All scriptures are from the New Revised Standard
Version (NRSV) unless otherwise stated.
1:1 - The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.
We would expect the very opening of a text which, if it possesses deep mystical knowledge, would contain some hint at what the whole work is about. Mystical writers usually leave clues around for the more spiritually discerning to spot which would otherwise be glossed over by the more exoteric reader and explained away as 'coincidence'. And we find some clues in the very first verse which on the surface looks inoccuous enough:
The first thing we observe is the extraordinary number of sheen's ( ). The first thing that anybody acquainted with the Hebrew alphabet will immediately note is that is the equivalent for the Ruach Elohim or BREATH OF GOD whose letter-numbers add up to 300. Is this just a happy coincidence or is it a deliberate plant by the author?
It is really up to us to decide whether we shall pursue such a tantalising lead or not remembering that all esoteric studies do have risks. But provided we are first clear in our minds of the original p'shat we do al least have something concrete to fall back upon if our other search yields no fruit.
The second clue as to a deeper meaning lies in the Hebrew letter Resh (or Rayish) () which appears three times in the text. More important than that is that in the word sheer the alphabetical order of the letters Shin and Resh are reversed (sheer cp. resh).
We shall better understand the meaning of this juxtaposition of letters by considering the Hebrew alphabet as a whole which begins with Alef () and ends with Taw (). Thus Alef-Taw is the same as the Roman A-Z or the Greek Alpha-Omega, which the Bible teaches us signifies "the first and the last, the beginning and the end" (Rev.22:13, NIV). Using the Davar Elohim (Word of God) to interpret this esoteric puzzle leads us to understand that Alef () represents the Beginning or Source of Yahweh and Taw () the End or ultimate Manifestation of Yahweh. Thus Alef is Yahweh's ultimate reality and Taw is His ultimate manifestation, namely, Yah'shua the Messiah/Jesus Christ, who is Yahweh in the flesh. But Yah'shua/Jesus is more than Yahweh's ultimate manifestation - He is both the beginning and the end - the ultimate spiritual reality and the ultimate physical manifestation. Christ threfore represents the complete spectrum of life and spirit-matter. We may observe in Him all that there is to be observed about everything.
Are we perhaps, then, seeing some sort of evidence in the sod (mystical) approach to the Song of Songs that Christ is indeed represented in some hidden way? It would appear so. For we see the the Beginning is in the End, and the End is in the Beginning, Christ being All in All, one eternal round, a totally complete Being. If we render SHEER in the Hebrew we get:
which correspond to the numbers 300.10.200. If we then represent the letter RESH (Rayish) we obtain:
which correspond to the numbets 200.10.300. Thus SHEER, with RESH written in full (300.10.200.10.300) shows one Breath (300) in existence (10) acting upon the Cosmic Container or Physical Universe (200) and, from this 200, an existence (10), giving birth to the second Breath (300). This second Breath is none other than the first, just as 300 is none other than 300.
This relationship of sacred letters should immediately call to our mind the first time Yahweh "breathed" into the "clay man" (a physical Container) to give an Existence (Adam) who himself began to breathe (see Gen.2:7).
With this clue we may then examine the text and see just what the Song of Songs is all about. There are two characters - Solomon and the Shulamite who are united as man and wife, being One in Two, and Two in One (think back on Adam and how Eve was created from him). Solomon ("He") symbolises the Breath from Alef () and the Shulamite ("She") the Breath from Taw (). Whenever "They" meet in romatic-sexual union they do so with great simcha (joy) and discover each other's beauty in an ecstasy that rapidly vanishes. Their meeting was but a fleeting recurrent instant, never to be captured in duration. The Song also teaches us that these two principles are within us as individuals too and form the basis of our human creativity. The Song teaches us that these creative enounters are very fragile indeed, male and female being separated by all the other letters in the alphabet. As mortals we are desperately trying to understand ourselves as these two principles - male and female - dialogue in sililoquy in our minds and hearts, never finding perfect rest and shalom (peace). As such they represent the frustrations and joys of mortality until such a time as we achieve a perfect union between and , when we in resurrection glory, like Christ, become wholly One and are at rest, becoming "like him" (1 Jn.3:2). Adam becomes wholly one with Eve as we become wholly one with our spouses.
No wonder Rabbi Aquiva said the Song of Songs was holy, for in it we see the whole plan of creation revealed and our own purpose! Creation, marriage and resurrection are inextricably linked together as one. Temporarily separated both within, between our marriage spouses, and between one another, a time is coming when the two Breaths will again be one and we are united in a perfect matrimonial relationship - as believers united to Christ, and as husbands united to wives. We see in this simple yet profoundly complex verse the veracity of eternal marriage in Christ, the Alpha and Omega of all.