There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The 22nd book of the Bible, Song of Songs, is considered quite moving and romantic, sensual even.
Well, I have a unique perspective on the relationship between the 22nd Hebrew letter and the 22nd Old Testament book.. . . read it for yourself. If you find this book a bit hard to read because of how the verses switch from friends speaking to the lover speaking to the beloved speaking and so on, then I highly recommend that you visit the following website and read this marvelous version which has the book rewritten as a theatrical style play script:
Listen! My beloved is knocking:
“Open to me, my sister, my darling,
my dove, my flawless one.
My head is drenched with dew,
my hair with the dampness of the night.”
The 22nd Hebrew letter, the last one, is Tav. Its symbolic meaning is mark, sign or cross. Tav represents the ideas of consummation, completion, covenant and sealing. In Rabbinic tradition this letter is called the “Seal of Creation” and the “Seal of Truth”. It is nothing short of wondrous that our Lord would complete this holy alphabet with a letter that means cross.
Song of Songs (in older versions – Song of Solomon) was written by King Solomon. In Hebrew this book is called Shir Ha-Shirim; by naming this Song of Songs its superiority to other songs (or psalms) is recognized much like saying “king of kings” or “holy of holies”. This song is really a poem about love. The main speakers are a man and the woman whom he loves. At the start of the poem the couple is not yet engaged. The woman is not sure about the man. She twice sends him away. She does not seem to want to share his life, but in the end she learns to trust him and they marry.
Well, that’s one interpretation. It was, perhaps, originally written as an ancient musical play. Here’s another way to view it: The dark skinned maiden, the Shulamite, loves a shepherd boy but the king sees her beauty and takes her off to the castle to be one of his wives. The shepherd had cared about her heart and soul, but the king is lustful. She must choose between the riches (lustful sex) of the king and the true love (and sensual caring sex) of the shepherd. She chooses
Jews interpret this lovely story as God’s love for Israel and Christians see it as the expression of pure marital love as ordained by God and pictured here as the bridegroom, Christ, and the bride, the Church. Either way, we are covenanted with God Himself. We may sometimes feel out of touch with Jesus, as the girl in the story, but He has not left us. He is near even when we don’t feel His presence.
One thing I really like about Song of Songs is that the verses clearly affirm the goodness and sanctity of sex in marriage.
Now for the really cool stuff: Song of Songs is the 22nd book, matching up as a tav book with the 44th book, Acts, and the 66th book, Revelation. (See CROSSING THE SCRIPTURES for all the relationships between the 22 Hebrew letters and the 66 books of the Bible.) How did God weave these three books together? Beautifully. Read Song of Songs 5:2:
2 I slept but my heart was awake.
Now compare that to Revelation 3:20:
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Knocking at the door! I did a search and there is not another verse in the entire Old Testament that has the word knock. Study these two verses. Do you see the connection?
Song of Songs is all about love and marriage; Revelation is filled with songs and metaphors for marriage. (I'll get to that when I post on Revelation.)
Let me sum up the major connections of these three books in this way: in accordance with the key tav word for consummation, Song of Songs shows the consummation of a divine marriage, Acts shows the consummation of the Jewish age when the bride of Christ (the Church) is born, and Revelation reveals how all of history will be consummated as Christ receives His bride.
Consummation. Marriage. These three books are aligned perfectly with the exact Hebrew letter that denotes consummation. Awesome.