Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine.
A friend once commented to me that the book of Song of Solomon is to the Bible what the Sonnets of Shakespeare is to Literature, and at times, I am inclined to agree with her casual assessment. Song of Songs, as titled in the version I refer to most often, NIV, or in other versions titled as Song of Solomon – is clearly written by the wisest man ever – Solomon; and if the preceding Book of Proverbs was too much of a hard read, Song of Songs promises to be equally challenging, and romantically so. Romantic imagery is not unusual in the Bible – the analogy of our relationship with God has been on several occasions likened to that of a bride and her groom, although Solomon brings the depth of this imagery a notch higher.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth – Solomon was known to be a lover – and a very good one at that. This verse was said in the point of view of a lover, which we are led to believe is a mistress or a lover of Solomon’s, who has been enjoying the favour of Solomon’s attention. This verse has often been known to also illustrate the relationship between the the church and us; or Christ and us; and the level of intimacy that we share with our Lord is often compared to the intimacy between a bridegroom and his lover. The kisses of Solomon had surely been plentiful, and his kisses of his mouth were surely much appreciated by his lover. In the same way, each one of God’s precept is like a kiss of his mouth, valuable, intimate, and close to our hearts.
Song Chapter 1 reads much like a poetic conversation between a man and his beloved, and while there are occasions in which the lover addresses the King directly, like in the next part, here the man is addressed in third person – making it rather confusing, but perhaps also a show of modesty for the woman.
for your love is more delightful than wine – If you’re like me, wine may not delight you that much to make this declaration carry much weight. Wine was something that was held in high regard by the community at that time, and in this verse we see the abundance of love and the various ways in which this love is expressed. This love is pure, like wine, it is plenty, and freely poured out into the hearts of those who believe. Wine not only quenches thirst, but also lightens up a heavy heart. Even if you do not drink, or do not appreciate wine that much, this is still a rather romantic line – whoever said this was surely, drunk on love and not on wine. This love is such a deep and major one that it intoxicates us, it fills us. The appreciation of the analogy of love as greater than wine was used again, by the friends, in verse 4 – We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine; and also in Song 4:10 – How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!
Does the love of God delights you more than wine? I’ve once read of a testimony that, in response to a question of ‘why don’t you want to drink?’, quoted this verse and simply said – ‘God’s love is greater than wine’ – that simply sums up the entire verse, I think. Whatever you see ‘wine’ as, whatever ‘wine’ represents in your life – it could be merry-making; it could be sinfulness; it could be other hobbies and delightful activities in your life. The question is, does the love of God delights you more than these? The Songs of Solomon forces us to rethink about our relationship with God and the degree of intimacy that we have with him. Often, we simply aren’t close enough to God to enjoy his words as if they are kisses.
I’m sure this study is in every way lacking, as I found it rather awkward to be studying this verse in greater details; but for this very romantic and beautiful verse, I’m sure everybody will have their own, greater and better, personal insight to it.