All those deer in the Song of Solomon are, well, not just deer…
I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles and by the young does of the open fields:
Do not awaken or arouse love until it pleases! (NET)
“With the love- six times, with the lovemaking of a stag seven times, with the lovemaking of a partridge twelve times, make love to me! Make love to me because I am young! And the lovemaking of a stag…Make love to me!” (]], Ancient Mesopotamian Potency Incantations , 26, lines 4-8).
One of the temptations in looking at the Song of Songs is to interpret it ‘hyper-erotically.’ Unfortunately, with a brief examination of the book alongside that of similar types of ANE literature, it is difficult to not to do so. In this passage (Songs 2.2-3.4), we have what amounts to be we a long song from the Beloved (female), putting her sexuality on an equal plane of that with the Lover (male.) Here, she is not seen as the concubine, or other of the similar types of ‘bad’ biblical women, but as one who longs for her soon to be husband with an intense passion, so intense that she has become sick with love (2.5) and needs to be refreshed only with the love, the very powerful physical love, of her soon to be husband. Her oath here is by the symbols of her desire, the gazelles and the stags which we find as literary metaphors for a passionate experience between two lovers.
note… this is not the final, and it may not ever make it into the final exegesis