A couple of days ago I was reading SONG OF SOLOMON. I’m always trying to glean new snippets of wisdom from the Bible and that reading did not disappoint.
The SONG OF SONGS was written by King Solomon about the courtship and marriage of him and his bride. She is called the Shulamite. It is not really known from whence this word came, but what I gleaned was from it. Somewhere along the line of history, the original translator of Solomon’s name took it from the Hebrew Shelomoh or Shelomah, meaning ‘peace’, to the names of three gods: Sol, the sun-god; Om, a Hindu god if I remember rightly (it is a name repeated during transcendental meditation); and On. About this last I cannot recall the details from when I read about the three gods in Solomon’s name.
I find names fascinating. According to a book written by my friend and the president of my writing group, www.buyaustralianbooks.com.au/book/annehamilton/godspoetry/ , our names are a microcosm of YHWH’s plan for our lives. In her book Gods Poetry, Anne uses the Scripture: For we are His workmanship, created in Yahshua Messiah for good works, which YHWH prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (EPH. 2:10) to illustrate this. The Greek word translated ‘workmanship’ is the Greek word poiema from which our word ‘poem’ comes. We are, as Anne has discovered, YHWH’s poems. Just as creation was fashioned by the Word of YHWH, so He makes us from His words, the first one being the name given to us at birth, or in my children’s cases, many years before even their conception.
Returning to Shelomoh the king, we find then that his bride has a feminine form of his own name: Shulamite, which means peace also. As pointed out in my first six posts about the name of YHWH, there are no vowels in ancient Hebrew, so they have been added to enable easier pronunciation. The ‘e’, ‘o’, ‘u’, ‘a’, and ‘i’ could be anything in these two words. Hebrew was a dead language until revived by the modern Israeli Jews.
To glean the deeper ramifications of she, the Shulamite, coming from him, Shelomoh, we go right back to Adam and Eve. Adam in Hebrew means ‘man’, or ‘human being’, encompassing all of mankind. Eve in Hebrew means ‘life-giver’. Because our original parents were one flesh by virtue of their marriage, Eve was made from Adam, and she was made for him, Eve was also a man. But she was given the ability to bring forth life, so her designation was appended with the word ‘womb’: womb-man, ‘wo-man’ or man with a womb! Strange yet marvellous, isn’t it? Even more so because this is an English and not a Hebrew word. Much later though, in my posts I hope to show the little known but deep connection between these two languages and races.
I don’t suppose the women’s liberationists will like it, but Eve was made to be a helper for her husband Adam: And YHWH said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him (GEN. 2:18). With that we return to Shelomah and his ‘Shelomite’ bride.
Reading through Shelomoh’s song–one could call it a poem–I discovered some interesting facets to this love affair which culminated in their marriage, and much more. Because of it I was deeply convicted once again by sin. The story goes something like this:
Chapter one. She’s besotted with him. He thinks she’s lovely. She wants to be with him. He gives her directions to get to him, but doesn’t come for her himself. Their ‘love’ is all physical with him and emotional with her.
Isn’t this just like marriages today?
Chapter two. She’s thinking more highly of herself. He’s thinking more highly of her. They are together. He takes her to the banqueting hall (marriage). She’s utterly lovesick because of his attentions. They sleep together. He’s excited by her – leaping over mountains, coming home to her quickly. He wants her to come with him. So she believes they are one. This is sexual love.
At this point in the narrative, I realized that out of a number of boyfriends and lovers I had, I only married the two, Philip and Anthony, who pursued me. I was not interested in nor in relationship with either of them before the pursuit started. All the others I quickly or slowly lost interest in. Since I was a little girl, I have never lost interest in Yahshua. Does everybody know that He pursues us until we are all His?
Chapter three. He leaves. She searches everywhere for him. Finds him. Takes him to HER place! At this I started getting the thought: Is she selfish? He has other things to deal with. He’s special. Other people want him. He IS a king after all.
Chapter four. He tells her how beautiful she is. Still physical with him. But he wants her to come out of HER place. He is at last overcome by her. He sees her as she is. All his own.
Chapter five. He’s at his place. Wants her to be there too. But she’s too selfish. She responds, but too late. He’s gone. (Again.) She searches again. This time she’s done her dash. She’s sick with love. She finally sees him, for as wonderful as he is, she has not appreciated him. But it’s still only physical.
Chapter six. He’s off doing his kingly work. Still overcome by her, but too busy to attend to her as she selfishly desires. She goes out to where he’s at. She becomes homesick. Torn between him and selfish desires. The others (the world?) jealously call her back in earnest. She doesn’t understand why. She thinks little of herself. He sees in her something of him. Now it is more than just physical. She realizes she is truly the one, and accepts the invitation to go with him to his work, to help him.
Chapter seven. At last they have a love that is sexual, emotional, physical, AND spiritual. I AM MY BELOVED’S AND HIS DESIRE IS TOWARD ME, says she, echoing his call to come with him and join together in his work.
Final chapter eight. Now she leans upon him.There true love is awakened. Instead of for selfish reasons, it is for each other, and others now too. She does her own work, in his vineyard, under his protection and provision, and helps others do the same.
There’s no getting away from it. The man with a womb was made to be a helper to the man without a womb. But that is far from all there is to it. The man is made to be a king. A provider, protector, a man. Someone special. If he is special, so is she. For they are one flesh. If he is a king, she is his queen. Never was a child made without this union.
How does this translate? I see my husband as having gone out to his YHWH-given work, but I in my selfishness have refused to go with him. It is not up to me to interpret, decide, or analyse what form that work takes. It is Father who leads him, matures him, and trains him, not me.
A good friend was telling me this story the other day. She is helping an old friend who has been severely injured by a violent husband. This lady has a sister who is a Christian and was married to a lovely but unbelieving husband. The religious sister so nagged her husband over the years, dragging him off to church, he one day went to the train station. He rang the wife on his mobile, said he had taken all but $1 out of his account because she had always said she’d take him for everything even to his last dollar, then told her he was going to leap in front of the next train, as he could bear her no more. Leaving his mobile on for her to hear, the husband did just that, killing himself. The injured wife could never understand how the religious one could be so lacking in appreciation for her lovely husband when she had one who beat her and left her for dead.
We Christian wives are told to win our husbands with a meek and quiet spirit (I PETER 3:4). This is unfading beauty, that’s beauty that never grows old, it says. Our holy lives will speak to them without any words. I’m guilty of not doing this. So are most of my married friends. I do not know of a single marriage in which the husband is overcome with his wife and she could be described as lovesick for him.
When Philip and I were first married, Father gave Philip a prophetic word about me being his helper. My son, He said, I will give you peace and the peace that I give you is not of this world. My peace is a peace that will comfort you all your life with her. I have given her as a helper to you. You need her to strengthen you to do My work. I have given you to a special work to tell My people that the world is coming to an end (more about this in upcoming posts)…I have gathered you two. Be prepared, for I have called you two, My son and My daughter. I will equip you two for my work. Look to your wife with My eyes. She is your guide to give you correction and direction in your path. She has My heart of love and peace, and I have given her to you for My work. She will be your advisor when you go along the wrong track. Notice Father GAVE Philip and I TO the work we were to do, not that He gave the work to us. We were YHWH’s gift to His people.
Two are indeed better than one, for if one falls, the other will lift him up (ECC. 4:9-10). That is not to say singleness is not also good. But while being single we should strive to make ourselves the best gift that can be given to another and others, even if that significant other proves to be Yahshua when He returns.
Knowing but not wishing presently to visit the many shortcomings of husbands, how many marriages falter because the wife is selfishly pursuing her own desires? When I saw this in SONG OF SHELOMOH (don’t know if I like calling him by the names of gods), I asked Father about my own gifts and calling when I married Anthony. I had already started the book He had directed me to write, and I had been undertaking my ministry to His people for many years. Father reminded me, though Anthony was immature spiritually, he had not minded when I got the book out to finish it two years into our marriage. In fact, he often encouraged me. Once I recall he asked me, “You love that (writing), don’t you?” He never read it, wasn’t interested. I would sit at a little desk in our lounge room and write while everyone watched TV around me. Then I taught myself to type and use this computer in the same place as I wrote. It was enjoyable. We all thought it would take me three years to type up that manuscript. But of course when YHWH is involved miracles happen. It took me six months. When we allow Father to be our producer and director, it may not happen as we expect, but it surely will happen.
Anthony believed when we were married that Yahshua had died on the cross for him. He was a believer. He prayed and we read the Bible together. He was responding to Father’s call. But I opened my very loud mouth too much. I selfishly and erroneously thought he was made for me. Not half the things I said and did to him have I written herein. It would be too embarrassing! I can at least be thankful he didn’t throw himself in front of a train.