Troublesome Topic: With Delight I Sit in His Shade – Song of Solomon ch 2 vs 3

Song of Solomon 2:3



Like an apple tree

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among the trees of the forest, so is the love of my life among the young men.

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With delight I sit in his shade, and his fruit

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is sweet to my taste.



The ability of the love of my life to revive me far exceeds that of all other men.

I am happy to place myself under his authority and protection because they protect and refresh me, the natural byproducts of who he is are pleasing to me.

To sit” would be to place oneself under someone’s authority and protection. “To sit” means to stay a while; it is also translated “to dwell.” This is what a woman was expected to do; she had to remain or stay under the authority of her father or husband. In those days, if a woman was not under such authority she had to resort to prostitution or begging in order to stay alive.

Here is a woman who is committed to living in submission to her husband, and she actually enjoys it (“I delight to sit in his shade”). She has a need for security and stability, and a stable, healthy marriage to a loving man is the best way for her to find it. But remember that the picture being painted here is of a marriage relationship that was much more like a two-way street than was normal in those days. They met each other’s needs, they relied on each other, they built each other up. The husband did not take advantage of her submission to him, or abuse his authority, for if he did, she would not speak of him so glowingly. 

Shade was seen as protection from the hurtful rays of the sun, and was thus a symbol of protection. When coupled with “sit,” which can mean to place one’s self under someone’s protecting authority, we can get a phrase which in prose sounds redundant—“protecting protection.”  Shade was also a word for “refreshing and relief.” So I have tried to tie together both of the ideas wrapped up in “shade,” along with the two ideas conveyed by “sit.”

The next lesson is: How Does He Encourage Her? Song of Solomon ch 6 & ch 2


1: “apples”

This word refers to a tree that produces blossoms and then fruit, both of which have a pleasing aroma. Some type of apple tree fits best and is the specific tree most Hebrew scholars choose when translating this word. The people of that region were particularly fond of the smell of an apple, and were known to use that smell to revive themselves when feeling faint. The apple was also thought to have medicinal value, which only heightens the idea of reviving.

2: “young men”

Just as the word for daughters was used earlier to communicate “maidens, or young ladies,” so here the word that is usually translated “sons” is used to communicate the idea of “young men.”

3: “fruit”

We have seen her ability to revive him; here we see that he also revives her. They revive each other. That’s the way it should be.