Song of Songs

There is a book in the Hebrew Canon that celebrates sexuality and even romantic love.  It describes physical beauty and longing of the heart.  It describes hard time in separation.  Then there is this bit.

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires

This exact stanza is repeated in Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5, and 8:4.  Weird.  Is it saying to wait until you’re in love to make love?  I am not sure since it just says don’t arouse love unit it so desires. 

The book contains little weird vignettes, including one in which the female lover is beaten up by the watchmen on the wall.  But then there is this little bit that pleasantly acknowledges that there are girls to young to be married off, I suppose.

8 We have a little sister,
and her breasts are not yet grown.
What shall we do for our sister
on the day she is spoken for?
9 If she is a wall,
we will build towers of silver on her.
If she is a door,
we will enclose her with panels of cedar.

To be honest, I mostly like this book because it gets under the skin of people who want to use religion as a way to control particularly women’s sexuality.  As Scripture, it doesn’t really speak to me. 

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