Saturday, November 19, 2016

Song of Solomon, typology and symbolism

This is a follow up of sorts to Song of Solomon, Who's Who.

I argued that The Beloved isn't Solomon, and that Shulamith, the female lead of the story, is Shelomith, Rheoboam's daughter and Solomon's Granddaughter.

It has occurred to me since that some might see Chapter 3 Verses 6 through 11 as evidence against that argument.  Solomon is definitely in view there, and that section is often chapter titled "The Wedding Procession".  But I feel that can fit with Solomon being in the role of the father of the Bride, "giving her away" in modern wedding terminology.

An interesting side note is how this section saying Solomon built a Royal Chariot could lend further support to the idea that Salmoneus of Greek mythology was a corrupted memory of Solomon.  In the Septuagint Solomon is spelled Salomon, as opposed to how The New Testament spelled the name.

Another Greek myth that may be a corrupt memory of a Biblical Truth is the Garden of the Hesperides possibly reflecting the Garden of Eden.  In fact this possible connection is the reason it became popular to view the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge as an Apple even though The Bible never says that.  I lean towards agreeing with the argument for that fruit actually being something Grape like, and may post on that in the future.

What I noticed recently though is how what is attributed to the Apples of the Hesperides actually fits the Tree of Life not of Knowledge, it gives eternal life.  I decided then to check for every reference to Apples in the King James Bible.  And it is mainly the references in the Song of Solomon that I felt could give poetic typological support to the Fruit of Life being represented as Apples.  Though verses calling Jerusalem the Apple of God's eye would be fitting if you think Zion is where the Garden was.  And Proverbs 25:11 could be the source of the Apples being depicted as Golden.

What I mainly want to talk about in this post however is the typology.

Again, I'm not against a typological interpretation, only against using that as an excuse to dismiss how it positively portrays pre-martial non reproductive sexual intimacy.  Even if you think the narrative is a Parable or work of fiction and not events that actually happened, it's still absurd to think the book wasn't written consistent with the sexual morality of it's author.  And we believe The Bible's ultimate Author is God.  When an Author depicts sex he disapproves of, it usually has negative consequences, the sex in the Song of Songs does not.

What I am going to do here is question the traditional typological interpretation.  Not fully rejecting it, just considering another possibility.

Traditionally, The Beloved is Jesus/Yahuah and Shulamith is The Church and/or Israel.  Even others before me who separated Solomon from The Beloved see it that way.  Those making Solomon a villain of the narrative say he's a type of The Antichrist.  While my suggestion could fit giving him the Father of the Bride role, which Laban functions as in Genesis 24, and I often see as ultimately representing Adam.

While the majority of the time Jesus is Masculine and The Church is Feminine.  I have shown that The Church is the Man-Child of Revelation 12.  And noted how The Desire of Nations of Haggai is a feminine noun.  And "Yeshua" used as a word for Salvation is often in it's feminine form, Yeshuah.  Chuck Missler thinks the Wisdom of Proverbs is Jesus even though that's consistently Feminine, in both pronouns and the grammar of the Hebrew words translated Wisdom.  So The Holy Spirit does mix things up in terms of the gender representation sometimes.

The word Beloved is used a lot in the New Testament of The Church, and of presumably Jerusalem in Revelation 20:9.  Thrice Daniel is called Beloved.  Deuteronomy 33 uses Beloved this way talking about Benjamin, clearly using it Prophetically of Jerusalem which is in the territory of Benjamin.  Jeremiah also used it of Jerusalem.

Only times Jesus is called Beloved is when it's God speaking, at Jesus Baptism.  It's not used of Jesus in describing Jesus relationship with The Church.

Shulamith actually is the much more central and active character of the Song's narrative then the Beloved is.  That fascinates me as a Christian Feminist.  But given how I define The Gospel it makes me uncomfortable with seeing her as The Church.

She not the male is more then once described as having Hair like Goat's hair.  That can fit Jesus description in Revelation 1, and how The Goats of Yom Kippur represent Jesus.

But the smoking gun to this controversial suggestion that the Woman not the Man of the Song is the Type of Christ, is Chapter 5 Verse 7, which in context is clearly The Bride talking.  I think this may well be the most overlooked detail of the book.
"The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me."
Tell me, in Christian Theology, does this happen to The Church or to Jesus?

In this context, Solomon becomes a Type of God The Father, like Abraham in Genesis 22&24.

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