Whether or not Solomon wrote the Song (and I am personally convinced that he is the author), we can be sure that the Song of Songs is set in the context of God’s covenant with David. In fact, the very name of the chief character of the Song is “the Beloved,” which, in Hebrew, is etymologically synonymous with the name of David. David was the king of Israel, chosen by God and appointed to establish the Kingdom of God in his day.
When I was a boy, my parents often took my sister and me on trips to various parts of the country. I well remember my mom having a roadmap opened on her lap, meticulously tracing the intersection of the nearby highways and neighborhood roads. Whether or not we would make it to our destination was dependent on how carefully my mom read the intricate details of the map. On one occasion, we were making our way through the winding roads of the Pocono Mountains. We had missed our turn somewhere along the way. I watched intently as my mom traced the roads we had travelled on the map until she realized where we had gone wrong. While roadmaps are a thing of a bygone generation in this technologically developed world, they serve as helpful illustrations of the way in which God brings us to Christ through the various redemptive historical details of Scripture. If we are to ever understand the Bible properly, we have to learn to understand the intricacies of redemptive history. The more difficult the trip, the more closely we have to pay attention to what steps we have taken in tracing out the redemptive historical roads on the map. This is best exemplified in how we read the Song of Songs in light of redemptive history. We need to learn utilize the roadmap of redemptive history in the OT in order to understand the characters, symbols, metaphors and allusions in the Song.
The Song of Songs has been subjected to more interpretative attempts than almost any other book in the Old Testament. There are numerous reasons for the widespread disagreement about the Song: the poetic nature, the symbolic language, the interaction of the multiplicity of characters, the sexual language and the overarching structure of the Song. Many have gotten lost while trying to make their way through the Song by focusing on the interconnectedness of the parts of the Song, while neglecting it’s place in the canon and the organic connection that it holds to the previous revelation in Scripture. When we open the roadmap of previous Old Testament revelation, we begin to see how we can take the right roads of interpretation in reading it.