Chapter 6


  • Remember those daughters of Jerusalem from Chapter 5? Well, here we get a dialogue between those ladies and the bride.
  • They ask her where the groom is, and she answers them by repeating a phrase we already heard in 2:16, "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine; he pastures his flock among the lilies."
  • Sometimes—like in these verses—it's hard to tell who's talking. Poetry can be tricky like that, so make sure you're reading carefully and keeping Shmoop close by.
  • Verses 6:4-7 are basically a repeat of the groom's speech about how gorgeous the bride is: "Turn away your eyes from me, for they overwhelm me! Your hair is like a flock of goats, moving down the slopes of Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of ewes, that have come up from the washing; all of them bear twins, and not one among them is bereaved."
  • Why repeat these lines? It's poetry, people! And that's what you do in poetry. Especially when it comes to songs (and surprise! Song of Songs is a song), repetition can work wonders. And it's pretty standard, to boot.
  • Here, though, we get the first real example of the bride standing out among other women, including "queens," "concubines," and "maidens." But don't get us wrong: just because the bride stands out among other women, doesn't mean the groom isn't going to have sex with other women.
  • See, the ancient world was not exactly a liberated place. Looks mattered, and if you were a beautiful woman, your beauty was treated as a commodity to buy power through marriage. Queens, concubines, and unmarried women had actual monetary values. So what the groom is saying here is actually pretty radical—that his love for the bride (and, of course, her beauty) sets her above all of these other women.
  • Yowza.
  • Remember the whole debate about Solomon's role in this text? Well, does a guy with hundreds of wives and concubines seem a likely candidate for endorsing true love for only one woman? For more thoughts on that, check out our "Symbols" section.

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