Before I jump in too far, I want to state that there are dozens of interpretation of this Song. We will explore some of them next week. I mention it here because some variations of interpretation can actually change the cast of characters.
Some believe that scripture can only have one interpretation. I'm not in that camp. I believe that many of the various interpretations have great value. God’s wisdom is so magnificence that we can glean much from looking at this wonderful jewel from many different perspectives.
I did pick one. I will refer to others from time to time, but for the most part, I'll be looking at it from this perspective.
Many translations and paraphrases have blocks of text marked with the speaker named. It might say “THE BELOVED” and “LOVER” the like. These are not in the original text and they vary from translation to translation. For the most part, we'll ignore these notations.
The Song is much like a play so most of the lines are in a character’s voice. The only thing we have to determine the speaker is the context. If the descriptions given use feminine adjectives and nouns we can assume it is the man speaking, or visa versa. There are some places where groups are speaking, and so based on the context we will make suggestions as to who is speaking in such places.
For the most part, there are 4 voices in the song.
The Shepherd King
The Maiden, referred to also as the Shulamite, or the Bride
Women of Jerusalem
These last 2 are groups. They act much like the chorus would in a Greek play. They take on the character of different people at different times. So the voices and attitudes here may shift from passage to passage.
There are some readers who split the Shepherd King into two characters, and this can be another valuable perspective. For my part, I am going to treat them as one man.
Next week I will break down the various interpretations, and you will see where we fit in the Song.
Thanks for stopping by.
Come on back again soon.