Song of Solomon 5 has the beloved knocking at the door to gain entry into the place his maiden is. It is late and he wakens her. “My beloved is knocking. “Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one, for my head is wet with dew, my locks with the drops of the night.”” He asks her to open the door as he finds himself locked out. He uses several phrases to describe her:
- “my sister
- My love
- My dove
- My perfect one”
He turns up the charm as he goes through the list. ‘Sister’ is a word used in that day to describe a bride and reflected the permanence of the relationship as once a sister, always a sister. So it really is a marital reference here, talking abou their longevity and future as a couple. Calling her ‘my love’ defined his feelings for her. Calling her ‘my dove’ was a reference to her chastity and constant faithfulness to him as her husband. And finally, ‘my perfect one’, probably refers to her ethical and moral stature as a woman of high integrity.
The maiden answers with excuses when her man is at the door trying to get in. “I had put off my garment; how could I put it on? I had bathed my feet; how could I soil them”? She didn’t want to get up – to be inconvenienced by his request to open the door. She finally went but it was so slowly and reluctantly that he had given up by then. “I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had turned and gone. My soul failed me when he spoke. I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he gave no answer”. We’ve got some issues happening here in this marriage – a bit of selfishness and inability to understand one another. Men and women are wired differently. She obviously doesn’t understand him.
She goes looking for him and fails to find him. In her dream, which this likely was, she is mistreated by the watchmen who guarded the city. But the real outcome was she failed to find her lover. “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that you tell him I am sick with love”. And as he described her in the previous chapter, she gives a very detailed description of him here:
- “My beloved is radiant and ruddy
- distinguished among ten thousand
- His head is the finest gold
- his locks are wavy, black as a raven
- His eyes are like doves beside streams of water
- His cheeks are like beds of spices
- His lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh
- His arms are rods of gold, set with jewels
- His body is polished ivory, bedecked with sapphires
- His legs are alabaster columns, set on bases of gold
- His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as the cedars
- His mouth is most sweet
- he is altogether desirable”
They were obviously intimately acquainted with one another and very descriptive of the details of their makeup and desires!