Read: Song of Solomon 5:10-16
This is my beloved and this is my friend. (v. 16)
In today’s passage, which mirrors the groom’s physical description of the bride (4:1-16), the tables are turned and the bride now describes her beloved groom from head to toe. In the first line, the words translated as “radiant and ruddy” are actually the words for “white and red” in Hebrew. Then we read that his head is gold and his hair is black. He’s a technicolor hunk! Actually, the first lines use colors to describe unseen inward attributes—a good translation might be, “My beloved is radiant and youthful.”
It is unusual in ancient poetry for a man’s physical beauty to be described. It still is unusual—men especially don’t know how to talk approvingly about the appearance of another man. I chuckle when I think of the old Detroit Tigers’ manager Sparky Anderson describing a player as being “built like a Greek goddess.”
How would you describe Jesus? Do you think of him as beautiful? What does it mean to think of him as beloved? Mystics such as Theresa of Avila report being swept into a sort of rapturous ecstasy during times of prayer. That sounds foreign, exotic, and even blasphemous to us. Can you think of Jesus while looking at the words of our passage? There are a couple of praise songs taken from this passage that calls Jesus “altogether lovely” and the “fairest of the fairest of ten thousand.” Do you think of him this way? —Jeff Munroe
Prayer: Give us a clear picture and appropriate ways to imagine you, Lord Jesus.