Scripture reading – Song of Solomon 3; Song of Solomon 4

Click on this link for translations of this Bible study. 

Our love story in the Song of Solomon continues today with chapters 3 and 4. The implication of today’s study is both literal and prophetic. I believe Solomon penned this love story as a young king, but I also consider it a beautiful depiction of God’s love for His people.

Song of Solomon 3

The Dreams of Young Love (3:1-3)

We find the young maiden dreaming of receiving Solomon as her husband. She dreamed of marrying him (3:1-2), but with her wedding night approaching, she could not find the man she loved. She imagined that she had wandered the city streets, looking for Solomon. In her dream, she approached the “watchmen” (the guards) of the city and asked, “Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?” (3:3) Then, when she found her groom, she held him tightly in her embrace and dared not let him depart until she led him to her “mother’s house (3:4).

The Patience of Young Love (3:5)

Rejoicing she had found her beloved, she challenged other young maidens (“ye daughters of Jerusalem”) to be patient in the matter of love and marriage: “Stir not up, nor awake my love” (3:5b) and wait “till he please” (3:5c). What a blessed challenge and counsel to young women who long for a lifetime companion and mate. In other words, wait, be patient, and don’t stir up desires that cannot be righteously satisfied outside the bounds of marriage.

The Joy and Happiness of Young Love (3:6-11)

Our young maiden dreamed about her mysterious shepherd, and he (Solomon) had courted her lovingly and patiently. She dreamed of her wedding day and waited for him to come to her with his wedding party and claim her as his bride.

One day, she looked toward the horizon. She saw what appeared as a cloud of dust (“pillars of smoke,” 3:6a). An entourage approached and brought with it a fragrance of burning incense, “perfumed with myrrh and frankincense” (3:6b). Amid the caravan, she spied a royal litter, a “bed, which [was] Solomon’s” (3:7). What a majestic presentation! The bed was borne by sixty “valiant men,” carrying swords on their thighs (3:8). 

No longer disguised as a shepherd, Solomon, the king of Israel, was come to claim her as his bride! (3:9) Imagine the pageantry and wonder of that moment. Her skin was tanned darkened by the sun’s rays, and her hands calloused by her labors, yet she was carried away on a bed of the finest “wood of Lebanon” (3:9-10).

The young bride, overwhelmed by joy, urged her attendants (“ye daughters of Zion) to behold their king wearing the crown given to him by his mother (3:11b) and perhaps adorned by her for his wedding day.

Song of Solomon 4


King Solomon Boasts in the Beauty of His Bride (4:1-7)

Our love story continued with the groom having come to sweep away his bride on her wedding night. Though she was beautiful, she was a of lowly means, and Solomon lovingly assured her, boasting of her beauty. The king’s poetic portrayal of his bride is foreign to our concept of beauty; however, we must remember he is looking at her through the eyes of love.

The focus was not so much on how she looked (though she was physically beautiful to Solomon) but on how he felt when he looked at her.

He regarded her beauty, and gentle eyes, saying, “Thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks” (4:1). Her hair flowed over her shoulders, and reminded him of a “flock of goats” skipping down the slopes of “Mount Gilead” (4:1). Her teeth were white, like sheep “shorn, which came up from the washing” (4:2). Her lips red, “like a threat of scarlet” (4:3). Her mouth was beautiful to behold, and her “temples” (i.e., cheeks) red “like a piece of a pomegranate,” and framed by the locks of her hair (4:3b).  

Solomon described her neck as “like the tower of David,” and her chastity like a great tower, and not easily or quickly taken (4:4). The young king claimed her as his wife and said, “7Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot [i.e., no blemish] in thee” (4:5-7).


The Groom’s Invitation to His Bride (4:8-11)

Solomon invited his bride to come away with him and mentioned four mountain peaks in northern Palestine (4:8). He professed she had stolen his heart (4:9). He declared his physical attraction to his bride (4:10-11), whose lips were as sweet as “the honeycomb,” and whose garments bore the freshness of the outdoors (4:11).


Two Metaphors Described Solomon’s Bride: “12A garden inclosed [and]… a fountain sealed” (4:12-16).

“Inclosed” and “sealed,” portrayed that she had guarded her virtue and moral innocence. She was a chaste woman and had given no man her favor. It was their wedding night, and Solomon tenderly took his young virgin to himself. With seven costly spices, the king described the precious nature of her love (4:13-14). The young bride accepted her husband, saying, Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits”(4:16).

Closing thoughts –

Cinderella stories abound with the narratives of a peasant girl who falls in love with a handsome prince. Sadly, our society is robbing little girls of their innocence, and many parents fail to instill in their sons the qualities of a genteel, caring spirit. 

The beautiful love story in The Song of Solomon is more than an ancient tale of a king and his maiden. It portrays God’s love for people of faith and Christ’s love for His bride, the Church. Such is the portrait given by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 5, where we read:

Ephesians 5:25, 27 – “25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it27That 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.”

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

* You can subscribe to the Heart of a Shepherd daily devotionals by entering your name and email address at the bottom of today’s devotion.

The Internal Revenue Service recognizes Heart of A Shepherd Inc as a 501c3 public charitable organization. Your donation is welcome and supports the worldwide ministry outreach of