One of the most iconic stories of modern day is the Cinderella story, made famous worldwide by Disney. Cinderella—orphaned and left in the care of her evil step-mother—meets her prince charming who loves her unconditionally for who she is, not her circumstances, sweeps her off of her feet, and together they live happily ever after. Little girls for generations have dressed up and played the part of Cinderella. Not many would know it, but the Bible contains such a story—the story of Solomon and his bride in the Song of Solomon. This series of short posts will walk through this oftentimes overlooked and misunderstood story—a biblical story of love and romance between a man and a woman.
The Song of Solomon is one of the most neglected and least understood books of the Bible. It has been allegorized for most of church history–Solomon representing Yahweh or Jesus and the Shulamite woman taking on the part of Israel or the church. The graphic description of romance in the book has made some uncomfortable. Because of their apprehension over its sexual content, they have sanitized God’s message on Biblical love and romance. This is unfortunate for we have lost a biblical Cinderella story.
Solomon’s Character (vv 2-3)
In verses 2-3, Solomon’s Shulamite wife remembers back to their courtship, where Solomon’s Godly character caused her to fall deeply in love with him. In v 3, she describes his name as pure as the oil used in the worship of Yahweh. She adores his character, his holiness.
The Shulamite’s Character (vv 4-6)
In verses 4-6, Solomon’s bride recalls entering into his chamber, embarrassed by her exposure to the sun. Unlike the other female courtiers who had the luxury of hiding their skin from the sun, she had not. Because of her brothers’ anger, she had been working in the vineyards. Her words to Solomon demonstrate humility and her actions in relation to her family show submission. Because of her manual labor, she was not able to take care of her own body (=vineyard). She sacrificed herself and submitted to those that were placed in authority over her.
The Cinderella Story (vv 7-8)
As was previously mentioned, the romance between Solomon and his wife is a bit of a Cinderella story. The humble, maltreated but beautiful Shulumite woman meets her prince charming. who sweeps her off of her feet and loves her for who she is in spite of her circumstances. Solomon or his bride’s friend’s reply (it is debated) to her humble plea to overlook her appearance in verse 8 makes this clear—she would be crazy to feel that Solomon would not want her.
These verses describe what drew Solomon and his wife together—physical attraction was one element but more important was their relationship to Yahweh. This is in radical opposition to what the world seeks in a mate. Whether you are single or married, Solomon’s wisdom is relevant to where you are. Do not let outward beauty, fortune, and fame distract you from God’s standard for a godly mate—their relationship with Him.