Chapter 12

Mature Love

Time continues to advance and our lovers have matured. Once again we are shown a scene from their life when they are having intercourse.

1     “How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
          O prince’s daughter!
          The curves of your hips are like jewels,
          The work of the hands of an artist.

2         “Your navel is like a round goblet
          Which never lacks mixed wine;
          Your belly is like a heap of wheat
          Fenced about with lilies.

3         “Your two breasts are like two fawns,
          Twins of a gazelle.

4         “Your neck is like a tower of ivory,
          Your eyes like the pools in Heshbon
          By the gate of Bath-rabbim;
          Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon,
          Which faces toward Damascus.

5         “Your head crowns you like Carmel,
          And the flowing locks of your head are like purple threads;
          The king is captivated by your tresses.

6         “How beautiful and how delightful you are,
          My love, with all your charms!

7         “Your stature is like a palm tree,
          And your breasts are like its clusters.

8         “I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree,
          I will take hold of its fruit stalks.’
          Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
          And the fragrance of your breath like apples,

9         And your mouth like the best wine!”

View from Mount Carmel

Bundle of Wheat

Even after years of becoming familiar with each other, nothing is rushed in their enjoyment of each other’s bodies. As Solomon describes each intimate detail of her body, we can see him in our minds touching and caressing each captivating portion of her. This time Solomon starts at her feet and moves upwards. She has the beautiful feet of a princess. Her thighs and hip are precisely formed as if carved by a jeweler. Her navel brings him satisfaction (perhaps as he tickles it with his tongue). Her waist is narrow and white, like a bundle of wheat tied with lilies. Her breasts are soft, matched, and desirable to be stroked. Her neck is white and stately, showing dignity in character. Her eyes are gentle pools – deep, dark, and inviting. Her nose is stately. Her head is as majestic as a mountain. Purple is the color of royalty, so Solomon is saying her hair is royal. As he weaves his fingers through her hair, he pretends to be caught, claiming that he has been taken captive by her hair.

Date Palm Tree

Grape Clusters

Solomon has listed ten features that describe how beautiful, delightful, and charming is his wife. Ten is another special number among the Hebrews. It represents things that are complete. Hence Solomon is implying that nothing is lacking in his wife.

Notice that his description is more sensual than on the night of their wedding. They are familiar with each other and are not embarrassed to enjoy any part of each other. They also play around more in their lovemaking. Solomon compares his wife to a palm tree with her breast being ripe fruit waiting to be picked. He starts down at her feet and slides up her body, taking time to enjoy the tenderness of her breasts, the fragrance of her breath, and the intoxicating kisses from her lips.

9         It goes down smoothly for my beloved,
          Flowing gently through the lips of those who fall asleep.

Taking up the imagery of drinking, Shulammith describes the climax of their lovemaking. They join together smoothly. This is not the mad passionate love of the young, but the smooth practiced responses of two who have spent their lives together. As the scene fades we find they have fallen asleep together while still joined as one.


  1. How is mature sex different from newlywed sex?
  2. What is different in Solomon’s description here than his description on their wedding night? What is similar?
  3. Are only young people truly able to enjoy sex?
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