“I (Solomon) have surely built a house of habitation for You, the foundation for Your dwelling forever.” 1 Kings 8:13
Creation is the greatest expression of Who HaShem is! The vastness of space encapsulates His limitless powers. The diversity of His living creatures encapsulates the vastness of His infinite wisdom. The colors He has used to paint the world are astounding. He created everything in its place and to function exactly as He designed it to function because everything serves a purpose, nothing is just because. Further, He created the world specifically so His most treasured creation could live and enjoy HaShem i.e. mankind!
What book of the Scriptures captures the essence of HaShem best? Shir HaShirim (Song of Solomon) does this best and when we take the time and study it out, it reveals the nature of our Great King, HaShem, Master of the Legions of Heavens, in ways not always realized by His servants. His desire for Israel, His people, is expressed in ways that are astounding in this book!
It is this book, Shir HaShirim, in which I will be focusing on for several Op’s, hopefully to capture and show the love, devotion and loyalty HaShem has for His people i.e. Israel, comprised of not only the native born, but all those who wish to serve HaShem, regardless of DNA! This, I hope, will also enhance our understanding of what all HaShem’s Agent, His Mighty Right Arm, Yeshua Messiah, was sent to do for us and what all He in fact did and is continuing to do for us today on our behalf as our Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) serving HaShem in the Heavenly Temple!!
Shir HaShirim discusses not only HaShem, but also how He describes His Torah and what His Temple truly means and why we should make them our preoccupation! His Torah and Temple are not only the means in which to worship and serve HaShem, but they are also to be enjoyed as they represent the heart of HaShem! This is a concept I don’t think people truly think about i.e. enjoying HaShem!! His Torah and Temple are likened to exquisite gardens full of life and full of color!!
There are several songs throughout the Scriptures which are considered to be kadosh (Holy), but it is said Shir HaShirim is a metaphor for (Kodesh Kodashim) the Holy of Holies! Tractate Sanhedrin 101a says “Our Rabbis taught – He who recites a verse of the Song of Songs and treats it as if it were a secular song, brings evil upon the world. When someone does so, the Torah (Figuratively speaking) girds itself with sackcloth and stands before the Holy One, blessed be He, and laments before Him: ‘Sovereign of the Universe! Your children have made me a harp upon which the frivolous play!'”
But before we can begin this, always remember the following:
– HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
– His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
– He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
– He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
– He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
– He says His Torah is eternal per Proverbs 3:19 and Psalm 119:160
– He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
– He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
– He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm Ps 119:45 and James 1:25
– He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
– He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
– He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
– He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
– He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
– He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
– He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
– He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
– He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
– He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
– He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
– He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
– He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
Shir HaShirim Chapter 1:1-3 says “The song that excels all songs dedicated to Elohim, the King to Whom peace belongs. Communicate Your innermost wisdom to me again in loving closeness, for Your friendship is dearer than all earthly delights. Like the scent of goodly oils is the spreading of fame of Your great deeds; Your very name is Flowing Oil, therefore have nations loved You.”
It is very significant and interesting that we see the comparison of HaShem to ‘Goodly oils’. What does this mean? The Midrash Rabbah Shir HaShirim on this verse says “Your oils refers to Elohim’s dual and gracious manifestations i.e. the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. The Torah was likened to oil to imply that just as oil in its original form as olives is bitter but afterwards becomes sweet, so the study of Torah is at first laborious but later becomes pleasant. Just as oil does not mix with other fluids, so Torah cannot mix with lightheaded levity. As one becomes more frivolous, his Torah knowledge deserts him. Just as oil when mixed with other liquids always rises to the top, so Torah causes Israel to rise above all nations.”
What is the most purest way to worship and serve HaShem? To study His Torah!! So we can see right from the start the connection between HaShem and His Torah as the means to draw closer to HaShem, have a relationship with Him and then we will see His friendship truly is dearer than all earthly delights!! Which, I have to say this here, contradicts everything Replacement Theology Christendom teaches about the Torah, the Feasts, the Shabbat, etc. Shir HaShirim alone destroys Replacement Theology Christendom and its Torahless doctrine…I digress.
Chapter 1:4 says “Upon perceiving a mere hint that You wished to draw me, we rushed with perfect faith after You into the wilderness. The King brought me into His cloudpillard chamber; whatever our travail we shall always be glad and rejoice in Your Torah. We recall Your love more than earthly delights, unrestrainedly do they love You.” The commentary on this is very interesting as it states “Rashi does not render this phrase in its literal sense of ‘first draw me and then we will follow You.’ He interprets that Israel is recounting before Elohim the devotion of their youth, their love as a ‘bride’ citing Jeremiah 2:2. Anticipating Elohim’s intention to draw them, they took the initiative and faithfully followed into the desert through a land of drought and the shadow of death, citing Jeremiah 2:6. They prepared no provisions for the journey and trusted in Him and in His delegate i.e. Moshe.”
Further, the Talmud Bavli tractate Kiddushin 2.2 says “Drawing, is a form of establishing ownership. There are two forms of drawing: Tugging the animal so that it follows its new owner, or striking it so that it runs ahead of its new owner. We beseech HaShem to draw us after Yourself, but not through blows and punishment. Our plea is that He tug at us lightly so that we may follow Him.”
Chapter 1:5-6 says “Though I am black with sin, I am comely with virtue, O nations who are destined to ascend to Jerusalem; though sullied as the tents of Kedar, I will be immaculate as the draperies of Shlomo. Do not view me with contempt despite my swarthiness, for it is but the sun which has glared upon me. The alien children of my mother was incensed with me and made me a keeper of the vineyards of idols, but the vineyard of my own true Elohim I did not keep.” It is interesting for here in these verses it is Israel speaking to the nations and per the commentary says “Do not think lightly of me because my Husband has left me due to my swarthiness, so declares Israel to the heathen nations. I am blackened in consequence of my own deeds…” Further, it says “Do not think that Elohim has rejected me utterly. He still loves me because of my merits. And, when I repent to Him, He will atone my sins, quoting Isaiah 1:18 ‘Though your sins be like scarlet, they shall be white as snow.'”
These verses also speak in a prophetic sense with the reference to the nations who are destined to ascend to Jerusalem. This is talking about when ALL the nations of the world will during the time when Messiah is ruling from the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, come up to bring their korbonot (Offerings) to HaShem! The Midrash comments that “Jerusalem will one day become the metropolis of all countries and draw people to her in streams to do her honor and thus the nations of the world are poetically considered daughters of the great metropolis Jerusalem.”
Chapter 1:7 says “Tell me, You Whom my soul loves: Where will You graze Your flock? Where will You rest them under the fiercest sun of harshest Exile? Why shall I be like one veiled in mourning among the flocks of Your fellow shepherds? This verse encapsulates Israel’s love for HaShem and per the commentary “Uses an allegory as sheep beloved by their Shepherd, directly addresses Elohim as a woman addressing her husband and remonstrates with Him that the exile is too difficult for her and unbecoming to Him. Where i.e. by what standard, with what Master Plan will You pasture Your flock among the wolves in whose midst they dwell. Where will You rest them at noon during their long distressing Exile? Noon being a time of distress for cattle because the sun is then most intense and there is no relief from the suffering.”
Now HaShem is the speaker responding to the inquiries of verse seven.
Chapter 1:8-11 says “If you know not where to graze, o fairest of nations, follow the footsteps of the sheep, your forefathers who traced a straight, unswerving path after My Torah. Then you can graze your tender kids even among the dwellings of foreign shepherds. With My mighty steeds who battled Pharaoh’s riders I revealed that you are My beloved. Your cheeks are lovely with rows of gems, your neck with necklaces, My gifts to you from the splitting sea, by inducing Pharaoh to engage in pursuit, to add circlets of gold to your spangles of silver.” These verses are so very applicable to us today!! How do we survive in the midst of all the wolves, idolatry, wickedness, etc? HaShem tells us: “Follow the footsteps of the sheep, of your ancestors who accepted My Torah and observed My commandments. If you have difficulty perceiving Me via your own intellect, then rely on the traditions i.e. footsteps of your ancestors and thus cleave to Me!”
In other words, study both the Written and Oral Torahs and thus cleave to HaShem and survive in the midst of this Exile until our final Redemption comes!! Remember, it is NOT about securing eternal salvation, it is about surviving here and now in this world! Just like the Exodus, first He saved Israel, THEN He brought Israel to Sinai and gave His Torah to know how to live unto Him as His people and be set apart from the world! I digress.
Chapter 1:12-14 says “While the King was yet at Sinai my malodrous deed forth its scent as my Golden Calf defiled the covenant. But my Beloved responded with a bundle of myrrh, the fragrant atonement of erecting a Tabernacle where His Presence would dwell amid the Holy Ark’s staves. Like a cluster of henna in Ein Gedi vineyards has my Beloved multiplied His forgiveness to me.” While Moshe was up on the Mount meeting with HaShem, Israel defiled itself and sinned against HaShem via the Golden Calf incident thus the allegory of a foul odor i.e. scent referenced here in these verses. But HaShem, our Beloved, responded to the cries of repentance with a bundle of myrrh, which is interesting because myrrh is one of the main ingredients to the compound which makes the incense which is offered up every day on the Golden Altar in the Temple!
Again we see the connection to His Presence dwelling where He places His Great Name i.e. the Tabernacle/later the Temple in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount! His Temple is where His literal Throne on Earth is located! Christendom erroneously teaches that people are now the Temple, mis-understanding what Paul was saying. Paul was LIKENING us to the Temple in how we are to conduct our lives with Torah study, kedusha (Holiness), walking rightly as HaShem’s representatives on earth…He was NOT saying people now replaced the Temple…that is just more Replacement Theology nonsense. Moving on.
Chapter 1:15-17 says “I forgive you (Israel), My friend, for you are lovely in deed and lovely in resolve. The righteous among you are loyal as a dove. It is You Who are lovely, my Beloved, so pleasant that You pardoned my sin enabling our Temple to make me ever fresh. The beams of OUR House are cedar, OUR panels are cypress.” Very interesting!! Here HaShem not only forgives Israel and calls the righteous among Israel as loyal as a dove. Why a dove? Because a dove chooses her mate and stays with him and never changes him for another, so Israel never exchanged the Holy One, blessed be He, for another, once they had learned to know Him. Further, a dove constantly looks glances back toward their nest, just as Israel always glances back to HaShem, its Source, for life!
The commentary on these verses says “The sanctification of HaShem’s Name demands the flourishing growth of Israel. This verse continues that HaShem’s beauty is dependent upon His maintaining His beautiful abode, the Temple. Therefore, we ask that He restore His Temple and protect zealously.” Further, it goes on and says “Solomon, the prophet, speaks: How beautiful is the Temple of HaShem, built by my hands, of cedar wood; but more beautiful still shall be the Temple in the time to come be built in the days of King Messiah, the beams of which shall be of the cedars of the Garden of Eden, and the pillars of firs, juniper and cypress wood.”
Notice also the reference to ‘Our House’! This is in reference to the Temple in Jerusalem! It is Our House because it is HaShem’s House, His Throne and it is Israel i.e. Kohanim (Priests) who officiate and perform the Temple Services! See why we need a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem today? HaShem would then dwell among us, we could go and present our korbonot to Him and honor His Great Name!! May it be rebuilt speedily in our days!
Can you see the beauty and grandeur of HaShem, His Torah and His Temple? Is is possible Messiah Yeshua came to render all of these null and void as so many in Christendom teach? Its impossible! Look at the world today, devoid of any color now…everything is either black, white or grey. This is the fruit of life composed of lies, corruption and the fullness of life apart from HaShem and His Ways. His Ways are life, pleasing, colorful, light and always the truth! Why would we want to be free from them? Something to consider!
Stay tuned for future postings in this series as we will delve deep into Shir HaShirim!
- Shir HaShirim
- The Midrash Rabbah Shir HaShirim
- Talmud Bavli