Foundations Bible Commentary
Books : Commentaries
Foundations Bible CommentaryHardcover The Song of Solomon O. Talmadge Spence The Song of Solomon is part of the Foundations Bible Commentary that Dr. Spence desired to write after preaching and teaching the Scriptures for almost fifty years. This volume presents a conservative and pure exposition on this neglected book of the Bible.
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From the Preface

The Song of Solomon is truly one of the most neglected serious studies of all the Books of the entire Bible. Yet, in former days, serious Christian scholars poured over every one of the 2,655 words in the King James Version of this Song. Our Puritan Fathers, singularly, dealt with it, with the revered John Gill extending the widest guidelines of interpretation for all who would dare pursue further study for future days. Gill’s exposition and book publication of 1854 resulted from his 122 sermons faithfully rendered to his own Congregation, and as he says, “the Congregation where God in his providence has placed me, and were designed only for their use, profit, and edification.”

Several observations should be made to the reader which was cautionary to the writer for the reading and further study of this book.

First, it has been observed by others that the Hebrews “had no stage” in their artistic development. Therefore, drama becomes the lesser emphasis under the larger attachment to lyric poetry itself. This, however, does not mean there is no narrative to The Song; it simply underlines the more weightier descriptions of love to be sung or chanted.

Second, in any consequential piece of literature there is at least the implication of narrative, plot, character, setting, and theme, and yet poetry carries with it the greater purpose of explicit beauty, whether the drama be there or not. The higher this form of beauty is present and used, the more important it is to be careful about “reading between the lines.” It is this latter liberty that adds danger and caution must be taken by the interpreter.

Third, two observations must be maintained throughout The Song. They are: whenever parts of the body are given description which seem to be unseemly, it should be understood as a description of the garments covering that part of the body; and second, we should see clearly the love in this Song, between man and woman, to be understood as natural stimulants, free and spontaneous, rather than unnatural stimulants of lust.

Fourth, it must be dogmatically asserted that there are disclosures of the secret intimacies of love without immorality. There are no obscenities in The Song. The Western World and contemporary connotations of our unnatural inventions of mere “romance” is a far-cry from the home trainings of Palestine and some adjacent geographies of the Bible Lands in early days, and much lingers there now. This Book was revealed in such a time and among such a people. The child, both boy and girl, was greatly guarded by the parents from what the Western World children have learned, intelligently, from the improprieties of some parents and their television of the Western World.

Fifth, The Song of Solomon, as a revealed Book of the Bible, is in every sense of the word a genuine portion of the Word of God. It must not be viewed otherwise. Otherwise it could be read by an impure heart and a preconceived mind, that would endeavor to extricate this Book from God’s revealed Word to mankind. The Bible is a complete repository for all the things that God knew man would need as a divine word from man’s Creator and Redeemer.

So, we must enter this Holy of Holies with the holiness of God upon us. There will be, figuratively speaking, eight “chambers” in a three-story house of thought. The chambers will be studied later; the three stories are as follows: (1) Introductory Acquaintance of Love. (2) The Betrothal Patience of Love. (3) The Marital Triumph of Love.



Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

The Commentary View
The Ewald Plot
The Ironside Plot
The Story of The Song
General Presuppositions
Specific Presuppositions
Inherent Observations
“The Narrative of the Shulamite”
Without Apology
Characters in Order of Appearance

ACT I (1:1-17) The Vineyard: Works Without Consecration

Scene 1 - The Soliloquy (1:1-4)
Scene 2 - The Work (1:5-11)
Scene 3 - The Fragrance (1:12-17)

ACT II (2:1-17) The Banquet House: Rejoicing Without Consistency

Scene 1 - The Place of Love (2:1-7)
Scene 2 - The Hills of Memory (2:8-13)
Scene 3 - The Staircase to Revival (2:14-17)

ACT III (3:1-11) The Wilderness: Trials Without Watchfulness

Scene 1 - The Dark Street (3:1-5)
Scene 2 - The Kingly Carriage (3:6-11)

ACT IV (4:1 - 5:1) The Mountains: Magnificence Without Militancy

Scene 1 - The Shulamite Portrait (4:1-7)
Scene 2 - The Mountain Dens (4:8-11)
Scene 3 - The Garden Heart (4:9 - 5:1)

ACT V (5:2-16) The Garden House: Retirement Without Refirement

Scene 1 - The Slumber Room (5:2-8)
Scene 2 - The Solomon Portrait (5:9-16)
ACT VI (6:1-13) - The Valley Garden: Longings Without Fulfillments
Scene 1 - The Lower Beauty (6:1-10)
Scene 2 - The Upper Drawing (6:11-13)
ACT VII (7:1-13) The Heavenly Chamber: View From the Battlements
Scene 1 - The Gospel Concerning Heaven (7:1-9)
Scene 2 - The Gospel Delight in Heaven (7:10-13)
ACT VIII (8:1-14) The Millennial Chamber: View From the City
Scene 1 - A New Relationship (8:1-7)
Scene 2 - A New Adventure (8:8-14)
Bibliography