THE THEME of the book is the quality of Divine love. It is illustrated in God’s love for His people Israel, whom He describes elsewhere as His ‘bride’ (see for example Isaiah 54:5–6). And it looks ahead to the love of Christ for his bride—the community of believers—which is to be fully realised when he returns to earth.
Christ’s Love for His Bride
The book is in the form of speeches by various characters: a woman who is called the Shulamite, a shepherd and a king. It also involves groups of women, watchmen and other characters. Some editions of the Bible insert before each section the name of the speaker, although it’s not always possible to be certain who is speaking.
The love of the bridegroom for his bride, and her response, is beautifully portrayed in this tender allegory, pointing forward to the love of Christ for his true followers and their devotion to him. The intimate relationship which will exist between them is likened in the Song to that between the dove and its mate, which is a lifelong partnership (2:14).
The Marriage Feast
The return of the Bridegroom (i.e. the return of Christ) will be followed by the perfecting of the Bride, when faithful followers of Christ will be made both sinless and immortal. Thus the words of 4:7 will be made true: “You are all fair, my love, and there is no spot in you.” The ‘marriage of the Lamb’ to his Bride can take place, as foretold in Revelation 19:6–8. This means they will be united, both in immortality and in outlook, with Christ and also with God Himself (see John 17:21).
Together, the Bridegroom and the Bride will inherit the Promised Land: this will extend to the whole earth. Paradise will be restored and all creation will rejoice.
By kind permission of ‘The Christadelphian’
Some interesting links with other parts of the Bible
Song 1:3, 12—see John 12:3.
Song 4:7—see Ephesians 5:25–27.
Song 5:16—see Psalm 45:11; Isaiah 33:17; John 1:14.