Jesus Creed

The shepherd lover, whom I am not convinced is Solomon but who is insteadn the woman’s husband/lover, has spoken — he has extolled the woman’s physically rapturous beauty. She now responds:
“I am my beloved’s,
and his desire is for me” (7:10).
I like this. I expected, and perhaps you did too because you know the covenant formula, as found at 6:13: “I am beloved’s” — her commitment to him — “and my beloved is mine — his commitment to her.” But not this time. Instead, it is “I am beloved’s” — her commitment to him — with “and his desire is for me.”
The word “his desire” (teshuqa) is the same word found at Gen 3:16:
“Yet your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
And in Gen 4:7:
Sin’s “desire is for you, but you must master it.”
We must avoid getting too subtle; still, the oddity of the word, the place this word plays in the Fall narrative, and the strength of this desire — clearly the sense of the desire to master, to dominate, etc..
But here it is not the woman who has the teshuqa; it is the man’s desire that has this word.
Is the use of this word here an indicator that this woman senses that she and her lover have returned to Paradise, gotten behind and before the Fall, gotten behind the singular desire of the woman for a man but who meets a man who wants to rule — does she think they have attained paradise in a mutual desire for one another? She desires him (Gen 3:16) and now he desires her (Song 7:10).

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus