The Song of Solomon is a beautiful love story.  It is also often referred to as the Song of Songs and Canticle of Canticles.  It is the story of the love of King Solomon for his bride.  The only three characters mentioned in the book are the bride, the bridegroom, and the daughters of Jerusalem.  It begins by stating, “The song of songs, which is Solomon’s.”  This indicates that Solomon considered this to be the greatest of all the songs he had written.  Jewish interpretation has rightly explained this love-song as illustrating the love of Jehovah for his people, Israel.  In the Church Age, we can rightly interpret this book as an illustration of Christ and His Church (His bride).

The bride begins speaking first in this book and she speaks of her love for her bridegroom, who is a shepherd/king.  She expresses her love and desire for him in SOS 1:2, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.”  She speaks in verse 4 of how, “the king hath brought me into his chambers.”  Drawn into his presence, she is happy and content.

To answer your good question, let’s read Song of Solomon 1:5-6, “I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.”

In her great humility, the bride regards herself as black, but beautiful. As an illustration, she conjures up the tents of Kedar which were typically covered with black goatskins.  Yet, she was also as beautiful as the curtains of Solomon.  The bride does not appear to be referring to her ethnicity.  In verse 6, she says that “the sun hath looked upon me” which indicates that she had been laboring long in the sun, which darkened her skin and caused it to lose its smoothness.  She considered her skin as comparable to black goatskins.  The bride considers herself damaged by living in her environment which has taken away the tenderness and smoothness of her skin.  She is embarrassed by her altered appearance and entreats others, “Look not upon me.” 

In verse 8, because of her humble confession, the bridegroom responds and speaks of his bride as “fairest among women.”  Indeed, what he says of her, is what he has produced in her.  The bridegroom goes on to say in verses 9-10, “I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots. Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.”  The horses speak of strength and swiftness and the jewels speak of gifts for her from himself.  How he loves his bride!

This gives us a lesson concerning Christ and His church.  How much He loves us, the church…His bride.  In fact, “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (Ephesians 5:25).  We are told that we, as believers, are “…unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” (Colossians 1:22).  We read in 2 Corinthians 5:20-21, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  Remarkable!  Because Christ gave Himself for us and became our sin bearer, we have been made “the righteousness of God in Him.”  That is how God sees us.  It’s the way the bridegroom eyes his bride in the Song of Solomon.  When the bride recognizes her imperfections and unworthiness of the bridegroom, it is then that he ensures her that she is “fairest among women.”  (430.6)