Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Yeah, we know. You can read Song of Songs with your parents and it won't lead to too much blushing. But what's behind all those intense metaphors?
It's difficult to know whether a text like this would have been shocking or scandalous in its time. But we know our euphemisms when we see them. Let's just take a look:
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away. (2:13)
A garden locked is my sister, my bride,
a garden locked, a fountain sealed.
Your channel is an orchard of pomegranates
with all choicest fruits (4:12-13)
My beloved thrust his hand into the opening,
and my inmost being yearned for him. (5:4)
I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine;
he pastures his flock among the lilies. (6:3)
We'll let you use your imaginations, but we just want to remind you that Song of Songs definitely has some sexy times. We mean, it wouldn't have made its way into the Bible if it had been judged to be out of bounds, but that doesn't mean that Biblical writers were Puritans. Just sayin'.