How the Daughters of Jerusalem transport you into the Song of Solomon
In my last blog, I introduced you to Shulammite the leading lady in the Song of Solomon. Today, I’d like you to meet a very important group of women. They are the friends of the bride and Shulammite calls them the Daughters of Jerusalem. (For the full story, see my book Dare to Love a Man where I unpack every jot and tittle of this epic love story entirely from a woman’s perspective.)
Who are the Daughters of Jerusalem?
Many scholars believe these women to be friends of the bride who are gathered around Shulammite in the opening scene of the Song as she prepares for her wedding. They want to know how such an ordinary girl attracted the love of the man every woman wanted. Because Shulammite is the first among them to marry, her words serve to instruct the Daughters. So they hang on her every word as Shulammite flashes back and relates intimate details about love as it’s happening.
You are a Daughter too
If you’ve ever wondered why the Song is considered by experts to be the most brilliant poetic masterpiece ever penned, it is because of the Daughters of Jerusalem. In a stroke of artistic genius, through the friends of the bride, God writes you (the reader) into this love story too. That’s right, you have a part in this love story. You gain entrance into the Song through the friends because you watch and listen to everything happening from their vantage point. Which means you do not simply read the Song. You participate in it.
When Shulammite invites her friends into the private world of lovers, you find yourself transported there too, seeing what they are seeing—an epic love story unfolding in the present moment. Occasionally, her friends respond to what they see, ask questions, and engage Shulammite in conversation as they watch and listen.
Wait, is the Song happening now?
Yes! Shulammite does not tell you about a love that happened in bygone days. Instead, she transports you into a love happening right before your eyes. It’s how the Song stays alive and fresh even though it was written down centuries ago.
You see for yourself what a woman in love does, what she says, what she thinks, how she feels, and if you’re paying close attention, you even see how a man responds to a woman in love. Extremely instructive!
At times, Shulammite speaks to you directly about love in general and other times she speaks and interacts with her lover as you watch, listen and learn. And in the midst of it all, you remember how fabulous it is to be alive and in love.
How are you placed in every scene of the Song
Bit by bit, using explicit, metaphorical language, Shulammite conjures up vivid images of her surroundings and of her lover until the scene finally materializes around you. She does not try to tame the Song. Instead, she uses highly charged, symbolic descriptions (no worries, I unpack these for you verse by verse in Dare to Love a Man). So not only do you see, but also feel all that’s happening. Suddenly, a bland, gray world gives way to the brilliant colors of a lover’s paradise. You are reminded of how romance transforms the way lovers see the world – because you are there.
By placing you in the scene as an active participant you see, feel and overhear everything happening. Yet, even in the most erotic moments, when the lovers enjoy the breathtaking pleasures of intimacy, it doesn’t seem intrusive or voyeuristic because you are present by Shulammite’s, and by extension God’s, invitation.
A holy view of intimacy as it’s happening
There is no other place on the planet where you will gain a holy view of love and intimacy as it’s happening behind the bedroom doors of a married couple. It is in the two bedroom scenes where I found the deep intimacy I’d always longed for in my marriage. Shulammite teaches you what it is like to be in love in all its varied facets. And in a very real way through the Daughters of Jerusalem, she invites, no dares, you to become a lover too.
I reignited love in my own relationship because I took her dare and loved my man the Shulammite way. I became her friend. Now, I invite you to experience Shulammite’s world of desire as you Dare to Love a Man. But be prepared. This journey into God’s idea for romantic love is not only instructive, it’s nothing short of intoxicating.