The Book, ‘The Song of Solomon’, symbolically portrays the love relationship of Christ and His Church. Solomon symbolizes Christ in this song, and his Shulamite bride represents the church.
BUT ONE MIGHT SAY – Was Solomon the best person to represent Christ? Didn’t he have a bad and immoral life with 700 wives and princesses, and 300 concubines? (See 1 Kings 11:3, 4).
Definitely Solomon’s history was no good. Then why did God choose Solomon to write this book, and be a symbol of Christ in the union of marriage?
The other figures:
Before we proceed to see why Solomon was to be the figure of Christ in portraying the love relationship of Christ with His Church, let us look at a few other people who represented Christ one way or the other.
a) The first man, ADAM, was a representative of Christ. As Christ is “the Son of God”, Adam had this title too. Luke records:
Adam, which was the son of God. (Luke 3:38)
Apostle Paul compares Adam and Christ in Romans 5:12-21. And also in his epistle to the Corinthians Paul calls Christ as:
The last Adam. (1 Corinthians 15:45-47)
Adam was the ruler of this planet; and Jesus, the true Son of God, is the ruler of the entire universe.
b) ABEL also symbolized Christ. Jesus talked about the shed blood of Abel just before His own experience at Calvary. Jesus said:
The blood of righteous Abel. (Matthew 23:35)
Paul the great apostle compared the blood of Abel to that of Jesus:
And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:24)
As his own brother, for no fault of his, killed Abel, Jesus was killed by his own nation, for no fault of His. John records the sorry story:
He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (John 1:11)
c) MELCHIZEDEK, King of Salem, the priest of the most High God, was a type of Christ. As far as the priesthood was concerned, he represented Christ. Christ is called the High Priest of the heavenly sanctuary:
After the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 7:11)
d) ISAAC was another symbol of Christ. God told Abraham to offer his youthful lad as a sacrifice (See Genesis 22:1-14), thus symbolizing the Father sacrificing His Son, Jesus. Paul calls Isaac as father Abraham’s:
Only begotten son. (Hebrew 11:17)
Isn’t Jesus also called the “only begotten Son” of God the Father? (See John 3:16). Paul calls Isaac:
A figure. (Hebrew 11:19)
Yes, he was a figure of Jesus in many aspects.
e) MOSES was another symbol of Christ. As Moses was used by God to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, God the Father used His Son to deliver all who believe in Him from Satan’s bondage of sin, death and grave. Moses himself said of the coming Deliverer, and compared Christ to himself. Moses said:
The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken. (Deuteronomy 18:15)
In the book of Revelation there is a very special song that God’s special group of people will sing. It is called:
The song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb. (Revelation 15:3)
Yes, Moses and Christ had similarities. Paul too compared the faithfulness of Moses to that of Christ:
Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. (Hebrews 3:1, 2)
There were many people who symbolized Christ and His ministry in a certain aspect.
The animal sacrifices in the Old Testament, also, reflected the coming Messiah. Of course, all the facets of the animal sacrifice cannot be literally taken and be compared to Christ. Only what was intended has to be compared.
We have seen that Adam was a symbol of Christ. But we cannot take all the aspects and actions of Adam and draw a parallel picture to Christ. No! There is no perfect comparison to the perfect One. God enquires:
To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. (Isaiah 40:25)
Adam fell into sin. But Christ didn’t. Adam was a created being, but Christ is the Creator. Therefore, only what the Bible compares of both of them has to be compared, and not the rest. There cannot be a perfect symbol of Christ at all.
Abel was the righteous one. He offered a sacrifice to God that was acceptable. But Christ offered no animal sacrifice, as He did not sin. Therefore, only the death and blood of Christ and that of Abel, has to be compared, and not everything else.
Melchizedek was a High Priest during the time of Abraham. We have no history of him before his meeting with Abraham and no record of him after he blessed Abraham. But as far as Christ, the true King and High Priest is concerned, we know His history and His future too. He is the:
Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. (Revelation 1:11)
Isaac was a symbol of Christ too. But all the details cannot be taken in our comparison of the two. Isaac was ultimately not offered as a sacrifice, but only it was a test for him and his father. But Jesus, the Lamb of God, was indeed offered, and was resurrected the third day from the grave, after He conquered death, sin and the devil on the cross.
Moses was a type of Christ too. As Moses died and was resurrected to heaven, bodily (See Deuteronomy 34:1-6, Jude 1:9 and Matthew 17:1-9), so too was Christ.
And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. (Deuteronomy 34:1-6)
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. (Jude 1:9)
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. (Matthew 17:1-9)
But Moses was not a sinless person. He killed an Egyptian in a fight; also he disobeyed God when he struck the rock instead of speaking to it. Even in the deliverance similarities, we see that it cannot be a perfect symbol. Moses led the children of Israel only to the borders of Canaan, but could not take them through. But Christ, the real Deliverer, perfected it on the cross, and will take us through to Heaven at His second coming!
Solomon and Christ:
Now let us look at Solomon and Christ. Why is Christ compared to Solomon, and the Church to the Shulamite bride? Were Solomon and his wife the best couple on earth? Surely not!
We don’t have a problem with the Shulamite bride representing the church. But the complaint is—was Solomon fit to represent Christ with all his dark history?
Well, we have already seen the serious faults among God’s people in the Old Testament who symbolized Christ. We have observed that only which has to be compared has to be compared, and not all the details.
Let us now see why Solomon was chosen to write that book which reflects the supreme love of Christ.
One of the famous titles the Messiah had was, “The Son of David”. The first verse in the New Testament identifies Jesus thus:
Jesus Christ the Son of David. (Matthew 1:1)
In the last chapter of the Bible, Jesus Himself says:
I am the root and the offspring of David. (Revelation 22:16)
All the people who read the Old Testament Scriptures understood Christ to be the “The Son of David”. Listen to the dialogue between Christ and the Pharisees:
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:41-46)
Jesus was the “Son of David” from the human side. Isaiah the prophet recorded this of the Son of God coming to earth:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6, 7)
The throne that Jesus is going to sit in the earth made new is called the throne of David. Prophet Jeremiah too links Christ and David and the throne. He wrote:
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. (Jeremiah 23: 5, 6)
It is on the throne of David our Lord Jesus will reign forever—that was not at the first coming, but after the Second Coming.
Now, who was the literal son of David that sat upon David’s throne as his successor? We all know it was Solomon. King David told Bathsheba, his wife:
Even as I sware unto thee by the LORD God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day. (1 Kings 1:30)
And it happened:
Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly. (1 Kings 2:12)
I ask you—Didn’t Christ and Solomon have something in common? Wasn’t Solomon a symbol of Christ? Yes indeed!
Solomon sat on the throne of David, for he was the son of David. Jesus Christ is the Son of David too in the prophetic sense, and will sit upon the throne of David forever! That is the reason king Solomon was compared to the King of kings, Jesus Christ. Please remember that all aspects cannot and should not be taken in comparison.
The great and touching truth of the Bible is the union of Christ with His church. Who is Christ?
King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (Revelation 19:16)
The same nineteenth chapter of Revelation that talks about His powerful reign as King of Kings, also talks about His intimate love for His bride. It talks about His marriage, where He becomes united as one with her. John records:
The marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (Revelation 19:7)
We know that the bride of Christ is His people, the Church.
They two—Christ and the Church—becoming one at marriage is a mystery. Paul wrote:
They two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:31, 32)
It is a mystery, how God loved fallen humanity so much, to come so close to us in an inseparable bond. O what unfathomable love!
Look at what the bride of Solomon told her husband about her looks. She said:
I am black but comely. (Song 1:5)
But Solomon replied:
Behold thou art fair, my love; behold thou art fair. (Song 4:1)
Jesus, the true King, said in Isaiah, to His bride:
Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
All of us are nothing truly, yet God loved the world. All our righteousness and the best we have are filthy rags (see Isaiah 64:6). Yet the King of kings, who will sit upon the eternal throne of David, loved us so much, and is going to be one with us, in the bond and mystery of symbolic marriage. Praise God!
ONE MIGHT SAY: But Christ has only “one” bride called the church, but Solomon had several hundred wives? Yes, that is true. The Scripture clearly states that:
There is one body… one Lord. (Ephesians 4:4, 5)
The body is the church. Paul himself wrote:
The church, which is his body. (Ephesians 1:22, 23)
The book of Revelation records the word ‘wife’ in singular. It reads:
The marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (Revelation 19:7)
As there is only one Lord, there is only one true bride that Jesus has.
Jesus warned us of the counterfeit christs. He said:
For there shall arise false christs (Matthew 24:24)
Paul too warned us of the same:
For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (1 Corinthians 8:5, 6)
There are counterfeit brides too. Isaiah the Prophet has written a very interesting verse about the many brides in the last days that are supposedly married to the one Lord Jesus. He said:
And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. (Isaiah 4:1)
We have seen that a “woman” in Bible symbolic prophecy represents a church. And number “seven” represents all or completeness. Isaiah wrote about the day of the Lord. He said, “In that day”, that is, the Day of Judgment and the Second Coming of Jesus. Jesus too referred to it when He said:
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:22, 23)
All these “brides” have the “name” of Christ attached to them as their husband, yet they are not following Him and His Word fully. All call themselves the body of Christ, but Christ has only “one” body that He loves and acknowledges.
In the same way though many women claimed Solomon as theirs, Solomon loved and acknowledged his love only for the Shulamite bride. She alone represents the true bride of Christ, though other women claimed that they were connected to him. As Solomon truly was married to the other women, Christ truly has His people in all folds. Jesus said:
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (John 10:16)
The truth is simple and plain. King Solomon, the literal son of David, represents the King of kings, Jesus Christ, the prophetic Son of David. As Solomon sat on the throne of his father David and ruled, so will Christ sit on David’s throne and rule forever! As Solomon’s love for his bride, the Shulamite woman, was deep and intense, so is Christ’s love much stronger for the church! As Solomon had many other women who bore his name, so too Christ has many other people in other folds who belong to Him! Solomon ruled for 40 years and died, but King Jesus rules forever! The Shulamite woman lived and died, but the church of the living God is still alive! Jesus said of the Church:
The gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)
Solomon indeed was a symbol of Christ as far as his title “The Son of David” goes, and also in the great wisdom that he possessed, and in his love for his Shulamite woman, who was a symbol of the true church of God, picked out from nowhere to be the bride of the King!