- Section Six
RECONNECTING – HE COMES BACK 6:4 – 12
- Think you can explain what he said or which translation is correct?
- Who are the queens and concubines?
- Does she understand what he is communicating in 6:11-12?
He comes back.
You are fair, my darling companion, as Tirzah as lovely as jerusalem, as awe-inspiring as bannered hosts.
He is saying how impressive she is. As impressive as Jerusalem and Tirzah.
Tirzah is a city in the northern part of the kingdom that Solomon built up during his reign. When his son lost most of the kingdom, Tirzah became to the north like Jerusalem was to the Judah and Benjamin in the south. He says she is like the army when it parades with banners and their best uniforms — an army at peace that is showing its strength.
Turn your eyes from me because they arouse me. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of ewes which have come up from the washing, each one bearing twins and bereaved on not one of them. Like the sliced opening of a pomegranate are your parted lips behind your veil.
Next, he compliments her appearance and states that she arouses him.
Sixty queens there are, and eighty concubines, and maidens without number; but Unique is she — my dove, my perfect one! Unique is she to her mother. Pure is she to the one who bore her. Women saw her and called her joyful; the queens and concubines praised her: “who is this shining like the morning star, fair as the white moon, pure as the blazing sun, awe-inspiring as bannered hosts.”
Then he says that the queens and the concubines complement her and he quotes them.
If this is Solomon, we have a problem: Sixty queens and eighty concubines (2nd class wives), gives him a total of 140 wives. We know that he ended up with a total of 1000 wives (700 queens, and 300 concubines – I Kings 11:3). First this is one of the reasons I laugh when people call the Bible myths and fairy tales. It isn’t cleaned up and sanitized like a Disney movie. Second, could he actually have been in love and ‘faithful’ to one wife? Maybe. Many of the wives were given to him as part of a deal to ensure peace with the kingdoms around him. You have to come to your own conclusion on this. For me, I think it is possible that for a short time he was only with this one woman. I don’t know what happened to her. Solomon ended up being led astray by his wives and he didn’t follow God like he once had.
For most guys, their wives would be able to imagine that their husband could have gone off and get comfort and/or sex from some woman. And they could probably give a name of the person he would most likely be with. It doesn’t mean that she is right!!
Read this next section a few times. Try a few translations. Several people who have written commentaries (the so called experts), have stated that this is the hardest section of the entire Old Testament for them to translate.
To the garden of nut trees I had gone down, to see the fresh shoots of the ravine, to see if the vine had budded and the pomegranates had bloomed. Before I realized it, my soul set me among the chariots of my people of a prince.
This is his explanation of where he had been since he left her. Does what he said make any sense to you? When I read what the (so called experts) — the people who study the original Hebrew language and make comments on what it says based on the language, other places where the words are used, and the context. I’m not saying that their opinions are not valuable. I’m saying that they can be useful to you in figuring out what a sections says. Compare the so called experts to each other. You may be surprised at how much you can understand.
Enough of that. The point I want to make is that I knew what he was trying to say after reading about all the various opinions on what the actual words mean. I will lose my temper, and I have to get away from everyone I know and let it cool off. Where I go and what I do in what order becomes a blur. No, that doesn’t become an excuse. If I had sex with someone I would remember. But did I go somewhere to get coffee, then to a soccer field to walk around, then to the ocean to listen to the waves break. I would remember the main places, but I wouldn’t necessarily remember what route I took, what beach I was at. Anyway he is giving a kind of jumbled up account of where he had been.
He left mad, frustrated, and in a hurry. This is his explanation for where he was. When he quotes the queens and the concubines he was saying where he wasn’t. They aren’t going to compliment her if he had gone to any of them and had sex. But they would say something positive about her if he turned them all down and just wanted to get back to her.
She must have bought his explanation, because in the next verse they are walking away together.