The Book of
KING SOLOMON’S WORLD
Text: SONG OF SOLOMON 3:6-11
1. We saw last time that 3:1-5 deals with a dream that the Shulamite woman had regarding her beloved shepherd (3:1).
2. In her dream the Shulamite walked the streets of the city seeking her beloved (3:2).
3. Finally, she found him and would not let him go (3:3, 4).
4. Now as we move on to 3:6 we see that the scene changes. We are now watching the colorful and grandiose arrival of King Solomon’s procession at Jerusalem.
5. The king is returning from a trip to the countryside (“the wilderness” – 3:6). The time of this royal procession is not clear. The Song of Solomon is not in strict chronological sequence.
6. Many commentators believe King Solomon met the Shulamite while on this expedition (cf. 6:11, 12), but that is not at all clear.
7. It has been my contention that there are three principal characters in the Song of Solomon – King Solomon, the Shulamite woman, and the Shulamite’s beloved shepherd.
8. In addition, there are several subsidiary characters, such as “the daughters of Jerusalem” (3:5, 10, 11).
9. King Solomon is the shepherd’s rival. The question implied in 3:6 is, “Who can compare with the great King Solomon?” or “Who could resist his romantic overtures?”
10. The implied answer to these questions – according to the Shulamite, her heart belongs to her beloved shepherd and she is not impressed with King Solomon’s worldly pomp and power (cf. 2:16; 3:4).
I. THE WORLD & ITS POMP (3:6).
1. King Solomon represents the prince of this world, with all his worldly pomp, power, and magnificence.
2. We do not know who is speaking here in 3:6-11, and it really does not matter. The Scofield Study Bible says the bride is speaking but I do not agree with that view.
3. The inhabitants of Jerusalem are gathering along the streets of the city to watch the parade as it approaches. I think these are the voices of the parade-watchers (3:6ff).
4. These worldly parade-watchers know nothing at all about the Shulamite woman or her beloved shepherd. How could they?
5. According to the symbolism of the Song of Solomon, the Shulamite woman represents the church, the bride of Christ; and the shepherd represents our Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ.
6. The world does not know Christ. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (II Cor. 4:3, 4).
7. And this world does not regard His church, the bride of Christ. “Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day” (I Cor. 4:13).
8. Worldlings line up along the city streets to watch parades – the Easter Parade, the Thanksgiving Day parade, the St. Patrick’s Day parade, the Puerto Rican Day parade, etc. The world loves a good parade but is woefully ignorant concerning Christ and His church.
9. By the way, have you noticed that most of the parades (most of the various “ethnic” parades as well the abominable “gay pride” parade) are on the Lord’s Day? This is just another trick of the devil to keep people away from church.
10. Even godly people are hindered from getting to their local church by all the closed streets and detours. Worldlings have defiled a day set aside by God for worship. For sinners Sunday is a day for parades, sports, the beach, the park, television, shopping, and other worldly activities. This terrible desecration of the Lord’s Day will surely bring the wrath of God down upon the United States of America.
11. The old-time preachers preached against desecrating the Lord’s Day, but we do not hear much preaching about it these days.
12. DL Moody said, “No nation has ever prospered that has trampled the Sabbath in the dust. Show me a nation that has done this and I will show you a nation that has got in it the seeds of ruin and decay. I believe that Sabbath desecration will carry a nation down quicker than anything else.”
13. The world loves a good parade but it is not interested in the Lord Jesus Christ and His church. “The outward, the visible, the spectacular, the material are the things the multitudes admire. Spiritual…things have no attraction for them” (John Phillips, Exploring the Song of Solomon).
14. Some commentators describe 3:6-11 as a bridal procession. This interpretation seems rather strange to me because in a bridal procession the emphasis is on the bride, but here there is no bride mentioned at all.
15. The emphasis here is on worldly King Solomon – his pomp, his power, his prosperity, and his popularity.
16. Solomon is mentioned three times in this passage (3:7, 9, 11). The daughters of Jerusalem are referred to in verse 10. The daughters of Zion, and Solomon’s mother (Bath-sheba; cf. I Kings 1:11) are mentioned in verse 11. But the Shulamite is nowhere in sight.
17. Myrrh and frankincense (3:6) are referred to often in the Bible. These are two powerful spices used for special occasions such as weddings and funerals. You will recall that the wise men brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus at His birth (Matt. 2:11).
18. “Powders of the merchant” refers to the scented powders traveling merchants brought with them from foreign lands.
II. THE WORLD & ITS POWER (3:7, 8).
1. One of the parade-watchers shouts out, “Behold his bed (couch), which is Solomon’s…” (3:7). Solomon’s bed was a palanquin, a covered bed carried on poles on the shoulders of four or more men.
2. Sixty valiant soldiers surrounded King Solomon’s palanquin, all holding swords, all ready for combat (3:7, 8). This is a picture of the world with all its power.
3. Worldly people are very much impressed by a show of strength. The world despises weakness, and confuses meekness with weakness.
4. Pontius Pilate boasted to Christ, “Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?” (John 19:10).
5. The world has adopted the views of Charles Darwin, the champion of the theory of evolution.
6. Henry Morris said, “Evolution is the root of atheism, of communism, nazism, behaviorism, racism, economic imperialism, militarism, libertinism, anarchism, and all manner of anti-Christian systems of belief and practice.”
7. In his book, Origin of the Species, Darwin taught that “might is right,” and “only the strong survive,” and “survival of the fittest,” etc.
8. The world is impressed by demonstrations of power. King Solomon impressed the worldly crowd with his demonstration of power, but the Shulamite was not impressed. Apparently she was not watching his procession.
III. THE WORLD & ITS PROSPERITY (3:9, 10).
1. Everything about King Solomon pointed to his great wealth.
2. First Kings 10:14 says, “Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold.”
3. Six hundred threescore and six is the number of the beast (Revelation 13:18).
4. King Solomon favored the number six (and multiples of six), which is the number of man. King Solomon’s “throne had six steps” (I Kings 10:19).
5. “This number is used to express man’s sufficiency…The mystical number of the anti-Christ is six hundred sixty six, for he represents all that man can produce of human wisdom, power and provision” (Walter Lewis Wilson, Wilson’s Dictionary of Bible Types).
6. “King Solomon made himself a chariot,” indicates the king’s beautiful palanquin was custom made. Solomon had it especially designed and built with “the wood of Lebanon” (3:9), probably the expensive cedar used to build the temple.
7. Solomon’s chariot was a portable throne with pillars of silver to support the canopy over his bed (3:10).
8. Solomon’s chariot could be compared to the fancy stretch limousines rich people drive today.
9. The bottom (seat) of his chariot was made of gold, and it was covered with purple. The color purple signifies Solomon’s great wealth. Our Lord spoke of “a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day” (Luke 16:19).
10. When Babylon is destroyed, the merchants, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, “and saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple…” (Rev. 18:16).
11. Worldlings may criticize extravagance but nevertheless they are fascinated with it. There are numerous tacky TV shows about the rich and famous. Worldly people tune into see how the filthy rich live.
12. Worldlings purchase sleazy tabloids and magazines to read about the decadent lifestyles of the rich and famous.
13. The world is repulsed by them and yet at the same time the world is strangely drawn to them because of their great wealth.
14. Apparently worldly people criticize extravagance only because they covet it and cannot seem to get it. That is why millions of people foolishly waste their money on gambling. Statistics indicate that Americans spend more money on gambling than they do on groceries.
15. That is why the most popular preachers in the USA today are “health and wealth prosperity” preachers (Benny Hinn, TD Jakes, Joyce Meyer, etc.).
16. I remember when Ross Perot ran for president (twice). I heard him on TV and thought he sounded like he escaped from a mental hospital. Yet millions of Americans voted for him because he is rich.
17. We saw the same thing here in New York state when kooky (but very rich) Thomas Golisano ran for governor.
18. We could spend all day discussing corrupt millionaires running for electing office, and often winning – Senator John Corzine in NJ, (both senator and governor), the Kennedy’s and Rockefellers, etc.
19. Before we move on, note 3:10. Solomon’s chariot was “paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem.” Not for the Shulamite, but “for the daughters of Jerusalem.”
20. Again we are reminded that Solomon was a polygamist and a sensualist. King Solomon represents the prince of this world.
IV. THE WORLD & ITS POPULARITY (3:11).
1. It is interesting to note that the daughters of Jerusalem are referred to in 3:11 as “daughters of Zion.”
2. The expression, “daughters of Zion” occurs only four times in the Bible. The expression, “daughter (singular) of Zion” occurs twenty-six times and generally refers to the city of Jerusalem.
3. The other three occurrences (besides S of S 3:11), are found in Isaiah 3:16, 17 and 4:4. When the prophet Isaiah employs this term, he uses it as an expression of contempt.
4. The Holy Spirit (“the spirit of burning” – Isa. 4:4) uses this phrase, “daughters of Zion,” to depict Israel as a bunch of wanton women -- immodest and haughty, shallow and worldly – preoccupied with their appearance, preoccupied with wealth and worldly pleasures, and ripe for the judgment of God.
5. These were the shallow, pleasure-driven, worldly people crowding the streets of Jerusalem to see King Solomon in all his worldly pomp and power (3:11).
6. King Solomon was crowned by his mother “in the day of his espousals” (3:11). This crown is not the royal crown, but a nuptial chaplet (garland).
7. When was Solomon crowned with this chaplet? The Bible does not say. Was it when he married Pharaoh’s daughter (I Kings 3:1; 7:8; 9:16, 24; 11:1)?
8. Or was it when he married Naamah the Ammonitess, the mother of his first son and heir Rehoboam (cf. I Kings 14:21)?
9. We are again reminded that King Solomon was married many times.
10. God ordained marriage to be between one husband and one wife (one time) – not one husband and many wives as practiced by King Solomon (and by his father King David).
11. Even the reference to Solomon’s mother (3:11) reminds us of King David’s adultery, for Bath-sheba was originally the wife of Uriah the Hittite (II Samuel 11:2-5).
12. His heathen wives turned Solomon away from God (I Kings 11).
13. Notice that Solomon’s first wife was the daughter of Pharaoh (I Kings 11:1).
14. In the Bible, Egypt is a picture and type of the world (cf. Rev. 11:8).
15. Some commentators teach that Pharaoh’s daughter is the Shulamite. There is no Biblical basis for this interpretation. Nor is there any evidence that Naamah the Ammonitess is the Shulamite. In fact, if Solomon and the shepherd are rivals, the Shulamite could not have been one of Solomon’s wives.
16. At first, Solomon found “gladness” in marriage (S of S 3:11), but soon he sought happiness elsewhere. This is the theme of the Book of Ecclesiastes.
17. In his quest for worldly pleasure, King Solomon attempted to seduce this beautiful young Shulamite maiden. But she resisted his advances. She wanted nothing to do with worldly King Solomon.
18. Her love was reserved for the shepherd and only the shepherd.
1. The application is easy to make. The world can be very attractive. The devil will do all that he can to pull us away from our beloved Shepherd.
2. Let us resist Satan’s advances and remain faithful to our Good Shepherd!