Chapter 24 – the Shulamite Maiden in a Sexually Charged Situation
Have you read the original erotica book called Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon) in the Bible? The heroine or “beloved” of the story is a young Shulamite maiden. We never learn her name though we find out plenty about her skin, her breasts, her cheeks, her face, her voice, and so on. Her words, however, tell us a lot about her character in this sexually charged situation.
I want to focus on what she says throughout the exchange between her, her lover, and her friends. If your Bible doesn't subtitle the sections so you can easily tell who’s speaking, find a translation that does. The maiden says, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” That is good advice to teens, isn't it? She repeats this in chapter 2, verse 7, and chapter 3, verse 5, and again in chapter 8, verse 4. When something is repeated three times in the Bible you better pay attention – it’s important. She is not denying her love for her suitor because she says in chapter 5, “Tell him I am faint with love”, but rather she is advocating restraint. In other words: Love is good. Lust is bad.
I also think she is taking control of the whole situation and saying that her virginity is hers to give. Read this section from chapter 8 and notice the subtleties in meaning:
I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment. Solomon had a vineyard in Baal Hamon; he let out his vineyard to tenants. Each was to bring for its fruit a thousand shekels of silver. But my own vineyard is mine to give.
Next Saturday the jeering youths