Song of Solomon

Song of Solomon

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Overview

Song of Solomon by The Navigators

Layers of Love
Like a good love song, the Song of Solomon veils itself with layers of meaning. Human attraction and desire are clothed in images and metaphors that, when unfastened, make many people blush. Those human passions and impulses make up a second layer that, when pulled back, reveals a divine and enduring commitment. Whatever layers you uncover, the Song of Solomon will draw you closer to the love you were made for.

LifeChange
LifeChange Bible studies will help you grow in Christlikeness through a life-changing encounter with God’s Word. Filled with a wealth of ideas for going deeper so you can return to this study again and again.

Features

  • Cover the entire book of Song of Solomon in 8 lessons
  • Equip yourself to lead a Bible study
  • Imagine the Bible’s historical world
  • Study word origins and definitions
  • Explore thoughtful questions on key themes
  • Go deeper with optional projects
  • Add your notes with extra space and wide margins
  • Find the flexibility to fit the time you have

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781615217670
Publisher: The Navigators
Publication date: 11/01/2014
Series: LifeChange Series
Pages: 150
Sales rank: 1,299,091
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

A Life-Changing Encounter with God's Word from the Book of Song of Solomon


By Navigators

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2014 The Navigators
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-61521-767-0



CHAPTER 1

SONG OF SOLOMON: AN OVERVIEW

The Biblical Big Picture

I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine.

SONG 6:3

1. For getting the most from the Song of Solomon, one of the best guidelines is found in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, words which Paul wrote with the Old Testament first in view. He said that all Scripture is of great benefit to (a) teach us, (b) rebuke us, (c) correct us, and (d) train us in righteousness. Paul added that these Scriptures completely equip the person of God "for every good work." As you think seriously about those guidelines, in which of these areas do you especially want to experience the usefulness of the Song of Solomon? Express your desire in a written prayer to God.

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2. In Jeremiah 23:29, God says that His Word is "like fire" and "like a hammer." He can use the Scriptures to burn away unclean thoughts and desires in our hearts. He can also use Scripture, with hammer-like hardness, to crush and crumble our spiritual hardness. From your study of the Song of Solomon, how do you most want to see the fire-and-hammer power of God's Word at work in your own life and marriage? Again, express this longing in a written prayer to God.

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3. Think about these words of Paul to his younger helper Timothy: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). As you study God's Word of Truth in the Song of Solomon, He calls you to be a "worker." It takes work — concentration and perseverance — to fully appropriate God's blessings for us in this book. Express here your commitment before God to work diligently in this study of the Song of Solomon.

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4. In one sitting, read through all of the Song of Solomon. Read at a steady pace, and don't worry about anything you don't understand; just keep reading to get a fresh overview of this short book as a whole. From this quick reading, what are your strongest impressions of the book?

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5. a. Glance again through the pages of the Song of Solomon, and notice the repeated phrases — which is typical of many songs. What repeated phrases, images, or ideas do you find in these sets of verses?

2:6; 8:3 ____________________________________

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2:7; 3:5; 5:8; 8:4 ____________________________

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2:16; 6:3; 7:10 _______________________________

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4:1; 5:12 ___________________________________

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b. What other notable repetitions do you find?

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6. How would you define love as this word is used in the Song of Solomon? Look in particular at 1:2, 2:4, 3:5, 4:10, and 8:6-7.

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7. Look carefully at the words of Proverbs 5:15-19. How would you compare that passage's teaching with the theme of the Song of Solomon?

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8. Review the Bible's first words regarding sexuality and marriage in the following passages from Genesis. How does the teaching in each of these passages form a foundation for the theme of the Song of Solomon? And what other relationship, if any, do you see between the two?

Genesis 1:27-18 _______________________________

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Genesis 2:18,21-23____________________________

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Genesis 2:24-25 _______________________________

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Much of the Song of Solomon reads as if it were taking place in Eden at the time of Genesis 2:18-25. T here is an innocent exuberance to the writer's experience of human love that hearkens back to before the Fall.

9. Each of the following Old Testament passages deals in some way with marriage. In what ways does each one relate to the theme and message of the Song of Solomon?

Proverbs 18:22 _______________________________

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Proverbs 19:14 _______________________________

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Malachi 2:13-16 ______________________________

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10. In the New Testament, each of the following passages also deals in some way with marriage. In what ways does each one relate to the theme and message of the Song of Solomon?

1 Corinthians 7:1-5 ___________________________

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1 Corinthians 7:10-11 _________________________

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Ephesians 5:21-24 _____________________________

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Ephesians 5:25-33 _____________________________

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Colossians 3:18 _______________________________

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Colossians 3:19 _______________________________

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Hebrews 13:4 __________________________________

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1 Peter 3:1-6 _________________________________

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1 Peter 3:7 ___________________________________

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Matthew 5:31-32 _______________________________

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Matthew 19:1-9 ________________________________

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The Song of Solomon is wildly enthusiastic about sexual love, and it takes for granted that this sexual intimacy will take place within a faithful marriage. The ancient Israelites who first heard these poems had a strict moral code. Premarital sex was forbidden. If two people had premarital sex anyway, they had to get married, and the man had to pay the bride-price to the woman's parents (see Exodus 22:16). Adultery was a sin so serious that it carried a potential death penalty (see Leviticus 20:10), because it involved breaking a precious covenant relationship.

Far from weakening this moral code, Jesus upped the ante by saying that God judges not just extramarital acts but even extramarital thoughts (see Matthew 5:28).

So the Song of Solomon is not about free love. Still, it isn't a "moral social tract" either. It celebrates true love, which is "as strong as death" (Song 8:6).

11. In the following Old Testament passages, the love between God and His people is compared to that between a bridegroom and bride. Look up these passages, and explain the part each could play in your interpretation of the Song of Solomon.

Isaiah 54:4-8 _________________________________

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Jeremiah 2:1-2 ________________________________

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Ezekiel 16:8 __________________________________

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Hosea 2:14-20 _________________________________

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12. Also review carefully Paul's New Testament teaching in Ephesians 5:22 and 5:25-32, which compares Christ's relationship to the church with that of a husband and wife. How might this passage play a part in your interpretation of the Song of Solomon?

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Human marriage can be a window into heavenly reality. The apostle Paul tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church (see Ephesians 5:25-27). When he speaks of the union of husband and wife as one flesh, he says, "This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church" (5:32). Such words authorize us to reflect on the Song of Solomon in light of the love between Christ and the church.


13. From this quick overview of biblical teaching on marriage, what would you say are the most important principles to keep in mind as you seek to better understand the Song of Solomon?

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14. It has been stated that because of the uniqueness of the Song of Solomon as a book in the Bible, it requires "a special sensitivity in the reader." How would you describe that requirement? What kind of sensitivity on your part is needed as you explore this book?

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"The purity and sacredness of love represented here [in the Song of Solomon] ... are greatly needed in our day where distorted attitudes about love and marriage are commonplace. God created sex and intimacy, and they are holy and good when enjoyed within the bounds of marriage. A husband and wife honor God when they love and enjoy each other."


15. As a further initial exercise in getting familiar with the Song, read through the following verses and record how each of the lovers is viewed. Again, don't worry at this point about trying to understand the imagery more deeply. Just record what you see.

a. How the woman is referred to or perceived:

1:9________________________________________

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1:15_______________________________________

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2:2________________________________________

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2:10_______________________________________

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2:13_______________________________________

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b. How the man is referred to or perceived:

1:16_______________________________________

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2:3________________________________________

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2:8________________________________________

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2:9________________________________________

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2:14_______________________________________

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2:16_______________________________________

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2:17_______________________________________

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c. How the woman perceives herself:

1:5________________________________________

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2:1________________________________________

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For the group

In your first meeting, it may be helpful to turn to the front of this book and review together the section titled "How to Use This Guide" on pages 5–9.

You may want to focus your discussion for lesson 1 especially on these concepts, which are emphasized in the lesson's questions:

• God's design for marriage

• The role of sexuality in marriage

• The highest purposes in marriage

• God's love for His people

• Marriage as a reflection of God's love for us


Look also at the questions in the margins under the heading "For Thought and Discussion."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A Life-Changing Encounter with God's Word from the Book of Song of Solomon by Navigators. Copyright © 2014 The Navigators. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

How to Use This Guide 5

Introduction-The Song of Solomon: Lyrics of Love 11

1 The Biblical Big Picture (Song of Solomon: An Overview) 15

2 Longing (1:1-2:7) 27

3 Seeking (2:8-3:11) 43

4 Finding (4) 59

5 Further Finding (5) 77

6 Enjoying (6) 95

7 Further Enjoying (7) 109

8 Expressing (8) 123

Study Aids 145

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