The Book of
THE SHULAMITE’S SECOND DREAM
1. Back in chapter 3 we noted that the Shulamite woman had a strange dream (cf. 3:1-4).
2. In chapter 3, the Shulamite woman recalls a dream in which she was out in the streets looking for her beloved shepherd (3:1, 2).
3. Now in chapter 5 we read of a second dream – “I sleep, but my heart waketh…” (5:2). In this second dream, her beloved shepherd had come knocking on her door late at night, calling for her to open (5:2).
4. But the Shulamite had been too slow to respond. She had already put off her coat; she had already bathed and washed her feet (5:3). While she was making excuses, the shepherd quietly went away and by the time she finally got around to opening the door he was gone (5:6).
5. This often happens with Christians. The Lord is dealing with them about certain things (Christian service, prayer, soulwinning, tithing, etc.) but the Christian is slow to respond to God’s call, and then starts making excuses. Precious time is wasted and before you know it the Lord is gone.
6. “So often we turn a deaf ear to the Bridegroom’s voice” (HA Ironside, Addresses on the Song of Solomon).
7. Panic-stricken the Shulamite roamed the streets looking for him, just as she did in her first dream (5:6, 7; cf. 3:2, 3).
8. In her first dream, the night watchmen were unable to help her, and in this second dream they are not only unable to help her, they smote her (5:7).
I. THE SHULAMITE DESCRIBES HER UNUSUAL DREAM (5:2-7).
1. Perhaps it would be better to describe her dream as a nightmare. Her beloved was knocking on her door but she did not open the door (5:2, 3).
2. The shepherd asks her to open (5:2). He calls her “my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled.”
3. “My sister” – The Shulamite was betrothed to the shepherd but they had not yet consummated their marriage. That is why he calls her, “my sister” as well as “my love” (5:2).
4. We saw last week that when the Bible describes the church in its present state it is referred to as a family; but when the Bible refers to the church in its future state it is called the bride of Christ (see II Corinthians 11:2 and Revelation 19:7-9).
5. So first the Shulamite is “sister,” later on she will be the shepherd’s bride.
6. “My dove” – in the Bible, the dove represents the Holy Spirit. The bride should always be filled with the Spirit.
7. “My undefiled” – Ephesians 5:25-27 says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (i.e., “undefiled”).
8. The shepherd put “his hand by the hole of the door” (5:4). The shepherd, of course, represents the Lord Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd. He says in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
9. We often hear this Scripture preached to sinners in a Gospel message, but this is the Lord talking to the church at Laodicea.
10.The Lord does not force Himself upon us. If we are too lazy to give him time, or if we make excuses, He will quietly withdraw and leave us to ourselves.
11.Christians are often like this lazy Shulamite – “I am tired…I’m going to bed early tonight…I’ve had a busy day…Let someone else do it…etc.”
12.The young maiden’s “bowels were moved” for her beloved (5:4). In Scripture, the “bowels,” like the heart, represent the seat of emotions.
· “And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there” (Gen. 43:30).
· “Behold, O LORD; for I am in distress: my bowels are troubled; mine heart is turned within me” (Lam. 1:20a).
· “For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:8).
· “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (I John 3:17).
13.Finally, in her dream the Shulamite gets up out of her bed (5:5). She dresses herself and dips her hands in perfume. This indicates the Shulamite was still residing in the king’s palace (perhaps just in her dream) because it is unlikely a poor peasant girl could afford the luxury of “sweet smelling myrrh” (5:5).
14.Furthermore, when she awoke she spoke to the court women (5:8).
15.Song of Solomon 5:6 is not talking about salvation, but fellowship. In fact, this is the theme of the entire poem – fellowship between the Shulamite (who represents the church) and the shepherd (who represents Christ).
16.If we make excuses the Lord will leave us alone, but this will put us out of close fellowship with Christ, and put us in spiritual peril and even give the world an opportunity to do us harm (cf. 5:7).
17.Taking her veil away “involved the greatest indignity to an Oriental woman, intimating she was a mere wandering wanton” (Merrill F. Unger, Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament).
II. THE SHULAMITE DESCRIBES HER BELOVED SHEPHERD (5:8-16).
1. After awaking from her dream, the Shulamite turned to the court women with an urgent plea (5:8). They respond to her plea with a question (5:9).
2. The daughters of Jerusalem could not understand why the Shulamite would prefer her humble shepherd when she could join King Solomon’s harem (5:9). Why was her shepherd so special?
3. This is the way worldly people think. These worldly women from King Solomon’s court did not know the shepherd. How could they understand how the Shulamite felt?
4. The world cannot understand or appreciate our love for the Lord Jesus. I remember talking to a JW one time and he said to me, “That’s the problem with you Christians – you’re always talking about Jesus!”
5. The women of Jerusalem mocked the Shulamite, and the world mocks the church (5:9; cf. 1:8). They don’t mind a little bit of religion; just don’t take the Bible too seriously. Don’t start talking about Jesus because that bothers them.
6. The Shulamite answered the daughters of Jerusalem. Her beloved was “white and ruddy” (5:10). He is “the chiefest among ten thousand” (5:2).
7. Now the Shulamite pours forth enthusiastic praise of the beauty of her beloved shepherd, and using a wealth of poetic metaphors and similes, she concludes by saying, “Yea, he is altogether lovely” (5:10-16).
III. THE SHULAMITE DESCRIBES HER SHEPHERD’S WHEREABOUTS (6:1-3).
1. The daughters of Jerusalem are impressed with the Shulamite’s description of her beloved shepherd. Now they really want to meet him for themselves and so they ask, “Whither is thy beloved gone…?” (6:1).
2. Our testimony for the Lord should be such that sinners will ask us how they can find out more about Him.
3. The Shulamite responds by telling the daughters of Jerusalem that her beloved is down in his garden (6:2).
4. She concludes this portion of the song by repeating, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies” (6:3; cf. 2:16).
1. Song of Solomon 6:3 reminds us of the security we have in Christ. Just as the Shulamite knew she belonged to her beloved shepherd, we know we belong to Jesus.
2. The songwriter wrote:
“Now I belong to Jesus,
Jesus belongs to me,
Not for the years of time alone,
But for eternity.”