Song of Solomon – Chapter 2

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Verse 1 – I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.

Maybe because these two flowers were common in Israel, the girl was saying, “I’m not special.”

Verse 2 – Like a lily among thorns, so is my love among daughters.

Verse 3 – Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down in the shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

Verse 4 – (Now the Shulamite is talking to the daughters of Jerusalem.) He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

Verse 5 – Sustain me with cakes of raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am lovesick.

Solomon took her to a room of wine, not in barrels or a dark cellar, but the wine was in large pitchers in an upper apartment.

Verse 6 – His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me.

Verse 7 – I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.

She is basically saying that the feeling of love can overpower reasoning. Feelings alone are not enough to support a lasting relationship.

Verse 8 – The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

Verse 9 – My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he stands behind our wall; he is looking through the windows, gazing through the lattice.

Verse 10 – My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up , my love, my fair one, and come away.

Verse 11 – For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.

Verse 12 – The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in the land.”

Verse 13 – The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away!

Verse 14 – “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff, let me see your countenance, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your countenance is lovely.”

Verse 15 – Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.

These “little foxes” could be any problem that disturb or that destroy’s a relationship. Perhaps her brothers who had sent her out to the vineyards to work were causing problems between her and the king.

Verse 16 – My beloved is mine, and I am his. He feeds his flock among the lilies.

Verse 17 – Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag upon the mountains of Bether.

And with this chapter, their second night together seems to end.

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The Song of Solomon – Chapter 1

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Introduction: The Song of Solomon is a love song written by Solomon. Allegorically, it pictures Israel as God’s espoused bride (Hosea 2:19, 20), and the Church as the bride of Christ.

The book is arranged like scenes in a drama with three main speakers; the bride (Shulamite), the king (Solomon), and a chorus (the daughters of Jerusalem). The king by this time, had sixty queens and eighty concubines (6:8). Solomon’s harem at its fullest extent reached seven hundred queens and three hundred concubines (1 Kings 11:3).

The song was written primarily from the point of view of the Shulamite, but Solomon was the author.

The majority of Solomon’s marriages were political arrangements. This book was also written before Solomon plunged into gross immorality and idolatry. The Shulamite addresses the king as “My beloved” and the king addresses his bride as “My love.”

Verse 1 – The song of songs, which is Solomon’s.

Verse 2 (The Shulamite) Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth – for your love is better than wine.

Verse 3 – Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, your name is ointment poured forth; therefore the virgins love you.

Verse 4 – Lead me away! ( The daughters of Jerusalem) We will run after you. (The Shulamite) The king has brought me into his chambers. We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will remember your love more than wine. Rightly do they love.

Solomon’s attractive qualities are apparent to others, and are not mere fantasies of infatuation.

Verse 5 – I am dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon.

Verse 6 – Do not look upon me, because I am dark, because the sun has tanned me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept.

Shulamite explained her dark skin was the result of her brothers making her tend the vineyards outside in the sun. Later we find out that the vineyard is leased from Solomon. When she refers to “her own vineyard,” she’s talking about her skin. When she is brought to Jerusalem, the young girl was embarrassed about her tan. However, Solomon loved her dark skin.

Verse 7 – Tell me, O you whom I love, where you feed your flock, where you make it rest at noon. For why should I be as one who veils herself by the flocks of your companions?

Verse 8 – If you do not know, O fairest among women, follow in the footsteps of the flock, and feed your little goats beside the shepherds tents.

The chorus, not the king, are the speakers here. The meaning seems to be: If the beloved is a shepherd, then seek him among other shepherds, but if he is a king, you will find him in his royal dwelling.

Verse 9 – I have compared you, my love, to my filly among Pharaoh’s chariots.

Verse 10 – Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with chains of gold.

Archaeological drawings show jewels decorating the bridles of horses.

Verse 11 – We will make you ornaments of gold with studs of silver.

Verse 12 – While the king is at his table, my spikenard (spikenard is a very expensive spice which comes from a rare plant and is blended with olive oil for anointing acts of consecration, dedication, and worship.) sends forth its fragrance.

Verse 13 – A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, that lies all night between my breasts.

Verse 14 – My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blooms in the vineyards of En Gedi.

En Gedi was an oasis hidden at the base of rugged limestone cliffs west of the Dead Sea. It was known for its fruitful palm trees and fragrant balsam oil. The girl was complimenting Solomon’s looks, saying that he stood out among all men.

Verse 15 – Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold, you are fair! You have dove eyes.

Verse 16 – (Now the Shulamite is talking) Behold, you are handsome, my beloved! Yes, pleasant! Also our bed is green.

Verse 17 – The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.

She is describing their woodland surroundings as a wedding bedroom. Dove eyes, which are mild and harmless and faithful. By describing her eyes, Solomon seems to be describing both her outward behavior, and the inward disposition of her mind.

The green bed is probably describing a bank, on which they sat down on while walking in the country. They were outside, falling in love, saying mushy stuff to each other.

Ecclesiastes – Chapter 12

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Verse 1 – Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”:

When we are young, we are less aware of one day being accountable for our actions. But as we get older when we look back, we will either see a life that we enjoyed and lived to the fullest, always looking forward to an eternity with Christ or, some when they look back and feel it was all for nothing because they lived only for themselves.

Verse 2 – While the sun and the light, the moon and the stars, are not darkened, and the clouds do not return after the rain;

Verse 3 – In the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men bow down; when the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look through the windows grow dim;

Verse 4 – When the doors are shut in the streets, and the sound of grinding is low; when one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of music are brought low;

Verse 5 – Also when they are afraid of height, and of terrors in the way; when the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper is a burden, and desire fails. For man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets.

Sometimes when reading these verse that Solomon wrote, I think, “That’s way too deep for me. What did he just say?” But, if you go back and read these verses again, you will see he is talking about growing old and feeble; fear of falling down; locking the house up in fear of someone breaking in, and then a funeral at the end.

Verse 6 – Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well.

Verse 7 – Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

Verse 8 – “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “All is vanity.” “Fear God and keep His commandments.”

Stripped of God’s Spirit, our bodies return to the dust. Stripped of God’s purpose, our work is in vain, knowing all life is wasted unless God is in it, we seek after Him first.

Verse 9 – And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs.

Verse 10 – The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright – words of truth.

Verse 11 – The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.

A goad was a sharp metal tip attached to a handle used to keep oxen or cattle moving. Like a goad, a wise word of truth may not always be pleasant to hear, but it will keep us moving forward towards the things of God.

Verse 12 – And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.

There’s nothing wrong with reading and studying books on philosophies, but to gain true wisdom and truth, there is no better book written than the Bible, the true Word of God.

Verse 13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

Verse 14 – For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.

Whether good or evil done in this life, all will give an account one day. When God says, “He looks on the heart”, He sees every motive and attitude behind everything we do. This book of Ecclesiastes shows us, yes, we should enjoy life, but this does not exempt us from obeying God. Our lives should have purpose and meaning, so others will see whom you follow.

Ecclesiastes – Chapter 11

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Verse 1 – Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.

I love this verse, because it says many things in just one sentence. I’ll try not to write a book about it.

If you’ve never read the parable of the sower and the seed, please do so. You can find it in Luke chapter 8 or Matthew chapter 13. But this verse concerns two precepts. One being in business adventures; how to avoid poverty by prudent and wise in decisions; taking a risk. We all need a certain amount of prosperity to have a good life and help those in need. The old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” is to not put all your money in one adventure to get a return.

The verse says to cast our bread upon the waters – plural. Bread can be the bread of life – God’s Word. When the Word, which is the seed,  is sown, we don’t just plant one little seed and expect a great harvest. We keep sowing; keep speaking; and keep sharing. Some will listen and take it to heart, some will listen for a time, but we cast it on many people in many places, and soon after, we will see the harvest.

Verse 2 – Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, for you do not know what evil will be on the earth. This verse refers to investment not charity.

Verse 3 – If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth, and if a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.

Verse 4 – He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

Always waiting for the perfect condition means, more than likely to do nothing.

Verse 5 – As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes all things.

Just as we don’t know which way the wind will go, neither do we know how God joined the soul and the spirit to the body in the womb. His mighty works are a mystery to us.

Verse 6 – In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

The Bible tells us to not grow weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9). Be ready at all times to sow mercy and continue till evening. Work hard in the hope that at lest one or a few will take root, whether in word or deed.

Verse 7 – Truly the light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun;

Verse 8 – But if a man lives many years and rejoices in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. All that is coming is vanity.

In the Bible, light is often associated with life and darkness with death. So saying light is sweet it’s saying, “It’s good to be alive.” In contrast to darkness: Life is short, but death is much longer. Make sure you make the right choice while living.

Verse 9 – Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know for all these God will bring you into judgement.

Verse 10 – Therefore, remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh, for childhood and youth are vanity.

We are to beware of the choices we make in our youth, because the wrong choice can bring misery for a lifetime – when we are old. On the other hand, choosing to live for Christ when young, will bring blessing throughout life and joy when we are old.

Ecclesiastes – Chapter 10

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Verse 1 – Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor; so does a little folly to one respect for wisdom and honor.

Verse 2 – A wise man’s heart is at his right hand, but a fool’s heart at his left.

Verse 3 – Even when a fool walks along the way, he lacks wisdom, and he shows everyone that he is a fool.

Verse 4 – If the spirit of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post; for conciliation pacifies great offenses.

Verse 4,  is simply saying to watch your reaction when someone above you in authority is angry.

Verse 5 – There is an evil I have seen under the sin, as an error proceeding from the ruler:

Verse 6 – Folly is set in great dignity, while the rich sit in a lowly place.

Verse 7 – I have seen servants on horses, while princes walk on the ground like servants.

Have you ever seen someone with less skill and less intelligence be promoted to a higher position, while someone who is more qualified get looked over or passed by?

Verse 8 – He who digs a pit will fall into it, and whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent.

Digging a pit is plotting to do evil against another. Breaking through a wall is breaking into a house or a place you don’t belong. When someone does either of these they will most likely end up injured or arrested.

Verse 9 – He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and he who splits wood may be endangered by it.

Verse 10 – If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength;

Let’s take these two verse spiritually. If we don’t take the gifts God gives each one of us, and put them to good use, they will become dull and lay dormant.

Verse 11 – A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; the babblers is no different.

A serpent biting is no different from someone blabbering their mouth about someone else – both will hurt.

Verse 12 – The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool shall swallow him up;

Verse 13 – The words of his mouth begin with foolishness, and the end of his talk is raving madness.

Verse 14 – A fool also multiplies words. No man knows what is to be; who can tell him what will be after him?

Everything that proceeds from a wise person’s mouth is gracious and kind. It’s also creditable to themselves and others. However, a fool will boast, lie, and speak hurtful words about others.

Verse 15 – The labor of fools wearies them, for they do not even know how to go to the city.

Verse 16 – Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning!

Verse 17 – Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes feast at the proper time building’s decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks.

When a nation; a business; a home, doesn’t have wise leadership, it will start to decay. Selfishness and laziness will sit by while “Rome burns!”

Verse 19 – A fest is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money answers everything.

Some would like to think that money can clear every problem, but just like wine, the thrill is only temporary. Yes, money is necessary to survive in this world, but we are warned against the love of money in Matthew 6:24. The  love of money is dangerous, because we learn to trust it more than God.

Verse 20 – Do not curse the king, even in your thought; do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; for a bird of the air may carry your voice, and bird in flight may tell the matter.

We should take care not to envy the wealthy. Don’t despise your rich neighbor. Depend on the Lord for everything pertaining to life with expectancy.

Ecclesiastes – Chapter 9

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Verse 1 – For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: That the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything that is before them.

Verse 2 – Everything occurs alike to all: One event happens to the righteous and the wicked; to the good, the clean, and the unclean; to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice.  As is the good, so is the sinner; and he who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.

While all things, good or bad, happen to both the righteous and the sinner, God makes a difference in the believer’s life. Many, including me, have witnessed God’s divine intervention.

Verse 3 – This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: That one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Verse 4 – But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

Verse 5 – For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.

Solomon is describing what he sees, not what he believes. There is no reference of the soul after death, which is a matter of faith. He’s simply saying, the dead have no more gratification after their death.

Verse 6 – Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun.

Verse 7 – Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works.

Verse 8 – Let your garments always be white, and let your head lack no oil.

The Jews wore white garments on festival occasions. The oil is a sign of anointing and blessing.

Verse 9 – Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.

Verse 10 – Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

Life after death was only a vague concept in the Old Testament. It was only made clear after Jesus rose from the dead.

Verse 11 – I returned and saw under the sun that – The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

Verse 12 – For man also does not know his time; like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.

The moment of death is not ours to control. Solomon does not deny the sovereignty of God over human affairs, he’s simply stating life is not always fair.

Verse 13 – The wisdom I have also seen under the sun, and it seemed great to me:

Verse 14 – There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it.

Verse 15 – Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man.

Verse 16 – Then I said, “Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

Verse 17 – Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard rather than the shout of a ruler of fools.

Verse 18 – Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good.”

The society we live in honors wealth, attractiveness, and success above wisdom. Wisdom from one is not often recognized. Power in the hand of the ignorant will destroy the good that wisdom provides through God. But we know who is greater!

Ecclesiastes – Chapter 8

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Verse 1 – Who is like a wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? And man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the sternness of his face is changed.

When you make a right decision using God’s wisdom, are you not happy? Yes, and it will change your countenance. You will show it on your face.

Verse 2 – I counsel you, “Keep the king’s commandment for the sake of your oath to God.”

Verse 3 – “Do not be hasty to go from his presence, do not take your stand for an evil thing, for he does whatever pleased him.”

God has given commandments that we are to keep. When you go away from the commandments you promised to keep and start following the opposite, take heed, it won’t turn out good.

Verse 4 – Where the word of a king is, there is power; and who may say to him, “What are you doing?”

When someone has the nerve to ask a king, “What are you doing”, it’s like asking God,”Are You sure? What do you think you are doing?” As if He doesn’t  know the end result.

Verse 5 – He who keeps his command will experience nothing harmful; and a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment.

Even though Solomon was talking about a subject who is under his authority, we can translate it to: Do you trust God’s judgement and timing of when He will bring a thing to pass?

Verse 6 – Because for every matter there is a time and judgment, though the misery of a man increases greatly.

Verse 7 – For he does not know what will happen; so who can tell him when it will occur?

This is why we wait on God to complete a thing. Waiting doesn’t mean inactivity, we still prepare for what God is about to make happen.

Verse 8 – No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, and no one has power in the day of death. There is no discharge in that war and wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.

Verse 9 – All this I have seen, and applied under the sun: There is a time in which one man rules over another to his own hurt.

These verses are focusing on God’s governance of the world; it struggles with the question of why evil sometimes seems to triumph. Example: Cruel people rising to power; wicked people being honored in public; evil people avoiding punishment; and good people suffering.

Verse 10 – Then I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of holiness, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done. This also is vanity.

This is quickly forgetting how evil a person was after they die. This is usually done by people who say they were really, “a good person” when you know good and well they weren’t. Evil, manipulative, and deceiving people do not become saints after they die, just because you loved them!

Verse 11 – Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

It’s easy to keep sinning when one doesn’t feel the consequences immediately.

Verse 12 – Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him.

Verse 13 – But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.

Verse 14 – There is a vanity which occurs on earth, that there are just men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.

Verse 15 – So I commanded enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor for the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.

Enjoy every day that the good Lord gives you because “He’s got this!”

Verse 16 – When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night,

Verse 17 – Then I saw all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not be able to find it.

Man will never fully comprehend all the works of God, it’s impossible. There is always more questions than answers. Don’t let what you don’t know about your future destroy the joy God gives you today. Learn to trust Him.