Song of Solomon5:10

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My Love is radiant

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and ruddy,

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outstanding among ten thousand.

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The love of my life is a blameless man, a hero of a man, a protector of all that is good;

he’s one in a million!


1: "Radiant"

Closely associated with white and shining, and therefore purity.


Ruddy is a form of the name Adam, and means “red.” The use of ruddy should not be taken as referring to hair for she says his hair is black (5:11). Ruddy literally means “to show blood in the face.” This does not mean to blush, it means to “be angry.” Mention of the color red often called to mind blood, the essence of life, or the shedding of blood. It also called to mind fire –a primary agency for punishment. Red can be the color of sinful passions and violent acts (the wrong kind of anger), but also of the heroic acts of a man being a man and executing justice or protecting his family (the right kind of anger). Here both the concept behind white (purity) and red (manliness) are used together meaning he is the right kind of a man. In this case it has nothing to do with sin, punishment or bloodshed.


Thousand was one of the biggest numbers they knew; for us “one in a million” is a good equivalent. While we use bigger numbers than million in talking about the national debt or some aspect of science, when it comes to comparing one man to all the other men we may see, the largest group of men we may be able to picture is all the men in one city. If you are a wife living in a city of  3 or 4 million, you may be able to honestly say, “he (hopefully your husband) is one in a million,” meaning he is the only man in that entire city with the qualities he demonstrates. You may not know or even see all the men in your city, but you can form a mental image of how many that would be. I suggest that your city is the extent of how far you could go with that mental exercise. It would be much more difficult to picture all the men of your state or your country because it is too vast an area. If you think you could picture all the men of your country, it would still not rise to the next level of “one in a Billion” because no country on earth has one billion adult males.

My Love Is Ruddy

Notice that this statement is in response to the question, “How is your man different?” Her response is basically this: Not only is he a blameless man, but, being a man of strength, he knows when to fight and what to fight for; he uses his anger in the right way.

Since I have quite a bit to say about this, I will divide it into numbered points.

1.)  Our culture says it is wrong for a man to be manly, he should try to be more like a woman; in contrast the Bible lifts up manliness. God made men strong. He challenged Job saying, “Brace yourself like a man” (Job 38:3). God wants us to use our strength for good, not for evil. He wants us to be protectors not predators. Adam means “ruddy,” but Adam wasn’t ruddy, he did not take a stand when he should have. Many women have participated in the purposeful emasculation of our society and then wondered, “where did all the real men go to?” A woman wants a strong man, but fears a man who uses his strength for himself. Our culture has sought to eliminate manly strength because it is sometimes abused. Should we eliminate cars and planes because they have been used as bombs? If the men of a society are not ruddy that society is in grave danger.

2.)  Our culture tells us anger is always wrong; the Bible teaches there is proper anger and improper anger, depending on what we are angry about. We are usually angry due to offenses against us; that is the wrong kind of anger. God gets angry at sin, and Jesus showed anger against injustice and false spirituality. Jesus never defended himself, He only showed anger at injustice toward others, He showed righteous indignation—something that is very rare today.

Who are the ones to show righteous indignation and get involved in efforts to stop the  spread of evil in our society? It is mostly women. While we should applaud the efforts of those women, there should also be many men standing up and saying, “Not on my watch!” According to Scripture, it should be the men who are leading the way in such battles with their wives supporting in the way God has gifted them. But sadly, most men have allowed the culture to dictate what kind of a males they will be. There are many who think they are men because they are males who have turned 18; that is not the biblical definition of a man.

3.)  Examples:  Other examples, beside Jesus, of men in the Bible who were ruddy, would be Nehemiah, Job, David, and Phinehas.

> Nehemiah chapter 13:4–28 is an amazing account of a leader who shows a healthy dose of righteous indignation. He came back from being away for a time and found the people had reverted to lifestyles contrary to God’s will. He got in their faces; he jumped down their throats; he even pulled out their hair! I can hear him saying something like, “What are you doing? We just came out of 70 years of slavery because our forefathers had failed to follow God, do you want to return to slavery? What are you thinking?” When I read that passage recently I wrote “Ruddy” in big letters in the margin. That is an example of a red-faced leader! A leader who gets angry for the right reasons is far better than a complacent leader who will do nothing about the injustices around him. But Nehemiah never made it about himself, that is part of what made his leadership so powerful.

>Job 29:7–17 is another great example of Biblical manhood. You want to know what a man is supposed to be like, read Job 29:7-17. Job was well respected in the community (vv. 7-11) precisely “because” (v.12) of his treatment of others (vv. 12-17). The passage culminates in verse 17 where he says, “I broke the teeth of the wicked!” A real man will be like Job and take action to defend others; not just stand by and watch. I am concerned when I see how most people in America today respond to an act of violence done in public. Many will get their phones out and record the incident but few are willing to step in and stop the violence.

> David knew how to use his anger for the sake of justice, not for himself. He demonstrated his ruddiness when he felt righteous indignation at the taunts of Goliath. David took those taunts as insults to his God, and his attitude was, “No one gets away with that around me.”

> Phinehas was a priest, a grandson of Aaron. While most of the Israelites were weeping before God right after the episode with the rebellion of Korah and the punishment which so dramatically overtook him and his followers, one Israelite man was so brash as to take a Midianite woman into his tent in full view of the entire assembly (presumably to have sex with her) (Num 25:6). Phinehas took action. He took a spear, followed the man into his tent, and drove it through both the man and the woman at the same time (anger causes the adrenaline to flow). The Lord was pleased with Phinehas, for he had turned God’s righteous anger away from the Israelites and saved them from further punishment. Therefore God established an everlasting covenant with Phinehas and his descendants. God likes men who are red in the face—men who know when to get angry.

4.)  Note the power of this one image, it’s a sermon in one word!

The beauty and power of the Song is the use of its images. Yet I struggle to convey their power, and I wish I did not have to; I wish we could understand them naturally the way the original audience did. But, alas, we are so far removed from their culture that without explanations like these the images sound strange or even ridiculous. To do what I am doing in this book, explaining the images in technical terms, is like trying to explain a joke; if you have to explain it, you ruin the joke. The people of that day understood the images without explanation and felt the full force of their power. For me images like “ruddy” seem powerful, yet to the original audience the impact of these images must have been many times greater. And just think, we don’t even have the music! We know images are powerful; we know music is powerful. What would it have been like to have heard these images with the original music? It is no wonder the Jews of that time called this “the best song ever”!

5.)  We need to repent! We have followed the world instead of following God. We have been irresponsible and negligent when we should have been trustworthy and strong. We need to pray for a generation of men who will turn this ship around. Oh for a generation of fathers who will start using their strength and their anger for others not for themselves! Oh for a generation of young people who will catch the vision of God and commit to living according to God’s design! Oh for a church that will refuse to follow the world! Oh for believers that will be willing to stand up and show the world something different, something powerful, something attractive and beautiful! Oh for God’s strength and wisdom to take this opportunity to be a powerful light in an ever-darkening culture! May God help us.