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Here’s a question the women of Jerusalem ask the woman who is seeking to find her absent lover:
5:9 What is your beloved more than another beloved,
O fairest among women?
What is your beloved more than another beloved,
that you thus adjure us?
In essence, “What’s so special about him that gives us a clue on how to identify him?” In chp 6, verse 1, they ask this question:
6:1 Where has your beloved gone,
O fairest among women?
Which way has your beloved turned,
that we may seek him with you?
In essence, “Where is he?” and this question seems to tease out of her that she does indeed know where he is — for she answers that question.
This passage is delightful play in love — we find rhetorical questions designed to give the Shulamite woman an opportunity to extol the attributes — physical ones — of her shepherd lover.
The women of Jerusalem, functioning here much like the chorus in Greek plays, give voice to questions that the woman wants to answer. I suggest you and I can play this role at times, perhaps asking this sort of thing:
Why do you love your wife?
What is about your wife that makes you love her so much?
Why do you love your husband?
What is about your husband that makes you love him so much?
These aren’t questions designed for information. These are questions designed to get someone to open up, to bring into the bright light of day just what they feel and what they love and what brings them life’s greatest delights. Perhaps in your question you might touch it up the way the women of Jerusalem did: “O fairest among women.”
You might lead your friend to “find” (as this woman “found” her lover) the one they love. And perhaps most importantly, this finding won’t simply be presence but a deeper awareness of what it is about the other that your friend loves.

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