Troublesome Topic: A Healthy Marriage is Refreshing

Song of Solomon 1:3



Because of the fragrance

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of your pleasing aromatic oils,

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your name

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is like aromatic oil

poured out.

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No wonder the virgins

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love you!



When I am close to you, you revive my spirit.  Your reputation is life-giving energy made available to all who are close by. No wonder our young daughters adore you!

The word oil was a symbol of the Spirit of God. In the Hebrew mind the concepts of God’s Spirit and the reviving of our spirit were never separated, and the concepts of life and God’s Spirit were also never separated. Any sense of reviving that comes from these oils is, in part, a picture of the Spirit of God at work to revive. Either spouse can be God’s agent to revive and refresh the other. The Song is a picture of how refreshing a healthy marriage can be, so the emphasis is always on the human relationship, but God’s role in all this is never very far away; it is veiled, but it is not covered up altogether.

One more connection is worth noting. They used aromatic oils to cover bad smells. A marriage relationship is so close that we get to know all the unpleasant things about each other, be it personality traits, bad habits, impure thought processes or physical imperfections. But a healthy marriage is characterized by two people who know how to “cover up” those imperfections and accept one another anyway. Your simple acceptance will revive the spirit of your spouse.

The next lesson is: Biblical Masculinity Part 1 Song of Solomon ch 2 & ch 5


1: "fragrance"

A fragrance blessed those close by, not far away.

2: “aromatic oils”

The word used here is simply “oil.” There were various types of oils used in those days, with olive oil being the oil in view most often when the word oil was used. The word also could refer to oils used for incense, for perfume or for healing. Context alone indicates what type of oil was meant. Because of the strong emphasis on fragrance in this verse we can deduce that, in this case, the aromatic types of oil extracted from plants and flowers and used much as we use perfume was intended. It was used to cover or correct bad odors. The pleasant odor of these oils also revived the spirit.

3: "name"

A name was more than something a person was called; it was a reputation, it was an expression of character.

4: "poured out"

Something “poured out” is being made available to others close by, especially if it is something that emits a fragrance. For her to enjoy his fragrance, she has to be relatively close.

5: "virgins"

Who is meant by “virgins?” This Hebrew word means “virgins, or young ladies.” Does it refer to their daughters or, as some have supposed, to other women, such as those that would have accompanied the Shulammite in her wedding-day procession? We cannot be sure, but I find the idea of daughters to fit the context better, as well as the usage of other terms in The Song, such as “Daughters of Jerusalem.” See the explanation after 1:5 for further information.