Is anyone else a little hot and bothered? Song of Solomon contains some of the earliest recorded erotica. The final part of chapter 5 (verses 10-16) contains one of the earliest accounts of a woman describing the appealing aspects of her lover's physique.
But why, in verse 1, does he say "my sister"? Some modern translations have substituted "my sister" with "my treasure" or something similar. "My sister" was originally used in order to communicate a truth about relationships.
From Dr. Joel Hoffman
Similarly, kinship terms like “father,” “brother,” “sister,” etc. were used in the Bible specifically to indicate power structure. This is why the romantic Song of Solomon — the Bible’s only full length treatise on relationships — says “my sister, my bride” or “my sister, my spouse.” On its face, that English translation is not only unromantic but in fact felonious. The original point, however, was that the woman in this relationship should be the man’s equal.
Considering the point in history this was written, equality in a relationship would have been very progressive.
I have friends who perform marriage seminars (Doing Family Right). During the intimacy section of the weekends, they have spouses read portions of Song of Solomon to each other. It can get awkward. Try it. Husbands, read chapter 7:1-9 to your wife. Wives, respond with chapter 7:10-13. Now tell the kids to go to bed.
Marriage is a blessing to be cherished and nurtured. Invest in it and you will reap returns.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 1 Kings 11, 2 Chronicles 9:29-31, Ecclesiastes 1-4