|If thou know not, O thou fairest|
among women, go thy way forth
by the footsteps of the flock,
and feed thy kids beside the
The groom speaks for the first time.
Solomon to his bride is in character
to Christ speaking to the Church, his
I can only interpret this passage as how it makes
sense to me. I believe Shulamite, a shepherdess/
vineyard keeper, is a parable for the church.
Like us, she is longing for Christ, not the
inferior surrogates in the multitude of worldly
churches. Yet, that's all we have.
To me, I interpret it as when I ask Christ for
a good church to go to, then get depressed
because I'm never happy with church.
The Messianics are too messy. The Baptists
are too judgmental, and for fundamentalists,
have neglected the fundamentals of the
Bible which is to eschew pagan customs.
(in my opinion.)
I don't know a Baptist, or too many Protestant
churches, who don't worship on Sunday,
calling it the Sabbath, or observe Christmas,
the most pagan day of the ancient mystery
Still, like Shulamite, when I ask for a
worthy substitute, I get back a fuzzy
response. "Feed thy flock along by the Shepherd
To me, that means, observe God faithfully,
alongside the other church denominations,
separate, but, with them, for God's grace
is abundant. Just because I find fault with
virtually every church doesn't mean that
God isn't in their lives.
He calls the bride, "fair" (yapheh)
and this is both for her physical and spiritual
It is how Christ sees those who love him:
1) fair, beautiful, handsome
Yapheh can describe both male and female.
It is how the handsome red-haired
David is described in I Samuel=
1Sa 17:42 And when the Philistine looked about ,
and saw David, he disdained him: for he was
[but] a youth , and ruddy 0132, and of a fair 03303
David's beauty is key to the Bridegroom,
and although raven-haired, he is light-skinned
like the red-headed David and renown for his
Many argue with me that they perceive Christ
as being homely, and of stereotypical Jewish
traits, which to them means dark skinned
and large nose, lips and features. I feel this
is a very inately antisemitic tendency on
their part, because Jews are some of the
most beautiful and varied people. My
grandfather was blond and blue-eyed.
My mother was Eurasian with almond
hazel eyes and high cheekbones. My
dad has one of the most perfect chiseled
noses on the planet. I am very light-skinned
and freckled, and my natural hair is
auburn, not black. I have both sets
of grandparents who are Jewish. Not
one of them resembled the stereotype.
To me, Christ is the image of King
David, with thick lustrous hair, fair
skin, and probably light-colored eyes.
I think he was probably as handsome
as David. He came from a pure lineage
of good-looking people by biblical
description of the Judah tribe.
This is important to keep in mind with
the bride speaking to the King in Song
of Solomon. Not only is she black and
beautiful, but, he is fair and handsome
to behold, both physically and spiritually.
"Go thy way forth by the footsteps of
Footsteps in Hebrew is aqeb. It denotes
the literal understanding of heel
impression, but, it's use also incorporates
examples of following and path of
Several times in Song of Sol, Shulamite
the bride, is compared to an army. This
is very prophetic language, and refers
again to the literal church, the army of
1) heel, rear, footprint, hinder part, hoof, rear of a troop, footstep
b) mark of heel, footprint
c) hinder part, rear
In this sense, follow after the footsteps, related
to following a camp of believers, soldiers, or
brethren, refers to Moses' trek through the
wilderness, analogous to our sojourn in the
world, before Christ leads us into the Promised
Land, and arrives with the sacred cube city.
Following in the footsteps of the flock,
refers literally to the flock of sheep. Christ
used this term to represent believers,
and from the beginning of the Law, sheep
were symbolic, both in sacrificial rites
and in sanctification.
The sacrificial lamb came to represent
Christ, who died on the cross during
Passover, to fulfill the destiny of those
who followed God's Law to the cross.
In the Book of Revelations, he is the
Lamb of God who alone is worthy
to open the Book of God.
Flock is "tsown"
1) small cattle, sheep, sheep and goats, flock, flocks
a) small cattle (usually of sheep and goats)
b) of multitude (simile)
c) of multitude (metaphor)
Rams, lambs and ewes were sacrificed according
to ritual, for different purposes. When Abraham
was asked to sacrifice his son, God provided
a ram, caught in a thicket, as his surrogate.
That represented Christ used as our soul's
atonement and proxy for sin. Walking up
the hill with Isaac, wood strapped to his
back, he forged the permanent covenant
with YHWH, because Abraham was willing
to sacrifice his only son. The image of
Christ, carrying the cross, is plain to see.
Instead of Isaac, that holy ram was
Christ called us his flock, and we are the
sheep in his pasture. That's why our
ministers are called "Pastors."
Shulamite, the shepherdess, the
Church, fits into these allegorical
|Gen 4:2||And she again bare his brother Abel |
And Abel was a keeper 07462 of sheep ,
but Cain was a tiller of the ground .
a tso'n, keeper of sheep. He was considered
the righteous one because of his prophetic
Sheep were currency to the ancients. They
were primarily valuable for their protein and
wool. A shepherd was not a menial job. It
was given to gifted individuals, for their
ability to keep the sheep and breed them.
When the people of Israel wanted a king
to preside over them, they were told by
the prophet that the king will impose
taxes on them, and exact 1/10th of their
1Sa 8:17 He will take the tenth of your sheep 06629:
and ye shall be his servants
1Sa 17:15 But David went and returned from Saul
to feed his father's sheep 06629 at Bethlehem .
David was chosen to be Israel's second king,
after their first king went mad. He was a
a young shepherd musician. When we think
of our qualifications for presidents and kings,
who would reckon such a humble soul would
be picked to lead grown men? Yet, God's
choices are not ours.
David, the shepherd and musician, became
the closest prototype for Christ, our Lord.
That's why I always see him with the red
hair of David. When you read about David
and Solomon, we get a sense of many of
Christ's qualities. Not only was he their
successor and great-great- grandson,
but, he encompassed all of their virtues
*(none of their sins.)
In this verse, the shepherdess is told
to feed her flock beside the shepherds
tents. For me, this is an encouragement
to stay in step with the church, no matter
how inferior their doctrine is, because in
the end, when Christ finally arrives,
the Bridegroom will take us away to
His own kingdom where the Law will
finally be perfectly established.
Until then, we must make do with what
we have. Shulamite, keeper of the flock
wanted to have Solomon to preside over
and feed her pasture's denizens, but,
in his absense, she is instructed to have
them graze where the other sheep are
grazing, beside them. Even if our current
churches have error and second best
instruction, it is still the only feeding
ground for the instruction of Scripture.
We just have to spit out the bones and
eat the chicken, as the saying goes.