Sex in Song of Solomon, Chapter 3

(Click here to read the whole Sex in Song of Solomon series.)

On to chapter 3!  As background: The book is commonly understood as a celebration of marital/sexual love and it contains a lot of rather graphic imagery. It’s an especially important book because it’s very sex-positive and provides a powerful illustration of the joy God takes in the sexual relationship between a husband and a wife.

Chapter 3 opens with a dream sequence: the Beloved searching and longing for her Lover. Who hasn’t had a dream like that? She eventually finds him in her dream, and she awakens somewhat flustered. This the dream of the Bride on the night before her wedding.

On my bed by night
I sought him whom my soul loves;
    I sought him, but found him not.
I will rise now and go about the city,
    in the streets and in the squares;
I will seek him whom my soul loves.
    I sought him, but found him not.
The watchmen found me
    as they went about in the city.
“Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”
Scarcely had I passed them
    when I found him whom my soul loves.
I held him, and would not let him go
    until I had brought him into my mother’s house,
    and into the chamber of her who conceived me.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.

In her dream, the Beloved catches her Lover and drags him to bed. The imagery of bringing him “into the chamber of her who conceived me” highlights the special intimacy of sex within marriage: this isn’t just sex, it’s loving sex that could lead to pregnancy. What could be more erotic?

When the Beloved awakens, she sees her Groom arriving for their wedding. Just as in earlier chapters the Lover admired his Beloved’s feminine attributes, here the Beloved is entranced by the Lover’s masculine wealth and power.

What is that coming up from the wilderness
    like columns of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
    with all the fragrant powders of a merchant?
Behold, it is the litter of Solomon!
Around it are sixty mighty men,
    some of the mighty men of Israel,
all of them wearing swords
    and expert in war,
each with his sword at his thigh,
    against terror by night.
King Solomon made himself a carriage
    from the wood of Lebanon.
He made its posts of silver,
    its back of gold, its seat of purple;
its interior was inlaid with love
    by the daughters of Jerusalem.
Go out, O daughters of Zion,
    and look upon King Solomon,
with the crown with which his mother crowned him
    on the day of his wedding,
    on the day of the gladness of his heart.

Chapter 3 may not contain as many sexual metaphors as chapters 1 and 2, but I find the marital intimacy to be especially erotic. Trying to get pregnant is some of the best sex ever.

6 comments

  1. Good to have another entry. Thanks for all the work you put into this series.

    It’s very romantic that the beloved had a dream about her lover. Do you think that perhaps her not being able to find him at first in the dream could be a parody of being lost and coming to Jesus?

    Is “baby making sex” really that awesome?

    1. Well, Ephesians 5 says that marital love is a picture of Christ’s love for the church, so I’m sure there’s a connection.

      In my experience, “trying to get pregnant” is awesome, yes!

  2. When a woman is ovulating she has increased hormones that make her horny. They actually make her smell and look more attractive in very subtle ways too. This makes sex when ovulating a lot better than normal sex, usually for both involved. I actually think this is something important to teach teenage girls, as I believe it is a contributer to teenage pregnancy. A guy that seems really hot today, might not in a week, and definitely not the week after that! It’s all hormones, beautiful God-designed hormones, but you’ve got to use them in the right way.

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