Holy Week Reflections on the Love Poem of Solomon and Queen Sheba

Thoughts on Love, Romance and the Song of Solomon

The Inspired Word of God written by man.

As February and Valentine’s Day 2011 came to a close a few months ago my thoughts brought me to the Old Testament book, the Song of Solomon.  Why would erotica be part of the Old Testament canon? But the Song of Solomon is more than just erotica; it is a love poem, a testament to love, desire and sexual passion between a Black man and a Black woman. However the Song of Solomon transcends race and/or ethnic group.

The Song of Solomon almost did not make it into the Biblical canon.  However its inclusion proves that spirituality and human sexuality can co-exist. It puts to rest many theologians prudish or restrictive claims of sex defined in terms of sin or lust.  The joining together of man and woman in erotic love or pleasure is pleasing to God and is one of the highest forms of praise to our Creator.

Most Christians have been taught that this book is an allegory, a representation of Christ and the church, which could be one interpretation, after all I’m no Bible scholar, and for me the sensual descriptions of the lover’s bodies reveal its true nature.  There are many reflections or mirrors in which to view the verses.  Yes most for Believers, Jesus is the ultimate Lover of our Souls and Spirits.  Truly Jesus love for his followers shows him as the embodiment of his redemptive names, the Lily of the Valley, and the Rose of Sharon, our Bright and shining Star, our Balm in Gilead.  Jesus, the various worldwide prophets who laid the pathway before him and those who came after each singularly expressed God’s love for all his creation.

The lyrical verses found in the Song of Solomon celebrate romantic love.  The way her face, breasts and stomach are captured in vivid detail by the Beloved leans more towards Eros than agape.  The Song of Solomon is the longing of two lovers separated, yet joined desperately seeking to be physical reunited to once again ignite the flame of fervor, and quench the fires sexual craving between them.

In my mind the lovers are King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba who visited Solomon to inquire of his wisdom and as the story is sometime told, the two became lovers, their lovemaking resulting in the birth of a son once Sheba returned to Ethiopia. Yes we all know that Solomon had many wives and concubines, too numerous to count, however Sheba was different.

The Queen Sheba of Ethiopia was intellectual equal, one who not only desired wisdom but was able to communicate the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of her people, her culture to this Hebrew King, thus she became the desire of his heart.  Two minds on the same plane, not jockeying for position, become one.  When a man meets the feminine version of himself he seeks to unite bringing together one side of his mind with the other.  Solomon’s greatest error was in allowing distance and time to come between him and the woman God meant for him to reign with in this life.  Imagine how history would have been changed if these two great leaders had joined energies.  What a mighty force two people, one flesh to contend with!

Unchained Melody