Song of Songs 7:13b-d
- KJV: And at our gates are _all manner of pleasant _fruits, / New and old, / Which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.
- NIV: and at our door is every delicacy, / both new and old, / that I have stored up for you, my beloved.
- NASB: And over our doors are all choice fruits, / Both new and old, / Which I have saved up for you, my beloved.
These choice fruits are the sensual delicacies available safely and freely within a healthy marriage.
Like any good (much less Good) love poetry should, these cola ignore the artificial line that tries to separate sex and romance, recognizing them as two complementary aspects of the same healthy relationship.
Here, the bride makes a single statement with many potent messages. And while some of it is obvious, I didn’t catch it all until I really started studying more deeply.
The first colon shows her acknowledging the immediate availability (“at our door”) of all/every choice fruit/delicacy. As we’ve seen back in chapter 4’s elaborate garden symbolism, we know this language is inherently sexual. These choice fruits are the sensual delicacies available safely and freely within a healthy marriage.
Notice what limits she sees fit to impose: every delicacy and _all manner of _choice pleasant fruits. This is a clear acknowledgment of what we’ve gleaned from Hebrews 13:4— that within marriage, there are no sexual limitations. It is a place of erotic security and sanctity, so we can savor all we have in our spouse with wild abandon. Certainly, we know the young bride and groom have done just that up to this point.
Consider the second colon. They’ve had some delicious tastes of marital sexuality, and from what we can tell, they’re fairly adventurous and experimental, enjoying liaisons in a variety of places (particularly the outdoors) that included a variety of activities. After she’s now roused him with a dance, and he’s roused her with public proclamations of her beauty and his desire, we see her savoring what’s yet to come (including the immediate future) as well as what’s past.
She says, “We’ve experimented with our love, and we’ll keep right on doing it. We’ve had some fun ideas we’ll have to repeat, but there’s still a lot we haven’t tried. And since we’re married, we can do anything we can imagine.” She’s excited at the possibilities of sexual experimentation and erotic adventurousness.
The final colon brings it home on two levels.
First, referring the new and old delicacies, she notes she’s been saving them up. I won’t say she’s got an explicit (in both senses) list of sexual ideas written down somewhere, but I think it’s safe to say she’s been stockpiling them mentally at least.
Second, she’s been stockpiling them for her beloved. They’re part of her gift of herself to him. She says, “This spirit, soul, and body are yours to enjoy. What others may glimpse, you may seize. What others may hear, you may taste. What others may dream, you may experience. You and you alone have full access to all my body and _all _my mind and all the places where they meet. I’m all yours.”
Taken together, it’s a romantic and erotic statement. She has many choice fruits to enjoy, “those already known and those yet to be discovered, all of which she has kept for her beloved,” Carr writes. “The unequivocal devotion of the pair for each other is evident in this exchange.”
I’m sure many of you are stuffed from eating some tasty delicacies yesterday, and (if you’re like us) leftovers can last for days. Just make sure you take time this holiday season for some of life’s more erotic delicacies. With all the crazy kids and hectic schedules and long travel and kids you might have to get creative. But that’s exactly what “every delicacy” is about: creativity.
Originally posted 2016-12-26 08:00:25.