Day 22: Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs


Why wasn’t the world fair ? The Godly equation seemed clear. If you were good, then you’d be healthy, rich; if you were bad, then you’d be poor, and get sick. But those who wrote about ‘wise things’ in the Old Testament knew there was a flaw. For it was often the wicked people who prospered. (Read again Psalm 73 and 90 and you can hear them agonising about it) Was God testing people? Or would the good get their reward in some life to come? Was suffering a nation’s calling which God would soon redeem? Indeed, as with Job, was it right to pester God about this in the first place ? Ecclesiastes despairs of ever finding an answer to the fairness question; it was futile. Much better, then, to do your best for God and enjoy life, before you got old and shaky, with bad eyesight, and started to drop things in the kitchen. Here was an answer of sorts, but not the whole story. That would only come with the sound of a new born child in a village called Bethlehem.

Song of Songs

This is beautiful, but sensual, erotic stuff, even by modern day standards. It’s like love poetry, which occasionally uses words borrowed from many ancient languages, just like English has adopted love words from French, say. But what’s it doing here in the Bible ? Well, could it be an image of God’s love for us, and of our love for God, expressed in the language of intimacy. Surely, our desire for God can be deeply passionate, just as the Cross of Jesus was about Passion ? If that’s right, then this beautiful book is much more about the best form of love, given and received, than simply about the joy of sex.

John Beer

Read the Bible on line at Bible Study Tools. Today’s passage (NRSV) is here:


One Response

  1. […] Day 22: Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs « Round t&#1… […]

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