Chapter-a-Day Song of Solomon 8

Dear brothers, I’m a walled-in virgin still, but my breasts are full — And when my lover sees me, he knows he’ll soon be satisfied. Song of Solomon 8:10 (TM)

One of the reasons people avoid the Old Testament is that it confuses them. The Old Testament often confuses people, because it is often hard to place things written 30 centuries ago into a context we get today. In an age of population control, abortion on demand and "the pill", it’s sometimes hard to imagine a time when, for a woman, being fertile was the single most important thing to your family, your friends and to society as a whole.

For a woman in Solomon’s day, you were expected to produce children – especially sons – who could inherit the family estate, work the land, and provide for the family. If you weren’t fertile or perceived as an unlikely candidate for fertility – your chances of getting married were reduced and the family had the added pressure of providing for an old maid. Even in today’s society, women who don’t get married feel the skepticism of their families and the culture as a whole. In Solomon’s day it was infinitely worse.

This is why the woman’s brothers, in Chapter 8, are concerned with the size of their sister’s bosom. The family’s job – especially the male members of the family – was to broker the deal to get little sister married off and take another mouth-to-feed off the family’s hands. A young girl would have been watched closely to make sure she had the physical signs of a fertile woman – baby makin’ hips and adequate breasts.

The woman in the Song of Solomon is celebrating her womanhood and declaring that she is fertile, that is is ready to marry and bear children for her husband-to-be.

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