Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.Song of Solomon 2:17
There are times as an interpreter of God’s Word where you are confident in your interpretation, and other times where multiple interpretations may seem to be plausible. I readily admit to you that I am not convictional about the exact interpretation of this verse. Rather, I am giving you a plausible interpretation based on the context of the passage.
The word translated “until” is also translated “when” in other parts of the Old Testament. I believe that this is in keeping with this passage. You can tell the anticipation that the maiden has for the coming wedding with her beloved. When they are married there will be a “day break” and the “shadows” will “flee away.” She tells him to “turn” and “be like a roe or a young hart.” She has already alluded to him as a deer, and she does here again. These animals are known for being fast and playful. She asks him to be like these animals “upon the mountains of Bether.” There are no geographical mountains known as the mountains of “Bether.” The word “Bether” means “split”, “divided”, or “cut.” Many commentators see this as a subtle way of the maiden speaking of her own body. This is a poetic way for the maiden to tell her beloved that when they are married, she is ready to give herself fully to him.
There is a timing that is morally correct and honoring to God when it comes to our sexual lives. The Biblical teaching on sex is that God has made the man for woman and the woman for man. God’s plan for sex is for it to be for one man and one woman for a lifetime. Once a man and woman have committed to each other in marriage, they can and should fully give themselves to their mate physically. The two shall be one flesh.
There is an old saying that sex is like fire. In its proper place in the home, the fireplace, it can pleasantly warm the house. If it is anywhere else in the home it can burn the house down.
Like the maiden here, we must be careful to keep our sexual selves only for our spouse and only in the context of marriage.
• Is there any part of your life where you are practicing sexuality outside of the marriage relationship?
• If you are married, are you being selfless in your expression of intimacy with your spouse?