Song Of Solomon
Last Updated March 14, 1999
Chapter 6: 13
6:13 I am Black, but comely, O ye daughters
of Jerusalem, as the tens of Kedar as the curtains of Solomon." Song of
Songs 1:5 "Return, Return, O Shulamite; return,return, that we may look
upon thee.What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of
This text focuses on the Song of Songs, traditionally attributed
to Solomon in a unique dialogue with a Black woman who was among his hundreds
of wives and concubines.
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The Songs of Solomon is a collection of love poems, mostly attributed
to Solomon. They were the subject of considerable debate among theologians
as they labored over whether they should be a part of the Canon of Sacred
writings. Many argued that these were simply love stories. They saw the
references to hugging and kissing, breasts, thighs, and other suggestive
phrases as earthly with no special connection to God's purpose for the
However the majority concluded that the Song of Songs,
which is the original Hebrew title of the writings, had allegorical significance.
When a writing is considered allegorical, that means that it is comparable
to something else. In this instance the scholars concluded that the love
and affection shown between Solomon and the Black woman in Song of Solomon
is comparable to the love that Christ has for the Church. So, while the
words of Song of Solomon speak about flesh and blood, the spiritual eye
sees a connection between the believer and his Lord.
There has been considerable debate as to color of the
Shulamite woman who is the subject of this text. One school of thought
is that she is referred to a black, only in spirit. Her Blackness is attributed
to the lowly position she held in her family, forced by her brothers and
sisters to labor in the heat of the day, keeping vineyards. In this view,
her Blackness or darkly tanned skin was a sign of her lowly background,
not of her color.
Whatever the reason, it is obvious that Solomon is talking
to a Black woman. This is not unusual. In his harem of over 1,000 wives
and concubines Solomon displayed a attraction to women of the darker races
His harem included: Moabites, Amorites, Edomites, Zidonians and Hittites.
These were women of ebony skins, brown eyes and broad and strong lips.
He loved women of many races. He appeared to have a special attraction
to darker colored women.
Throughout the Song of Solomon, there is constant
reference to the beauty, grace and dignity of this Black woman. By the
6th Chapter she is described as "fairest among women" in 6:1;"beautiful"
in 6:4 and in verse 10 she is one that "looketh forth as the morning, fair
as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with barriers."
Solomon makes an appeal this beautiful Black
woman to return to those things that made her beautiful. The word "return"
is used four times, "Return, Return, O Shulamite; return, return!"
Why? "That we may look upon thee!" This Black woman who had been the
subject of praise and honor is being encouraged to return to and stay with
those virtues that made her beautiful in the offset. When the Black woman
returns what will the world see? "As it were the companies of two armies."
Genesis 32:1-2 describes a situation where Jacob, while surrounded by a
host of his followers but was met by another host of angels who ministered
to him. The presence of these two armies, one militant among men the other
triumphant and ministering from God he called "Mahanaim." This has special
significance to this text because this Shulamite woman once returned to
her natural beauty an virtue would exemplify "Mahanaim."
The Black woman of this text was urged to return
such that the world could look upon her and see "Mahanaim", a woman at
war with the forces against her, but being ministered by the angels from