When people think about what the Bible has to say about sex, they tend to focus on sex-negative passages. (And much of religious negativity isn’t even in the Bible itself, but from subsequent teachings of religious organizations over the centuries…but that’s a separate topic.)
Many people—even people of faith—don’t know about the part of the Bible that celebrates love—sexy, passionate love—between a man and a woman.
That book is called The Song of Solomon, or the Song of Songs, depending on which version of the Bible you’re using. It’s part of the Hebrew Scriptures, which Christians call The Old Testament. It’s a long love poem in two voices, male and female.
Here are some sample passages (from the Revised Standard Version):
1:2 “O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth! For your love is better than wine.”
5:10-11, 13-16 “My beloved is all radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand.
His head is the finest gold; his locks are wavy, black as a raven.
His cheeks are like beds of spices, yielding fragrance.
His lips are lilies, distilling liquid myrrh.
His arms are rounded gold, set with jewels.
His legs are alabaster columns, set upon bases of gold.
His speech is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend.”
6:2-3 “My beloved has gone down to the garden, to the bed of spices,
to pasture his flock in the gardens, and to gather lilies.
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”
7:1-3, 6 “How graceful are your feet in sandals, o queenly maiden!
Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a master hand.
Your navel is like a rounded bowl that never lacks mixed wine.
Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies.
Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle.
How fair and pleasant you are, o loved one, delectable maiden!”
8:6-7 “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned.”
So, yup, this is all in the Bible. Who knew?
If you were raised as a Jew, Christian, or Muslim, this passage is part of your religious heritage. If you have no faith background, it (like the rest of the Bible) is part of your cultural heritage. I encourage you to read it, whether as a work of literature or a holy scripture. (When you get a Bible and look in the table of contents, you’ll find the Song of Solomon about halfway through The Old Testament.)
Something to think about, anyway.
Mark Robinson says
Thank you. I have known of much of this but really appreciate the way you regard, articulate, and draw us in. Maybe a forum discussion topic led by you!
Thank you very much and blessings, mkjr
Jill Whitney says
Thanks for your nice comments. 🙂 I’d love to lead a forum discussion–anything to encourage conversations on this important topic.