In Part 1, we looked at the first four aspects of courtship from the Song of Solomon. Solomon continues in 2:17–3:11 by giving three more important signs of a healthy courting relationship.
- Dreams of consummation (2:17) – the Shulamite girl’s description of her desire could not be any stronger. She describes him as her young stag and asks him to come to the hills of Bether. The Mountains of Bether do not exist in this part of the Middle East. The Hebrew probably comes from the word bater or cleavage or separation. Thus, it is probably best to translate this as a reference to her cleavage. She dreams of the day when they will make love, but this does not only speak to the physical consummation of marriage but the intimacy that they will enjoy together as husband and wife. She longs for a heightened level of intimacy.
- Fear of separation and rejection (3:1-4) – the Shulamite girl’s pain of separation is unmistakable. She looks for him in the streets, the squares—in every corner of the city. She had already taken him to the most intimate of places—the room of her who conceived me (i.e. her womb)—and fears that he has vanished. Thoughts of rejection race through her mind. Solomon, in order to reassure her that his absence is intentional, reminds her that they must take care to not arouse love too quickly (cf. 2:7). Fears of rejection are common in courtship. The stakes are high. In courtship, the heart is open and could easily be trampled upon.
- Regal Majesty – In Solomon’s day, the wedding procession would normally happen a day before the act of consummation. In this procession, she describes Solomon as her protector (3:7-8), as unwavering and stable (3:9), her provider (3:10), and self-sacrificing (3:9-11). Solomon is the ideal groom. He models Yahweh’s love for His people. The husband should provide for the needs of his wife, placing the needs and desires of his wife before his own.