If, as some critics have argued, the Song’s humanistic viewpoint represents an Israelite poet’s self-conscious attempt to “demythologize” ancient Near Eastern concepts of sacred sexuality — manifest in fertility rites of sympathetic magic — the broader vision sketched in Genesis 1–2 calls into question the notion that male-female sexual relationships were thereby completely desacralized, secularized, or set loose from constraints of moral decision making. Neither in the Song nor elsewhere in Scripture is human sexual love celebrated as “its own legitimation.” It is to be diligently sought after and treasured when found, because it is a vital part of God’s gracious design for human life; it is a “good” gift to be enjoyed and yet, like others, capable of being twisted by human perversity.
The author goes on to suggest that by looking at these things together, we get a framework for human sexuality. He gives a few points:
- That sex is (morally) good (think Genesis 1)
- That love makes sex better
- Erotic love makes sex steamy and that is good
Human sexual fulfillment, fervently sought and consummated in reciprocal love between woman and man: Yes, that is what the Song of Songs is about, in its literal sense and theologically relevant meaning.