Song of Solomon – A Handbook For Marriage
Bible Study Introduction
By Carri Pratt and Amy Gentry
How it works:
Welcome! We are so glad if you have chosen to revel in a Summer of Sizzle and Romance this year. This is an online study only. It will be up to you and your schedule as to how often you check in and how much (or little) you wish to participate. Of course the more time you invest the greater your reward and the more fun you will have! Each week we will discuss a small portion of the book Song of Solomon (aka Song of Songs) and apply it to one main weekly topic on marriage. One word of caution, we do not go in chapter/verse order like other traditional studies, we skip around based on the weekly topic.
The weekly schedule will remain the same each week as follows:
Monday – Check in to the T2W Song of Solomon Study group on FaceBook, (https://www.facebook.com/groups/t2wsos/) then go to the printable tab and print the lesson
- This information will also appear on the Titus 2 Women FaceBook page and Titus2Women.org
- You will be invited to participate in a one to two question survey about the weekly topic
- You will be invited to participate in the Readers Choice Awards
- Click on the Video tab and view the short clip provided
- Complete your worksheet (just a few fill in the blanks)
- Choose whether you will accept the weekly challenge (aka The Fun Stuff)
Tuesday – 2 Cute Tuesday will showcase romantic items and crafts
you can make that go along with the weekly topic
BINDER PRINTABLE – On the "Files" tab from the group page you will be given the opportunity to print the Binder Printable. We highly recommend that you prepare a binder to keep your notes from the study. This will give you:
· Cover Page – to slip in the front of a “view thru” binder – has a box for you to add a photo of you and your husband – if you are crafty you can even add cute scrapbook paper for a unique look
· Study Outline & Calendar – shows the weekly topics and dates for your review
· Challenge Journal – spaces for you to write in the weekly challenges and an area for you to journal your results
Invite a few of your married friends to participate in the study with you as your accountability partners. Discuss your weekly experiences and what God is doing in your relationship.
THE FUN STUFF!!!
Useful Tips and the Weekly Challenge
Each week you will see a challenge for you to do for or with your husband. This is the part that makes your marriage really sizzle!!! Please do your best to complete your weekly challenge. This is where you are going to experience the biggest difference in your marriage relationship. However, if you miss a week, just go on to the next week. Don’t forget to check in with your accountability partners.
Song of Solomon, also known as Song of Songs is believed by many scholars to be written by King Solomon, son of King David, early in his reign (approx. 900 BC). It is considered by many to be the best song he ever wrote.
There are three ways to interpret this song:
1) The first is allegorical meaning that the characters are fictional and the man represents God and the woman represents the Israelites.
2) The second interpretation is also allegorical and holds that the man represents Jesus Christ and the woman represents His church.
3) The third interpretation is the one we will use for this study, the literal approach. This approach suggests that the man is actually King Solomon early in his reign and the Shulammite is the woman he loves. The Shulammite woman believes that King Solomon is a shepherd. She is in love with him and is concerned about her dark skin tone (her deep dark tan was a status symbol showing she was a lower class working woman. She states that she is ashamed of her skin color which she has because her step brothers are angry with her and make her work all day in the vineyard. Sounds a little like Cinderella right? King Solomon does not seem to mind but rather finds her to be quite lovely. He professes his love to her over and over. By the end of his reign, however, King Solomon was said to have given his love to approximately 700 wives and 300 concubines. (that’s a lot of love for any one man!)
This book is very short, only eight chapters, but heavily laden with sensual overtones. The early church fathers were quite disturbed by this fact and therefore modern scholars have attributed their need to explain the graphic language by using the allegorical methods. Hebrew boys were not allowed to read the Song of Solomon until they had come of age (13). There is a heated debate regarding whether this book should even be included in the Old Testament Canon because of its erotic imagery. However, William Green quoted Rabbi Akiba from the Talmud regarding the Jewish opinion of the inspiration of the Song of Solomon. “‘Silence and Peace! No one in Israel has ever doubted that the Song of Solomon defiles the hands [i.e. is Scripture]. For no day in the history of the world is worth the day when the Song of Solomon was given to Israel. For all the Hagiographa are holy, but the Song of Solomon is a holy of holies.”
The literal approach claims that God gave us this book of the Bible as a Handbook For Marriage. This seems very logical looking at the fact that God provided the Ten Commandments to live by and the various laws in Leviticus for the Israelites to maintain. He also gave us what Jesus called the greatest command, to “Love the Lord Your God . . . and love your neighbor as yourself.” Deuteronomy 6:5
The true question would be; why wouldn’t God give His creation the necessary guidelines for a successful marriage relationship? Especially when He so clearly mandated in Genesis 2:24 “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” NIV
2 Cute Tuesday, 5/28 – Personalized Binder Covers for this study
Session One, 6/3 – First official session of Song of Solomon