Question:Do you believe just in the view that the Song of Solomon is only about Solomon and a young woman he marries, as in your study, along with the other wives he had? Or do you think there is more to it? I was wondering what your opinion on that was? By the way for a study like that, how long does it take you to write it?
As I explained in the introduction, there are three basic views toward the Song of Solomon:
- A story about a young woman who marries King Solomon.
- A three-way love story of a young woman making up her mind whether to marry the king or a shepherd whom she really loves.
- An allegory of Christ and the church.
The allegory view doesn't fit many of the passages in Song of Solomon. While you can pull many parallels because the church is the bride of Christ, the whole of Song of Solomon doesn't match as an allegory.
To gain the three-way love story, you have to state that the poem is not presented in time order. Each scene jumps you either forward or backwards in time. I've found this to be highly awkward and not obvious. You have to have the plot line in your head first, that various elements in the story are sliced out separately and applied to the plot line.
The story about a young woman marrying King Solomon is creates a very smooth plot line. The scenes are in time order. Various subtle foreshadowing and puns come into play. In other words, it becomes a very unified story. The only thing that is awkward is the fact that Solomon already had multiple wives when he married this woman. It grates on our sensibility that there can be this deep of love when one involved is a polygamous.
All of my studies are done in stages. I will come up with a study topic and teach it using a rough outline and a set of questions for handouts. The next time I teach the same material, I will write up my notes in full. Then sometime latter I will re-read and edit the workbook. Finally, I'll see about getting copies printed. The Song of Solomon study took about six months to write, but I continue to improve it. For instance, three years ago I taught this in a meeting in upstate New York and in preparation I added numerous pictures to the text to illustrate what was being talked about. The Ezekiel study took a year to write and teach the rough outline. I don't know when I'll be writing it up in full. My current study on the Gospel accounts is heading into its third year and is being written out in full.