My (Darkly) Funny Valentine

            As Valentine's Day approaches, lovers with a Biblical bent may be searching the scriptures for appropriate passages for the showering of amour upon one another.

 Get ready for a deluge!

Get ready for a deluge!

            And the Bible does not disappoint!  There is lots of sexy language in the Bible (and it doesn't even need to reference "feet"!).  A glut of it can be found in that treasure of trysting, the Song of Songs (also known as the Song of Solomon). 

             Oh my, the Song of Songs/Solomon is filled with the kind of language that might make even Mr. Grey blush.  Or at least be curious.

Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle….I will hasten to the mountain of myrrh, and the hill of frankincense….
— Song of Solomon 7:3

             (Sure makes you wonder now what those three kings were up to giving the gifts they did to the Baby Messiah, yes?)

            But I digress, sort of.  Regardless of how the characters of the New Testament related to the Song of Solomon, chances are those peopling the Old Testament understood it as an erotic poem written or at least embraced by one of Israel's greatest kings, David's son Solomon.  

 Be mine?

Be mine?

            Why Solomon?  Well, he was generally accepted as the wisest of kings, and it was believed one of the byproducts of a life lived wisely is a happy and rich love life.  (But of course!  It follows that one who is wise would be best equipped to "know" another, right?  {wink wink nudge nudge, etc.})

            In a previous blog (Song of Un-Solemn) I talked about how the erotic poetry of this Song was used for assisting in the consummation of marriage (and not just for the couple’s benefit - the sooner the deed was done the sooner the blowout reception for whole village could begin!). 

             However, there is something quite ironic, darkly funny even, about this very carnal volume being ascribed to Solomon, Israel’s last king of “unified Israel.”

             After all, despite Solomon’s traditional association with wisdom, his ability to think with his brain eventually turned totally south (pun totally intended).  According to 1 Kings, after overseeing the construction of the Temple, Solomon acquired a lot of wealth and began marrying just about anyone in order to secure additional political allegiances and feed his voracious appetite for more and more “knowledge” (more wink wink nudge nudge). 

 The last time Solomon was actually wise around women!

The last time Solomon was actually wise around women!

            According to 1 Kings 11 Solomon eventually acquired 700 foreign wives and 300 concubines.  Just think of it…that’s a stockpile of 2000 gazelle-like breasts!!!

             It was this lust for lust that lead to his downfall and the downfall of unified Israel. 

Then the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this matter, that he should not follow other gods…. Therefore the LORD said to Solomon….I will surely tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. I will [not however] tear away the entire kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.
— I Kings 11:9ff

              Seems Solomon’s “wisdom” was a sardonic gift.  In the end he was not wise at all but rather a total and complete “fool for love.” One of the world's biggest fools.  Perhaps the Bible's biggest, anyway....

 A biblical view of marriage?

A biblical view of marriage?

            This of course doesn’t take away from the beauty, seductiveness and, hence, Valentine-worthiness of these love poems attributed to old Sol....

             However, you have to shake your head and chuckle a bit at the clever, bitter, political jab that also comes with giving them the “Song of Solomon” title and attribution. 

            For those of you without a "valentine" this year (and blue because of it), perhaps knowing the irony of Solomon's Song -- and the warning implied therein -- will bolster and soothe your bruised heart.  If the romantic stuff of the poem indeed was the stuff to bring down God’s chosen nation, then it's just as well you are not in your own (or some dreamy ‘special someone’s’) boudoir possibly bolstering the demise!

 Hope your day is surprisingly sweet in any case!

Hope your day is surprisingly sweet in any case!