Christ in the Song of Songs 1:9-14: The Delights of Knowing My King

I compare you, my darling,
to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.
Your cheeks are beautiful with jewelry,
your neck with its necklace.
We will make gold jewelry for you,
accented with silver.

(Song of Songs 1:9-11, HCSB)

In Psalm 45 we discover a royal wedding song with language that echoes that of our Song in a number of places. Some even believe it was first written for Solomon and his wedding. Like the king in Song of Songs, this King is praised by others (1) and is the most handsome of men with grace flowing from his lips (2). He loves righteousness and hates wickedness (7). Myrrh, aloes, and cassia perfume his garments (8) and he desires with passion the beauty of his bride (11). And, concerning this king, God Himself says, “Your throne, God, is forever and ever” (6); “I will cause your name to be remembered for all generations; therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever” (17).

Psalm 45 points to the same King as the Song of Songs. They are one and the same. He is the Messiah-King, the promised King, the One that Hebrews 1:8–9 informs us is Messiah Jesus. Of Psalm 45, Alexander MacLaren said, “Either we have here a piece of poetical exaggeration far beyond the limits of poetic license, or a King greater than Solomon is here.”[1] One greater than Solomon is portrayed in Psalm 45. One greater than Solomon is on display in the Song of Songs as well.

This great King has beautifully adorned his bride (Song 1:9–11) for her wedding day (Song 3:6–11; cf. Rev 21:2), and she along with the Spirit invites all to come and enjoy the pleasures provided by the Bridegroom (Rev 22:17). Whereas He has made her cheeks beautiful with jewelry (1:10), He gave His cheeks “to those who tore out His beard” (Isa 50:6) as our suffering Servant King. And, all that we lost in the Fall, being banished from the beautiful and lush water garden of Eden, we now regain as our lover takes us into the beautiful oasis of En-gedi, a near Eden. This King, Shepherd, Bridegroom and Lover is Paradise restored and more! The delights He has for us are greater than we could ever imagine.

The world in which we live is a desert place indeed. We will never find in it what we need for life. All it offers is thirst, destitution, longing and death. But in Christ our Shepherd-King it is altogether different. Here is the water of life, beauty, rest, and everything you will ever need. He is an Oasis of life for all who flee to Him. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). What He says is true. Come and see!

[1] Cited in James Montgomery Boice, Psalms: Volume 2 (42-106) (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1994), 381.