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Valentine Greetings: Song of Songs

As far as I can tell, none of the Valentine greetings on Hallmark cards are taken from the Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament, but I wonder why not. The kind of love we celebrate on Valentine’s Day rings out in the Song of Songs, an eight chapter love poem narrated by a man and a woman, seemingly a husband and wife. It’s sometimes called a Valentine for the ages. While some people find the Song of Songs a bit too steamy or erotic, it is part of scripture, and surely, if there is a time to read and consider the Song of Songs, it is on Valentine’s Day.

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth–for your love is more delightful than wine. Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out.” (1:2-3, NIV)

“Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels.” (1:10)

“My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts.” (1:13)

“How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. How handsome you are, my beloved! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant.” (1:15-16)

“Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.” (2:10, 13)

“Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would hot let him go till I had brought him to my mother’s house, to the room of the one who conceived me.” (3:4)

“Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely.” (4:3)

“Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies.” (4:5)

“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” (4:7)

“You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice! Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue.” (4:9-11)

“My beloved is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand. His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven. His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels. His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh.” (5:10-13)

“Turn your eyes from me; they overwhelm me. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of sheep coming up from the washing.” (6:5-7)

“Sixty queens there may be and eighty concubines, and virgins beyond number; but my dove, my perfect one, is unique, the favorite of the one who bore here.” (6:8-9)

“Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of an artist’s hands. Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies.” (7:1-2)

“How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with your delights! Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit.” (7:6-7)

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.” (8:6-7)

“Come away, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the spice-laden mountains.” (8:14)

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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