honest I'm a little surprised this book is in the Bible at all. According to the introduction to the book, the Song of Solomon is an allegory for our longing to have Jesus' love inside us (horrible pun shamefully intended). I find that explanation to be a bit sketchy and get the feeling that long ago some Rabbi's wife caught her husband reading it and quick thinker that he was came up with the allegory story. 

Overall, I have to say that I've been both surprised and pleased with the last few books of the Bible. I'm happy to find out that there is a diversity of opinions and subject matter besides all the hell and brimstone you find from Genesis to Job.

I decided to read the Bible a few years ago. Not as an angry atheist with an ax to grind, nor as a crazed evangelical looking to spread the word of God. I'm reading it from the perspective of a level-headed man that's curious what the most influential book in history has to say. These are some of my thoughts on the experience. Click here to read some previous entries.


  1. Whoa, that 3rd one was intense. I need to read the other entries too now! I so wanna read the Bible, for the same reasons as you, as a level headed person reading the most influential book in history.

  2. The Bible is a great work of literature ... it seems somehow blasphemous to say that (the Catholic schoolgirl I once was is cringing), but it's true. Great story. Great characters. Great ... double entendres (but come on, aren't most allegories double entendres when you get right down to it?)

    Thanks for sharing :-)

  3. It's all interesting reading. A great story. Good for you - taking it on with your niewpoint. I am a recovering catholic so have issues (really?)...

  4. This explains why all of the churchy ladies I know read Harlequin novels. I'm sure it's all allegorical too :)

  5. I know! I couldn't believe it when I first read this book of the Bible!

  6. Isn't there supposedly a book written about what Mary Magdelene and Jesus were getting up to, hidden away in the darkest depths of the Vatican?

  7. Wow. Never knew this side of it! =)

  8. I tried to read the bible, but it's just so hard at the beginning.

    Someone told me to start with the interesting parts, so maybe I should do.

    The Bible was always shocking, that's what it's for. Back then it was pure horror in some places. So I think your extracts are perfectly fit in this world today. (Still a bit scary)
    Nahno ∗ McLein

  9. i cannot believe you managed to find something interesting in the bible. i really can't.

    you've inspired me, christopher allen...

  10. Yeah, there's this whole nifty thing that happens in various religions where poets and other writers kind of insert lover/God interchangeably into their work.

    "Song of Songs" gets used in every church wedding ever. If I were a minister, I would ban couples from being able to use it as a reading in their weddings, because... enough is enough!

    It always reminds me of that "South Park" episode where Cartman forms a Christian band by simply changing the word "girl" to "God" in various pop songs.

    One of my favorite singers is a Sufi Muslim mystic named Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and although I don't know Urdu, I'm told his songs can be interpreted as being about love of God OR a woman.

    I like your biblical entries here.

  11. I saw a part of the tale of Solomon and the Dance of the Dancing of the Dance of the 7 veils.

    The play was The Wonders of Sex. This explains EVERYTHING!!

  12. Wow. It's been a long time since I've perused the Bible. Think I need to go back for another read. ;)


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