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    This Week's Bible Reading
    Day 1 05/03/2015Day 2 05/04/2015Day 3 05/05/2015Day 4 05/06/2015Day 5 05/07/2015Day 6 05/08/2015Day 7 05/09/2015
    Song of Solomon 8, Hebrews 8 Isaiah 1, Hebrews 9 Isaiah 2, Hebrews 10 Isaiah 3-4, Hebrews 11 Isaiah 5, Hebrews 12 Isaiah 6, Hebrews 13 Isaiah 7, James 1
    Bible Reading Guide

    May 3; Song of Solomon 8; Hebrews 8

    Song 7:9b-8:4 pictures renewed consummation. The Song of Songs depicts several cycles of estrangement, pursuit, consummation. But in the closing verses (Song 8:5-14) the cycles are no longer in view. All the participants in the book—the woman (the beloved), her lover, the daughters of Jerusalem, King Solomon, the mother, the brothers—reappear, as the joy and commitments of the lovers are reaffirmed.

    The “friends,” apparently the daughters of Jerusalem, ask the question, “Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?” (8:5a) The “leaning” is not because she is weak or ill, but is an index of intimacy. Probably there is a glance back at the theme of the country girl who has become the happy bride.

    The Hebrew pronouns show that in the second half of verse 5 the bride herself, the beloved, speaks, addressing her lover. I know of no completely satisfactory explanation of 8:5b. Perhaps the woman is looking back to her first meeting with the one who would become her lover, and perhaps it was on the same spot where his mother conceived him and bore him. If so she is signaling a kind of familial link, an inter-generational connection. Couples may think they are the first to fall in love, but this woman is shrewd enough to grasp the cohesiveness of human love and life. For her, “love is as strong as death” (8:6). When death calls, none can stop it; when love calls, the same is true. In this light, “jealousy” (8:6) is not the green-eyed monster, but passionate, righteous claims of posses- sion (as in Ex. 20:5). Genuine love can be neither quenched nor bought (8:7).

    Commentators dispute who is speaking in 8:8-9, but it sounds like the brothers (cf. 1:6). The “little sister” of whom they speak is either the beloved herself, whom they do not consider ready for marriage, and to whom she gives a robust reply (8:10); or, more probably, the younger sister of the beloved and her brothers, who is not yet quite sexually mature. The point of their comment is then twofold: to hint at yet another oncoming generation that will fall in love, repeating the cycle all over again; and to serve as a foil to the maturity and delight of the beloved in her consummated relationship with her lover.

    If the metaphorical value of “vineyard” persists (8:11-12; cf. 2:15), the beloved insists that Solomon may have a large harem, but the only one who can give away the beloved’s “vineyard” is the beloved herself. He cannot command her love, whether for himself (the thousand shekels) or for others (the two hundred shekels—the percentage of the profit of a vineyard shared by the laborers); she gives it. The closing verses are a reprise of consummated love.

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  • Scripture Memory

    Hebrews 1:3-4

    He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

  • Faith Family Worship

    Below you will find resources to assist you with Family Worship.

    • Family Worship Guide
      • This resource is based on the Bible Reading Guide and includes reading, discussion, prayer and music to help you conduct Family Worship this week.
    • Family Worship Song
      • This resource will include an MP3 or link to the music that is used in the Faith Family Worship Guide each week.
    • Simple Guide To Family Worship
      • A "how to" resource for families to help you begin Family Worship in your home.

    View the Faith Family Worship Guide Archive.

  • Small Group Guides

    Message Discussion Guides are written each week from the message series teaching each Sunday.  You can access the Message Discussion Guides on our Weekly Teaching page for use in your Small Group or personal study.

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