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Vineyard and bride
Peter J. Leithart
June 16, 2010
Category: Bible - OT - Song of Songs
Let us stipulate that the vineyard is the temple and the bride is Jerusalem. That clarifies two passages of the Song.
“They made me caretaker of the vineyards, but I have not taken care of my own vineyard” (1:6). True enough; Jerusalem did not care for the temple-vineyard in her midst, but turned instead to the many vineyards (high places) scattered throughout the land.
“Solomon had a vineyard at Ball-hamon; he entrusted the vineyard to caretakers; each one was to bring a thousand of silver for his fruit. My own vineyard is before me; the thousand are for you, Solomon” (8:11-12). This passage is often understood to contrast Solomon’s “thousand vineyards,” i.e., wives, with the singular vineyard belonging to the lover. If the temple is the vineyard, though, then the contrast is between the singular house belonging to Jerusalem (or to Yahweh) and the thousand vineyards that Solomon supports for the benefit of his thousand wives.
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