He has brought me to his banquet hall, And his banner over me is love. ~ Song of Songs 2:4 NASB
This is one of the few verses in the Song of Songs that many people who have been in the church for a while are familiar with. When I was young often sang a song called “His Banner Over Me Is Love” that included this verse, “He lifts me up to His banqueting table, His banner over me is love.”
But in doing a bit of word study on this verse I find that these words translated banquet hall or banqueting table, are not uncommon, but they never, anywhere else in scripture are rendered this way.
Everywhere else this word for banqueting shows up it is translated “wine.” The word used for hall, or table, is more often translated house.
There are a few less common translations that give us this more common form of these words such as:
He hath brought me in unto a house of wine, And his banner over me [is] love (YLT)[i]
I believe the reason they have gone this way, is wine speaks of Luxury, and to the common man, would not be part of a normal day. It would accompany a feast, and so the leap from house of wine to banquet hall.
Remember back in the 2nd verse of the Song, she declared to her then fantasy lover, “Your love is better than wine” and at that point it was a longing of her heart to be with this Shepherd King, but now her deepest longings are taking shape in reality.
So what is a good tea totaling “EvangChariCostal” to make of all this wine?
The path is clear for me is clear:
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit ~ Ephesians 5:18
But this raises a new interpretation of the idea of being drunk or filled with the Spirit.
If God is love, then the Spirit is clearly Love. Paul”s exhortation could be boiled down to be filled, or even drunk, with love. We will see in a week or two that this is what is described in verse 5 of Song of Song chapter 2. We will find our girl lovesick.
So today I invite you to the house of wine – sit at the master’s table and dine, and taste the sweet wine of His Love. [Tweet This]
You say – pretty word pictures Ben, but how do I do it – how do I find this intimacy with Jesus?
I’ll tell you what – start with His name. Worship Him. Don’t have a ‘quite time,’ where you read a set number of verses and say prayers – reading your spiritual grocery list to Him. Worship Him.
Meditate on His name, tell Him your deepest thoughts and fears. Scream, cry or be quiet before Him.
Ask Him to speak to you and then be quiet and listen for His voice.
He wants to talk with you. He wants to sit in the house of wine with you.
See you then.