Troublesome Topic: How Many Times Were the Daughters’ Names Used in the Song?

We know that Solomon only had three children mentioned by name in the Bible. One was the son who took his place on the throne, and the other two were girls. It is my assumption that these two girls were mentioned because they were daughters of the Shulammite. If that is correct, we can go on to presume that Solomon and the Shulammite only had two children.

What follows is based on these assumptions with a few more bits of solid info from Scripture mixed in.

When the two daughters the Shulammite had borne to Solomon grew to marriageable age (about 13), he arranged marriages for them, each with an official in his kingdom. According to I Kings 4 verses 11 and 15, one daughter (probably the oldest one) was named Taphath and the other was named Basemath. The latter is referred to in Song 8:8 as “little sister.” The name Taphath is thought to mean “dripping” or “drops” and most likely referred to something that was dripping with aromatic oils. It also meant “discourse or inspired speech,” and was used of prophesying, but it is the first meaning that seems to fit best for any connection to the Song of Solomon. The name Basemath meant “fragrant spices or balsam.” To continue the theory I am developing here, I would say that, despite the difficulties in childbirth, and the close call in the delivery of the second daughter, he or they decided to name their daughters pleasant names, names that would guide them in becoming wonderful wives someday, not negative names that focused only on the difficulty in childbirth.

Notice that both these names fit perfectly with the themes expressed by the symbolism of The Song. In fact, the word from which they got Taphath is used three times in The Song (4:11, 5:5 and 5:13), and the word from which Basemath was derived is used six times (4:10, 4:16. 5:1, 5:13, 6:2 and 8:14). If this line of thinking is correct, Solomon and his favorite wife wove the names of their two daughters into their special song a total of nine times.

The next lesson is: What Would Solomon Say if He Could See My Paraphrase of His Song?