Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: Why Is the Song of Solomon in the Bible?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

It has been a fascinating mystery for those who love the Bible: why is the Song of Solomon there? Is it just a personal love poem worthy to be forgotten? Or could it be buried truth yet to enlighten the world?

Solid New Testament scholarship has discovered that none less than the Lord Jesus Christ has set our course in understanding. Contrary to the assumptions of theologians who have said that this book is never quoted in the New Testament, it is quoted by Jesus Himself; but the problem has been that He quoted the Septuagint (LXX) version, the Greek translation that He and the apostles often used.

It's especially in two prominent places:

"Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'" (John 7:37, 38).

"The Scripture"? Where?

The only place one can find it is in Song of Solomon 4:9-15, "You have ravished my heart, ... a garden enclosed, ... a spring shut up, a fountain sealed, ... a well of living waters." This is the New Covenant joy that fulfills God's promise to Abraham (and us) that wherever we go, "You shall be a blessing" (Gen. 12:2). A promise to redeem any life from boredom!

Again, in the words of Jesus to the leadership of the last-days' remnant church He quotes Song of Solomon: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone [tis, a certain one, Greek] hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in ..." (Rev. 3:19, 20). It's the Greek of Song of Solomon 5:2 (the Hebrew doesn't have "at the door"): the unfeeling girl has gone to bed, is in that twilight zone between sleep and waking, "I sleep, but my heart is awake; It is the voice of my beloved! He knocks ..." And here the LXX adds, epi ten thuran, "at the door." Jesus saw Himself there!

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 13, 2006.
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