I received the following comments (see my audio series on the Song of Solomon here: https://preceptsaudio.wordpress.com/category/song-of-solomon/ )
Ok well I reread your Song of Solomon last night and have a question. In 5:6-8 did she try to escape then after consummating her relationship with her betrothed, but then was beaten by Solomon´s officials?
I really enjoyed your thoughts and studies and does help make more sense of the book in so many aspects and verses. In 7:13 mandrakes seem to be something involving people to have sex as in the case of Jacob, Leah, Rachel, Ruben, in Genesis 30. I thought this was just a superstitious thing. Thoughts?
This whole section in chapter 5 is prefaced by Song 5:2, which reads, “I sleep, but my heart is awake.” I believe that she is describing a dream she had. Whether it was a dream sometime in the past, or whether she actually dreamed it that night after her shepherd left, is hard to say. She seems to be describing it to the court ladies who are waiting on her, so it could be she cried out in her sleep and they questioned her about her dream. She was probably in a whole lot of anxiety at the time, and fearful of what would happen when she finally faced Solomon. This anxiety could well have resulted in a nightmare.
The key element of the nightmare seems to be that her shepherd comes for her, but she is too tired or uncaring or uninterested to respond to him. Then, when she thinks about it and realizes what she has done, she tries to go to him but finds it too late. The same, indeed, is the worst nightmare for the believer as well, that our Lord would call us and we would be too uninterested or too distracted by the world to respond. Paul Washer pointed that out excellently in his studies, although I don’t think he really “got” the story of the Song.
But anyway I think that’s the point of that part, that the Shulamite had a nightmare.
The mandrake has had any number of superstitions attached to it. It contains a stimulant or hallucinogenic compound, which may be part of the reason for the legends surrounding it.
The Hebrew word translated “mandrake” seems to literally mean “love plant.” Like with many of the Hebrew animal names, the exact identity of this plant is in debate. Of course, the problem is that Hebrew was not actually spoken by anyone for over 2,500 years, and so the knowledge of what name meant what animal or plant was not always retained. Of course, more common ones can be easily identified, but in a case like this, it is not so easy. Some have suggested some kind of cucumber or melon-like plant, rather than a root like the mandrake. The idea they had seemed to be that the plant aided with conception. Relegating it to superstition might not be a good idea when we don’t really know what the plant was, or even exactly what it was supposed to do. A plant that could increase the chances of conceiving a child does not seem to me out of the realm of possibility.