The Song of Solomon: An Invitation to Intimacy

Overview

Our culture holds the megaphone when it comes to talking about sex today. Yet the church has maintained a reputation for keeping quiet, hesitant to teach people about this sacred aspect of life. The Song of Solomon, however, holds nothing back as it sings loudly about the holy practice of sexuality and pushes us into the conversation with godly theology.

While this biblical text has been subject to a broader range of interpretation probably than any other book in the Bible, ...

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Overview

Our culture holds the megaphone when it comes to talking about sex today. Yet the church has maintained a reputation for keeping quiet, hesitant to teach people about this sacred aspect of life. The Song of Solomon, however, holds nothing back as it sings loudly about the holy practice of sexuality and pushes us into the conversation with godly theology.

While this biblical text has been subject to a broader range of interpretation probably than any other book in the Bible, Wisdom Literature expert Doug O’Donnell offers this comprehensible guide to help uncoil its complexities and solve its riddles. He explores the poetry, themes, and wisdom of this song from a Christocentric perspective, and gives us a profound, rich, and witty reflection that encourages right thinking and behavior.

Showing how this “song of songs” is meant to teach us about biblical sexuality and God’s heart for his people, O’Donnell elucidates on the greatest subject of all time—love.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

“Doug O’Donnell is becoming one of the most edifying pastors of our time. I heartily recommend this wise and winsome set of comments on a biblical book beloved by many Christians through the ages but sorely neglected in the present. May God use this commentary to renew the courage of pastors in preaching the Song of Solomon once again.”
Douglas A. Sweeney, Professor of Church History, Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“The wisest man this side of the incarnate Christ, inspired by the Holy Spirit, on a topic that always grabs attention, in poetry, in the Bible—could it get any better than the Song of Songs? You won't want to miss Doug O’Donnell’s exposition of the most sublime song.”
James M. Hamilton Jr., Associate Professor of Biblical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment

“Song of Solomon is a delicate portion of Scripture, and Christians in our sex-crazed culture desperately need a biblical perspective on love and intimacy. Doug O’Donnell is a thoughtful, knowledgeable, reliable guide to this seldom-preached book. O’Donnell is himself a poet and scholar, sensitive to both the art and academic rigors of Solomon’s Song. He hits the mark of being exegetically accurate, thoroughly canonical, and boldly Christological.”
James A. Johnston, Senior Pastor, Tulsa Bible Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma

“These days the Song of Solomon is often treated on the one hand as merely a manual of practical teaching about sex and relationships that says nothing about Christ or, on the other hand, as a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church that says nothing to the marriages of ordinary men and women. Doug O’Donnell has given us a masterful exposition that unfolds the book’s very real wisdom for human relationships in a way that constantly and without allegory points us to the gospel. Highly recommended!”
Iain M. Duguid, Professor of Old Testament, Grove City College; author, Numbers (Preaching the Word Commentary Series)

“It is a rare commentary that stirs the emotions. But then it makes sense that a commentary that ably presents the Song of Solomon would lead the reader not only to think deeply, but also to feel deeply and to worship whole-heartedly. O’Donnell’s insights are fresh, clear, and personal, equipping readers to communicate the love of Christ for his bride from this ancient book in a compelling way.”
Nancy Guthrie, Bible Teacher; author, Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament Bible study series

“Our culture treats sex as an idol and the church often treats it as a taboo, rarely talking about it. This situation is a formula for disaster. We need more preaching and teaching in our churches, and the Song of Songs is an essential biblical resource that God has given us to lead us toward a godly theology and holy practice of sexuality. Doug O’Donnell has given us a profound, rich, and witty reflection on the Song that will encourage depth of understanding and motivation for right thinking and behavior. I recommend this book enthusiastically for everyone, but particularly on those who preach and teach the book in a church context.”
Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

“Doug O’Donnell unfolds the Song of Solomon with personal and pastoral delight—and with attention to the poetic text and the biblical context. Into his exposition are woven warm-hearted exhortations, rich literary allusions, and a great deal of wit. This volume helps us celebrate the Bible’s celebration of married love.”
Kathleen B. Nielson, Director of Women’s Initiatives, The Gospel Coalition

“Simply brilliant! This is the book on the Song of Solomon I’ve been waiting for—funny, moving, powerful, provocative, rigorously faithful to the text, and utterly Christ-centered. Doug O’Donnell explains and applies this trickiest of books in a way which is always fresh, responsible, and captivating. As you read, you will be delighted and deeply challenged, and you will gasp at the incredible intimacy which God gives to his people, both in marriage and in knowing him forever. I know of no more helpful work on the Song of Solomon.”
J. Gary Millar, Principal, Queensland Theological College; author, Now Choose Life

“How absolutely refreshing, challenging, and affirming is Pastor O’Donnell’s in-depth study of this love song—this Middle Eastern, centuries-old, wedding song celebrating the truly free love between a man and a woman in marriage. It is God’s provision to sustain loving marriages and renew loveless ones. This Song was written to give wisdom to the unmarried to wait and to give the married the wisdom to warm up to each other again and again. Pastor O’Donnell lays down his own soul and writes in places, not only expositorily but also experientially, and the reader gasps. Here is a man who is as tender and as bold as the author of the Song of Songs. So with testimony and Biblical insight we are wonderfully led to the gospel, to God-breathed love that changes everything.”
Wendell Hawley, Pastor emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois; author, A Pastor Prays for His People

“Douglas O’Donnell has a special gift in integrating careful exegesis, poetic sensitivity, theological reflection, and relevant application, all seasoned with vivid language and winsome humor. His commentary on the Song of Solomon opens up the richness of this delightful book, which unfortunately is too little preached and too little understood today.”
Daniel J. Estes, Distinguished Professor of Old Testament, Cedarville University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433523380
  • Publisher: Crossway Books
  • Publication date: 11/30/2012
  • Series: Preaching the Word Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,381,400
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Sean O'Donnell (MAs, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Wheaton College) is senior pastor of New Covenant Church in Naperville, Illinois. In addition to serving as an instructor for the Charles Simeon Trust, O’Donnell is a member of the North American Patristics Society, the U.S. Board of the Irish Bible Institute, the Center for Pastor Theologians, and the Evangelical Theological Society. He is the author of a number of books, including The Beginning and End of Wisdom, The Song of Solomon and Matthew in the Preaching the Word commentary series, and Psalms in the Knowing the Bible series.

R. Kent Hughes (DMin, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is senior pastor emeritus of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois. He has authored numerous books for Crossway, including Disciplines of a Godly Man, and is the series editor and a contributor to the popular Preaching the Word series. Hughes is also a founder of the Charles Simeon Trust, which conducts expository preaching conferences throughout North America and worldwide. He now lives on the West Coast with his wife, Barbara, and is the father of four and grandfather of an ever-increasing number of grandchildren.

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Table of Contents

A Word to Those Who Preach the Word 11

Preface 13

1 Understandest Thou What Thou Readest? (1:1) 15

2 Better Than Wine (1:2-4) 27

3 The Metaphors and Metamorphosis of Loving Words (1:5-2:7) 41

4 The Voices of Spring (2:8-17) 53

5 Greater Than Solomon (3:1-11) 65

6 A Love Feast in the Beautiful Garden (4:1-5:1) 75

7 A Reprieve and Return to Eden (5:2-6:3) 85

8 How Beautiful! (6:4-8:4) 97

9 The Climax (8:5-7) 111

10 Virginity and Eschatology (8:8-14) 123

Notes 133

Scripture Index 169

General Index 177

Index of Sermon Illustrations 181

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